Archives for October, 2011

Guest Blog: Jordan Reyne on Cross Media Albums

October, 29th 2011 11:25

We always try to keep you up-to-date with interesting digital promotion and niche marketing strategies and good social responsibility campaigns being carried out by clients. Today, we’re going to look at a cross between digital and niche marketing  with New Zealand artist, Jordan Reyne, and her latest album, a cross media production entitled Children of a Factory Nation featuring music and comics.

You’ve already met Jordan Reyne, in previous post, How Not To Be Driven Mad By Social Networking.  Here, she talks creating a multi-media album, a particularly interesting niche marketing technique – since the concept of  the comic book gives Jordan access to both the lovers of comics and forklore, in addition the subscribers to her particular musical niche, folk rock.

 

It’s 1886 in Cardiff, and a young man in dirty clothes takes a step towards the sea. The voice of the ocean taunts and curls into his ears. He looks behind him, to the land and hills and the solidity of the every day world, turns back, and walks out into the waves.

This man’s name was Johnathan, and he really existed. He had been a seaman all his life and had paused to raise a family before he made those steps out into the unknown. Between each of his footprints, history left a lot of space – the spaces where I got to fill in the blanks and let folklore lure me in with her seductive hands.  Johnathan’s steps began a string of tales – a series of stories set in industrial revolution Britain that come out on October the 24th in album form.

As a kid I always loved songs that told stories. Everything from Steeleyes Span’s retelling of “700 Elves from Out the Wood”, to the album of H G Wells “War of the Worlds”, Pink Flyod’s “The Wall”, and Klaatu’s “Hope”. They created characters, story and sounds that came together to give a sense of being there. They conjoured up a million images in your mind and took you someplace away from the here and now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you know I am a masochist, because I set out to try and do something similar in the sense of storytelling 😉 I got out my sampler and recorded the sounds of steam, steel and iron, the threshing of old school machinery, as well as the folk instruments of the time. I mixed them in with facts and folklore to set up a place that sounded like where the characters lived, but something was still missing.

In the old days, I realised, I would listen with my eyes as well as my ears. Records had those beautiful large surfaces for accompanying artwork, and illustrations to the songs that so engaged me. I would stare at them for hours while the songs played over and over. Each album cover image spawning a thousand new pictures in my head.

In the brave new world of digital music, with an album project underway that I knew would be sold mostly in digital formats, I was faced with the challenge of getting a visual element into songs that tell a tale – a way to conjour up the images of a time when new machines, factories, and workhouses were springing up all over England, turning old ways of life upside down.In my own head, it was a very visual thing already.

Being completely inept at the visual arts, I spend a few hours trying to draw stick figures under mangled cylinders that were intended to be factories. I asked myself not to quit my day job ad decided to enlist the help of people who are in the know about telling stories with pictures. Comic artists.

I’d met Ben Naylor in a pub in Brighton as people were shuffling out into the night after a show. He had his own comic series about a rather destructive shark who was half octopus. Not an obvious fit for tales of working class England, but certainly evidence of a taste for the dark. Ben floored me with his intuition on the comic, which was a stand alone piece to tell the tale of Johnny’s wife, Mary, who stares out over the waves until she eventually sees Johnny’s rotting ghost and follows him.

Yes, there is a bit of gore in these tales too 😉 I am a huge fan of the brothers Grimm!

The second comic from the album is further on in the story – when we have followed Johnny’s family through to the 1920s: to drive in theatres, airbourne heroes, and an automotive industry boom.

Enter Shaun Garea, a New Zealand filmmaker with several critically acclaimed short films to his credit. Shaun also made the video for “the Arsonist” and became the talent behind the second comic. It was a serendipitous thing – in his video, Shaun created two characters so intruiging that he told me:

‘I just can’t abandon them’.

Shaun used the comic idea for The Arsonist, to give the characters from the video and music some backstory, stretching the reach backward into time. Wynn, (the scientist) is one of the characters we knew the least about, historically, so there was the scope to play with her a lot. We have her in a lab experimenting and causing the place to burn down in her quest to understand what life might be about.

 

 

 

With the album, Children of a Factory Nation, due out on Monday October 24th, I am as excited about the cross medium side of it as I am about the music. It has been a collaborative project on so many levels – from the listeners who funded it, to the street team promoting  it, and the filmmakers , comic artists, and indie book publishing houses involed in the end product itself. No album ever happens entirely as the result of one person, and maybe they actually shouldn’t. It’s been a real eye opener (eek, sounds like a lame pun) to be able to work with visual artists who can bring back in that visual charm and engagement that is sometimes lost in the digital distribution format.

 

 

 

 

singer jordan reyne - album art - children of a factory nation - 2011

Click here to buy on i-Tunes

This guest blog was written by Jordan Reyne, a full time musician with 3 Tui nominations under her belt, her new album “Children of a Factory Nation” is out this October 24th through Believe Digital. 

 

 

Click here to find out more about Jordan Reyne.

Click on the album art to purchase Jordan’s new album “Children of a Factory Nation”.

Catch Bastille at Camden Barfly

October, 24th 2011 14:03

Bastille Camden Barfly Ticket Competition

New EP:  ‘Laura Palmer’ out November 14, 2011

Bastille is currently hosting a competition on Twitter to give one lucky fan two tickets to their sold out gig at Camden Barfly on 28 October, 2011.

“Bastille seem to have mastered the craft of perfect pop music.” – Artrocker

The only London date of the band’s ongoing UK Tour, the Barfly Gig serves as the unofficial launch party to the band’s new release, The Laura Palmer EP. Out on 14 November, 2011, the Laura Palmer EP features the tracks Laura Palmer and Overjoyed and is now available for pre-order, exclusively from iTunes.

Watch Bastille’s Laura Palmer video:

How to enter: Tweet ‘Oi, @BASTILLEdan let me in to @CamdenBarfly on Friday! ‘

The competition winner will be announced on Thursday27 October, 2011.

9 Acts too Awesome to Miss at CMJ 2011

October, 19th 2011 11:04

Believe A&R Top Picks

These are our label A&R’s top acts to go see, if you’re at CMJ this week.

Tall Ships (Pink Mist)

Will says:  I came accross them when they supported Three Trapped Tigers. This band and are going beyond the confines of math-rock to actually write great songs. Big potential and Great EP.

ANR

Will says:  Loved the album they released this year ‘Stay kids’.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Will says:   They played a great show in London earlier this year and should have a great 2012.

Dels

Will says:  Ninja tune’s next big thing, truly original hip-hop working with Joe Goddard, Kwes and Micachu.

(more…)

Inside RockStar Motel – An Interview with CEO and Founder Luca Sacchetti

October, 16th 2011 20:52

We’ve already introduced you to RockStar Motel and the way in which it works; however, we got the opportunity to correspond with the man behind it all, Mr Luca Sacchetti, with a view to finding out more about his new social music network.

A former musician, Luca, has combined technology with his experience on the creative side of the industry to create a social music network, unique in its ability to give fans and artists unprecedented access to the music industry.

“As a former artist, I know it’s hard to create music when you are encumbered by the business and politics of the industry. By opening up the opportunity to share, preserve and promote music to the fans, artists have a new freedom to stay focused on making music. That’s why we’ve created RockStar Motel. The fans’ passion for music, harnessed by RockStar Motel, enables musicians to develop and advance their sound and their careers.” – Luca Sacchetti, CEO & Founder of RockStar Motel

Q. RockStar Motel is described as a social music network – how did the idea for the site come about?

In the late 1980’s and 1990’s I was in a band that toured through the US and Canada for ten years. When I hung up the microphone, I started working  in real estate and drove  20 hours a week. On one of these drives, I was thinking back to my music-days and the ups and downs of it all.  Suddenly, the idea for RockStar Motel struck. I knew I was being called back to my original passion, but in a dramatically different role.

Q. Can you tell our readers a bit more about what RockStar Motel is, and what services the site provides to users?

RockStar Motel offers music fans a chance to sign and represent their favorite artists.  Fans can build a roster of artists they love, promote them through their network, and get points for doing it.  The more a fan promotes, the more points they get, and the more points they get, the more visible they are on RockStar Motel.  Not only this, but they have the opportunity to help new bands launch their careers.  This in turn creates a system that encourages artists to reward their fans for spreading their tunes.  Because of this, we’re making actively searching for new music extremely important for the fan while at the same time leveling the playing field for artists everywhere by encouraging fans to listen to them.

(more…)

Social Music Site Eliminates the Barriers between Fans and Artists

October, 16th 2011 12:35

On 5th October 2011, a new social music network opened its doors to Joe Public with a new model: a social record label for fans and artists. Founded in 2010, and in beta testing in the US, UK and Canada, since August 2011,  the now open RockStar Motel, gives fans a chance to sign, represent and interact with their favourite bands and artists.

Logo for social music network RockStar MotelBy opening up the opportunity to share, preserve and promote music to the fans, artists have a new freedom to stay focused on making music. That’s why we’ve created RockStar Motel. – Luca Sacchetti, CEO & Founder, RockStar Motel

When RockStar Motel opened its music social network earlier this month, it was to allow both fans and artists unprecedented access to the music industry. By changing the music industry from the current “top-down” model to a new, social “bottom-up” approach, RockStar Motel builds upon the passion of music fans to improve the industry. The company’s mission is to level the playing field for artists and give every fan the opportunity to participate.

Adopting an approach which makes interaction beneficial on both sides, the basic premise of the site is that fans can sign and promote their favorite artists while discovering new talent to believe in. Artists, on the other hand engage their fans, leveraging not only social media tools, but also dedicated fans who now have an incentive to promote on their behalf.

RockStar Motel combines social media, game mechanics and direct artist/fan interaction under one roof, and as such has many favoured elements of social networking:

  1. It’s got a clear target market so you can feel safe it’s not battling it out between Google+ and Facebook, and get on with enjoying the music.
  2. It’s interactive on both sides – fans can message other fans and artists, and broadcast opinions, while artists can claim their profiles and use them to message and recruit fans.
  3. It uses gaming technology to award rewards and benefits, an increasingly important feature in the world of social networks -RockStar Motel ranks fans helping to promote artists and recognizes those who put in the work before a band is launched into stardom.
  4. It awards relevant benefits to members – fans receive relevant rewards for their promotional endeavours, which include insider information and exclusives, and additional privileges in the fan and artist communities.
(more…)

Passions, Niches and the Artist – The Gabby Young Example

October, 13th 2011 14:02

Artists are increasingly exposed via social media as real people with hobbies and interests, and hobbies and sub-cultures are increasingly becoming associated with certain styles of music – way past obvious associations like rastas like reggae. Therefore, one of the most important things to note about marketing music in the digital age is that it’s not ALL about the music or getting word out in the traditional way. Labels, you might want to consider your artists interests when doing promo and artists you should definitely be looking at ways to exploit your interests as a marketing tool.

One such example is Gabby Young. A lover of fashion, and an artist, Gabby maintains a style blog and is well known for her dress sense. In fact, in 2009, Artrocker did a double page spread on her called “How to Dress like Gabby Young”, see below.

She’s got such a passion for fashion, she’s set up The Gabberdashery to curate art, designer fashion and jewellery to be sold at her shows, and other events. And further cemented her place in the fashion world by attending London Fashion Week (LFW) in the front row this year, creating interesting content for her blog,  interview opportunities for herself, and she probably had a great time doing it.

The implications of being front row at LFW are endless and stretch way past a few interviews and blogs to encompass amazing exposure and networking opportunities and more… At the same time maintaining both The Gabberdashery and  her style-blog opens Gabby up for interesting partnership and sponsorship opportunities. Her blog, for example, lists sponsors from fashion designer, Inbar Spector, to make-up company ILLAMASQUA.

Proof that hobbies and sub-cultures open doors…  We invite you to explore hobbies more thoroughly in the hopes that other labels and artists discover the doors that niches can open – like Gabby did.

(more…)

James Vincent McMorrow Rough Trade In-Store Ticket Competition (October 18)

October, 11th 2011 18:39


James Vincent McMorrow Rough Trade In-Store Ticket Competition (October 18)

New Single: ‘We Don’t Eat’ / ‘Higher Love’ out November 13

“Sounds both fresh and as if they’ve been in your head forever…McMorrow’s debut deserves its success” Q, ****

“The Irish songsmith’s haunting, soulful sound blossoms….he will be unstoppable” Guardian ****

“Vocals, lyrics and arrangements whose restraint and subtlety are totally at odds with the profound impact and resonance of his songs’ Sunday Times Culture

“Dusky vignettes on unseen and wondrous magic…gorgeous” NME

“A captivating debut…An arresting journey from emotional trials to aural pleasure” Uncut, ****

“His high, hoarse timbre is used to magnificent effect” Mojo, ****

James Vincent McMorrow has announced details of an intimate London in-store performance at Rough Trade West, to take place on October 18. This will coincide with the limited vinyl release of ‘We Don’t Eat / Higher Love’, which is available exclusively at Rough Trade in conjunction with the charity Headstrong. ‘We Don’t Eat’ will see a wider release on November 13.

We Don’t Eat video:

 

How to enter – Having sold out the likes of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the ICA and St Pancras Church in the capital, tickets for this one-off set are sure to go fast. To that extent, every day until Monday, two pairs of tickets will be given away via Twitter: to enter, just tweet “@jamesvmcmorrow @roughtradeshops #Jamesvincentmcmorrow instore let me in!” This is the only way to guarantee entry to this 50-capacity performance, which is not to be missed.


Notice: Believe Facebook Player Temporarily Unavailable

October, 11th 2011 12:14

You may have noticed that the Believe player is currently not working on your Facebook page.

This is due to technical issues which have arisen in light of Facebook’s recent changes. Some common issues being reported are:

  1. You are unable to make changes to already installed Facebook players.
  2. The sharing functionality of the Facebook player isn’t working.
  3. You are now unable to add new Players to pages on Facebook.

We’re very sorry about any inconvenience caused, and assure you that we’re working to resolve the issue.

Please note that in lieu of the functioning Facebook Player, we encourage you to share your BelieveBand page with fans and friends, as you are still able to control the player which is being displayed there.

Thanks in advance for your patience,

Believe UK Office

Hospital Records Raised £1000 for MIND – Let’s help them go the distance

October, 6th 2011 16:32

We’ve already told you that this Saturday the good folks over at Hospital Records will be riding from London to Brighton to raise money for mental health charity, MIND. The 50 mile bike ride is to be undertaken by Hospital staff and friends, as well as DJ Tomahawk, who will also be spinning at Hospitality Brighton that night.

We’re blogging about it again to congratulate them, because they’ve already reached their £1,000 goal!

Borrowing from the inspirational quotes of the late Steve Jobs floating around the internet today ( mainly ”why settle?”) we decided to re-visit the topic and try to push all of our readers to donate, and help Hospital maximise their potential… they are riding 50 miles, after all!

So if you think that cycling the 50 miles from London to Brighton before putting on and performing at a club night is worth something (we certainly do), then donate!

And if you love Hospital Records, then sneak a peak at the UKF exclusive Album mix to Camo & Krooked’s newest album, out now!

For more information on MIND and why you should help Hospital with their cause, visit their website. And if that’s not enough, here’s the top three reasons to give to charity:

  1. You might need charity yourself one day.
  2. It’s good karma.
  3. Last but not least, there’s tax benefits involved!
Have a great Thursday!

This post was written by Shanni Elcock, social media manager at Believe Digital, @shandogspeaks
 

 

Hospital Records – BIKE CLUB!

October, 4th 2011 17:12

At midday on Saturday the 8th of October, Hospital Records will be setting off from their office in South London and cycling the 50 mile distance to Brighton in the name of charity.

Taking part in the ride from the Hospital Office will be Riley, Edgar, Zac, Tom, along with a couple of good friends, and with Ricky Trickartt on the official Vespa support vessel.

It’s Hospitality in Brighton that evening and Tomahawk will be both taking part in the bike ride and DJing later that night.

If you agree that this not insubstantial effort from everyone involved is worth applauding then dig deep and sponsor them!

All proceeds will go to MIND, the leading mental health charity.

UPDATE: Hospital Records has reached their £1,000 goal! We say, why stop there?