interview with Johnny of The C.L.I.M.B. & more...
Johnny from Daredevil Productions is also the co-host of a rapidly growing podcast called "
The C.L.I.M.B." which has recently partnered with Disc Makers, one of the world's top global platforms servicing artists, authors, filmmakers, and other content companies. The other co-host is hit songwriter Brent Baxter, who's written for Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum and Randy Travis and many more. The C.L.I.M.B. is for serious songwriters looking to become professionals and indie artists looking to learn how to stand out in the marketplace. The show itself is loose and fun to listen to, but full of teachable moments and info to get any artist off the ground.
Daredevil Production, LLC is a premiere label services company developing artists creatively and in the marketplace.
is reimagining music marketing and promotion in the digital realm. Daredevil Production, LLC
Q: So Johnny, you started out as a singer living the L.A. dream in the late 80's, after that experience, what provoked you to share your knowledge of the industry to others? Most artists from that era keep their wisdom close to their chest, keeping out the competition.
A: Actually, I moved to LA after I was an artist. We started out in WI touring the midwest region club circuit until some people around the Allman Brothers Band wanted to develop us. Then we moved down to Florida where we constantly toured there. When I moved to L.A. I was actually trying to get OUT of the music business. LOL. I was a player in a few different industries like electronics manufacturing, circuit board design, and the financial industry. But I woke up one morning and realized I was in 2 bands and had spent an insane amount of discretionary income on a killer home recording studio. So, I guess it's pretty clear I wasn't getting out. After I was financially wiped out in the mortgage meltdown of 2008 I decided that I could get that kind instability doing what I always loved, the music business. I initially moved back to Nashville in 2011 to produce records. My partner and I were blessed to work with some incredible indie artists. I began to see a trend; the artists were spending 100% of their budget on making the record and zero dollars (and zero time) on marketing it. I started Daredevil Production because I thought, if we could help them market their records, maybe they'll make enough to come back for a second record. The more I dug in, the more I could see how almost all artists were oblivious to marketing. Then I started to discover that the industry was struggling mainly because the marketing and promo channels changed from a broadcast platform (one to many) to a digital platform mainly consumed on a smartphone (one to one). The market changed and the industry hadn't. This was a big opportunity. If you get a 30,000 foot perspective, it's easy to see that the music business is dealing with a 25 year delayed reaction to the disruption of the internet. When the internet came out, there was still only 2 choices for a consumer to listen to music; listen to what they own, or listen to the radio. So while the rest of the world was forced into adapting to the internet, the music business really got a pass for quite a while. It wasn't until the iPhone came out in 2007 and Spotify was invented in 2009 (not available in the US till 2011) that the cracks started to show. Now we're knee deep in it and the sales are hurting. We see exactly how it's going to pan out in the future. Not because we're geniuses or have a crystal ball, but because EVERY other industry on the planet shook out the same way; the creators of the product or service end up doing business directly with the end-user. That's what will eventually happen in the music business too. We started the C.L.I.M.B. show podcast to talk about it. The show puts us in the driver's seat as a thought leader for effective marketing in the new music business. It's sophisticated but it's not rocket science. Any indie artist can dominate their market and make a living if they just embrace the marketing piece of it. Any songwriter can improve and learn to be competitive. It's amazing what Brent does with his regular events that introduce up and coming songwriters to mega publishers. Many relationships have been forged as a result of that. We create the C.L.I.M.B. podcast because we want singers, songwriters, and indie artists to WIN. The game has changed and it's easier now than ever before to grow your audience, but you'll have to adapt to do it.
Q: You and your partner have had some success as songwriters, eventually creating the popular podcast "The C.L.I.M.B.", which was picked up by Disc Makers and available on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, Spotify, and more. What is the show all about and how can it help upcoming artists and songwriters?
A: Brent and I go back and forth running point on each episode. Brent focuses on the art, craft, and business of songwriting. I focus on marketing and specifically digital marketing in the new music business. It's educational, inspirational, and motivational content. Both of us try to create actionable content that the listeners can use to create quick wins. Not only do you have to think about it the right way, you have do one thing every day to make it happen whether it's songwriting or marketing your music.
Q: Back to your initial site Daredevil Production, what other services do you offer artists besides demo recordings?
A: To be clear- Daredevil is primarily an artist development company. Some people refer to us as a label services company because we offer all the services a label can like creative development, marketing, branding, PR, marketing strategies, touring, management, etc. but with the artist's budget. I've produced a bunch of our artists. Often, I'm not the right "artistic pair of pants" and I'll connect our artist to another producer. For instance, we've placed 2 of our artists with legendary rock producer, Michael Wagener (Ozzy, Alice Cooper, Queen, Skid Row).
Q: What does The C.L.I.M.B. stand for?
A: The C.L.I.M.B. stands for Creating Leverage In the Music Business.
Q: So many people get P.R. and Marketing mixed up, what are the differences and what should an artist focus on?
A: Marketing is the act of making consumers aware of a product, telling them where it's sold, and getting them to buy it. Public Relations (PR) is getting publicity when you do something that's newsworthy. PR people have relationships with media outlets both for the music industry audiences and consumer audiences. Good PR helps us create social proof that the artist is legit. It's a part of marketing but not marketing.
Q: In this the end of publicists?
A: I don't think so. That's a big job to have working relationships with all those media outlets. Every artist will have swells where they need attention and then they have valleys, so it would be hard for one artist to have that great of a relationship with all the outlets. Whereas a Publicist will have many artists and constantly be deepening each relationship.
Q: Sales now focus almost entirely on 1 on 1 sales? How does an artist establish trust between a potential fan and themselves?
A: This is where Daredevil Production's approach separates us in the marketplace. The answer to that depends on what platform you're on. With radio and TV, the music comes first because the listeners don't have a choice as to what they're going to hear. So, after enough repetition of a single, for instance, the listener begins to subconsciously recognize the song and create a relationship with the art. Then they seek out the artist. However, with digital marketing, the consumer gets to decide what they're going to consume and will ALWAYS choose what they know, what's familiar to them. So online marketing is all about the artist and the story, not the art. At least not at first because they won't consume it no matter how good it is. We focus on creating content that is relevant and personal to the listener (again, which is decidedly NOT the song) to get them to know, like, and trust our artist. Then they'll listen with an open heart to the music. This is where every indie artist and quite frankly, the music industry, is screwing it up. They're trying to pretend that social media is a broadcast platform and it isn't. So successful broadcast platform marketing strategies don't work on digital platforms. You have the reach but you don't have the ability to get them to listen much less listen frequently.
Q: Where can people check out your show The C.L.I.M.B.?
A: They can consume The C.L.I.M.B. on iTunes, Android, iHeartRADIO, Spotify, and Stitcher to name a few.
Q: Any parting words of wisdom for artists looking to get into the professional world of songwriting?
A: The songwriting advice would need to come from Brent. As for artists, I would say stop "trying to get the record deal". Major Labels are NOT developing talent anymore, they're buying small businesses. So, even if you're so mega talented that you were able to somehow get a deal without an audience, it would be a curse. FOCUS ON BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE and everything else will come to you.
interview with Mike Friedman of Skope Magazine
Skope Magazine has been around since y2k, earning a rep as music 'zine
that features new, young and upcoming artists as well as the established
artists. It's one of the few places where you can read about a postrock
jazz band next to a Jay z piece. Diversity and variety are what has kept
Skope growing since it's humble beginnings in a dorm room at
Michael Friedman is the lone proprietor of Skope, with a host of writers
from all over doing interviews, reviews, artist ads, youtube, streaming
Skope radio and promotional services such as eblasts. With thousands of
music fans in tow each month viewing Skope, it's a sure-fire way to
get featured to a growing audience that's receptive to new music in just
about every popular genre, including pop, indie, hiphop and edm...to
name a few.
I did reviews for Skope a few years ago and it really opened my eyes to
just how involved Mike is in working with artists, his passion for music
and how a modern 'zine works in the digital age. Skope helps to level
the playing field for artists, knowing that newbies are hardly in a
place of financial stability, offering them an affordable range of promo
packages, with new campaigns coming out weekly through his far and wide
Q.- What got you interested in creating a music publication in the first
place and what sets Skope apart from so many other brands such as
Rolling Stone and Alternative Press for example?
Skope.- I became immersed in the local indie Boston music scene around
1999-2000 while attending Northeastern & bartending. I heard and watched
bands & artists that were amazing but mostly ignored by the mainstream media. So
that was the premise for @skopemag. I always admired the publications
like Rolling Stone, Spin, etc but we saw them as the mainstream and that
was not our main goal.
Q.- Are you inquisitive by nature or was it a challenge to come up with
compelling questions to ask artists for each new interview? What's the
narrative you're bringing to Skope readers when introducing new artists?
Skope.- Well first is the music. That is #1 because if that is not right
nothing else matters. As for interview style, I love to talk and listen
to people so it came very natural. We are all human.
Q.- How has Skope evolved, grown or changed over the years as you creep
up on 20 years as a 'zine?
Skope.- The biggest thing is our global reach. I always knew that the
more popular @skopemag got the better for us and the musicians we cover.
I love how I can post news here in Boston and someone in time zones far
away is enjoying our content.
Q.- Are you a musician yourself or just a fan? Do you consider yourself
Skope.- I studied music industry and business management at Northeastern
but I do not play an instrument. I did get star struck once and that was
backstage at the Garden in Boston when I saw Jay-Z. Nowadays though I am
Q.- Who are some of your favorite artists [new or established] that
you've covered in Skope? Why?
Skope.- Not to sound cliche but I love all artists and musicians that are on
@skopemag. We are not here to tell the masses who to like and listen to.
We are here to present the music and let the readers decide. When you
deal with multi-genres of music you know that it is different strokes
for different folks. I will say that I am an Amazon Music Unlimited
member so I love having that tremendous catalog of @skopemag music at my
Q.- What services do you offer through Skope?
Skope.- Well we have 2 main facets to @skopemag. One is press/content
and the other is promotion. Press is all the content you see on
https://skopemag.com. Promotion is when clients want to do business with
us to promote the music or business to our massive global audience.
Q.- How can Skope help producers and beat makers get their brand or
service to the right audience?
Skope.- Well we can expose them to the @skopemag audience through press
& promotion. @skopemag should be one piece of a healthy marketing
campaign. The key to good marketing is repetition, consistency, and
patience. People are so busy and distracted these days, it may take 5-10
times before they take notice.
Q.- Do you offer advertising packages?
Skope.- Yes for sure. You can check out various services here -
Also each clients needs are different. I encourage you to email me @
https://skopemag.com/category/services firstname.lastname@example.org and lets see how we can work together.
Q.- What's in an eblast and why does it matter?
Skope.- An Eblast simply put is a great way to reach our email
subscriber list of about 10K people. We work with Constant Contact and I
do not believe in buying emails to boost the list as we only want real
people who want to hear from @skopemag and engage.
Q.- Will Skope always be thought of to you as a personal project or do
you have other plans for the 'zine?
Skope.- I often compare @skopemag to a young child. You love & cherish
that child and want to watch it grow big and healthy and you are willing
to do anything you can to make that happen everyday.
Q.- What are some of the common mistakes that artists make when trying
to get featured in Skope that we'd want to avoid in order to be more
Skope.- We get about 300 music press emails per day which is a good
thing. I like when you present 1 message with text, pic, audio/video,
social media in a clear concise and clean manner. That way we can grab
the "meat" and get it on the site with ease.
Q.- Any parting words of wisdom or parting shots?
Skope.- I would just like to say that the music industry is not
guaranteed for anybody. You need to do it because it is your passion and
it does not feel like work. So many legendary artists make music because
it was a spiritual calling, the fame & fortune came but that was not the
I been helping with @skopemag since 2000 and I hope to continue until my
kids take over or someone comes and buys the company. I hope to see you
all @ ! https://skopemag.com
interview Redhead Roman of W.A. Production!
It's my privillege to interview master producer
Redhead Roman of W.A. Productions and Pump Your Sound. Not content to merely create industry leading samples, loops, presets and even vst plugins [ check out The King for vst awesomeness], Roman and his team have also created I'm The DJ app, a portable mini daw [digital audio workstation] that allows creators to make music anywhere, on any device for free.
First off, thank you for taking the time to do my very first interview as part of enfire ent. Producer Stash is a quick reference point for artists and producers to find useful plugins and samples that I use personally and support. W.A. has been a staple in building tracks that are not only part of enfire, but also for background music I create for tv, games and film.
Q: For those not familiar with your work yet, tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up creating W.A. Production.
A: The whole W. A. Production thing started almost by accident. I'd always wanted to make money making music, but I wasn't sure how. One day, we‘d recorded some vocal shouts just for fun with my friend and I tried to release the shouts as a vocal pack on producerloops.com under the W. A. Production brand (I named the pack What About: EDM & ). Suddenly the pack started generating some sales. So I spend every moment I have building the brand and platform of sounds for music producers. You can find our current webstore here: Urban Vocal Shouts https://www.waproduction.com
Q: Sample packs are in high demand now as more and more djs have become producers, how has the game changed since you started W.A.? What sets your loops and sample packs apart from the rest of herd?
A: The game changed quite drastically and the market is growing quickly! However, together with more producers that are looking for sample packs, there are also new labels and sites added every few weeks in need of new sounds.
Our packs have always been about high quality at an affordable price. Thanks to that, producers from all around the world are using our sounds, whether they are beginners, intermediate or professionals. We believe that if we want our packs to earn enough money to live on, we have to give back to the community. That is why we release dozens of sample packs each year and we've even released a free ComBear plugin
https://www.waproduction.com/plugins/view/combear just a few months ago. We also give away a lot of free packs and demo packs.
Q: Out of your collection, which packs would you consider to be your favorite and why?
A: My favorite packs by W. A. Production are the following three packs which are quite underestimated. However, they include some of our most amazing sounds and templates that have the power to bring some great vibes to almost any genre.
Future Bass Megalodon:
The King Sounds:
Q: You've created a few amazing VST plugins such as The King and Pumper, what can you tell us about these and why did you feel it was neccessary to create them?
A: I've always wanted to have my own plugins released under W. A. Production. That's why we’d started collecting ideas and designing layouts. Pumper was our very first plugin and a lot of producers are using this VST regularly because it’s a very easy to use and powerful tool.
Since then, we’ve released many more plugins and are planning to go hard this year with them. Here is our latest delay plugin called
Q: You also run Pump Your Sound, what is it and how can it help producers and artists looking to breakout?
A: Pump Your Sound is a platform for music producers that allows them to build a fanbase by providing free tracks. https://pumpyoursound.com The most important feature that this site offers is the ability to create download fangates that any producer can connect with using various social media channels. We are providing a SoundCloud scheduler, where users can plan reposts. A few weeks back, we also launched Repost Trader, where users can trade reposts on SoundCloud. It’s a free site for anyone that is serious about music production, or that is looking for some great free tunes.
Q: Who are some of your favorite current artists that are using your packs, presets and plugins?
A: There are a lot of them, which we are very proud of! KSHMR is using our vocal samples, also Timmy Trumpet, Tom Swoon, Kura, DJ BL3ND, Marnik and Justin Prime have used our packs, to name just a few...
Q: What do you think of the current state of electronic music in general? Do you think it's peaked?
A: I don’t think we hit any kind of peak. It’s good to see that more and more EDM producers are getting to radio and are working with famous singers. That brings more attention to the whole industry, which is always a good thing!
Q: "Everyone's A DJ" is quickly becoming true, thanks in part to your I'm The DJ app. Tell us a little about the app.
A: Actually – we've had to stop working on that app due to our busy schedules.. at least for now, but you can still get it here for free
Q: What advice can you give young producers who hope to make a living making music? Do people need a gimmick or a niche to become successful? How do you view success and what does it mean to you as a dj and/or producer?
A: That is a very complex question. In my opinion, anyone can become a succesful producer or DJ, but he/she must be original. Also, being really dedicated to this path is an extremely important thing. It’s a very time consuimg process, but in the end it's worth it. There's a lot of room for new DJs and producers in this indisutry to make a name or build a brand.
Roman, thanks for your time. Make sure to check out
W.A. Production for some next level magic on your tracks! https://waproduction.com
Plugins, Loops & VSTs [Part 1]
are thousands of loop & sample sites popping up all over the internet. Same goes with VST plugins, construction kits, tutorial sites, promotional tools and the endless arguments over which DAW [digital audio workstation] is the best for There music. [insert specific genre here]
been asked by a few producers what I use and how I create some of my sounds, it's no secret that I've used a preset or two, a loop here and there and an endless supply of samples. For me, part of creating a song isn't 100% making my own sounds from scratch, that would be painsptakingly slow and extremely pretentious of me. Part of creating something that interests me while songwriting, creating, recording or mixing is adding elements outside of my own brain, something that I might never have thought of on my own but adds that little extra something that pushes my song into something less predictable to me or takes it into a unique direction. It's tricky with pop and electronic music, because listeners tend to expect certain things to be familiar, but not TOO familiar. I've
, I've wanted to give a shout out to companies whose wells I come back to again and again for sounds and inspiration while on my quest to produce that 'perfect' song. Anyway [I'll let you know if I EVER get there, lol].
One of the first sites I signed up to is called
Track Spark. It's a monthly subscription [just 2 or 3 bucks per month] which sends me plugins, loops and samplers each month to my inbox. You never know what it's going to be from month to month so it's always exciting to check email on the 1st of each month, it's like Christmas all year 'round. I've gotten some ridiculously cool free plugins that are usually pretty pricey and there's always at least one mixing tip included that's helped me as I am continually learning and becoming a better producer.
Redhead Roman and his team are creating some of the most compelling and interesting Trap & EDM sample kits and presets on the market in my opinion. But don't take my word for it, Timmy Trumpet, KSHMR and DJ BL3ND are just a few using these killer kits in their productions. Aside from cornering the sample market,
W.A. Production has also gotten into the VST plugin game and have created 2 game changing plugins for mixing and mastering, The King and Pumper. There are tons of freebies to introduce to Roman's massive collection of sound. They also have Pump Your Sound, which is a SoundCloud swap & play promo to help producers build up their listener base. If that wasn't enough, there's also I'm The DJ, a free EDM style mini-DAW app that lets you stylize your own beats. Tons to check out here for the inspired beatmakers and producers.
Maybe a lesserknown sample maker in the marketplace, but a solid and unique one to be sure.
Ghosthack is a bit more on the experimental side of electronic music, with an emphasis on etheral vocals taken from various parts of the world and some amazing Serum presets.
The drum kits hit hard and once again, there are so many freebies here, you'll need a 2nd hard drive just to download it all.
This site's been around for a looooong time, but if you're ever in a pinch for a plugin and you're a bit cash strapped, this is the place to find suitable plugins. Most of the developers are hobbyists, but there are a few that are lead-ins to actual VST production companies and quality is rated 1 to 5 stars.
Here you'll find drum kits, synths, samplers and virtual instruments of all sorts. You'll also find a wide range of effects, some are downright fantastic.
Of course, being nothing but freebies, you'll have to dig around as this site is a mixed-bag and doesn't seem to have a gate keeper for quality control. But hey, you can't beat the price! And some of these developers are like mad scientists, crafting their own Frankensteins just for kicks.
of a series. Feel free to email me with any sites you love to use @ This is Part 1 email@example.com