How To Use Social Media To Your Advantage As An Artist

Social media has changed many aspects of our lives including the music industry. Gone are the days of waiting for your record label to make the first move in marketing your songs or setting up a meet and greet with fans. Nowadays, artists have more freedom to put themselves out there and share their own content. It’s also easier now for fans to get a sense of an artist’s personality and form a connection that feels more genuine. There are several social media platforms out there that can make a big difference in your career like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, just to name a few. Demŭn Studios likes to go the extra mile for our clients, so we’ve put together this blog post to give you some simple ways to grow your craft online with some advice and tips for using these platforms to your advantage as a music artist.

TikTok is one of the most popular platforms right now, and there are many artist success stories. Jackie Miskanic, more commonly known as Jax, is a 25-year-old from New Jersey who came in third place on the fourteenth season of “American Idol” in 2015. Jax released her first post-” Idol” recording in 2016 and signed a deal with Atlantic Records in January 2021. A major part of her recent success is undeniably her TikTok account. Jax currently has 4.6 million followers and 66.6 million likes and only started up her page at the end of 2019. She doesn’t do lip-synced dances or influencer posts — Jax showcases her talent in a creative way that has attracted many younger viewers. The video that kicked it off was “From Stacy’s Mom’s Perspective,” a hilarious take on Fountain of Wayne’s 2003 hit “Stacy’s Mom,” and she’s done similar treatments of other songs since. 

MusicianPort offers some helpful tips for artists hoping to get big on TikTok. First, find your niche. If you’re good at song parodies like Jax, focus on that, or if you have another hobby or passion in life, start out by highlighting that and then introducing your music into it. For example, if you’re a big DIYer or into arts and crafts, show those off accompanied by a song or rap of your own. Another tip is to post consistently. If you’re not so technically inclined, start off with a video a day, or if you’re more comfortable or more experienced, aim for a few a day. Trends, funny skits, and challenges are a big part of what makes TikTok tick and often lend themselves well to music, so get in on those if you can. A good way to see what’s popular that day is to check out the “For You Page.” It’s basically a newsfeed with videos curated to you that you can scroll through. If a certain song is trending, you can create your own remix. Duets are also super popular, and it’s when you create a video response to another user. Original sound too is huge on TikTok which means you have the chance to record your own sound, music, and voiceovers. Clips can range from 15 seconds to 30 seconds and now 3 minutes in length for some users. It’s important to keep in mind that TikTok’s algorithm often changes. A part of that is audience retention or how long someone watches your video for. You can find that by looking at the metrics for your video which also includes the total play time and total views. Using hashtags, posting at a time when most of your followers are online, and using trending sounds in your video can also make a difference and get you to stand out.

While TikTok is arguably the most popular social media platform right now, let’s not count out YouTube as a tool for musicians. This is one of the original spots for artists to post their songs and music videos, and there’s even YouTube for Artists, a special resource that can help you connect with the community, view analytics, promote your tour and sell tickets, and more. DIY Musician has several easy suggestions for creating a YouTube channel. First, use a custom photo background and set your channel type to musician. Doing so enables you to add performer information and publish a schedule of show dates. Next, add links to your website and where to buy your album or songs such as a purchase page on iTunes. Add tags to your channel and videos which helps fans find you more easily during a search, and be mindful of what you title your videos. Add some keywords like the band name, song name or the name of the venue or location if applicable. You also don’t only have to post music videos. Flex your creativity by adding a lyric video, commentary, interview or even a funny rap or skit. Lastly, respond to comments. This will show your fans that you appreciate them and inspire others to chime in. It’s also helpful to point out something unique about the video in the comments to get people thinking.

Instagram is another great tool for artists. According to New Artist Model, it’s one of the most effective music promotion channels out there with the highest engagement rates across all social media. One of the best things to do when you first sign up for Instagram is to create a business account. It functions exactly like a personal account but gives some additional features like analytics. You’ll then be able to write out a short bio which is a good spot for a quick elevator pitch. Don’t just share what kind of music you do — use this as an opportunity to share a piece of your personality or a funny quote. It should be a good hook that gets people to read and listen. There’s only one spot for a link on Instagram, so utilize a service like Linktree. It’s basically like a landing page that allows you to store all of your links in one spot. It’s also popular with TikTok creators. 
Choose a good profile picture of yourself — an album cover or a logo if you have one. Next, think about what you’ll be posting. Instagram gives you the ability to create stories, posts, and reels. Stories are the ones that are up for 24 hours. It’s a great way to give a good update on where you’re at in the studio or give a sneak peek into your daily life. It’s also an excellent way to engage with fans through poll questions, quizzes, and Q & A sessions. Posts are the more curated types of content that stay up on your page. You can upload videos up to 60 seconds in length, share professional photos, and more. Reels are 15 seconds in length, and you can add your own music and effects to them. Lastly, Instagram offers the ability to go live. You can live stream straight on the app from your phone. It could be a cool way to show off an impromptu performance or make announcements about an upcoming single or tour date.

To sum it up, you should definitely consider putting yourself out there on social media as a music artist. It will allow you to be more visible and reach a wider audience, build loyalty and relationships with fans and get feedback directly about what you’re doing right and wrong.

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Top Arizona Podcasts for a Vibrant Post-Covid Lifestyle

Whether your morning commute still means physically leaving your house post-Covid, or just finding the cleanest sweats and shuffling to the living room, podcasts are still providing cutting-edge insights and entertainment tips. We saved you a few hours of scrolling time and curated the four most original, fun, and informative podcasts with the Arizona lifestyle at their core. Every selection should be available on either Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts in addition to being embedded on their website.

The Wine Monk

While Napa Valley and Bordeaux might be the more famous regions when it comes to impeccable wine. Cody Vladimir Burkett, CSW has made it his mission to spread awareness about delicious Arizona vino. If you are new to the wine scene, or maybe just new to this specific podcast, check out Burkett’s “AZ Uncorked: An Arizona Wine Guide” episode.

This will be the perfect introduction to both Burkett’s delivery style and a virtually unknown plethora of Arizona wineries. The bulk of the linked episode above is an interview with Jenelle Bonifield, who wrote a book with the same title that is perfect for any coffee table or wert bar decoration. 

From individual profiles of specific wine releases to variances in general taste profiles due to country of origin, Burkett offers a holistic picture of Arizona wine for listeners of all knowledge levels. After a few episodes curated to fit your inclinations, you’ll have a list of local wines to seek out, multiple local wineries to round out a weekend getaway, and fun facts to impress your friends at your next gathering!

Revenge of the Birds: AZ Cardinals for Fans, by Fans

There’s nothing like talking about sports with equally passionate fanatics. “Revenge of the Birds” takes a different approach than the staunch Sports Center professionalism when discussing Arizona’s NFL team. Refreshing to say the least, the hosts make you feel like you’re sitting beside them at a brewery, predicting the upcoming season, exalting a successful play, or throwing shade at rival teams.

What the contributors lack in time playing the game (all personal bios include how long they have been fans, not anything to do with actual football experience) they make up for in sheer enthusiasm and love for the game. 

All new listeners are able to get a feel for how the hosts think, dissect team decisions, and present their informed opinions. Another perk of “Revenge” is the weekly (or sometimes even bi-weekly) new episodes they publish. This allows you to stay up to date with the freshest Cardinal news, and gain a different perspective on everything from strategy to venting after a difficult loss.

If the 24-hour cycle of Sports Center has you a bit burnt out on Cardinal commentary, give these guys a listen. 

Not a Cardinal fan but still want a more level-headed, fan-driven perspective on your favorite team? Check out the generalized “SB Nation NFL Show” podcast or visit their official website to find in-depth podcast coverage of your favorite team.

The Gaggle: An Arizona Politics Podcast

Alarmist news headlines seem to be everywhere in the United States, regardless of how much one limits screen time or media consumption. The world is still grappling with a devastating pandemic, widespread epidemic of gun violence in the U.S., and an opioid crisis. On top of all of that, America is so divided and angry as a nation that if you bring up the wrong topic on a date or group setting, your very character could be vilified. 

Whew! Talk about some “alarmist headlines”.

However, there is an underground social movement that emphasizes a desire to understand both sides of an issue before making aggressive snap judgments. In other words, there are still people out there who live by the creed, “seek to understand before being understood”. 

Enter, The Gaggle Podcast.

Created and hosted by experienced journalists with decades of time in the field, The Gaggle (which is a word that describes the instance when a slew of reporters pepper someone with questions) expertly zooms in on Arizona politics, then takes a step back in order to understand a broader national impact.

While there are countless political podcasts flooding our devices and vying for our attention, The Gaggle is unique in that it effectively avoids becoming an “echo chamber” for one partisan belief system. Each unique topic covered is discussed by the chief hosts, while more nuanced analysis is provided by field reports who can speak to real facts, instead of the sadly ubiquitous acceptance of unfounded fear-mongering found in many mainstream news outlets. 

Regardless of your political opinions, it is essential to absorb multiple sources of news for each major current event. The Gaggle is a perfect foundation as you begin to explore the next controversial current event due to its neutral coverage from reporters who specialize in the field in question. 

Lastly, the underrated beauty of this podcast’s structure is the ultimate focus on local politics. It is tempting to read the somewhat terrifying headlines about immense global issues and dismiss them as impossible to solve. The Gaggle does not let its listeners simply nod their heads in agreement without considering various perspectives.

Issues of all sizes and complexities are eventually brought back from the big-picture stratosphere and linked to Arizona politics. As a result, the listener leaves each episode one step closer to a tangible action step within their community.

Finding Arizona

With something that vaguely feels like normalcy beginning to rise up in states across America, entrepreneurs in Arizona are once again ready to show off the kind of innovation, passion, creativity, and business acumen that has caused a major increase of residents and visitors over the last few years. 

Now, where do you start? Look no further than the sleek website of  Finding Arizona, created and maintained by Jose Acevedo (Host/Founder) and Brittany Johnson (Photographer/Producer). While their archive of over 250 podcast episodes profiles various small business owners, local artists, and all the eclectic folks in between, their website also includes all the resources you will need to visit, support, and further research each of the beautiful projects in the spotlight.

My personal favorite is the interview with Kennelly Concepts, a company based in Northern Arizona that revolves around the creed “building amazing spaces for our people and products to thrive in”. This small group of young entrepreneurs has realized unique restaurant concepts, tap houses, and even a historic hotel. Check out their community creations here. If you’re a fan of the taproom scene, but want a dash of class and natural beauty to enhance your brew, do not miss their bottle house in Flagstaff, AZ.

In the wake of a rough season for small businesses, this podcast will surely light the fire inside you that wants to experience something fresh while supporting creativity within your community. In the words of Acevedo:

“Finding Arizona is a weekly podcast that interviews local business owners. We strive to find out what the owners’ passions are and interesting tidbits that people don’t know about them. The idea is to organically have a conversation with a friend, so the audience can hear everything from the owner’s point of view.”


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The Best Software to Know in The Music Industry

Advancements in technology have allowed the music recording and production process to become a true art form. Gone are the days when you needed all kinds of fancy equipment to record a song. Now, computer software can do most of the work for you. In today’s digital world, there are so many great digital recording options that often outperform many archaic analog recording techniques. At our studios, our equipment is continually updated, and we combine our digital studio options with high-quality outboard gear to add warmth to a sound before entering our Digital Audio Workstations (DAW). Speaking of software, we’ve gathered together a list of a few of the best in the business. The proper software will give you the full capability to transform the song you’ve been working so hard on in your head into an amazing reality. 

A DAW is basically a canvas for an artist to create their works of art on. It’s a computer program designed for editing, recording, mixing, and mastering audio files, according to The Wire Realm. You can record various instruments and vocals, lay down tracks, rearrange, splice, cut, paste, add effects, and more to your heart’s delight. Keep in mind your experience level and budget if you’re thinking about getting your own plus there’s always the Mac vs. PC debate.

Ableton Live tops The Wire Realm’s list of the top 10 best music creation software. Ableton was founded in 1999 and released the first version of Live in 2001. Live, Push and Link are different types of Ableton software and hardware products, but Live is recommended for users of all levels of experience and can operate on Mac or Windows. According to the Ableton website, Live is fast, fluid, and flexible software for music creation and performance. It comes with effects, instruments, sounds, and all kinds of creative features—everything you need to make any kind of music. You can create in a traditional linear arrangement or improvise without the constraints of a timeline in Live’s Session View. You can move freely between musical elements and play with ideas, without stopping the music and without breaking your flow. Another huge plus is the inclusion of 23 sound libraries, and there’s seamless Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) sequencing software and hardware. MIDI is a standard means of sending digitally encoded information about music between electronic devices such as synthesizers. With Live, The Wire Realm says this process is extremely headache-free. Ableton is also the best music software for performing live with, the website says as well. Happy Media says the grid view remains one of Live’s key differentiating factors, allowing users to mix and match structural elements and loops with ease. It’s also a full-blown recording powerhouse.

FL Studio by Image-Line is also on the list and is perfect for beginners and up and works great with Mac or PC. It’s one of the best DAWS out there for getting your feet wet in the music-making world. It’s been out for some time but is still one of the most popular software to date, with the ability to use MIDI keyboards, record into it with a microphone, and do your standard editing and mixing with a simple interface. The Wire Realm says it’s very user-friendly, and the retail price is lower than others out there. Artists like Afrojack, Basshunter, and DeadMau5 all use it. FL Studio is the result of 20 years of continuous development and is built for musicians. Features include advanced automation, a piano roll, instruments and effects, and more. The piano roll allows you to play samples in different notes almost immediately, pitching samples down a key, according to Steemit. That means it’s easier to lay down notes that have different pitch values over the course of a section, making it not difficult to be creative when it comes to laying percussions. 

This is really helpful to those who are not proficient in sampling but want to give it a try. This also means that it’s easier to lay down notes that have different pitch values over the course of a section, making it easier to be creative when it comes to laying percussions. Producers often use FL Studio too for its simplicity.

Avid Pro Tools is another good software that makes the cut but is recommended for the expert/professional level. It works on both Mac and PC but was specifically made for Mac, so that tends to work better. If you’re looking for the mixing and mastering industry standard, this is a great choice. There are actually entire school programs dedicated to using Pro Tools which definitely says something! Happy Media says of all the major DAWs, it most closely resembles a real-life console, and millions of studio professionals have gotten used to its workflow over the decades. The software is also something you can get certified in, and although it might take a lot of time and effort to learn, The Wire Realm says if you go big with Pro Tools, you’re set for life. Pro Tools gives you the standard ability to compose, mix, edit, master, and record but also has its own Avid Audio Engine which gives you a super-fast processor, a 64-bit memory capacity for sessions, and built-in metering. Change the tempo and try Elastic Pitch which is a kind of autotune but for correcting harmonies. There are additionally 70 effects and plug-ins. With Avid Cloud Collaboration, you can collaborate with anyone on a project as long as you have the software and an internet connection. On its website, Avid says Pro Tools is more than just software. It’s an ecosystem of tightly integrated software, hardware, and control surfaces that work together to accelerate your workflow. Some musicians use Pro Tools just for mixing and mastering and then an additional DAW to make music from scratch, so it’s up to you how you want to use it.


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Music Industry Jobs to Look Out For This Year!

The music industry is starting to bounce back after taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic and with that means jobs that need to be filled. If you are already in the field and looking for work or starting a new career altogether, we’ve put together a list of some popular positions available right now and what to look out for throughout the year. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believes the employment of musicians and singers will increase by 1 percent from 2019 to 2029. While there is expected to be a decrease in demand for musicians in performing arts companies, there will likely be a need for session musicians and singers to sing backup and make records for commercials, films, and TV. When looking at the same span of years for music directors and composers, employment is expected to increase by 2 percent, and composers are especially needed to write and arrange original music while directors are needed to lead orchestras, ballet troupes, and more.

Six String put together a list of the top 10 careers in the music business for music lovers. First up is the music producer, the man or woman with the control. Their job is to oversee most aspects of creating a song or album and choose the instruments, musicians, and vocalists on a track and are usually responsible for the final edit. According to Berklee Online, it’s all about being a jack of all trades and understanding both the creative and commercial sides of the business. A producer should develop relationships with both musicians and the record label and create an environment that enables artists to express themselves. There’s always a need for a music producer, and it made Profitable Venture’s list of the 50 best high-paying career ideas that involve music in 2021. 

Ever thought about being a music composer? It made both previously mentioned lists and is basically the person behind a good song. Many musicians can sing but don’t know how to write music. A music composer writes, creates, and arranges music notes together while often advising musicians and working with producers on the overall project. It’s not just about the classical music genre — composers can write for film, TV, video games, and more. Berklee Online says the important thing is to have a masterful understanding of music theory plus be able to play an instrument or two and be able to capture your compositions effectively.

If you can play music and sing but don’t want to be the center of attention necessarily, being a session musician may be the perfect job for you. It’s also on the list of top 50 jobs this year. Some important skills you should have are mastery over an instrument, being flexible, and having discipline, according to Six String. You don’t necessarily need an education but do need a lot of practice and should have a knowledge of music in order to play different genres, styles, and sounds. You’ll be able to interact and form relationships with other musicians and may even be able to start a solo career. Berklee Online tells how Stevie Ray Vaughan was once a session musician for David Bowie, Sheryl Crow sang backup for Michael Jackson and Jimmy Page played in countless recording sessions.

It’s not all about being in front of the microphone or on a stage. Another job forecasted to continue to be big this year is the audio engineer. They’re responsible for capturing sound and manipulating it in studio while organizing recording sessions and dealing with any technical problems that may arise. You’ll need to know how to mix and edit. The audio engineer position made the list of the 50 best high-paying music jobs in 2021, and so did the location sound engineer and the broadcast engineer. The former is the person on set of a music video in charge of speakers or instruments, and the latter is the staff member in charge of setting up and maintaining sound equipment for concerts, shows, and other performances. As in-person events continue to come back, there will certainly be a need for this. There will additionally be a need for tour directors, road managers, promoters, and backup singers, just to name a few, as artists start to tour again.

A musician is all about the team around them, especially the musician’s manager. This means you’ll take bookings, manage schedules, negotiate bookings and receive payments on their behalf. Leadership skills are key, and you’ll be helping the artist build a successful, strong, and sustainable career. It makes pretty much every list of jobs in the music industry. Beyond the manager is the publicist. A publicist works closely with media outlets, marketers, and venues to ensure musicians’ concerts, releases and announcements are covered in a positive way, according to Berklee Online. This is a communications and marketing-based role, so you should have an education in that plus good writing skills. Another person that will come in handy is a social media manager. As we discussed in a previous blog post, it’s very important for musicians to use social media to promote themselves and know their way around TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Nowadays, many artists hire a specific person to do this, and it’s an excellent way to make announcements, go live with fans, or release a new music video.

These are just some of the music positions proven to be popular this year. For the latest job listings, is a great place to start along with job boards like Indeed, this article highlights 12 jobs in the music industry. Happy hunting!


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How to Create Your Own Podcast in 5 Steps

1. Establish the Name, Purpose, Audience

So you’ve got something to say about our crazy world?  

After marshaling down the general theme of your podcast idea, you’ll need to include its purpose. Establishing a purpose will act as your North Star when you are trying to choose the topic for subsequent episodes. Making the purpose specific yet open is key. For example, if you’re passionate about the thematic elements of film and how they apply to daily life, your purpose could go in countless directions. 

For example:

  1. I want to illuminate the most obscure pieces of film in order to broaden my audience’s understanding of the art, while making tangible connections to current events, effectively proving each movie’s relevance. 
  1. I want to focus chiefly on pieces of historical fiction, interviewing people who were involved in some capacity in order to determine the accuracy of the Hollywood portrayals. 

Now it’s relatively safe to assume that children 13 and under are not going to be your target audience for either one of these potential podcasts. So who is? This may be one of the more important steps of the materialization process since it will also determine who your sponsors will be (they only want to advertise to possible buyers) and what your topics will be (adapting to fan feedback will be crucial for long-term success).

2. Determine Podcast Structure

Think about how your content will be experienced by your listeners.

Will you have interviews with special guests anchoring every episode or discussions based on external sources that you have reviewed prior to recording? As you narrow down your choices, make sure you understand the time commitments of each approach. You will need to book guests far into the future to ensure a frequent publishing schedule, in addition to reviewing their expertise. Weighing the pros and cons in the early stages will ensure the stable longevity of your creative project.   

There are countless ways to structure your recording time, so get creative and stand out! 

3. Schedule Studio Time for Audio Recording

In order to achieve the highest quality of sound production, which is key to drawing in initial listeners, you’ll need to find a reliable studio. Having immediate access to a vast arsenal of recording equipment, as well as the advice and guidance of seasoned professionals, will give you an essential edge. 

Demŭn Studios (Website Link Here and featured in the above photo) has specialized in podcasts for over five years. These folks are conditioned professionals who can provide everything needed to produce high-quality recording. Everything from equipment set-up and recording to audio editing and digital distribution will be in the hands of experts. What’s even better about this place is that the engineers who work here care deeply about their craft. Ask questions, build a community, and create something that audiences will want to return to again and again. 

4. Getting Sponsors 

Think of the last podcast you listened to. What were their sponsors? Did the content of the advertisements apply to you? Once your podcast starts to grow in its following, you’ll be able to accrue a revenue stream via reaching out to companies who find your audience numbers appealing. While established creators like Joe Rogan (The Joe Rogan Experience) and Terry Gross (NPR’s Fresh Air) do not need to proactively contact possible advertisers, all beginners need to keep it top of mind. 

Consider the following:

  • What is the age demographic of my podcast content?
  • Which companies would benefit from an advertising space on our show?
  • What is our value add?

When you approach your podcast project with all this information fleshed out, it will be a much smoother transition from a hobby to a full-time lifestyle. 

5. Publish Your First Episode! (Choose a Host & Cover Art)

Until your podcast picks up a steady following from social media promotion, advertising, or word of mouth, you will need to catch people’s attention in every way possible. There are hundreds of options out there for listeners to choose from, so establishing a unique cover art design to draw one’s attention while they scroll through the digital sea is a must. Do not underestimate the power of visual intrigue simply because you believe your content speaks for itself.

Do some initial field research by having a neutral friend scroll through podcasts and ask why they chose those particular ones. What are their favorite podcasts? What causes them to click on one thing more than another? The more people you survey, the more your findings will be representative of the average potential subscriber. 

Now the time has come to get that shiny new beauty out into the devices of people everywhere! While Disktroid is the best choice for uploading any musical endeavors, podcasts operate on a slightly different platform of distribution. You can eliminate all the potential stress of researching and choosing a distribution software if you choose to work with Demŭn Studios, however. They can walk you through the entire process!   

If you choose the independent route, here are the top two options to consider when you are ready to publish:

There you have it! Before popping that expensive champagne in celebration of your first-ever official podcast though, make sure to map out the next few months of shows in terms of frequency, topic, interview guest (if applicable), and time dedication needed for preparation. You got this! 


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Tips From an Engineer: How to Maximize Your Time in the Studio

So you’re ready to hit the studio. What should you do to maximize your time? We spoke with lead engineer Colin Dobash to get some advice. He has spent five years at Demŭn Studios and says it’s always good to be prepared. 

“One way works really well that I’ve noticed — coming in with lyrics already written,” Dobash says. “I would say it makes the workflow a lot faster, just because they’re already done and having to come up with them on the spot definitely takes a lot more time.”

Having a vision of how you want your song to be coming in is very important. Dobash says to also rehearse the song and run it by a friend or another artist if possible. 

“It’s always good to show other people and get feedback before you come into the studio,” Dobash.

Once you’re in the studio, Dobash is happy to offer feedback and assistance. 

“A lot of times the artist will ask, ‘What do you think about this? Does this sound good?’ And you have to give them your honest opinion,” Dobash says. 

Dobash says he will give constructive criticism and pointers ranging from how to stay on rhythm, switching around certain words, re-amping instruments, and adding other elements to make a song better.

“There’s definitely a lot of back and forth between the artist and the engineer, or sometimes people will bring in like a producer and they sometimes help with pitch too,” Dobash says. “If someone’s a little flat or sharp, you kind of have to speak up about that and say, ‘Hey let’s do that again.’ If you’ve been working for the person for a while and you know they could do a better take, speak up, saying like, ‘Let’s do that one more time.'”

He says communication is vital in the studio and in between sessions. 

“There’s a lot of back and forth between the engineer and the artist bouncing ideas back and forth, and the main thing is focusing on what the artist wants and their vision, trying to create that,” Dobash says.

Here are some other ideas to prepare for your time in the studio:

  • Rest up your voice beforehand and warm up. Get a good night’s sleep and drink lots of water. Do some warmup exercises too to be able to hit those high notes and help your voice last longer that day.
  • Get to know your equipment. Find out what everything is used for, and ask an engineer if you have any questions. You should be comfortable using the microphone or anything else needed.
  • Have a plan going in. This is especially important if you’re in a band or recording with a bunch of people. Have a road map of how the session should go so you don’t burn through time and money. Have your arrangements ready so there’s time for any messing around or spontaneity if needed.
  • Have a good attitude and be respectful. Arrive a little bit early so you’re not flustered and can adjust to your surroundings before starting the session. Don’t be rude and berate those you are working with, and respect their time and your own.
  • Bring reference materials. If there’s a specific sound you’re going for, bring an example. Have tracks you like saved on your phone for inspiration or for expressing what you like when you just can’t find the words.
  • Don’t let your session get too crowded. It might seem like a great idea to have a bunch of friends or family cheering you on, but it can be a distraction and can take away from time with the engineer and/or a producer.
  • Don’t cram too much into one session. Recording takes time, so don’t rush it or try to record everything all at once.
  • Never force it. If it’s just not working, take a break or a breather to get some perspective, then try again. If you need to reschedule, do that as well.


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Phoenix musician Sincerely Collins truly knows who he is, even when his music has taken different forms.

Collins first caught the music bug at age 13 after watching his cousin, a rapper in a group with Xzibit, record a three-song EP. From the making of a beat to the writing of the rhymes, recording and mixing it, he was there for it all.

“You have to create a voice within yourself, and it’s already there, it’s already you,” Collins says. “A lot of people just spend so much time trying to sound like somebody else that they don’t recognize that their voice that they already have is what they need to use to express.”

“I saw the whole process from start to finish, and it really felt innately second nature to me to dive right into it,” Collins says, “So after that first night, I asked him to take me to Walgreens and get me a notebook and pens, and that night I started writing down lyrics and never looked back.”

He filled up those notebooks for years, writing rhymes to beats. By tenth grade, Collins had recorded his first song and was making a name for himself at his high school, selling CDs and putting on performances. After graduating, Collins started a group called Weird Is The New Cool, taking inspiration from idol Pharrell Williams and his group N.E.R.D.

“That was kind of like my rebellion period from rap, and I just started getting really into rock music,” says Collins. 

They opened up for big bands like Dirty Heads, Sublime, and 311, but after a few years, it was time to move on. Sincerely Collins the hip-hop artist was born, and in 2015 his song “Light Work” got major play on the radio. After moving to Los Angeles and living there for a few years, Collins headed back to the desert just before the pandemic and is excited about his future.

“I’m to a point now with my solo work that I’ve never signed a record contract that would hold me back from doing whatever I wanted to do with my music, so I’m in a blessed place now where I can start experimenting and going back to those live instruments and band groups,” Collins says.

With all of his experience, Collins was the perfect person to ask for some tips about how to get started in the music scene in Phoenix. 

“I think it’s very easy to break into now,” says Collins. “I think if you want to be a musician in Phoenix, it’s fairly simple as far as just getting your foot in the door and getting some traction going. It’s a lot easier than when I was starting out, that’s for sure.”

Collins suggests connecting with promoters, making yourself available through social media, and researching who puts on live shows. He says Respect the Underground is another helpful resource that allows musicians and artists from all over the Valley to have an outlet for their music.

So what should you do once you’re ready to get into the studio?

“The fact you’re reading this interview, you’re kind of already doing what you should be doing,” Collins says. “Because one thing you have to do is you have to tap into where the action is, going and researching and finding a place like Demŭn Studios.”

Collins says to then listen to the people who have what you want to have and have done what you want to do. It might be engineers, producers, or a studio manager.

“They might not even be a musician, but they’ve been in those sessions, and they understand certain things you might not understand about getting to the next level, so that’s very important,” he says.

Listen too to the music you like to develop inspiration. 

“It’s very easy for musicians to get away from just taking time to become inspired, but I think that’s one thing that I always do,” Collins says. “I take time to listen to other music that’s going to put me in a zone and in the frequency where I can tap into a frequency and do that for myself.”

And don’t forget to develop your unique voice. Collins says it’s important to get out of your own way and find your voice on the microphone because people will relate.

“Even people like Tyler, the Creator, and Odd Future, they were making music that was outlandish, but they have their voice, so people connected with it, and there are singers who aren’t the greatest singers in the world at all any means, and they would tell you that, but they found out how to put their voice, add a little autotune but still have their expression and their voice and their passion on that microphone,” Collins says. “People will connect with that, so you need to spend time finding that voice and making sure that you stick with that in your music so that you can transcend.”

As far as Demŭn Studios goes, Collins is definitely a fan. He spent a chunk of his career exclusively working out of it, and it’s even where his hit song “Yap Yap” was created.

“I personally trust that studio highly to produce a sound that can compete with industry-level sound,” Collins says. “When it comes to studios in Phoenix, I would definitely recommend this studio, and I think that all the readers are in the right place if they’re trying to find things that are going to help them in the industry in this city.“


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5 Most Inspirational Places in Phoenix

Putting together a list of inspirational sights or experiences can seem subjective to the seeker since we all find beauty in different ways. True emotional and creative inspiration comes from each individual’s past, identity, and interpretation of specific interactions in life. Some will be more receptive to visual artistic expression, others are moved to tears by music, while another group needs a powerfully silent mountain in order to nourish organic innovation. This short list of five things to do in Phoenix recognizes how different we all are, allowing you to find something in your area that will spark your unique creative spirit. In order to get the most out of your long-distance visit or local travel day, I challenge you to block off a full day for whichever experience you choose. Maybe even turn off your phone, eliminate all distractions of the daily grind, and immerse yourself in whatever unbridled feeling the experience elicits. 

1. “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Storm of Fireflies” (Phoenix Art Museum)

Hands down the pinnacle of immersive modern art in all of Phoenix, possibly the entire United States. While the picture cannot possibly do the exhibit justice, you can begin to grasp the power of being surrounded by seemingly endless punctuations of illumination. You may choose to mentally adopt the artist’s title and imagine the lights to be fireflies, venture out into the vastness of space to touch the stars, or see a metaphorical representation of human memories and pain like in the song “All The Little Lights” by Passenger. If you reach a different level of creative inspiration when visuals are paired with music, bring headphones with you. Make a short playlist before your trip. Think through a personal roadblock with which you’ve been wrestling. Brainstorm ideas for your next song, story, painting, or miscellaneous creative project. Simply celebrate your own existence, internally articulating things for which you are grateful. Do this for every light you see. Wherever your mind takes you, let it run free. If you’re lucky, or if you stay in the exhibit long enough, you will be the only one in the room. With no one around to whisper in awe, silence intensifies your ability to absorb whatever it is you need to from this truly supernatural place. 

2. Desert Botanical Garden

If taking fresh air into your lungs and exploring the countless idiosyncrasies of nature is more your speed, the next two on our list are for you. The Desert Botanical Garden offers a leisurely stroll through over 50,000 different types of plants both native to the area and foreign. Bring a friend and engage in a relaxing walk punctuated by inspecting new plants you’ve never seen before. Or purposefully go alone and learn about some of the garden’s inhabitants. Finding inspiration here may look different for everyone, but approaching the garden with a specific intention is one way to ensure its impact. Choose one plant that interests you for whatever reason and do a bit of research on it. Depending on which you pick, the information could be on a plaque right before your eyes or you might have to pull out your phone. The purpose of this investigation is twofold. 
* Completely enveloping your mental focus in a natural organism takes you away from our constant ego-centric “me, me, me” culture of everyday life. 
* Understanding a bit more about the resilience, creativity, and sheer ingenuity of plant life can give you a new perspective on that one thing you have yet to solve, conquer, or process. 

3. Camel Back Mountain 

Escaping our screens can be tough, especially with the recent pandemic and our technology-heavy work cultures. Camelback Mountain is an easily seen reminder that the natural world is always out there, waiting for us to get off of work or push the power off button.
This mountain is equipped with a short, well-curated hiking trail leading to sweeping views of Phoenix. Bring that book you’ve been meaning to read or that journal you’ve been meaning to write in, along with a small lunch and lots of water. At the top, find a shady outcropping of rock to nestle into and take in the sights. Reflect, meditate, write, or simply let go of all that busyness that lies below you. 
Retreat to this peaceful place to either find an internal answer or pose a big question. 

4. The Phoenix Symphony

Music speaks to everyone in different ways. From remembering a first love to catalyzing imagination, melodies are emotional time machines. While Covid has unfortunately shuttered the 2021 season for the Phoenix Symphony, they remain the authority on bone-deep musical inspiration. 
There’s something profoundly powerful about hearing a plethora of different instruments coming together in unison to produce one magnificent sound. Besides the symbolism, these folks really can play. Each musical number will tell a story that will help you escape, think, or just exist peacefully. 
If you’re feeling overstimulated by the constant barrage of 24-hour news programs or alarmingly pervasive advertisements, buy tickets for a 2022 show. When the time finally comes you will be able to sink into that theater seat and let the symphony carry 

5. Old Town Scottsdale

Not all inspiration comes from grandiose art or stunning nature. Friends, family, and good conversation can heal and illuminate when you need it most. Old Town Scottsdale lays out a considerable amount of options when it comes to finding a place to bring your loved ones together.  When the weather is nice, bring a picnic spread to the sprawling park by the library. If the summer heat has gotten to you, find a lively bar or restaurant to foster connection within your community and cool you down. Walkability is a big selling point here. No matter your group’s desire, a quick Google search will find the perfect place for conversation and connection to flourish.  


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Tips To Get On Stage At a Local Concert or Festival

With festivals and concerts coming back into our lives as we stray away from the pandemic. They are some of the best ways to get your name out there and introduce fans to new music, but how does that happen in the first place? We’ve put together a list of ways to get your live career going. 

The Balance Careers has some great tips. First, prepare your submission materials and create a press kit. Each festival and concert will have its own requirements of what you’ll need to submit, but you’re likely to need an up-to-date artist biography. This is basically your story of how you got started in the music industry, musical accomplishments, and influences plus some color like a personal story or two. Your bio should be short, written in a few paragraphs or at most a page, and you should constantly be adding to it. If you record a new song or album, get an award, play a big show, or anything else of note, add it to your bio. You should also have some professional photos and a video of you or your band performing. Be sure to have some quality recordings too. Another thing to do during your preparation is to make sure you have an active social media presence or website. You don’t have to have thousands of followers, but you should get your social media numbers up as much as you can and interact with your fans as much as possible. If your last post was two years ago, that could be a problem. Next, mark your calendar. One of the easiest ways to miss an opportunity is to not get an application in on time. Create a spreadsheet with all the important details and dates. It’s important to be responsible and show that you care, so pay attention to any deadlines and don’t arrive late for gigs once you book them. After you send in your submission, follow up respectively. Don’t pester an artistic director with emails especially if it says not to contact them, but if there is a way to send a quick thank you note, you should definitely do so. 

Next, don’t be afraid to start off small. If your hometown has a festival or a local concert, that might be the perfect way to get involved. While it might not be Coachella or Lollapalooza, it’s still a start. You’ll be able to put it on your resume and polish your performances. Performing small at first also helps your market yourself or your band through word of mouth and social media as your music begins garnering reviews. You can let your social media followers know you’re appearing, plus the more performances you are able to get, the more concert and festival promoters will be interested in you. Be wary of shows where you need to pay to perform. Organizers may expect you to buy tickets to resell to fans with little to no compensation. You don’t want to play every concert or festival offered to you — be selective and make sure it’s catered to your type of music. Do your research in advance and target concerts or festivals that are known to book similar acts. Search festival directories too for opportunities. Additionally, don’t be afraid of non-profit appearances. While you won’t be getting paid, it’s still great exposure.

Make sure to practice your stage routine. If you’re not very experienced on the live circuit, it’s okay, but you should be able to command a crowd and put on a solid show. Playing at a concert or festival is very different from playing at a nightclub or a coffee shop. Bandzoogle says your live show must be memorable since there’s a lot of competition for festival and concert slots that are open to those like you who are not the headliners or more popular acts. When you apply for an event like this, you’re not just selling your music or yourself. Promoters want to know you have a killer live show that can attract and keep your audience interested. You don’t want your set to get stale, so change the order up, throw out some goodies to your fans, get someone up on stage, or bring in a special guest. Ask your crowd how they’re feeling, have them repeat your lyrics after you, or recite a popular chant. Introduce a social media contest or take a pic of the audience and post it online. Don’t be scared to interact with fans following the show too. After your performance, walk out among the fans and talk to anyone who approaches you, says Music Industry How To.

Next, network, network, network. The music industry can be small, especially if you’re active in your local scene. If you constantly put yourself out there as a professional act with a great live show, word will get around, and you’ll have a better chance of being selected when you apply to gigs, according to Bandzoogle. Reach out to local promoters, agents, talent buyers, and fellow musicians while you play more shows and grow your fanbase. 

If you don’t end up getting the gig, don’t give up or get discouraged. Getting booked at concerts or festivals is very competitive. Ask to be kept informed of other opportunities, and keep perfecting your craft until you can apply again. Play other places like fairs, showcases, and smaller venues to get more experience. It will happen eventually!


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How To Distribute Your Music Like The Pro’s – Use Distrokid

You finally perfected that genre-bending new song that is going to revolutionize the game, give voice to an important social issue, make people dance around their kitchen, or all three. This song has everything, there’s no way around it. Now how can you get this thing out into the ether and stuck into people’s heads?

Enter the glorious world of Distrokid.

What is Distrokid?

This magical platform allows you to simultaneously distribute your tracks on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play & YouTube Music, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMúsica, Saavn, MediaNet, and over 150 other smaller outlets. You also have the autonomy to select which of these outlets if you’re not into (or have never heard of) a specific one- cough Tidal cough. But let’s face it. No one listens to music on anything outside these platforms, and hipsters can’t bring vinyl on road trips or airplanes. 

For just a flat fee of $19.99 a year as a single artist, you can upload as many song tracks as you want! The entire process is extremely user-friendly and saves you valuable hours that can be sunk into designing that next track in the back of your mind. 

How is it Different from Other Major Platforms Like Soundcloud?

While Soundcloud is free, it lacks the mass appeal and user-friendly access of the other platforms integrated into the Distrokid distribution software. For instance, if someone is trying to show their friend your new song on their phone, they will have to scroll haphazardly through the sea of choices on Soundcloud, or quickly navigate through Spotify, (or one of the other expertly organized music systems) and share with multiple friends in a matter of seconds.

Distrokid also has multiple additional features that help you market your music on Youtube, where you can earn exponentially increased revenue the more views you acquire. Many of the stars we know today in the music industry have become famous off of their Youtube videos alone. Never have I once listened to Tekashi 69 in my car on the way to the store, but you better believe that I have seen every one of his music videos. The draw to Youtube is not only the visuals attached to the songs, but also the algorithms they employ to suggest more content and keep you watching. This can lead to more of your music. Instant publicity. 

The chief difference between Distrokid and other platforms is the highly-tailored, efficient way that it enables you to not only put your creation out into the world but, also promote it to a target audience. In the age of technology dominance, this kind of tool is essential to becoming recognized and paid handsomely for your brainchild.

Okay Cool. Now, How Do I Use This Thing?

Distrokid is simple and straightforward in its initial setup, as well as its continued uploading usage. Three major things you need to have prepped and ready before you start your first song upload are:

  1. Your music tracks (saved under WAV format is best for sound quality purposes)
  2. Names for your songs and an artist name for yourself
  3. Knowledge of who your target audience is and which social media/audio platforms they are most likely to use

The rest is laid out for you in step-by-step text prompts! 

With that, you’re on your way, wayward son!


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How The Music Industry Is Bouncing Back From The Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of our lives including the music industry. All of a sudden last year, live and in-person events grinded to a swift halt, leaving many out of work. Festivals and conferences were canceled, smaller music venues closed permanently and many artists delayed planned album releases and tours. There were some positive developments, however. The time off gave artists the opportunity to work on and release new music, virtual performances hit an all-time high, and online platforms like TikTok where tunes are an essential part of making videos thrived. Artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande; Queen and Adam Lambert; and Twenty One Pilots released songs that benefited good causes. Zoom performances and live stream sessions became popular, and it became a major way for fans to stay connected to their favorite musicians. Dua Lipa and BTS saw success with their virtual concerts. In fact, BTS’s record-breaking pay-per-view concert in October sold around 1 million tickets, TIME says. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel as life starts to get back to normal. Performances are being held in person again including some big music events coming up like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Governors Ball. Artists like Elton John, Lady Gaga, Kiss, Machine Gun Kelly, Maroon 5, and more are starting up tours as well this summer. In 2019, the live music industry was worth over $20 billion, a rich ecosystem of artists, venues, ticket sellers, production companies, vendors, and travel operations, according to TIME. With in-person venues silent for over a year, live streaming and virtual concerts became the default. Even with live performances coming back, online events are not going anywhere. Verzuz, the hip-hop and R&B battles webcast series devised by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz has attracted millions of viewers. Versus was introduced during the pandemic as a virtual DJ battle with the two creators first appearing on an impromptu Instagram Live in March 2020. Each show consists of two challengers in the entertainment industry who compete with their best hit record. The first three Verzuz matches surpassed 1 million views and led to an increase in music sales and online streams. The second season began in November 2020, and in March 2021, Versus was acquired by TikTok competitor Triller. As part of the deal, each of the artists who have appeared so far have received equity. Timbaland says there will be a hybrid of live and digital events in the future, and that’s what others in the music industry believe too. Ian LaPlace, a former venue booker and co-founder and head of talent at First Tube Media, discusses in the same TIME article how he is building a live performance series leading into music festivals that will blend the two. A fan can scan a code at a festival that will give them further access to the artist who is playing while live-streaming the festival can multiply the audience and attract viewers from around the world. 

Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have become a popular way to get your music and show no signs of stopping. Revenue in the global music industry last year actually reached its highest level since 2002, partially due to paid-for streaming subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, according to Financial Times. In fact, total revenue increased by 7.4 percent to 21.6 billion in 2020. There’s also Bandcamp, an internet music company that allows artists and labels to upload music and control how they sell it. During the pandemic, the platform started up Bandcamp Fridays, a day when its revenue share on music and merchandise are waived, giving money directly to the artists. 

TikTok continues to play a big part as the music industry bounces back. In 2019, the app saw a shift in trends from memes and trends to music discovery, according to Miami Student. Songs like “Say So” by Doja Cat and “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo were consistently used as sound on videos during the pandemic, and it’s a place where both new and old artists can express themselves. TechRadar talks about how TikTok is changing all the rules, and while it can be hard to predict which songs will go viral, older tracks, tracks by unsigned artists and abstract remixes reign supreme according to TikTok’s algorithm. TikTok has also recently announced a string of licensing deals with all three of the major labels — Sony, Warner Music and Universal Music Group. That will mean a new revenue stream for artists, and those who have songs on TikTok should hopefully be properly paid.

The pandemic for all of its tragedy has also forced the music business to innovate and has enabled fans to enjoy music and their favorite artists in new ways, and here’s to seeing it recover completely.

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