Month: January 2014

Net Neutrality And What It Means For Artists

Net Neutrality- Creative Commons

Net Neutrality- Creative Commons

Last week the Colbert Report brought up the impact of net neutrality, in other words, the future rules of the internet. It is serious news that can constrict and change the internet as we know it. Sadly, not enough people know what this means. Nothing is official yet but the Federal Communications Commission is using all its power to get the regulations in effect. In addition, the Huffington Post wrote an article on net neutrality recently too. Net neutrality brings up is the idea of freedom of speech and the first amendment, or lack there of. With net neutrality people won’t be able to voice their opinion on blogs, like mine (gulp). And, they won’t be able to access certain sites that the FCC deems unnecessary.

For music PR, this. is. HUGE! This creates an issue for artists that post their music on the internet for free consumption and self promotion. Currently, artists don’t have many ways to advertise their product for free when they do no have representation such as a publicist, agent, or manager. The internet is a tool that helps remedy that problem for up and coming artists- it gets them out there, into the speakers of music downloaders.

Electronic dance music artists utilizes this free system to promote their music and become better known. It is one of the major reasons why electronic artists without initial representation have become a huge success. Once an artist finishes a song, he or she can post it to a free audio site such as Soundcloud. Fans then listen and download the song for free. This creates instant feedback from the fan to the artist and is a crucial way for artists and their fans to connect.

With net neutrality, however, this whole experience will be part of the past. Our generation will be the generation that sounds like our grandparents. I can hear it now, “Back in my day, when I was your age, the internet was free from rules!”

Most importantly , however, it’s about the artists and the music they produce. If net neutrality takes effect, it will be increasingly difficult to find the next best upcoming artists. At this point, all we can do is stay tuned.

Why Award Shows Can Be The Ultimate Platform For PR

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore - Creative Commons

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore – Creative Commons

Sunday night was all about the Grammy’s. Right?


Before the show, the New York Times announced that that during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance 34 weddings, gay and straight, would take place during the performance of the song “Same Love” that talks about the difficulties of being gay.

The buzz after the award show wasn’t about who took home what Grammy. It was related to the PR campaign that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis created and that the producers of the Grammy’s approved. They used the Grammy’s as a platform to raise awareness for equality. Raising awareness is constantly one of the main PR objectives of any PR campaign. Well the Grammy producers just nailed it.

They used one of the most recognized award shows on one of the most utilized media platforms to demonstrate one of the most debated political rights movements of our generation. What’s more, they had celebrity endorsements from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, guys who won four Grammy’s Sunday night. If these two weren’t in the spotlight before, they will be in the national spotlight for years to come furthering their brand awareness and cementing them as pro gay right hip-hop artists. That too is something that very few hip-hop artists believe in and can make claim.

All that is known is this: No matter what you think about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Grammy’s, or gay marriage. This performance had to affect the audience in some way- it was that profound. The Grammy’s, known as a feel good award show with it’s live music and celebrity appeal, brought the audience into a sober mood to make a statement. Something like this had never been done before on national television, and that is what will make it stick in the back of everyone’s mind if they decide to watch the Grammy’s again next year.

Blogger Code of Ethics

Be Honest and Fair
Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Bloggers should:

• Never plagiarize.
• Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
• Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, photos and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
• Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. Image enhancement is only acceptable for for technical clarity. Label montages and photo illustrations.
• Never publish information they know is inaccurate — and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it’s in doubt.
• Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
• Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

Minimize Harm
Ethical bloggers treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.
Bloggers should:

• Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
• Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
• Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
• Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Be Accountable
Bloggers should:

• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
• Explain each Weblog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct.
• Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
• Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence content. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
• Be wary of sources offering information for favors. When accepting such information, disclose the favors.
• Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.
• Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

Via- From The Left

Beats By Dre: Hate By Seattle

49ers star quarterback Colin Kaepernick appeared in the above Beats by Dre commercial during a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Then all hell broke lose in Seattle. After the broadcast, Seattle media responded to fans calling for the boycott of Beats By Dre headphones.

I guess Dre didn’t realize the magnitude of the rivalry between the 49ers and Seahawks. Nor, did he realize that with this commercial he would lose an entire market in the Northwest at least only temporarily.

The problem isn’t the fact that Dr. Dre’s advertising team chose Kaepernick as the celebrity for the commercial, it is the fact that they depicted Seattle fans as angry hooligans and then had the song in the commercial sing, “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man” to demonstrate the noise canceling ability of the headphones.

So, who cares? Why does it matter? Well, when taking sides in a rivalry, especially the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry which is gaining steam like a downhill train. Beats By Dre lost consumers it alienated. In this case, the Seattle fans. Furthermore, it shows that Beats By Dre hasn’t paid attention to current sporting events. Not staying up on current events is a PR no-no. The niners and hawks rivalry has made each cities fan base hate each other right down to every molecule in their body.

Both San Francisco and Seattle boast great music scenes and are nose deep in their technology.
So it doesn’t make sense that Beats By Dre would do something like this. Unfortunately, it did, and it knew it. That is why Beats By Dre came out with a new commercial just a couple days ago with Seattle star cornerback Richard Sherman to make up for its wrong doing.

Everyone knows two markets are better than one and with Sherman’s commercial Beats By Dre effectively regained its Seattle consumers.

How Artist Interaction Can Help Promote Their Brand

Talib Kweli- Creative Commons

Talib Kweli- Creative Commons

Lupe Fiasco- Creative Commons

Lupe Fiasco- Creative Commons

Earlier this year Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco held a conversation via Twitter in regards to hip hop music and the culture it creates.

Here is a snippet, Kweli to Fiasco:
“You’ve spoken of growing up on gangsta rap like Spice 1, but you seem to have come from a good home as well, & u super lyrical. To me that suggests that the answer isn’t censoring gangsta rap or violent rap, but creating better homes, thats where it starts.”
Read the full conversation here.

Where does a conversation like this fall into the music PR richter scale? In reality it barely makes a blip. But that is why you have yours truly to help turn it into a positive PR interaction. Depending on who you talk to, hip-hop gets a bad rep for artists that have a hyper-aggressive style that degrades other people. There is a lot of confusion in hip-hop of whether or not artists actually do what they say, or believe in what they say, through song.

Kweli and Fiasco are both known for their style labeled “conscious rap” for how they respect all cultures and believe in bettering the world through knowledge. Their think first, talk second attitude is why they are a PR persons dream. It is in this aspect that the artists promote their brand. When artists are transparent on all media platforms; music, interviews, and social media, the essence of their message comes through clearer than water.

The Overcast’s Convergence

Now that the overcast gods have let me start my own blog, before I continue, let me tell you a little about myself and why I am contributing to this blog. Music has always been deeply embedded in my life even though I didn’t realize until my freshman year of college. As a kid I was always surrounded by music, and I feel that my background is one of the main reasons why I love music so much and want to get into concert promoting. My father listened to big bands and jazz music, sprinkled with some classics like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. My mother, on the other hand, was all about salsa and Latin music such as Marc Anthony and Rey Ruiz. Although, these are only a couple to name of few, this is what they would most likely listen to on any given day. However, they both were diverse and had plenty of different types of music to choose from depending on their moods. This kept me open to any type of new music I could get my hands on. Additionally, my dad used to play classical piano which opened me up to Beethoven and Mozart. Weekends I spent with my mom were filled with her sprucing up the house and blasting salsa songs loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. She never liked cleaning but she always made it fun for herself by practicing her salsa moves to the beat which she would clean and move around the house. For instance, instead of simply just walking to dust a filthy surface, she would Meringue over to practice her moves, duster in hand, and make cleaning the house more enjoyable. Having my parents participate in activities involving music during these times definitely stimulated my growing love for music since it was constantly around me.

Growing up I was forced to play piano for three years. I was never as good as the other kids in my class, and since it was my parents decision to enroll me, I never got started on the right foot. I didn’t have a passion for it. After some time off, I decided to hop back on the musical train. This time on my own decision, and try learning the guitar. I played the guitar for about a year, but once again, it didn’t really stick with me. I had had enough of trying to learn instruments, but I had not had enough of music in general. I pumped up the volume like my parents had taught me to ever since I was a little kid…
One night during my freshman year in college I had a dream of promoting concerts at my own venue in San Francisco. (Yes literally a dream). It. All. Made. Sense! I have always been envious of people that could play an instrument. Raised as a businessman from my father, I didn’t feel like I had the genes needed to succeed. Concert promoting was the niche I had been searching for. It combines business and music into one. Ever since that day I have had that career goal in mind. After spending three years as an intern at a concert venue called the W.O.W. Hall, today, I channel this passion through my job as the regional music coordinator on the University of Oregon campus.

In short, this blog will be about everything music, which is my topic of interest. It’s purpose is to demonstrate my knowledge and show you my excitement for the music industry.