Like millions of music fans, I explore online radio stations and YouTube often. Searching to find, curate, save, share and enjoy new music of all kinds.
Let’s just say “jazz” doesn’t entirely cover my interests.
Like most of you, without social media, I wouldn’t discover many of my favorite artists because I’m never going to hear them on local radio.
Music has always been “social” because without an audience a performance doesn’t exist. Social media enhances the audience potential for artists who understand how to use it.
Power of engagement in social media
That’s why it was so interesting and delightful to get an e-mail from Dee C’rell, a London, UK composer, pianist, remixer, producer, DJ, photographer and writer.
He simply wrote to say thanks for sharing a song of his on a small curation topic of mine on Scoop.it.
Rather than wade through hundreds of songs on my YouTube playlist, I keep just a couple of dozen songs I’m currently enjoying in this Scoop.it page. It gives me a quick link and listening while I’m working on my computer.
This kind of personal exchange rarely happens between artists and fans on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or most other social media channels. Of course with millions of followers Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or David Bowie aren’t going to e-mail individual fans.
While you’re reading, you can hear one of my favorite Dee C’rell songs Black from the Day featuring vocal by Claire Simone.
Two Important Social Media Lessons
There are some powerful social media lessons here for any musician or business.
Dee C’rell monitors social media. After finding my mention, he had to dig quite a bit to find my e-mail address on my own website. Then, take the time to send an e-mail.
Unusual for anyone, let alone a busy performer, composer and music academic.
The unexpected payback for this extra effort by Dee C’rell is a post that acknowledges his effort, explores his use of social media and exposes his music to a new audience.
The social media lessons are simple, valuable and worth sharing:
- Engage with your fans (customers, clients, etc). Our social media choices are many and they enable us to connect directly. Delight your fans by engaging. A useful reminder to use two-way social media to connect with customers.
- Make it personal – the personal approach always wins in any business.
What great social marketing lessons for all! Paying attention all you bigshot brands and customer-service gurus ?
Reflecting on social media’s impact on music
Because technology changes so quickly and we adopt it so easily, it’s useful to reflect on its impact on music and future trends.
Living in North America, I rely on social media and online radio to find new artists and music niches I enjoy. Including electro-acoustic, vocalese, acid, house, hip hop and other music that just doesn’t make it to mainstream radio or TV.
Most of the time, my favorite new discoveries are found in the UK or Europe. And they’re always found online.
We all know social media has disrupted and transformed the music business in every way. Think about just a few of the changes in the past 10 years:
- The vast choice of mostly-free radio channels in every niche
- New services proliferating like Spotify and new entries like Google Play Music (not yet available in many countries)
- Free music-sharing sites like Napster that burst onto the Internet, hugely disrupting the traditional music business model and allowing innovations and new players to enter the industry
- Growth of online music retailers and dominance by iTunes and Amazon who virtually eliminated bricks and mortar music stores
- Viral potential for instant success. Who can forget Korean artist Psy and his Gangnam sensation with more than a billion YouTube views and dancing flash mobs all around the world?
- Ability of indie artists and performers to reach directly to their audience with their music and video through social media channels.
That last point reinforces the lesson from this simple e-mail from an artist to a fan.
Social media is a powerful force for business and it can pay back in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways.
I was glad to get Dee C’rell’s note. It caused me to reflect on music and social media and reminded me of those two very important lessons.
Maybe you’ll discover and enjoy his unique electro-acoustic style?
Perhaps he’ll push the limits of social media in interesting new ways in the future as he does now with his music and performances?
It’ll spark me to pay attention to new releases and I’ll definitely buy more of his music in the future.
Enjoy my interview below. There are some really thoughtful comments about using social media for artists. And his message is one every brand, marketer, customer service or social marketing guru should take to heart:
“Don’t spam! Take your time and get to know people. Decency is the key in all life! Treat people how you would like to be treated. This goes a long way I find with people and, it creates real friendships in the long term.”
Interview with Dee C’rell
Jeff: Dee, it was a pleasure to get your e-mail. Thanks for agreeing to answer a couple of questions about how you use social media as a musician, composer and performer.
In a word or phrase, how would you describe your music genre?
Dee C’rell: As a musician, producer and remixer, I am fortunate to work in various genres but, for my electronic jazz related music, I coined the term, contemporary electro-acoustic jazz whilst writing a paper on the subject in university. I prefer that as opposed to other acknowledged descriptions. I feel it allows for a more in-depth study of the music making practices that we are actually creating today, with the aid of modern technology.
Jeff: What are the challenges to you as a musician, composer and performer in reaching your audience without mainstream media play?
Dee: Thankfully, I get support from many of the mainstream stations in the genres I work in, so I am able to avoid a considerable amount of challenges. It takes time and consistency though, and there is no quick fix. Certain genres, popular music for example, are much more difficult to get exposure in, due to the complexity of the pop industry as a whole. This does not imply that one cannot achieve a level of support from mainstream media though. If you are aware of your music identity, in any music genre, you can do well if your are persistent and completely focused.
Jeff: What social media channels or tools are most effective for you in your music and your business?
Dee: I don’t really use social media sites to advertise my work. But I do see more of my work appearing on streaming sites, which now have effectively their own social sites incorporated. If you are receiving a lot of plays, you can generate a decent amount of royalties and further exposure. Many artists and labels seem to be very encouraged by these types of sites.
Jeff: How do you typically monitor for mentions of your name or music in social media? What tools do you find are useful?
Dee: I don’t monitor as a rule, but Google is usually pretty much up to date, so I use their search engine if I am interested in something, or someone asks me to discover information they have found.
Jeff: Any social media tips for other artists?
Dee: Don’t spam! Take your time and get to know people. Decency is the key in all life! Treat people how you would like to be treated. This goes a long way I find with people and, it creates real friendships in the long term.
Jeff: What’s your own personal favorite in terms of social media channels for either listening to or finding new music?
Dee: I listen to many stations online but, the four stations that instantly come to mind are, Sonic Universe on Soma FM, Klassik Radio, Abstrait and DJ Jondal’s shows.
Sonic Universe is musically directed by a very knowledgeable guy named Nitya, who plays all the various styles of jazz related music. You can go from one place to another, as if on a musical journey, constantly. I like that and appreciate his efforts greatly.
Klassik radio, Nightflight, is directed by the very talented DJ Nartak. His music is a collection of sounds from all over the world, it’s always a wonderful set, created with fine detail, beautiful to listen to.
I really like Abstrait hosted by Raphaël Marionneau , which plays excellent music, constantly with an elegance and a real knowledge for the music.
And DJ Jondal, who has just so much great taste in all music. He is extremely knowledgeable and a legend in the scene of electronic lounge music. Listening to one of his shows is really beautiful.
Other stations that come to mind that I also really like are, MagicBlueRadio, Motion FM, Below Zero Beats, BeatLounge Radio and Rootdown FM. All of these deliver a wide selection of great music and are run by excellent people who are completely focused on playing really good music.
Jeff: What new projects or releases have you got planned and where and when will you be performing live again in the near future?
Dee: I am constantly recording for my own record label Holm Records and others. I have just released Nomadicology, which is a double A-side, and also, the Images EP. Also the remixes for Josete Ordonez are now available worldwide on Ozella music, and are greatly received. I am writing an album for Lemongrass music to be released in the autumn of 2013. I am also constantly remixing. There are also constant releases on various lounge jazz compilation albums.
I’m performing across Europe nearer the end of the year and early 2014, in both solo piano concerts and electronics, and also various performances with selective electronic music makers and musicians.
Author: Jeff Domansky
Visuals: Modal Times