Sounds Like: This is a tough one, but I take a lot of influence from artists such as Bob Dylan, Ben Howard and Bon Iver. When I listen back to my music, I feel I have my own sound, but I do take a lot of influence from these artists!
History: After being in many different bands from around the Yorkshire area, I decided to pick up an acoustic guitar and start writing my own tunes. I then thought I wasn't too bad at this and proceeded to record my first record and start playing gigs around the local area. So far in my solo career I have released my debut EP titled St. Christopher Protect Us. I have also released a music video made completely for free for one of my tracks titled "The History", which has had a lot of positive feedback. I just had the title track of my EP called "St. Christopher" played on BBC Introducing West Yorkshire which was a big thing for me as well. I am currently playing as many gigs as I can in the Yorkshire area and try and get my music heard by as many people as possible!
Something Special: I work in a local recording studio and produce and write songs for other clients, from hip-hop to synth pop. I am also an avid Bradford City supporter and it is a little obsession of mine, trying to follow my local team around as much as possible (especially when they are playing at Wembley)!
Future Plans: Firstly, I am in the process of recording my second EP for release in September. It will be available for free download but also this time I will be making a run of physical copies available for a small fee. And then I am putting a backing band together to hopefully take on a UK tour next year.
UC Takeaway: "Never be afraid to pester people who may be able to help you with your music. If they feel you have potential then they will always try and help, whether it be booking you to play a gig, getting you radio play, writing a blog about you or even just playing your music in their pub or shop. Being persistent and never giving up is always a good thing!" Networking is hard for a lot of people, but William Stead has the right attitude about the whole process. Asking for help isn't the same thing as demanding a handout. The world we live in today is all about who you know. This is especially true in the music industry. Putting yourself out there can be extraordinarily difficult, but that's what being a musician is: putting yourself out there in a whole variety of ways for everyone to see. If you're willing to share your feelings with the world through song, you better also be willing to shake a few hands along the way. So ask and ye shall receive, and check out William Stead's music video below!
History: I grew up in Santa Barbara and started singing in church when I was five. I remember my dad trying to teach my sister the piano but I kept running into the room and shutting the keyboard off-- I guess that was a sign that I wanted to take piano lessons too! So I started taking them when I was seven years old and have played ever since. Music has always been a part of my life. I've always wanted to explore different genres as a musician, from Gospel, to musical theatre, to opera and now to Pop. I have just always loved singing. I studied classical music in college because I knew that the technique would help me be a better Pop singer. Once I graduated, I started gigging regularly and building my fan base. I've been blessed to have recorded three albums, performed in California, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York, and collaborated with some incredible artists. I'm currently in Chicago and although I'm moving back to Los Angeles soon, Chicago has been incredible for my career. I've really learned how to market myself in a city where no one knew who I was. Over the last five years I've grown so much as an artist. My songwriting has developed and my voice has matured even more. It's amazing how much an environment can change you.
Something Special: I don't drink and I'm a hardcore vegan that loves to cook and bake-- I don't condemn people who eat meat though haha! But I try really hard to use vegan products as well. I'm currently sponsored by a vegan makeup company called Valana Minerals. It's a match made in heaven. I'm also a huge "Pretty Little Liars" fanatic. I'm obsessed with that show.
Future Plans: I'm currently planning a tour with fellow singer/songwriter Johnny Juarez. We will be hitting up Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City and New York this fall! It's going to be a great tour with amazing music and good times! I'm also working on a new album set to be released next summer. My good friend Kevin Porter will be producing it and my friend Jared Andrew (who is also an amazing singer/songwriter/producer) will be assisting on it as well.
UC Takeaway: "Never be afraid to ask for help and ALWAYS pay it forward. If someone helps you, extend that same gratitude and advice to another artist who might need help. Good karma can go along way." That note from Malynda Hale is a nice one to end the week on, so we'll try to make this short and sweet. You get what you give in this life. In a career path that is entirely based on connections - both within the industry and with listeners - musicians need to be conscious of the vibes they're putting out into the world. Whatever help you can offer along the way will only come back to you down the road. Many of today's tours feature headlining artists who once opened for their now-opening act; always keep in mind that the music industry is a cyclical one, and whoever is on top today may not be tomorrow. But forget about just the independent artists out there - everyone should make a point of treating others the way they want to be treated. It's not just about being a good artist, it's about being a good person. And in today's day and age, we could use more of those. So lend a hand and check out Malynda Hale below!
Name: The New Futures (Sammy J. Riddle, Gustavo Carmo, Chip Reno, Robert Ray Baker Jr.)
Sounds Like: Alien Crime Syndicate meets Weezer, meets Red Hot Chilli Peppers, meets Hot Hot Heat, meets Katy Perrry. Sounds like The New Futures to me though, and really only The New Futures.
History: This band has been one thought process for the past 12 years. There have been lineup changes, but Sammy J. and Chip started this thing 12 years ago. Gustavo and Baker rounded it out last year and it's been the most powerful, exciting, and mature lineup yet. This is lineup is The New Futures and we've sent people to hospital with blown minds. We released our first single "Sunshine" on 4/30 with an amazing response, we just dropped our video for Sunshine (5/21), and we are releasing our first EP on 6/25. We've had all kinds of press and airplay since the release of Sunshine and we couldn't be happier. It feels really good to get that great response, and watch people hop on board with what we're so passionate about. Come see us in Seattle for our EP release party Friday July 25th at The Crocodile!
Something Special: Sammy J. teaches an adult men's class at his church. Chip Co-Founded a non-profit called ICON. Gustavo is on tour with Vinnie Moore in Brazil as we speak (or read/write). Baker builds some of the best custom drums you'll ever find.
Future Plans: After our summer of releases, we'll be planning a west coast tour down to San Diego and back up through Salt Lake City and Boise.
UC Takeaway: When we asked The New Futures for some advice to pass along to you, our readers, they said "Be who you are. Be genuine. Develop your own sound and don't pay attention to what other people are doing. If that renders you irrelevant, then work harder at being better! We are finding success in not following trends." In some ways, the easiest thing to do is ride the way of a trend. If a particular artist's or band's sound is really popular, thousands of sound-like groups and individuals will pop up to feed off of their 15 minutes of fame. That's the thing, though - although the trendsetters themselves may have a lengthy career, most if not all of the sound-alikes will not. It may take you longer, but finding your own sound is sure to pay off in the long run. Not only that, but the self-confidence and satisfaction that comes from being true to yourself and your music is priceless. So embrace who you are, make the music you want to make, and check out The New Futures below!
History: Our history is short yet eventful. We first met in December 2012, and less than 12 weeks later released our first music, MixTape1. This received amazing support gathering 2000 plays in its first week online, as well as national radio plays. Now it's been nearly six months since meeting and we are nearing completion on MixTape2 to be released end of June. That's not all though, we have also got a ReMixTape coming out soon, loads of gigs coming up over the summer both full band and acoustic, and are getting ready to launch our unique Goldstar Soundsytem DJ.
Something Special: We're all tech geeks! Some of us teach it, some of us study it, one of us writes for Sound on Sound... all this means that we are hoping to release a range of official Goldstar audio plug-ins and maybe some custom synths in the future!
Future Plans: Just keep going... write more music, by the end of the year release MixTape3 as well as an acoustic mixtape of different versions of our songs. Find bigger and better ways to get the music heard, through gigs, radio, blogs, anything!
UC Takeaway: Here's a little piece of advice from Goldstar based on their own experiences: "Don't waste time! MixTape1 released less than 12 weeks after meeting each other, MixTape2 to be released 6 months after first meeting. Don't waste time talking about things, make decisions and move on. Be ruthless!" In an industry where new music is constantly being produced, it can be hard to remain top-of-mind in your fans' eyes. Long gone are the days of 3+ years between albums - no, now even the biggest stars are required to produce more music, more quickly, to stay on top. Now, that doesn't mean you should sacrifice quality for quantity. But if you're the type of artist (or group) that is constantly writing and creating, use that to your advance and continue to release music as you have it. Singles, EPs, or albums - they're all just different ways to put your music out into the world. Forget about the old ways and do what feels right for you. Whether you're touring for years on end or releasing a new song every day, there's no right or wrong way to make a career in music as long as you remain true to yourself. So go write a song or play a show, and check out Goldstar below!
Sounds Like: John Mayer, David Gray, Maroon 5, Radiohead, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Crowded House
History: I started off 2 years back playing at local open mic nights with myself and a guitar performing covers. In the past year i've started writing lots of songs and soon started to perform them live. My recent gigs include The Voodoo Rooms, Electric Circus and Cabaret Voltaire. I've recorded two tracks recently, "Breathe" and "Want", part of my upcoming Want EP. On March 14th I won Battle of the Bands at the Ushers Hall in Edinburgh. I've also made it through to the finals of "Rock The House" in London, which was pretty exciting.
Something Special: I sing, play guitar, drums and keyboard.
Future Plans: I plan to release an two EP's in the next year: the Want EP and another EP which will be recorded later in the year. I'm planning to play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Meadows Festival.
UC Takeaway: Play wherever you can, whenever you can! Practice makes perfect; there's no replacement for experience. Artists like Daniel Scott who are on the younger side of the unsigned spectrum have the opportunity to take advantage of not needing to worry about receiving a paycheck at the end of a every gig. This period of time doesn't last long, so while you're able to it's important to embrace every chance to perform that comes your way. From open mic nights to music competitions to jamming with your friends in a park, anywhere you can be heard should become your concert hall. You became a musician because you're passionate about music, so while you're young keep it fun while beginning to incorporate music more and more into your life. Building up your resume with gigs will grow your fanbase as well as your confidence and improve your musical skills. So go play, and check out Daniel Scott below!
Name: ArtClassSink (Joe Biggs, Samuel Edwards, Eliott Benoist, Jack Pilston)
Sounds Like: Our sound has been described as similar to The Cure and The Smiths. We don't really have a definition. Shoegaze, alternative, Indie have all been used by others.
History: As with most bands we met at college, inspired by the bands around us at the time from our home town such as Radiohead, Ride and Supergrass. We soon began to define our sound, a drummer and two guitarists later we became who we are today and started to play all venues from dingy pubs to big chains of clubs like the O2 Academy. Our one rule about our music has always been to write about what you know, whether it be heartache, your dreams or even your broken car, nothing comes through music like real emotion. As for our sound, we got frustrated waiting to hear bands who could create a spacious sound yet still have that punchy aggression to keep you wanting more. We think that we can offer that. It's been a whirlwind year for us and highlights include headlining our own show at The Garage in London to playing alongside some of our favourite bands right now such as Brooklyns, We Are Augustines, New York's Skater and Temples and our fellow Oxfordians This Town Need Guns.
Something Special: We can't think of anything overly special about us, we all work normal jobs. Our drummer
was assembled at Skynet headquarters in San Francisco in 1992, as the original prototype for the T800! But weren't everyones?
Future Plans: Having played for BBC Introducing on several occassions, we are now focusing on our EP to be recorded at Safehouse Studios (Foals/Trophy Wife) produced by Tim Roberts and Kit Monteith from Trophy Wife which we are very excited about. A tour will follow with dates all over the UK.
UC Takeaway: "We are really proud of how far we have come in such a short time. We could have easily ended it at the beginning when our friends were leaving the band to go to Uni or to focus on other bands, we stuck at it and so glad we did. We would never had experienced all the above otherwise!" ArtClassSink's advice all comes down to K.I.T. aka Keep In Touch! It may sound simple, but it's easy to let relationships fall to the wayside due to distance or buy schedules without even realizing you're letting it happen. Whether you're connecting with friends, family, or the industry professionals you meet along the way, always listen to what they're doing and talk about the exciting (or not-so-exciting) updates happening in your life. Opportunities can be found in the oddest of places, but the more you close yourself off to the world, the harder they can be to find. The music industry can be a rather selfish, self-centered one, but it doesn't have to be that way. By opening up to other and building relationships instead of letting them fall apart, you're putting yourself in the best position possible when it comes to both your personal life and your career. So always keep in touch and check out ArtClassSink below!