Episode 12 – Talking Independent Music With Reign
Everybody Rob Cairns here I’m here with my good friend Reign, who is an independent music artist. How are you today?
I’m great. How are you?
Not too bad. So you and I have known each other for a long time. So why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and your background.
So, I’ve been doing music My whole life. I did all the musical circuits. And I trained, I did a lot of classical training. And then I taught for a couple years. And then I started getting opportunities for my writing. And I just started taking off from there. And then the last, I’d say, three, four years, I’ve been taking it very seriously. And now I’m managing artists. I’m doing artists development for artists, and then I’m pursuing my music as well. So it’s been a whirlwind.
Yeah, I bet it has. And the independent music scene is a little different than what people traditionally look at, like the big labels, isn’t it?
Yeah, definitely. And the industry has changed so much. And even like the last five years, with all the streaming services, independent labels, having a lot more pull, indie artists having a lot more pull, and the command of social media. So it’s, it’s been really great and really different.
Now, we talk about streaming services isn’t Spotify, like one of the biggest supporters of indie music out there right now,
from what I know, definitely 100% I have to thank Spotify so much. They really took my career off. My very first single I released they put it on multiple curated playlists from New Music Fridays from all over the world. And crate diggers and they’ve been amazing. They’ve supported every single release. So
they’re really supportive in a lot of genres, not just music. I don’t know if you know, but they’ve even jumped into like, a podcast rain big in the last while. So they’re, they’re like an incredible company that’s given a lot of publishers, whether it’s music, podcasters, and others, another platform beyond the traditional apple and another and Android ecosystems, which is really cool.
They’re into podcasts.
Yeah, they just purchased actually a company called anchor.fm, which is what I use, and they, they paid in the billions of dollars range, and they said, they’re going to spend more money this year in that too. So they’re, they’re making big rains in that as well. So it’s just, it’s really cool that they support all these independent publishers kreiger creating, trying to create the audio publishing house like YouTube is to video kind of thing. So yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah, it is. Um, why did you choose music TV? I know you’ve been in all your life was a reason or something that got you to the news.
Yeah, so my dad was a professional drummer, he toured all through North America and did that for majority of his life. And my mom is a visual artist, but she also plays piano and guitar. So it kind of just made sense. Like I was put into piano, super young. And I just kind of thing from there. I did do dance for a long time as well. And I’ve kind of gone back and forth, but Music is my main passion.
Yeah, and there’s a lot of crossover between the two I would say with performances and things that don’t feel good somebody like Justin Timberlake comes to mind is a big artist. He’s He’s pretty dense movie on the stages. And so I mean, there’s some there’s some similarities there I would think
Yeah, definitely. My next music video actually, which I’m filming in April, it’s the first time I’m actually dancing in one of my music videos. So
what do you like most about doing music?
Um, it’s hard to explain like thing I like the most is just expressing myself. In songwriting, I literally cannot not songwriting since I was 11. I have to songwriting just how I get all of my emotions out and Yeah, it’s just a beautiful thing.
This song, it kind of tells the story about life or what you’re feeling or where you’re feeling is I know, I know, from my perspective, depending on what I’m listening to on a given day, it’s sort of, you know, it tells that is kinda tells my mood, if you know what I mean.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it’s it really makes people feel an emotion they might not even know that they have. So
what do you dislike most about music, if anything.
I just like
probably all the advertising stuff, and all the behind the scenes stuff that people don’t realize that you’re doing. Like, I haven’t released a song in about a year, I have nine songs coming out. But people think you’re not doing anything. But the amount of like paperwork, lawyers, and curators and, and everything that you have to go through is a lot of work. So I wish I could just focus on the music aspect. But unfortunately, you have to be a businesswoman as well.
Yeah, but what people don’t realize is, when you’re in the independent music, you’re, you’re in essence, an entrepreneur, you just use a kiss just, and people kind of associate entrepreneurs with the business world and the tech world and the marketing world, but they don’t really realize and as that you have to have your hands on kind of every aspect of the business, whether you like it or not.
Exactly, you’re a CEO, essentially. And a lot of the artists I manage, they can’t handle that aspect at all. And that’s why I’m there to kind of help guide them. And it’s hard. It’s a challenge for sure.
What’s the biggest challenge in managing other artists
and making sure that I really listened to the artist, while also giving them the best advice. Every artist I have is very, very different from each other. And they all have very individual needs. I have some they like to take a lot of charge, they like to write their own emails, some people that don’t want to do that, and they want me to take charge of everything. So it’s really listening to that artists. And I actually love it, but it can be a challenge sometimes predicting what they’re gonna want.
Yeah, I can be I mean, you almost got to get inside your head, I think and, and kind of figure out what makes them tick, so to speak, right?
100%? Yeah. Because if they’re not happy, it can affect a lot of things. If you put them in a deal they don’t like or book a show they don’t like, and it’s not with their overall vision and what they’re experiencing and what they want for their overall career can can do a lot of damage. So yeah, you have to really get to know them. It’s a relationship really.
Now, we’re talking about booking shows a little bit. What’s the typical venue for an indie show in say, a series like Tron, a city like Toronto and Toronto is? For those who don’t know, listening is kind of have it’s a pretty diverse music scene with a multitude of sizes of venue. So what’s a typical venue?
That’s kind of hard question, because I’m an indie artist can open for a big act and be on a very big stage. And then it can be at a very small stage, to medium stages, like the Opera House. I do notice, like in the indie scene right now. Like, I’m talking to some of my artists, and I’m thinking myself of doing like, very exclusive small shows, with like a slightly higher price point on ticket and making more of an experience and booking venues that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. So, I’d say there’s no real limit these days to, to a venue that an indie artist could use.
I love that comment. You made rain about experience. And the reason I do is, I think live shows, and music certainly, and other forms of entertainment are all in today’s day and age, all about the experiences. It’s not about just listening to the music. Frankly, you can do that at home.
100%. And I think that’s a big mistake a lot of artists make is they do shows one too premature and they’re playing little bars, and no one really cares about them as an artist and, and to they’re just going on there. They’re playing it exactly like the record sounds. And it’s just there’s nothing to it. There’s no reason why they should come out and see your show. So you really have to make people feel what you were feeling when you wrote that song.
So true. I mean, I can can’t tell you and you know, we have a mutual friend who loves concerts. You know what I’m talking about? Yeah. And, and I’ve, in my younger days, I used to go to a lot of shows. I mean, I’ve seen shows in big venues in shows and stadiums. I’ve seen shows at downsview Park in Toronto. I seen you know, small clubs And the shows that I remember the most are all about that experience level. It’s all about what they showed me on stage. And there’s bands in the bands, bands that I saw, because the experience was so good that I never would listen to it if I hadn’t been through that experience. And now they’re part of my entire playlist.
That’s amazing. I have a similar experience, the panic the disco who just made a big comeback. They’re doing amazing, but they never really went anywhere. But I didn’t really know their music. This is before they really made it big with their first single, or around the same time it came out and my friend bought me tickets for my birthday. And I was like, all right, it was a small venue. I think it was the Opera House. I’m not sure. Yeah, it was a good venue. There wasn’t a lot of people it wasn’t sold out. But their show was amazing Brendan URIs voice is like nothing else. Like it was like, they had like people on stilts. And they had just like this whole, they really went into that circus vibe. And then with the mixer has amazing vocals, I immediately became a huge fan, and I followed them religiously ever since. So it’s a perfect example of that.
Um, so let’s go on to promotional a bit, one of the things you touched on, and I know from having worked with in some other stuff, social media is a big part of the promotion. what works, what doesn’t work? And how do you approach it?
I think the biggest thing is making sure that you found your niche. A lot of people want to appeal to everyone. And that just never works anymore. Before maybe but now there’s so many so much music, so many artists. This goes for any company, there’s so many companies, everyone now wants companies and businesses to be exactly what they’re looking for. So when you go on to that Instagram page, you want to make sure that your vibe appeals, exactly the audience that’s going to listen to your music. So that comes down to the colors, you use the filters, you use the type of posts, you make what you say. And then once you find that niche, you just really need to research other people in your niche. You need to research the other types of things that they like. And then you need to make sure all of your posts are in line with that.
And kind of go where your following is. So if you’re following us on Instagram, spend more time on Instagram, if you’re following us on Facebook, spend more time on Facebook. Right?
Exactly. And depends on your age group as well. Right? If you have a lot of 12 year olds, definitely instagram and snapchat would be yours if you have a lot of people in their 40s and up and you definitely want to be on like Facebook. And so yeah, it’s knowing your audience.
I would agree. any concerns to your your industry after the great big Facebook Instagram crash last Thursday?
Um, honestly, it didn’t affect me too much. It did make me realize how much I use social media though. I was like, What is wrong with my my Instagram? Oh my god, I thought someone had hacked my account actually something happening with bigger numbers.
I should be charcoal. But yeah,
it was terrifying. I thought I was gonna lose everything I
felt so. Um,
but I mean, yeah, it didn’t affect me too much.
But it also becomes, it kind of shows even in your industry, it shows that people need to find another avenue in case that avenue of support disappears, right?
Yeah, it’s really interesting. You say that I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, Lauren, Tyra completely different things, not music, but she was talking about that, how it’s kind of scary. She’s a YouTuber, that if YouTube ever goes away, she hopes everyone will follow her. But she doesn’t really know. So, um, it is hard now. In that way, I think people will follow.
I think the key is actually to take those loyal fans, and they think, especially in the music business, creating fans is better than just casual. You want raving fans? Right? And you know, and I think what you need to do is take those fans, and frankly, move them off social media. I think that’s kind of the object. And I think as I search, they more and more people are getting that notion and get them somewhere else that something that you own a website, you know, something like that, that you can actually say, you know, I’m on Instagram, but here’s here’s where you can find me kind of.
Yeah, it’s a good idea. definitely like to make sure you have multiple places to reach them.
So you got all caught. I know from talking to you. You’ve been working on all kinds of exciting projects. You’re working on a show. Can you share some of what you’re working on right now? Yeah, so
it’s really exciting time for me right now. One of my artists right Young he’s actually an accomplished public speaker. And he, I’ve been Vocal Coaching him now for a couple months. And we started writing together. And now I’m artists doing artist development. And we actually have a show on Saturday. And we’re doing a reality show together a documentary. I have filming actually after this. So that’s really exciting. It’s all about like reaching your dreams, and at any age and about music industry in general. And then I have nine singles coming out. At least one EP will be in there. I’m extremely excited. I write every single week. So I’m dying to get this out. And one of the most exciting things for me at least is that I am producing my own music now. So for the first time, people actually hear the sound exactly like I want people to hear it.
Yeah, that’s so that’s so important. Because that goes to telling your story or whatever your message you’re trying to convey. You in terms of the show on Saturday, is that a co show or control? Is it being recorded with you?
So it’s actually being filmed for the reality show. It’s kind of where our like the first episode of our show comes to an end is that that show it’s actually an Eric Etheridge show. It’s a mostly country show, but the artist isn’t country. It’s more Sam Smith, like slow. Um, but this is his debut. So he no one’s heard the song yet. And there’s not even a recording finished of it yet. So it’s kind of his, his test around the audience. So it’ll be really exciting.
Now, you said you were working on seven singles are seven or nine, sorry. And nine. And one of the things it used to be in the music industry was you went out and did a show to promote the music. Now, at least with big acts, you you put out a single to promote the show, how does that work in DC.
So right now, for me, I am really focusing on online, I am developing my show, and I will likely be going on a tour after I release a bunch of my music. But times have really changed. Shows can be very expensive to do well. So I’m putting a lot of money into advertising right now. And two music videos, because I really want to tell my story. But yeah, I think that I’m definitely gonna do like an EP release. And I’ll have probably kind of an intimate show is more of an experience than a show. And I don’t want to say too much about that yet. Yeah, so I’m, yeah, it’s I’m not focusing on shows as my priority right now.
What kind of advertising you focusing on.
So you’ll be focusing a lot on Instagram, Facebook advertising, and then Spotify and Apple Music playlists, and I have curators through an independent label that I’m going through. So hopefully they like my new music and they put it in all their playlists.
That’s really cool. Um, when you create one more question and then we’ll kind of wrap up when you’re creating music. studio space really expensive in the city are are we seeing a lot of that coming down with the advent of equipment coming down with no audio equipments coming down? We’ve seen cases of people busy building studios in our home is that changed the industry at all? Oh, it’s
completely changed industry and all this new music I’ve actually produced out of my house on my computer, and I will be going into the studio to do my final vocals. But yeah, studio time isn’t too expensive, because I actually prefer home studios I love like the feel of just being in obviously a high quality but a home studio. And it can be quite, quite affordable. Now.
I have a friend up north is actually built and he does keyboarding and as a hobby but he sell some of it. And he’s actually built a full keyboard, audio studio in his basement, soundproofing and all and and I just know like equipments come down. I mean, you can buy professional, great mixers. They used to be a fortune, and now they’ve come way down in cost. And you know, even video mixers have come down in cost and it’s kind of changed the whole landscape. I still think you have to have an aptitude and creative ears to do it. But the equipment itself is actually more affordable than it’s ever been before.
Definitely. And it’s again, a lot more in the arms of the artists now. There’s not a small amount of studios and they’re all kind of making the price very expensive because anyone can kind of build a studio these days, you still need a good engineer and a good producer, of course. But it’s not even a big deal anymore. I know so many people with studios.
So true. Rain Thanks for joining us, we wish you the best of luck with your career your shows your endeavors, it’s an exciting time for you. How’s the best way that people can hear your music get ahold to find you, contact you, and so on.
So the best way is probably through my Instagram. And so I have the most I posts the most I have the most followers there, which is reign over you music. And I’m also under the same thing. I’m on Facebook as well. And I’m on Twitter, which is rain underscore over underscore u and My website is www.seannal.com.
And make sure you check out range music enjoy it, it’s well worth to listen to and have a great day. Bye and thanks again. Thank you for listening to the STM interview show. This Podcast is a production of stunning digital marketing comm agency that can help you with your web design, or press security and digital marketing needs. Please subscribe to this podcast. This podcast can be found on Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts and more. Please don’t miss the next edition. This podcast comes out every Thursday for your listening enjoyment. Until next time, please keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. And we’ll talk to you all soon. Have a great week everybody. Bye for now.