Posted in music

Red Bull Music Academy Helps Musicians Showcase Their Talent

grassmass(Rodrigo Coelho) and Hiram Martinez are two of over 200 international musicians that are participating in this year’s Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA.)  I had the pleasure of meeting them both at the RBMA Drone Activity in Progress event at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens last Thursday night. The show of loud sounds and flashing lights introduced me to drone music and provided many musicians the opportunity to showcase their incredible talent.

grassmass (Rodrigo Coelho)
grassmass (Rodrigo Coelho)

São Paulo–based musician grassmass is part of the Brazilian duo Cassady who decided it was time to venture out on a solo career.  grassmass, who closed one of the stages at the RBMA drone event, plays the club scene in São Paulo and plans on debuting his personal electronic project in the next few months. The accomplished guitarist and bass player has become most comfortable with electronic music.

“I am really into Brazilian and African percussion and find electronic music the place where I can get the most freedom and enjoy bigger palettes and sound scapes,” said grassmass.

The Brazilian artist sent music from Cassady to the RBMA and was chosen as one of 2013 participants. grassmass used the RBMA drone event to experiment a bit with his music and prepare for his solo work.

“There is so much freedom as a solo artist,” grassmass said. “I have been producing music for almost 20 years now, so it’s about time.”

grassmass has also become more visual with his music and has started promoting it via Instagram.

grassmass is part of small contingent of Latino artists representing at this year’s RBMA. Mexican musician Hiram Martinez sent samples of his solo work to RBMA after a friend who attended the RBMA in Madrid made the recommendation.

Hiram Martinez performing at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy drone event, May 2, 2013.
Hiram Martinez performing at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy drone event, May 2, 2013.

Martinez was extremely excited to be chosen as one of the 2013 RBMA participants. The month-long event gives him an extraordinary opportunity to meet new people, make valuable contacts, showcase his music, and create a fan base.

Hiram, who is from the Guadalajara metro area, was a main guitarist in a post-rock band before working on his own electronic music. He knew early on that he was going to be a musician.

“I was always really interested in music,” Hiram said. “It was always an escape for me, on a lot of different levels.”

Hiram was excited and very nervous before his big gig at the RBMA drone event. It was going to be the first time he preformed his new music, which he describes as “down tempo melodic electronic/pop,” to an audience.

“In the beginning I was really scared,” confessed Hiram. “But it was the best experience. It really feels awesome to play my music and present it to people.”

Hiram Martinez is still working on his first project and his music is a continuous work in progress. He does not yet have a website or Facebook Fan Page, but be sure to follow him on Twitter to get the latest from this budding electronic musical artist.

If you are a music lover and want to hear work from up and coming artists like Hiram, check out the remaining RBMA events that run through May 31, 2013 at various venues across New York City.

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Posted in music, Networking, Social Media

The New Myspace Site May Be Worth Checking Out

(Screen shot of the new Myspace site.)
(Screenshot of the new Myspace site.)

Remember MySpace? If you thought it was dead, think again. The social networking site that was the precursor to Facebook has been recently resurrected by a group of new investors including Justin Timberlake.

The new owners have been revamping the site since September and opened it up to the general public in January. Like millions, I have not actively used MySpace since the explosion of Facebook. I was curious to see what Timberlake and company did with the dinosaur of social media so I took it for a little spin.

If you remember your old MySpace login info you can use it on the new Myspace. You can also register with your Facebook or Twitter account or set up an entirely new account. The new Myspace is not going to compete with Facebook or Twitter so those companies have nothing to worry about. However, Spotify might want to keep an eye on the new Myspace.

When you log in to the new site using your old info, you’ll notice that none of your old friends, photos, music, artists or bands are automatically transferred. You begin your new Myspace journey with zero connections. A connection on the new Myspace is similar to a “Like” on Facebook. So if you are a musician on the old MySpace, you’ll have to start from scratch on the new Myspace to rebuild your fan base. That alone has many critics predicting the demise of the new site.

But after taking a tour of the new Myspace and testing it out for about two weeks or so, I have to say I’m a fan of the new entertainment site. You can connect to a song, an album, artist, video, photo, and another new Myspace member. The focus here is really not on collecting a lot of friends or followers, but on enjoying music you love.

I compare the site to Spotify because unlike Pandora, you can listen to a particular track whenever you want (as long as it’s available) and as often as you like for free. Similar to YouTube, you can also view music videos whenever you want.

You can create your own profile, display your top eight favorite artists, highlight a profile song, post updates like on Twitter and post pictures like on Flickr. The search option allows you to find your favorite music/artists and the discover option allows you to find new music from up-and-coming independent artists.

Not everyone is going to love to the new Myspace and some might not see the need to dive into another social networking site, but if you love music and want to have another online vehicle to listen and view your favorite artists and find new ones, the new Myspace site may be very well worth your time.