David Postcards From Nebraska: Meet George Burl, A Singer And Songwriter On SoundCloud

Meet George Burl. George writes songs, plays several instruments and sings. An artist living in Nebraska, he has been holding a SoundCloud Pro account for close to a year now and we wanted to know more about how an independent DIY folk singer and songwriter uses SoundCloud.

Photo by Gary Flanagan

We had the chance to ask George a couple of questions about his music, technology and his goals.

George, who are you what is it that you do?

I am a songwriter from Nebraska, USA. I write songs.

You’re releasing a series of new songs, tell us about it and how did you get them together? What role did SoundCloud play during the process?

The series of demos I’ll be releasing over the next year are a mixture of studio sessions and home recordings. They are intended to introduce the world to some of the new material I have been working on. I have been using SoundCloud to work with my band-mates and engineer to put a lot of the songs together and get the rehearsals for studio sessions.

We all have accounts on SoundCloud and it has been relatively easy to throw up a demo and then have the other people download it and rerecord their version of the song or add something to it or just rehearse with the recording until we could get into the studio.

I also do a lot of recording at home, in my apartment and as an amateur engineer/producer I have found it very helpful to throw my mixes up and get advice from professionals in this field. Because I can upload uncompressed file formats, this means that other people can download the track and then send it back to me after they clean it up a bit by doing some basic mastering or whatever magic it is that they work on the sound.

How big of a role did today’s tech & services play in the process?

I have been playing music and trying to promote bands I was in for over 10 years.  The technology and online services available to the independent musician today is mind-blowing.  My primary resources are SoundCloud (for archiving, cataloging, rehearsing, writing, pre-production and distribution), WordPress (for embedding, organizing, commentary and information dissemination) and BandCamp (for trying to make a little jingle).

I look at SC like a warehouse where I store my songs. Most of the tracks I put on SC remain private, which means that they can not be accessed through the SoundCloud site.  But I am able to embed these private tracks into my website so SoundCloud becomes a content delivery system instead of a destination site or an artist profile.

What’s your goal as an artist and how does the SoundCloud community help you achieve it?

My goal as an artist is primarily to create art and secondly to make that art accessible to people who enjoy it.  Eventually, I hope to develop some type of self-sustaining career in which this art plays a primary role.

Soundcloud has been helpful in some part with all three of these goals. I have found songs to cover on SoundCloud as well as materials to sample and be inspired by (making art).

Obviously, through SoundCloud I have found people who enjoy my music and it has become easier than ever to share that music with people around the world.  As a songwriter, one of the principle parts of my career is playing live shows and SoundCloud has provided a clean and easy way for bookers, promoters and club managers to access what I do.  I use the secret link a lot. It is definitely my favorite feature so far.

Thanks George! Glad to have you aboard. Now everyone, listen to Sketches of Sophia below: