Author Archives: Jane

Jane Creators talking shop: Daily Demos with Ghost Loft

Ghost Loft is a producer and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA who has pursued a solo career and contributed to tracks of Wiz Khalifa and Justin Bieber. Lately, he’s been busy cranking out a demo a day, sharing his works in progress with followers on SoundCloud and flexing his creativity at the same time. We talked to him about the  inspiration behind creating with discipline and openness.

ghost-loft

Tell us about your daily demos project. What is it? Why did you decide to do it?

Daily Demos is an idea that started from a dinner conversation I had with my friend Rob. We discussed how sometimes we can be too precious with our work and ultimately place it on a pedestal. In doing so, we can become creatively stifled in the pursuit of “perfection”. The idea of Daily Demos was brought up as an exercise to counteract this. Daily Demos is where everyday I make a track from scratch and upload it to SoundCloud. Whether or not I’m satisfied with it, I’m forced to complete and release a song before the day’s end. Through this process I’ve learned to let go and I feel more liberated.

 

How has SoundCloud allowed you to be flexible with the kind of content you share?

SoundCloud is a great platform to share the Daily Demos. I’m able to upload and share songs quickly and I can gauge feedback from listeners instantly. I also love how accessible SoundCloud is. Anyone can listen to a track on their computer or phone without needing any type of membership.

 

You’ve shared over 40 demos on a daily basis. What has the feedback been so far?

I think the feedback has been pretty great. It’s always interesting to see which songs resonate more with people. For example, a track that I worked on for three hours might not connect with as many people as a track that took only one hour.

 

How does the discipline of working on a demo every day change the way you create and share?

Consistently working on tracks has been a fruitful experience so far. Somedays can be more challenging than others, but it always feels great after I complete a Daily Demo.  Working on the Daily Demos has allowed me to trust my instinct more. In the past I would spend hours searching for the perfect snare sample or synth sound. But I’ve come to realize that music isn’t about perfection. To me it’s all about expression. The Daily Demos have become therapeutic in allowing me to express how I feel that day.

 

Does the feedback you get on these demos influence your editing and creation process?

I wouldn’t say so. With the Daily Demos I try to experiment and get out of my comfort zone. I look at it as a daily exercise to encourage creativity and not have to meet anyone’s expectations.

 

What are your next goals and steps that we should look forward to in the coming months?

Along with the Daily Demos, I’ve been working on original music as well as a couple of remixes.  I plan to release new music in a few weeks. I also worked on some music for Justin Bieber’s Purpose tour, so you can hear that at his shows now.

 

Any tips for creators looking to grow and expand their sound?

To put in the work and enjoy the process.

Jane Creators talking shop: indie in the digital age

POP ETC

Photo credit: Alex Welsh

Chris Chu, Jonathan Chu and Julian Harmon originally formed indie rock band POP ETC as The Morning Benders in Berkeley, CA in 2005. They’re now based in Brooklyn.

We asked Chris Chu, lead singer of the band, about the evolution of their musicianship over the 10 years and how tools like SoundCloud have enabled them to continue growing fan base.

 

 

How does SoundCloud let you to share your music with old fans who knew you as The Morning Benders and today, as POP ETC?

It’s the easiest and quickest way to get music to people directly. It’s really important to us to have as close a relationship with our fans as possible, and it helps us cultivate that.

 

How has SoundCloud allowed you to change and grow, both from a business perspective and an creative one?

It’s given us a lot of freedom to just make more music. We frequently put up alternate versions of songs on SoundCloud because it’s a fast moving platform that allows for that, and people go to it seeking that.  

 

How does your fan base support your releases on SoundCloud?

The feedback is really great. People really like the site and as a result they like to share songs from it, which helps bands like us a lot.

 

Has your sound changed over the years? If so, how? As you all grow as individuals, how do you process the changes that come about when creating together?

Yes, it’s changed a lot! It’s pretty important for us to always try something new. Listening to our music over the years, I think that’s pretty easy to hear. We’re always changing and trying new things as individuals and as a band. If we aren’t doing something that is exciting to all three of us, I think people will be able to hear and feel that. We never want that to happen.

 

How do you think the way people consume music is changing compared to how maybe you’ve grown up with it?

It seems people listen to more artists, but for less time. I grew up buying vinyl and CDs and listening to full albums. People listen more to single songs now. We’ll see that reflected in our SoundCloud numbers, people will replay a song hundreds of times… which is AWESOME.

 

What changes do you predict for the future of the music business?

Oh I have no idea anymore. As long as there is good music out there, and there always will be, people will be buying music, in some shape or form, and supporting artists.

 

How has SoundCloud played a role in your career?

It’s hard to quantify, but I know that A LOT of people have heard us through SoundCloud. Its definitely had a big impact.

 

What are your next goals and steps that we should look forward to in the coming months?

We have our new album Souvenir coming out on the 29th. We’ll be touring a bunch around the release and into this year, and we’ll definitely continue making new music.

 

Any tips for creators just getting started?

Just make whatever you want. If it’s heartfelt, people will gravitate towards what you are doing.

 

Jane Creators talking shop: name change

In an era where instant communication is the norm, the Internet has enabled creators to easily share their work and build an audience. It has also enabled creators to widely share the moves and milestones they make in their careers, even more personal ones.

Throughout music history, artists from Prince to Puff Daddy have changed the names they use to create and publish new music, but have had limited ability to announce these changes to a global audience. Today, artists have greater ability to broadcast these personal moments in their careers through the Internet, allowing fans to easily adapt and continue their support.

That’s exactly what Mark Redito did, “premiering” his new name through the release of a new song on SoundCloud.

Mark Redito, formerly known as Spazzkid, is a long-time SoundCloud creator who joined the platform more than six years ago. Mark is also part of our On SoundCloud Premier program.

With SoundCloud being Mark’s primary home to release music and connect with fans, it was important for him to ensure that his fans could still easily find his profile and his music, even if his name changed. SoundCloud’s Community team was able to help make the swap of his profile URL easily so all of his content, from tracks to stats, stayed intact. Learn more about changing a name on SoundCloud here.

We chatted directly with Mark about why he changed his name and how SoundCloud continues to be part of his story of growth below.

redito

Why did you decide to change your artist name?

I felt uncomfortable using the word “spaz” in my artist name once I found out that it has derogatory meanings. I don’t want my music and my art to be represented by a hurtful word. Also, I have been using the name “Spazzkid” for close to 10 years now. I’ve grown so much as an artist in the past two years and I’ve felt disconnected from the moniker.

 

Why now?

I wanted it sooner but the logistics of going through a name change as an emerging artist is huge. We knew we wanted to change the name a year back, so we got the ball rolling as soon as we decided. With the upcoming single releases, we thought, “it’s going to be a great opportunity to change my name together with new releases.” The new song(s) have such a different sound; still sounds like me but hopefully much more mature.

 

How did you communicate the name change?

I have been talking about the name change within my close circles and they saw that coming. I sent a letter to all my friends who are music writers and journalists regarding the name change a few days before announcing it through my social media. I am very active in social media and it makes sense that I make the announcement there.

 

How has the reaction been from your fans?

It was such an outpour of support and love! I’m very grateful for such loving fans and supporters!

 

Will the music or sound you have change accordingly as well?

Regardless of the name change, I am somebody who always wants to pursue new sounds and aesthetics. Hopefully the upcoming music would still be relatable and also feel like a progression from my old material.

 

How has SoundCloud helped you grow as an artist, especially in this time period of transition for you?

It is a reliable platform to share my music! It’s also such a great platform to connect with fans, peers and collaborators. Sharing my music through SoundCloud has led to so many opportunities to further my career as a musician. The process of transition has been very smooth. The tech support was really swift in assisting in the changeover.

 

What is the weirdest or most interesting that’s happened to you on SoundCloud?

Not really weird but it’s funny that three out of five messages I get everyday on SoundCloud are from beauty vloggers asking permission for music usage on their videos.

 

Any notable stats you’d like to share with us?

I am ecstatic that I am now reaching 43k! I remember two years ago when I was happy with having 1k followers! This is such a huge thing for me and I’m very grateful! I’m also very excited that all these people who I look up to are now following me on SoundCloud: Giraffage, Daedelus, Djemba Djemba, Starslinger, among others.

 

Are you a creator who has also changed your artist name? Share your experience or thoughts with us in the comments below.