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Online Music Promotion: The Best Ways to Get Your Music Heard with Ekko.Fm

I recently had the opportunity to Interview an upcoming Leader and Developer in Social Music Marketing..a Business Graduate launching a new business from London,England: Nathan Barlow, I met Nathan via the web after one of my artist was featured in Underground Music Blog “PIGEONS & PLANES” (@pigsandplans via Instagram) and he gave us an opportunity to be innovators on the site. I talked with Nathan about the vision of his company and what some of his thoughts were on Music Promotion

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duanebanx Interviews Nathan Barlowe of Ekko.Fm

Basically give me an overview of the business…what is your purpose?
Ekko’s a curated music promotion and streaming platform for independent, unsigned, and underground artists. 
Inspired by vinyl sleeves, street art, and photography, we’ve got a uniquely visual approach to sharing music. Artists can create photo galleries that are attached to their tracks, like a digital album booklet. These collections can then be shared across the web, giving fans direct access to an artist’s music, lyrics, artwork, and images, anywhere. It means that an  artist’s visual content can be used to directly enhance the music they’re sharing, rather than having it spread across a bunch of different sites across the web, which dilutes their promotion and branding efforts.
The site’s also curated, helping emerging talent stand out and get heard.
How can artists benefit from using your service?
There’s three key benefits that artists get from using Ekko over other music sharing sites:
  1. Bringing visuals into the music experience shifts focus away from sharing music purely as an audio file, giving more scope for creativity and self expression. 
  2. Our curation system – although we’re quite tight with which artists we let onto the site, this means there’s a lot less ‘noise’ for fans to dig through in order to find good music- resulting in easier discovery, and increased exposure, for the artists who are using Ekko.
  3. We’re currently finishing off some really cool stat and analytical features. These haven’t been released publicly yet so I can’t give too much away, but it involves a visual tool that will help artists create better music.
Ekko Logo
How was it started and what was the motivation behind it?
I started Ekko during my time at Berklee College of Music. The idea, though it’s changed since then, won the school’s ‘Emerging Business Model’ competition, which resulted in us going to Berlin to pitch at Rethink Music’s Venture Day competition. We got a lot of positive feedback from there, so I decided to move to London to work on the site full time. Jason, who runs the technical side of the site, joined a few months ago, making Ekko a 2-man team. 
The motivation behind the site was simple – I have a lot of talented friends who are really struggling to stand out and get their music heard. I wanted to create a site that would give them the creative tools to do this. The key question for me was ‘how can we keep fans engaged for longer than it takes to click play on a track’? The longer a fan spends interacting with an artist’s content, the more they’re stepping inside that artists’s creative world. That’s where meaningful connections happen between an artist and a listener.
Who are some artists that have successfully used your site and how?
MOODYGOOD, who’s a label mate of Skrillex, was one of the first guys to get on board… we were really excited about that! So was Porter Ray, who recently signed to Sub Pop. We’ve also got emerging rap artists like WebsterX, Tut, and Ozzie, who have all been picked up by blogs like Pigeons & Planes as artists to watch.
Artists nowadays have to focus just as much on things like their identity/brand as they do making music. Visuals drive online engagement, and are a key way to connect with fans. These early users of the site realise that.
Give me a brief bio of youself and where you plan to be in the next five years?
I’m originally from just outside Manchester, England, but have been lucky enough to have lived in some cool places around the world (Detroit, Brussels, Valencia, London). I’m a producer (going under the name En-B), and studied music production at Leeds College of Music in England. I then did a Masters in Music Business at Berklee College of Music. I’m currently living in London, where Ekko is based.
In 5 years I’d like Ekko to be stable enough that we can branch out and start creating things like a record label to help the emerging artists on the site, clothing lines, etc. I’d also love to be living somewhere with a bit more sun than London.

Written by Jamaal “Duane Banx Int’l” Williams

Blog Writer/Columnist

March 13/2015 Copyright BlackTie Musiq Group LLC

@DUANEBANX on Twitter

Mixtape Releases: Making the Best of Yours


Mixtape Releases: Making the Best of Yours-TheEducatedRapper.com


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Chris_Webby_Websters_Laboratory-front-large                                                                   smokesomething

1) Always refer to your project as a ‘mixtape.’ One word, no spaces. Mixtape is a noun and means “a compilation of songs recorded in a specific order.”

2) Know your target. A mixtape is a very personal thing;.

3) Have some knowledge of music.  If your music taste is “whatever is on the radio” then you probably should not be making a mixtape. Seriously, nobody wants a mixtape full of top 40 hits. If you add Justin Bieber or The Black Eyed Peas to your mixtape you will impress nobody.

4) Select a theme. Mixtapes should always be themed. You want there to be fluidity and cohesion – not just a random collection of songs. Using a theme throughout will unify the entire mixtape and make it feel so much more special then a selection of singles. Themes don’t necessarily have to be complex. “A few of my favorite songs” is a theme that is basic, but will work. Usually themes relate to lyrics or song-titles. A mixtape could be comprised of songs that have the word “girl” in the title. Or songs about summertime. Another option is the genre mixtape, where all tracks are similar genres. The possibilities are endless.

5) Drafts. John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity said, “To me, making a tape is like writing a letter – there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again.” And this is very true. You will not get it right first go. We have the luxury of dragging and reordering music in iTunes, so try a few different combinations before you select the “Burn Disc” button.

6) Start and end with a bang. The first and last tracks are arguably the most important on your mixtape. The first sets everything up, and either draws your listener into your meticulously crafted world, or slams the door in their face. So start with a track you know they will love. up your whole selection of songs and leaves the listener with a final impression.

7) When in doubt, keep it short. There is nothing worse than a mixtape that overstays its welcome. You do not want to cram in tracks just to meet the 80-minute time limit on a CD.

8) The rule of remixing artists beats. This has always been a very tough and controversial rule – whether or not to rmixing artists on a mixtape. .

9) Mix it up. Despite what I said about not wanting a random selection of songs, it is no good making a mixtape of completely similar tracks. There needs to be some variety.

10) Always aim over your head. Giving a mixtape is all about creating an image of how musically educated you are. So try and make yourself seem more knowledgeable than you are.

11) Name your mixtape well. You should always name your mixtape. Even if it is just “So-and-so’s Mixtape Vol. 1” – it adds a personal touch to it.

12) Create custom cover art. Think of this: “I was up until 3 a.m. finishing this for you.” You want to give the impression that this mixtape took hours and hours of concentration and hard work, even if it didn’t.

14) Ask for feedback. It is good to know what the person thought of yourmixtape. It’s important to find out which songs they loved, and which songs they hated.

Written by Jamaal “Duane Banx Int’l” Williams

Blog Writer/Columnist

March 13/2015 Copyright BlackTie Musiq Group LLC



@DUANEBANX on Twitter


2015 Trend Alert: Black Lipstick Makes A Comeback

Many people support the idea of black lipstick, Others might get flashbacks back to their High school emo kid phase, it is safe to say that deeply colored  lips aren’t a passing fad in the fashion world.

Marc Jacob Fashion Show

A very notable name in fashion for dictating trends..Marc Jacobs recently held a runway show the model’s look in the picture above was made available  by the  makeup guru Francois Nars. The lips were constructed using rich, Very dark colored Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, which appeared nearly black under the runway’s lights.

Written by J.Williams @DuaneBanx on IG

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Creating a 5-Year Business Plan in Music



          I dont think that I would be going out on a whim If i stated that the key to success has to be patience & consistency. Considering that most of the artists I see flourishing in the Music Industry are in their early to mid-twenties and whom have most likely had an entertainment focus since early childhood

I say that to say reaching our goals not only takes talent, but also careful strategic planning that will not only advance our plays, our likes and other means of endearment but by benefiting our brand and our movement.

The music industry is very competitive and if you don’t stand out as an artist or a group you will be swallowed up by the sharks. Seriously. You will never get the attention you deserve by being stagnant or mediocre.

5 Qs to ask Yourself  

1. Who will be involved in the process?
2. What will you achieve?
3. When will you achieve it?
4. Where will you achieve it?
5. Why are you doing it?

I hope that this article helped inform you on some new strategies to help develop your Music Career and to Inspire

Written by J. Williams @DuaneBanx on Twitter

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Starbucks No Longer Selling Music

The company will remain involved with Music…but only in its digital form

Otis Redding Album inside a Starbucks store.

   Were the words of a Spokesperson for Starbucks Coffee, Due to the lack of sales of CDs…not only in the Rap Industry but in Pop and Rock as well the company has decided to discontinue it efforts of selling physical albums in its stores.  This time last year their projected goal was to make $65 million off of Inventory and only made $3.6 mil. CD sales have dropped 15%.  Needless to say who has a Walkman anymore right?

Written by J.Williams @duanebanx on Twitter

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The Purpose of this site is to have a medium where I can properly inform, update and stay in contact with Professional Music Lovers and Music Based Businesses.

Learn About Public Relations in the Music Industry
How I Use PR with My Business and Trends in the Music Industry Daily