Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

Jerzy Jung, The DIY Artist Route And You

JerzyJungAwardJerzy Jung embodies everything you can imagine for a DIY artist. She is a musician, actress, music teacher, and practitioner of the golden rule. Her songwriting is comparable to that of Regina Spektor in how she takes common, everyday elements and pieces them together to tell a much bigger story. Her song Black Dress/White Dress is a prime example of using fashion as a metaphor for how society treats women.

I’ve known Jerzy Jung for several years, first discovering her music in 2009 when I heard her songs on myspace. We ended up doing an interview and have kept in touch since. She’s a regularly featured artist on The Appetizer Radio Show, and was a perfect artist to chat with in the DIY Artist Route podcast series.

Every conversation on the DIY Artist Route podcast has featured some great quotes. Here are just a few of what you can gather from this episode:
“The mindset of ‘pick me pick me and my whole life will change’ hurt me. The student mentality will help you better. Now I’m like ‘what kind I learn and attracting people who may help me’ has been more helpful. I make the best work I can and my focus is there, and on attracting people who can help.”

“This industry we signed into is not easy, it’s mysterious, and it’s not kind. You’re wondering where your road map is and you have this goal and no idea on how to get there.”

“To be a good community member you have to give in the ways that people are asking to give instead of just what you feel like giving.”

Hitrecord is this fantastic online community where artists connect from anywhere in the world. Nothing is too big or too small.”

“I’m concerned with the business side (of music) but I try not to lose that playfulness.”

Lessons from crowdfunding: The fear of doing it is worse than actually starting and doing it.

“Doing the crowdfunder and making the video helped me to clarify why I make art and it felt really good to define it and see it on paper. It was a reminder to myself for why I chose this life.”

“The real test with all this ambiguity and all this disappointment, do you still love it (music) and just have to do it? Even though this life we picked is weird, focusing on gratitude is so important.”

*Note: I did just get the podcast on iTunes, yet there have been intermittent issues with the podcast host site, which is why I included the Podbean player above so you can hear it regardless.

I’m working to get that resolved so that this episode will be included in the iTunes list. Suffice to say, I’m learning from trial and error about podcasting and how it works best. I also am gaining valuable experience on who to use and who to avoid when setting up a podcast. If you have any suggestions or insight into the podcast realm, please share them with me. Thank you!

Brandi Carlile Knows Where Her Audience Is

lores_brandi-carlile-credit-david-mcclister--2-For folk and alt-country fans, Brandi Carlile isn’t a stranger but a friend who has made music more than just an entertainment source, but a comforting oasis. She may not have the name recognition of other female vocal powerhouses like Adele, Katy Perry, or Christina Aguilara but Carlile’s yodel-styled voice has more majesty than pop radio deserves. Perhaps that’s why her ardent followers have been so enriched in the latest release The Firewatchers Daughter.

Here’s what indie music fans know, and fellow songwriters/artists should pay attention to: Brandi is well aware of the power of strong storytelling, and she knows where to showcase this magic.

Her latest album was released in early March 2015 and was prefaced by a performance on Conan and public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. Here’s where it’s worth paying attention musicians. Carlile has been a successful recording artist for 10 years, her debut album released by Warner Bros in 2005. Since then she’s come full circle and gone the indie road, now on ATO Records. Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show has an audience base of young professionals in the 30s and 40s. Music fans who know of her and those who don’t but who caught her performance are likely to do some looking up on her new album and past releases. They’re likely to buy that music too.

The feature on A Prairie Home Companion is more telling though. The media age for that program is not the 30s and 40s crowd. On the contrary, this radio stalwart has been around for quite a while, making the majority of its audience in their 50s and 60s. What benefit is that for a musician in her 30s with a growing audience? Why play a radio show with such an older demographic, doesn’t that go against progress?

Not at all. A Prairie Home Companion is arguably one of the most popular radio shows on public radio, produced not on NPR but on a smaller network of programs (American Public Media). Unlike NPR’s All Songs Considered which regularly cover trends in indie music, new releases and emerging bands, the show created by Garrison Keillor regularly features folk, country, singer-songwriter, jazz, and western acts. Brandi Carlile is and has been a perfect fit for the program. Plus, older audiences do something younger audiences can’t seem to get a hold of: they support the music they love with their dollars.

At the end of the February 28th radio program airing, and subsequent repeats on carrier stations across the country, Brandi set up nicely to have her new album sell very well. She also kicked off a nationwide tour which is already starting to sell out. Musicians take note: your target audience may not have a specific age, and those who are most likely to support your art may not be hipsters in their teens and twenties. What works for those who know how to reach their real fans is worth taking into account, maybe even mimicking if possible.

Oh, and make it worth your while to check out The Firewatcher’s Daughter. The simple recording setup that made this album is a great story by itself. Get it here.