Decibel Conference

Lesson 6/18 - Artist Talk 1 - Grass Root Collectives with Joe Kay and Robin Park


Decibel Conference


Lesson Info

Artist Talk 1 - Grass Root Collectives with Joe Kay and Robin Park

Robin park whose decibel festivals marketing director is going to be in conversation with selections joke a and they're going to be talking a bit about branding and marketing and some of the ways that branding as a collective can can kind of bring power to your brand and strength in numbers selection is a really incredible able also taking risks and releasing a lot of incredible music so I want to give it up for joe okay and robin park thank you everyone way hey thanks everyone for coming I'm robyn park a mark like nate said the marking director for decibel I'm gonna let joe introduce himself yeah so we all good today I think decibel for happiness and yeah my name is joe I am the co founder of selection and I do a radio show on beats one on apple music and uh yeah it's a music lover right? So today's talk again about grassroots collectives particularly in the music community I'm decibel is also a grassroots organization so it's really awesome to have selection here which is also a gras...

sroots or so just tell me a little bit about you know what is so election and how did it start so selection at heart is a record level started off through soundcloud and bank in just as a lot of visual imprints have in the last three to four years and we kind of turned into this like cultural movement where it's ah more of a platform we have people from photographers and we like we're just all across support which is visual creatives audio creative just people who who loved like creating and bringing people together so again and it's also a radio show I would say the radio shows the backbone to selection is the most consistent platform we have the most consistent channel because every single week we're getting to the three hours of music before I was doing a three hour radio show and then once I moved to beat way brought it down to but that's still two hours of music not just on selection but music that we're filming you know, from all over the world so I think that's what makes us kind of spread out more you know, I would get bored just selection artists for two hours every week, so I like sharing like samples and just things that I'm feeling so yeah, it's and we also have djs as well like amazing djs and I consider it more selective we're not turns able list or anything like that were become more from a tastemaker point of view so yeah it's just like it's really just a d I y do it yourself, we have a publishing company as well that we just started so you know you don't have your business straight, you know, then we're just gonna be the cool soundcloud you know, digital imprint that can like make no money or anything yeah, I think that's what's so great about selection you guys were so multifaceted. Yeah, which is kind of encapsulates like whole artist experience can you tell me more about how it started? Yeah it's a really long story and we sit here for hours talking about it, but it started when I was about sixteen seventeen I had a, uh, family friends like a godfather who was a promoter slash like kind of an arm at universal and when I was twelve or thirteen used to taking a promo runs and I'm from l a so you know, stations like power six in nineteen point there to beat at the time I was exposed to that and I was meeting artie it's going to the radio station, so I think unconsciously that's when my radio like light just turned on in my head and I was always a kid in high school middle school that was always making the mixtapes mix cds to line wired whatever I'm fine, you know, that was like the start of the intimate, you know, getting those those those allowed two point oh cds in the mail you no doubt love just like utilizing the internet to find music so I was apart we were all a part of that, so um yeah I don't know I was just always go to kid for new music I never did drugs in high school never during but I was always really interview that's all I did was go home fine music and eventually I discovered stone's throw once I once I realized that I was listening to jay dhillon for like the last eight years of my life on the radio I found mad with him doom and then from that fast forward I discovered a flying lotus and you know low in theory which is still around to this day back home so I started going to low in theory and I started connecting you know it was like the place it was a spot to meet other producers and and and that's the committee that we come from is producer heavy community so it's like the producer is the hardest that produce it does tour producer puts out down so yeah we're all familiar with that from that point on I started a podcasts called il lives and I was probably eighteen or nineteen I just got kicked out of my mom's house within my ground with it and that day that I got kicked out remember I I went to my ground with this and I was pretty stressed out like filling down so I made this mix and was too was two hours and it was like the crazies beats I found online and from that point I built that podcast within the year one it was I think I had like thirty thousand subscribers from this platform called a problematic and I bought like a twenty dollars mike from the local store from like a radio shack kind of place and I started speaking and it was really rough, you know, it was really it was just people started hearing my voice have started biltmore personality and then yeah, my goal is once I transferred to lobby state uh I knew that would get a radio station I knew that it was radio before selection and then I met I met a cofounder was actually no longer with selection he's he's branched out and done his own thing but his name was ninety six he was from paris and he weighed just connected we were really into the same thing he created the logo he created the visual aesthetics before hundred under power came along and yet fast forward there's a very long story. But like I said that the radio show has always been the background to selection because of that I literally attracted andre he heard one of the whole podcasts and then he started getting involved he started connecting jacqueline who had those communications and like the pr side she was she heard the radio show and andre I was connected so everyone because I was doing such a positive thing to the music and what I believe in attracting this like amazing team that's like still with me to this day and eventually you know I found artists like talk who sango car mag you know everyone that we found like no matter what part of the world way found everybody be soundcloud and doing at the time somewhere just all the connections were made so it's just like this worldwide thing that was like very closely yeah yeah I think what is really unique about selection is that and as you mentioned before like you were all drawing together through this kind of positive energy which is like really apparent in your marketing and branding my next question is, you know, as a grassroots s collective organization like how how would you define your brand for selection? Um I was consider it like very independent very progressive and open minded and conscious it's like very, very family oriented like we like tio we pay attention to what people say so someone saying something the common section are and he's getting to a point now where the bigger we ate you know, like the morning you know it's like for every thousand people you're going to get at least twenty people who are gonna hate for no reason or they're gonna troll you so you got to know how to separate that from the ruins of fake so uh we're just really about what we do you know like it's cliche disable really are about music everyone on the team way really are close like business aside we are close friends so you know we're a small company were just like grew up doing things that we feel they should be done um I didn't want to wait on anybody to put to put me on put us on so that's why selection was created I literally have it's difficult to describe but yeah, I would just say like the branding the visual said because you said the music the messaging, the photography that we post on our instagram and everything everything just needs to be like consistent on all so yeah it's just like it's just positive you know like when you listen to the music you start thinking about today you want to work out whether you're making love you're going through whatever it is it's it's like it gets you think when you hear sir whether we played a show and you see the reaction of the people it's going to be able to play music even if the people don't know people are still alive into it in like paying attention and listening and they recognize the sample like to me like that's like the smartest audience that that I would prefer to have rather than going to a place and no one paid attention just like me being a background person you know that's not why you touched on one thing about, um just like not being able to deal with, like the trolls, right? Like everybody is strolls, right? I think you guys have expanded really quickly. So how do you, like maintain that kind like small family feel while you're like growing so fast? It's a good question we've got to communicate everything I'm even even a small way have communication issues, you know, like julio is like a tour I'm on, I've been on tour for, like, four months now, even if I come back home for a week or two like I'm like in and out constantly, so it kind of breaks a mom would float and we have just with growth, even people on the team and stuff like, believe it or not, there's artists, staff members, whoever, like, start to feel a certain type of way, it's just growing pains, you know, they start to feel like attached to certain things people want to be the one responsible for getting selection towards that. So I got to do with, like, things on all levels that no one knows what that's like, very stressful, you know? So in addition to the trolls and, um, you know, it's like, you just got to stay on well, remember what we're doing this and just keep putting out music, you know, good music and in quality content. So, yeah, you just got to have thick skin it's like when I signed up for this, I didn't know that that it was gonna consist of all this. I thought it was going to be just like me on soundcloud every day, the way you do find music and get it out to the people. But in order, my position is so much stress and so much on my back that, you know, I see what some people like fall back on my childhood things. So you spoke to him about some of the challenges, right? Running that label? What air? Like some success stories, like kind of keep pushing you forward? I mean, I think, like, when I'm on toward the reason I goingto or play all these shows because I'm able to connect with people on the type of person, I could still get a little bit like I'll go in the crowd after myself just survive with people. And I think that that keeps me saying hearing people story like one guy told me, is his mom was in a coma for, like, three months, and all we did was listen to the radio show. For those three months and like I helped him get through that and his mom ended up making it and you know, it's stories like that you know are hearing how you know, people meet and now they you know they're in a successful relationship or another day of this like very successful tech startup a guy like five companies well, listen to selection radio, you know, hearing how this artist on the crew change this person's perspective or or how people were feeling lovely or lost their retired medium and sudden sounds and they found selection you know, like those are the stories that like may make us feel like what we're doing is real and I know that even though things get self s and points like we have a bigger purpose is bigger than me it's not about about me or anybody on the fruits it's it's there's a bigger responsibility so I think like just being the voice for the people so yeah, I mean in terms of stories specifically, um yeah, I mean, just being able to go like the radio I keep talking about the radio show but it's like crazy to think that it started from my grandmother is then two k beach to rinse a foam to red bull to be like that in itself is an amazing progression and to think about like, how far we've you know, like, since two thousand thirteen I remember we had this like, crazy like experience with genuine we got invited tio like playing music and like we were supposed to report some stuff with him but he kind of like I was busy going to some stuff in his life, but from that point on, you know the following week like we got asked to curate like a stage like in the campgrounds cello and I was able to get some of the guys open at the maine state from that point on we just kind of end, but you just never looked back and then we got our first month we and after that that was always like bringing in artists and getting that recognition started going on tours we pretty much been on every continent and over hundreds of countries like since the last two years. So I think that in itself, you know now, like our office is right across the street from stone's throw like the label that I conspired me, madam, was our next door neighbor like, you know, it's like people that I know what you still work with jay do is like, those are all my peers so now it's, like we're like shoulder to shoulder with these people and it's very like motivating to know that and it keeps me grounded to keep going one thing I want to talk about you want from literally like soundcloud to be can you talk about like that transition and like the highlights and challenges having your showgirl from just like your own personal sound thought all the way is definitely a challenge because you know apple it's like they're such a it's their corporate and like you know, the higher ups versus the creatives it's like it's like a war all the time so they brought me in for what I do so they want me in my hope it's always even with like dealing with major labels and publishing corporate people it's like if you want us to do what we do then you're not allowed to have one thousand percent creativity we're not going to get to you you're going to get so that's always been the moat otherwise we just gave a movement is always going to be somebody that comes along or we just do it ourselves invest in ourselves make our own money so it's like we don't really need anybody to be honest, nobody partisan nowadays nobody needs these them but in terms of you know like yeah like this I'd like for instance it was a big deal because the show there are clean now and a lot of people were complaining about how there's no cursing you know because I was just going on south but obviously it's like free format so I would say whatever I want if I wanted the interview last hour twenty minutes last hour twenty minutes like that's what it was but here they you know because it's sze broadcasted in one hundred countries like there's people who don't who are unaware and may not be as into what we do is as we are so we got to keep it progressive to the point so it's really taught me to be be more direct and also I've never worked with producers on my show like I have two producers that help me program the show so they make sure my speaking the editing I used to do everything on my own I used to corn ammon edit on my home do every single thing and it's amazing now like you like chill and allow somebody else to step in professionals edit the show oh I got to do is come in find the music interview and I walk out so there's definitely probably but just having that platform it has changed a lot for us you know even in terms if I want to get you know I want to get any artist it's not that hard to get them on the show so in the next life three, four months I hope to really step up our I guess you know get the temple wins the next teams get the big people that inspired the selection sound on the radio show I think you kind of talked about this is like the corporate structure is kind of why you know collective like selection form like they're trying to find their own place instead of trying to insert themselves and what would you agree with that I just kind of made that statement but would you agree with that about court like that like women repeat that last part I think a lot of like grassroots collective kind of form because there not into the idea of having like a corporate structure and there may be there john are their top of music or their identity themselves don't fit into like a corporate structure right so they kind of formed their own collect they formed their own spaces right? Yeah would you agree that selection is kind of like it's kind of the glass roots yeah the instead of looking for a spot to fill in you guys just made you yeah, I know for sure I mean it goes back to us not wanting to depend on others to put us on we would have waited I don't know if I would have remembered way would be number forever so that was always a vegas like just not being dependent on others and yeah now because we did it on our own I think that's the best lessons when you fall on your face and you learn how to do something you learn ok that didn't work out you know you lose money whatever the situation that's the best lesson not somebody always doing it for you so yeah, I would agree one hundred percent and you know now we have options and because we've been patient you know, waken still remain independent or not so I think that's having that that upper time is that the best way to go? You know, I hate to see artists um jump into early deals you know, because I get it that they need money they need to provide for the family or whatever it is but sometimes I see so many are into premature deals and signing like a five year lease do and it could take them to hold their whole life to do five thousand you know? And then they get shout you see, all these new artists or independent just surpassed them so I think it's just about timing and like knowing your what advice would you give to someone who is like just starting like let's say this is our song club maybe not someplace maybe it's mixed cloud or you know not what you got. If you're an artist you have to have you have to sometime other new licensing way what advice would you get like a young artist who is like trying to build that space for them okay, um I was just I mean now it's a lot harder because again there's so many people on on the internet and anyone could make something right now and upload it you know in the next two minutes but it's it's how you communicate to the people that your music or your art is available so I think it's just about being consistent you know, not just being someone who have those tio whatever platt music platform but showing your personality on instagram using snapchat using everything if you want to be you want to be that person you got to realize all that we've got to find ways you know with a lot of us on selection were visual people who you know we picked up the camera so that since instagram is is a visual aesthetic platform you know like posting our photos in our day to day stuff outside of music or inside of music has been very helpful in people learning about who we are as a person people want to see that you know and the reality is there's a lot of people who still aren't on some of the people that work corporate jobs depend on spotify and apple music and pandora I don't know how to dig so you've got to be consistent platform that just because you have the next amount of followers on soundcloud doesn't mean that people are going to get the fire you are that they're going to get your information on another left you got a post on all of them be creative with it, so showing that personality, but all in all, if you have the personality, but if you know if you if your music or your heart isn't consistent quality, that doesn't matter and for some places doesn't this people who have seen who made a career just based off the personality and carrying they've got away with, even though their music isn't that good and that pops off to them. But if your music is good and your are your personalities is up there, you're going to you're going to stand out a lot more, so I would just say stays true to the sound as an artist and don't be inspired by other artists, but you know, if you hear on artist inspires, you don't start making the same beats is him or like trying to replicate that sound, keep those for yourself, but don't upload them and like and basically caught me somebody maybe take a little elements of it try to be you, even if it takes a long time. Cool, thank you so much, just a selection.

Class Description

The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.