- A professional music geek. Also broadcaster, writer, public speaker and consultant.
Alan Cross is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock and is a respected also known as a musicologist and documentarian. He’s written four books, works as a public speaker, has a national newspaper column in Canada and co-hosts a weekly podcast called Geeks & Beats. He also serves as head of Canadian Curation for Songza. Alan has been deeply involved exploring the present and future relationships between music, technology and social networking. More information can be found at www.ajournalofmusicalthings.com .
- radio, journalism, public speaking, writing, broadcasting, music curation, radio hosting
- indie rock, alternative, classic rock, music, alternative rock
Very nice! Good songwriting, performance, and production. Maybe not a hit single in today's environment, but definitely something for someone. If you're looking for a social media presence, let me share this with my networks. That's good for about 100,000 people. Meanwhile, get this loaded to TikTok and maybe seed it with one or two videos of your own. TikTok has become a massive way to break music. And it's free!
I like it. Nice and tight, solid rhythm section, plenty of punk rock "whoaoos." Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting you a feature play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. Use firstname.lastname@example.org for fastest service.
Nice. Sophisticated in sound and presentation. Good production, too. Where might you see this fit in the music world? Most would probably classify this as adult contemporary with a twist. If you're looking for radio play, those are the stations that would be most amenable to your sound--but only after you've acquired a track record. I'd certainly look at targeting public radio first. And don't forget to get this out to as many blogs as possible. There's always a blogger out there hoping to discover the Next Big Thing. I'll share this around my networks. Good luck--and keep writing.
The Faroe Islands? Cool! I don't hear of a lot of acts from that part of the planet. Here's my only criticism of the song: It's too short! I found myself enjoying it so much that I was disappointed when it ended. Seriously. Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll do what I can to get the song some feature radio play here in Toronto. Use email@example.com
First, a lovely video. Second, a good song. No notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production. Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting a feature play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. We have plenty of Buffalo listeners. Use firstname.lastname@example.org for fastest service.
Your stuff is so solid. Have you approached a label? Has one approached you? Do you have a manager/agent? Jeezus, man, compared to the stuff that's being pitched to radio these days, this is so much better. What can we do? How can I help? Send me another MP3 and I'll get it a feature.
Cool! I like dark, edgy instrumental tracks. This one is interesting because of its two distinct movements. I can see this finding love in two places: (a) clubs that need to set a dark, intense vibe early in the night and (more importantly) (b) in a soundtrack or as part of a score. With point (b) in mind, I might start making friends with music supervisors and directors/producers of small independent films. Another option is to send a portfolio around to ad agencies that are always looking for music for various projects. Last option? Check out a site like iStock.com. While you're waiting for your musical ship to come in, perhaps you can make some money creating stock music for people around the world. It might be a good way to get noticed. Good luck!
This is interesting! It's almost got a show-tune feeling at the beginning. Very theatrical in its presentation and performance. And yeah, this is a big noise for just three people. Tell you what: When this is ready for release, send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll get you some feature play on The Edge/Toronto. Use email@example.com for fastest service.
Slightly symphonic metal. It's good. I'm old enough to remember the early 80s when this sort of sound was all over the place. It's nice to see it back. With your experience, you obviously don't need any advice from me. Instead, I'll forward this to some important contacts and share it with my social media networks. That should reach about 100,000 people. And if you want to send me a high-quality MP3, I'll see if I can get this some feature radio airplay. Use firstname.lastname@example.org for fastest service. Good luck!
This is good. God knows we need more aggressive guitar music these days. Cool concept for a video, too! Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio and let me see what I can do about getting some kind of airplay or online feature with 102.1 the Edge/Toronto and Corus Radio. Use email@example.com for fastest service.
I like it. Simple yet dark, threatening, and powerful. Not exactly radio material but this could live in alt-rock dance clubs and possibly be used for sync and licensing opportunities. I'd gather together more of this material and start making friends with both club DJs and music supervisors. If you do get comments on this YouTube video, make sure you follow up with those people so they'll grow into fans.
Filmed in Wuhan? How did you manage that? Great video, too. Nice effects. And where did you get the shark? At a Wuhan wet market? Brave. Nice dirty blues here with your own spin on things to make it more modern. Good job. This should be able to find an audience with rock fans if you're diligent about promoting it through social media including TikTok. That platform has turned into a monster and you never, ever know what's going to go viral with it. Meanwhile, maintain good relations with your fanbase by answering every comment you get on all your platforms. I'll do my best to spread the word with my network. I'll do some sharing which will be good for about 100,000 people. Keep in touch.
Definitely a good song with a long, slow grind. A bit 90s in its sound (which is cool). Nice video, too. I'm not sure if this is a single, though, because it lacks a big, soaring hook that people can sing along to. But as an album track, it works great. Keep writing and releasing material. To build your fanbase, you need to be issuing stuff on a regular basis. This is a long, long marathon and not a sprint. Again, good stuff. Keep me posted on future releases.
I love noisy stuff like this. The trashier the better. And here's hoping you'll do your part in bringing guitar rock back. If there's money in the budget, come up with a YouTube video, even if it's just a lyric thing. That's really important. Meanwhile, send me a high-quality MP3 and I'll see what I can do about getting this track featured on The Edge. I'll need a three-line bio, too. Use firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, love the name of the group. Nice job with the lyric video, too. Having one of those things is very important because YouTube is still the biggest source of music discovery anywhere. It's a good song, but I'd consider this to be an album track and not a home-run single. That being said, it would be interesting to hear what another producer might do with the arrangement. He/she might even shorten the song by about 30 seconds to make it a little more radio-ready. If I were that producer, I'd look into toughening up parts of the song with more guitar and vocal distortion. The song sounds like it's about to reach a big emotional crescendo (big, loud) but then pulls back into something more sedate. I'll have to listen a few more times to see if that instinctive anticipation for greater tension goes away. Good job, though. Keep writing and releasing material. Work on building a fanbase. And remember that you're in this for the long run. It's not a sprint.
Nice work. And you're right: this doesn't fit neatly into any defined genre. Alt-pop and alt-dance might be the closest. But labels aren't necessary if a song is strong. Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 with a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting this a spin on 102.1 The Edge. Use email@example.com ,okay?
Interesting piece of electronic experimentation, but not exactly commercially viable. This is the beginning of something that needs to be turned into something a little more accessible. My advise is to keep working on your vision and sound. Something will eventually become clear.
Mike Shinoda? Seriously? How did you manage that? Cool! Great stuff. Jakob Dylan should be writing stuff like this. Send a high-quality MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org (along with a three-line bio) and I'll get you some feature radio play in Canada.
I completely understand why you send the entire album. It's best enjoyed as a whole and not as individual tracks. I had it one while I was doing some writing and found it to be super relaxing. And every once in a while, something would come up where I just had to stop and listen. Very well done. The next time I listen, it'll be late at night in the dark. I imagine it will sound even better. Looking forward to the other two-thirds of the trilogy. Let me circulate this amongst my network and socials. That should give you some very good reach.
Love the slow build and the chord structure. There are so many movie theme elements here it's scary (and I mean that in a good way--it's almost Bond-like.) Super production! Great video, too. Please keep me posted as we get closer to the release date, okay?
interesting. When the song began, I was expecting something in an Alice in Chains vein. The surprise was to move off into something slightly avant-garde-ish that isn't terrible too far removed from Tool (if they were to get mellow). Now some questions: Where do you believe that something like this could live? Is it part of a larger project that requires the context of an album? Are you looking to reach a segment of the math-rock crowd? In short, what do you envision the market for this to be? That being said, you should ALWAYS follow your creative instincts. If success and money follow, great. But if not, then you have to be okay with that. This piece offers a showcase of your abilities and your headspace. Maybe it be can be used to attract like-minded musicians who will want to collaborate on something even grander. Keep working on new music. Never stop.
Good work. Tell you what: Send me a high quality MP3 and I'll see what I can do about getting you a feature play on 102.1/GThe Edge Toronto. I will also need a three-line bio. Use email@example.com
Interesting project. Stevie seems to be experiencing some kind of renaissance right now, so your timing might be bang-on. Keep me posted as you get closer to the release date for the EP. Perhaps there's something we can do once it's out.
This is another good one. Nice stretching of your style. And you're right about the MGMT-ness of your production. Keep hammering away at getting on those playlists. Have you got yourself a radio plugger yet? What about a manager? Or a publicist. It's probably time to think about those sorts of things. In fact, if you're looking for a publicist, I have someone I can recommend. Just hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll connect you. Meanwhile, keep dribbling out product on a regular basis for your fanbase. Remember, too, that you need to play the long game. It's gotta be about the music first before any money can come along. I'll spread this around through my usual outlets.
I like it. Good production with some unexpected and surprising twists in the arrangement. 1. I'd strongly suggest you submit this to SiriusXM, including the XMU and The Verge channels. They're all over this kind of sound. And the CBC (Radio 3 for sure) as well as any campus station you can find. 2. Carve out 30 seconds for TikTok. Someone might pick this up for...something and cause it to blow up big. You never know right now. 3. Keep contacting as many music blogs as you can. They're all looking to discover something new. That includes FYIMusic.ca. They're a great champion for new indie stuff. 4. Follow up on any and all social media reactions. That's an excellent way to convert people into fans, even if it is one at a time. I'll forward this to some of my contacts to see what they say. Good luck.
Good bit of Americana. Nice work with songwriting, performance, and production. Good video, too. Where did you find a Javelin in that kind of shape? (That IS a Javelin, right? Or is it some kind of Chrysler/Dodge?) This is the sort of music that spreads fastest through live performance. That's obviously very challenging but not entirely impossible right now. Do what you can. Meanwhile, you might want to consider a radio plugger to help you get this to the right people at the CBC, SiriusXM, and campus radio. It could also find so life on commercial radio--country, maybe?--that given the Canadian radio landscape, that may be a bit of a stretch. Still... Keep in mind that any musician today is in it for the long haul. Keep dribbling out new material to your fans on a regular basis. (Hip-hop artists have this figured out.) Keep pushing things on social media. (Don't forget TikTok!) I'll share this with the people I know. Good luck!
Nice. Definitely a Wallflowers sort of feel along with the Replacements. Good to hear some old-school emphasis on guitars. The question is now where do you go from here? Now it's time to market yourself. That's where the challenges come in. The old ways--getting signed, selling records--aren't terribly viable anymore UNLESS you have numbers to back you up. How many gigs have you played? What's your social media followers count across ALL platforms (including TikTok)? What are your streaming numbers (including YouTube)? One of the things I'd do is look at a platform called Viberate (www.viberate.com) which helps you track your music across multiple platforms in multiple ways. It helps musicians such as yourself nurture and plan careers, right down to individual songs. Second, radio airplay outside of campus radio could be tough as playlists seem to be tighter than ever. However, don't ignore the CBC and The Verge on SiriusXM, either. Finally, submit your stuff to as many blogs as you can. Every one of them wants to get credit for discovering the next big thing. I'll share this with my networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.
I like it! Nice pop-punk with a distinctive vocal delivery. Tell you what: If you send me a high-quality MP3, I might be able to use it for a radio feature here in Toronto. I'll need a three-line bio, too. Send it to email@example.com
Very interesting. I like the wooziness of it all and the tempo changes. And I couldn't stop watching the video for some reason. Where do you see a track like this going? It's hard to classify it as radio-friendly except for perhaps speciality shows on stations like BBC Radio 6 and maybe NPR in the US. I see it more as a proof-of-concept, an introduction to what you can do and where you're at musically. That will mean gauging reaction (and providing reponses to) social media feedback. It might be worth floating this past music supervisors for use in film and TV. You never know what they might need. The other thing I'll do is offer this up on my social networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.
This is cool! Phantogram-y. I like the darkness of the instrumentation, too. Nice job with the video, too. You've certainly got me curious about the rest of the album. Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting you some feature play here in Toronto. Use firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, I'll share it with my networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.
This is REALLY good. Nice work with songwriting, performance, and production. Wonderfully atmospheric. I hope you're considering how you might licensing this for some kind of sync opportunity. I can see this working well in film or TV. Tell you what: If you send me a high-quality MP3 after the album gets released, I'll see what I can do about getting you a radio play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. Use email@example.com. Oh--and send me a three-line bio so I can talk about you.
Nice. I like it. Good songwriting, performance, and production. I definitely hear the Smiths influence in the vocals, lyrics, and jangly guitars. No notes from me in this area. And I'm glad to see that you've embraced both TikTok and Instagram. Those are places where you'll have the best luck picking up social media traction. And make sure you respond to each and every comment that comes in. It's all about converting people into fans one person at a time. If you send me a high-quality MP3, I can see about getting you some feature radio play here in Toronto. I'll need a 3-line bio, too. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org I'll share this on my social networks, too. That's good for about 100,000 people.
Very nice. Smooth, atmospheric, and soothing. I can see this doing well in certain corners of the EDM world. It also has wide international appeal, which is more important than ever today. The goal now is to spread the word on the track. I'd concentrate on getting this song to as many DJs as possible using DJ pools and blogs. Another thought would be to team up with well-known DJs for multiple remixes. This song could easily be reshaped into different forms for different purposes. And I'm sure you're already thinking about ways to spread this throughout the yoga world. You no doubt have plenty of contacts. Make sure they know about the song for their classes. Well done. Let me spread this among my social networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.
Boy, do I get the anxiety thing. I think we all do. Good one. I'd start with offering this song to a variety of mental health agencies and organizations. Like the end cards say, the message is more important than the content. Another option: posting to TikTok. This is the kind of thing that that might get picked up and used organically by the TikTok base. It might also find new life on Instagram for the very same reason. Keep working on new material and keep releasing it. Follow up with any positive feedback. Build that fanbase one person at a time. Good luck!
You're right when considering a sync, licensing, or scoring opportunity. If you have a portfolio/reel of similar material, I'd create a list of agencies and production houses, find the person(s) in charge of audio creative and contact them. Such material isn't just for TV and movies. There are thousands of corporate and otherwise private videos shot every year that require bespoke music of all sorts. Another option is to investigate Shutterstock, iStock, Pond5, and other stock music suppliers. They're ALWAYS looking for material that they can license. Finally, do you have an agent/manager? If so, get them on the case. You've got the ability. The next step is to get people to hear your stuff.
Love the name "Incendiary Sweet!" Nicely done. Good songwriting and performance. I might have done the final mix a little differently--it sounds a bit too compressed for me--but it's a lovely song. Some tips: 1. You have to be in this for the long run. Nothing's going to happen overnight. Instead, work on building your fanbase one person at a time. This means having a strong social media strategy and responding to everyone who makes a comment on your tunes. 2. Think about posting a couple of 30-second clips on TikTok. If the stars align, someone will pick it up for...something and it'll go viral. 3. Playing live will be important. Easier said than done, I know, but things are starting to pick up. You'll get your shot. If you don't have an agent or a manager, now is the time to start looking. 4. Keep writing and releasing songs. The most effective strategy these days seems to be a constant drip-drip-drip of new material to keep fans engaged. The idea of saving everything up for an album seems passe in the digital era. 5. Consider a lyric video. You need to be on all the streaming services, including YouTube. 6. Start making friends with music supervisors. Maybe something like this could be placed in a TV show or film. 7. Once you have all your ducks in a row, consider a radio plugger to help you get your songs in front of the right people. Hope that helps! Good luck.
Another good one, although obviously more poppy. There's a definite late 70s vibe to everything, largely because of the string arrangement. (Real disco c. 1979). I'd consider using this as a B-side or bonus rather than a single because of its retro feel. Then again, this might work well in territories other than North America. I could hear this on BBC 6 Music or on radio in France. You might be able to extend your international reach with this one.
Very pleasant and uplifting! Good songwriting, performance, and production. Nothing much from me on those points. Something like this could easily live on a number of SiriusXM channels, so make sure you submit everything to them. It's also something that music supervisors might consider for use in TV and film. Finally, I'd really consider carving out a couple of 30-second bits for posting on TikTok. Something like this could turn into some sort of wonderful organic thing if it's picked up and spread. You could even do something yourself.
Well done! I like the vibe, performance, and production. Powerful message. Good video, too. A song like this could fit in any number of places: alt-pop, R&B, AAA, even jazz to a certain respect. You'll certainly need a plugger of some sort who can target all these different opportunities. You should also let various refugee organizations know that the song exists. You'll need a social media strategy to both spread the word on the song and the message. I'd target Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for your posts. Remember, too, that you're in this for the long run. It could take weeks or even months before the song finds traction somewhere. Don't be discouraged if things don't pop right away. Instead, keep writing and releasing material on a regular basis. That's the way it's being done these days: A regular drip-drip-drip of new material for fans. Keep them engaged! Good luck! I'll share this with my networks, which is about 120,000 people.
Pleasant stuff. A couple of thoughts: 1. This version of the recording seems to lack some high-end sparkle in the mix, resulting in a slight dulled impression (at least to my ears). 2. Same with the vocals. They sound a bit dry somehow. The singer has a great voice and delivery, but I'm not sure she comes through enough. 3. You're competing in a genre that's quite crowded with similar-sounding songs. (This would fit nicely in a category that some called "yacht rock.") You're going to have to fight to make yourself heard through all the noise. That might involve taking a 30 clip to TikTok to see if it has any possibility of turning viral. It's a struggle to get heard these days. Songs need to be absolutely GREAT to have a chance. To cut through. I'm not sure that what you've got here is enough to attract that critical mass of attention.