Alan Cross

Alan Cross


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Alan Cross

Title
A professional music geek. Also broadcaster, writer, public speaker and consultant.
Bio
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 .
Website
Expertise
radio, journalism, public speaking, writing, broadcasting, music curation, radio hosting
Interests
indie rock, alternative, classic rock, music, alternative rock
Location
Toronto

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Recent Feedback

Jennifer Chavez submitted media.

You Don't Know by GL1TT3RP1SS

Alan Cross

Very interesting (and cool name, too!) Love the vibe and production. No notes from me on any of that. 

What's the plan going forward? Radio play? Streaming? Licensing and sync? All these avenues need to be explored. (A caution re: radio: Focus on satellite radio and campus stations. You might find some commercial stations willing to take a chance on a new music show, but that's a tough nut to crack.)

If there's money in the budget, put up a YouTube video, even if it's only a visualizer or lyric video. You gotta be on that platform. 

Exploit the themes you explore in this song. Make sure it gets out to as many LGBTQ+ sites as you can. You're bound to find support there.

Meanwhile, think about excising a 30-second clip for TikTok and posting something there. I can see this being a powerful song for going viral.

Good luck--and please keep making music.

Luke Cyrus Hunter submitted media.

Luke Cyrus Hunter- A Better Way by Luke Cyrus Hunter

Alan Cross

Interesting approach. This does have a similar production feel to some of the polished rock of the 80s (think Mike + the Mechanics and 80s-era Moody Blues) especially in some of the keyboard sounds. This may push the song outside the realms of some current radio formats, but I wouldn't worry too much about that. If this is what you do, then work on being the best that you can be.

Good use of found video. You gotta be on YouTube or you just don't exist. That's a face. 

As for social media support, Facebook might be the best as users tend to be older and therefore more amenable to the slight retro sound of this song. 

The best thing artist can do these days is keep writing and releasing material. Build a portfolio. Create a YouTube channel. Refer everything to that link. And interact with everyone who makes a comment.

Good luck!

Katey Gatta submitted media.

Smaller by Sleepy Jean

Alan Cross

Very sweet and wistful. The horns are an excellent production touch. This is certainly radio-ready for AAA, campus, and public radio like the CBC and NPR. If you have a good radio plugger, that's where his/her attention should be directed. Same thing for any publicist you might hire. 

Can you afford a YouTube video? Even a lyric video is better than nothing. YouTube remains the most popular streaming platform in the universe, so you have to be there.

This song is certainly a candidate for a licensing/sync deal for movies and TV. Time to make friends with some music supervisors. 

And hang in there with the pandemic. This has to end sometime and you'll be back to playing gigs. Nothing beats having an audience tell you the truth about your material in real time. 

Lemme forward this around to some people, okay?

Diana S submitted media.

Alan Cross

Very good stuff. Give me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio and I'll get this a play on the Edge in the next two weeks.

Brandon Linds submitted media.

Time (Official Audio) by Brandon Child

Alan Cross

Very nice stuff. Tough to place genre-wise, but that's okay given that genres are so blurred these days. The only thing that stands out is how the vocal was recorded--not the performance but how the vocal itself was processed. I'm not entirely sure what I'd change, but another producer might be able to give you some advice on that. 

Same thing with the overall mix. It's good, but when I turned this up loud, I THINK I could hear different ways of blending the tracks together. Then again, I'm not a producer.

This is something that should be directed (at least at first) at public, radio, community radio, and anyone who would be receptive to Jeff Buckley/Elliott Smith-style material. You should also work your social networks really hard on this in order to turn any early fans into evangelists. 

I'll give this a boost with my social networks. Hopefully this will get you some extra attention. Good luck!

Billy Preston submitted media.

Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover) by memoryfield with Robyn Cage

Alan Cross

Nice work. It's can be risky covering Bowie because of the iconic nature of so much of his music. But I think you nailed it. Good video, too. You're a photogenic bunch.

The question is "Now what?" This is a showcase for...what, exactly? That's the tricky thing with covers. They show you can play and can give an indication of how you look, but you also need to advance things with original material. What are your plans for a follow-up?

Give that a think. Meanwhile, I'll share this on my networks. That should be good for about 100,000 people.

Marian Godwin submitted media.

You Dont Know Me (Original) by Marian Godwin

Alan Cross

Very nice. No notes on songwriting, performance, or production. Well done! If you can, though, you need to throw something up on YouTube, even if it's just a lyric video or visualizer. You need to be discoverable on all platforms.

I'm not entirely sure where this fits on the spectrum of musical genres, but it should play well with fans of AAA (adult album alternative) radio formats. Public/community radio would probably be a good place to seed this, too.

But what are your plans for the future? That's a loaded question given the COVID situation, but looking further down the road, are you looking for a recording deal? Touring? Licensing and sync?

In any event, you'll need two things: (1) A larger portfolio of material (in other words, keep writing and recording) and (2) a fanbase willing to support you out of the gate (That's where social media comes in.)

Meanwhile, let me share this on my social networks. Hopefully, that'll create some traffic for you.

Casey Conner submitted media.

Bow Down by In Heat

Alan Cross

More solid stuff. Thanks for keeping me posted on new material. God knows we need more of this kind of music these days: old-school, balls-to-the-wall rock'n'roll. And when we finally get back to live shows, this track is gonna be a killer.

Keep it up--and I'll share this on my social networks. That'll get to about 100,000 people. Lemme know what else comes up. 

 

Diana S submitted media.

Alan Cross

I love a good cover, especially songs that are given a new fresh twist. And given how difficult it is to wrap your head around any TfF composition, this is really well done. 

Send me an MP3 of this one, too. I'll see if I can find a home for it somewhere. Use alan@edge.ca okay?

Ricardo Temporao submitted media.

Seducing The Naysayer by Brutus Begins

Alan Cross

Another good one. Keep building that portfolio and keep feeding fans material on a regular basis. A thought: How about posting something on TikTok in the hope that someone picks it up and it goes viral.

I'll share this, too.

Diana S submitted media.

Only You by Divine Astronaut

Alan Cross

Nice job. It's always a challenge to take on such an iconic song giving it a new spin while retaining its classic essence. You've done it. You can quote me on that, too.

Personally, I'm a fan of turning uptempo tracks into chill-out pieces. This belongs on any number of playlists for relaxing, working from home, and meditation. It might even be a candidate for going viral on TikTok. You might want to seed a 30-second video there, too.

Speaking of videos, though, you should have something for YouTube, even if it's just a visualizer. So many people discover music through that platform.

No further notes from me. Let me plug this on my social networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people. 

Diana S submitted media.

Alan Cross

Funny, but I just spoke to David the other day. Good choice for someone to mix a track like this. 

I like this. We need more fierce female-fronted stuff these days.

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and I'll get this a feature play on The Edge. Send it to alan@edge.ca. 

Brent Lunney submitted media.

Alan Cross

Very nice stuff. If you were to change up the drum sound a bit, this wouldn't have been out of place on certain types of radio in the middle 80s. Same vibe, same theme, same chord structure. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Simple but effective video, too. You need to be on YouTube with ANYTHING because that's where so many people discover new music.

So what's next? A shot at radio play? You'll have a better chance of that if you're signed to a deal and you've got someone plugging your stuff. This isn't to say that this song isn't radio-friendly--it most certainly is--but the competition is fierce.

There's an incredible amount of music coming out right now because so much has been made during the pandemic. Spotify is seeing uploads of 60,000 new tracks A DAY. The biggest hurdle you have to face is how to get past all the noise.

A suggestion: Carve out a 30-second piece of the song for TikTok. The track strikes me a something that would work well on that platform. And if it takes off...

Meanwhile, keep working your social media channels. You want any new fans to become evangelists. And make friends with as many bloggers as you can. They all want to take credit for discovering the Next Big Thing.

Good luck! And let me share this on my networks.

Erin Dobbin submitted media.

Born Inside a Microphone by Escape Goat

Alan Cross

I like it. And thank you for not over-compressing the final product like the Chili Peppers tend to do. You let the recording breathe instead of squishing it into an over-loud mess.

Love the cover art, too. People have forgotten that fans like stories like this. Good job. 

Overall, the song works well as a way of introducing yourself to the world. Try to get this to as many blogs as you possibly can. Build up a social media following and--hopefully soon--play as many gigs as you can. Songs like these will evolve quickly when you have a live audience in front of you telling the truth in real time.

In time, you may get a chance to re-record this in a big studio with an experienced producer. I can hear a few things that I'd do to thicken certain aspects of the arrangement which would make it radio-ready.

Meanwhile, though, plug, plug, plug. Work your social media accounts. Respond to all comments. Turn early fans into evangelists. 

I here potential. You guys can do it. Meanwhile, let me share this on my social media networks.

natalie bancroft submitted media.

Alan Cross

This is lovely. A beautiful film, too. Well done.

The art aspect of this work is undeniable. The question is: Where will it live? Two points: (1) The language barrier; and (2) The nature of the music of itself and where it fits within today's mainstream ecosystem. It may find love with progressive classical stations or perhaps on public radio, but beyond that...

It's all very cinematic and mature, which makes it difficult to slot. You'll have to find a musical or audio-visual niche for the song and the video. For example, is this something that might best be pitched to composers of film scores or music supervisors? Maybe. Is this a short film that might find a spot opening for film festival movies? Recruitment for dance schools? 

Whatever you do, keep writing and composing. Build that portfolio. Keep releasing material. Pay attention to any comments you receive. Build on your experiences.

I'll share this why my social networks. Stand by.

Joshua Abernathy submitted media.

Alan Cross

Nice stuff, but it's hard to gauge things from just these snippets. Of what I hear, though, I really like "Prison Bed."

Love the idea behind this. Good luck--and keep me posted. 

Jeremy Harris submitted media.

The Anemone's Enemy by Tough Stains

Alan Cross

This definitely has a late 70s/early 80s techno-pop vibe. And it's a bit...odd. Not that there's anything wrong with this. Classify this as "experimental pop" that will have niche appeal.

What's the audience for this? Who do you hope to reach with your music? Or is it just a father-son bonding exercise? 

Whatever the case, it's all about experimenting, creating, growing, and trying new things. You won't hit it out of the park with each song, but you'll learn something new every time. Meanwhile, set everything free online and see where it goes. You never know, right?

Wyatt Strassner submitted media.

Diamond Dust by Bahada

Alan Cross

I like this. Trippy, psych-y stuff with a touch of lo-fi. Good melodic progression, too. I wonder what an outside producer might bring to the party in terms of the arrangement and effects? That's not a criticism, but it is something to think about. Often you're too close to the music to really hear what else it could be. An outside pair of ears can work wonders.

I like the idea of releasing a song per month. The best artists are constantly creating, growing, experimenting. 

That's the kind of thing that can perhaps start some organic growth in your fanbase. You'll need to promote this project like crazy via every social media channel you can use. Remember that right now, no one is waiting for you to deliver music. You need to grab their attention, keep it, and get them to spread the word on what you're doing. You need to deliver as big an audience on social media as you can. Invite people into the tent.

At the same time, going viral takes time. It's a slow process. Don't expect something to happen suddenly. You're in this for the long right, right?

Good luck. Keep me posted.

But keep your mind on what should happen next. An album? An attempt at a record deal?

Boris Buhot submitted media.

Cast Away by One Eyed Oracle

Alan Cross

Okay, the accordion off the top wasn't what I expected. But once things got going, I got into the song. (The accordion was the first instrument I learned to play, so...) 

I'd classify this song as an album track or a bonus track on a single. It's something that shows the breadth of your songwriting abilities and how you're willing to experiment with different sounds, arrangements, and instrumentation. I can't see it as a standalone single, though. It's just too different, you know?

submitted media.

BRIGITTE PACE- SAD EYES- ( Official Music Video) by Brigitte Pace Ecap Production

Alan Cross

Nice stuff. This is the same lane as what Nadine Shah is doing in the UK (that's a good thing, by the way). 

1. Good video. It shows you don't have to spend a lot of money to create something artistic and effective.

2. I like the chorus hook. Solid. Anthemic. Production is solid, too. The addition of horns is inspired. The only thing I would have liked to hear was another 8-12 bars of the guitar solo at the end.

3. If you had to slot this into a genre, what would it be? You straddle several (a good thing) which could be used to your advantage.

4. On a similar note, what sort of radio station format does this fit? It's certainly good for AAA, but because it feels non-genre specific, you might be able to pitch AC radio, too. And you should certainly look at CBC Radio 2.

5. What about sync and licensing? I could see this working both in TV/movies and as a product tie-in.

6. Here's a thought: Carve out 30 seconds of the chorus and put that up on TikTok. Maybe someone will decide to use it in one of their videos. That's like GOLD right now.

Excellent work. Let me post this on my social networks. That's good for at least 100,000 people.

Gianni Bodo submitted media.

Alan Cross

I was wondering why no one had covered this song recently. It was a massive hit back in the 80s and enough time has passed for it to be worthy of resurrection. 

Excellent performance, production, and video. I can see why the CBC is interested.

The promotional challenge is the language barrier, of course. Once you've established the single in Quebec and French-speaking pockets of Canada, it's time to focus on France and other francophone territories. I'm assuming you have a radio plugger who is helping you already.

One thing you might do is post a 30-second clip on TikTok. The platform has a massive international user base and someone might pick it up for one of their videos.

Let me circulate this on my professional and social networks. Fingers crossed! 

Nolan Jodes submitted media.

Afraid Of Everyone by The Minimum Wage

Alan Cross

Nice. There's a Future Islands sort of vibe here but with an organ (Hammond? Lowery?) instead of a straight-ahead synth. And pretty good for a social-distanced lockdown recording, too. However, it does make me wonder how this song would have taken shape had everyone been in the same room in a studio environment with an outside producer. Some real magic can happen under those circumstances. 

Another thing: Playing songs live in front of an audience that will tell you the truth about your music in real time is VERY important. Keep working on your stuff, but it won't be ready for prime time until you work it out in front of an audience over multiple gigs.

This is a good proof-of-concept but not yet a finished product. But hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?

Try to circulate this among as many people as possible to get as much feedback as you can get. 

What's the plan for this? Is this just a proof-of-concept to show what you can do when you can finally perform live? Is that even in the cards or is this just a welcome distraction from COVID?

Sharlene Atkins submitted media.

Sweet Things by BelKãmo

Alan Cross

I like this. Interesting tones and sounds. Simple, catchy hook. Cool idea for a music video, too. I don't think I've ever seen this technique used before. Clever.

What's your story? Your background? Where are you located? What are your plans for promoting the new EP? What are your goals?

Let me know through alan@alancross.ca. That'll get right to me. Meanwhile, I'll share this on my social networks, asking for more input. That'll reach about 100,000 people.

Jules Shapiro submitted media.

Run by FireBug

Alan Cross

Love that studio. And love Chris' work, too. Great choice for material like this. 

No notes from me on songwriting, performance or production. This one is ready to go. The only thing I'd encourage is some kind of video for YouTube even if it's just a lyric video. You gotta be on ALL platforms. 

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 to alan@alancross.ca along with a quick bio and I'll see if I can get this some feature radio play here in Toronto. Meanwhile, I'll share this on my social networks.

Henry Alexander submitted media.

Tell The Future by Henry Alexander

Alan Cross

Another good one. Are you managing to find any traction online or elsewhere? I know it's tough right now, but at least you have a lot of time to work on your music.

Remind me through alan@alancross.ca when this comes out and I'll see what I can do about getting you a little more feature airplay.

Ice Age submitted media.

Visons of Lust by Ice Age

Alan Cross

Interesting sound and production on this track. It took me a couple of listens to figure it out. The song reminds me of some of the puzzling, weird, thrilling stuff that I heard/played on all-night alt-rock radio in the late 80s. Are you Type O Negative or Sisters of Mercy fans by any chance? 

While I like the sound of this song, it's not really in line with the current sound of commercial alt-rock radio. If you're looking for airplay, you should look towards campus stations and as many adventurous music blogs as you can find. 

This track could lend itself to an interesting music video. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it would be interesting to see what someone could do with the song. Regardless, I'd get a lyric video up on YouTube. That's still the biggest source of music discovery right now. And you should be on EVERY streaming platform.

What about social media? You'll need to do something, even if it's just a Facebook page. Same thing with a website. I recommend using hover.com to get a proper domain name with a bunch of email accounts (I think you get five with a basic package). 

There's something happening here, but you do inhabit a niche. Now's the time to figure out how to exploit that.

Fake Magic submitted media.

Always Nice by Fake Magic

Alan Cross

This is REALLY good! Reminds me of Interpol and a few others. What's the plan going forward? 

1. Radio play? Then you'll need a plugger to get you on the desks of program directors and music directors. Meanwhile, get this out to as many campus stations as you can. 

2. A record deal? Then you'll need to have to prove you're a turn-key operation with a built-in fanbase. That means creating a social media strategy that will turn early admirers into evangelists. I'd also send this to as many music blogs that you can think of. Every one of them is looking to claim they discovered The Next Big Thing. 

3. Sync/licensing? Time to start making friends with music supervisors. 

Send a high-quality MP3 to me via alan@alancross.ca and I'll see what I can about getting some feature play on The Edge. Deal?

Frederic Winther submitted media.

Sugar In The Clouds by Nova Waves

Alan Cross

This is good. REALLY good. There's a George Harrison wooziness. And I certainly hear the Radiohead influence. I found myself turning things up about 15 seconds into the song. I wish it was longer, too. Good job with the video. The things you can do when you're in lockdown, right?

Tell you what: If you send me a high-quality MP3 I'll see if I can get this some radio airplay on 102.1 the Edge/Toronto. Use alan@edge.ca for the drop.

Carmine Stoppiello submitted media.

Vacant Winds by Creeptones

Alan Cross

Well done! This track must have been a bitch to mix with all those layers. Nice harmonies, too. I hear a touch of Squeeze in the vocals. Good restraint. None of the players are looking to overwhelm the song with flashy bits. You've obviously learned that everyone needs to serve the song and not play to impress. 

Certainly no notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production.

It's good to see what you're in contact with as many blogs as you can. I'm always encouraging new artists to make friends with bloggers because every one of them is looking to take credit for The Next Big Thing.

I'm also guessing that you've figured out a social media strategy. Answer every response to everything you post. That's how you turn early vans into evangelists. 

Is there money for a lyric video? You want to have something on YouTube simply because it's still the biggest source of music discovery out there. 

As for finding a home for this song on radio, that might be touch. It sort of falls in the gaps between genres, something that commercial radio has a hard time comprehending. I'd study what Future Islands does. They've somehow managed to carve out a nice fanbase despite almost no commercial airplay. They live on campus stations, community radio, and SiriusXM. Is that a viable route for you?

Let be spread this around my networks. That'll be good for at least 100,000 people. Good luck and keep it up!

David Nyro submitted media.

Skeleton at the Feast by David Nyro

Alan Cross

Hi, David

Generally, this is pretty good. I do feel, however, that something different could be done with the way the vocals are processed. There's a definite Peter Gabriel feel to your sound which is very interesting. I'm not sure what production tricks should be employed, but I'd experiment with ways with various types of processing to bring out more of the character of your voice. 

Songwriting, performance, and production are well done, too. I wonder what a different engineer would do with the overall mix? That's not to say there's anything wrong with what you present; it's just that I can hear options. 

And yes, that is a cool guitar solo. I like the tone. Almost Gilmour-esque.

A couple of questions:

1. What are your long-term goals? A recording contract? Live gigs (when we can get back to them)? Licensing and sync? Each requires different and specific approaches.

2. I'm not sure where you are in your career right now, but what you can always do is build a following of early fans. Labels love when you can approach them with a turn-key solution. That will require a social media strategy in which you can turn these people into evangelists. 

3. Send out links (and where applicable, MP3s and hard copies) to as many music blogs as you can think of. That includes British music magazines like Classic Rock and Mojo. That's where proggy stuff gets the most love these days--at least in print. 

4. If there's money in the budget, get something on YouTube, even if it's just a static or lyric video. YouTube is still insanely important when it comes to music discovery. Meanwhile, make sure you're on all the streaming services. You need to be there when someone discovers you. 

5. I'll forward this through my social networks. That's good for about 100,000 people.

Ellis Meek submitted media.

Night Moon by Jordan Paul

Alan Cross

First, a very cool video. Nice use of public domain footage. 

Second, great song! I'm going to download it for future feature use on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. I'll also forward it through my social networks. That'll get you to about 100,000 people. 

Marc Anderson DesRochers submitted media.

Tender Box by Marc Anderson DesRochers

Alan Cross

Ah! You showed up here, too! Good to cover all your bases.

Like I said in the email, this is really pleasant stuff. No notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production. It's all very good.

So what's the plan? A recording career augmented by live gigs? Full-time or part-time? Do you hope to license your material for sync projects? 

Canadian radio will be a tough nut to crack for this genre outside of the CBC and some community stations. Jazz-FM in Toronto might also want to give this a listen. However, don't limit yourself to this country. Try submitting material to the BBC and other foreign broadcasters. 

You'll need a social media strategy that has you answering every comment that comes in. Turn those early fans into evangelists. Give the nature of the music, I'd start with Facebook because it tends to be used by an older demo. But don't ignore Instagram or TikTok. (TikTok is the wildcard here. Interesting things are unexpectedly blowing up.)

Back to licensing. You might want to start making friends with music supervisors. Getting a song in a TV show, movie, or commercial can be a very big deal. 

Do you have a manager? You'll need someone to take care of the business side for you. Part of a manager's job is to beat the bushes with your best interests in mind. And when we get back to playing live, get an agent. This kind of music is best heard live in an intimate setting.

Any interest in signing to a label? Reach out to one every day regardless of how unlikely it might be that they'd be interested. You never EVER know. And what would be the harm in reaching out to a well-known artist or two? They're just sitting around with nothing to do, just like the rest of us. Maybe you'll make a friend.

Hope that helps. Meanwhile, I'll send this out on my social networks. Hopefully that will spur some interest.

submitted media.

Dead Planet by Down The Void

Alan Cross

Nice. Lo-fi garage metal. Makes me think of early Sabbath or bands like Killdozer. 

You didn't mention what kind of advice you'd like, so I'm just going to go ahead and offer up some ideas.

1. Make friends with as many metal blogs as you can. You know the metal community; they're always looking for new stuff. And once you find someone that likes you, they REALLY like you. Each of those metal blogs is looking to discover the next big thing.

2. You need a social media strategy that covers Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even TikTok. Make sure you answer every response that comes in. That's the way to turn early fans into evangelists. 

3. If there's money in the budget, throw something up on YouTube, even if it's just a lyric video. YouTube remains the biggest source of music discovery out there.

4. You also need to be on ALL the streaming music services. 

5. Once COVID goes away, start networking within the metal community, including promoters. People will be desperate for gigs. 

6. What are your long-term goals? A recording career? Touring? Getting something on the radio? Working full-time or part-time? Something else? 

Like I said, I'm into this kind of stuff. I'll share it on my social networks. Hopefully that will create a little buzz. Good luck!

Peter Snow submitted media.

Oh Not Tonight by The Soviet Influence

Alan Cross

Good stuff. No notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production. 

Tell you what: send me high-quality MP3 and a short bio (3 lines max) and I'll try to get this a feature on 102.1 the Edge/Toronto. Use alan@alancross.ca 

Meanwhile, I'll pass this around my social networks.

submitted media.

UNSAID by Rise In Veins

Alan Cross

Yep. This is good. We need this kind of music more than ever these days.

When it comes to promotion, you'll need a solid social media strategy. Make sure that all comments receive replies so you can turn early fans into evangelists. And if there's money in the budget, create a video for YouTube. Even a lyric video is better than nothing. And you are on all the music streaming platforms right?

Are you looking for radio airplay? Then you need a publicist/plugger to help get the right attention. Look for rock stations with new music shows and submit this.

Tell you what: Send me high quality MP3 and a short bio and I'll do what I can to get you a feature play on 102.1 the Edge. Use alan@alancross.ca. Meanwhile, let me promote this on my social networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.

Dread Fury submitted media.

Alan Cross

Interesting lofi sound. I like the choice of sounds (the organ surprised me--in a good way.) 

What's the plan now? Radio airplay? Licensing? Something else? A couple of thoughts:

1. If there's money in the budget, make a video for YouTube. Even a basic lyric video is better than nothing. YouTube is still the biggest music discovery platform on the planet. For some people, if you're not there, you don't exist.

2. I like the licensing potential of this song. It's got a vibe that would work well for moody TV shows. Time to start talking to music supervisors. Look how Michael Kiwanuka managed to leverage his music.

3. Is there a 30-portion of the song you could carve out for use on TikTok? Again, the moodiness of the track might lend itself to some sort of TikTok use. 

4. Make friends with as many music bloggers as you can. Every one of them is hoping to discover The Next Big Thing. Distribute this song far and wide.

5. You'll need a social media strategy, too. What about getting something out on Instagram? Facebook might work, too, because users tend to be older now. Older demos might be where you find the newest fans. And when you do find something responding to your music, make sure you engage them with a response.

6. Live gigs are obviously out of the question for the time being, but it's not too early to prep for the end of the pandemic lockdowns. Think about how you'd like to take this music to live audiences later this year.

Good start. Keep it up. I'll share this with people on my social networks. 

Silas Price submitted media.

Alan Cross

Damn. This is good. Great video. GREAT video. I couldn't stop watching because I wanted to see where it was all going. 

Is there something you can excise from this song for TikTok? You might have a chance at creating something organic and cool with it. 

Other that than, I have no notes. It's all good. I'll promote this on my social networks. That'll be good for at least 100,000 people. Here's hoping you get some good Patreon reaction.

Simeon Ross submitted media.

Alan Cross

Okay, this is great. Zero notes from me. In fact, I'm going to include this on my first "5 Songs You Must Hear This Week" list for 2020. That'll be up on January 5. Nice work!

submitted media.

Not Waiting by Keegan Chambers

Alan Cross

First, I love the video. Very stylish. As for the music, this is right now the same lane as some symphonic metal as well as Evanescense. Well done! No notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production. 

The trick now is to rise above the noise to get heard. That means working your social networks hard to turn all early fans into evangelists. And these days, that also includes TikTok. I'd carve out 30 seconds for use on that platform. Get enough organic growth and labels will start paying attention.

If radio airplay is in the cards, then you need a good publicist/plugger to get this in the ears of program and music directors.

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a quick bio and I'll get you a feature play on 102.1 the Edge. Deal? Use alan@alancross.ca 

Jeremy Harris submitted media.

Alan Cross

Even as a major Paul McCartney fan, I cannot forgive Macca for this travesty. Any attempt to rewrite it is welcome. I'm definitely going to post this on my website (look for it Monday, December 21) and share it on all my social networks.

Ben Andress submitted media.

hypnotic by TriTri

Alan Cross

Nice. In line with a lot of music that's coming out today, including length. Material in this genre is getting shorter and shorter, so a two-minute song isn't a bad idea.

Now that you've got the EP coming out, what's your social media strategy? You'll need to turn early fans into evangelists. But how? Instagram will be your friend, but you gotta get something up on TikTok. Get some buddies to do a 30-second video of them doing...something to your song. Post them, promote them, and pray that it takes off.

Read this: https://www.ajournalofmusicalthings.com/tiktoks-year-end-review-reveals-some-big-numbers/

You need to get some grassroots/organic traction outside the usual recording music industry lanes. The online route really needs to be studied. Good luck!

margø submitted media.

someone else by margø

Alan Cross

I like this. Another good one from you. But I kept waiting for a big anthemic chorus--and it never came. The song is littered with hooks but not the ONE BIG HOOK that will turn it into an earworm. That's where the chorus comes in--and it doesn't appear.

If you could rework this to include that anthemic singalong section, you've got a hit.

Jeremy Harris submitted media.

Faeces Foot by Tough Stains

Alan Cross

Love the name. And father-son? Cool! 

I'm not sure what I can do with this, but leave it with me. I'll figure it out. I'll also share this on my social networks.

Pete Henry submitted media.

Best of Me by Pete Henry

Alan Cross

Nice tight song. I'm guessing that this is a home recording, too, done live to tape. The rawness is good but it could still use a little sheen when it comes to the final mix. Not much, but I'd prefer a tiny bit more high-end with the master just to give it a little more sparkle.

So what's next? 

1. How are you going to promote this in a time when you can't play live.
2. Is radio or a record deal in the plans? If so, you'll need to demonstrate that you have a fanbase that will work as evangelists for you. And you'll need a plugged to help you out.
3. You need to be on every single streaming service out there.

Good job overall. I'll share this with people on my networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 folks.

submitted media.

Alan Cross

This is really nice. Melodic, well-constructed, and performed with skill. Good job mixing this song, too. That couldn't have been an easy track to mix, either. No notes from me on any of that. This is a radio-ready song.

Is there money in the budget for a video? Even a lyric video is better than nothing. You need to be on YouTube because that's where so many people still discover music. 

How are you spreading the word about what you do? Social media? (TikTok might be a very good option.) 

I'll be interested to hear the rest of your stuff. Please keep me posted through alan@edge.ca. 

Eamonn Conor submitted media.

Dig Deeper by Eamonn Conor

Alan Cross

Solid contemporary pop/hot AC. Nothing from me on songwriting, performance, or production. I have some connections with the Canadian radio industry, so let me pass this one. Meanwhile, I'll also offer this up to my social networks. That's good for about 100,000 people.

David Nyro submitted media.

Sanctuary by David Nyro

Alan Cross

I like this. It's aimed at a mature music fan who is still into acts like Warren Zevon, John Hiatt, Randy Newman, Cat Stevens, etc. Yes, it has a nostalgic feel, but it doesn't come across as dated. The vocals south authentic, human, and without that stupid sheen of perfection so much of today's music has. 

The only thing I'd recommend is offering a radio edit. At six minutes, this will be a bit long for some programmers.

In short, I think you have something here. It's now time to start getting the word out on what you're doing. That includes getting something on YouTube, even if it's just a lyric video. Over 2 billion people watch music videos on YouTube every month. You need to be there.

Targeted Facebook ads are a great idea, too. Narrow things down by demo. Find some people to give you endorsement blurbs, too. They help.

Good luck!

Jonathan Sohn submitted media.

Murder by The Mendozaz

Alan Cross

This is good! My favourite kind of stuff. Tell you what: send a high-quality MP3 to alan@edge.ca and I'll see what I can do about giving this a feature play on The Edge. Deal?

Wax Theatrics submitted media.

Alan Cross

I like it. Shades of Ben Folds and even a little Talk Talk and Todd Rundgren. Nicely anthemic. too. Good video as well. 

Tell you what: If you send a high-quality MP3 to alan@alancross.ca (along with a three-line bio), I'll see if I can get this some feature play on 102.1 the Edge/Toronto.