Benjamin Groff

Benjamin Groff

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Benjamin Groff

Music Publisher / Label (25 Years in Developing Talent - Signed: Ryan Tedder, Greg Kurstin, SOPHIE, Grimes, The Lumineers, Savan Kotecha etc)
Hey there!  My name is Benjamin Groff and I'm the guy behind We Are: The Guard ( and the music publishing company Brill Building (  Feel free to check out a complete list of my signings here
I also have 2 courses, with over 100 video modules, released on (the "Insider Secrets of Hit Songwriting" and another called "The Release Blueprint - Music Marketing Strategies" - which gives you a real plan to release your music. Check them out here:

I'm proud to have signed over the years, some of my all time favorite artists and writer/producers ranging from: The Lumineers, Ryan Tedder/One Republic, Grimes, SOPHIE, Greg Kurstin, Savan Kotecha, Kelly Clarkson, Cut Copy, Peaches, Nosaj Thing, TOKiMONSTA, DENM, Ariel Rechtshaid, Big Freedia, Chairlift, Overcoats, Lindy Robbins, Cut Copy, etc.  

Additionally, I'm behind the We Are: The Guard music influencer and blog the best new indie, alternative pop, alt chill and more.

Submissions to my Fluence page will receive a thorough and honest review / critique.

Additionally, 20% of our submissions have gone on to make it to being We Are: The Guard posts.  Despite the hourly rate, most submissions cost less than about $15 to review, depending how much feedback we provide.

Looking forward to hearing your latest.  All proceeds go back into help run We Are: The Guard with server costs, writers, A&R, and my Friday night pizza.


Benjamin (1,000 Unique Daily Visits) 
Soundcloud: (3,300 Followers)
YouTube: (7,000 + Followers)
Twitter: (10,600 Followers)
Facebook (20,000 + Fans)
artist management, music industry, record label, music promotion, artist and creative talent relations, music production, record labels, emerging artists, songwriting, music publishing, music production / mastering, music writing / blogging, promoting artists, promoting music, publishing, music blogging, artist development
indie rock, alternative, indie pop, electro, rock, electronic, classic rock, indie, singer/songwriter, edm, pop, alternative rock, dubstep, indie folk, electro pop, chillout, chillwave, alternative folk, chillstep, downbeat / electro-acoustic, indietronica, indie electronic, melodic dubstep
Los Angeles, CA

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Recent Feedback

Odessa Steps submitted media.

Run So Far by Odessa Steps

Benjamin Groff

Hey Odessa Steps - really like this tune!  Rock / indie rock is a favorite lane for me but there aren't too many people making the vibe, great songs and a strong vocal / production.  So definitely has my attention.  Can you let me know when it's out?  Best way to reach me is through the Contact tab on my website at  I could add it to our We Are: The Guard best of the week playlist.  Super solid!  

submitted media.

What Can I Do? by Ten Minute Detour

Benjamin Groff

Hey Ten Minute Detour - thanks for the submission.  Nice project name!  I liked the guitar solo up front - tasteful.  Also really big chorus.  Vocals are impressive too - recording etc.  If there's one suggest I have (especially for anything "band" oriented i.e. rock, indie, singer/songwriter would be to have a riff or what I call a "2nd melody" or some people call it a producers hook.  The idea here is instead of having "chords" to create a melody that outlines the harmony with other instruments that is also copyrightable.  This creates a "conversation" with your lead vocal and all most (in my opinion) of the biggest songs often have this.  There's more on this here if you really want to dive in on this article.  Overall this is a really strong tune - not sure if it fits into the lane I'm working on - but really solid! There's also a free book on my website which has tons of advice for promoting and DIY releasing as I know it is something you mentioned you wanted some comments on.  I think finding similar artists of yours that are getting DIY / UGC playlisting on Spotify and reaching out to those UGC playlists might be a smart idea.   Hope it's helpful! 

michael matthys submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey MIchael - so sorry for the delay in feedback - it's been busy!  First of all - this is really strong!  I read your note as far as getting this song to radio - and really - we need to lay the groundwork first.  Radio comes last usually in the process...and you want to see the right 'indicators' saying "Yes" - we're on to something. For instance, streaming, social media metrics, playlisting, blog write ups (those still help), live show etc...generally it's expensive to take something to radio (really expensive) so having these elements first together - helps someone making that decision pull the trigger.  So lots to go before getting there in my opinion.  As a bonus I wrote a whole book on this that you can get for free here:  

I listened a second time (don't worry that doesn't charge you extra), and really think it's strong.  I feel if anything it could level up in the production and mix.  Like it sounds / feels early CHVRCHES vibe but what is the competitive sound in 2024 ... which is the year you kind of have to shoot for.  

I'll look out for more music!

Kimberly Smith-Weston submitted media.

Mastered by OCEAN (Take Me Far)

Benjamin Groff

Hey and thanks for the submission.  I really liked the song and the vocals here.  I think the production here sounds like it could be improved.  It's good but I think the kick drum / patch used for that sounds retro - but maybe not in a cool way, if that was the intension?  Like I would probably go more extreme on that - like maybe going something more in the Prince lane with those types of drums.  So, I think something that could be looked at Kymistry, if you produced this is could you take something 70% of the way and find a 30% finisher to make it sound like it not only could compete with anything released today but is ahead of the curve - ideally by 6-12 months.  As far as promotion and helping promote - as a bonus, I have a 5 star rated Amazon book here that is all about that - which you can get for FREE : )  You can get the PDF and it's all about flipping the script on the labels and how to create your own fire.  Hope it's helpful! Benjamin. 

Nathan Colberg submitted media.

Gold by Nathan Colberg

Benjamin Groff

Hey Nathan - thanks for the submission. It's rare that I get a song, production, everything that really is a solid all the way around.  I'll also check out your other stuff.  Just added to our Best of Weekly Indie playlist here on Spotify.  

Henry Alexander submitted media.

That's What I Like by Henry Alexander

Benjamin Groff

Hey Henry - thanks for the submission - good stuff.   As far as some feedback - one thing I picked up on - especially if you are making a rock based song - is maybe - the need for a riff here.  Or what I'd also call the 2nd melody.  This is a game changer if you can flip your mentality this way.  To cut to the chase - here's a full post on this and I think if you put this concept to your music // it could be a game changer.  Any key rock song / artist / hit is going to have this - so I think it's worth looking into.  Overall though really solid - song is good, production is good - vocals are good - now it's just about niching this out to the next level and even differentiating yourself from the crowd more if you can.  Hope it's helpful!  Benjamin. 

Dave Paulson submitted media.

On My Way by Water Street - Topic

Benjamin Groff

Hey Water Street...thanks for the submission.  Nice song here.  I'm looking at some comments here on the song and would say - have you thought about additional vocal production?  There are some harmonies on the chorus but I think there could be even more to my ears to help the song feel even better.  Also in general - one tip I have for you is to be thinking about the 2nd melody.  Instead of a more "chord" based backing track and production - I bet your favorite songs of all time might have more of a "melody" in the instrumentation vs just chords.  In other words a "riff" that creates modern counterpoint with the vocalist.  You have that at like .54 seconds but what if there was a guitar riff, great bass line, other parts that are additional lottery tickets for your song.  That's a big takeaway and if you thought there's merit there - I have a whole blog post on this that really unpacks it here:  Hope it's helpful - and a lot of people - when they start really utilizing this 2nd melody concept - takes their stuff to a whole other new level.  Tx...Benjamin. 

Femke Weidema submitted media.

Helpless by Femke

Benjamin Groff

Hey Femke - thanks for the submission.  Great voice and dig the simple presentation here which is really effective.  I see you're looking for suggestions on helping to promote the song.  The best thing I could do here as an extra bonus is get you a free copy of my books which is a small 225 page manual on doing that.  You can get it here at  In regards to specific ideas.  I can sometimes get a lot of mileage at   Also I think the biggest bang for your buck is always an engaging / original video (you don't have to spend a lot here - just making sure it's a wow / commentable / original piece) and setting up Google / YouTube ads - you can really target your future audience for less than .05 cents a view.  I like the song quite a bit - not sure if it's quite right for what I'm doing at We Are: The Guard right now but I think if you pick up that free PDF you'll get tons of insight.   Hope it's helpful!

Kota Wade submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Future Moons - thanks for the submission. As a piece I really liked it. I am half hesitant to suggest but I noticed that it takes 40 seconds to get to the vocal.  That's a bit of a long intro...but on the other hand - I did like it ... so not sure if you need to change it but an observation.  I think when it's ready for the full recording - you could look into some more vocal production i.e. harmonies maybe / layering...though I do like the bgs that are already there.  I'm not sure about additional instruments that would complete this.  Sound good overall.  If you are shooting for some synch placements - my biggest comment would be to have some more peaks and valleys builds and things - maybe drums for the big moments - that usually helps with visual matching and catches music supervisors ears.  Hope that's helpful! 

Pentacore Music submitted media.

Demon Inside by Pentacore Music

Benjamin Groff

Hey Pentacore ... I liked the overall vibe / production in the beginning i.e. the spooky hard rock you mention  Great visual also with the eye.  Vocally I had some comments - the chorus sounds strong and good.  I'm just wondering if the key is just a little low ?  Like the chorus vocals sound strong...I think there could be something stronger about the other vocals.  Even if it's double tracking those or some type of effect.  Also - I haven't heard your other songs but would you ever consider a female vocal to add to the project - that can always bring another element.  Loved the instrumental bridge.  Overall I thought it was really strong - now it's about finding the right communities out there to support and they are out there in the corners of the internet, spotify playlists, youtube distribution channels etc.  Hope it's helpful!

Roberto Hoyos submitted media.

Enough Of Me by Tio Nacho's House

Benjamin Groff

Hi Tio Nacho's House --- thanks for the submission. Nice guitar playing / riff there.  Vocals and demo all sounds good.  Maybe the BGs could be stronger / more in tune / stacked more, making the chorus bigger?  As far as promoting you use submit hub?  I think there can be - some good mileage there from time to time.  Also, if it's helpful I have a whole 225 page book on promotion and marketing ideas for music - feel free to download it here as a free bonus to this review / listen!  The only other suggestion I might make is amping up the chorus via bigger melodic ranges // maybe changing the pattern of the guitar there etc.  But overall nicely done.  Not sure if it's quite right for what I'm working on right now but overall nice job.   

G P submitted media.

Aliens by The Unfinished Story

Benjamin Groff

Hey Unfinished Story - thanks for the submission.   I like the simplicity right from the start.  I had one thought in listening to this song.  I don't think you need to change it but it's something to experiment with - which is an idea I call the "2nd Melody"  --- meaning, you have melody (vocal) + chords (strumming guitar) in this song.  What if you were able to keep the harmonic structure - but instead create a "riff" around those chords, a pattern, an arpeggio etc. ... see "Solsbury Hill" "Every Breath You Take" or "Dust in the Wind" for good examples.  Doing that can trigger a "3 dimensional" modern counter point song and activate the brain more - in my opinion!  There's more on this here if you want to check out Overall I think it's a really nice song and strong demo, voice, etc!  Personally for me it might be a little more on the folk / indie folk / singer/songwriter side for me (I'm usually looking for more beat driven indie pop or pop) ... but really well done here!

Pheng Lor submitted media.

BAD by PnL

Benjamin Groff

Hey PNL sorry for the short delay in reviewing this. Nice song / demo.  I do have a really good idea here for you that I think will help.  If you listen back to this -- keep in mind your use of space.  I would look at it this way.  You wouldn't have a conversation with someone where there's no punctuation or taking a breath and leaving S P A C E for that thought to take hold.  What happens is (for me as the listener) it's hard to sing back the content.  Our brains need information that is like:

1) statement ... sentence.
2) statement ... sentence


So that's a big takeaway I think that might immediately improve your approach. 

There's actually two posts here that I'd direct you to that might be able to help crystalize this.

1) Melodic Rhythm (including the use of space).  This is really where all the money is - literally

2) Writing Better Verses 

Or video:

Hope it's helpful! 

CJ Dunleavy submitted media.

TVLKING by CJ Dunleavy

Benjamin Groff

Hi CJ ... thanks for the submission. I would say right off the top this song / recording resonated with quality...great voice and strong start to the song. Cool vocal effects!  Nice production in the chorus too...wasn't expecting that.  And also the change up in tempo at 1:15 was a nice switch up.  Sounds like you're on your way - on the right track. And just read the submission text - wow thanks so much for the book comment...that means alot!  If you want a quote how about "I really dug CJ's song "TVLKING" and sounds like this guy is on his way...I'm taking note!"  Now - it's a process of just doing this a bunch and building but I feel you're on the right track.  I would say that it's not quite yet where I have interest just yet - but where you're heading sounds promising!

Nick Dideon submitted media.

Nick Dideon by Nick Dideon

Benjamin Groff

Hey Nick - thanks for the submission.  I like the vibes here - including the raw piano decision.  Dig your voice too.  My one initial thought here at about .50 seconds in is I'd like to hear a chorus / central part of the song.  Don't get me wrong - the song is pleasant and nice to listen to - but I don't think I could sing it back.  I think there's a section here that's trying to be a chorus but doesn't quite "land" for me...if that makes sense.  Also I just gave this advice on another submission but I would suggest to try using space and melodic rhythm to lock in and hook your listeners.  In other words a great hook and melody - is a great rhythm (and use of space) first.  That way you have organization and statements that the listener can sing back.  I have a whole post on this here if you want to check out and hope it's helpful.  There's the keys to the songwriting universe here (in my opinion) that no one ever talks about  Hope it's helpful!   

Kenneth Johnson submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Louie - thanks for the submission.  I love the song title by the way "I'm extraordinary" - it's really positive without being "ego" ish if that makes sense.   I feel like your melody / chords / song ... hint at LANDING on a chorus  but I only feel i get that on the refrain of "extraordinary" vs say something like "I believe I can fly" which is like a similar statement but the whole thing is an anthem.  Also I would take a note on your use of space.  This song is close to being really great in my opinion.  but i think especially with the emotion you could do with the song breathing more - meaning using space as an instrument vs i feel a lot your phrases are back to back.  For instance...."I believe I can fly"...SPACE SPACE SPACE "i believe i can touch the sky" SPACE SPACE SPACE "think about it every night and day" - in other words ... Statement. Pause. Statement. Pause helps for those 'sentences" to get in our brain in my opinion.  But I did like this.  Hope it's helpful!

Wiebke Müller submitted media.

I am zen by Le Rok feat. Wiek M

Benjamin Groff

Hi Le Rok - thanks for the submission.  Nice song and production and also the same with the vocals - very smooth and chill.  It's also a really good concept.  Ultimately, I'm not sure it's quite right for what we're doing at We Are: The Guard - as we're doing more beat driven indie pop...but if it's helpful, as I know you're looking for some advice and help on the promotion side - feel free to check out as a bonus a book I wrote here (again for free) at  There might be some helpful DIY promotion, marketing ideas there...I think in particular looking to see if you can get some support on the UGC side of playlists or maybe doing some YouTube promoted view might be the way to go - especially if you can get a compelling video done for your songs.  Or even license some chill vibes video footage and match your music to it?  Just a few ideas.

I hope it's helpful in the meantime and best wishes on the project.  Tx...Benjamin. 

Christopher Walton submitted media.

A Mil Ain't Enough by Chris L. Sucio - Topic

Benjamin Groff

Hi Chris - thanks for the submission.  I think it's well done and a good recording, concept, etc.  I do have some advice though if you want to check out.  Which is for me - there's 5 things I look for in signing new artists.  All of that is here and it's way better for me to drop a link here for you to check out:  But in particular the section on sonic identity is important - actually it's crucial.  Doesn't matter the genre - but I'm always looking for artists that sonically stand out.  As example - if you look at most, if not all of my past signings here: - each is making music that "only they" could make if that makes sense.  Like you hear them - and you know it's instantly them.  So, my recommendation is to scope out a sound and lane only you own. That is from vocal delivery, cadence, rhyme style, what you stand for, to also the beats and producers you're working with.  Keep in mind that this is in context (literally) of 250,000 new music releases per week.  That isn't an exaggeration! So it's crucial for your music to stand out from the crowd and say "listen to me - i'm different // this is a whole new thing going on over here."   That being said - i like the visual direction - that's different - maybe it's something where the visual identity and the sonic identity need to align more?  

Hope that's helpful and wish you good things with your project.


Nick Diaz submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Buenos Diaz - Nicely captured video - hard to that and get a good live recording at the same time.  I do like this - unfortunately, it's just a bit outside of our realm musically / genre wise as we're playlisting and writing up more beat driven indie pop at We Are: The Guard.  

As far as how to promote / help a bonus to checking out the music here - there's a book / PDF you can get here for free on my website - it's like about 250 pages - some helpful promotion / DIY concepts and outlets, UGC playlisting concepts, playlisting, micro synch agencies etc...that might be helpful.  Here's the link:  

I would suggest thought that UGC playlisting like on Spotify etc. might be a way to go and finding similar artists / similar tribes that might want to support you there.  Hope it's helpful. 


Chase Creighton submitted media.

Pheel Free by Disco Dreams

Benjamin Groff

Hey Disco Dreams - thanks for the submission - I enjoyed listening and the vibes.  I have one suggestion - which might go counter to your intension with the music / recordings - and that would be just to have some type of vocal - even if it's just one line that repeats (look up The Crystal Method back in the late 90s who were experts of that). ... Oh wait, now I'm hearing some vocals come in but I'm 2/3rds in the song and not sure what the vocal / lyric is.  

I'm saying this just from a "song" perspective and also synch perspective and licensing. If you can have a cool line with a cool voice here on top of this great track - it can really be night and day as far as the attention it gets - not just from synchronization rights but - people remembering the song, etc.  

Overall - really enjoyed this as a piece but that would be my one key suggestion.  

Hope it's helpful.  Benjamin. 

Michael Soiseth submitted media.


Benjamin Groff

Hey Raygun - really nice piece here.  Definitely getting some Tom Waits vibes.  I think you've really captured the "vibe" and a direction here for sure.  One note on production...the hard panning of the vocal on the left channel is a little distracting for me ... but I see how you counter that with other vocals more in the chorus.  

Overall - really exceptional recording, production, vibe, vocals.  And that muted trumpet! 

Ultimately at We Are: The Guard - we're promoting more beat driven indie pop on the music genre side.  

One suggestion - have you tried micro synch sites like musicbed or marmoset?  I think you could find some pick up there on the synch front.  

Lastly, if it's helpful - feel free to pick up (for free) my book here which has a ton of information on promoting your music on a DIY level and maybe some things you might not have thought of or worth considering:

p.s. dig also some of those outro solos and musical moments.  I think you should also do well finding your "niche" of followers and getting on those associated playlists.  Great work...wish it was more of a fit for us.  Tx...Benjamin. 

submitted media.

Like That. by Shannon Dooley

Benjamin Groff

Hey Shannon - thanks for the submission.  Overall i think this is pretty good.  I have a couple comments along the way.  I was feeling the vocal and guitar in the mix were battling for attention a bit in the 1st minute.  Also around the 1 minute section...this is the chorus - but I feel it is "ramping" to something (in fact pre choruses are often called ramps in the old days)...and that there could be an even bigger section coming?  In other words is your chorus maybe an A+ pre chorus (if it was shorter)...just a thought.   

There's another piece of advice here that I have for you as far as production and it will make your songs light up 2x, more in my opinion.  I have a hunch it might be worth looking at (if not for this song maybe the next) the idea / concept of what I call the 2nd melody theory.  There's a whole article I wrote on it here:  

Not sure the song is quite right for my channels but nice work on your first production.  

As bonus feel free to pick up my book here (for free!) that might help on some promotion and marketing strategies: . 

Hope it's helpful.  


Patra Sinner submitted media.

Trainwreck by Raleigh Keegan - Topic

Benjamin Groff

Hey Raleigh, thanks for the submission.  Really strong overall from the song, vocal and production.  Country music isn't my specialty here, so it might not be right for my specific channels...but being a music publisher for 27 years,  My suggestion would be - especially if you're in the proximity of Nashville - to just seek out the best rooms and cowriters you can get in the room with.  Leveling up yourself in those rooms will level up everything and sometimes that's the extra "song magic" needed.  I do think this song is really good...but there are - when you compare to the competition esp on a song level - more layers and levels to go.  For me it's all about the song and it's anyone's ball to run with if they can get that song.  Even if it's a cover - or something unexpected you can flip.  I have a hunch if you can notch up your level of songs you're recording - it's going to be the spark that ignites everything.  Nice work here!! 

Runa Verse submitted media.

Paper Cups (Official Lyric Video) by Runaverse (루나버스)

Benjamin Groff

Hey RUNAVERSE, I really liked the vibe of this song and wasn't expecting to hear Korean but i really like it and the vibe here is really smooth.  I also liked the back story.  Unfortunately, with my channels I'm only working with English music, although so many of my writers are involved with the biggest K-Pop artists i.e. TWICE, BTS, NCT, ITZY, etc.  As far as feedback -  I think you're on the right track.  It's just a matter of consistently delivering great music and each time getting better at that and slowly building your fan base.  As a bonus - feel free to pick up a copy of my book here free (!) that I recently released that will give you some personal insights into marketing and promoting and really niching out a sonic identity for yourself and building your first real key fanbase.  Hope it's helpful!

submitted media.

ASHES by NightNight

Benjamin Groff

Hi NightNight - love the artist name and it matches the vibe of the music.  I'm a fan generally of darker music, so enjoyed listening to this.  Also nice work on the video.  My hunch is for the promotion of this and building your fanbase - my suggestion is finding the corners of the internet and Spotify, Apple, etc. that are your "tribe" here, your sonic "family" and reach out / connect, identify strong UGC playlists in that area and start building your campaign to see if they can help support your music ... As a bonus, there's a part of how to do that in my book here - if you want to go to here: and get the PDF for free.  I think I have a chapter on specific steps to do that, if you haven't already.  Also, you know which artists your potential fans are probably going to like in this space - so targeting those artists in campaigns that are just "set it and forget it" i.e. investing $20 / week in directing people to follow you on Spotify will pay dividends in the long run.  Really enjoyed the song - not sure if it's quite right for my channels at the moment - but it sounds like you're on the right path! 

Chris Peters submitted media.

"in between" by Chris Peters

Benjamin Groff

Hey Chris - nice work here!  My first thought is that the song sounds pretty "playlistable" if that makes sense.  On one hand, I think that's great if you're already getting 1MM Monthly Listeners on Spotify - and those playlists become more of a "lay up."  My suggestion to you is that I would love to hear something more sonically identifiable, which will help develop your fan base and converting passive listeners into hopping on your journey for what you stand for as an artist and musically.  Like what you have here I think is really solid and "in the zone" but I also think in the midst of 250,000 music releases per week (that's the actual number these days), that I would like to hear more of a statement and as a casual listener coming across your music, like what sets you apart.  I think everything else here is really really strong and it sounds like you're on your way.  Also GREAT guitar solo btw.  

Kyle Ridley submitted media.

MAKE THAT MONEY by John The Martyr

Benjamin Groff

Hey JTM - thanks for the submission.  First of all - great voice. Really jumps off the speakers. I also appreciate the musicality and horns here.  Everyone has seemed to forgotten about horns! So it's nice to hear them being put to good use.  My only suggestion here on the song is maybe looking at your competition - or where the bar is - and I'd say like a song like "Uptown Funk" is a good or great bar.  Like this is all really REALLY good but can you level everything up several degrees, songwriting, production, the mix, everything - to really kick in the door.  I think this is definitely really strong as is (not sure if it's right presently for any of my channels) but I would say you could have (?) 30% more to go on this type of song and then you could really getting to a place where you're competing for that attention, if that makes sense.  Definitely feels like you're on the right track and great work!  

Mx Puja Singh submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hi Mx Puja Singh.  Thanks for the submission.  I like the intelligent / interesting lyrics on this one and thanks for the backstory..  Also it's an intriguing single artwork. I think the chorus is also anthemic.  My one comment is what if you had a stronger vocal on it?  I think the vocal presently is good but I have a feeling there could be (?) one more level to go on that front.  But overall - it's a nice piece.  It's not quite right for my channels but wish you the best with the project and song! 

Henrique Neves submitted media.

Keep by The Daily Spreadsheets

Benjamin Groff

Hey daily spreadsheets...thanks for the submission.  Overall - nice song!  I have some feedback though this "type" of song or more of the genre is one that I'm not that active in these days.  Have you considered shortening up the intro?  It's unfortunately the climate that we're expecting at most 4 measure intros these days.  But no matter either as with the rock genre it might not be as important.  I do have one potential game changer ideas here for you - and this is really specific to the genre here.  I think you could have a stronger 2nd melody.  And what is a 2nd melody -  that's my terminology for it - but it's really "the riff."  Meaning most all great rock songs (or any huge copyrights) have a copyrightable 2nd melody that identifies the song completely outside of the lyric/melody ever being sung!  That one piece took me 20 years to figure out - but there's more on that here and think it could be a game changer for you or anyone who wants to apply it:  Hope it's helpful!

Ricardo Temporao submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Brutus - I really liked this from the very start with the bass line / it kinda hooked me from the start in a Stone Roses kind of way.  I also liked the vocal delivery and the whole vibe of the song.  I thought maybe the chorus could be bigger, more anthemic...felt it was going to explode there more in a bigger way.  Maybe bigger gang vocals or something like that I was hearing?   Lyrics are really great and have a cool vibe and poetry to them!  Overall I think this is really good but not sure if it's quite in my lane for my channels - but feel you're on the right track.  I also liked the change up in vocals / female vocals for that hook - good idea.  I think everything what you're doing here is great - now it's just about leveling it all up.  Nice work!

steven walters submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey there - Soundcloud link not working - can you try again? 

Jasmine Thakral submitted media.

Running In A Haze by Jasmine Thakral

Benjamin Groff

Hi Jasmine - thanks for resubmitting. I'm listening through and I have one big suggestion off the top of my head - and actually just gave the same advice to someone else.  But first - really nice piece here!  Really lovely vocal and great vibe / recording / guitars sound nice and tasty and the production is strong / very suitable ... nice work!  

However, I think you could get some extra mileage here with a 2nd melody.  Remember in the course - this is the "riff" that identifies the song completely outside of your vocal ever being sung....a riff that is also copyrightable ideally!  Here's a link on the full blog piece I have but it might be worth retuning into the 2nd melody module too in the course. 

One other comparison ... having worked with Sia before and knowing from way back in the day - check out one of my favorite Sia songs here: "Breathe Me"  - you'll notice it's not just chord + chord. There's a little simple figure in there.  Anyone playing this figure at a party etc will say "I love that Sia song" without the vocalist singing one note.  And then 2 melodies at the same time when the vocal starts - is where magic and modern counterpoint happens.

Hope it's helpful. 

Austin Fredrich submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Redmesa - thanks for the submission.  Some thought here back specifically to your questions:

1. What audiences would be most likely to be into this music?
For this - I would actually go into Spotify or Amazon and look into the "fans also like" area and then build your list from there.  You mentioned a few artists as starting points and then I'd find the artists who would make the most sense in your lane and feel right.  You can then use this list for your FB / IG Interests and Targeting etc.  It's a worthy endeavor to spend a good chunk of time on this. 

2. Could you recommend anyone that I could reach out to for a press release when I'm ready to go live?
I would suggest going to SubmitHub and setting up an account and that would probably be a good place to start.  I would also work on getting Spotify UGC playlisting and doing that research. 

There's actually a whole book I wrote on this and as a bonus - if you want a free copy / download just go over here to my blog:  There's lots of other resources there too! 

Hope that's helpful.  I think overall the song is good - like it but not sure if it's quite what I'm looking for at the moment. 

Hope it's helpful!


Christen Morrell submitted media.

Love To Love You by Christen Morrell

Benjamin Groff

Hey Christen - sorry the delay in getting back!  I think it's a nice song you have here and like your voice.  I like when the chorus hits - it really hits and has an impact.  Really good song title too!  The only thing that I could think of that might help with the song - maybe - is a 2nd melody.  And what is that?  I have a whole article on this here: I actually just had a song come in from one of my pro writers where this happened as well.  The idea is inserting an additional melody in the mix vs just "chords" that help light up the brain.  As an experiment and a song - somewhat in your lane is Carly Rae Jepson "Call Me Maybe" - if you listen to that 3 times in a row (seriously do it) you'll notice the importance of that 2nd melody / riff ... and then listen to your song.  I think you'll find that the 2nd melody can be the "secret sauce" in making songs pop and light up.  Hope it's helpful!

Dakota East submitted media.

Runaway (Official Video) by Dakota East

Benjamin Groff

Hey Dakota - this is a really great job on the song, the video, the voice and everything.  As much as I can appreciate this - I just don't delve too much on the country side of things.  My suggestions from a promotion point of view - and something that you can have as a reference for ALL of your releases is really sit down and research all the UGC playlists that exist on Spotify and YouTube (to start, which is plenty) and then start reaching out to those meaningful ones and start a dialogue. This is a relationship business so if you can turn on someone to your great music, they'll be glad you reached out!  Hope it's helpful!

submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Stephen - I really dig the smooth indie / jazz / flute and vocal vibes of this...really pleasant vibes here!  I think as far as the music - you're right on point and there's certainly an audience out there for these sounds.  I think the best thing you can do is to put your efforts into building a master list of user generated playlists, potential official spotify editorial, other artists in this genre who can help support, youtube playlists, blogs...and then basically go into sales / pitch mode (in a cool way that's not "sales-y") and see if they can help with a placement.  For me it's always about the one domino that sets everything else off.  But finding that 1st domino - and to knock it over - is always the hardest and what ultimately will accelerate your career ... so I would really put all my efforts into that and then - once you have that list - you'll be able to use it for every single / EP / album you release - so it really is worth it's weight in gold.   Some of those people are also on SubmitHub too - so that's another place to start.  Hope it's helpful. 

HOLTFACTION HOLT submitted media.

Satan Worships You by HOLTFACTION

Benjamin Groff

Hey Holtfaction - dig the title and concept. One thing that I thought of in the 1st 15 seconds of the song - is I think the vocals could be up higher in the mix?  Also there's some other really interesting lyrics throughout the song - so thanks for that.  I'm not sure if this one is quite in my lane as I usually do more indie pop and pop and EDM so I'm not sure how much creative input I far as promoting this song - I think there is a niche for every genre on the internet and my favorite way to promote is using youtube video ads with a great video.  And then believe it or not, I think TikTok - even for your genre might be underutilized but i can almost guarantee there's an audience for this darker indie / indie rock sound on the platform.  Hope it's helpful - i'll look and see / hear what else you have on line. 

Carl-Otto Johansson submitted media.

The Last Summer by Lucky Swedes

Benjamin Groff

Hey Lucky Swedes - overall this is a really nice piece and would have grabbed my ear if I was just listening to it on a playlist etc.  Overall i think this is really nice - but much like many songs that come in - I have a major suggestions that will forever change your songwriting (in my opinion). Check out this article I wrote on "2nd Melody" or what you can also call "the riff."  Essentially, I'm missing out on a 2nd melody aka a "riff: to your song  If you add this to your songwriting arsenal - i think you may instantly double the infectiousness of your songs.

Overall, I do really like this - great title / concept, vocal sounds great and the rest of the production.  Sounds like you're on your way ... and now just need to continue to put out great pieces like this.  

Nice work - thought I wouldn't say this one is necessarily right for me at the moment...but I dug listening to it!

Zane Gosser submitted media.

Blueberry Cadillac by Landon Sears

Benjamin Groff

Hey Landon - thanks for the submission.  I liked how the song popped right from the start and some vibes to catch on to right away.  I really like the title too "Blueberry Cadillac."  Also great vocals.  The question is ... how does this song and your other songs really differentiate and stand out from the 300,000 songs released this week (that's about the correct number these days).  I do like the violin - that's different and was a nice surprise.  The trick is now you have this level of bar - i think there's a level above this for you to take the next song and level up everything one degree.  

It looks like you're having some nice wins already on Spotify - and for me - it always comes down to the song being the jet fuel to get to the next my advice would be is to see how you can level that up.

I was listening to some of your other songs and think you're so close.  

To that previous comment - like if you had your own "Return of the Mack" you'd easily jump across that 100 Million streaming song line.  Or maybe it's finding something great you can interpolate into one of your new originals?  

I just started listening to your other songs too...really like them but not sure it's ticking quite all the boxes for me - but it really comes down to your career song and that next song that's going to take you to 100 Million streams. 
 sounds like you're on the right path!  

I have a post here that might be helpful in thinking of some ideas that might get you there:

Hope it's helpful.


Zach Bailey submitted media.

Corner Of The Universe by Zach Bailey

Benjamin Groff

Hey Zach - thanks for the submission - it is a really beautiful, nice and delicate, and intimate piece!  Reminds me of some early Simon & Garfunkel.  Love that line "between 9 to 6 and the suburbs."  Overall - have to say it's a really nice piece, great production and the whole vibe.  I just added it to our Weekly A&R chart at We Are: The Guard which you can check out here: Nice work and started following you.

Ralph Pezzullo submitted media.

Benjamin Groff

Hey Ralph thanks for the submission.  For some feedback - Blues / rock isn't my specialty but I have given a song to Eric Clapton and B.B. King in the past, etc.  One suggestion is we had to wait til 1:44 to get some real guitar solos going.  Being also a guitar major at Berklee - it's obvious your guitar playing is great - so especially if you have a blues / rock song - I think if you're B.B., Clapton, SRV, Robben Ford, or etc - it's key to put that guitar playing up front and center.  

My other other thoughts as far as promotion - I'd definitely check out and look into microsynch agencies like Marmoset Music or Music Bed - you an upload your music there and maybe get some small synch licenses.  Also there probably are definitely some blues/rock FB, Reddit communities and boards and YT channels that I think could help support? 

Sometimes being niche can be good, as you have a narrow tribe of supporters that will often embrace and support their own crew (if that makes sense). 

Hope that's helpful.


Incendiary Sweet submitted media.

Disaffected Scrolling Thru by Incendiary Sweet

Benjamin Groff

 Hey Incendiary Sweet - great artist name!  One quick observation - I was really hoping clicking play that there was going to be video of you playing - the snap shot there is really captivating and I was ready to see a performance - so as a suggestion, that might not be a bad simple music video idea!  

I also think this is a strong song .. I like the change up in the guitar work, riff, vocals, production - all sounds solid - nice work all around.  

As far as promoting it and advice - Having released over 100 records - I've just found over the years that more rock oriented music - well, it's harder ... there seems to be less outlets, YouTube channels, blogs, etc supporting more rock things.    My suggestion is often the best bang for the buck is an original YouTube video (doesn't need to be a $10K video - you can make a $100,000 video with the right idea for $500 and then use YT video budget to promote it.  Also - don't forget TikTok!  I think that's a ripe platform for someone to break in the rock space and there's a corner of TikTok there, likely, for your fans! 

Hope it's helpful - and nice work! 

submitted media.

Stuck By Your Side by INDIGO TWINS

Benjamin Groff

Hey Indigo Twins - thanks for the submission.  Nice work on this one.  I have one overall suggestion which is, on this one, I'm not sure if I felt I landed on a definitive hook / chorus.  Like I know you have your rap / verse and then the chorus...but after hearing it - I'm not sure / couldn't sing back the chorus.  One thought is it's really hard to make sections pop often if you have a 4 measure beat pattern with the same chords.  To make it work, at least in my opinion and my  book - it's really about the game / art of contrast.  There's more about that here.  More so towards the end of the post.  You already have a good deal of this going on but it's worth checking out. 

But overall - nice job here, strong production, liked the rap part and good vocals overall.  

As far as marketing / promotion advice - I'll tell you what - as a bonus i have like 250 + free pages if you want to pick up way more than I can put here in text!  This is free if you want to grab it for instant download.

Hope it's helpful!


Oren Gilad submitted media.

Anchors (Feat. Tali Magory) by Shadow Ensemble

Benjamin Groff

Hey Shadow Ensemble thanks for the submission.  Nice tune here and nice voice and song.  I think if anything could be improved, it could be the production.  It's not bad at all but I felt it could be maybe more lush or maybe those parts are there but for me not all coming together in the mix.  Again - it's really good but I'm trying to put my finger on what could be improved and would suggest there might be something there.  Also I would suggest on future songs  - to also look into the power and effect of having a 2nd melody aka a "riff" in your production - an identifiable and copyrightable element to your song.  There's more on that here if you want to dive in!  Overall - very nice piece, but not sure it was quite ticking all the boxes for me.  Hope it's helpful!