This is the Unstarving Musicians podcast. I am your host Robonzo. This podcast features conversations with me, indie music artists and industry professionals. It’s all intended to help other indie music artists be better at marketing, business, the creative process and all the other things that empower us to do more of what we love. Make music. Hey that was pretty good, huh?
Welcome back, and I hope you’re doing well in this weird time. I’m doing pretty good today. A book I’m reading the daily stoic by Ryan Holiday that’s helping me cope a little bit. I’ll leave a link for that in the show notes I think is worth you’re checking out. Also listenngi to a lot of podcasts, This Week in Virology, the Tim Ferriss Whow, WTF with Marc Marin, The Portal with Eric Weinstein. Joe Rogan occasionally. And The Feed, the official Lipson podcast about podcasting. If you are a podcaster, you should check it out. It’s free. You don’t have to use Lipson to listen to it. And they really provide a lot of helpful info. Yeah, it’s a beautiful day in Panama today after what was like winter yesterday, it was like it was only 24 Celsius or about 76 Fahrenheit but, I’m telling you here in the tropics that’s like winter. The dog got a much needed bath today. He molds in the rainy season, so that was a good thing. This is another alt in-between episode, one of a three part series related to the world of online music collaboration, which has turned out to be much more than I expected. There are a number of truly innovative and interesting approaches happening.
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The topic of this episode again is online collaboration. It’s related to my next article. My guests, Alicia Ruiz, excuse me, Alicia Riuz and Arnau Bosch have a cool startup called SoundStorming. It is an app that lets you share ideas right from your iPhone, I believe, coming to Android soon, lets you collaborate and connect with community that they have built. This is one of the interesting approaches to online collaboration that I’ve discovered recently. They believe that this will feed the next iteration of the music industry, this type of community sharing and collaboration, and that it’s a place where a new breed of fans become part of the creative process. I like it because I agree that it has the potential of reimagining music discovery. Certainly collaboration and fan engagement opportunities are there.
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So Alicia Rius was featured in Episode 53. I’ll put a link to that conversation in the show notes. And in that conversation we discuss the inception of SoundStorming, among other things her partner, Arnau, who’s predominantly featured in this episode. He himself as a music creator, he’s very passionate about music and what he’s doing it SoundStorming, what he and Alicia are building it SoundStorming and just everything about music. They love it. In this discussion we talk about who’s using their service, trends that they find interesting, changes to their usage (the service’s usage), changes brought about by the COVID crisis of 2020, the future of online collaboration and more. All right here is me, and Arnau Bosch, with Alicia Rius of SoundStorming. Enjoy.
Alli… I was gonna say, Alli. Alicia, and I talked a little bit about this, but I’d love to hear it again in case things are changing, and things do change rapidly. But I wanted to ask, right, what type of musicians are using your service? Can you describe that aspect?
Arnau Bosch 6:50
So yeah, we right now as our lunch was focusing on the early adopters, he was around music schools and upcoming artists who those who are entering the new industry Free May our majority of artists are those who are really looking into new ways to communicate with the industry new ways to really express themselves, find ways to be heard, find other people to collaborate. So this is the artist kind of artists that were being having going on, especially in the last couple of months, we are starting to really, start getting into more into the professional musicians, we’re in conversations with A&R and other artists who are already have some kind of a fan base, beginnings of a fan base, and they need some kind of a new way to engage with the audience. I mean, as you can see, especially after this pandemic, there’s definitely a need for for new platforms to help artists to communicate and really express and really find a way to talk to their audiences in new ways. And there’s, as you mentioned in the article, there’s a lot of platforms that help open their creative process and open their journey. So those artists who are looking for those spaces is out of them. Ones that we’re we’re starting to get introducing our platform to. This is kind of the two spaces that we are right now.
Yeah. So that’s interesting. I was going to ask as a follow up to that or not. Was that part you guys doing some active outreach to, to ANR, and other outlets and part, you know, the natural receptivity of people to look at this new way of collaborating and expressing themselves, as you say, because of the covid crisis.
Arnau Bosch 8:32
I mean, I think that it’s it was natural in a way that we saw a wave of artists, trying to find new ways to communicate and find new people to play music with and have an open network. But at the same time, you start seeing artists sharing beats, and and asking for feedback and asking for what what opinions about what they’re building on what they’re working on. So inevitably, you start seeing a little bit of intention to address to the audience, not just the music community, but actually their, their their fans in a way. And again, we’re talking about a music industry that nowadays, fans and music makers is kind of a blurred line, it feels like artists and fans needs to be really involved in the same process, as you can see in some other platforms, but you already have fans and audiences wants to really get involved with the process. So inevitably, we realize that we should start really curating those artists and and and find ways that they can use our channels to speak to those audiences and those fans and that obviously, it’s serving them not just in terms of the connectors in the music industry, but actually new fans and new people that they didn’t heard about them before. So we’re starting to work into the growing fan, fan base and really nurturing them and evolving them.
Can you elaborate any further on the audience? The fan participation piece? [Yeah.] What are they… What are they particularly interested in now?
Arnau Bosch 10:03
I mean, I think in my opinion, it’s a everything even reading from your article, I think the the bigger thought over all these is that the music industry has turned into an always on industry. It doesn’t really allow, it’s a constant changing market. It doesn’t really allow artists to go off for five months working on their thing come back and expecting the audience gonna be waiting for the new hit. It actually demands a constant communication. It’s it’s always changing. They need new things every minute. So that means that you as an audience and considered yourself as a brand, you really have to be in constant communication and get as much feedback and match no more your fans as much as possible. So that’s to me, it’s already opening a little bit of a door of like wait; We are not really talking about like passive listeners anymore. We’re talking about those listeners who really want to get in in the process in some way or another. And not just listening and liking and commenting, but what else can I add? Is it giving them bits that they can riff off and create a little bit of new versions of it? Is it them actually collaborating on some bits from the artist? And that’s the reason why we start building around SoundStorming right to, to see that potential of like, wait a minute, it’s a constantly changing industry, and you need to be closer to your fans. And at the same time, those social platforms that are out there are really a fraction. It makes you if you really analyze how it works right now, on social media platforms, we spend 70% of thinking about what’s going to be the next week of Instagram, how I can put myself on top of, what I should let up to a friend of mine to help me do a video. And and the reality is like you are less making and more thinking about marketing. Marketing nowadays is as important as making because you need content to really, really be promoting right. So that’s why those platforms that are based in community driven and fan base supporters, like you mentioned in the article again, the Patreon and all those are really helping that that space, and really helping the audience to allow them to keep making music, but at the same time, use that to communicate with their audience. And I think that’s, that’s what opens space to platforms that, again, helps you mix with new bits that the artist gives to you as an exclusive helps you collaborate and really great a song with them like we do on SoundStorming, and other and other platforms are on that way.
So is it fair to say then that they’re, we’re talking about a new type of fan, a new breed of fan, they’re like, because you, you mentioned the fan as a collaborator, potential collaborator, it is a new breed a fan, isn’t it?
Arnau Bosch 12:37
I completely agree. I think that I think as as listeners right now, we really want to get involved and that doesn’t mean really, I mean, nowadays, you can music, you can make music with everything and everybody, anybody everybody can try it and doesn’t really need to be an expert of it. There’s a lot of tools that help you make you, but at the same time, there’s there’s just for of the sense of you being involved. Again going back to a little bit of the marketing and making together, if you already involve on the process and you can affect in some way or another and you take some decisions, those fans really become more like a super fans to go from involved fans to super fans and those super fans at the end of the day are the ones who would want to buy a shirts, who are gonna buy exclusive content on Patreon who can support you on those platforms like Patreon, so I think that at the end of the day we’re we’re helping them to grow and involve their fans and at the end of the day results into into monetization at the same time.
Cool. So there’ll be many of these new types of fans will be the new super fan then, sounds like… quite possibly.
Arnau Bosch 13:43
That’s how I how I see these new industry. I think that, and you can see it in other media’s like for instance, TikTok, right not not not everybody’s a dancer, but everybody wants to try it. You know what I mean? Not everybody feels like filming themselves and joining on the chain, but it there’s this new thing… Hey, let me give it a try and see. And suddenly you become part of this culture movement. I think we should, we should look into the music industry the same way. Like it’s not really about musicians and people who professionally make music. It’s about people who are part of this community movement, and can really be part of something that it makes you feel closer to the people that you that you follow.
That’s fascinating. Are there, so this is one of the things I was going to ask both of us if there were any interesting trends happening in the in the ecosystem of online collaboration, and I think you just described one for me. Are there any other interesting trends that you see in the whole? I say the ecosystem because I mean, even beyond sound SoundStorming Do you see anything interesting happening that you’re keeping a close eye on?
Arnau Bosch 14:46
I mean, I obviously I there’s a couple of platforms that I’ve been fascinating like fascinated by like Endless, which I was seeing that they are developing IPA that you want to be able to play it from Pro Tools and other programs. All those tools that really help musicians to make, in collaborations in the… I always obviously like my my passion always been music. And I’ve always been trying to be involved as much as possible with the music making process, so there’s plenty of those. To me, one trend that I’ve been more interested by more than actually collaborating just globally and at the same time, but there’s this new wave of audio center platform, there’s this suddenly Twitter actually allow you to submit audio and post audio recordings. There’s these new social platform that I forgot the name, I think it’s called… house that allows you to share just voice recordings and use just voice as a as a media little piece of media nugget that allows you to communicate, and I think that obviously, it speaks a lot about what we’re tapping with SoundStorming, right. I think that that opens doors of a space that music should be the lead on that. And that’s why I think, for us, it’s something that we’re trying to keep an eye on it and try to really evolve and try to be part of that. Not just the collaboration side. But again, I’m a music fanatic and a music maker. And I try to really get involved and try all of them that I see.
Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. Andn the answer to this one may be obvious, but I wanted to ask you as COVID has the COVID crisis? Well, maybe it’s not that obvious, but has the COVID crisis changed usage of like of your platform?
Alicia Rius 16:39
Yeah, right. I mean, I’m, for the, before everything happened. I mean, we were ready promoting some streaming other remote collaboration platform. But definitely I think we gained more users and more traction because people had these need of offering a deeper a deeper experience to their fans. They were also looking for ways to keep you know, being creative and collaborating with other musicians. And it also happened at the time that we were being featured in some publications. And that got us a new wave of users joining our community.
Arnau Bosch 17:13
Yeah, I want to add to that, obviously, the pandemic, especially not a specific is talking from the from the point of view of our platform storming. But in general, I think it has opened every artists minds in a way that they don’t, they don’t really have the resources to really produce tracks. They really have to find other ways to keep talking again, they’re sitting in their houses, they make music, they really have to find ways to talk to their audiences. And you start seeing things that prior the pandemic you would have probably never seen, like, live performance from a living rooms from big names and big bands and and showing up and see the dog behind the camera and the kids and the family. And really even making Music on a live stream that you can really sit and watch, like themes that I believe artists were not really cool with that and they were more protective about the what they do. I think that that behavior is open their minds and realizing that as fans we love to have a new perspective of what they do, really get involved on their on their journey and understand what they do and in a way be part of that. And now that they see that it has results and they get results and and keeps the communication with the fans going. I think that it’s going to help platforms not like just just like ours, but any platform that is in that space and and open new doors in collaborations communication with music artists fan relationship, I think it’s going to be for the better.
Is there anything that you haven’t already said? I think you touched on a lot of my questions just in your opening comments, both of you, but is there anything else to be said in your eyes about the future of… on the future of online music collaboration?
Arnau Bosch 19:02
I mean I again I was reading the article and I was really fascinating to all the topics that you are touching, and I was really intrigued. And I think the only thing that I wanted to add, and I probably touched it in some of the answers, but basically is not just the importance of, nowadays with the music new music industry is not just as important as marketing themselves and really be savvy on social media and mail and partnerships, which again, as you point out on on your article, DIY musician has been doing it forever. So they are they are ahead of the of the of the other ones who have been more behind the big labels and the big brands, but at the same time is the importance about making right? Like it even if this the communication has to happen daily and multiple times. But making the song, it takes time. They really need to focus on grounds of months sometimes to create a song a song that they can then through distribution, share it with their fans and promote it. So all those platforms who help them create content, and I don’t want to say song because it’s not even a song yet. Is it collaboration? Is it sharing a bid? Is it opening making process, all those platforms that at the same time, they keep making better they help invite the audience in that process. I think they are key on this new generation of music industry.
Okay. In this article that I’m working on, knowing that it’s going to focus on online music collaboration, is there anything that either of you would like to learn from the article that, you know, maybe something you’re you’re curious about, but haven’t quite found the answer to that maybe, maybe I can, in the conversations that I have or the research that I do?
Arnau Bosch 20:53
Um, I mean, one of the one of the questions that we, and not just questions like things that we’ve been wrestling with with ourselves, when we talk about those platforms, like not as much as the Patreon that really speaks to the fans, but actually the the more than making tools, like the the collaborating tools that you’re referring to the into the article. It’s it’s, it’s really intriguing to me it’s it’s really, it would be really interesting to understand a little bit of the market space that they’re tapping, right? When I speak about Endless, Endless is more electronic DJ driven, And it allows you to mix songs from beats songs from other artists in the community. So when we really specifically looking at the music making platforms, and it speaks really specifically about the people who makes music. I wonder how big is the market that they’re tapping in? And how many, how many real makers are there? I think that this is something that we always when we look into those platforms that don’t just about making music is a it’s a big question mark. You know, it’s hard to really define, What does that mean right now when you have a phone and an app that allows you to make music? Like how do you know how many people is going to get excited about that? Right?
Yeah. Okay, so just to restate the question and make sure I got it right. You’re you would be interested to know the different marketplaces that others that are, you know, creating platforms or have an existing platform for this. What markets are they tapping into? And, if possible to know how big how big those are?
Arnau Bosch 22:25
Yeah. [Okay.] Exactly. Yeah, I think that’s really in my, in my head. I mean, you know, there’s plenty of platforms that are helping artists make music, right. There’s a lot of different tools that go from your phone to your computer to the software engineer that you have in studios. So I’m I’m always being curious to see what are the different sizes, depending on what type of tool. There are some that are more like a game looking kind of thing that allows people with a simple tap to make something, and there’s some others that are really, really challenging for people who hasn’t been making music ever, you know?
Yeah. Is there anything you would, you think I should create awareness about that would help both, you know, artists and the the online collaboration space?
Alicia Rius 23:15
Yes, I think Arnau we, here maybe we can just discuss, I mean, like anything else, we keep evolving, but I think is a good opportunity to talk about how with SoundStorming, we are creating this true engagement and the benefits of it. You and I were having the conversation this morning. Do you want to?
Alicia Rius 23:34
Yeah, I mean, one of the [go deeper?]… Yes, one of the main focus that we’re having on SoundStorming is really finding what why what are we solving for the artist right? Knowing that there’s this always on industry, but they are struggling to keep their focus on making music because they have to do so many different things and learn so many different methods to really market themselves? And for us, one thing that we we define ourselves is we are, we’re creating this true engagement. We believe that inviting your audience to your creative process is the key of SoundStorming. And what we believe it’s going to be benefit for them is that by opening your creative process with music recordings, as we’re doing on SoundStorming allows you to record ideas and share them publicly. It first of all, it gives you a constant daily communication with your fans, which as we said, is a constant changing industry and they change daily. So by using those ideas as as little pieces of entertainment, it allows you to speak to them and communicate and understand really what they need to create a better product for them. And by doing that, as I refer to another answer that you ask, this is making you grow your audience because you’re keeping them involved in the process. And by being and staying involved. They become the super fans, which means that when you open the doors to merchandising and other types of income, those are the first one who’s going to really dig in and be part of that. And the best part of it, is actually allows you to stay productive. It allows you to keep making music while you use these bits and pieces of music, to… merch, merchandise yourself, and really put you out there at the same time that you’re… being productive. So I think those three are the key benefits on on SoundStorming and the core of our of our platform.
That’s cool. I really like that. I um.. I tried a different platform that, to me seems well suited to explore and it also happens to be one that… I had an interview with one of the founders and it’s Kompoz. [I don’t know it. I’m gonna find…] They’re more of a, they’re more of a web based… It’s compose with a with a K and a Z. [Alright.] They… It’s more of a web based platform where players, I say players as opposed to maybe electronic musicians, but players go on there and record stuff and they invite collaboration. So the first time I went on to look around, I ran across a guy who was doing something that was pretty well reminiscent of prog, you know, prog rock kind of like the group Yes. And it was all it was all keyboards, and I thought, I’d love to put some drums on that. So for me this kind of platform made sense because I am very recently set myself up at home to record acoustic drums and so that’s you know, one that I’ve looked at. I see you know SoundStorming is a beautiful place for like you know, maybe next time I want to do I started the demo on my song I’m working on now on the acoustic guitar, so I can see it’s a beautiful place for doing something like that. I’m looking forward to to all the other ones, but you know that I… There’s a couple of others I ran across that are, I had no idea I don’t know if you’ve heard of… Oh man, now I’m forgetting. [Yeah, there’s so many.] It’s like it’s got the words, it’s got the word hum and tap. And they use AI. So if you’re not a instrument, player of an instrument, you can literally hum and like say for instance play percussion taps on your on you know your desk [Oh wow.] or your chest and it will record that and then you tell it the style that you want and create something for you. So you can have a basis per song and you
Arnau Bosch 27:30
And you tried it? you try that app?
Not yet. I’m, I’m looking forward to it. But I thought okay, I need to come up with a tune to him to try that. But I really do want to try it.
Arnau Bosch 27:37
Yeah, I would love, I would love to really test the result and see how how good [it] is. I’m sure… I mean, all those AI world is so new to me. And when we mix it with, with music, we would use a creative build. It always my brain always goes to like it’s going to be predictive. It’s going to be something that I’ve heard, and I start reading about it and it’s really impressive how it helps. Not just making music for people who doesn’t make music, but actually helps the first steps of creating a song like he gives, you can utilize that as a trigger of ideas, and start building from from scratch and then you can jump on it and evolve it as a musician, but apparently there’s a new, really new market for those and I’m really curious by any of those that are on that space.
Well, I’m trying to put it in the chat, but it’s not working, but it is called Hum Tap and their website is HumTap.ai, Dot com, sorry not dot ai, and Kompoz yeah it’s K O M P O Z dot com. That one’s kind of interesting, too. And those, Kompoz has been around quite a while. So yeah, I just thought I’d share this way. It’s so interesting, all the different things that are happening.
Arnau Bosch 28:42
Yeah, it is. It is incredible. And I think it’s it’s fascinating. It’s for somebody that it like it’s so it’s so crowded set, but at the same time, we are in a process that they’re going to open doors to new new ways of listening music and discovering. I think that what’s more important is really open your minds into music that you haven’t been before that you probably love, you know, but we’re so into this streaming service of 50 million songs and a couple of playlists that tells you this is what you should listen that having this platform, it really helps you discover new music that you didn’t know. You know, I think that that’s that’s the key for… I’m really excited.
Yeah, yeah, I agree. Well, listen, I thank you both for for joining me again, if you think of anything that you think might be worth sharing with others, or contemplating both for the article and for the podcast, let me know and I’ll let you know when I am going to have a kind of a mini episode come out for our conversation [Nice.]. You’re very likely SoundStorming is very likely to end up being mentioned in the article, because I’ve been following you and now you’ve been on the podcast twice.
Arnau Bosch 29:54
Thank you so much. We really appreciate the interest, the effort and if you have, if you keep writing more articles about that, I will, I will dig in and try to follow as much as possible. But I would love every time you shared with us, I think that this this, this really helps us, not just is interesting, but it helps us to really understand more than the industry. So we really appreciate the work that you’re doing.
Yeah, thank you. And I had no idea what… I think because Alicia and I spoke the first time. And I started looking around for this article after our conversation. And I just like I said, I’m finding all these different approaches and platforms, some of them like Kompoz has been around quite a while and so I’m only of course new ones coming up. So it’s fascinating for sure.
Arnau Bosch 30:36
Well, yeah, you guys have a great afternoon. I will definitely speak to you soon. Yeah.
Alicia Rius 30:42
Thank you so much. Appreciate you.
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