Summer Wrap-Up!

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't updated this in a minute, but the last couple months have been an absolute ride of traveling and work, and this blog fell by the wayside for a bit. That said, I'm gonna spill all of that good bansheebeat news right here so we can get caught up together! We've got a lot to go over (it's been a busy summer!), so let's get started!


New Releases

I dropped a slew of new things this summer, from a handful of remixes, as well as a new EP! In addition, I decided to move all of my Soundcloud exclusive releases over to Bandcamp as well, and am currently working to further push the rest of my discography onto my Spotify and Youtube pages!


ehiorobo - heir to the sugar honey queen [bansheebeat remix]

Here is my remix for rapper ehiorobo's "Heir to the Sugar Honey Queen" off of his Limeade release! 

This remix was a lot of fun to do, since I did a lot more with hip hop beat influences than what usually shows up in my material. Guys like Madlib, DOOM, and J Dilla have been some of my favorite producers to listen to over the last ten years, so it was really nice to finally return the nod in this capacity! I also got to get a little more sample heavy than I usually do, something I definitely want to bring out a little more in future releases!

Check out the remix, and grab a free download over on my Bandcamp


VenoSci - Cotillion [bansheebeat remix]

Following our appearance at C-Reader in Little Tokyo a few weeks back during Anime Expo, they asked me to appear on their upcoming remix EP, featuring remixes from matra magic, SOTUI, The Hair Kid, and Shadrew!

When I first approached the track, "Cotillion," I was somewhat at a loss for how to approach it. Coming off of my recent bouts with a more club friendly sound, I found it difficult to frame the original song in that context. However, I realized I could do a lot more and have a lot more fun taking the track and fitting it in a more VGM setting. 

Taking cues from soundtracks like Yoshi's Island, I zoomed through the creative process and ended up with a near finished product in just two days! The final track ended up taking a lot of accidental cues from Toby Fox, but I'm not complaining! The track was really fun way to take a side step from what I've been working on, and work with having more adventurous and wacky harmony than what I usually do (there are a lot of key modulations and chromatic chords that really spice up the track).

Check out the track, and grab the full Keychain Remixes release here!


POSTCARD MEMORIES - EP

Back in 2014, I released a handful of tracks inspired by the disco and funk fueled vaporwave scene that was exploding at the time. These tracks, accidentally playing into a popular trend at the time, blew up to an astounding degree, and the exposure of just a handful of songs quickly eclipsed the rest of my output, despite having a cultivated sound and following at the time.

With these unpolished, made-for-fun tracks becoming the thing I was beginning to be associated with the most, I took them down and worked to reestablish myself outside of that sound and style, which was beginning to garner criticism for widely revolving around a visual aesthetic heavily associated with misogynistic and culturally insensitive imagery.

I held onto those tracks for years, only sharing them along with the rest of my b-side catalog as a reward for supporting my Patreon campaign. When I made the decision to move my entire discography to my Bandcamp page, I decided that after three years of hiding them under a rock that I should finally release them publicly! So, for the first time in years, please enjoy these fun little summer jams, which you can grab for free over on my Bandcamp!


Shows & Performances

Back in July, I was incredibly lucky to fly out to Los Angeles, California to perform two shows during Anime Expo 2017! The first was an official AX showcase, put on by the label behind the "Techo Deluxe" release, Attack the Music! Playing alongside some of my favorite artists like Ujico*/Snail's House, Mitomoro, hikeii, and more, it was an absolutely charged lineup. That, combined with the fact that I was performing on Pioneer CDJs for the first time in my life (and I pulled it off somehow!), kind of made for an absolutely unforgettable evening!

The following night, alongside friends like Slime Girls, kiraku, and a surprise guest appearance from m-flo's Taku Takahashi, we tore up Tokyo Beat in Little Tokyo for the C-Reader showcase! While much more intimate of a setting than the ballroom we played in at Los Angeles Convention Center, the night was by no means any less intense! 

Both shows were absolutely thrilling, and I can't wait to perform more in the near future!


Merchandise

For the first time ever, bansheebeat merchandise is available via my Bandcamp store! Boasting everything from stickers, CDs, pins, and prints, I have a wide selection of stuff for sale! All purchases go toward the production of new merchandise (shirts, keychains, and koozies are currently in the works!), so please go take a look and consider picking something up!!


Coming Up

I currently cooking up a bunch of new stuff that I'm looking to drop over the next few months, so keep an eye out for brand new original tracks, remixes, releases, mixes, and videos!

If you like what I do, consider picking up some merchandise or supporting my Patreon, or if you'd rather support me for free, follow me on Spotify, Soundcloud, or Youtube, and share my releases with your friends and family, and tell people about this blog! Being an independent musician is kind of a trip, so I enjoy sharing my experiences with others! 


Now that the summer is over, I plan on keeping this page updated on a much more regular basis, and might even post some exclusive reflections, insights and news, so stay tuned!

Once again, thanks for coming along with me, and I hope you'll join me in seeing what the rest of 2017 has in store!

- Dylan

Project Review and Reflection

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Today is the final day of our Spring bansheebeat release project! Thank you for joining me on this journey for the last several months! Over the course of this project, I've learned so much about working, promoting, and branding as an independent musician, and I hope you've learned something as well! While we say goodbye today, I hope you will join me for similar experiences in the future; there is still so much to learn and experience and I hope you'll continue carrying on with me!

I've mapped out this final update into a cohesive look back at the last eight weeks, covering my experiences with an finalized introduction to the project, a final look at the results, a timetable, and lastly a reflection to share my thoughts.

We have a lot to cover, so let's get started!


Introduction

In my experience, I’ve seen that independent musicians struggle to find new ways to differentiate themselves in today’s over-saturated market. Combined with the fact that more musicians are out promoting their material than ever, and that consumer tastes have changed to reflect more regular and digestible forms of content, working as an independent musician today is a struggle very different to any time before. Thus, I set out to discover ways to regularly promote yourself as a content creator, a brand, and an artist. As someone who rarely held any interest in matters relating to “audience outreach” and “personal branding,” I never really gave these things much thought in the past. However, as I labored to elevate myself more and more as a working professional, these topics came more and more to the forefront of my attention.

Considering my inexperience with these concepts, I decided that myself as an artist would benefit most from researching these ideas and learning how they affect and drive professional growth. Upon choosing my topic, I realized that I was surely not the only independent artist struggling with these issues, and set forth to record my findings, log my experiments, and pen my overall experiences so that others in a similar position could possibly learn and benefit from my experiences. When it comes to succeeding as an independent musician, most of the work regarding advertising, promotion, visibility, and marketing lie solely on the shoulders of the individual, so I set forth to discover how to manage exactly how to successfully implement these notions into my work.


Project Results

My project's goals were to research independent promotion, marketing, and branding strategies, collaborate with a professional record label, and curate multimedia promotional materials to maximize visibility for my new release. 

Here is a brief weekly breakdown on how I managed the project


Timetable

Week I

  • Announced the project, and gave a breakdown on concepts and plans I hoped to achieve during its eight-week duration
  • Began working with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere to work toward eventually becoming more independent with curating my non-musical content
  • Outlined and created supplementary artwork for my Valentine’s Day mix
  • Released the mix and promoted it via various social media platforms (Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Week 2

  • Began drafting teaser trailer for album release, as well as started researching for potential trailer references
  • Worked toward consolidating and finalizing album artwork
  • Began outreach for potential labels to act as release partners

Week 3

  • Started finalizing release trailer, in collaboration with Pixelon
  • Began discussions with local venues to host a release event
  • Talked with potential partners to produce a promotional music video

Week 4

  • Finalized album artwork, and added additional resolutions for multi-device wallpapers
  • Finished production on the release trailer
  • Reached release agreement with record label Attack the Music
  • Began drafting press kit and additional album press release materials, as well as acquiring references for accomplishing this
  • Completed supplementary album release materials and liner notes
  • Organized performers for online release show

Week 5

  • Announced album release
  • Released finished teaser trailer
  • Maximized visibility of announcement via social media
  • Published and promoted media coverage of first single “Seems 2 Be”
  • Revealed online release show via Japanese outlet Datafruits.fm
  • Finalized press release for the album

Week 6

  • Released new album “Techo Deluxe” on Bandcamp, as well as through digital audio marketplaces including iTunes, Spotify, Beatport, and Soundcloud
  • Began outlining post-release promotional opportunities
  • Finished organizing local Tucson release show
  • Initiated work toward summer performing opportunities and merchandising

Week 7

  • Organized and facilitated local release show via Tucson venue Pomoro
  • Began outlining a budget for summer merchandising and performance opportunities
  • Continued working with media publications for coverage of the album release, including Nest HQ, Daily Wildcat, and MakeBelieveMelodies

Week 8

  • Finalized multiple performing appearances at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo in July
  • Began working with labels Galaxy Swim Team and Attack the Music for “Techo Deluxe” physical releases
  • Initiated working with multiple artists for “Techo Deluxe” official remix series
  • Continued promoting album release

Reflection

When I began to organize this project, I decided that the best way to tackle it would be to shape it around the release of my then-unreleased album. With this basic groundwork in mind, I set forth to curate the remainder of the project’s objectives to frame this basic strategy. Dividing it by weekly goals, the initial plan for the project was to work toward bigger milestones while accomplishing smaller achievements that all worked into the plan at large. My initial guidelines were to research independent promotion, marketing, and branding strategies, create regular multimedia content to increase visibility leading up to the release, team up with a record label to maximize outreach for the final release, organize merchandise to coincide with the release, set up multiple promotional events to increase awareness and following that with additional public appearances and performance opportunities, and to refine branding and promotional materials to reflect a singular mission. While the project did not go 100% according to my initial blueprints, I accomplished much of what I set forth to complete and managed to oversee a successful digital release. 

This project was honestly much more work than I had ever anticipated, but in being so was much more personally satisfying. While things like promotion and advertising can be a taboo subject for independent artists, it was really rewarding to start taking these ideas into my own hands. While these concepts can be somewhat uncomfortable, like when considering the business aspect more than the artistic side, it’s integral for independent musicians to function in a professional setting. This project was some of the first times that I’d put actual energy and work into promoting myself, and in doing so felt like a professional musician for the first time. Not only that, but mapping out plans and goals for yourself that weren’t strictly musical in a sense led me to accomplish all sorts of new and exciting things! For example, it was the first time I’d worked with a professional record label, and I’m already seeing new opportunities open for me. While that aspect wasn’t entirely perfect (working with a label partly based in Japan led to some streaming issues facing international monetization, especially with Soundcloud), it was an exciting new experience that has me excited to collaborate with more people in a similar setting in the future! Also, I booked and organized multiple events, and created my own artwork for things, neither of which I’d never done on my own before. In finishing this project, I feel less like a single-minded musician and more like a well-rounded individual, capable of handling multiple aspects of maintaining myself as an artist. While I still have so much to accomplish and learn, so much of this prepared me for the future in ways I did not expect whatsoever! While many properties of personal promotion, brand development, and marketing still very much elude me, I feel like I’m well on my way to discovering how to live and work as a professional independent musician in today’s global musical environment!

Week 7 Review

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

This week in our bansheebeat Spring project coverage, we’re entering week two of the post-release season, and I’m not getting any less busy. Following the release of my new EP, "Techo Deluxe," last week, I’ve been hard at work doing my best to promote it. While promotion is a concept that still very much eludes me, I’m doing my best to make the release as visible as possible. On top of doing everything I can to get the release in as many ears as I possibly can, I have a multitude of new things I’m working on to prepare for the summer. On top of things like new merchandise, I’m beginning work on a music video to support the album, as well as trying to work out performing opportunities over the summer.

As of right now, my main focuses can be split into these categories:

  • Promotion
  • Release Show
  • New Merchandise
  • Summer Plans

While things like new material and current musical projects (be it commissions, remixes, or what else have you) are still in progress and on the brain, for the purposes of this project I’m mainly focusing on non-musical endeavors, as those are predominantly the things I have little or no experience with. So, with that, let’s get started.


Promotion

This has been an incredibly taxing week between work, classes, bansheebeat stuff, and everything else, so I’ve been doing my best to find time and energy to push the new EP more and more into the public eye as I can. While I’ve been exploring social media outreach and a little in paid advertising via Facebook and Instagram, the main other avenue I’ve been looking into is publication coverage. Currently, I feel that the world of music journalism is primarily made up of a series of tastemakers left over from the independent music blog bubble of the early 2010’s. Many independent music publications folded over the last several years, and those that are left have gained larger reputations in staying afloat by gaining larger audiences and are financially stabilized through advertising. As such, the remaining music journalists of this era remain struggling to navigate an over-saturated musical landscape, and as such rely on the coverage of already established musical acts. Due to this, it’s somewhat difficult for a lesser-known artist such as myself to appeal to these larger publications. That said, I’m currently doing my best to get in touch with as many publications as I can, even if it results in “cold-emailing” and a shot in the dark. So far, I’ve managed to successfully contact a handful of smaller publications, such as Japan’s “MakeBelieveMelodies” and “NEST HQ” for potential interest in coverage. In addition, the student publication “The Daily Wildcat” of the University of Arizona (where I am currently a student) has expressed interest in conducting a possible interview to discuss the release. Aside from these, I’m working to acquire as much coverage as possible, but we’ll have to wait and see how successful this course of action ends up being.


Release Show

Release Show Flyer

Release Show Flyer

In addition to the Internet radio stream event I discussed last week, I organized a local show here in Tucson to really celebrate the release in a physical space. Joined by local Tucson act bbgar and Phoenix electronic chameleon C Clark, we ushered in a fun concert at Tucson’s local Pomoro venue. While I’ve mostly had poor luck with hosting shows in Tucson, whether it be unfortunate experiences regarding shady venues, detestable “pay-to-play” policies, or any other number of uncomfortable scenarios, our show was hosted in an incredibly relaxed environment, with everyone in attendance having had a worthwhile time. Because of this wildly different experience, I’m becoming more interested in performing locally on a much more regular basis.


New Merchandise

Ah yes, I’m finally planning out new bansheebeat merchandise for the summer of 2017! However, this comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles, especially in my personal experience. One of the largest requirements for creating merchandise is, well, the capital to cover the initial investment. As a full-time music student, I currently don’t have the ability to work more than I currently do, and I unfortunately only make enough income to cover personal necessities, so things like producing merchandise are very seldom a priority or even a feasible undertaking. To overcome this, I began a Patreon campaign in the beginning of 2016 to help in covering various artist expenses. While my Patreon is unbelievably helpful, it unfortunately only covers a handful of my personal artist expenses at the moment, so using those additional resources for something like merchandise isn’t possible at the moment. So, because of this obstacle, it’s incredibly pertinent that the budgeting and financially organization work I put into it ahead of time is absolutely rock-solid. I plan on collaborating with close personal friend Michael Gee, who on top of accounting experience has worked with several companies on tax and budgetary matters. Please look forward to more information on merchandise plans next week!

Some of the things I have planned are "Techo Deluxe" CDs, tapes, new stickers, as well as possibly USB drives. I’d like to also have a shirt design ready in the next several months, but alas, shirts are one of the priciest pieces of merchandise to produce, so we’ll have to see how likely that is down the line.


Summer Plans and Other News

My last sticker design

My last sticker design

I’m currently working on summer plans for a new release series. Whether it’s remixes or new singles, I want to have a stream of new content over the summer to continue the PR boost that’s started from the album release. In addition, I’m looking to organize a small tour! Unlike most of my independent musician friends, I’ve never toured, and thus have absolutely no experience in coordinating that sort of thing. Also, I was just asked to perform in Kansas City over the summer, but I have to see whether or not it conflicts with a work commitment.


That’s about all of the news I have for this week. I still have so much work to do, on top of musical theater work and the end of the academic year weighing down on me, but I’m going to do my best to accomplish as much as I can from here on out! Please look forward to joining me in wrapping the project up for the next few weeks, and I want to thank you for accompanying me on this adventure! See you next week!!

Cheers!

Dylan

Week 6 Review and EP Launch!

Happy Wednesday!

Well, here we are! The moment of the Spring bansheebeat project we’ve all been waiting for – the release of my new EP, Techo Deluxe!

"Techo Deluxe" Album Cover

"Techo Deluxe" Album Cover

"Techo Deluxe" Back Cover

"Techo Deluxe" Back Cover

You can download it for free (or name your price) over on Bandcamp or stream it on Soundcloud. It’s also available on Spotify, iTunes, and various other music platforms!

While I don’t have too many new developments to talk about, I wanted to spend a majority of today’s post just reflecting on the project thus far and my journey in preparing for this release.


It’s honestly fairly surreal that it’s finally public; the amount of work I’ve put into this EP during post-production has been unlike anything I’ve done to prepare for a new release. My last several releases were never much more than “Hey, here’s my new thing. It’s self released, go download it for free,” and that was it: no promotion, no labels (other than ones that I help run), no pomp. That’s really what the most unbelievable thing about the lead-up to this release has been – the fact that I’ve been approaching it so much more professionally than ever before. At this point in my career, I’d like to think of myself as a professional; someone with just a bit more experience and skill than your typical independent musician-by-hobby. But, with an ever-competitive independent music market, it’s difficult to see exactly where the line is between amateur and master.  I still don’t consider myself a “master” by any means, and I still have infinitely more things to learn and improve upon, but, honestly, with this release I feel comfortable in my role as an actual professional in my field for one of the first times since deciding to make creating music “my thing.”


While a lot of the concepts of effective promotion still elude me, I’ve learned a lot about marketing and visibility over the course of this project. Despite that a lot of my visibility relies on word of mouth, I’ve vastly underestimated the act of just asking peers and listeners to help spread the word. Yeah, if someone likes a release enough they’ll probably tell someone about it, but in creating somewhat of a “call-to-action” to help spread the word I've seen staggering results so far.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently, and almost every one encourages sharing the material in some capacity, and it doesn’t come off desperate or needy or self-important! The other thing in terms of promotion I’ve learned is just the importance of being visible. It seems kind of obvious, but between the various algorithms that dictate what people see on social media and the how frequently people are able to see, hear, and just have any sort of exposure to something, just being “visible” is so important. Despite my best efforts to be as painfully visible as possible since the release dropped, multiple people that I know were anticipating it just hadn’t heard it was out, and it’s been out for several days!


I still have so much to learn about being a professional and successful independent musician, but this process feels like such an incredible step up in my career. I’m slowly shifting from “college kid in his dorm messing around on a computer” to “actual professional musician” and it’s really surreal! I still have an vast way to go, but as someone who's felt for the longest time that this would never extend beyond a hobby, a career somewhere down the line actually feels possible!

I just want to take a second and thank you; both for the endless support over the last several years and for taking the time to read these entries week after week. I wasn’t completely sure how this project was going to go, but it was really invaluable to use it as a means to stay focused on what I needed to do, as well as take a few minutes every week and just lay out how pushing toward these accomplishments was affecting me mentally and professionally. Self-reflection, in my opinion, is incredibly important, and in doing it via this project has allowed for me to consider new points of view and visualize endless approaches to accomplish personal goals. That said, working to keep up a weekly report as I embarked on this project is singlehandedly the only reason I managed to accomplish anything.

Looking ahead, here are some of the things I have to start working on now that the release is out.

  • Design and order new merchandise
  • Update my website homepage to feature the new album
  • Storyboard music video
  • Work on post-release promotion
  • Organize a summer tour

I think that’s about it for this week’s update. I apologize for the more insightful departure from the usual activity based updates, but we’ll be back to our standard programming next week. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to work so that I can finish this project having accomplished as much as I can!

Cheers! 

- Dylan

Week 5 Review and Full EP Announcement

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve got some big news this week! We’re now past the halfway point for my spring bansheebeat release project, and finally everything is fully coming together!

First of all, some major announcements: My new EP, "Techo Deluxe," has finally been announced and will drop on Monday, March 27th, via Attack the Music! To go along with that, a few of the things I’ve been teasing are coming to light, and I’m very excited to share them with you!

Currently, the announcement and release have included the following:

  • EP Announcement
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Artwork Reveal
  • Track Premiere
  • Datafruits.fm Listening Party
  • Finalized Press Kit

So, let’s get started and see everything I’ve been scrambling to prepare for next week!


Teaser Trailer

Last week, I finally debuted the teaser trailer I’d hinted at in previous updates, and I’m happy to be able to share the finished product! Collaborating with my friend Pixelon, the finalized version came out better than I could have anticipated! The animations came out incredibly fluid, and I’m incredibly hyped every time I rewatch it!

New EP "TECHO ☆ DELUXE" out 3/27 via Attack the Music~

In a bit of a surprise, the trailer was met with incredible excitement from my friends and listeners; the trailer received a huge amount of response on social media! I was astounded at the reaction, and it only made me more impatient over the countdown to the actual release.


Album Artwork

Another thing I was incredibly excited to finally share aside from the music itself was the fully rendered album artwork! I was fortunate enough to work with the incredibly talented visual artist Jean Liang, who delivered some of the most stunning art pieces I’ve ever seen! Using character designs I’d previously created alongside my friend Audrey from Cute Hospital, Jean painted a magnificent visual companion to the record. We started working together in around September, and we capped on the final versions less than a month ago! It was an absolute treat working with Jean, and I’m floored by how unbelievably gorgeous the final product ended up being.  

Techo Deluxe | front cover artwork by Jean Liang

Techo Deluxe | front cover artwork by Jean Liang

Techo Deluxe | back cover artwork by Jean Liang

Techo Deluxe | back cover artwork by Jean Liang


"Seems 2 Be" | Melting of Age Premiere

The next thing on my terribly unorganized PR train was a track premiere with my friends over at Melting of Age, an LA music and lifestyle blog focused around independent electronic music. They were kind enough to debut my brand new track, “Seems 2 Be,” and give it a neat little write up!

You can check out the article here, or listen to the track below!


Online Release Show

To help kick off the release on Monday, the prior Saturday I’m throwing a little online radio show / release party! I was fortunate enough to set something up with Japan-based Internet radio network Datafruits.fm to host an incredibly cool lineup of some of my favorite people, including frequent collaborator Slime Girls, Cool Teens, Yoshino Yoshikawa, and more! It starts at 6:00PM PST and you can listen live @ datafruits.fm on Saturday night!


Finalized Press Kit

Press Kit

Press Kit

The last thing on my to-do list before I could announce the new EP was to finalize the press kit that I’d discussed briefly in previous updates. While I’ve usually just done press contact stuff through brief introductory emails to various publications and outlets, it’s really satisfying to actually have a professional looking press kit that I can share on its own. It’s an all-in-one resource for information on what I do, the release (as well as the album artwork and track list), and a brief descriptive overview on the individual tracks themselves. Neither visual design or writing about my music is terribly easy for me, but I'm really happy with how the final product came out!

 


While I’m still working to figure out how to effectively promote the release to the best of my ability, my friends over at Attack the Music have been really helping me out! We are currently in talks to share the album with Japanese fashion outlet Galaxxxy, who are looking to include the album in the music rotations in their stores. In addition, we’re currently working to have the tracks played out by various DJs associated with the label, including Japanese powerhouse Taku Takahashi!

I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last six months to do everything I can to promote the album as effectively as possible to help promote my recognition and my vision, so that I can continue to move onto bigger projects and opportunities. Thank you so much for joining me again as we go through this process together, and I hope you look forward to hearing the full release on Monday, March 27th.

Cheers!

- Dylan

Week 4 Review + Announcement Prep!

Hey! Welcome back!

We are now onto week four of this nine-week bansheebeat project! If you’re just now coming onboard, this project acts as a means for me to stay organized and focused this spring, working toward preparing, releasing, and promoting my new album! Being nearly half way through the project, a lot of things that have been incubating are very close to being realized! The official announcement of my new release, along with all of the details I’ve been withholding here with my updates, will be secret no longer!

Most of this past week has been working to prepare all of the materials necessary for the full announcement, and while that might just sound as simple as saying “hey I have a thing coming out soon,” there was actually a lot more to it that I wasn’t expecting.

In order to finally announce the release, here is a list of a few of the things I need to complete:

  • Finalize the resolution of the album artwork, along with extra resolutions for phone and desktop wallpaper applications
  • Finish putting together the announcement trailer
  • Type up album liner notes, credits, and thank you’s
  • Draft up a press release and artist bio for promotion
  • Obtaining image usage rights for promotional photos

While a few of these are still in progress (I’m aiming to have everything submitted to the record label in charge of the release by this weekend), I will still go through my process in preparing these materials for the release.


Album Artwork

Mobile Wallpaper of the Cover Artwork

Mobile Wallpaper of the Cover Artwork

Although I’m trying to avoid sharing the artwork in full before the EP is announced, I will share the mobile wallpaper version that will come with the full release once it drops.  Here you can get just enough of a teaser of the front album artwork until I unveil it with the announcement.

 

Announcement Trailer

My friend Pixelon and I are still pushing to wrap up the announcement trailer, but I can share a bit of our process thus far. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have access to an exported copy of any of our drafts, as my computer cannot process video terribly well and thus left all of the hands-on work to him. The concept we’ve gone for is to introduce a snippet of a couple of the songs set to an animated rendition of the album artwork! This was our second idea, as our first thought was to combine segments of all of the tracks into a collage for the trailer, but we eventually settled on using only two of them to neatly accompany the two separate art pieces featured in the video. Pixelon is a video wizard when it comes to editing and doing really neat things with text and imagery in a video context. We’re rapidly working to finish the final draft, and will release it along with the announcement!


Liner Notes, Credits, and Thank You’s

This has been incredibly difficult for me to come up with. Now that the album, artwork, and everything else is complete, coming up with the words to really send it off into the world have been difficult for me to manifest. The album was drafted, arranged, and produced from November of 2015 through roughly September of last year, and after that I’ve spent that time up until now doing other post-production and pre-release work. I have so many different things I could say about what this release means to me. Do I discuss how I felt about it during the writing process, how I feel about it now, or what I want to impart on the listener as a companion to listening to it? Nailing what I want to say has been a struggle, not made any easier by the fact that I find it incredibly difficult to convey my thoughts through text. In addition, so many different people had individual impacts on the release, whether in the drafting process, production, or in post, so coming up with a concrete “thank you” list has been impossible. I have too many people that I feel were essential in some way or another for making this record possible, so I really want to genuinely thank everyone who participated in helping me bring this to life.


Press Release

Current bansheebeat PR draft

Current bansheebeat PR draft

As per the advice given to me from multiple friends and colleagues, for the first time in my life I’m drafting up a full blown press release to use when promoting the EP. I’m the furthest thing from a journalist, and writing anything involving words is honestly not my strong suit. Luckily, I’ve been reading enough music publications over the last several years to have enough of a grasp on the overblown descriptive language and hyperbole that is incredibly common in this field. Also, my friend Lachlan Johnston, who is a music journalist that writes for the Japanese division of the New York Times, sent me a few press releases he’s both received and written himself to use as a reference.

dosing press release, used with permission

dosing press release, used with permission

 

While the write-up is still far from perfect, and that I need to convert it from pure text into a multimedia document, is well on its way to being a sufficient piece of media promotion. Describing my music in a regular conversation is already very difficult for me, so to explain everything that definitively informs the reader on exactly what this release is sonically and thematically was extremely hard! But, after a lot of time spent pulling for astute descriptions, and feedback from various music journalism colleagues of mine, I think I was able to come up with something acceptable!

Above I've include a screenshot of my current draft, and to the left is a look at how it will might appear once I include everything else in the document.


I’m still scrambling to have everything ready to go by the end of the week, but I’m very satisfied with all I was able to accomplish thus far! This project has seen me doing things I’d never even considered doing with a release, such as the press release. I’m very excited to share the final announcement I’ve been working toward for the past several weeks, but after that I will have an entirely new list of things to work on up to and following the day when the release is finally here!

Thank you again for joining me in this undertaking! It’s been an incredibly insightful process and I’m very glad I can share this experience with you all!

See you again next week~

- Dylan

Week 3 Review

Happy Wednesday!

It’s now that time where we check in with how the bansheebeat Spring Project is coming along. If you’re just now joining us, this is a massive eight week project that aims to coordinate, promote, and organize my new EP release, with the goal of amplifying audience outreach and curating supplementary content and events to support it. With this being the third week, most of the work I’ve accomplished has been in the realm of outlining and scheduling various larger projects that will take shape as we progress along, but there are a few exciting things to report at this stage in the timeline!

Here is what I’m currently focusing on:

  • Finalizing Release Details
  • Curating and Promoting a Concert
  • New Remix Announcement
  • Producing a Music Video

So let's get started!


Tidying Up Release Details:

While I’m still a short ways from finally announcing the EP in full, I’m working toward finishing all of the material for the reveal. I am currently finalizing details with the yet-to-be-announced label in charge of the release. I’m happy to say we have an effective timeline for releasing and promoting the album all set up, and that I’m pushing to finish all of the exciting promotional material very soon. Currently, I’m working on a teaser trailer with Los Angeles graphic design artist Pixelon. After spending most of last weekend drafting and trading ideas, we’re finally getting into the production stages so look forward to some cool updates on that next week!

Screenshot of the Trailer [via Adobe Premiere]

Screenshot of the Trailer [via Adobe Premiere]


Organizing a Release Show:

Pomoro - 933 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ

Pomoro - 933 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ

I’m very glad to announce that I will be hosting an EP release party on April 1st at Pomoro in Tucson, AZ! I’m working on finalizing the lineup, so once everything is organized I will release a promotional flier for the event. Pomoro is one of my favorite up-and-coming independent art spaces / venues so I’m very pleased that I was able to secure it for this particular show!

The venue does not currently have a web presence, so here is a map of its address.


Music Updates and a New Remix:

My setup @ WaveLab

My setup @ WaveLab

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of laying down some drum tracks for a new project at Tucson’s WaveLab recording studio! It’s always a blast getting back into the studio. After some time away from my beloved drum kit, it was really refreshing to reconnect in a professional recording environment! I also treated myself and brought a few of my supplementary toms and cymbals out of storage, so I absolutely spoiled myself getting those puppies on tape!


VenoSci - KEYCHAINS: The Remixes

VenoSci - KEYCHAINS: The Remixes

In other news, I have a special announcement for you remix lovers out there! I have just been asked to appear on Chicago producer VenoSci’s new KEYCHAINS remix compilation! I’m slated to appear alongside some of my favorite artists, including Hair Kid from Japan as well as Matra Magic and SOTUI! All proceeds from the release are going directly to the ACLU, so please look forward to hearing some great tunes that will help benefit a great cause!


Announcement - Music Video:

I am ecstatic to finally announce that I’m finalizing the beginning stages of producing a music video! I’ve been keeping it super under wraps until now, but everything is finally in order and filming is slated to start in the next few weeks! I have an awesome crew assembled featuring photography and art powerhouse Sean Li Wong and camera wizard Thomas Inthout, who I’ve collaborated with on several projects in the past! As production continues I will be going very in depth into the filming and editing process. I’ve never worked on anything remotely similar to this so I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences making a music video and trying my hardest not to constantly mess it up!


Wrap Up

This was a really solid week of progression! That said, I wish I had considered the lack of multimedia content that would have come out of the initial first few weeks of this project and thusly compensated for that in my initial outline. However, I will focus on integrating that more into the future of this project so that every weekly update retains a balanced ratio of news and updates, new content, and personal insight and reflections. 

That's about everything I have to report for this week! Full details on the EP release will be unveiled very very very soon, so please stay tuned for that! Thanks again for stopping by as we continue on this fun adventure together~

Cheers!

- Dylan

Week 2 Review

Hi everyone, welcome back!

Following my unveiling of this new project last week, I’ve been working and making further developments, especially in terms of outlining how the next several weeks will progress. While I can’t spoil all of the exciting things I have planned over the course of the next month, I can confidently say that everything is coming together nicely!

First, the announcement of my new EP is coming shortly, and although I’m not able to divulge most of the details just yet, I am happy to say that a release date and a record label have been finalized, and full details will be coming soon!

That said most of the work I’ve accomplished over the past week was more along the lines of discussing collaborations, release dates, promotions, etc., and less on multimedia content design. However, I have nearly finished sketching the next few design and video projects and will promptly begin drafting them.

Here's a list of a few of the (creative) things I need to finish before I can announce the record:

  • Film and edit a thirty-second announcement trailer
  • Finish editing and consolidating the album artwork
  • Draft up an announcement poster / flier

…And those are just the things to do before the announcement! I have so much planned and so much to do but it’s going to be so worth it! 


Design and Editing Progress

While I don’t have anything new to post from a design standpoint, I did spent a large portion of my week reading and watching Photoshop and Premiere tutorials; I just didn’t find the time to apply those lessons to any personal work. However, when I went to edit my album artwork so that everything would be finalized, the .psd files that the artist I worked with sent me overloaded my computer! While a friend was able to complete this for me, it was still frustrating to require assistance on a very simple task purely based on computational power. So, I might have to find a more powerful machine to work on if I’m going to continue to attempt working with heavier duty projects! Whoops. 

While I haven't fully mapped out my plans for the announcement trailer, I do have a few videos I've been using as a reference:

MERLINDA/WALLS | New Album Teaser (via Keats Collective)

RORA Team x Milkshakes | Chicago Show Trailer (via Rora Collective)


Music: Commissions and Remixes

Aside from planning and design work, I did begin work on a few new musical projects this week. The first is a commission for Jeremy Greer, who hosts the Don’t Give Up SkeletonDark Souls themed podcast; I was fortunate enough to be included on an episode a few months back. He is currently putting together a YouTube compilation to help advertise the program, and asked that I draft up an arrangement to accompany the video. While I struggled to come up with something that would complement my style and fit the original work, I eventually decided to do a reworking of "Majula," a selection from the Dark Souls 2 soundtrack in the style of a completely different game: Animal Crossing. I took the original and added extra voicings to give it the jazzy character of the Animal Crossing soundtrack, as well as using soundfonts and samples straight from the game. I also included original solos to give it a truly individual fingerprint.


In addition to that, I’ve started a new remix, this time for Ehiorobo’s “Heir to the Sugar Honey Queen,” off of his DESKPOP debut, Limeade. Taking the original’s soul leanings, I switched it up to much more of a classic hip-hop feel, but with a stronger jazz touch. I was originally going for something far dancier, but the incredibly smooth mood of the original drew me back into complimenting that atmosphere. While I’m only so far into this work in progress, I’m incredibly excited to work toward finishing it!


That's about all that I have to report for this week of the project! Thank you for continuing to join me on this adventure, and please stay tuned as I unveil some very big and exciting announcements very soon!

See you all next week!

Cheers!

- Dylan

Project Announcement + Week 1 Review

Hi, everyone! Today marks the beginning of a brand new eight-week personal project for bansheebeat. I've been making and releasing music under this project for nearly six years, and in that time I've had so many opportunities to meet amazing new people, perform around the southwest, and discover new ways to change lives through music. I am now incredibly excited to take the next big step in my career by reaching out to new locales, new audiences, and to spread my sound to a greater part of the world. Because you have all been my dependable listeners and supporters, I wanted to reach out to you in a new way, too, and invite you to go through the process along with me!

Some of you might be aspiring songwriters, producers, and musicians yourself. One of my goals is to share this journey with you so that you might step up and accomplish bigger things, too, when ready! I want this to be a real look at the life of an independent musician!

So what is this personal project?” you might ask. It is comprised of eight weeks of individual weekly goals and activities, each dedicated to furthering my skills as well as visibility in a variety of ways.

  • Learning photo and video editing software
  • Publishing new material on a more regular schedule
  • Creating more non-musical content
  • Increasing visibility to new audiences and demographics
  • Budgeting and producing professional merchandise
  • Promoting and curating advertising for a new album release
  • Film and edit a promotional music video
  • Organizing a release show and a summer tour

Among those features, there will be more exciting details unveiled in later updates, so stay tuned!


So, in starting out, I had a few specific goals for this week. On top of kicking the project off, I had to take the necessary steps to ready myself for the next several weeks. The first on the list was obtaining photo and video editing software. While I have been using various software and sound engines to produce music for the better part of ten years, I have absolutely no idea what to do when it comes to creating visual content, both static and video based. Fortunately, I have so many talented friends who are artists or film directors who have been kind enough to curate supplementary content for my material (album artwork, promotional videos, live visuals, etc.). However, I need to become more independent so that I can rely on myself more to accomplish these tasks, so I purchased two editing programs, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. While I’ve read and watched various learning materials and tutorials for these programs, using them on your own is an entirely different and slightly scary undertaking.

                        Original sketch by Mari

                        Original sketch by Mari

For Valentine’s Day, I published an hour-long holiday themed music mix. Studio mixing (and live mixing in general) is honestly not my expertise by any stretch, so coming up with an hour of nearly seamlessly transitioning material was a challenge as well. Luckily, a few of my talented DJ friends offered feedback and criticism to help me smoothen out the product as best as possible. It was honestly a lot of fun, but ended up being more taxing and time consuming than I had ever anticipated! I also decided to create unique artwork to go along with the mix on Soundcloud, so I popped open Photoshop and got to work!

Starting out, my dear friend Mari Ralis, a freelance artist from Portland, OR, was kind enough to supply me with an art sketch to base the artwork around.

 

                       First digitally painted draft

                       First digitally painted draft

Taking that, I tried various methods of digital painting, color editing, typography, among other things over the course of two evenings. By the end of the first night, I ended up with this result. While a step up from the blank nature of the original sketch, the colors weren’t blending together in a way I felt satisfied with, and was overall visibly composed by the crude hand of an amateur. While several days of Photoshop tutorials have definitely made me more comfortable with the software, I was still nowhere near apt enough to make anything near a borderline professional standard. Out of ideas, I contacted my friend Calvin, of the SpaceMoneyOctagon podcast network, who has been proficient with photo and video editing for years. They helped me take what I had, tweak it, and transform it into a much better product. 

You can see the final product here:

While I have been dabbling with video tutorials for Adobe Premiere, I didn’t have too many opportunities to try my own hand at it. I was able to take short video recordings made in a practice room at the University, but I did not have ample time to edit the footage before running into space and RAM issues with my computer. I’m continuing to figure out how to work with video content around the constraints of my older laptop model by cleaning out and organizing storage as well as prioritizing memory usage.

This week was an imperfect start in launching the project, but if anything that just prepares me to be ready for anything and everything to present new challenges! Taking on new opportunities can be daunting and stressful, but I’m super excited at the things I’ll learn and experience in the coming weeks!


Thank you for joining me on this new journey, and I hope you’ll accompany me through the next several weeks as I unveil new and exciting announcements and work toward personal and professional improvement!

Cheers!

- Dylan

2017 Appearances and More~

Hi friends! 

I have two very cool performance appearances lined up for early 2017! The first is at Mesa, AZ's own Taiyou Anime Convention, January 6th-8th at the Mesa Convention Center! I'm a featured guest, along with musical guests Lotus Juice and Teddyloid, and will be performing at the dances with my good friend c. clark, as well as making other appearances throughout the weekend! The best way to stay informed of bansheebeat music events during the convention is to keep up with my Twitter account @bansheetweet, as I will be posting new information throughout the weekend! Feel free to come say hi!

The second is at Los Angeles' own Frequency Festival 6.0, January 13th-15th, at downtown LA's The Smell! During the three day festival I will be performing alongside some of my favorite acts including Slime Girls, omniboi, skybox, Clover & Sealife, and so many others! Frequency has been one of my favorite musical gatherings over the years so I am incredibly excited to be finally performing on the lineup!

Stay tuned for more awesome updates on what's new in the bansheebeat world coming very soon! I'll be potentially rolling out updates about my upcoming new release very soon! 2017 is looking to be incredibly cool and I hope you'll join me in ushering in what's sure to be an exciting year full of new experiences!

Much love,

Dylan