Our spotlights series keep surprising us, it's such a blast getting to know our tastemakers better, hear their take and learn from their experiences when it comes to getting music out there.
This time we put the spotlight on a multidisciplinary artist, podcaster, businessman and dad(!) - Fermi, with whom we got to talk music, podcasts, and money. check it out!
Tell us a bit about yourself: How did you start making music, your blog and your podcast? I’ve always been in love with the process of making music, writing songs, and producing tracks. I started producing music at age 15 after studying a bit of piano and then being exposed to a lot of the hip-hop of those days. In my neighbourhood I was known as the kid who could make your songs come to life and a bunch of guys would be over at my mom’s house recording album upon album (back then we still burnt CDs) and it’s kept evolving from there.
I look at music as both therapy for me as well as a way to connect people across many boundaries, borders, and backgrounds. Music can inspire and elicit deep feelings like nothing else. Music can bring unusual people together all in an effort to craft a beautiful piece of artwork.
My podcast launched earlier this year all in celebration of that. I want to highlight my love of music and how many great artists are out there who deserve a little more shine in this content heavy day and age!
What kind of music do you listen to and where do you discover music?
I listen to all kinds of music. A lot of people say that, but I really mean it.
I have these odd routines: car rides with my kids means classical music from the radio, workouts mean time exploring old and new hip-hop and EDM, and bike rides commuting to work are my time to consume podcasts. I primarily listen to music with Spotify but it’s not unusual to see me browsing Youtube, Instagram, Beatport, and Bandcamp all to see what artists are popping up.
Name 3 music platforms you can’t live without.
Three platforms I can’t live without… definitely Spotify, IG, and I have found some dope artists as a playlist creator through your service MySphera. Since I’m also a podcaster and I am regularly interviewing upcoming artists and beat makers I depend on services like MySphera to push me top talent. I also find so much music on Instagram Stories, believe it or not!
The music industry is constantly changing. What do you think is the role of social media today in music exposure?
Social media has levelled the playing field for artists, influencers, and business people. The barrier for entry is so low right now if you want to launch ANYTHING. Not just about music. The trick is having an identity, purpose, and strategy to cut through the noise and be heard. But just the fact that I’m learning about underground artists and getting them features on my podcast through IG - which I listed earlier as one of my most critical music discovery platforms - shows you how much impact social media is having. By the way, a lot of people hate on social media but I think it’s really like anything else. It’s all about how you use it. You can dig a hole and plant a beautiful tree with a shovel or you can wack somebody. It’s up to the user. At it’s best social media just connects people even more and brings more opportunity. It also faces a lot of us to face reality. Right now we’re experiencing a massive shift in human consciousness and with this much power at our fingertips a lot of us have to face the real barrier to entry: Ourselves. Our self discipline. Our work ethic. Our creativity and self-motivation.
Today, artists are discovering creative ways to earn money from their music. Tell us about one creative way you found out about recently.
I actually have an episode on my podcast where I go over 5 unusual ways to make money in music. You should all go listen to that so that I can give you all the details! But one I’ll share here is affiliate marketing. A lot of people simply depend on album sales or streams. But it’s not really going to pay out much, at least not in the current landscape. Since I’m as much a writer, business person, and personality as I am a musician/producer I have been surprised at how integrating affiliate offers into blog posts, episode show notes, and etc. can add a bit of additional side income. Just like a lot of things these efforts have a compounding effect.
What is the trend you think will take over music in 2020?
I’m no psychic but I’ll tell you what I can see: content creation is not going to slow down! That is both good news and bad news for musicians. In terms of being a solo artist and trying to get exposure it’s going to be harder to stand out with the massive volumes of content pumping out daily. In order to stand out, artists are going to need to lean into videos and impressive graphic content that will catch the eye as well as the ear. On the other side of this coin: video content is exploding right now and the old relics of the tv networks are in a war right now to catch up to and possibly destroy media pioneers like Netflix. That’s great for musicians because movies and shows need music… so licensing and scoring is going to continue to grow and be a huge source of exposure and income for artists in 2020. By the way, because viewers love to escape through everything from historical drama, period pieces, and sci-fi that means there is more room than ever to create ANY kind of music you want in this world.
Share with us a recent tune you discovered lately - How did you find it? And why did it catch your attention?
I have to give a shout out to some of my folks from my podcast Music Producers Treasure Box. I bring artists on there that I discover randomly and really dig as well as heavy hitters that I ask to come on. Loelash has a great song called “Commas" that I’m currently digging. Also, there is this high schooler going by Late Night Messages I recently interviewed. His song “Where Are You Right Now” is a really great track that I dig. The podcast has a playlist, you can check those songs out and more from the show on Spotify
Share 2 advantages and 2 challenges when it comes to producing a music based podcast?
I love doing a music based podcast because as much as I love making beats I also like to add value in various ways. It just fulfills me to use my words as well as my music to motivate and inspire. There isn’t any reason to hoard expertise or insights so the show was born! The advantages are I get to meet new artists, build new connections, and I also (hopefully) help others keep pushing forward and improving their music and lives!
On the real, it’s a little challenging to get a hold of some artists. I’d love to get some well known producers on there but I totally understand the value of their time… but up and comers… I don’t hear back from enough of ya’ll!