How Streaming My Music On Instagram Led To My First Track Being Signed To A Record Label
Since I started streaming my music sessions on Instagram, the results have been really profound. I have reconnected with some people who I had not been in touch with for a very long time, some who were mostly curious about what I was doing, others doing similar things wanting to exchange feedback / input. However, one of the most interesting turn of events to me has been the fact that one of the very first few people that chatted me up about my “live instagram sessions” was one of my good friends named Rama, who owns a licensing and distribution label in Miami called EMG. Rama and I have been in touch through social media mostly about non music related stuff and friendly exchanges, but I think each other’s music projects had not really been on our radar. He played me some music he was producing, I played him some I had been working on, and I thought “How nice to network this way!”, and at the time, that’s all the thought i really gave it.
At the same time, I started to randomly get messaged by quite a few dj / producers I have known through the years, catching up on what each other had been up to musically as well as non musically. I have many friends in the industry or with similar interests, but no one has ever heard any of my music until I started this Instagram Live thing, so there was a lot of “HEY. Just heard – whatever I played that day -“ comments.
One of my good friends, hashtag inspirations, is Dissident Music label owner Noel Sanger. As fellow Floridians, I met Noel in the 90’s through common friends and events I used to be involved in, however before I ever met him I used to buy his records, go to the clubs he deejayed at, and raves where he would play live with my other future friend Nicole Henry on vocals. Basically, I was a Noel Sanger fan before I was a Noel Sanger friend. He’s a very talented dj & producer that has left his footprint on countless releases and shared touring duties with the likes of Tiesto and many other high profile artists. However, it has been almost 7 years since I moved from Florida to NYC, and we lost touch except the occasional Facebook exchange. Truth be told, I always planned on sending my music to Noel Sanger “once it was ready”, hoping that maybe he could offer me some guidance and maybe help me suck a bit less. What I never took in consideration was the fact that my music was never going to be “ready”. And what I really didn’t see coming was the fact that the way Noel would get a hold of me was through Instagram direct message, to comment about some of the music that I was playing live on IG.
At the time Noel hit me up about the “track I was playing live on Instagram”, I had become friends with a “newly returned to NYC from South Dakota” lovely girl named Caitlin. There happened to be a week that I was evolving a riff I created on my Moog Sub 37 into a “7 day project” track on Instagram. During this week, I realized that Caitlin’s description of South Dakota was a complete mismatch to my version of it, which I guess I had developed as a child in Italy watching Cowboy and Indians movies. In my imagination, Dakota (didn’t know there was a south or north at that point), was a Wild West version of the Neverending Story, involving Native Americans on horses. She described it as …. Let’s just say not what I had in mind! For some reason I started to really overthink this mismatch of reality vs idealized imagery, and long story short I started to create this track with a very vivid imagery of what I pictured DAKOTA to be like, and even mentioned during a Facebook Live that the ending of the track was very “NEVERENDING STORY” to me. As a child I was obsessed with The Neverending Story, and when I grew old enough to realize that not only did i love that movie and book as a kid, but also that Giorgio Moroder created the soundtrack, I guess I never got over it 😀 . This Dakota track developed into one of the more complex arrangements i had worked on, I was listening to a lot of Eric Prydz / Guy J / Henry Seiz at the time, and I think the result was a track more intricate than what I usually “finished”.
When Noel Sanger told me he really liked that track I had been playing on IG, at that point yes it was arranged, but most of it had been live synth lines with both my NordLead 2 and my Moog Sub 37. When he told me he wanted to release it on Dissident, I have to say that not only was I absolutely stoked to hear this… But I also did not have the courage to tell him that I didnt really have most of those midi files of what he heard, cause I had just been jamming it on Instagram! So I actually went back and listened to what I had recorded on my previous IG videos, and recreated most of the parts in Ableton and rendered them as Audio. This is not something I do usually!
Dakota is scheduled to appear on a compilation in a few months called DISSIDENT FUTURE, and I couldn’t be more stoked to know that it is happening thanks to this IG thing I have been working on, and on a label owned by a friend / producer I respect so much such as Noel Sanger.
Side note… Remember my friend Rama I mentioned earlier in this post who saw my IG? Turns out Dissident releases go through his licensing label, EMG. I had no idea that him and Noel Sanger had joined forces some time earlier.
It’s a bit crazy how many things I had always thought or planned somehow, manifested themselves in this sequence of events. None of this would have happened if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone and started streaming live my music practice sessions, and I’m super stoked that my first release will be happening on my homies’ labels!!!
Update: June 28, 2018
OUT NOW: “Dakota” is available on Beatport and iTunes on the compilation DISSIDENT FUTURE
I’m SO PUMPED to announce that as of today my track “DAKOTA” has officially moved out of my apartment! The Dissident Future compilation is out on Dissident Music / EMG, and it is charting on multiple Release Genres on Beatport.
You can get it here: https://www.beatport.com/track/dakota-original-mix/10968685
This is a huge bucket list item for me, and without Noel Sanger at Dissident and Rama Barwick at EMG it would have never happened. Not to mention those rednecks in South Dakota pretending to be in the Neverending Story! Thanks Y’all.