Revolutions and Resolutions

I typically shy away from post like these but I'm hoping that writing this will help push me to give you and other fans more music in 2017. 

In trying to better understand who I am as an artist and the music that I want to release, I’ve so much time debating what kind of genre I do or should belong to, whether that matters at all, and how all of that needs to be structured? After all of that I think I’ve realized that what matters most to me is creating and releasing music that I want to hear, regardless of what genre it might belong to. 

I’m writing this message as a kind of promise to you and to myself to start releasing music regardless of whether I think it fits my brand (whatever that is) or if it forms a cohesive package. Having recently become a new parent has made me realise more than ever how precious our time is and I can’t spend any more of it debating mix fidelity or chart appeal. 2017 will become the year I say fuck it and start to let the people who have supported me hear what I’ve been working on. It may be a single or an EP, house, R&B or something all together different, but I’m done trying to appease those inner critics that keep me from putting myself and my music out into the world.

If you still follow this page and care at all about the music I make, I’d love to hear from you. Your support means the world to me.

Love,
Jeremy

The Ballad of Terence Trent D'Arby

 Photo Credit: David Corio (Redferns)

Photo Credit: David Corio (Redferns)

 

A fellow musician posted this article a month or so ago and I found it really interesting. I had always been a fan of D'Arby's music and wondered what had happened to him. This article explains a lot. It left me wondering how much things have changed (or haven't) since D'Arby's day? Is eccentricity an asset or a hinderance in today's music market? 

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2015/10/i-was-killed-when-i-was-27-curious-afterlife-terence-trent-d-arby

Navigating The Changing Seas of The Music Business

Circumnavigating the slick waters of the music business is enough to make any artist drown. In the sea of streaming services, PR and booking agencies, managers, social media and more, you find yourself struggling to catch your breath as wave after wave of new content floods the market. 

Every day I log into my Soundcloud account and try to keep up with heaps of new tracks and DJ mixes in my stream. On one hand it’s amazing that so many creative people are able to send a song to so many new ears ready to listen. On the other it’s like sorting through a box of cables; so much is similar, it’s hard to find what you’re really looking for. I often find it exhausting and frankly deflating. How does one compete amongst such heavy and constant competition? And let’s not kid ourselves, if you’re interested in forging a career in music, you’re in a competition like everyone else who decides to go into business for themselves. And like any business, music has it’s model for making money. 

Since broadband internet’s arrival, the music business model has shifted more towards merchandising and live performance as a means to financial gain. Even the most popular artists aren’t making the sums from CD and record sales of the past via streaming services; evidenced by groups like Radiohead who decided not to include their music on sites like Spotify. That means all that time and money you spent on studio fees or software or hardware or whatever you used to make that perfectly polished track has essentially gone into promotion. Because the song itself is only going to make you so much money via streaming services or downloads. So you hope that those 1000+ plays get you a gig or two that will help recoup all that time and money. 

And let’s face it; even the majors are hurting from lower song sales. Maybe all the smaller players; labels and individual artists are making enough to be satisfied. Maybe for you or them, releasing music is a fun hobby done on evenings and weekends to help feel better about a boring day job. But for the rest who aspire to make their bread and butter from the profits of their productions, it’s tough times. Being in the music business today requires not just song savvy but a cunning ability for self-branding, marketing and promotion; at least until you can pay someone else to do it for you. 

I recently received an email from a new streaming service who’s site makes statements like “Artists have the right to share, upload, and create music at no costs. There should be no barriers to entry for the next great artist.” Though the idea of this very democratic service seems wonderful, I can’t help but think ‘who’s paying for this site?’ What kind of plan do you have for your company in the next 10-20 years? How will you avoid going the route of Soundcloud and having to start charging your users money to use your service? Businesses need capital to finance their endeavours. That includes artists. Will all that time, effort and money that went into producing the track you’ve uploaded for streaming be paid back in live show and merch revenues? I think in this case, the company feels that the better you can grow your fan base, the more potential for monetization via other means.

On the other hand, you’ve got all the horror stories of artists who signed to a major, only to be shelved because they’d already released a female, alt-techno singer-songwriter that month and so down goes another potential career. So what’s a music maker to do? 

I’m down for the democratic, and we need new businesses and new approaches to how the music business model will work. But if new services are going to come online and be really helpful to artists, they need to determine how the average punter in his or her bedroom is going to monetize their hard work so they can continue to make music as a career rather than spend their days doing some 9-5 that they detest. That’s real change. That’s a truly democratic industry.

Navigating these dark and treacherous waters, in search of that island paradise is all an artist can do at this point. I suppose one must jump in to find any treasures lurking below the surface. Is there a company that’s addressing all of these needs that isn’t a subsidiary of Vivendi, or will the success of future artists truly reside in their own ability to cleverly utilize every service available? 

Disclosure - Caracal: The Curse of the Sophomore Album

 

I think that you could argue Disclosure's sound is based off of three major elements: Lush chords, plucky square-wave bass lines and swing; as in rhythmic swing. These 3 elements alone, for me, made Disclosure so popular. The Lawrence brothers essentially distilled the essence of Garage or Garage-House and added those buttery sweet chords over top. They then take that same 3 ingredient recipe, vary to taste and sprinkle some silky vocals overtop. Voila! You have another Disclosure album! That's my overall feeling about Caracal.

Did I like it? On the whole, not so much, for precisely the reasons stated above; similar instrumentation, song arrangement and style. Also, where are the instrumentals? Or at the very least gimme a Bang That or something more mildly instrumental. 

Do I expect more of these 2 young guns? Frankly, yes, but realistically, no. Why? Because you can't expect a major label like SONY to issue a follow-up to such a chart-topping album like Settle with something totally different, after you've retained so many fans in the process. Trust me, I have done just this and feel it greatly affected my fan-base. 

So the question really is, can an artist or artists be free to express their musical interests outside of what made them popular and still maintain an equal or greater fan-base in the process?

From reading through at least 10 music media reviews on the album, I would say that yes you can and in fact, you should. Most reviews I've read give a similar analysis to my own; good but not great. It has it's high points, or better songs, but overall, they weren't wowed. I wonder if this speaks more to the tastes of a music journalist or producer who consumes so much music on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that they just want something so totally different? Aren't there enough people making music now to fill every obscure void? Why should these guys be expected to give us something so different? 

For my own part, I think I put Disclosure on a pedestal of sorts, expecting them to somehow revolutionize their sound or the sound of dance music as opposed to just being a couple of great musicians making really well produced music. That's likely more a nod to my age. I'm going to approach this album as a great effort of which I hope Howard and Guy take their critical licks from and move on. My hope is that their existing fans keep Holding On and not be too Jaded and allow Disclosure to create a new Masterpiece sometime in the future; see what I did there? 

JG

BACK TO BASICS

I've attempted to start a website up again with the intent to actually let people know what's happening in the mind of Jeremy Glenn. Currently listening to some label-mates on Quintessentials records; always great to get the original house music vibes. 

Keep checking for regular updates, and please do send me an email, tweet, message however you can and let me know who you are and what's going on with you. I really do want this to be another way to further connect with people all over. 

Love, peace and happiness to you all,

x Jeremy