Last week Well Hung Heart's Robin Davey and Greta Valenti launched the first episode of "Made in 48", a web tv series that brings their band together with another, in this case Gram Rabbit, to write, record and release a song. And then they also conceptualize, shoot, edit and release a music video, all in 48 hours. Combining a background in tv production and professional performance with a love of making music leads to something much realer than reality tv.
I spoke yesterday with Robin Davey about his new web tv show, Made in 48, how it relates to his partnership with Greta Valenti, their work on Daryl Hall's "Live From Daryl's House" and why he considers Made in 48 an example for musicians who get too hung up on making things perfect. Hypebot readers may already be familiar with Davey's writing, he and Greta Valenti's band Well Hung Heart or their directing and production work as GROWvision Studios for Live From Daryl's House.
MADE IN 48: Episode 01 featuring GRAM RABBIT & WELL HUNG HEART
For the first episode of Made in 48, Well Hung Heart hosted Gram Rabbit in a collaborative adventure funded by their work at GROWvision. The basic idea is that they create a song and video in 48 hours with a band with which they'd enjoy collaborating, document the process supported by a small crew and release a single and music video by the end of two busy days. For this collaboration the bands chose the name The Crazy X's and released the song "Boom" to iTunes.
The result is an interesting behind-the-scenes minidoc (above) and a fun music video (below).
MADE IN 48: The Crazy X's - "Boom"
As Robin Davey described their work on Made in 48 I got a pretty clear picture of musicians who love what they do and are taking their hard-earned skills and resources to make a professional looking product that still has homemade energy. Their approach is designed to allow them to have fun, something Davey says has to be a part of a musician's life, while exploring a concept and building an audience.
The Importance of Connecting Directly with Fans
Davey and Valenti are keeping the doors open to taking the show to tv. But instead of coming up with an idea, shopping it around in meetings and only seeing it come to life with someone else's money, they're taking it direct to fans. If it's a success, they'll be in a much stronger bargaining position if people I picture as "men in suits without ties" show some interest.
Though they're drawing on skills and resources smaller fry don't have, Davey points out two important things:
They worked really hard to get to the point to be able to make this happen.
Even if you don't have similar resources, the web has opened up the possibility to reach your fans direct simply by playing a song in front of your webcam.
If you do take the route of creating informal media for your fans, even if they're used to highly polished musical releases, they're a lot more likely to view it as a way to connect rather than as a low budget stunt. Davey definitely views connecting directly with fans as key to what artists at all levels should be doing.
Live From Daryl's House
Both Robin Davey and partner Greta Valenti have seen how that can work first hand via Davey's direction and Valenti's production work for Live From Daryl's House. What began in 2007 as a free web show is now available via the Palladia music television network owned by MTV. It's a great example of how the web is changing things at every level of the game and putting power in the hands of musicians.
Why Making Albums is Still Important
My conversation with Davey was pretty wide-ranging and one of the topics we hit upon seems especially worth sharing. He pointed out that, even though it seems like the album may be dying, sales charts and the like don't tell the whole story. He feels albums are an important offering to have on hand for live shows. They're often the first thing fans will buy and they give them something to take home and enjoy as the beginning of a deeper relationship with your music.
"But Wait, There's More!"
Greta Valenti and Robin Davey have a lot more coming down the line, including a talk show hosted by Well Hung Heart featuring comedians as guests discussing whatever seems relevant at the moment. The next episode of Made in 48 is due in a month or so and they're also working on a secret project that's so secret he wouldn't even tell me off the record. You can keep up with all their activities via GROWvision's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
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