In this piece Gloria Ruth Finney looks at the phenomenon of a YouTube Pop-space dubbed the Nashville Sessions which allows select up-and-coming musicians to connect and collaborate over the course of a week as well as work on increasing their YouTube viewership.
Guest post by Gloria Ruth Finney
Starstruck Studios, located on Music Square in Nashville, Tennessee, opened up its doors to host a YouTube Pop-up Space known as the Nashville Sessions.
Select musicians, had the chance to learn, connect, and collaborate throughout the week. In addition to workshops that focused on increasing YouTube channel viewership and subscribers, artists were able to produce professional quality content at the Nashville Sessions as part of the event.
The American video-sharing website, headquartered in San Bruno, California holds pop-up events around the globe. Unlike other pop-up spaces, which invite YouTube content creators with channels focused on a wide range of topics, such as gaming, or product reviews, the Nashville Sessions are the only pop-up completely centered on music.
The week kicked off with a happy hour gathering for attendees, and a chance to network with other artists and songwriters.
Lauren Duski, 2017 runner up on NBC’s show The Voice, led the Aug 14 happy hour event as she spoke about her musical career, and debuted the video to her new single ‘Costume Party’.
Over 200 applicants submitted for the chance to take use of all that the Nashville Sessions had to offer, including songwriting workshops, and classes on how to create and curate content for an artist’s YouTube channel.
Kamaal Malak, best known as original bassists for the hip hop group Arrested Development, has participated in every Nashville pop-up to date.
“I was under impression that they offer services for profit, but I was completely wrong,” said Kamaal. “They offer these services to the artists as a platform to help the artists”.
Free studio space, including production and post-production, as well as the use of cameras and lighting was provided. The purpose is to create professionally shot music videos, or Q/A sessions with the artist to then be uploaded to their YouTube channel.
“They give exposure to the artist,” Kamaal said regarding YouTube and what the artist receives from using the space. “They are really in the business of helping artists, especially new artists, get attention on their YouTube Music platform”.
Singer-songwriter, Lauren Strahm, who goes by the stage name of Fleurie, attended this year’s event for her fourth time. Fleurie was selected as one of the 17 singer-songwriters that were ultimately chosen to attend the pop-up.
She says she’s thankful to YouTube for hosting the event because, as an artist, it can be difficult to juggle creating music, and growing her online presence, something that is necessary in this day and age to increase fan base.
“I guess before doing these I didn’t have any other true videos of myself playing live,” said Fleurie.
“I think it’s really important to post videos of yourself playing and singing because so many artists are (for example) very auto tuned these days, and fans want to connect and see the person, and see that they can actually play music”.
YouTube has become a key facilitator in connecting artists to viewers through video content and exposure. Being able to share that authenticity with fans is what Fleurie says currently brings over 128,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel.
Fleurie shared that something she’s learned during her attendance at YouTube’s Nashville Sessions has been to post videos to her channel about once a week, to once a month. Consistency is key.
“Just because, honestly, anything more than that kind of gets a little lost, because of the over saturation of social media, and stuff,” explains Fleurie. “But anything less than that feels like you have been distant”.
Fleurie’s single “Out of the Blue”, has already been released, but fans can look forward to seeing the music video, recorded at the pop-up, on her YouTube channel sometime in September.
Advice for others looking to build their music channel subscribers, Fleurie says, “I would say make some good quality videos, pay to have the videos made or something, to make them look good, but still raw”.
Other artists who took part in the Nashville Sessions included: RaeLynn, Jimmie Allen, Patrick Droney, and Cassadee Pope.
Dates for the next Nashville pop-up space have not been decided, however,
content creators with YouTube channel subscribers reaching over 10,000 are invited to make use of the latest production recourses and workshops at the company’s U.S. locations in Los Angeles and New York.
Permanent YouTube Spaces outside the U.S. can be found in Berlin, Dubai, London, Mumbai, Paris, Rio, Tokyo, and Toronto.
The next temporary YouTube Space will take place in Mexico City, Sept. 24-28. Additional pop-up spaces will be held in some of the world’s largest cities around the globe, including: Bangkok, Manila, New Delhi, and St. Petersburg.