Music’s Bedroom Producer Boom: Secrets To Quarantine Creativity w/ Splice, Jammcard, Oak Felder [Midem Digital Edition Spotlight Series]
Live music may be nonexistent for the time being, but DIY and remote music-making from home has reached new heights.
Splice, a leading tech platform for producers to create samples, loops & presets, has seen a record 1.1 million downloads of sounds per day post-quarantine, a nearly 50% increase from the month pre-lockdown. Jammcard, a social network for professional musicians, has successfully pivoted to a booking platform to provide crucial paid virtual gigs for players displaced by tour cancellations. And Oak Felder, a 2015 Grammy nominee (Usher’s “Good Kisser”) currently on the Hot 100 with Demi Lovato’s “I Love Me,” currently stars in a just-released mini-doc from Apple about his creative process, showcasing popular remote products like Logic Pro X’s 90-day free trial and the MacBook Pro.
This exclusive session will explore three bright spots of the music industry during the COVID-19, and how they’re paying their growth forward through initiatives that are putting much-needed revenue into artists’ pockets.
Steve Martocci, Co-Founder & CEO — Splice
“We’ve always been big believers in the power of software and the power of the bedroom producer. When you see someone like FINNEAS at the Grammys, dedicating his award to the bedroom producers of tomorrow because of software and what people can do at their homes, it’s so empowering. We’re all bedroom producers now. All of a sudden, the world changes a bit and we have to do everything at home. Those numbers are people coming to making music for the first time, and also coming back to making music.”
“We say our biggest competition is people giving up on themselves. And you’re gonna give up on yourself for a bunch of reasons — either you’re struggling with the tools, you can’t figure out how to be creative with this thing, you can’t get it done. So it’s about making great tools and educating people.”
“My favorite compliment is that Splice is the cure for writer’s block.”
“You can’t refund inspiration. It’s unbelievable to watch how soul crushing can be with inspiration. I won’t name names, but my finacee has gotten into DJing and production, and she was dealing with one piece of software and right before her set she hits delete and lost her entire set. How can you make people go through hours of work and not give them an undo? She just broke down and was in tears and she said, ‘They don’t care about me.’ So you can give up on yourself when you’re in that moment looking at all those knobs in front of you, you can get lost. And we want to keep you inspired and keep you a lifelong musician.”
Elmo Lovano, Founder & CEO — Jammcard
“A big passion of mine is modernizing the music industry in any way I can. As a musician you spend 50% of your time chasing money that’s owed to you, and I’ve always wanted to fundamentally change that. But I knew the only way to do that would be to a) you have to amass all the musicians together and b) you had to build the technology yourself, because the label’s not going to build that themselves to pay you faster. So that’s what Jammcard Booking is, it’s a new system where you can contract musicians, producers, songwriters, floor managers, whatever it is and pay them instantly right upon when the drop is done. So simplifying, streamlining that and making it much faster.”
“Until COVID, Jammcard was used primarily for hiring tour personnel. An artist would come in and build their entire live band. Like if you were at Coachella, most of the musicians you’d see on stage that were found on Jammcard…Now Jammcard is entirely people looking for remote recording sessions, and 70% of the usage we’ve seen since we launched it is booking musicians for lessons or mentorship.”
Oak Felder, Grammy-Nominated Producer
“I feel like one of the only people who knew how to breathe underwater before the whole world flooded. The concept of mobile production has sort of been a theme for me from the beginning of my career, that I can remember…It advanced to the point where when the quarantine started, nothing really changed for me from a creative standpoint…Even after the quarantine is over, the concept of remote recording won’t be as far-fetched and out-of-reach as it was before this.”
“The music industry is fortunate in that people still have the option of consuming music while they’re sitting at home during quarantine. It gives us a job and gives us an outlet. I’ve noticed there is a paradigm shift, but I don’t know if we’ve actually reached it yet. Artists will go on tour, and touring has always been the biggest stream of revenue for the industry traditionally. The fact of the matter, from a producer or songwriter’s standpoint that’s not been something we participate in. if I produce a number one song for a signer and they go tour, I don’t see any of that.”
“The real concern I have is for the average creator to be able to do a song or an album that’s not a number one smash, and still be able to monetize what they’ve done. Whether it’s go get a Splice pack done, go mentor somebody on Jammcard, I just wonder what can happen – and whether or not it is happening – that would give producers at the blue collar line the capability of paying a bill…One of my biggest passions has been about figuring out if you’re a producer not in the top half percent of producers that are working, how can that person make a living? If anything can be called a good thing about the quarantine, it’s that a lot of people are thinking that way now.”
“I have this philosophy about technology, in that it needs to get the hell out of my way…Let my idea become a reality in the most direct, easiest way possible. I give companies like Splice and Jammcard a lot of credit for that type of thinking… I think the more companies that there are that have that mentality are gonna find themselves in a great position, especially for now.”
Shirley Halperin, Executive Editor-Music — Variety
“The music industry’s really turned 180 degrees during this pandemic. It used to be that all of the effort was put toward the tour, because the tour was the moneymaker and the best way to get people paid and not have to wait a year or a year and a half for it. And now all the attention is on the creators, and the people who put music out. So it’s Oak and songwriters and producers and the labels.
For more than 50 years, Midem has brought the global music community together in Cannes. This year, Midem Digital Edition (June 2-5) will feature 264 speakers from 48 countries, 64 sessions, and 23 livestreamed keynote sessions, talks, and presentations.