blog

Interview: Loft Apartment

December 12th, 2012 | Posted in interviews

It took one song for Finnish duo Loft Apartment to catch our full attention. One magical piece of music and we became instant fans. The song in question? “Someone’s Will (To Have You)”, a soft gem overflowing with emotion and mystery. Stumbling on this little wonder got us intrigued and amazed…and the ultimate level of excitement was reached when we saw Loft Apartment use our new direct-to-fan selling feature. We had no choice but to run to our phones to get in touch with them and chat about this beautiful song, their upcoming projects, selling music online, and vinyl records among other things.

Tell us a bit about Loft Apartment – who is in the band, when did you guys start recording?

We’re Sanni Pesonen and Aaro Vahtera. Everyone seems to assume we’re a couple, though we’re not. We met at the university, as we both study psychology, and we started to talk about music. We’ve been making music together since Summer 2011, and we recorded our first demos in Fall 2011.

How would you describe your sound?

Our sounds are fresh, yet the composing is timeless. Basically, our sounds are made by Aaro, and the songs and lyrics by Sanni. We both have our very own styles and ways of making music, and we have listened to a wide spectrum of different artists (classical, alternative rock, old school dubstep, 90′s dance, electro…). Our common ground is that we both prefer strong and interesting atmospheres.

Your song “Someone’s Will (To Have You)” is simply amazing and has garnished quite the buzz. What’s the story behind it?

It’s a song of harrowing farewell and a song for a new day at the same time. It’s about hope. And despair, also. I think strong and intensive emotion often goes close to the opposite of itself. It has to be so, for the balance of everything.

How did you do to get your song out there – how did you go about to promote it?

Actually we just put it out. We sent it to a couple of blogs, and they spread the word. We’re quite amazed at what happened, and how quickly!

We’re super happy to see you guys use our new direct-to-fan selling feature – how do you feel about it?

It’s an easy way to sell our music to listeners directly from our player via Facebook and other pages we post it on, and there are no costs at all for us. It’s very useful, as we don’t have a label at the moment, and it allows us to take control of our content. We will sell our next song through Official.fm too.

How about physical formats? Plans for CDs and vinyls?

We’re gonna get a small edition of “Someone’s Will (To Have You)” pressed to vinyl soon. When it’s time to record an album, we want to have it on CD or vinyl or both, but the time is not yet.

Vinyl seems to be surviving the times. Do you collect records or use them for live performances? What do you like about vinyl?

Vinyl has a warm and original sound, and we like that it’s tangible. It’s nice and concrete, like a real book or a cup of coffee, even though you can have all the music on your computer.

At the end of the day, what do you think is the easiest way for a fan to support an artist nowadays?

Buying music, coming to a gig, and spreading the word through the social media.

What’s next for Loft Apartment, what are you cooking up?

We already have a nice bunch of songs, but we want to make more and play them at our gigs. Some day we want to record an album, but we want to give time for our sound to improve still. Currently we’re working on a new track called “The Fattest Girl on Earth”. It’s gonna be very wistful and very bouncy.

Any last words or shout-outs?

We welcome everyone to get to know our music. In our introduction texts we like to mention lights and forests and rivers, maybe because it’s hard to describe our music in a rational way. One has to paint a picture, of weird but pretty landscapes we hope you could step in for a moment.

Visit Loft Apartment’s Facebook page for the latest updates.

Watch this short video for more info on our direct-to-fan selling feature.


Interview: Lifelike

August 7th, 2012 | Posted in electronic, interviews

Producer extraordinaire LIFELIKE grabbed our attention with a collection of carefully designed Promo Pages and smashing tracks – a great reason for us to get ahold of this subterranean magician with the (French) Midas touch. Known for his work with Alan Braxe, Ed Banger, Kitsuné, or Defected among others, the Parisian man has been busy in 2012, releasing EPs and working on his solo album due out next year. We caught him in between studio sessions to talk about his new release “Getting High Remixed”, music promotion throughout the years, the future of vinyl and more.

Hello Lifelike, how are you doing?

I’m good, thanks, and you?

Doing great! Your latest release is “Getting High Remixed”, a collaboration with Popular Computer, what’s the story behind it?

That’s our latest release on my label Computer Science. It’s a collaboration between Sylvain Dalido aka “Popular Computer” and myself. We co-wrote and co-produced the track together. Sylvain was one of the original Kitsuné artists and staff producers, he has a great sense of music and a great musical background, he did remixes for New Young Pony Club, Mylo, Hot Chip, Pacific!, The Whip and Japanese electro superstar Shinichi Osawa. We met at a party where we were both DJing, we share a lot of common tastes for music, and view of the music business. It became very natural for us to work together after a while and we have become very good friends at the same time.

Due to the success of the single, we decided to promote a free remix contest, a lot of producers sent us their demos, we received around 40 remixes. At first we did not plan to do any official release around that, but some of the remixes were so great, like Pyramid, Final DJ’s, Daze and Tommy, that we decided they would need a release after all.

How did you go about promoting this release?

We have an independent PR agent that is based in the UK and we used a lot of new official.fm features as well. It’s been going very well.

One thing we noticed is that your Promo Pages are always customized to match the artwork of your releases – is the way your music is presented particularly important to you?

Yes, I think it’s important to be able to customize the look of a web music player, basically it makes it much more attractive to listeners and also give the opportunities to the record labels to choose what kind of presentation they want etc.

This is the big difference with Soundcloud, for example, who doesn’t let you choose anything, and I must admit that although they were the first to do this kinds of online music player tool, it looks quite bad.

Ways to push releases have multiplied in recent years – what do you see as the crucial aspects of promoting music nowadays?

I think it took a lot of time for the music industry and record labels, indie as well as majors, to change their habits and their way of promoting records.

Today it is very important, because when you release something it becomes worldwide and instantly available, to focus the promotion aspect of a release into a few weeks instead of doing it in over 3 months like in the past.

The listeners don’t want to wait months before going to buy a record (we got used to that as well) and it’s much more efficient to do a 2 weeks promo campaign before a record gets released and work on the promotion 3 weeks after it’s getting released and use more of the online tools to show the EP’s or single.

Do you feel music promotion tools should be entirely free, making it an equal opportunity for all artists?

No, I don’t think it should be entirely free, but it’s good that some tools are free to ensure any musician can show their music, it’s very convenient for those who are looking for label, we do receive a lot of links from young producers and it makes it all easy for us.

You started putting out music over 10 years ago. Was it easier or more difficult to get exposure back then?

It’s much easier to get exposed to the entire world nowadays, but it also has its limits. 10 years ago a record would work almost from itself if it was a great record, I’m talking about electronic music here, just because indie retailers would order directly from the distributor the quantities they thought their clients would buy, those people knew their clients really well, but that was back then.

Today you get exposed, but you still need good promotion, there is so much more producers out there on the market that without any promotion, you won’t get through.

One thing that was very prevalent for independent music in the early 2000s was vinyl. 10 years later, it seems that there is still a market for it, whether it’s lovers of the vinyl sound, fetishists/collectors, djs, or nostalgic music fans – do you see vinyl surviving the times?

Yes, but with very little quantities. Today a vinyl pressing sells maximum 500 units worldwide, it’s of course totally ridiculous if we compare this to only 7-10 years ago. We sold over 20’000 vinyls back in the days, like “Discopolis” for example. Those days are definitely over, and it’s nothing compared to the selling number from the end of the 90′s, like Alan Braxe & Fred Falke’s “Intro” which sold 100’000 vinyl copies.

What’s next for Lifelike?

I’m finalizing an album with Universal at the moment. I have been collaborating with A-Trak, Chromeo, Electric Youth (“Drive” motion picture soundtrack), Yota, Fred Falke, Oliver on this album, and we will soon announce the first single release. It’s my first album, I only released singles or remixes so far, so it’s very exciting times.

Check out Lifelike’s Official Page


Interview: Tamara Sky

February 3rd, 2012 | Posted in interviews

Artist, dj, model, and badass Playboy bunny (among many other things), Tamara Sky is quite the multi-tasking phenomenon. The temptress/musician from Los Angeles by way of Miami and Puerto Rico has indeed a vast array of skills and one of them happens to be mastering the use of Official.fm tools. There was no way we could resist calling her for a little interview.

Official.fm tools, social media, vinyls, wild parties, zombies, and horror movies, she covers it all…and more. You know what they say: sky’s the limit!

Super dj, model, brand, temptress – who are you Tamara Sky?

I’m a vampire robot with amazing ninja powers who is also a zombie with flesh eating sex-demon alter ego from the Planet of Terror. >:)

Puerto Rico, Miami, Los Angeles, world tours and international rendez-vous, you’re kind of a big deal. What’s a typical day in your magical life?

Well, I just moved to LA, so I’m still romanticizing the city and being a local tourist: riding my bike around Hollywood and hiking a lot. Other than that most days are nothing like the last. Today I’m in Atlanta, shopping for a Lydie Deetz costume to dj at a “Beetlejuice” themed party. Besides that me and my crew at The Overthrow expanded our offices from Miami to LA and have been plotting taking over with our newest party project called Lil Death which was unveiled two weeks ago. This Sunday at the party we are doing a murder just like we did during our Black Sunday Parties in Miami.

You’ve been making the best of Official.fm tools: branded players superbly integrated on your website, branded profile page and so on…What makes you happy at Official.fm?

I love how easy on the eye the player looks, especially when it’s embedded on other websites. It’s simple and clean. I’m super picky about my brand aesthetic, so it’s great how I can customize my player and homepage with the pro account.

What other tools would you like to see pop up on Official.fm?

Firstly, a mobile app please! Also a plugin for my website (perhaps one like the footer on your site). As a bonus request: for it to be more integrated with RootMusic for Facebook.

You’re quite the social media expert, always active on Twitter and Facebook – do you think it’s a must for artists nowadays?

I think social media is crucial for most business today, particularly artists. It’s the direct connection between myself and my fans…and also my contemporaries. Sometimes I think its a little creepy, but I love being able to engage with my fans anywhere in the world at any time. It’s also a fact that promoters, clubs, sponsors, etc. judge your value by your network.

Good old internet has changed the world and will undoubtedly continue playing a central role in shaping it – how did it change you?

Ah yes, the internet is my frenemy. It definitely makes things more accessible…and makes me work harder to rise above the over-saturation. I do have a good team behind me (Overthrow), and we focus on a lot on multimedia projects, integrating art and music. I think it’s important these days for music to have a visual element to it. I also love that I can easily pick up new hobbies thanks to Youtube/Vimeo. So far I’ve DIY’d the guitar, nunchucks and some music production using Logic Pro.

By the way, do you still use/buy vinyls, cds, cassette tapes or any physical support?
Do you see vinyl surviving the times?

I was all vinyl the first 3 years I started djing. Ever since I switched to Serato, I haven’t been buying vinyl unless I stumble upon a gem. I see vinyl surviving as a hobby, but not professionally. I respect people like Jack White that invest their time and money into preserving vinyl culture, and making it fun to buy.

You’ve worked with brands, magazines, you’ve deejayed for Donald Trump’s birthday, you go from underground parties to high class vip stuff…is diversifying the formula to make it as an artist these days?

I can’t speak for all djs, but it fits my personality. I love high fashion and djing for high profile events. It’s been my goal as a dj to work alongside highly respected peers, but as an artist my passion for music stems from emerging artists. When I dj more indie/electronic parties, I get the opportunity to introduce new music to open ears.

What’s your advice to all the talented dj ladies out there trying to make it?

Being a LEGIT female dj is no easy task. First of all the term “DJ” should be given, not self proclaimed. If you want to go into this business because you want to be cool and need attention, then please don’t do it (it makes the rest of us look bad). If you’re really passionate about it, then practice everyday with a pro until your back and hands hurt, and when you’re ready, get some gigs and see what happens. Once you’re ready, don’t be afraid to show the world how badass your are…and smile at all the naysayers ;-)

I’ve heard clips of Videodrome and other movies on your tapes, I’ve seen pics of you holding chainsaws, I’ve heard you drink cobra blood…horror movie fan?

Indubitably! I love blood, guts, fear, nudity and humor which are all in horror movies. The more cerebral and mind-bending they are the better! I could watch all this while I eat! Lol! Lately I’ve been watching Asian Horror every week on Netflix.

5 must-see horror movies then?

The Braindead aka Dead Alive
I Saw The Devil
Hellraiser
Zombieland
The Shining
Bonus: 13 Ghosts , because all the ghosts were terrifyingly awesome!

How do you “consume” your movies nowadays? Have you completely switched to online action? Or do you still go to the video store?

I don’t watch TV so I recently got hooked on Netflix. Since then, I’ve been finding the weirdest foreign movies that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Last time I went to a video store was about 2 years ago. I do miss a good indie video store, much like record shops. Matter of fact, there is one in East Atlanta called Videodrome!

You’re known as “one of the most badass Playboy bunnies to ever enter the mansion”. That could be turned into a movie, no?

As long as I curate the soundtrack!

This one’s going out to?

Shout out to my best friend/bf Caleb Gauge for being so awesome. All Hail The Overthrow! I love you Mom & Dad!

Up close and personal: get to know Tamara Sky
Tamara Sky Website
Tamara Sky Facebook
Tamara Sky Twitter
Tamara Sky Tumblr

Something to say? Let us know what you think in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter or by email.


How InFiné is using Official.fm tools for its end of the year compilation

December 16th, 2011 | Posted in how-to, interviews, Spotlight

To celebrate the holiday season and end the year in style, Paris-based electronic music label InFiné decided to reward its fans with “2012 Pre-Masters“, a free compilation of never-heard tracks taken from projects due out in 2012.

The music is simply amazing and the way InFiné released the compilation is an excellent example of how to use Official.fm tools to their full potential.

Let’s get into a little break down of what tools InFiné used for this holiday release.

1. Customization: the compilation comes with a beautiful customized page and a classy branded player (which you can see at the top of the page). This way, whether on the Official.fm page for the release or anywhere the playlist is embedded, the InFiné brand is kept intact, so is the original artwork for the compilation.

2. Playlist download: InFiné created a playlist with the tracks from the release, made each of them downloadable, and also enabled the download option for the whole compilation. This means people can not only download each track separately, but also the complete release at once in ZIP format.

3. Email capture: to download “2012 Pre-Masters”, fans have to submit their email address. InFiné will then be able to download the list of collected emails in a CSV spreadsheet. Cool way for the label to connect with the audience!

4. Statistics: thanx to advanced stats, InFiné will get to find out who, where, when and how their music is being consumed.

We wanted to know more about the release and how the French label is using Official.fm, so we called Julien @ InFiné and asked him a couple of questions…

Hey Julien, congratulations on this great release. Can you tell us how it came about?

We have a lot of projects in the pipeline, none of them are completely finished but we wanted to spread a musical snapshot of what comes next year. Those are unreleased tracks taken from forthcoming LPs, some demos of artists, which foreshadow further collaborations. The “2012 Pre-Masters” are about introducing a new generation of artists and make sure they will be previewed by as many people as possible. But they will be only available on download till 31st December 2011.

You’re giving it away for free – how come?

We can’t compare the Premasters to a standard release on InFiné. It was really some kind of impulsive decision we took just a couple of weeks ago. We compiled the tracks; mastered them and just released them. We are not organizing a four-months media campaign, just spreading it to our usual supporters and checking how they react. We also decided to give a time frame to this campaign.

There is nothing revolutionary about giving music for free. One of the artists featured on the compilation, Dowliners Sekt, has his entire catalogue available on his own website and only sell the vinyl versions. I do not want to take sides on this subject, but what is also obvious is that people who want to get our music on the web, can easily find it for free. Now, the question was, what kind of value will bring the Official.fm system in comparison to a usual upload/download service.

We are going to check the figures at the end but right now it turns out to be a very efficient tool to increase our exposition for minimal cost. But of course, the music still has to be good.

Speaking of which, you’ve been using our tools very smartly and efficiently: superb branded players & pages, email catcher, playlist download and so on…What do you like about the services Official.fm offer?

The player is really user friendly – no need to have a PhD in IT to understand the way it works. You can preview the tracks and almost spontaneously download it, if you like it. The player enables to manage the listeners’ impulses, which makes it acceptable to give onn’s email address. I am personally careful about not giving my email address to anybody, but if I like something and can have access to it for free – saving the time to scan the web to get a proper link, avoiding nasty pop ups of usual Rapidshare-likes, not to mention the potentiality of viruses or just damaged files… I think I will give my email address. Right now, the download per stream ratio is quite satisfying.

What other tools would you like to see pop up on Official.fm?

The stats section is already quite detailed but I wish we could have a per country search option (I might have just miss it). For this compilation, we also tried to get exposure and posts in news sections of musical websites, some are really scanning what happens on the web before reacting and usually look for some kind of activities. Some other people are reacting very quickly, post the embedded player but might have a smaller audience. What could be interesting is maybe to be able to spread the player but control the embedded option for a while.

Now go download to the compilation!

If you want more details on the tools InFiné used for their “2012 Pre-Masters” release, check out these blog posts or email us.

To get a pro account and take full advantage of Official.fm, go here.

And don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook and Twitter!


Q&A with NEUS: Making Electronic Music for the Digital Age

July 23rd, 2011 | Posted in interviews

At official.fm we’re always very excited to see new talent grow, such as the up & coming producer NEUS. When describing his music in words, it might sound like he’s just another French electro producer, but if you let the music speak for itself, you can hear that’s not the case. NEUS is as versatile as he is talented and we’re glad to see talent like this using our tools. However we had to satisfy our curiosity, so we got in touch for a quick interview.

How did you get into making music?

I first started DJing with software on my computer, and then I learned the guitar and drums with my friends. That was a long time ago, when I was 16. I was interested by software, and how to make music in this time and a guy made me discover Reason. So i tried and tried to make some songs, but it was kind of a test and with the time i got some skill.

Do you still use Reason now? Did you add more tools to the mix?

Yes, I still use Reason and added some Massive Synths and using editing software too.

So, on Facebook we described you as an ‘upcoming’ producer. Which triggered a question from one of our followers there: when was the first time one of your songs got dropped by a ‘big name’ and how did that happen?

It was 2 years ago, by Sebastian. He played my remix of Motor with Busy P.

Did you reach out to him for that, did he hear or see you play somewhere live?

I think he heard it on MySpace, or maybe Mr. Oizo gave it to him.

So you started making and sharing your music in an age where you were probably already very connected to the web. Does this influence your production do you think?

I made music, during 2 years, without publishing anything. When I thought it was the time, then I did and it started to grow step after step

Did this growth and seeing which tunes are most popular help you decide what type of styles or sounds to focus on?

Ah no, I decided that NEUS was gonna be something versatile; touching every kind of electronic music. My way to touch the most people possible hearing electronic music.

So do you see yourself being able to make a living from music any time in the near future? Or are you already doing so?

I’m already living of it. So I hope I will, haha.

Music is everything i have.

Do you get most income from doing live gigs or also from sales or other sources?

I share every unofficial remix I do and sometimes remastered versions of old stuff I did. I live by the shows I do, yes.

So, I have a feeling you might have a interesting perspective on piracy and people downloading your releases for free…

Yes, it’s interesting by the way.. I don’t mind if people are downloading my music for free.. I just ask a little bit of support.. If they really like, then that’s a good reason to buy a song to support the artist they like.

And does social media form the key to getting them support you or do you see more ways?

Blogs and forums, guys uploading my songs on YouTube, giving some links to buy or get on my website.

So what is your next goal, hope or dream as NEUS?

My next goal is to have my studio, a band with good musicians, and some collaborations with an album project.

And what is it that you do when you’re not producing?

Eveything people do, haha. Chill, friends, hang out and a lot of things.. Enjoying life.

So what’s expected in the near future?

A lot of good project are upcoming soon on my label Fuck The Sound Records. So stay tuned!

You will definitely be hearing more from NEUS, but to keep up to date with this guy, check out his homepage, Facebook and Twitter.