Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brooklyn's New Scene

In an engaging and inventive manner, this past April, Samantha Tilipman started a blog about Brooklyn's contemporary music scene. She wanted to dig deeper into the artists, their music and why Brooklyn is such a hub for creativity. She does so interviewing musicians and publicists (like our own Janelle Rogers of Green Light Go) to get to the heart of what continues to make Brooklyn a boiling pot for great music, almost a decade after the initial hype of the "hipster Brooklyn rock" was constantly being toted around.Tilipman states exactly what she intends to do with her blog Brooklyn Beats City Sounds.

"I write with a purpose."


Together we will travel the road to stardom through the eyes of a bubbling music group. We will see what it takes to make–what are the drives, desires, and dreams necessary to become known. Does making it in the New York music industry require talent or connections, a passion for fame or a passion for the art? Who’s involved in the success and who takes credit for it? These are just a few questions I hope to answer."

So far in her travels Tilipman has come across Brooklyn-based Green Light Go artists Naked Hearts and Fan-Tan, who both have new albums out this week. Tilipman interviewed both bands for the blog as well got some insight straight GLG head honcho Janelle Rogers.

Tilipman interviewed Naked Hearts' lead singer Amy Cooper about how the duo got their start and how they landed a high profile piece in Interview Magazine last year, and the band's future as an independent band.

"I hope that we’re able to still continue to make records. The main hope that I have is to be able to tour Europe; we would love to do that. We would just like to live being able to tour four to five times a year, and to plan our lives around tours. We’d record when we’re not touring. I think it’s totally possible. You just really have to keep doing what you want to be doing. There are a lot of ups and downs, and if you really love something, you just continue doing it and things will happen the way they’ll happen. I have faith that you’ll end up doing what you want to do for sure," Cooper told Tilipman.

Like many bands have done in the past decade, Fan-Tan, originally from North Carolina, moved to Brooklyn, in hopes of more support and they seemed to have found in according to their interview on Brooklyn Beats City Sounds. Among other things, Tilipman interviewed singer/guitarist Ryan Lee Dunlap about their transition from North Carolina to Brooklyn.

"It was pretty easy for us. We just moved and started playing shows. We emailed everyone as soon as we got here; it was a lot of calls and stuff. Our first show at the Cake Shop, and it was good. We had a good draw because we knew a lot of people in NYC at the time, so that sort of helped. And once you play one show at a venue you can book another show there later. We just kept doing that and then we went to bigger and bigger venues and started getting established as being able to play wherever we wanted to around the city."

The features on Fan-Tan and Naked Hearts were the direct result of a music industry insider who has seen bands come and go from the Brooklyn "scene," and as Green Light Go's publicist and owner, Janelle Rogers told Tilipman she didn't go out seeking "new: bands from Brooklyn.

"They actually chose me. A lot of my business is through word of mouth. It starts with one community and builds from there. Naked Hearts was the first Brooklyn band that I started working with and I met them from another Portland band that was called Star Fucker at the time [now called Pyramid]. And then the others were just word of mouth from other musicians."

Janelle also gave some great insight into why band's benefit from having a publicist. "From start to finish, we’re public relations because from the beginning we’re trying to help them find their identity. We don’t dictate that, we let them and we work with who they are and find their story within that. It’s targeting the people that we think would like their music. For Naked Hearts, they have their niche; an indie rock fan base that will eat them up and love them. For Fan Tan, because they’re synth-pop, the people that go out dancing on Saturday nights and listen to great retro-Brit-pop, that’s like their lifestyle. We’re playing into those things–how people would already consume the music and find the right writers for them."

Keep an eye on Brooklyn Beats City Sounds as Tilipman is adding new interviews and insights every week.

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