In Conversation with Laura Cavacece

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award-Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to singer-songwriter and vocal coach Laura Cavacece

 

Laura Cavacece

Singer, Songwriter, Performer, NFL and NHL Anthem Performer, Producer, Actress, Rated one of Canada’s Top Vocal Coaches and Performance Mentors, Founder of Canada’s Largest Vocal Competition- Hidden Talent Canada.

Laura was born on June 2nd 1989 in Toronto, ONT. She has achieved more success than any other up and coming unsigned recording artist from Ontario, Canada. Her vocal talent was discovered at the early age of three. At the age of five, Laura was put into piano lessons but quickly chased after her bigger dream which was to sing. At age twelve, she won a factor grant of $2,000 to record her first 2 song demo CD. She co-wrote two original songs and recorded them right away to complete her 2 song demo package. At this point, Laura was invited by Jeff Healey himself to perform live with him on his stage at his very own HEALEY’S Bar, Toronto.

It was not long after that EMI RECORDS and UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA had Artist Development deals to offer Laura and her Music career. At the time, Laura’s parents acted as her management and agreed that it was too early to set her off into the “industry world and lifestyle” at such a young age. All offers were declined.

In the summer of 2006, Laura won a radio competition, 107.5 Kool FM Idol with a grand prize package of a 2 song recording deal. The prize consisted of $1,500 worth of studio time, professional photo shoot and 8 weeks of airplay on Barrie, Ont sponsored station, 107.5 Kool FM. For Barrie, ONT 2007 New Years Eve countdown, Laura had the privilege of rocking the stage, performing two songs in front of 10,000 people at Barrie’s City Hall. Televised on 2 channels, internationally. In 2007, Laura graduated from the Independent Music Production program at Seneca College@York University in Toronto. In the summer of 2009, Laura landed and the role and starred as Sharpay Evans in Bird Entertainments, High School Musical 2 on Stage! She performed for 8 weeks at Lester B. Pearson Theater in Brampton, Ont.

LAURA’S MUSIC CAREER TOOK A HUGE LEAP in 2009! She won an NFL Anthem contest on Toronto’s Breakfast Television winning the Grand Prize of singing the National Anthem at the Rogers Center in front of a sold-out NFL game when the Buffalo Bills took on the New York Jets.

It was not long after that the NFL and Buffalo Bills Entertainment management reached out to Laura again to invite her back on the field and request her to sing the Anthem once again for the Buffalo Bills, only this time IN Buffalo, New York. This took place in Sept 2012, then again in Oct 2013/2014. She is now on the Roster for an annual Anthem performance for NFL teams as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlie’s Hockey Team.

Laura has worked with an endless amount of successful International and Canadian recording artists such as Barenaked Ladies, Karl Wolf, Jeff Healey, Bryan Adams, Craig Smart and more.

Being a vocal coach for many years and an inspiration to many young and old aspiring artists out there; In early 2011, Laura sought to create a platform for all other aspiring talent called Hidden Talent Canada.

A singing competition like no other, based solely on the artist’s vocal ability and open to all ages. Laura takes the role as Founder/Executive Producer/ Main judge in Hidden Talent Canada as it’s currently in its 8th season. The organization is growing tremendously popular as each day passes being labeled now as “Canada’s Premier Vocal Competition.”

In Conversation With Lady Antebellum

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood Scott from Lady Antebellum.


Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum blend contemporary country with soulful ’60s R&B into an infectious brew that relies on the trio’s rich harmonies and impeccable instrumental skills. The trio was formed in 2006 by Charles Kelley (brother of singer/songwriter Josh Kelley), Hillary Scott (daughter of Grammy-winning country artist Linda Davis), and Dave Haywood, and soon graduated from dive bars to the Grand Ole Opry. Their 2009 single “Need You Now” became the first of many hits to reach not just the country Top Ten but the pop Top Ten as well.

The group formed when Scott met Kelley and Haywood in Nashville, and after a few months of performing around the area, they signed with Capitol Nashville in 2007. Lady Antebellum’s first single, “Love Don’t Live Here,” peaked at number three on the country charts. A self-titled debut album followed in April 2008, featuring production from Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley and stocked with more country hits (including the chart-topping single “I Run to You,” which also enjoyed crossover success as a Top 40 pop hit).

Lady A has sold over 18 million records and have released their new album Heart Break—their sixth release and first new music since 2014’s 747—the multi-platinum-selling group mapped out a liberating approach. It’s not as if they were slacking during the hiatus (Kelley released the Grammy-nominated The Driver, Scott won two Grammys for her faith-based project Love Remains, and Haywood produced and wrote with several developing acts), but they always knew they would get back to making Lady A music. The question was how.

“We knew we wanted to take that break to be with our families and chase some new creative paths,” says Haywood. “But even during that time, I remember Charles saying ‘Guys, let’s figure out how to use this time as a way to really dig into this next record, make time to do nothing but create music together. How do we come at it in a totally different way?’“

So the trio embarked on a new mission—setting aside time to put themselves in new surroundings, and concentrate on writing and exploring musical possibilities with no distractions. They rented a house in Florida, living and working under the same roof, and when the experiment proved successful, they set up a second retreat in Southern California.

“The goal was to give each other our undivided attention,” says Scott. “Being in a new space meant we could really free our minds to focus solely on our art. We took some of our favorite writers and some writers we hadn’t worked with before to a new inspiring backdrop, where we were able to just write and soak up the process.”

Even more crucially, along the way, the members of Lady Antebellum were able to dive into their relationship as friends. “We’d wake up and Dave would have cooked breakfast and it was amazing,” says Kelley. “Making drinks and staying up talking until 3 in the morning—we hadn’t gotten to do that in forever.”

“Being together every day, living in a house together, that was the special ingredient this time,” says Haywood, while Scott adds, “We’ve always been close, but we got to reconnect even deeper into our friendships, and that was really priceless.”

 

In Conversation With Codie Prevost

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to Canadian Country Artist Codie Prevost about the challenges independent artists face and the commitment it takes to be successful



Codie Prevost

Codie is a four-time Canadian Country Music Association nominee and six- time Saskatchewan Country Music Association’s “Fans Choice Entertainer of the Year” award winner Codie Prevost, learned at an early age that hard work and perseverance would lead to good things.

Since starting his career he has shared the stage with some of country music’s top performers including Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line, Joe Nichols, Jason Aldean, Big & Rich, and Neal McCoy. He’s toured internationally having performed tours in France, U.S.A., and his most recent tours to Australia, which included performances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Plantation Music Festival, and the Gympie Music Muster.

Prevost’s last album “All Kinds Of Crazy” received “Country Recording Of The Year” at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards and was nominated for “Album Of The Year” at the 2014 Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

Prevost is set to launch his 5th studio album entitled “Radio” this fall. The album was produced by award winning producer Jeff Johnson (George Canyon, Wes Mack) and Jesse Weiman.

“You Won’t Sleep Tonight” is the lead off single from the upcoming album.

Listen on iTunes!

 

In Conversation with Invictus Entertainment Group Founder Jim Cressman

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to Invictus Entertainment Group Founder Jim Cressman about what it takes to break into the music industry



Jim Cressman

Jim Cressman and Carrie Underwood

Jim Cressman is the owner and president of multiple award winning concert promoting firm, artist agency and music management firm – Invictus Entertainment Group, www.iegroup.ca. Cressman is also the president of Big Star Recordings a record label jointly ventured with Universal Music Group Canada.

Invictus Entertainment Group is the premier catalyst for merging arts, culture and commerce. A collective of elite experts in the entertainment industry offering an extensive spectrum of services. With over 700 promoted and produced shows yearly, Invictus has forged solid, reliable relationships. These relationships include agencies, management companies, artists and buildings. Invictus boasts the most extensive secondary and tertiary market touring alliance, greatly expanding the North American market base for international touring.

Started in 2011, by Jim Cressman, with the vision to form a one of a kind artist services company – dedicated to facilitating the unconquerable artistic spirit. His past had prepared him for this moment, at 16 he convinced a radio station to allow him to do an on-air shift, later a stint in pro boxing, and by 30 he had convinced the top promoter in Canada to partner with him. Never being one to succumb to a challenge, Cressman developed his 360 model with fervor and evolved his portfolio further by leading Invictus Entertainment into Pollstar’s Top 100 Promoters in the World list.

In Conversation With Dierks Bentley

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to Dierks Bentley about touring, fans and his start in the business.



Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley released his self-titled debut album in 2003, and the album’s single, “What Was I Thinkin’?” topped the country charts. His 2005 effort, Modern Day Drifter, also went platinum. Bentley became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry when he was inducted on October 1, 2005m and that year, he won the CMA Horizon Award. His first DVD, The Dierks Bentley Experience, was filmed in 2006.

Inheriting a love of music from his father, Bentley picked up his first instrument, an electric guitar, at age 13. After graduating from a prestigious East Coast prep school and attending Vanderbilt University, Bentley dropped out of college to pursue a career in music.

Discouraged by the Nashville music scene, Bentley turned to bluegrass to help define his own sound. He worked for a time at The Nashville Network and played at local parties and bars before releasing his self-titled debut album for Capitol Nashville in 2003. The album’s single, “What Was I Thinkin’?” topped the country charts. His 2005 effort, Modern Day Drifter, was also certified platinum.
Bentley became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry when he was inducted on October 1, 2005. That year, he won the CMA Horizon Award. His first DVD, The Dierks Bentley Experience, was filmed in 2006 in Denver, Colorado.

In 2009, Bentley released another hit album, Feel That Fire. He had two number one hits from the recording: the title track and “Sideways.” His musical style has been compared to such country legends as Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.

Bentley’s career continued to thrive with 2010’s Up on the Ridge, his bluegrass-influenced album. With 2012’s Home, he returned to a more contemporary country sound. Bentley played with Florida Georgia Line and Mike Eli as the Cadillac Three for the 2013 single “The South.”

In 2014, Bentley released Riser, which has garnered a lot of critical attention as well as several award nominations. The album is perhaps his most melancholy and contemplative work to date. For the song “Here on Earth,” Bentley drew from his recent loss of his father as well as the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy.

Bentley’s current album is Black. Discover more at Dierks.com.

Learn To Brand Like Taylor Swift

By Cliff Dumas
CMA, ACM & CCMA Winning Broadcaster

How do you become a brand?

The Rock Star, Memorable Actress, Great Dad, The Nutrition Guru, The Honest and Wise Friend- memorable and easily identifiable personalities like these have achieved a key piece of success; they’ve transformed their personalities into a brand. As an artist, you need to know what your unique brand is and be able to express it confidently, authentically and consistently to connect through your music, engage meaningfully with fans and have a successful, long-lasting career. Your music is only the first step. Your audience wants to get to know you. What you reveal and how you represent yourself across all of your social platforms and media opportunities will help you craft your story and create your brand.

Identify your key character building blocks and strategically use them them throughout your performance, social media and other media opportunities (interviews).

How do you identify your “character building blocks”?

Start by create a list of things you are passionate about, your quirks, your important life stories then you can integrate them into your show and interviews. Love to cook? Let your fans know. Like sports? Share it with your audience. Have a great story about your first date or most memorable Christmas? Share it. Being vulnerable and revealing personal things about yourself will help you connect with your audience. The more your audience gets to know you the more they will like you, the more they like you the more they’ll become loyal to your brand. That translates into more downloads and concert ticket purchases. No one does this better than Taylor Swift. Taylor consistently communicates and connects with her fans on social media. This creates a more engaged fan based which leads to more revenue.

Taylor Swift’s social media savvy paved the way for album “1989” to sell more copies in its opening week than any album in the previous 12 years making Taylor the first and only performer to have three albums sell more than 1 million copies in a week.

How did social media help Taylor Swift break album sales records?

Taylor SwiftBetween Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, Taylor Swift has more than 140 million followers or subscribers.

What’s the secret to “Branding” yourself?

Two things, a delicate balance of you and them. Too many brands and celebrities do nothing but talk about themselves on social (Kardashians), but Taylor Swift understands that her millennial audience grew up in the “sharing” culture.  Her Twitter feed is full of retweets of undiscovered artists covering her songs, of wedding videos using her songs and lots of fan collages sharing their love of her music and personal connection to who she is and what she stands for. On Instagram, she comments constantly on her fans’ posts, and during Christmas a few years ago  she chose a number of lucky fans and randomly sent gifts, which, of course, was documented on video and shared to the delight of fans which in turn create millions of extra views. The result is Taylor Swift’s effort and commitment to engaging her fans continues to deepening her connection to them further expanding her impressive fan base and strengthening her brand.

More recently Taylor showed up at the wedding of Max Singer (a longtime fan) and Kenya Smith. Taylor received a letter from Max’s sister Ali telling her how Max and Kenya got married in a hospital prior to their June 4 celebration — so their mother would’nt miss her son’s wedding before she passed away. Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” was mom and son’s first dance song.

 

Congratulations Max and Kenya!!

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Winning branding begins with a clear message of who you are and what you stand for. The more concise your message, the more memorable it will be. Renowned companies utilize this formula. For example: Campbell’s Soup. Campbell’s is the brand and “Soup” is the category. Once a brand becomes a household name, the category designation can be dropped. There is no doubt about these brands: Taylor Swift, Disney, Google, Starbucks and Ryan Seacrest.

Just like everyday brands we’ve come to know and trust like Nike and Apple, your “personality brand” can represent you and earn audience loyalty. The more famous someone or something is, the fewer words are needed to identify them. Consider one-name celebrities like Oprah, Beyonce, Shaq, Sting and Madonna. They require no further introduction.

Brands deliver consistent experiences. This consistency earns the audience’s trust.

In order to set yourself apart from the rest, you must personalize your audience’s experience. Apple builds excitement every year in anticipation of its technological advances and every year its competitors rush to duplicate them. What’s distinctive about Apple? A consistent, quality user experience earns Apple supreme consumer loyalty.

Creating a great brand takes dedication:

The formula for success is quite simple: double your rate of failure.
–Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (founder of IBM)

Building brand recognition, trust and loyalty requires effort and once you’ve achieved it, the trick is to create momentum and consistency.
The average person will tell three people about a positive experience with a brand, but will share a negative experience with thirty three people!
Personality brands are powerful because your audience identifies with you on a personal level. Your fans have an emotional connection with you AND your music. Once you’ve earn that gift, you have to maintain integrity with the values that earned you their trust in the first place.

The three rules to becoming a personality brand:

ImportanceOfBranding_Banner from Music Clout1. Make sure your message is focused and easy to remember. Work on being engaging, don’t ramble. Craft interesting and relatable stories to describe your music, your life, your experiences, please don’t say, “Here’s a song I think you’ll like, it goes something like this”. Put some thought into what your are going to say regardless of whether it’s a 140 character tweet or song introduction during your performance.
2. Put in the time and commitment. Rehearse in front of friends, the mirror or record yourself on our iPhone/smart phone or iPad/tablet and critique yourself. How important is it to have compelling stories to tell about yourself and your music? It can be the difference between being memorable and forgettable. I recently worked with an artist for weeks to craft the moments between the songs to create a better overall performance experience for his fans and give him more confidence on stage. That artist was just signed by Sony Music!
3. Be authentic, honest and real and deliver a consistent quality experience to your fans.

*Photos from Elle.com & Musicclout.com

In Conversation with Phil Vassar

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to singer songwriter Phil Vassar about his 7 year break, the music business and wine.



Phil Vassar

Phil Vassar is one of a handful of musicians to have multiple hits as a songwriter AND as an artist. He has 10 Number 1s, 15 Top 10s, and 26 TOP 40s. Top songs include Just Another Day in Paradise. Carlene, Six Pack Summer, American Child, For a Little While & My Next Thirty Years (Tim McGraw), Right on the Money (Alan Jackson), I’m All Right & Bye Bye (Jodee Messina) and many more. American Soul is Phil’s ninth album. He also recently launched “Songs from the Cellar” a wine-infused musical conversation airing across the US and Europe. Check out more from Phil @ PhilVassar.com and check out all of Phil’s music on iTunes.

In Conversation With Garth Brooks

The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists

Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.

Cliff talks to Garth Brooks about retirement, his come back and the current tour.

GARTH BROOKS

garth-brooks-98Garth has had a remarkable career in music. According to the RIAA, Garth is the best-selling solo albums artist in the United States with 136 million domestic units sold, ahead of Elvis Presley, and is second only to The Beatles in total album sales overall. He is also one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 160 million records.
Garth Brooks has released six albums that achieved diamond status in the United States, those being: Garth Brooks (10× platinum), No Fences (17× platinum), Ropin’ the Wind (14× platinum), The Hits (10× platinum), Sevens (10× platinum) and Double Live (21× platinum).[5] Since 1989, Brooks has released 20 records in all, which include: 10 studio albums, 1 live album, 3 compilation albums, 3 Christmas albums and 3 box sets, along with 77 singles. He won several awards in his career, including 2 Grammy Awards, 17 American Music Awards (including the “Artist of the ’90s”) and the RIAA Award for best-selling solo albums artist of the century in the United States.

5 Not-So-Obvious Revenue Streams for Musicians

By Cliff Dumas
CMA, ACM & CCMA Winning Broadcaster

Making a career out of your music ability is the dream of virtually every musician. But how do you do that? Who do you trust? How do you create sustainable revenue? Here are some excellent not so obvious revenue stream suggestions from Michael St. James founder and creative director of St. James Media.

-Cliff

A version of this article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.

You’ve probably seen many lists outlining revenue opportunities. Here’s a little twist on not just learning what they are, but also how to utilize them. In fact, some of these may never have even occurred to you. Here are five ways you start making money from your music right now!

1. Master/sync licenses

Photo from mollaeilaw.com

By far, this should be the most important part of your music business plan now. In other words, this is where the real money is. Without boring you with music publishing and rights laws, here’s a basic breakdown.
If you wrote and paid to record your own music, you are the songwriter, publisher, and label. This gives you an advantage over most majors, as they have separate labels and publishers to grant licenses for the master and sync rights respectfully. You can negotiate a deal granting the master (recording) and the sync (underlying song) rights all by yourself. This is called a “one-stop” or “pre-cleared” deal.

Every entertainment medium needs music: commercials, TV shows, movies, local news, web campaigns, and games. Try to start local first; find a local restaurant, car dealership, even a local filmmaker. Understand their messaging, then pair a track with it for your pitch.

2. YouTube monetization

youtubeSet up your YouTube channel to allow monetization, and choose ads that are less than 30 seconds (unless they’re trailers). Fifteen-second entertainment ads pay best but can’t be skipped. Every song you’ve ever recorded should have at least an album cover video and a lyric video. Uploading these gets your music into the YouTube content ID system, and you’ll earn a percentage of the revenue share with Google on the ads.

But the key here is to have your music available for other content creators (like your brother’s sister-in-law in her basement making fashion videos) to use simply and in a way it makes you money.

That’s right. If complete strangers need to use music for their videos on YouTube, and your music is available, it’s free for them to use, but you get paid. You must administer those rights on the platform and be a partner. This is a little-known secret: you cannot do this on your own, and you will not get paid if your music isn’t administered properly. So use a service like Audiam or Rumblefish, which charge a 25 percent admin rate off of the top.

Think outside the box here. You could use your own songs to do a tutorial lesson on bass, guitar, or vocals. You could break down one of your song’s structures and boom – another video. Add an audio track to one of your songs, explaining the life moment behind its writing.

3. Instrumentals

Photo from Rappingmanual.com
Photo from Rappingmanual.com

Probably the most important facet of lost musician revenue is the lack of a clean instrumental track. To effectively license music and make sure you have as many chances as possible for uses, make sure that you have an instrumental version (no vocals) and a “TV-up version” (just background vocals – “oohs” and “ahhs”), as well as a separate vocals-only track in addition to the final master mix of the song.
So, you have four “songs” now:
• full mix (regular song)
• instrumental (no vocals)
• TV-up (just background vocals)
• separated vocals (acappella)
There are countless times when a song cannot be used because of a lyric here or there, or the vocal just doesn’t hit the right emotion. Sometimes you can get the same money for 30 seconds of the bridge without vocals as you could for the whole song. This is imperative.

4. Shazam

shazam logoShazam might be one of the most important drivers of the future of music. Industry insiders are watching these charts very closely – trust me.
To get your music onto the platform, first make sure you have a distribution service (like CD Baby, The Orchard, TuneCore, etc.) in place, then ask them to submit your music to the Shazam database. Once you’re in Shazam’s ecosystem, tag your own song and save it. Then, plan a “Shazam Party” by asking all of your fans to download Shazam (free), then play that song on their computer or stereo at a time (like Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. EST), and all Shazam it at once.You’ll hit the top of local charts and possibly larger ones. It will get you noticed and might lead to a larger licensing deal.

5. SoundExchange

sound exchangeYou know of PROs that collect for performance royalties, but they only do that for songwriting, publishing, and composition. SoundExchange administers the statutory license for satellite radio and web-casters. They collect for the recording owner and featured artist. Think about this way: Aretha Franklin didn’t write “Respect,” nor did she own the publishing or the master recording. But she is that song, plain and simple. So why shouldn’t she be paid every time that song is played? Well, that’s what SoundExchange does – only for satellite and web radio (non-interactive, like Pandora). No terrestrial radio (yet).

Michael St. James is the founder and creative director of St. James Media, specialising in music licensing, publishing, production, and artist development.