In this interview episode: Cheynne Murphy is an Australian musician with decades of music production experience. He's played huge stadiums while touring internationally. He is also a university lecturer for Torrens University where he specialises in teaching Digital Marketing, Arts & Entertainment Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Consumer Behaviour /Psychology.
In this interview, Cheynne shares how he produced his album from home, despite challenging covid restrictions. He also shares his music marketing wisdom, with a specific focus on music marketing for self-producing musicians.
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Transcript (auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error):
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Welcome back. And thank you for tuning into the production talk podcast. Again, it's great to have you on board. Since Episode 10, we've worked our way along the production timeline through the different phases of music production. We've covered some writing and creative workflows with Shell and TK and I think that was a fantastic episode. Last week, I shared my take on the production mindset and how to know when a project is finished. I also spoke about my mixing philosophy and shared some tips about mastering. But after mastering a product is not yet done. Today, we're opening a particularly tricky can of worms, marketing and promoting your music. According to Google 60,000 songs are released on Spotify every day. A few years ago, that was 40,000. So it's fair to assume that this number will only ever go up. Therefore, you have to cut through somehow. And your success in the music industry depends to a large degree on effective marketing. You cannot release your songs and hope for the best hope to be discovered, or go viral without any further effort. And that's exactly where marketing and promotion comes in. Today, I'd like to introduce you to Cheynne Murphy, who is not only a phenomenal musician, but also a university lecturer for teaching digital marketing, Arts at entertainment, marketing, social media, marketing and consumer behavior. Cheynne has many decades of experience as a musician. He's played in huge stadiums overseas, but I still see him performing at the local farmers markets occasionally. Whatever Cheynne does, he puts 100% into it. And today, I'd like to speak to him about the ever changing ways of music production, how he produced his last album in times of the pandemic. And of course, we are going to have a big yarn about music marketing and promotion. Okay, now it's time to get to the good stuff. Here's my interview with Cheynne Murphy. All right, so with me today is Mr. Cheynne Murphy, thank you very much for joining us today. It's really good to have you on board. Cheynne, how have you been?
Cheynne Murphy Thanks for having me on. I've been good. I've been very busy. We're just chatting about that before. We're probably living busy lives,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths we surely do. What can you tell our listeners about yourself and how you became a musician. Now, how long have you have you played music
Cheynne Murphy for? Well, I like to say it's three chords. And the truth is what got me into music because I literally picked up a guitar at fourth fourth year of uni. So I was doing a marketing degree. And my parents were very happy with that. And then a guy down at the student calm few doors down had a old nylon string guitar. And I'd hear him playing. And I think that sounds amazing. And I should really play and I was I was into my 20s, early 20s. At that point, I hadn't sung hadn't played a note of music, and I bought a guitar off another friend in that same college complex. Yeah. And I learned jack and Diane, I think was the first song, which is an old roots American guy. And it was literally a DD and that was the name. And the whole song was that and that's literally the three chords. And I thought this is this is incredible. And then I started listening to the Beatles going wow, this is like three chords are now there's four chords. But it was it was just it just to stand me how simple the construction of the music was, if you could find the right melodies, you know, with chords, so. So that's how I got into music was just playing. And then I just got obsessed, and I was writing more songs than I was learning. I just started writing and yeah, and I basically as the story goes, it was I think it was something like I had a rehearsal in the student accommodation just with some really amazing musicians again, I just feel like I was such a newbie in the early 20s. And, and they all had musical training, and so on. But I think the first song we played, was you too bad. The song bad and I was in this room and singing and I just thought I was liberated and freed of so much stuff. It felt like a weight off my shoulders. And I just went I felt like I was just I found it. I found what I wanted. And so I just practiced for six hours a day and we signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell within two years or something or three years of those three chords.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Wow, that's an amazing story. Yeah. And do you remember what year that would have been round about? Give or take?
Cheynne Murphy I'm not so good with years. Say what signing to or just beginning the music journey. The year would have been really starting to get and it was 1992. Okay, yeah. So in the end there was like it was a really fast beginning with the publishing deal, which is, you know, focusing on songwriting, and then a really protracted, United States sound still, what are we 2021, I'm still writing music, just about every day, still looking to record music. And you know, it's just that beautiful. I like to call it just inspiration. If you've got inspiration in your life, it tends to make you happy. So I kind of work back from that. It's a tough business, don't worry about that. Now, just enjoy the inspiration.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And you just recently released your fourth album. So I can assume that certain virus that we all know about through a bit of a spanner in the works for you there, or how did you get through through the corona times? Because that would have been about the same time? Is that? right? Correct.
Cheynne Murphy I was I was, you know, in the mid process of doing an AP, and I'd actually sort of presented an EP, and then I would kept writing and I felt like I wanted to put it out as an album, not have an AP, and then an album, that sort of approach. And, yeah, the just the sort of starting to engage with social media, with new ideas. So with my Facebook network, in kind of a more is a little bit sort of hesitant to do that, because you don't want to just be self, this self promoting musician and come look at me, and I feel like there's a lot of musicians that are just trying to promote or sell something. But what was different in this situation was that I was presenting a song idea and inviting people if they felt compelled to share, share their musical, you know, their, their flavor, without any sort of real conditions on it. So, you know, a call that just sort of free expression, and just got a great response. And, and, you know, and so just use that process of sending a, you know, Pro Tools mp3, and telling them don't, you know, don't cut it at the top or the end. And just record it, consolidate a track and flip it back to me. And so I actually finished that album. Just recently, I've just put out at the end of February, which was a few years in mostly non COVID time. And then, yeah, I finished an album, which I haven't recorded, officially. But I'm actually thinking really strongly that I'm just going to do like a homemade mix of just the shit that we did, you know, through COVID. And even though everything was done, like the drum tracks, or just stereo mixes and things like that, just work with those raw ingredients and see what we can come up with, because you get this unique thing happening when someone's just playing without any, you know, no one's like, I'm paying the session musician to come in and play. They just play him because I feel like it. So I probably have to go back and give a few bucks to some people just to, you know, to say, say thanks. or as we say in Australia, I your case of beer.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, right. So, online collaboration was basically what got you over the line there by exchanging files and then getting a file back of the same length. Is that the method? Yeah, I mentioned Pro
Cheynne Murphy Tools. Yeah, yeah. So like, you know, knowing that this is about production and home production. I've had a very simple philosophy from day one, like I've always believed, say percussion, as long as you can play in time, I don't need to spend 1000s of dollars on a shaker, you know, nor tambourine. And for me personally, because I'm really big on harmonies. And that's one of my parts of my sound. My father used to be into the Beach Boys and you know that there's something about harming I feel like it's much easier and cheaper way to get the same feelings you can get with strings. If you if you know that your way around the oohs and ahhs and layering and so on. So you get this really human version of strings as they're kind of the way I look at the harmonies are, that's a great way of putting it. Yeah, and in, you can feel that in the music too. And most people will say that they love harmony based music. So that's, that's already established. So my particular recording setup is a very, very simple, it's just a good mic and a decent performance. So through the COVID time, you know, more and more, you know, most people spending more time at home, I personally just love that insular sit with the guitar, I think I performed best at home, I think I play best at home, I think I ride best at home. And so therefore, it makes sense to record at home as much as you can. So I really have a preference for doing the vocals at home because I've got that beautiful luxury of going. You know, like I find if I listened to a vocal kid being a vocalist and self producing is a very challenging thing to do. But I feel that if you sit with it, it's like sort of like riding poetry. Sometimes when you ride it you go on I don't really like that but then you sit with it and maybe pick it up or with lightning. Oh, that's actually quite good. So it's a similar thing with the with the Vehicles, it's better to almost reverse for me, like, I'll listen to a guy that sounds quite good. And then I'll be sitting in the car like two or three days later. I'm like, I just need to straighten that line up a bit. And I'm singing this a little bit different. Yeah, here, and I'll go and redo that. So and because vocals is one of the most important things in vocal lead music. Geez, I just say that's the great starting point is an at home, if you can record a half decent vocal?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And what's your situation at home, you know, to record vocals? Obviously, you need to think about the room acoustics and ambient noise and you know, traffic noise. So was that okay for you?
Cheynne Murphy That's the thing about a self produced musician, without any training or any background, you're fairly free, because you're generally just going on vibes. And, you know, there's a whole bunch of people out there that have done it before, like Neil Young's, and as I said, Ray LaMontagne and so I'm aware of a bird, I don't mind a bird, you know, and because my music stars folk rock, I sort of feel that that's okay. But for some reason, the randomness of life, where I've stuck my vocal microphone, I've been playing a few live tracks, just with the guitar, and the condenser mic, and just really loving that sound. And people have commented on that. And I'm like, well, there's no, you know, it's like a $600 mic, there's no plug through it, just go straight into the Mac Mini, which I think you recommended 10 years ago, I still just do the same thing. And I look at Pro Tools looking for sort of not paying too much into the yellow. And, and find my way around that way. And then I like somehow, you know, you find your own little sort of process around that. You've been
Jan 'Yarn' Muths in professional studios with, you know, high end engineers, and really well renowned producers before. So yes. How, how is that different? What to what effect does it have on the musical outcome to not produce yourself at home to wear the hat of the artists who need to focus on the singing and the intonation of the performance and the story and the lyrics? And at the same time, you got to be the engineer? Who needs to look at all the technical things. Yes, that take from it for you?
Cheynne Murphy That's a good really good question. Because I'll paint the story of the first studio proper studio went into which is Billy fields, has a studio called paradise studios that they recorded some classic Australian albums in the angels air supply, you know, just a whole bunch. And it was all to tape, two inch tape. It was all at that point, not automated. This is pre Pro Tools. And, you know, the, the intensity to get the performance. I feel like in here that whereas I feel in that might be good if you see me in really hard rock. But if you're seeing something quite intimate, and you need to be pretty relaxed, then sometimes I found not being in that that focus studio environment where I mean, I even had a specialist, vocal producer come in, and I think it's good stuff. Like there's no doubt about that. I think it is really good for what it is. But it's not like that the song. I don't know, like, I think since Spotify has evolved people's listening, as long as you can get it to a certain level of production quality, it just depends on how how that song is feeling to the listener and is it a decent song is it being well constructed? So So I mean, we recorded with in that studio, two inch tape, a string quartet, like Sydney, Symphony, Symphony, orchestra people, I had a piano player who was scored, he forgot the scores on the day and stressing out his writing and on any bits of paper, he could find off the top of his head, you know, it's pretty crazy. And I think, this studio environment, you know, it does allow some great bonding, you know, at that point, I was in a band and you know, sleeping on the couch, and you get this full immersion. And I think that's probably the best benefit of the studio versus the home studio because the home studios, like how long is a piece of string, whereas in the studio is that you have to get this nailed. But on the downside of that I was under this huge pressure of the the money that was going into it. I think the total cost of it was for me was around 23k Ouch. Yeah. And that was something that we're just gonna do, like in a matter of a couple of days, and then end up being 10 days and you know, all the mixing and that was actually like there's a lot of mates rates that went into that for 23k. So without that pressure, I think it allows people at home to create inspiration. And because the music market is so goddamn competitive, you know, you have a just an almost an unlimited reservoir of this same product. I mean, yes, I know that a purist would say look, you can't compare Bruce Springsteen with Neil Young, but if I you know, I could hear Garrett Kato And that makes me feel good. You know, and I heard a song of yours today, a local barn boy, I love his music. Yeah. And so it's, you know, from a marketing point of view that call it like substitution product is, there's just so many so much product there. So if you're in that environment, and you still want to create, you're inspired enough to do that, and you want to share that I just don't see any known reason to man, why you wouldn't invest in the home studio, particularly if you're a singer, particularly, and get your little signal chain up. Don't be too ambitious, just know what you do there. But I mean, I recorded I've worked with Auntie lysenko. And he was our IP, wonderful, wonderful producer, sound engineer and poor pills and Enix, you know, who's done incredible stuff at here at 301 a barn in Jeff Martin and you know, in they'll do guitar, like the guitar sounds will spend hours on guitar sounds. And one of the guitar sounds that made it onto one of my records I recorded at home, you know, you're now paying attention to placement microphones or whatever. And I'd bring it in to Anthony, I remember bringing it in saying and he just got our share. I said just do your best. And he fuses into the track. And then I can a be that album, like the stuff that we recorded in, you know, a million dollar studio pipe, okay. And it's not like it stands out like that. That is because the genre of folk rock allows you to have the nuance of a bit, it's a bit wild a bit, it's a bit rough, so that you know, what music would be a different conversation to have, but, and I actually filmed that at home with Toby, my guitarist, and I've got the original tag there, and you can just see us working, you know, just in that shot, you know, I just haven't Finally we just got out of the beach out of the surf and bang, he knocks out the solo. And it sounds really great to me. And yes, the sound quality could be better. But the performance was great.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I'm very big on focusing on the performance over Sonic qualities. And nerve people give me stuff to mix, what I always look for is, you know, the beauty of the moment. I tried to figure out what the people were feeling when they when they play the music. And if the focus is entirely only on Sonic qualities that beauty can can get lost. Yeah, so I couldn't agree more with you. They are exactly on your side.
Cheynne Murphy Yeah. And my first inspiration to share because you asked the question about home studio was actually I watched playing for change like way, way back, I can't remember the very first instance of it without going around with a laptop and some headphones and a little bit of gear. That's actually what inspired me in 2008. And I started a an EP called fire songs for the soul. And I recorded it in this in a really big studio, the drums so I'm a big fan of getting the drums right in in a decent studio, if you can, if you're going to be allocating budget and then you pull the tracks back and you start building you know different things yet at home, but not even just at home because I there's a local guy who plays trumpet and used to be in buddy Rich's band called john Hoffman. He also played with Sinatra, and I met him in the hall at a uni one day, and I can hear the trumpet. I said, Wow, that sounds amazing. And he was America's like, yeah, Cheynne Yeah. Like it's good to meet you should come up sometime. said Yeah, well, I want to come up and record you had no idea who it was. I got with a laptop you know, and a recording in the kitchen. sm 58 the cheapest nastiest roads mic you've ever seen. You know, well, sorry, two roads. There might be a sponsor here. Now it was it's the really the entry level and back then wasn't so crash heightened. And so I close Mike the SM 58. And, and the one behind and I just said to john, is that how you usually do it? Like record a trumpet. Now this guy's as I said, play with some of the most incredible people around the world. And he was just totally comfortable with it. The wife was having a cup of tea in the lounge room. And you know, if you've got an opportunity to cross share files with the program, or be wonderful because I'll share this particular cake and he said how just slow this and I just layered three or four takes in that situation. It sounds beautiful to me. And so that's taking the laptop to someone's house because you would never get that opportunity with someone like that. And I like they like that they just wake up have a cup of coffee or the little boy and he's like, how much and I said how much you normally charge john after after he I just gave him a quick 50 because she is sure Cheynne I said yeah, yeah, it takes 15 so what are you going right? I think I asked Paul, it's like 300 an hour. So you get this sort of flexibility when you prepare to go to people's houses with your laptop and your setup. And it expands you like the possibilities of session musicians but are also key To buy more and budget, if you can do less, it's still home recording, but it's just, I mean, that's why I stick to the laptop, the inbox Mini, you know, one really good condenser mic. And I like the idea I can go and I've done it heaps of times, I'll even like, record drums with that one mic, you know, using the one mic technique. And give that room you sort of sound just when I'm demoing and I want to hear a song stand sound and I find that you know, you can go over and share a glass of wine with someone and they're quite happy to do that and hasn't got to the serious level yet. And I just saw I say when it gets serious lucky now of course I'm going to give you some money. But yeah, I mean, it's it's the life of the indie musician.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay, so let me just sum it up. You said that you know, for for tracking drums you actually prefer to go into a studio with a proper room? Correct. But basically everything else that follows like bass guitars, no overdubs, acoustics, electrics, vocals, harmonies, or horns in this case, you would probably prefer to do it at home out at the other musicians houses.
Cheynne Murphy I would I would do that out of necessity to be honest. Yeah, I think the the motivation originally I did this, I've done a few albums were my second album Celtic heart, like was so much of what's done at home. And for example, I met a guy who plays Irish pipes. You know, Matt Conley, he's a local guy, and Byron, and you don't often hear Irish pipes, and, you know, just recorded them in a room. And and so you get Yeah, exactly right. As long as you got a great drum take, you can, di bass. That's wonderful. And most bass players know that what their sound is. And I think also, with, like, it depends on yourself as a producer, if you're someone who really wants to micro control everything. And every note, in every part of the process, I think you'd really struggle with this approach that I'm explaining. But the approach that I I've been doing is basically giving very little direction to the musician, but I'll say I think I can hear I just recently recorded a lap steel guitar. And it sounds amazing. I was in his home studio and online. And it was just basically I can hear it coming in on the course. And nothing more than that. But I knew the guy and I knew his ear for melody. So I knew that, you know, if you pick a jazz guy to do something for you be careful if you're a classically style melody. So yeah, it's all about the ingredients, isn't it like of a soup, or you know, or a meal, essentially, you are cooking something up with that approach with the approach where you're not, you know, doing everything in those two days in the big studio, and you're you've got to be much more planned. And that sort of situation where you can be just a bit more spontaneous.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Thank you for sharing this really good stuff. I love that. Cheynne, if that's okay, we'd like to change direction a little bit and tap into your wisdom regarding music, marketing, and all that you are a bit of a specialist.
Cheynne Murphy Deep breath now.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Look, let me just share a little story of one of my first releases when I was younger and played in bands. And I remember how we rehearsed every week like crazy and learned the songs and we tried our very best to prepare ourselves and then eventually got to the point where we've saved up money and got into a studio and recorded at all. And it was a huge mission to pull this thing off, never having it done before. And eventually, we got to the finish line. And you know, there was finally mixed and mastered and we loved it. And we felt like Okay, finally done. And now it's art. And then we realized a couple of weeks later, we are still sitting on this box of CDs. And what now I find that, you know, this is often the case that younger musicians often don't see what's after that point. And you know, I think the mixing and mastering is the finish line. What advice would you give to that young me from back then?
Cheynne Murphy The clearest advice I would give the young me and that young band anyone listening to this This podcast is it's absolutely imperative that you don't just put all your money into the product, and have not a brass razoo for graphic artists, for photographer for even just a basic live video, write a website, you got nothing left in the tank, you just went 10 grand on that EP all day long, because that's going to get us over the line. It don't work that way I can tell you for 100% so and one of the reasons it doesn't work that way is that most musicians will believe they have the thing habit. Everyone thinks they've got it and I can tell you don't be so sure there's a lot of music out there and in this space. So what is usually the differentiating factor is someone that doesn't put 10 G's into the AP but puts six and has four left over to leverage say Really good PR person that's been recommended. They've got money left to do a really decent, you know, live video for 500 bucks. And they allocate that $4,000 really strategically to be able to continually, you know, promote the song or the AP. And so that would be the first thing. And the second thing that I would probably say that I think's very profound, but also messes with an artist's mind, because they get most inspiration out of the music and the song by reengineer. The process. So you actually think about, it's done now? What are we gonna do? You know, what, what time do I have? What resources do I have? Like, is this realistic in my in my okay to blow a bunch of money? Is that, okay? So it's almost like you're re engineering because the thing is, you can still get the inspiration, you can still do some great stuff at home, it may actually be better to put that 10,000 or the 5000 into a home studio. And then you've got this longevity of creating this product. So the reengineering of it just pausing, you know, and thinking about downstream, like, what would be the date, I'm going to release it, what am I going to release? Like, what is the single Have I done any research into that? Have I actually played it to anyone, because in record company world, they have this thing called the a&r team. And me as an indie home recording musician, I have my own a&r team. And they are people that I trust, I've got a team of them, of songwriters. And different people have a moral flair for production, and they'll hear things in mixers, and I'll present songs to them Well, before, I'm going to the studio for the Tim, you know, getting that spot, I'm sitting on a bunch of CDs. And if you re engineer the process, and you think downstream, you're you probably wouldn't produce many CDs, you wouldn't go for that deal that they're offering where, you know, you get 2000 CDs for, you know, just a little extra money. I mean, the poor environment. You know, like, realistically, how many of those you're going to sell? And, yeah, so there's a lot of, like, just relaxed thought, you know, visioning into the future, just these things. But the The important thing is song itself doesn't sell on its own. And I have spent, you know, a good 25 years in the music industry. And I know, some of the time I've met some of the top people in record labels and management managers are in the entire country. And I know their process. And I know when you put something in the CD player, they've heard 1000 other tracks about the first question they asked you. So tell me about this artist? What are they up to? You know, how much are they playing live? You know, they want to know, these error bars, like they'll go on to social, is there any social proof that there's actually a market for this? This is how business people think. Yes, so if you have no market at all, but there's a lot of passion and self belief, I wouldn't hang my hat on that as a business strategy. Just be very careful about that. I think that's the difficulty as an artist, because it is all about inspiration and passion at the end of the day. That doesn't always translate into the business world. And so I think it's a difficult thing to get the other the marketing hat on and go, Okay, well, who's gonna do the promotion? We've got the product, pretty happy with it. But what's the promotion plan? before you even start the product, so that your budget is much more balanced?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths That's great advice. Fantastic. Thank you very much. So you basically would plan the marketing ahead of time and direct. A lot of people nowadays don't release their albums anymore. But you know, series of singles that say a song every month, do you believe that this is a smart way today?
Cheynne Murphy I didn't, I think it is, it is a smart way today, for an indie musician, that's not like, got much of a push behind a song. If you're dealing with major labels, like it's a big release cycle for just one song might be six weeks or three months. So the idea of doing that every four weeks with very little promotion may not really yield you too much results, but you get awareness, and you've got that consistency. And probably the most important thing about that, again, is looking downstream. And, and looking at like, like your brand, your overall direction. Like if you're just releasing a song every four weeks, and the production is completely different. And every song is different. I think that that's messy. That's a messy thing channel for me to listen to on Spotify. So
Jan 'Yarn' Muths definitely consistencies is quite important. Yeah. In business. Consistency is important. People want to reset, you know, receive the same quality that they had before. It's just like when we go out for dinner now if we have our favorite plays, and suddenly the food tastes different, you don't want to go back. You know, when that's directly to the quality there were no we have an expectation and we want this met.
Cheynne Murphy Correct. And it's a it's a good question to ask yourself if you're doing this single by single proach. That what's the endgame there in case To wrap it up into an AP, because then if you do that, then the artwork of each single should relate to each other, and should relate to the final AP artwork. And it looks like a collection looks like a meal. Like Okay, yeah, and so it
Jan 'Yarn' Muths comes down to the concept behind it, it's not a just a selection of random pieces, it's actually there's a concept behind it where you know, maybe decide to release one song, first follow up with a video, a couple of photos, correct, and then the next song, and then you do the same again.
Cheynne Murphy And that's probably a really good thing to do at pre production phase. So hey, guys, we've got a bunch of songs here. So we'll throw them on the table. Now, let's have a think. Is there any sort of lyrical concept? Or is there some social concept activism, what's happening right now? What would be a good thing to present and say, yeah, as an artist,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths a message what the artists basically are known for what they stand for? Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.
Cheynne Murphy And that then feels like for each song, like for each single release, you then push that messaging, which has got something related to the overarching EP message. But then you've got the individual song that comes out. And that's like about flowers, there's a lot of flower images, or it's about tracks or because your country artist or whatever your your thing is, each song has its own story has its own narrative. It has its own visual identity, but it needs to be connected to the next one. If you want it to be a piece of art, like a triptych, like if you're a painter, sometimes you paint through bits of art, and they're similar. And they sit together. I think, you know, in terms of music, for me, personally, I'm from an older school. But I like a collection and a concept. And then I like to bind it together. And I like to think of that before I go out with that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay, got it. Yeah. So effectively, it comes down to to telling a story and feeding the audience one bit at a time, but it's a continuing ongoing story. Yeah, I really like that. And nowadays, with social media, there are lots of tools like you know, the Facebook business page, and other tools that allow you to sit down on, let's say, one evening and schedule the social media releases for the next couple of weeks, is that something that you would recommend, I
Cheynne Murphy would recommend that to anyone on the call, if you were in your ideal organized world, you can get rid of a lot of the promotion in like short verse that stretch over long periods of time. So and this is a concept that you know, a lot of artists struggle with, but like let's say for example, we know the flower song is coming out in six weeks. And we know the posts, we know the visual identity next comm going to follow that in Instagram, we know some of the narrative or the story that may be presented in Facebook, or and we know when the videos being released in YouTube. And we know that the banners are all going to change at a certain date and the messaging is going to change. And now we move on to next song. And you have a calendar. You know on your desktop, that same calendar appears in social media and you just go this would be a good photo for this this good quote. It's supporting the idea of the song supporting you know, he now. And it has this methodical nature. Actually, if you can be that planned artistically. Yeah, exactly. thing about song by song is kind of right. Like, what's he talking about? We just write a song, right? So, but if you if you, I think if you tune into it, the marketing process can be a really creative expression. And like, I love iMovie, for example, and I love playing around with iMovie. And, yeah, I've got my tripod, which I should actually be filming a bit today in my bag for that very reason. So that's another thing, get a tripod, and document the journeys, because that also all becomes part of the scheduling and this constant output of staff beyond just the songs so yeah, that's not just a song, it's just this peripheral imaging and storing it's just coming out but it's all like it's, it's leading somewhere and you get it, you know, kind of confused or I thought it was into folk rock and now there's some heavy stuff coming out. And
Jan 'Yarn' Muths since everybody has smartphones nowadays, if you have a tripod and you have a rehearsal, why not record it? And if you are driving to a gig and you're having fun on the car together, why not take a little video and just get everybody hyped up about it and just could make a collection of little snippets? Yeah, it can be used in social media is
Cheynne Murphy yeah 100% and is the long game it is about the long game of that if you if you strategic and you want to play the long game and it is also understanding your own connection with that. So not everyone needs to be this this just in your face, social media, you know, person around their music. So beware of reading the old The guides that are out there for Indies, of how to do stuff, because some will could actually impact on negatively on your music or your sense of self, or, or whatever. So in that in that way, you might say, Well, I think it's realistic for me to release, you know, like three stories a week on Instagram, or release something on our feed, once a week. And then in Facebook world, our economic and a post, just understand, stay on watch schedule at all, and do it all on one day, but just get a feeling or a sense of what you can actually sustain and what feels good. And this is this whole area, weird area of like, you read a lot of stuff about business. But actually, if you're an artist, you've got a creative brain, you've got your inspiration. So you've actually got to translate that into now into the music into the branding into the stories. So instead of using the word brand, when people go, it's a brand, it's just an identity. And people like to connect to identity, people like they were not
Jan 'Yarn' Muths the people that I relate to on social media are people that give me a sense of who they are, I get a feeling of who that human being is. And I get a feeling of what their values are, what they stand for what makes him smile. Those are the things that connect me and and if that's ongoing and consistent, then I feel like I'm part of their story. And I know some business people who do that really well, but definitely lots of musicians as well.
Cheynne Murphy Yeah, yeah, it's a strange new world.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, it definitely is. Okay. And outside social media, as there are other elements or other platforms that you would recommend to focus marketing towards as well. What about paid marketing news? Should people pay for more for marketing?
Cheynne Murphy That's a good question that there's hundreds of people out there, they're gonna want to take your money to do courses, I would just like look into them carefully read reviews. Yeah, I mean, there's an amazing community called the Accord, indie sharpener. And if you've heard of them, and I've studied a lot of these people, since the early 2000s, and they have a very active community that kind of solves problems in the same way that the apple community seems to solve problems for Apple. And Apple doesn't need to have their customer service people there all the time. So I liked that when I looked at the community. So as far as getting back to your question about Facebook advertising, and Instagram advertising, 100%, that stuff can work out can boost your numbers, that's for sure. And then an email marketing, you know, community around you, that's, that can be really good, too. But make no bones about it. It's hard to make a consistent good back, selling you music and streams and all of this stuff. So everything that you hear about the stream stream is bloody awesome. But diabete they're white, and you know, like on your family and don't have a job because you're waiting on the stream, the streaming check. I think it comes back to the question that we that we said, If I'm if I'm writing back the $10,000 budget for an EP, because I'm gonna do it in a great studio with all these people on the strings, and whatever your budget is, but you rein it back to, you know, the 6000, you got 4000 applicati, on what to spend it on, then I would spend it on I definitely have a website, make sure I have some cool merchandise available there and still sell digital downloads, be more progressive in the options that people have, and the bundles that I would sell. So I definitely have a website, I definitely have a presence on all the important social media. And if I'm not on that social media much, I'll just let people know, hey, just Welcome to my Twitter page. I'm not really here like Sorry, guys, but I'm over here. And sorry. You're constantly redirecting them into your, your world where you live, which might be should do that. So that's another good. And that's another good strategy. And then you're gonna invest some of that $4,000 into quality content, of course, and quality branding, which is graphic art and photography. And then the rest of it, as far as I'm concerned, goes digital. And there are some incredible YouTube videos, find the guy or the girl that just speaks to you. Have a look at how many people are viewing it in the comments and just get a read on them. And just do exactly what they say. You know, and that can be perfect. And then you'll let your you get your feet straight in there. Just go get the scripts give this a crack. This is a great strategy to start building Spotify numbers, but make no bones about it. You might invest 100 bucks you might get 100 new monthly listeners you know this is the business of it now what do I get back? Not much So yeah, a lot of this music Yeah, a lot of investing to create more popularity but there's a certain point that that that can sustain you and people like Derek Kato With that I met busking on the street here, go and check his paydays about 1.2 million monthly visitors and he makes he's a whole income from that. It's another guy j can believe that I've chatted to and he's about 900,000 monthly listeners. So there's a certain point where something he can take off. And I think that that comes down to the quality of the music at the end of the day. And having a resonant resonance with an audience.
Cheynne Murphy That's a good question that look, there's there's hundreds of people out there, they're gonna want to take your money to do courses. I would just like look into them carefully read reviews. Yeah, I mean, there's an amazing community called, called indie sharpener, and if you've heard of them and I've studied a lot of these people since the early 2000s, and they have a very active community that kind of solves problems in the same way that the apple community seems to solve problems for Apple and Apple doesn't need to have their customer service people there all the time. So I liked that when I looked at the community so as far as getting back to your question about Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising 100% that stuff can work out can boost your numbers, that's for sure. And then an email marketing you know, community around you, that's that can be really good too. But make no bones about it. It's hard to make a consistent good back selling you music and streams and all of this stuff. So everything that you hear about the stream stream is bloody awesome. But diabete they're white, you know like on your family and don't have a job because you're waiting on the stream the streaming check. I think it comes back to the question that we that we said if I'm if I'm raining back the $10,000 budget for an AP because I'm gonna do it in a great studio with all these people on the strings and whatever your budget is, but you rein it back to you know, the 6000 and you got 4000 applicati on what to spend it on, then I would spend it on I definitely have a website make sure I have some cool merchandise available there and still sell digital downloads, be more progressive in the options that people have and the bundles that I would sell so I definitely have a website I definitely have a presence on all the important social media and if I'm not on that social media much I'll just let people know hey, just Welcome to my Twitter page. I'm not really here like Sorry guys, but I'm over here and you're constantly redirecting them into your, your world where you live, which migration do that? Yeah, so that's another good and that's another good strategy. And then you're gonna invest some of that $4,000 into quality content, of course, and quality branding, which is graphic art and photography. And then the rest of it as far as I'm concerned goes digital. And there are some incredible YouTube videos find the guy or the girl that just speaks to you have a look at how many people are viewing it in the comments and just get a read on them and just do exactly what they say you know, and that can be perfect and then you'll let your you get your feet straight in there just go get there let's give this a crack. This is a great strategy to start building Spotify numbers, but make no bones about it. You might invest 100 bucks you might get 100 new monthly listeners you know this is the business of it now what do I get back? Not much So yeah, a lot of this music Yeah, a lot of investing to create more popularity, but there's a certain point that that can sustain you and people like Derek cadeaux that I met busking on the street here go and check his pay is about 1.2 million monthly visitors and he makes he's a whole income from that it's another guy j can believe that I've chatted to and he's about 900,000 monthly listeners so there's a certain point where something he can take off and I think that that comes down to the quality of the music at the end of the day and having a resonant resonance with an audience
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, I've met him once and Garrett and he's this lovely guy. And I put it as production is productions phenomena. Yeah, I have a lot of respect for him and we had a lot of tech talk but when I watch him on social media it's lovable everything about him is lovable there's never anything where said I disagree here or you know it's always very positive and I just get a good feeling from it. Yeah and I think that the word that yes it's very authentic yeah it's it's perfectly in line with who he really is in persona when I met him in person that's weird. Yes. It's not like he's putting a face on when he's in social media or anything like that he's exactly himself in a very good way and sure
Cheynne Murphy yeah, I mean that's that's lucky if you can if you can do that and I think that you're right, find your lane and stick to it and there aren't isn't a particular role. I think I noticed him and we're both family guys. And his daughter appears and they're, you know, they're and you know, in funny sort of context and but not often, but yeah, he's got a daughter, you know, and that's why I feel so much I guess, you know, with the sunrise that you know, he is on brand as you say, yeah, that's, that's, that's great. But yeah, just summarizing that website, a social media network that feeds into that website, the websites got some nice merchandise down. Let's design a website and just leave it in the corner like some little abandoned child, you know, populate it with some called blogs, because that provides content back out there in your social media world. So there's basically an interrelationship between your social media and your website, and feeding in your latest Instagram. And it allows some particularly industry people to very quickly summarize what you're about. on your website. Yes, if you're an industry person, and you present to me your Facebook page, I've got to like, think about who you are. And I'm looking, I'm still searching, and then I go and look at a video on YouTube. And I'm eventually piecing things together myself, the website should do that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yes, it's like a business card, it should do it very briefly. And very straight to the point and it shouldn't be wordy, or shouldn't be difficult to find, it should be immediately clear, I guess from from what is said the words, but also the colors, the look of it, the feel of it? Yes. Yeah. Good. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Okay, so and then we have distribution, of course, you know, with the music needing to get out somewhere. And obviously, digital distribution is a standard workflow today. So have you had any preferred distributors that you can recommend to other musicians
Cheynne Murphy look that you happy with? That's the least of our problems with distribution, but there's, like I go, Hashem says to someone who's a bit of a mastering engineer, but I've been doing a lot of like, just cheap mastering through lander, I pay 60 bucks for the artist can master all my demos, they do offer with their unlimited release, said that's what I like. For me personally, I like the unlimited release. In I get the value out of it, because unlimited release, so people have to just check stuff out. There it is strikes for folks, I've been studying it for eight years about who's the best digital distributor. Just look at what they're charging you each year, just again, looking downstream, be realistic about what you're putting out. And they're all they'll all get you on Spotify. And it all looks the same. And BM results. So if they're taking if CD Baby, for example, have a very active community around them. So I'd suggest even though they're taking a percentage, and there's a little bit of money up front, you're actually buying into a community there. And it's probably the same as tunecore that I've heard, like, just the way that they structure the money side of it. It's not the best result for someone. So the best thing is if you if you google RA, a ri, Ari's, put an S there take ta k e. distribution, he's actually done at all, and he's got it right, right there sucks, because other issues you think about is you do want to be in China or not. And he's done a big spreadsheet that he updates. And he's the only guy on the internet. I know since 2014. That's done it properly. Yeah, right.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Oh, that's really good. That's probably something that they should put in the show notes.
Cheynne Murphy Yeah, sure. so far.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, that would be fantastic. And the marketing serves the purpose that we get a return for all the effort we put into our art. And this then long term income, I guess, from from streaming, which is, as we all know, not much, but it will probably build over time, is that your experiences I'd look, I think it's your catalog and keep promoting old songs that over time, it starts to know firsthand from from Nicholls into lunch and eventually into a little bit of passive income, the
Cheynne Murphy traditional avenues are still there, like the record label still should be approached the publishing companies like the business side of things are still moving on, you know, it's gone digital with the key blog makers and you know, the reviewers there's a lot more independent stuff there. And the control majors head over radio is kind of reduced. So look into community radio, as well. And really, I'd say that the main outcome god bless us when COVID leaves is you know, is playing your ass off. If I could say anything, then stop right there. Yeah, you can make two 300 bucks is a solid waste every night and it's even bigger in Europe. So you're playing a lot. You got that money. And then you've got your digital download cards. I use USB sticks that are really quite popular, like I actually sourced them from Alibaba, which took a while to get through the sort of the Chinese translation to get something I was happy with the maillet a two gig USB stick for like three bucks. I think in Australia, the pay, that's good, like a seven bucks or eight bucks. And so the return on that with four albums on it, you know, I can sell it for 20 bucks at a gig. And it costs you for two key gig USB 15 bucks at officeworks. site and it's a reusable thing. So I think I think being really creative with again, back to the bundle what you've got available kicking your ass off is the best way to make it, you know, in a way and you send stuff out if you can connect with the industry do it, you know, for labels interested do it and have to DIY is, is a misconception. Do it yourself is the wrong approach. Yeah, involve people involve that video maker and say, Hey, I'd like you to be part of my team. Because none of these DIY, I need your help. And I'm willing to give what I can give. I think that's a different philosophy. It's still independent. But it's more team based activity. Yes,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths I couldn't agree more. That's my experience at well, as well that the most successful people often have small but effective teams correct. And nobody is doing it all look at if we just look at what we've discussed today, songwriting in the recording, playing the music, performing, producing, arranging, recording, mixing, mastering, and now all that promotions of who can do all of this really well, that's impossible, nobody can. But you know, I think we all know our strengths and weaknesses. And I think it comes down to forming small teams where that compliment each other, yeah, where there's, let's say, maybe one band member really good with recording and somebody else is really good with photography. And, and you know how this can then form a hole that actually works. And that's
Cheynne Murphy actually super modern I love like the idea of photo shoots, I've just recently done some photo shoots with my girlfriend, she does better photos than a lot of people I've worked with, because it just again, it feels good. And it's creative and different. And I'd say like to, to other, you know, as an independent musician of many, many years, you know, like 25 plus years for albums. Like there is the long game to it. So just kind of lower your expectations maybe a little bit, you know, yeah, you can be the biggest thing in the mind. I thought that, you know, on TV, getting signed deals and meeting people from Sony. But there is a long game to it. And it takes us back to the style the conversation which is about inspiration, and really getting sustenance out of jamming with your friends and you know, what was music all about? So that can stay with you for the rest of your life. So you're already blessed. Just be careful about overloading it with too many unrealistic expectations of what could happen because I'm, I'm a really big believer that there's a lot of unknown quantities out there with music and what resonates with an audience in a big market and what doesn't, you know, and if you're doing something super progressive, for example, you might feel like an island for a bit. And then suddenly bang, town. What's town's name that they had us time, hahaha goodness, with with dance, baby dance. So she's a local Byron girl. And she's super unique voice, doing nothing, and busking and then is blowing the world apart. You know, that's a really good example of if there is an unknown quality. So you are playing the roulette wheel of life as a musician. And yes, something could be amazing for you. And it could all go incredibly, you know, astronomical, into the vortex or you've got this beautiful thing that you do the inspired by, you've got your home studio, you're a songwriter, you hang out with your friends, and it's good for mental health. And you can just you can have that as well. So I just, you know, I mean to, you know, I mean, like, I don't want to like give people false hope because I feel like on the internet, it's a lot of people giving people false hope. Do this with me and you'll be a star is the biggest Yeah,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths but yes. Yeah, I fully agree that that can possibly work. At least not for many people.
Cheynne Murphy No, no, your song first, you got to tap into so many other variables, you know, before that happens.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay. Good. I think Cheynne, we should probably wrap it up. Now. You got to head off to a radio interview. So thank you so much for for making the time today. Right. Just maybe one last question. If listeners would like to find out more about you and your music. Where should we send them to? Where would they find audio about you and your music?
Cheynne Murphy You can you can just google ch e y double n e, which is weird spelling of Cheynne, and Murphy, Mr. P h y. And you'll you'll get straight to my website and all my details. And you could do the same thing in the Spotify search engine, CH e y double n e. Everyone misspelled that? That's fine being very particular.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Look, I put it in the show notes as well. So it's got to click away. So everybody, please look at Cheynne Cheynne online and check out his music. So
Cheynne Murphy the mixing man, awesome stuff.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Thank you. Okay. Thanks for joining me today. Well, thank you so much, Cheynne. I took some much out of this. And I think there was some phenomenal wisdom in this episode today. So if you are new to marketing, there is obviously a lot to take in. And the hardest part of it is to actually get started. So it doesn't really matter if you if you don't get it right on the first attempt, and that you might miss a couple of opportunities. But the most important thing is literally, to get into motion and get started. And to develop routines and habits of promoting your music on a regular basis. You can then refine it and make it better and see what works for you and what doesn't. But the important part is to actually get into it. So after you finish this episode, choose one or maybe two things from this episode, and put them into action. It's a huge chapter. And there's more to say, of course, next week, I'm going to chat to Daniel Musgrave was a marketing professional. And he's going to expand on what Cheynne shared with us and go a little bit deeper in some sections. So I'm pretty sure there will be lots of good stuff in there for you. Thank you for hanging in there with me today. It was a long episode. Please share this episode with all your friends. Subscribe. I would love if you could give me a five star rating please in your podcast application. I hope to speak to you again next week. Thank you Have a great week. Till next time bye for now.
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