Mark Kimani may very well have the highest pitched natural voice that you've heard in a male singer. What else does he have? Mark has Perfect Pitch. The ability to listen to a song and tell you the notes are being used in the melody without a fixed reference.
Reprinted from Karaoke Version:
Even if we listen to music in a passive state
and largely as a means to relax or let go, music is anything but.
Whether you use it when you exercise or during a power nap, your brain,
when in contact with music is, working at full!
Even before science began to pay close attention to the effect of
music on the brain, the thinkers of the time had already traced a close
link between the two. "Music is noise that thinks," wrote Victor Hugo,
while Immanuel Kant observed that "music is the language of emotions."
Thought and language: two capacities related specifically to the brain
that intellectuals attributed to music, giving it power far beyond a
mere means of distraction.
Since the 1950s, many studies have focused on identifying the action of music on the brain.
Music and Work
Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to music and work. Some prefer silence despite scientific proof that music helps to focus and improve efficiency and creativity.
In 1994, the Journal of the American Medical Association
reported a spectacular difference in performance of stressful operations
between surgeons operating with their music of choice versus those that
operated in silence.
A small distinction should be noted however. In general, instrumental
music has been shown to be more conducive to concentration than
alternative forms. Lyrics and singing may cause distraction even if it
is in an unconscious manner. That being said, the type of work being
done and the monotony of the task will affect this.
The Mozart effect
Listen to music and your body, in particularly your brain, will say thank you. With slower music, it can improve circulation and dramatically reduce blood pressure.
How? In 2004 a study by Japanese neuroscientists Den'etsu Sutoo and
Kayo Akimaya made things more evident by observing the behaviors of a
group of rats listening to Divertimento No. 7 in D Major by
Mozart. According to their studies, the stimulus (music) generates a
supply of calcium to the brain that produces dopamine, inhibiting the
sympathetic nervous system and reducing blood pressure. This also
explains why music acts as a defense against anxiety, depression and stress.
The link between music and dopamine production opens a world of
possibilities, in particularly for diseases that are linked to this
hormone and even arterial diseases such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy or even Alzheimer’s.
Regarding the latter, a study at the University of Oregon highlighted
the impact of repeated listening to music in Alzheimer's patients: their
speech and conversation became more fluid and rich when music was
Music makes us better
Beyond the biological benefits of music, it is now proven that it even has impact on our relationship with others.
Research by Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2009 revealed that our perception of the emotions of our surroundings are influenced by the music we listen to. For example, if one is subjected to a happy music, the people who surround us will seem happier.
Even more surprising is the experience of psychologists Rona Fried
and Leonard Berkowitz of the University of New York: they subjected a
group of students to listen to calm music, another to stimulating music a
third group to music producing negative emotions and lastly one with no
music at all. The students were then asked to render a service.
Students submitted to the calming music were more likely to help (90%),
followed by those in the third group and those who did not listen to
music (60%) and in last, the group subjected to more negative music
Moral of the story: listen, sing, play! It's good for the body and for the soul. JAMBOX Entertainment Studios is a Top Recording Studio Facility in Chelsea Manhattan
Emotionally charged song with powerful performances by John Legend, Pink and of course, Herbie's playing is phenomenal. Jeff Beck on Guitar Tal Wilkenfield on bass Vinnie Colauita on drums From the Imagination Project album by Herbie Hancock I was so inspired by this song, I included the Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush version below which is also great. Which do you prefer? https://youtu.be/VjEq-r2agqc Lee Evans
Spotify has signed a deal Universal Music Group that lets artists release new albums exclusively on the streaming
service’s premium tier for two weeks, Reuters reports. Only Spotify’s paid subscribers will have full access to albums during this time, though album
singles will still be available for all listeners. Further
details about the deal, such as its fee structure or duration have not
been disclosed. It’s likely that Spotify is getting a more favorable
percentage on the music licensing fees charged by Universal. This would
benefit Spotify’s path to profitability and an IPO. Spotify is still
negotiating with the remaining two of the "big three" music labels, Sony
Music and Warner Music Group. It may use
this deal with Universal as a blueprint. Despite the dearth of details around this deal, there are points of context to provide color:
is music’s biggest moneymaker. For the first time in 2016, streaming
services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music made up the majority
(51%) of music industry revenue in the US, the Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) reported recently. Streaming revenue reached $3.9 billion last year, growing an astounding 68% year-over-year (YoY).
is pushing for Spotify paywalls. One condition for this deal is that
Spotify only give its paid users immediate and unrestricted access to
new albums. This is a sensible strategy because subscriptions are
lucrative — they more than doubled in 2016 to $2.5 billion, and now make
up a third of total music revenue and two-thirds of revenue from
The deal makes a
Spotify IPO more likely. Spotify’s costly
licensing agreements with major labels are an obstacle to its IPO. The
company pays out 55% of its revenue to record labels, with the biggest
checks going to Universal, Sony, and Warner Music. It reportedly wanted to get this down to 50%. Last summer, Spotify accounted for 10% of these labels’
Spotify wants an
IPO as soon as possible. The company is under pressure to IPO sooner
rather than later since its $1 billion debt financing round last March.
These debts are tied to the timing of the IPO. They determined that
investors can convert their stakes into shares at a 20% discount to the
list price. However, this discount increases by 2.5% every six months.
If you have contacts you can shop a song to, buying exclusive rights to a hip hop beat might be a good idea. If you are just looking to get noticed, you should consider leasing that beat.
So you found a hip hop beat on SoundCloud or YouTube and wrote a killer hook to it and you’re certain you have a hit on your hands. The next step is getting in contact with the producer and obtaining the rights to the beat. At this point, due to the normal enthusiasm you feel after you’ve created something great, it can seem like an excellent idea to buy the exclusive rights to the beat – but there are a few things you should think about before diving in and making that purchase.
What is your goal for the song?
This might seem obvious, but I’ve run into many artists who don’t have a clear goal or realistic expectations when it comes to a potential song. Many simply answer that they think the song is going to “blow up” and “get them on” without a plan to get to that point. Now, if you’re savvy enough and have label contacts you can shop the song to, buying the exclusive rights might be a good idea for you and you can probably stop reading this and get to work. However, if you are like the majority of artists who are just looking to get noticed, you’re going to need a better plan than posting to ReverbNation and SoundCloud and hoping for the best. This brings us to the next big question:
What is your budget?
You need a plan if you want your song to enjoy any modicum of success, and that plan will most likely involve spending money. So, after setting your goals, you’ll need to develop a budget for the track. This should include considerations such as the beat (obviously), the recording session, the mixing and mastering of the track, any artwork needed, any video that will be shot, and any marketing and promotions that will be run for the song. Once you have your budget set, you can move on to the next step…
How much of your overall budget should you be spending on the beat?
Now that you know how much you can spend, you have to start divvying it up. Let’s say you have $1,000 to spend on the song and the exclusive rights to a beat cost $750. Can you confidently spread the rest of your budget across recording, artwork, marketing, etc.? Maybe. Is it a good idea? Absolutely not.
In order to garner the attention and buzz you’re hoping for, you should probably allocate at least half of your budget to marketing and promotion, and you obviously don’t want to skimp on recording, mixing, mastering or artwork. So that leaves you with about 30% of your budget or less. So unless you can increase your budget, you’ll have to be extremely smart with your money, which means purchasing exclusive rights to a beat is probably not the best use of your money. What you should do instead is look into leasing a beat.
Why lease a beat instead of buying it?
First off, if you didn’t know, yes, there is such thing as leasing a beat, and it’s a prevalent practice in the independent hip hop scene as it benefits both the rappers and producers involved. A typical lease price for a beat can be anywhere from $15 to $35 in most cases, so you’ll immediately save money that can be better used elsewhere. Most lease agreements allow you to sell up to 2,000 copies before renewal, meaning you can still sell the track to recoup your money while taking a smaller financial risk up front. Also, if the song does blow up, you always have the option to buy exclusive rights to the beat at any time. So by leasing instead of purchasing, you put yourself in a low risk/high reward situation.
Will producers be pushing me to buy the exclusive rights?
They shouldn’t. From an independent producer’s standpoint, leasing out a beat is almost always in their best interest. While selling a beat for a couple hundred dollars is a nice payday up front, exclusive rights means they can no longer profit from that beat, for the most part. There’s the off chance they’ll gain royalties from the track if it blows up, but their earning potential for that beat is likely realized if they opt to sell it exclusively. If you run into a producer who is pressuring you to buy, you might want to find someone else.
Is leasing the way to go?
In most cases, yes. It is easier on your wallet and it is more beneficial to the producer. There are certain scenarios where purchasing exclusive rights would make sense, but those are very rare and chances are if you’re an independent rapper, leasing a hip hop beat is the better avenue for you.
The BeatLandLorde is an independent producer who works at a desk by day and makes scorching hot beats by night.
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