VOLUME 1, NO. 3
Karla Davis <>
In this issue...
Bass Player Girl
THE DEEP END WITH YouTube Sensation BASS PLAYER GIRL
Indie-Musik Expressions is a magazine that is dedicated to the thousands of musicians, songwriters and performers who create music for the pure joy and love of it. And, for those who aspire to be the stars of tomorrow. They all share one thing in common, an overwhelmingly passionate drive for the art of creating music.
RAP SPOTLIGHT Lyrical Candy, the NJ Rap Queen Shines
In the ten last years, many avenues have opened up for creative artists to create and share their music. The internet has been tremendously instrumental in enabling independent artists to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a musician and reaching fans across the world. While technology, having become more accessible and affordable, has made it increasingly easier for musicians to take an idea from a concept to a completed song, or a completed CD. And, with outlets like cdBaby, iTunes, lastFM, etc., once that disc is completed they can sell and promote it to the masses.
10 A SEASONED PRO An Enlightening Piece On Guitarist BobbyWayne 12 JNFE AWARD NOMINEE NC Singer/Songwriter Karla Davis Sits For Our Interview READ UP ON SOME OF TODAYâ€™S FINEST INDIE-ARTISTS!!!
Whereas, ten years ago that same musician would had to have spent a fortune in studio time, then shop their product to music labels in hopes of getting an executive to listen to it. And, if they got signed, there was NO guarantee that a record would ever be produced, released, or marketed to the consumer market. Today, musicians have greater control over their careers than ever before. It also means that those serious about pursuing a music career have to work a lot harder, but now... they can enjoy more of the fruits of their labor. And, they are more in control of their own destiny. Which is a tradeoff that most of them gladly accept. So this magazine will be dedicated to these artists and their stories.
The Indie-Musik Expressions Interview
Who did you listen to growing up... and what artists are you listening to most these days? My mom collected rock albums when I was growing up, so I listened to The Beatles,The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, and many other classic rock bands. We had music on the stereo all the time.Then in my teen years I got into Rush, Queen, The Cars, Yes, and other more progressive rock. I've been through phases of punk, jazz, metal, Christian rock music, Christian rap, and I studied viola growing up- so I listened to a fair amount of classical music as well. These days I listen to Porcupine Tree, Marillion, King's X, Rush, Alter Bridge, and Reggie Smith & The Afterparty. I currently have the modern jazz disc, Ideology, by David Harbour, in my cd player. For those who don't know you, how did Valerie Lee morph into Bassplayergirl... how did it all begin? Was it a certain artist or band that inspired you?. It all began Christmas Day 2005 when I was watching a great Led Zeppelin DVD. I came home inspired by John Paul Jones to pull my bass out of it's case. I turned on my new camera and started recording little clips
of myself playing some lines I used to play. I wanted to make use of tags by making my title include the most simple form of who I was so that people searching could find me, so I just called my first video Bass Player Girl. I also thought Bass Player Girl sort of sounded like a Bass Playing Super Heroine, so I just kept it. Fort u n a t e ly my videos now pop up in the related videos for Tal Wilkenfield. That really helps me out! I encourage everyone to pay attention to your tags and titles. You mentioned that you go t involved with YouTube very early on. How powerful a vehicle has that been for you? When I was first on Youtube (back before it was a household name), there were hardly any others on there. So I would link myYoutube clips off of my Myspace page. It has been a hugely powerful vehicle for me. I have had so many offers to be in bands and go on tour just from people seeing my bass videos. One day I was just a dental assistant mom sitting at home practicing on my bass in Florida and the next day I was packing to go to Nashville. Then I was on national television twice in the same week, in a Hollywood
band rubbing elbows with movie stars and rockstars, on the ABC news, and written about on internet news sites all around the globe.This is all from a Youtube video! So yes, a Youtube video is indeed a powerful vehicle.
be a session player. I really enjoyed getting paid to practice! I was also recently invited to tour with Lez Zeppelin (the h u g e ly popular all girl Led Zeppelin Tribute Band), but I had to decline due to family obligations.
You mentioned that you met and t raveled a lot with diffe rent bands.What was that experience like for you?
There was a period say 60's through 80's when you didn't SEE a lot of female bass players. That seems to have changed a lot in recent years... so what's it I was spotted by country artist like being part of a rare club? Johnny Rodes on Myspace in 2006 and I was invited to go I think that there have always on tour with his band out of been many female bassists, but Nashville.That was one of the that we didn't know about best experiences I have had them before the accessibility because I learned what it real- we have now on the internet. ly takes to be on a tour and I T h e re are great female found out that it wasn't as bassists all over the place. I glamorous as I envisioned it compare myself to all bassists, would be. The high point was male or female. It is others recording at EMI Nashville who say things like, â€œyou are with the legendary song- pretty good...for a girl.â€? Yet, w r i t e r / p ro d u c e r, Charlie people have called me sexist Craig.That was a great experi- for calling myself Bass Player ence! I also lived in the Los Girl. You are right though, Angeles area for a year and there are only a handful of us due to a connection with compared to the amount of Hollywood producer Cliff males playing bass. I think the B rodsky that I met on males make more of a big deal Myspace, I was invited to be about us being women. in actress Rose Rossi's band. That was also a great experi- You are a pioneer of sorts your ence because I was playing self... you were a member of the with studio musicians and I got internet's first Virtual Band. Can to see just how prepared and you tell us a little about what professional you have to be to that is... and how it came to be? 5
A virtual band is basically a group of musicians that play music together by syncing sound and video files together. It is great technology and a really brilliant idea. It's nice because you can look on Youtube for others playing the other instrumental parts for a song you want to play, etc. Then you just ask them if they want to make a video together. It is somewhat of a difficult process to sync things together properly because of all the different formats people use on their computers. However, it is sometimes much easier than dealing with each other in real life. So if you have a way to record yourself, and a program to make a video, you can play with anyone else on the planet who can do the same thing. I highly recommend it! I was fortunate enough to be invited to play in what is now k n own as the world's first internet band,The Clipbandits. Even I realize that we weren't the first on the internet, but we were the first to be broadcast on national television as being a virtual band on Youtube, so it stuck. The Clipbandits we re musicians from New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston. In my most recent virtual band, VirtuallyRush, the playe r s were from Germany, Holland, 6
Canada, Chicago, and Tampa. So it was more of an international virtual band. There are many doing this now. I think it is great! I know Clipbandits appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, but how did that actually come about? Out of the blue I was contacted by someone named Clipbandit who had made some videos of himself playing live along to other musicians on Youtube. He called himself Clipbandit (because in essence he was stealing other's clips and playing along with them). Believe it or not, he put *Girl Bass Player* in the search box on Youtube and that is how he found me. At the time, no one else had anything like this going on. (See our story on ABC News World Webcast on my Youtube channel-this will give you some more insight) He asked me to write and record a bass line to go along with another Youtube user's guitar video (J-Peso). Then he asked me to make a video of myself playing along with it. He put us up on tv screens and made a video of himself playing live with us. He submitted the video for Youtube's Cingular Underground Music Contest which we received an honorable mention fo r. The
video received over 700,000 hits the first week which caught the attention of everyone- we got a little spot on Good Morning America, an interview on ABC World News webcast and amazingly we were invited to meet and play together for the first time on the Tyra Banks show. They were doing a show about viral videos on Youtube and our video happened to be viral that week. Meeting on Tyra was an amazing experience. They kept us separated backstage and put up big curtains onstage for the soundcheck. The really weird part was that we had never played with the new drummer ever! Clipbandit had just put out an open call on Youtube for a drummer and picked ActionJackson.The stage hands were all making bets that we wouldn't make it through the song! I have to say that I was very lucky that I did make it through because there were big cameras right in my face and a live audience. I was sooooo nervous! We made it through the song and it was the time of my life. If I could do it over - I would have thanked Tyra for having us on the show. She was really nice. It was aired 6 times that
summer, so I got lots of email about that show... and it coined us as Youtube's first *sync band* or *virtual band*. It also turns out that Clipbandit was Nick Matzorkis. He was a dot com millionaire and a total genius when it came to internet marketing. I still remember him saying that he was going to make me famous and I didn't b e l i eve him. He was the founder of US Search and now owns Zabasearch and many other online businesses. (See Nickmatzorkis.com to get the real scoop- he is an interesting character!) He lived in Austin, Texas when Clipbandits were working together, but he now lives next to Pamela Lee Anderson in Malibu! So I can say my guitarist lives next to Pamela Lee! I think that is so funny! I had no idea who he was when we were doing Clipbandits videos.You can see the whole story on the Clipbandits site on Yo u t u b e. You've done quite a few music videos for YouTube featuring your bass playing, and bubbly person ality, doing mostly covers. Is there any chance that we might see any videos of you performing your own compositions anytime in the future? Thank you! Yes, I have finally purchased an interface that
came with Pro Tools and I hope to be able to recordsome of my own music. I used to write often when I was a keyboard player back in the day, so I have lots of ideas for music. However, I am just having fun. It's kind of strange how when I finally stopped worrying about ever being a musician in a popular band, that is when things started happening. I also happened to be leaving things in the Lord's hands. I pray for guidance in all the things I do. Youtube has brought me farther along than I would be if I would have played in bar bands for years. More people know who I am from Youtube than if I would have played every bar in Florida....and now I get to play music that I love to play, in virtual bands. So when I do write some music it will definitely be up on Youtube.
we can still survive as musicians with the collapse of the music industry as we knew it. Now, we now have the opportunity to market ourselves, and sell our songs online straight to our fans.... so I try and help others learn how to get their videos tagged and titled so they will be seen. Since I don't have music of my own, I have been actively trying to support other unknown artists by using my popularity on Youtube to be an outlet for them to be heard. I often feat u re other musicians than myself on my main Youtube channel and lately I have been practicing making videos with music by my favorite unknown artists. Instead of pulling videos down for copyright infringement- these artists are grateful for any exposure! I am currently working (marketing) with jazz pianist/bassist David Harbour to help bring his What are some other things that music to Youtube by giving it a you are doing now, and what can jump start through my we look forward to seeing in the YouTube channel. I also hope future from BassPlayerGirl? to do the same with Reggie Smith and The Afterparty. I was going to have a bass lesson channel, but there are so m a ny better bassists on To find videos of Valerie Lee, Youtube teaching right now aka BassPlayer Girl, look her up that I just point to them. Right on YouTube to find links to many now I am brainstorming and of her popular videos and collab n e t working with musicians orative Virtual Band projects. across the globe about how www.youtube.com/vineyardedge 7
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When one listens to BobbyWayneâ€™s music the first thing one notices is his consummate musician ship, and mastery of a variety of musical styles. So naturally, the first thing we brought up during our conservation was his eclectic music style and his musical influences. â€œI've been exposed to a diverse set of genres throughout the years. I started playing blues, then rock, funk, jazz, fusion, even reggae, so my compositions are rather eclectic. As an engineer/pro ducer, I enjoyed recording sessions with artists from many backgrounds; Country, Salsa/Latin, Punk, Ska. So, I like to change things up a bit rather than use the traditional song instrumenta tions and beats. As a guitar player, I gravitate toward instrumental artists. Earliest influences were from the Kings... BB and Albert. Later I began to appreciate artists that were beginning to modernize existing genres, like jazz- players like John McLaughlin. Robert Fripp, George Benson (before his vocal period), and Larry Carlton. There's literally hundreds of guitar players I've listened to over the years, but I also have tried to emulate my favorite horn and keyboard players. 10
“I usually start with guitar noodling until I find something strong that will stand up to a ton of listens. Then, I lay down the drums - the groove and tempo can make or break it. I usually translate the guitar chords to keyboard to create a bed along with the Bass. For bass parts I use a Fender P-Bass, or midi-guitar bass using my Godin XTSA, or using midi-keyboard. Guitar melodies and harmonies are layered on top. Solos are a critical part; they can always be better. Sometimes the best ones with lots of energy will have a small blemish, and if I spend the time to replay it until I am happy, it can sound stale or overworked. So I go for a middle ground and try to keep the passion and precision in balance.
For guitar, today I listen a lot to Brett Garsed, who has a very fluid, hybrid picking style that affords him a very smooth legato and [Most of my drum sounds come Tommy Emmanuel who is a deity from software like Reason, Stylus or GrooveAgent, these are great of the instrument.” tools. All my tracks are done inside BobbyWayne also shared his a DAW. Cubase has been my mainstay for several years, and has thoughts on touring on the road. matured as things have progressed.] “I am glad to have toured the west coast with several bands playing in We wondered if there was anything some of my favorite clubs and ven- that he did differently to prepare ues, but don't perform live on a reg- mentally... when it's time to record? ular basis today. Touring has it's up and downs: lugging a Hammond “Pressing that proverbial record B3 up 3 flights of stairs and jam- button always has it's conseming your fingers right before a quences. You can play the heck out 3-hour gig. But then there' s open- of a part until that moment, then ing for a great act you have admired something happens- not sure why, for years, then partying with them must be that final commitment- but after the show. There are times it changes the way you play your next note. I try to not over think when I miss it.” things while I am recording. The Getting back to his music, we asked best takes seem to occur when I am him to discuss with us a little about not trying to impress... just playing in the moment.” his approach to composing music.
As a seasoned veteran of the music game we wondered what motivated him these days... and if he felt there was anything left to explore that he hasn't done already? “This year I've been collaborating with a drummer from Germany and a keyboard player from Los Angles - all on-line. The group, "3Fuzed", has actually never met so it's all about the music, which is very different from the typical group effort where personalities are a critical factor. It's been a rewarding experience. Marc (drums) and Chris (keyboards) are both great players and have added depth that only another set of ears and hands can provide.” The conversation turned a little philosophical when we asked BobbyWayne if he could have played with any musician that he has listened to over the years, who might that be... and why? “It would be great to jam with Eric Johnson. He is my favorite allround player, comfortable with many styles and always original.” Lastly we asked if there were any new projects or events coming ahead from BobbyWayne? Our online trio 3Fuzed plans to release a jazz-rock fusion CD later this year. It has a taste of eastern and Indian influences that I think you'll enjoy hearing. You can listen to BobbyWayne’s music at Soundclick.com
You got exposed to music and the choir, and learned to read music at an early age. Was that due to your family’s urging?
do it. Now, having said that…I didn’t ever really try to read any music for playing the guitar, I just listen by ear and play something that I think sounds I would say that my family like what I hear on the radio. definitely had a part to do with When I write songs… I don’t my interest in music from a ever write down the young age, but church was chords/notes/chord progresprobably the main reason I got interested in singing. I had a great youth group and some people who were extremely talented musically.
to the vocal training I had at church at a really young age. Normally I am able to pick up harmonies pretty easily. When I sing I just play harmonies on my guitar and turn those into chord progressions… and usually it works out for me.
I noticed in your bio that you played collegiate soccer. Has the discipline of sports helped you in your music career?
I was initially inspired by Eva Cassidy’s version of the song. From there I just made up the guitar to compliment the vocal arrangement I put together. It really helped that I sang that song for my sister’s first dance at the reception of her wedding…so it meant a lot to me.
Oooh, the joys of collegiate sports! Yes, the discipline that I got accustomed to through soccer actually made me love music more. Music became my outlet from the stress that came with soccer and school…it kind of made me realize the power music could have.
You mentioned that you only started playing guitar recently, and that initially it was a bit frustrating for you. How did you manage to overcome that and finally begin making such beautiful music?
You did a vocal cover of "At Last" which featured a great vocal and a unique arrange ment. How did you come up with that interpretation?
"Keep Moving On" is a song that has a sweetness and warmth to it that's very inspira tional, and deeply moving. What inspired you to write it?
A friend of mine came up with the idea of the song about two sions – I don’t really pay atten- years ago because he was tion to that, I just make up some- going through a tough time. I thing in my head that I think will don’t know how I put the actumake the song it’s own. al tune of Keep Moving On together – normally when I Let’s see, well I was certainly You play guitar by ear. Do you write a song…the entire song frustrated at first. I was terrible! think that your vocal training will develop in my mind in But I wanted to be able to play (singing harmonies, etc) has minutes. This same thing hapso bad, so one day I just decid- helped you in this process? pened with Keep Moving On… ed to try to play along with the all I really did was try out some radio…and somehow I could Absolutely! I think it goes back very different guitar tech12
niques, and they ended up adding so much emotion to the song.
Tell us about your "Walk The Lobby Tour." That's a great name... how did you come up with that? My publicist, Aulando Frazier, actually came up with the name of the tour. From there my manager put together a tour schedule throughout the months of July and August. The idea of the tour is to “Walk The Lobby” of every major music label in the United States. I will go to each label, set up a PA system outside, play an original song, and try to get invited into the label. Hopefully I will be able to create a following with my fans in each of the different cities I will be visiting. I will have video blogs on my website following the tour in its entirety.
Lastly, what's in store for us from this North Carolina gal that's made good? Hahaha, well, I don’t know that I’ve “made it good” quite yet, but trust me... I would be the first to want to put on a free concert for my fans in North Carolina if I did “make it good.” I’ve been so blessed up to this point in my life and I’m looking forward to some really great things for the future.
2009 Bass Series
WALK THE LOBBY TOUR 2009
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