Dingbats, windings, emoticons? How do they do that?

Facebook Emoticons

Facebook Emoticons

You’ve seen them on Facebook, instagram and other social media sites. Things like a heart “<3″ or as simple as a smiley face “:)” or they could go as crazy as Jaws “(^^^)”. It’s ok if you don’t want to use any these, but sometimes you look at them and wonder, “What is that?” and “How are they doing that?” Well for Facebook emoticons, take a look here! 

Instagram is a little bit different. Being that it’s an app for a phone, there are other options that can be applied. Downloading “emoji apps” will give you plenty of choices at your finger tips. IOS and Android users, take a look at this link!

Have you used them or will you use them?

Be Uniquely You

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 1.55.09 PMMusic is a beautiful thing and when combined with an amazing cause its beauty enhances all the more! Certified Artist Developers Glant and Zoe Lee started a movement back in February 2014 with an event called Uniquely You, geared towards the empowerment of women. By collaborating with fellow majors TLS and Motives, the Lees created a gathering in which women could once again reclaim their confidence and embrace their natural beauty.

Bringing all three majors together, Uniquely You introduces attendees to custom blends, health solutions and music for the soul. Now in its second round Uniquely You II taking place April 19th features performances by Valerie Reaper, Jeanne Marie Boes, Conquer Entertainment’s Jeneen Terrana and Walter Finley. It is a night sure to break barriers, introducing the new season with a newly found confidence to stand on. Are you ready to break the mold and embrace your beauty?

For more details on the upcoming event visit our Facebook.

Conquer Staff Feature: Director of Events, Elsi Pacheco

Elsi Pacheco

Elsi Pacheco

The Conquer staff keeps your playlist rocking! This week, meet our Director Of Events, Elsi Pacheco. With 10+ years of experience she’s got the eye for planning, love for music and passion for new talent we all need to get artists going. Get to know the lady spinning the tracks at every Conquer Entertainment event.

Tell us about your music related skills and experiences.

I’ve always been surrounded by music. As a little girl my father taught me Salsa and how to play some instruments, it was then that I fell in love with music. At a young age I started working the hospitality industry in New York City. My experiences range from the opening of restaurants to running some of the major New York City venues, and because of this I met some of the top people in the music industry. From there I started working directly in events within the music industry.

Tell us about how you came to discover Conquer Entertainment.

I was introduced to Conquer through a friend who is also a DJ and had worked some of my events at the time. He told me that Conquer was looking for an event planner. I thought to myself, ‘Ok, great! A new client’, little did I know this was not for just one event, they wanted to develop an entire events department and touring system in the US and eventually go Global!

What impact does music have on you?

I listen to music all day long. I cannot do a chore or run an errand without music. No matter what mood I’m in, I can find a song that matches it and gets me through the day. Even when I’m down, I can pick a song for my melancholic mood and by the end of it I always feel better. I also tend to sing at the top of my lungs no matter what song it is, as long as no ones around.

If you could choose one song to describe your personality, what would that be and why?

LOL right now it would have to be (a tad embarrassed to admit it) Work B*$#H by Britney Spears… “You wanna hot body, You wanna Bugatti, You wanna Maserati, You better work! You wanna Lamborghini, Sip Martinis, Look hot in a bikini,You better work! You wanna live fancy, Live in a big mansion, Party in France, you better work!”
You get my drift? I like to work.

Do you have any talents of your own? Do share!

Well if you must know, I went to a performing arts school from Junior High through High School. I traveled, competed and performed with the school choir. I was also in dance. During High School I stuck to dance and only sang around the house. Every once in a while people would catch me singing and due to my extreme shyness I would stop. So if you ever catch me singing, let me know what you think.

Artist Spotlight: Jeneen Terrana

Jeneen Terrana

Jeneen Terrana

We love us some Jeneen so we couldn’t help but catch up with our down to earth singer to dig in on her latest projects, experience and why she gets Conquer!

Tell us a little about yourself, how you came to be an artist and how you define yourself within the industry.

My first love was singing.

My mom played music all the time by artists like Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, and The Carpenters. I used to memorize all the songs as a little girl and record myself singing them. My dad used to sit at the end of my bed at night when I was a little girl, play guitar and sing folk songs. My grandfather, who was from Sicily, would come over every Sunday for dinner and then sing in the living room while we all watched. He wasn’t trained; it was just his natural tenor voice. He did songs from operas and Old Italian folk songs.

Within the industry I define myself first and foremost, as a singer. It’s still my first love and I love singing all different styles of music.

You’ve had countless performances throughout the year of 2013 including performances at the Market America International Convention, Regionals and more. Tell us about those experiences. How does it feel to perform before an audience of 20,000+?

Performing at the World Conference was amazing! A captive audience of 20,000 people is something I dream about every day. I was a little nervous at first but as I saw everyone’s glowing faces, it felt like home.

I love playing live, and I enjoy all types of venues from coffee houses to arenas. Every show is so different and special in its own way. It’s all about the people you meet at these events and connecting with them through music.

You recently performed for an event called Uniquely You hosted by your CADs Zoe and Glant Lee, tell us about that event and your personal experience.

This event was geared toward women and helping them feel beautiful no matter what shape, size, or color. We had a great lineup of five different artists over a three hour span. I was really taken back by how receptive the audience was to each of the artists. We also had booths set up for Motives, TLS and Conquer so our guests could be exposed to different products and majors in the business. It was really wonderful and we’re having another one on April 19th!

Working on any new project(s)? Tell us about the inspiration behind it (them).

I’m recording a new EP at the moment with producer Nick Howard. It’s a really exciting project for me because the songs have a more pop/rock feel to them. I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic rock bands recently and you can hear it in the new songs. It’s funny how that happens! I think part of any artists’ journey is to grow and evolve musically as you grow and evolve personally. These songs will capture a new energy that I’ve been experiencing.

Where do you aspire to be music wise?

I want to reach the world with my songs. I want to play sold out arena tours. I want to inspire the young and old to follow their dreams.

Why did you choose to work with Conquer Entertainment?

I love the people behind Conquer and their passion for helping artists earn the money to follow their dreams! It’s also been really great to plug in to the events and conventions and perform in front of a brand new audience. My CAD’s, Zoe and Glant Lee are amazing and really have a vision for my music and for Conquer. My husband Craig Mackay is very supportive and is a CAD as well. As we learn more about Conquer and the business, we see more and more possibilities.

Are music services wasting their time recommending new music?

I actually like the recommendations for new music. As a script writer, I enjoy writing new things and like having new music to evoke a new feeling. The catch is that I can spend half or a whole night listening through recommendations before I buy an album or select songs for a playlist.

Most of the best music I have are from recommendations. I never would’ve got into Deftones had it not been for another line cook who said I needed to hear them so he snuck into the manager’s office and changed the satellite radio station. At the end of the lunch shift, I went straight to Best Buy and bought the CD. The neighbors that lived above me turned me on to Johnta Austin. They did it by cranking their 2000w sounds system and putting “Turn it up” on repeat. I called the cops on them. Still like the song though!

Another way of recommendation that I like are AMVs or Animated Music Videos. These are done by taking scenes from video games or cartoons or anime and splicing them together to create a vision that fits the song. With this, i was introduced to dubstep, chillstep and couple other “what do they call that?” kinds of music. No complaints here!

As far as I’m concerned, no. No music service is wasting their time by recommending music. Forcing the recommended music on me in ways that make it so I have to close out the program or listen to commercials instead of switching to another song is what I hate. Some programs used to do this and some still do.

How do you recommend music to someone and what is your favorite band that was recommended to you?

A Q&A with Kirk Aidoo

Kirk Aidoo

Kirk Aidoo

Conquer Entertainment’s Field Development Executive Kirk Aidoo gives us the low down on his role with the company, experiences, and journey with music.

With parents originating from Ghana, Kirk is a first generation American. He attended one year of secondary school in Ghana, an institution of which former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan is an alumni. As a New Jersey native, he knows the value of work. His vast experience has allowed him to serve on the management team of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino as well as the executive team of Macys as a Star Service Manager.

Tell us about your music related skills and experiences.
One of my greatest skills is the ability to relate to people. I grew up listening to Hip Hop yet somewhere along the journey I discovered my love for Rock. Having very few role models for guidance at the time I was fortunate to see a friend’s band play called Full Color Radio. One day I started playing and April Benson (Conquer’s VP of Training) helped in defining my music direction. Being able to relate to the hip hop side of things and the rock side of things allows me to see through more than one perspective and bring people together.

Tell us about how you came to discover Conquer Entertainment.
It was a combination of preparation and opportunity. I have known Amanda for many years now. I was aware that she had started the company but not much more. One day, after agreeing to let one of the groups she was managing park their RV at my place while on tour, I was introduced to Shira Girl. We hit it off immediately, her band was jamming with my band and we had a great time. The next day I went to see them tear up the stage at Warped Tour. (Best performance by an all female group I have personally witnessed to this day)

As time went on, I learned more and more about the company’s vision, got involved, and eventually found myself relocating to North Carolina to work with the corporate team.

What impact does music have on you?
Music is a universal language. Now more than ever it’s been making me look at the world differently. After learning about the principles of auto-suggestion in Napoleon’ Hills “Think & Grow Rich”, a lot of things that used to be “cool” and “acceptable” don’t appear so as much. The old saying, “It’s just music”, doesn’t hold as much value as I thought it did. Music can be among the greatest pleasures in life. It can connect a person to moments in time, other people, and positive emotions. It can serve as a trigger for peak performance and confidence. On the flip side music can enslave the listener to boundaries of limitations, mindless destructive behavior, self pity, and a host of other unpleasant emotions.

I do not judge people by the type of music they listen to, however I now am much more cautious about the music I whole heartedly close my eyes and absorb. Everything is vibration and music is a sliver of the world around us, painted on a canvas that falls in the audible frequency of the human mind.

Music has a large impact on me. It can be played through a speaker, in person, or in the imagination. The fact that a person can make music and deliver an emotion to another across time and space is huge. It can help people feel better and that is the greatest impact.

If you could choose one song to describe your personality, what would that be and why?
That song is unreleased at this time. My goal to release it along with the rest of my project this year before my birthday.

Do you have any talents of your own? Do share!
I play electric & acoustic guitar, spirit flute, and virtually any hand percussion instrument. I’ve played in two bands, busked, and I’ve started riot like drum circles at Music Festivals.

At Last, Music

Stellar Kart

 

The days of music segregation seem to be long gone with collaborations of rock stars with hip hop moguls, soul singers with house and much more unexpected sounds that have rocked the charts in the last decade. With the barriers broken down it is no surprise that a wave of Christian music has been swamping the Billboard charts recently with artists such as Demon Hunter, Christon Gray, Jesus Culture and more. Emerging artist, Christon Gray debuted at No. 1 on iTunes after only a day of being released and now sits on the iTunes Top 10 list since its drop. After a listen in on these albums and their content, the music category almost seems irrelevant as the songs are not your typical gospel tunes. Displaying depth, modern sounds and relatable words to the everyday life, these Christian artists are at a competitive standout before mainstream sound.

When you strip the content and categories, all there is, is music and that is to be embraced. It is changes like these that enhance the beauty of it, its ability to set aside differences, celebrate commonalities and draw a community of support.

To see more on the Christian artists making headlines visit http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/news.php

Do you remember your first concert?

I started to read a story on Buzzfeed called “Why Your First Concert Is The Greatest Moment Of Your Adolescence.” I have a horrifying confession to make. I never had a concert like that. The ballet doesn’t count. My cousins’ dance recitals definitely don’t count. The downtown concerts during the forth of July? My family never wanted to stay that late. Other attempts involved trying to see Hootie and the Blowfish, Stabbing Westward, Ace of Base (Yeah, I said it.) 311 and I think it was either Bush or Stone Temple Pilots. All attempts were thwarted by it not being an all ages show, no money, no ride, and/or the music not passing the parental standards of decency.

I can kind of laugh at it all now, but allow me to channel my inner adolescent for a bit. *ahem*… Dear Mom, I hate you. Ugh! You knew I wanted to see any one of those bands! I knew all the words to the songs, made mix tapes  when people really did have to sit there with cassette tapes, I did my chores (most of the time), I would’ve saved up for a ticket or paid you back if only you had said yes to the music!

And that brings me another point… Dear cousins, I hate you all too. WHY COULDN’T I HAVE BEEN AN ONLY CHILD!? Then all the money could be spent on me and none of you! I deserved better.

Tell me you had a better adolescent concert experience than I did?

 

Learn to read music or play by ear?

musicalnotesofdralf.blogspot.com

musicalnotesofdralf.blogspot.com

Should you learn to read music or play by ear? I don’t think this should even be a question! Learn to read! Then it makes it easy to play by ear.

But learning to read music is hard. 

It takes practice. Just like anything else you want to be successful at. Also it makes things easier to play by ear and translate for other members of the band.

Why would I want to learn how to do that?

Your bass player is in jail on a public drunkenness charge and your drummer is trying to fix things with his lady. Well, your lead singer knows a couple of guys that can fill in for the show. Having Mp3s of the songs so they can listen to them beforehand is great. Telling them what key, what notes, chords, tempo and so on will make the process easier for them to figure out your music.

Am I really going to ever need that?

If you want to play cover tunes accurately, you can either put the songs on repeat until you figure them out, find someone who knows how to play it correctly or you can buy a book that has the notation done properly.

Is there a cheat anywhere?

Yes. Tabs. Guitar and bass players will understand tabs because the letter notes are marked as numbers. Each number is a fret on the neck of the guitar or bass.

So how will all this help me play by ear?

1. Tuning: You’ll start to pick up the note each string needs to be tuned to. EADGBe for E standard tuning is the way most of us will learn. After a while, you’ll be able to tune your guitar without using a tuner. Once you’ve hit each not individually, you will most likely play a series of chords to make sure they all sound correct.

2. Sonic deciphering: You may not always be able to look at the other guy’s hand positioning to visually figure out what chords he’s playing. Being able to hear if it’s a G# dim, G#, G# add9, etc will make a world of difference. Not sure what a G# add9 is? There are music books and sites that can help, they do have pictures, but you will still need to read a bit.

3. The solo: When the lead guitarist did the solo on the original song, he was able to do what he wanted. When you cover his song at a bar, the crowd doesn’t want to hear your version of the solo. They want that solo. Note for note. I tried doing my own solo for Sublime’s “Santaria” on time. I never played that venue again. Seriously.

4. George Lucas saw you play at a bar and wants you to do the music for the next Star Wars film. Disney has signed off on it and given you a budget of 12 million dollars. You have a 50 piece orchestra at your disposal and the movie needs 68 minutes worth of music. You can hire someone to translate and dictate the music pieces or you can write them down, hand out 50 copies, tap a conductors wand against the podium and raise your arms ready to command a music army to conquer a masterpiece. Ok, that may be a stretch, but it could happen.

Opportunity is what it all boils down to. Learning to read music is free. It’s an extra bit of knowledge. Would you rather say “I hear it.” or “I know it.”?

Modern recording versus older recording

music-industryOn the After The Blast Facebook Page, Ryan poses a great question/thought:

I would like to open up a little debate with everyone. Modern recording versus older recording. When we record music, we mic up every drum, including 2 on the snare, mic up the hi hat, and have 2 overhead mics. We mic and DI the bass guitar, running at least one signal through a distortion channel. We double mic the guitars. When we track, the guitars are double, triple, and occasionally quadruple tracked depending. We add more parts than we have members to play. We do all of this to dial in to our perceived “perfect” sound for us. After that, we edit and eq like crazy. Slicing the tracks up to put them more on beat, and eq unfavorable sounds out. ALL OF THIS IS HIGHLY FROWNED UPON BY OLDER MUSICIANS. They claim that this destroys the life and musicianship of the song. The example most often given is Led Zeppelin. Their hit CDs began coming out in the 70s. Obviously, they didn’t have the technology we have now. They only used a few microphones for everything, and it was all primarily single tracked. Older musicians hail those albums as pure, raw sound, that relied much on the musician’s ability to play as well as they could. Some people love that style of recording, and often hate the idea of modern tracking. Where I enjoy some Led Zeppelin, personally, I think their recording is among the muddiest and unclear ever. I cannot hear the details of their sound. If it were to simply be redone with modern tracking techniques and more microphones to work with, I think it would be far more tasteful. As for all the editing that we do today, all the life is written into the song. When we edit out imperfections, it makes the final product more clear, not less lively. On the flip side of the coin, The newest breakthrough with guitar/bass sound is AxeFx. This is a amplifier modeling technology that allows you to dial into any sound imaginable, but skip the amplifier all together. While this is a pretty sweet technology, My personal opinion is that it sounds fake. I can’t place what it is, but everything with AxeFx doesn’t sound right to me. Perhaps I’m now the old musician and can’t latch onto the newer technology. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK? -Ryan

Choices, choices, choices… When it comes to the older style of 1 take recordings (band members are all mic’ed and recorded at once.), there is something magical that happens. Each band member has to play with the others to make thing song. In modern recordings new digital multi tracking, each band members plays their part for the song. When then band plays together, that is probably the closest you’ll get to a “live recording” other than recording the band on stage. Sometimes it’s little things. The tone of the lead singer in the song. When his/her voice gets louder or softer. Listening to the singer feel the song. The lead guitarist who may have only had an 8 bar solo, but felt strongly enough to keep going. The drummer that reacts to that. The bassist that throws in a couple extra notes to add more than just a steady ride because he thought it needed some extra “umph.” These things happen almost instantly when the band plays as one unit. One band. One sound.

When it comes to newer digital multi tracking, amp modeling, auto tune and various other things tailor the sound to the specific thoughts of the band. Sure, my guitar sounds great with my $800 amp. However, I can make it sound like this $2000 amp! Who wouldn’t want that? The lead singer that can’t hit a note right, we can auto tune it. With being able to take the same track, double it, triple it, play it backwards as a crazy psychedelic opener, these things add to the overall message the band wants to portray.

So what is the catch? With older recordings there was tape hiss, room tone, degradation of reel tape and the imperfections of an analog and tube sound provide for what seems like a muddy sound these days. With newer recordings, The whole band doesn’t need to be in the studio at the same time. If each member knows the song, they can play to a click track and the music can be put together. With things like MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface, the drummer and bass player may not need to come in at all if the band is trying to save time and money. With newer recordings, preamps, mixers interfaces and software make for a clean sound. Clean meaning perfect. Perfect meaning there isn’t any room for interpretation. No room for interpretation means that it sounds “cold.” The opposite of that really clean sound would be the analog sound of older recordings that people claim to have “warmth” because of the imperfections.

Which sound do you like better? That spawns conversations that turn into arguments as vicious and insulting as republicans and democrats, Mac vs PC, Coke Vs Pepsi, etc.

Hybrid recording with using analog and tube equipment can help bridge the gap between band members who may be arguing over this. But there is an easy way to satisfy both sides… The “dummy” track is sometimes used as a click track for newer recordings. The dummy track is basically everyone playing the song at once like with older recordings. however, with these tracks, the members don’t try as hard and play it just enough to get through it. If the band played that dummy track like they mean it, this would provide for more of the older recording concepts and styles. Keep both versions. Just think about if/when the band makes it big… legendary even… when you release the greatest hits album, wouldn’t you want a “never heard before recording?” Keep your mind, eyes, ears and options open!