If you wanted to know who the hottest new bands are or simply wanted to expand your knowledge of music, what would you do? While the Bay Bridged is a phenomenal site for information on the local indie music scene, it doesn’t necessarily cover other popular music genres, such as hip-hop, EDM or R&B. So where else could local or visiting music fans find out what the best upcoming shows are or where to see the new, up-and-coming music artists? The following are a few tips from Marina Harrison, an enthusiastic music lover, whose profession and passion is promoting local artists from the Bay Area music scene.
JP Cutler Media
A resident of Los Altos Hills, Harrison is currently a full time publicist for the boutique PR company JP Cutler Media, with a list of clients that includes Michael Franti & Spearhead, Arlo Guthrie and Schmaltz Brewing Company. In 2014, she co-founded a music showcase series known as For the Love of Music for emerging Bay Area hip hop and R&B music artists. Additionally, she works at a management-level position with two Bay Area-based independent music artists: Locksmith and Mara Hruby. For the Love of Music events are held on the third Thursday of each month at Neck of the Woods in San Francisco.
Attend Music Concerts
“Concerts! I can’t name how many new artists I’ve found out about just by going to concerts. In 2010 or 2011, I went to a Mos Def show and one of the openers was a group called Los Rakas, a Panamanian duo based out of Oakland comprised of two cousins who rap and sing in both English and Spanish. I had never seen anything like them before! The energy on stage was amazing and I became an instant fan. I later worked with them on the management side and now consider them friends.”
“Before working in the industry, I used to frequent blogs on a weekly basis. I’m mostly into Hip Hop and R&B music so I would go on 2dopeboyz.com for Hip Hop and soulbounce.com for R&B. I’ve also visited THUMP for electronic music. I hardly ever have time for blogs anymore, but they’re a great resource and I miss visiting those sites.”
“Social Media sites like Instagram and Twitter are good tools to utilize for more more than just posting your #MCM or #TBT picture. I find out about new music, artists, concerts via my social media feeds. I follow artists I’m fan of, artists other people tell me about, blog sites and other tastemakers in the industry on Twitter and Instagram. The information comes so quickly and easily that it’s basically a simplified version of blogs where you have to read the full article. With social media you just get a couple sentences, a picture (maybe) and a link in a bio.”
“I follow a lot of friends, artists I know personally and artists I’m fans of on SoundCloud and I love the feature of reposting tracks. When you’re on your homepage, you can scroll through and see a feed of music that people you follow have reposted. Sometimes I don’t think to ask my friends what they are listening to because I can just find out on my own by visiting my own SoundCloud account. Spotify has a similar feature with the feed on the right hand side of the screen when you’re using the desktop version of the application.”
“This might be the most important tip I have: I think you need to possess a willingness to seek out new music in order to find it. Before the internet was so prevalent, we found out about new music on the radio or by watching music videos, and this method was basically readily available to us. The internet makes things easy to find, but you do have to be willing to sit in front of your computer and really buckle down and find what you’re looking for. I spend A LOT of time on my computer on a daily basis so it comes automatic to me but more times than not friends will ask, ‘How do you always know about these new artists?’ or ‘How do you always hear about cool concerts that are coming to town?’ The simple answer is that I’ve created a convenient method for myself to have access to the information.”
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he received a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com