He was an aspiring golf pro turned law student who went on to manage one of the most successful names in modern rock. Today he is inviting the entirety of the music industry into his office for some lively, and often deep, conversation. Through his web series, Renman Live, and his coursework at Renman U, Steve Rennie is preaching the truth of the music business and trying to share all he has learned with the next generation of managers and industry professionals.
We caught up with Steve Rennie to find out what a good education really is when it comes to the music business and what people really need to know to make it.
What do you think has been the biggest pivotal moment in the industry just since you got started 36 years ago?
Definitely, without question, the advent of the internet. That changed so many things about the way we do business. It didn’t change the core of what the music business is. It’s actually much simpler than people want to make it. It’s about great songs and great performances. Without that, there is no music business. The internet hasn’t changed that. How you make the songs, distribute, promote, listen, buy, experience has changed dramatically and in that change you see all the worst instincts of the music business- fear, insecurity, politics…all of that playing. And that’s what contributed to the general anxiety of the music business. It was always there, but has been heightened by the internet. It’s hard to believe things could be crazier.
Do you think it’s harder or easier for artists to get noticed these days?
Before the internet, artists had to find a way to get the attention of the label guys. Bands started playing the Troubadour or the Whiskey and little scenes developed. The only way for business types to plug into that scene was to go to clubs. Or artists would go to lawyers or managers and try to get insider status. That’s where the action happens. They were face to face connections, eyeball to eyeball. Now with the internet, artists have new ways to make money and new ways to present themselves to the industry in a much more complete way. They have photos and videos and websites and can make a more complete presentation. They have more control over that first impression. CONTINUE READING
Buzz Track: The Balance
Royal Tongues are a duo out of Buffalo, NY who have recently burst onto the scene with high-energy synth anthems ready for sync placements and alt radio traction. The duo has spent much of this past year co-writing with major songwriters from LA to NYC and scoring major sync placements. They self produced and released their new single last week. They were featured on Neon Gold and premiering FM debut on KX93.5 We Found New Music. Influences range from Smallpools, Passion Pit and Grouplove. Royal Tongues is an artist to watch.
Justin Mortelliti just released his second EP “The Prince of April”. He performs the lead role in the rock musical ‘Rock of Ages’ at The Venetian in Las Vegas. He was also the lead vocalist in Kidz Bop Live and toured with the group across America. He even had a ‘one night’ guest role as a lead vocalist with Foreigner. He has appeared in the CBS hit Numb3rs, feature film The Collection, and the Batman short film Puppet Master; where he was nominated for Best Actor at The Method Film Festival. The song ‘The Fall’ was featured at the title track in the film ‘Dog Tags’ as well as the theme song for the web series ‘Gossip Boy’. Check out his current single ‘My Silver’.
Emmy Bachmann – Stranger
Kit Walters – Your Ghost
Colin Huntley – Best I Never Had
The Silent Scene – Collecting Hearts
Sydney Leigh – Crazy Beautiful
The Crazy Carls – Let Me
Colour of London – Heart Attack
Justin Klump – The Night is Young
Emmy Bachmann is a brand new artist on the scene yet has already been dubbed a blond bombshell singer-songwriter by PopWrapped. Our favorite tracks are I Don’t Love Him and Rescue Yourself. Kit Walters has released a new song along with a video Your Ghost. He will release an EP and will headline a show in The Studio at Webster Hall, Sunday September 21st. Colin Huntley is an emerging singer/songwriter & guitarist based in Austin, TX. The video for his single Best I Never Had has already garnered 315,000 YouTube streams. The Silent Scene is on the verge of a breakthrough. The track Collecting Hearts is our favorite and they were also featured on iTunes New & Noteworthy. Sydney has self released her debut EP “Crazy Beautiful”. Sydney Leigh wrote and recorded with Nolan Lambroza (Sir Nolan), Steve Daly (Tracklacers) and Heidi Rojas. The Crazy Carls are making a splash on the scene. The band headlined Florida Music Festival in Orlando with Less Than Jake and Dirty Heads, and were featured on Sunfest with Train, Big Sean, and Ellie Goulding. Colour of London has released a new track “Heart Attack“, and they have partnered with lifestyle brand, Alex and Ani, who featured their music in commercials and stores around the globe. Finally, Justin Kump, the singer-songwriter has begun to make a mark. His album debuted on the U.S. iTunes Singer-Songwriter Chart earning him solid press, and Sirius XM invited him to perform on at their studios in NYC. Check out his track The Night is Young.
Buzz Track: Better Than One
The Score is an NYC-based indie acoustic pop duo. They released their self-titled debut EP and their single “Don’t Wanna Wake Up” was selected to play in all Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hollister stores worldwide on their 2014 Summer Playlist, helping them find new fans around the world. The song also earned the duo a semi-finalist position in Macy’s 2014 iHeartRadio Rising Star competition, hosted by ClearChannel. Their cover of “Say Something” has surpassed 340,000 listens on SoundCloud and garnered them a Top 10 slot in RyanSeacrest.com’s #MarchMusicMadness Cover competition this year. As young songwriters, Eddie & Edan have had the privilege to work on music by major label artists like Kat Graham, Ne-Yo, Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc. The duo writes, producers and mixes all of their music themselves in Edan’s tiny NYC apartment. Look out for their second EP coming out late this summer.
GGoolldd has become a Kings favorite. Check out the track newly released track Younger Days. The sound can be described as a blend of dream-pop and post-punk with some synth-pop flourishes; comparisons have been made to M83, Frankie Rose, Echo & the Bunnymen. They just performed The Turner Hall Ballroom with The Polyphonic Spree, they have shared the stage with Drowners and Sylvan Esso.
Kings favorite Like Swimming recently released a new video Let Go. The band is touring in Europe and will be heading to the States. They will release the new album “Structures” and will have their release gig on The Social in London on September 8th. In the beginning of 2013 the band recorded their first songs in a cabin out in the woods north of Stockholm. The songs immediately got them a record deal with the American label Digsin. Their single garnered attention amongst various indie blogs in the US. The second single, “Go Buffalo”, was released in August 2013. It was recorded and produced by Lennart Östlund (ABBA, Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Cardigans). Like Swimming is an artist to watch.