Kevin Lyman is best known as the producer and creator of the extremely successful Vans Warped Tour, the longest running traveling music festival in the world today. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the tour has played to over millions of fans. Kevin has founded many other highly successful tours including the Rockstar Mayhem Festival and Down from the Mountain Tour. When not curating giant festivals, he sits on the Board of Directors for Saint Archer Brewery and the LA County Fairplex. He also has his hand in the record industry as co-owner of Side One Dummy.
A trendsetter for youth branding, Kevin has established creative partnerships with brands such as Vans, Kia, Journeys, Fuse, Ernie Ball, and Monster Energy Drink. Kevin was an honoree at the Grammy/MusiCares MAP Fund 2011 and received the Billboard Touring Awards Humanitarian of the Year in 2009. Recently he has founded The Entertainment Institute to revolutionize music business education utilizing his 35 years of experience.
You are best known as the creator of the Vans Warped tour, the longest running traveling musical festival in the world today, as well as the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Are you content with your achievements or do you feel there is unfinished business?.
KL: No there is always stuff out there to do. I’ve always felt there is more out there to be done. People have asked me what was the best Warped Tour. I say “it’s the one that is going to happen, I hope.” You can’t live on status quo. I think what we are doing now , especially with The Entertainment Institute (TEI), some of the other branding things like speaking engagements, are pushing in the direction I want to go. I thought that education was going to be my calling and maybe the music thing was going to be a passing thing and I would get on with my life.
When you founded The Entertainment Institute, what sparked that idea? KL: A few reasons are that I speak at colleges and universities quite a bit. I firmly believe in the education process but sometimes kids come out of school not quite up with everything that is going on. They are not keeping current. I thought that maybe we could create a supplemental education program to teach them real time. Not to replace anything that one is doing in education, but to keep it in real time. CONTINUE READING
This Swedish band has been eager to engage people with their music and sparkling liveshow since the start in 2008. A third place in the big national contest 2011 Metro On Stage became the takeoff for Indevotion and hitsong “GoGoGoGoGo!“. The band has been touring extensively ever since and also gained international coverage by publications like Buzznet, AU Review, and The Round Table. In 2014 the band picked up producer Mats Valentin (Kelly Clarkson, Carpark North) and 2015 will see the launch of new material and see band heading out to US once again performing SXSW.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Step Rockets, a Kings favorite. We named Step Rockets a top 8 emerging artist as well as a “Year End Best Artist. Step Rockets burst onto the international music scene with their single Kisser, a self-released indie pop anthem that shot to #1 on the Hype Machine charts just weeks after its release.The Minneapolis foursome has built a reputation for their cosmic recycling of music past and present. The band seamlessly blends New Wave, Reggae, and EDM through the lens of a psychedelic rock band, churning out indie pop gems that keep the listener coming back for more.
You have had lots of underground success. What was the pivotal moment when the press started taking notice?
Thanks! The big turning point was when our song “Kisser” went to #1 on Hype Machine late in the summer of 2013. It was a totally organic moment and surreal experience. A few blogs picked it up, and people started to really connect and retweet the song. It was a fun seeing all of our hard work finally pay off.
Just 13 days after the release of “Kisser”, the track hit #1 on Hype Machine garnering 200,000+ SoundCloud plays. Did that lead to major attention?
Yeah, things started happening quickly. A lot of people within the music industry reached out to the band immediately after the song hit #1. We had people from major labels contacting us, as well as agents, managers, and lawyers. We were completely DIY at the time, and I remember sitting in a coffee shop and sending out about 150 emails to music blogs to keep the hype going. After we had those initial numbers it was a great talking point for blogs and press to open up our e-mails and listen to our story. Since then we have toured the nation and been apart of some great festivals and have really found out what works for us. CONTINUE READING
Los Angeles-based indie rockers Kin Cayo released their first single “Our Ship” from their debut EP, slated for release in April 2015. The untitled EP was self-produced and the newest track showcases their energizing blend of Calypso vibes and melodic indie rock. Since their inception in August of last year, the quartet has recorded a four track EP with a sound that is firmly rooted in their influences for the band include The Clash and Paul Simon. They have received praise from Stereo Embers Magazine calling them “one of the most exciting bands around melodically adventurous and musically cunning.” Regarding “Our Ship,” The Burning Ear remarks the track is a “beautifully infectious debut jam.” They have performed at venues such as Community and Greek Theater Plaza Stage and Little Joy in the neighborhood of Echo Park where they just wrapped up a two-month residency. This is an artist to watch.
Molly Moore made the move to Los Angeles since our last feature. Her songs “Ready For Love” and “Hollow” were picked up and transformed into uncharacteristic EDM successes by Canadian Felix Cartal and veteran Dutch duo Dubvision. She signed with manager Ric Aliberte (Billy Idol, KISS), and has worked with a variety of producers, mainly with Steve Dresser (signed to songwriter/producer Busbee & BMG) to help hone her sound. Molly has been compared to the 90’s singers like Suzanne Vega, Joan Osborne and Lisa Loeb. Molly Moore and Brandyn Burnette will perform a free showcase for BMI on Monday, March 2, 2015.
Mark Ronson “Uptown Funk” 41,134 downloads
Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” 27,576 downloads
Rihanna & Paul McCartney “FourFiveSeconds” 19,286 downloads
Maroon 3 “Sugar” 15,064
Imagine Dragons “Shots” 14,531
Ellie Goulding “Love Me Like You Do” 12,272
Hozier “Take Me To Church” 12,272
Taylor Swift “Blank Space” 11,996
Meghan Trainor “Lips Are Movin” 10,484
Fall Out Boy “Centuries” 10,474
Taylor Swift “Style” 9,043
The Weekend “Earned It” 7,627
Ella Henderson “Ghost” 7,055
Sam Smith “I’m Not The Only One” 7,020