My July Internship!

Hello!

July started in Florida for me. Editing podcasts and laying on the beach. It’s a hard life. Now I find myself in Chicago. The windy city. I have been exposed to a bunch of new things, new people, and new forms of transportation. I rode the subway alone for the first time! I figured out the hard way that you can’t park on a road during street cleaning day…. And I have learned how to walk quickly and not make eye contact with the thousands of people that live around you. But the biggest and most exciting part is that I have been interning at the company Intertwine! Intertwine is a video production company who is also starting to move into event management. Not only have they been so helpful and supportive but they have also given me the opportunities to network with local professionals! They love what they do and they want me to love it too! 

Because I am interning at a start up company all of the learning has been super hands on and personal. I have weekly or biweekly meetings with AJ Spitz, the founder of the Intertwine, and we go over my assignments and his new ideas for the company. So far I have been in charge of artist outreach, researching and compiling a list of potential event venues, being a PA on set,  and assisting AJ with brainstorming as the company moves into the event management realm. These responsibilities have not only shown me how Intertwine as a new company operates but also how the industry works as a whole. 


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I am going to list the top 5 things that I’ve realized from being in this environment.

It’s a numbers game! I have spent over 10 hours just emailing and DMing artists, their managers and booking agents. There has probably been 2 out of every 50 that will respond and then only one will actually be ready to work on a project! The more people you reach out to, the more people that are going to reply, and eventually work with you. I’ve learned its important to make each message individual and show the artist why you want to work with them as apposed to someone else. Thats what will draw them in, and so will your portfolio. 

Portfolio is key. The more work you have done the more work you get. I’ve learned that when you are just starting out ( or a company just starting out) you can’t expect to pick the work you want to do, you have to do any of the work that is offered you. Now that Intertwine has a bigger portfolio/reel and a following, they are able to puck and choose some of the work that they do and have more creative input.

What can you do for them? I know now that this is the best and pretty much only way you are going to sell your skills for money. It is all about hooking the client with what you can do for them to make them successful, which in-turn will make you successful as well. If you approach a client or situation with a service mindset they are going to be more inclined to work with you. I learned this by talking with AJ before I started my outreach. He really explained the way that they contact potential clients and why they do it that way (with service and interest). This point also really helped in brainstorming sessions when we would be out of ideas to pitch to a client. We could always center back to the main goal, “What can we do for them?”. 

Connections - it’s all about who you know! The first time that AJ and I sat down together to talk about Intertwine was when I asked about how they promote themselves to artists in contrast to how they promote themselves to corporations. He responded that a lot of the artist outreach is direct and to the individual, while their corporate work has mostly begun by word-of-mouth. This was one of my first examples of how connections can get you work and or gigs.

I have also been invited and apart of a few networking events/release parties that have led me to make more connections in the industry! These connections range from producers to writers to editors and directors! I aim so excited to pursue these connections and really make something great out of them!

To be successful, you have to need it like you need air. One of my favorite things AJ told me when I first met him is that he knew he was going to be successful at creating this opportunity for himself because he needed it like he needed air. That really got to me. That’s how you know what your passion is and when you are playing with 100% of what you’ve got. 

I am so thankful that the Intertwine crew has let me be apart of the team and welcomed my ideas with open arms. This internship and time in the city has taught me some of what I do need like air, and some of what I don’t. I wouldn’t give this experience up for anything and I am so excited to use what I’ve learned to create and grow more.

Peace, Abby K Davis

P.S. Check them out on Instagram! @intertwinetv

Summer's Half Way Over

Unfortunately as I type this I am realizing the fleeting nature of the summer months. Not only does this mean less swimming, less sunshine and regressing to unbearably white skin…. It also means that my internship is over half way over. Now, I do have a 3 week internship in Chicago starting next week. But, my summer-long one at the church is over half way complete. I have defiantly learned a lot. This includes mountains of technical work, but interestingly enough, I have learned the same or more about work place dynamic and social interaction in the workplace.



One technical thing that I have learned working on website development in Squarespace is about their potential for podcast hosting. Before I learned that I could just upload the audio file directly to my Squarespace page, I was going to purchase an account on Buzzsprout for the RSS feed and then use that on the site. This would also give me the potential to distribute it to other platforms if the podcast caught on. I did some reading and found out that not only could I upload the file to Squarespace directly, but it ALSO is connected to Apple’s platform for podcasts. This will work for the church for now and save us money in the long run.



I’ve learned how to use the church’s analog and digital boards. I enjoy working on both of these consoles because they each have their own pros and cons. In the main traditional services I work on the digital Allen & Heath board and have learned the basics and intermediate functions. I am now capable working it and running sound and setting up the stage by myself. Because I am always learning and always choose to engage myself in opportunities for growth and learning, I pretty much learn something new about the job or the console or the people every week!



I think the biggest thing that I have learned as I progressively take on more responsibility in this job is being able to think (and communicate) on my feet. I have a base knowledge for what I am doing but some people assume I know more than I do. So when I encounter a question I do not quite know the answer to, most of the time I am figuring out an answer as I say “Well….. I would……( then insert answer here)”. My brain is only working a few seconds before my mouth. Or in some cases I have just learned to humble myself and honestly say, “I don’t know” or “That is above my knowledge at the level I am at”. And with this response I have always been met with compassion and understanding. I have learned to trust people for help.



All this and more from a few weeks working with amazing and generous people. I am so thankful that I have had the privilege to learn from them. I am so so very excited to see what opportunities come in the future!

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Peace,

Abby K Davis



Google vs. Genius

Hello!

So for this weeks assignment we were supposed to read a relevant music industry article and do a little more research on it. I did some research on the Google vs. Genius scandal which has to do with the ownership of lyrics on the Genius site. I unfortunately was not able to talk to my employer about what I found because I have been out of town this week.

I first read about this situation when Billboard released an article about it with the title “Genius Accuses Google of Displaying Copied Lyrics: 'It's Clearly Unfair and Anticompetitive'“. This said that Google was directly copying lyrics from the Genius site. The chief strategy officer of Genius said in summery that Google was using their lyrics to put as the first info section of Google so that consumers wouldn’t have to go to other sites to find the answer. This would make Google’s practices “anticompetitive”.

I was wondering how Genius would actually know that Google was taking their lyrics directly because, in theory, all of the lyrics to a song should be exactly the same if they are accurate. I learned from more research on BGR’s site that Genius created a Morse code message hidden in all of their lyrics. They used a mix of straight and curly apostrophes to spell out “Red Handed”. This essentially caught Google at fault. When Google was confronted with the evidence, they said that they rely on a third party to distribute their lyrics and that they would look into it.

This whole situation raises the question about copy-write, and ownership of lyrics especially when they are not yours and you are only using them for informational purposes. Does having more than one lyric distributor make sense when Apple Music and other streaming services are starting to provide lyrics straight from the writer? If yes, how do we facilitate the “originality” of the content creation when it is not the companies to begin with?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Still Working!!

Hello Lovelies,


This is an update on my work at the church! Some of the pieces are finally coming together and I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m doing. I have been collaborating with the one of the pastors of the church to really bring our visions together. We have the website almost finished. It is live but private so we can put all of our content on it once it is gathered. We need to upload the blogs, the podcasts and keep up with the social media. And the “Cup of Covenant” logo is even going to be printed on mugs that will be for sale.

Working in the courtyard!

Working in the courtyard!

The hardest part is going to be organizing media with the different content creators because the biggest part of this project is keeping the voice of the church in the content while also developing its identity. I plan to stay after the three services every week to work on editing the podcast and uploading it that day. I also am really enjoying working there at least once a week for a few hours in their beautiful courtyard. Being there gives me the chance to talk face to face with the staff about my ideas and theirs as well. 

I am most excited about making the site live! It will be at cupofcovenant.org. This will probably happen in one to two weeks so we have time to get some more content up. I am looking forward to maintaining this and keeping it up so that the work of the churh is preserved. So far this has been a wonderful experience and I am thinking about how I can make a full time job doing this kind of work for small businesses and churches in the area. 


Thanks for reading and following my work! 

Peace, 

Abby K Davis 

First Week of My Internship!

Hello again!

As you may know, I have been working at a Presbyterian church in Upper Arlington for over a year now doing live sound and video streaming. Recently I proposed creating an online presence for their contemporary service. This would include a website, a weekly blog, a weekly podcast, and the facilitation of their Instagram account. The church accepted my proposal and now this is my internship. I’ll be working with the church staff and the congregation to meet the expectations for this project.

My goals for this project are to increase the amount of individuals that the church touches through it’s messages. This will be completed by creating media and online presence to bring more people not only to the physical community at church, but also an online community for individuals with busier schedules. Because this is my first time doing a project like this for a client, another goal would be successful communication, and a meeting of expectations. I am so excited to work with these beautiful people. 

Podcasting anywhere!

Podcasting anywhere!

I expect that this work will be more difficult than I first anticipated because that’s what always seems to happen. But I am up for the challenge. After all, it is only through stretching that we grow. I know from this first week that the people I am working with are dedicated to perusing the same goals for this project as me and will aid me in whatever ways they can. Because this is a web based project/internship, most of the work can be done anywhere and with communication via email or text. In the picture to the right you can see me working on the floor in my room! This job is very versatile when it comes to location. I do also work live sound every Sunday and this gives me a chance to work with the leaders and the congregation.

Working live sound and slides on a Sunday morning!

Working live sound and slides on a Sunday morning!

I do have some insecurities about organizing the workflow and delegation of tasks for this project but I am positive that I will be able to handle it with the help of mentors and youtube “how to” videos. I need to create a template for a schedule with the names of people involved in each task in order to organize my thoughts and my work. This will help me in being clear and concise about what I need from others and what I need to work on myself. 

Overall, the first week of this project has gone very well. I am pleased with the level of the project as it relates to challenge, communication and creativity. These are all things I am more than excited to work on and grow in. In this week I have created a draft of our website, edited podcasts, began writing our first blog and created and posted on our instagram page. This internship will be successful because of the effort my team and I will put in for the beautiful product that will come out. 

Peace,
Abby K Davis


The Aggregator of Choice

Hello!

This week I received an assignment to read and review Ari Herstand's report on the many Aggregators. We were then told to pick which one we thought would fit best for our record label, Elementary Records. Ari’s report reviewed the most well known distributors such as: Amuse, AWAL, CD Baby, DistroKid, Ditto Music, Fresh Tunes, Horus Music, Landr Distribution, Mondo Tunes, One RPM, Reverbnation, RouteNote, Stem Music Distribution, SoundDrop, Symphonic. and Tunecore. There is obviously a lot of competition in this realm of the music industry so the tricky part is deciding which company works for you or your label as an individual.

After looking over Ari’s review I decided to think about what was most important for Elementary Records when searching for an aggregator. No commission (or minor yearly fees), payment splitting, a wide range of distribution, good customer service/personal help, and a good reputation. Some of the distributors offered unique options to their clients like a 50/50 split record deal contract for those who are “catching” and the ability to upload lyrics with your songs. There are ones stronger in Asian markets and ones more well known in the US.

There were some companies in the report that had threatened to sue Ari so obviously I did not look anymore into those. There were also some others that seemed too new and unstable financially to really invest in as a label. It will be interesting to see how these companies grow and develop.

I initially wanted to go with CD Baby as my first choice because it is the one that I recognized. Unfortunately, CD Baby does not offer payment splitting, and there are extra fees for each new project that you release. They do seem to have the most credibility because of their lifespan as a company, but upon further review, I found that most people are disappointed by the lack of customer service and help with issues that seem to be easily fixable (reviews on trustpilot.com). There were a few conflicting reviews on this site that said CD Baby had great customer service, but just to be safe, I moved on.

The aggregator that I think will be most helpful to Elementary Records is Stem Music Distribution. They have a personal representative that is dedicated to making your experience with their company work for you. They also have zero upfront fees and a low commission of 5%. Stem offers automatic payment splitting and mechanical download payment splitting. And the artist (label) can edit an already released song without going throughout the process of taking it down and putting it back up.

The New York Times wrote, “The indie music sector already has a well-established network of alternative distribution companies like TuneCore and CD Baby, which deliver unsigned artists’ work to online services for what is usually a small fee. But those services have no means to divide the royalties if a song has, say, two producers and five writers, an example of the kind of collaboration that is now common in pop. Instead, the main performer would be responsible for accounting.” Most of Elementary Records releases will be a collaborative effort of students or projects that students take on which will need to have accurate payment splitting. Not only does Stem release music, but also videos, which could be helpful for students in our video media program working in Elementary Records.

My second choice for our distributor would be ReverbNation. I choose this one because there is no commission, a multitude of very organized data and many helpful opportunities that other distributors do not offer. These include television placements, label submissions , festival slots, and two releases per year for $19.95 a month. That is a pretty good price for that many opportunities as long as you are confident in your material. The only thing that I am not in love with is that a lot of the communication feels inhuman, and automated. But that’s why it is my second choice. On this website linked here a user of ReverbNation goes through all the data and feedback you receive frim the RN team. There are many feedback categories that include: pricing, standard insight, songwriting analysis, audience identification, production quality, and commercial potential.

Thanks for listening!

Peace,

Abby K Davis

Grammy Party!

Hello!
As you most likely know, this past weekend was the Grammys! My classmates and I went to a party at the Grandview Theater and Draft-house, sponsored by Groove U, Donatos, and the Columbus Music Commission. I was able to reconnect with someone I had recently worked with at Tech Art Productions in Columbus and was able to have a conversation with a few others. There were many working professionals that attended this event and really showed us that you can make a living in this competitive industry doing what you love.

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That was not the only inspiring thing that I saw that night. As we entered the theater to watch the Grammys on the big screen, Alicia Keys appeared as the host of the event. She was not only wise and beautiful, she was inspiring to those of us going into music as a carrier. She really brought the excitement of the awards and the celebrities of the event and focused it on the real reason we were all gathered that night. Music. She introduced music as inclusive, loving and as a universal language that all of us who share the human condition can understand. From that simple explanation of why we came, we were able to expand and celebrate the successful music influencers of the year.

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Surprisingly enough, some of the artists that we saw preform and receive awards I did not recognize. A few of the country artists and rappers I was pretty unfamiliar with. This event gave me the chance to not only take a moment to appreciate the music I know and love, but to also expand my taste and appreciate the other music that inspires other individuals around the world.

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This was also a great experience to get to know some of my peers and classmates in a different environment. I saw how they interacted with other industry professionals, how they approached new situations and I was also able to see the “mainstream” music that they appreciate based on who they were hoping would win an award. There are students in the second year of the program at Groove U that I do not often connect with and this was a great chance for me to catch up with them.

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Overall, the Grammy party was a success! We shared a moment in music, for music, and with others in the profession of music. It was beautiful. And the pizza was delicious. I’m sure that Groove U, Columbus Music Commission, and Donatos will host another Grammy party next year and I hope to see you there!

Peace,

Abby K Davis














Field Trip!

Hello Lovelies!

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Recently, my class and I went on a field trip to Cleveland. We went and toured the House Of Blues, Gotta Groove Records and Eighth Day Sounds. We were exposed to the jobs in booking and running a venue, to being the people renting and preforming at the venue, setting up for the tours and also running a business in the music industry that also incorporated manufacturing.

All of these experiences were interesting and I especially learned a lot more about the live sound aspect of the music industry. Much of what the tour at Eighth Day Sounds consisted of in terms of technical content was over my head but it was intriguing. One technical thing that I would love to do more research on is RF (Radio Frequency) and the tech positions, including what the job demands and the required skill set. Although, I would not want to do that as a career myself. At Eighth Day Sounds they also talked about the job and the lifestyle of a stage hand, rigger, and tech. These are the peopIe that build and create the stages and setups for concerts that we love going to. It is obviously a lot of hard work and I am amazed at their dedication to a show. I love that other people are able to live in a bus and work “sun-up to sun-up” for these tours but I realize that is not for me!

At Gotta Groove Records we took a tour of their manufacturing operations and creation process. Never had I ever wondered how vinyl was made but after that tour I had a new respect for the manufacturing part of the music industry. So much of this industry is streaming and intangible musical creations and what they were making was physical and I think that’s what made it so special. On the tour they told us that they customers could ask for things to be pressed inside of the vinyl, like paper, or ashes. They could also create different color patterns on the vinyl by mixing colors before it was pressed. There was a creative side to this assembly line that I have not seen in other manufacturing operations. I applaude those who can mix mathematics and logic with creativity and customization to create something beautiful and unique. However, I could not see myself being a vinyl manufacturer.

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At the House Of Blues we walked through multiple rooms in which they book artists to preform. The guide explained that they choose the room based on the type of event or the status of the performer. They try to work small artists up through their different venues until they are big enough to start playing at the arenas. We also got to walk backstage and see where monitor beach was and where the HOB crew loads equipment in and out of the venue. There were a few Green Rooms for the artists and we got to walk through one. Overall, it was the shortest tour but we learned a lot of valuable information about the venue and booking aspect of the music industry.

This field trip was an eye opener to all the different routes you could take concerning the music industry. It helped me rule out some of the options and create new ones. The owner of Gotta Groove Records shed some light on how he decided to create his business and he said, “I had a degree in manufacturing and then I thought about what I liked and vinyl was one of them. Then it was easy to combine my passions.” This statement made me understand that you can create a job with whatever you are passionate about. All you have to do is realize your passion.

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Peace,

Abby K Davis

Coffee Thoughts - Love Reflection (NEW VID)

I have edited a music video for the first time and this blog post is an introduction to it’s appearance on my website!

For this video I had to learn the basics of using Adobe Premier and let me tell you, it was so much fun. Yes some of it was frustrating, like loosing footage and saving issues on different versions of the program…. but what can I say… I was able to create. In the moment of editing, all I could feel was how great it was to be working on something that no one had ever seen before. I was creating something uniquely different and my own.

This music video was for a song called “Lavender Memories” and we wanted the plot to be of the artist walking through dream sequences connected by doors in odd places.

Now, looking back on the video weeks after I finished editing it, I can see that it is not the best thing in the world. It’s not even the most average thing in the world. It’s not good. But I am ok with that. I could tell you all the things that I would do differently, things that I hate about it, things that I wish I had known when editing or filming it..but I won’t.

I know the technical things that I have to do to make myself, my editing and filming better. Yes, I am nervous to put things like this out because I know it’s not the best. But I realized that I can’t hide away everything that I create because “It’s not perfect”. I have to reflect on what I created, love it for how it is, and be able to apply what I’ve learned to make my future projects all the more great.

When you see the projects that I work on in my portfolio page, it is a snapshot of my skill at that moment in time. I will always be improving and honing my craft. I promise. ;)

Peace,

Abby Davis

Welcome to my Website

Hey!

I’m so glad that you found your way to my page! My name is Abby K Davis and I am a student at Groove U in Columbus, Ohio. I am studying video and audio production as well as live sound. I am open to all opportunities in the entertainment industry and am eager to learn more about anything and everything.

Enough about me! This website is a way for you to get in contact with me and see what I am up to. I will have all my social media on the home page so you can see all the projects I am working on. Also, there will be a link on my ‘About Me’ page to the music I am listening to that week. Check out this blog page every once in a while to see my thoughts and papers that I am writing!

Please let me know if there is anything I can change on my site to make life easier for you in the comments!

Peace,

Abby K Davis