Ghostly International: FutureMusic Done Right at FutureMidwest

Religious readers may remember my post on independent music labels where I highlighted some of my favorite places to find new tunes.  I was reminded that I forgot about an outfit that happens to be based in my backyard.  This “label” is none other than Ghostly International (GI).

Ghostly lives up to its name with their eerie ability to be everywhere. With their brand associating with the likes of Adult Swim and Behance, it is obvious that there is more to them than music. Ghostly shows a distinct understanding of what it is to have vision. In this day and age, it takes a lot of garner respect in one’s own space, let alone in other spaces. GI is managing to do that. With a knack for releasing forward-thinking, electronic-based music and packaging it with artwork that can be appreciated separate from its inspiration, the Ann Arbor, MI-based art aggregator is a shining example on how to be a brand in the 21st century.

ghostly international logo

Ghostly is one of the greatest labels to ever be birthed in Michigan.

– Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier

A couple of weeks ago, FutureMidwest – a technology and knowledge conference – took place in Royal Oak, MI, which is a suburb of Detroit. Ghostly International Founder/CEO, Sam Valenti IV, spoke about the story of Ghostly and how they have dealt with dips. Hopefully, his presentation makes it on the web, so we can share it here. It was quite inspiring. Sam’s message of innovation leading the charge in shaping a brand is what we here at Frying in Vein hope more art curation hubs strive to be. As fellow curator Renaissance Soul Detroit’s Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier proclaims, “Ghostly is one of the greatest labels to ever be birthed in Michigan. They have been able to successfully brand a label based on a method of making music, so it gives them that legroom to move with the times.”

Inspired by Ghostly, we want to showcase some favorites of their latest material that they have out now.
Continue reading Ghostly International: FutureMusic Done Right at FutureMidwest

#2 Music Industry Secret to Success – Reach Out

I have developed a set of music industry “secrets.” These “secrets” are designed to develop positive behavior, so do not expect a ton of tactical talk. Strategy will be the ultimate takeaway. In each shared “secret,” we are going to give ideas that should help you make the right changes toward a substantial music career. Be sure you check out the previous “secret” of “Be Yourself” before reading this.

Touched by an alcoholic by the Comic ShopHere on, we have discussed the importance of listening, particularly in the Vanilla Ice-inspired “Stop, COLLABORATE and Listen” post. Listening is key to wrangling new collaborators, friends and fans alike. Mind you, these people that you find can be all to you, but that will be up to you.

Once you have listened closely and found those that you believe would be good to get better acquainted, take the time to find out where they really dwell. You may have found them on Twitter, but take a dive into their bio/timeline and see if they might have a website. Most likely, that is probably their favorite place. You can check to see if they have a blog, a contact page or a better place to get their attention. These efforts are all steps that you should consider in your outreach efforts.

Outreach is critical to building any sort of network. It is a task that should be a constant chore. Staying in touch with your fans will prove to be the easiest way to stay relevant with them. You may not always have new material to share, but maybe it is time to see what is happening in their world. Such a basic function gives so much in value and it is probably one of the cheapest PR/Marketing tools you can leverage.


REACH OUT – learn more about the people you attract and figure out what your common interests.

Now for some tactical advice, check out my buddy Refe Tuma’s Creative Deconstruction blog post on how to properly connect with music bloggers.

Have any good outreach stories? Please share them in the comments below along with any other thing else you are compelled to say.

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FUNKY FRIDAY: We Are The Tay (The Future of Urban Pop)

Here on Frying in Vein, we are going to stick to focusing on increasing your ability to discover new music. There are plenty of great blogs that exist where you can find what is hip and cool in music, but all the music can get overwhelming. Therefore, we bring you FUNKY FRIDAY. Whether a solo artist feature or an epic DJ mix, know that we are putting the brand on the line to highlight those that make music that has staying power. We hope to not disappoint.

Introducing The Tay*, an urban pop producer (read: this means he has RANGE) based in Atlanta, GA. He has roots in Detroit, but the A-town influence is heavy. Nothing wrong with that though. Tay provides a clean and refreshing approach using 808 and 909 drum kits. This Detroiter is going to assume hometown influence on my favorite portion of this instrumental / remix project by this budding producer. The first 10 tracks are swell and all, but Tay throws us for a loop [in three movements over three tracks] starting at “Keep Some Things,” which is an excited experiment in jungle / drum-and-bass tempos. You are taken on a new journey that immediately begins to switch up about two minutes and 45 seconds into the aforementioned cut and then Tay goes into an intro for the following track “Baow Baow Batao.” “Baow Baow Batao.” has a feel that has “will be bitten by Timbaland” emanating all over it. I hope Tay gets the distinction of ghost-producing for the super-producer in his near future. I think he has the chops. He definitely is not afraid to try and make you dance.

Another point to note is that Tay mixed and mastered the entire project himself. He is currently going to school learning sound engineering. This listener is definitely impressed by the project’s fidelity.

We Are The Tay is a free project. It has got a little bit of everything – a little melancholy, some gangsta bang, even the high-energy heat that goes well when on a nice ride on the highway. So… go ahead, give the man your e-mail address and remember where you heard about this young upstart.

* Tay is the brother of Detroit CYDI member, Saron “Sean Uppercut” Dier.

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