Going Independent

So, after some time, I decided I should break from the current label to which I was signed. I wasn’t signed for very long.

Why?

To me, it just wasn’t worth it.

I know a lot of people say that music isn’t all about the money. That may be true. But one part of being signed to a label is acquiring even a little bit of income to go towards producing more and better music. I wasn’t selling anymore music than I was when I ws independent, and any sales would have had 50% going to the label.

There’s an interview of the rapper, Hopsin, that I watched, and he talked about being signed to a label for awhile and then realizing that one does not need to be signed to a label when one can BECOME the label.

I am inspired to just do my own thing. I want the rights to my own music. I want to control when I release my own tracks. I want to feel inspired by a song and remix what I want, when I want.  I want to make my own album art and be satisfied with it, without the need to get approval every step of the way.

I don’t need to worry about promoting 10 other artists when I barely have the time to promote myself. Balancing work, school, rehearsals and a relationship gives me a limited amount of time for music. I know I sound selfish, but at this stage in my career, I have to do everything I can to advance myself.  Maybe one day when I am more settled into a career, I will be a better asset to a label, but right now, I am not ready. I know what I must do, and that is create, promote, repeat. You just gotta keep moving.

DJ NEENYO @ Prophet Bar 3/30/14

On 3/30, I’ll be coming to the Prophet Bar in Dallas to serve up another helping of hard dance. At the moment, I’m thinking of opening with some psytrance and then closing the set out with some hardstyle. I’m really excited to bring the harder styles of dance music to a major venue. My timeslot has not been locked in completely, but it will more than likely be after 10:00 PM. I want to play for the older, drinking crowd. So come on and get your drink on and dance your ass off for awhile.

Tickets are available online now. You can get them now at a discount, but be sure to get them as soon as possible, because the sooner you get them, the cheaper it is. See you there!

https://tickets.aftonshows.com/DJNeenyo

Smoked Out Saturdaze Feb. 8 @ 365 Hookah Lounge

There’s a new hookah lounge that just opened in Garland, TX.  The place doesn’t look like much from the front, but it’s easy to find by the bright, color-changing strip lights in the windows and the big, colorful sign that reads “365 Hookah Lounge”. The inside is very nice. It’s decorative, yet spacious enough to dance. There’s plenty of sitting space including couches and chairs with tables and some TVs to watch while you chill and smoke. Probably the best part is the hookah, which starts at only $11.99, compared to other places that charge upwards of 15 dollars. As a DJ, the other best part to me is brand new sound system, which consists of 2 massive PA speakers and a big-ass floor sub. It’s a compact setup, but it puts out a lot of power.

It’s a place worthy of coming to again and again. On Febuary 8th (this upcoming Saturday), I’ll be bringing the bass for all who come out to chill. Swing by and show some support to these guys who run the place. They’re really laid-back, and they keep a chill, drama-free environment. It’s usually a low-key place, but we’re trying to make this a weekly event for people to come chill and dance to some good electronic music, so come out and show us some love.

If you like genres of dance music not normally heard in most clubs, then you’ll like the atmosphere.  One one hand, I’m bringing some super spacy chillwave, and on the other hand, a heaping load of hardstyle and hard trance. Expect some deep house and old school dubstep and breaks as well.

You can RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/199685680226071/

Gothica Music Festival and New(ish) Releases

So first I want to say thanks to everyone who made Gothica Music Festival possible. There are too many to name but many thanks go to DJ OMG and Gypsy Masters for giving me the opportunity to get involved in this event. Also shout out to DJ Seven, RoboJoe, and DJ S.Y.E. for repping the harder styles of dance music and giving us underground ravers a stage to call our own. There a hell of a lot of mud walking from stage to stage, but we being dedicated as we are made it work and found paths to travel that wouldn’t ruin our shoes. There was plenty of room to dance and camp and the weather was perfect for dancing (it kept us warm without breaking a sweat). Thanks to the people who brought concessions for everyone and DFW NORML for coming out and supporting us. Thanks to the fire spinners who provided some extra entertainment for the night, and to Dallas Event Audio for the massive sound system. It was a great night and I look forward to the next one.

That being said, let me just announce that I will be re-releasing 2 of my tracks within the next week through Synbot Records. Why re-release a track, you may ask? Well, I just had two of my best  and recent tracks, “Kick It Off”, and “Dark Nether Remix” professionally remastered before they go on Beatport to be sold worldwide. Seriously, they sound so much better. Much better than I could ever make them.

You can find the previews  on my soundcloud page (soundcloud.com/dj-neenyo).

Release dates will be announced soon. Stay posted and keep the PLUR alive! Deuces!

5. My Skills

I think, for the most part, I am very skilled at what I do, though I could  always be much better. However, the issue for me is not really how much better I need to get as an artist. I will have plenty of time to practice my acting and my mixing and production skills. I get better each day just by applying those skills. My biggest challenge lies with patience.

As a perfectionist, I always want to do everything right. I can’t settle for anything less than the best. Every artist knows that you can’t become a master at something overnight, otherwise nobody would revere and respect talented artists.

However, I am one of those people who loves the process of getting better, but also hates the thought of never being as good as we wish we were. When I was first starting out as a DJ, I was always so frustrated at the fact that gigs didn’t just appear as soon as I started announcing that I was a DJ. I just wanted to play for an audience. I wanted to dive right in without having any experience in dealing with negotiations and catering to various artists. My music library at the time was limited to “uhntz uhntz” club music. I became very bitter and annoyed that I had no gigs. That wasn’t just starting out, either. Even so much as a couple of months ago, I was going through the same slump. I just couldn’t figure out why every other DJ I knew seemed to be getting gigs and record deals and I wasn’t.

I realize now that I was being impatient. I’m still very young, and I’m still starting out, and yet now I’m playing at a 5-stage, 55 DJ festival. Looking back, I can’t believe I’ve gotten as many gigs as I have for only being a DJ for 2 years. I’m already signed to Synbot Records for crying out loud. I’ve been producing for less time than I’ve been DJing. I’ve always had an ear for the dynamics of electronic music, but for the longest time I lacked the technical skills to apply that artistic talent. Once you start something, it takes time to become established at it.

Impatience has been the biggest problem of mine. I try to push through when I need to be happy with how far I’ve come. But my saving grace has been persistence. I have given pitches, demos, phone calls, business cards, and everything else there is to booking agents, club owners, DJ agencies, and record producers.  No matter what, no matter how much of a slump I get in sometimes, I always find a way to climb out and keep going. So far it’s done me pretty well. If I really want something, I’ll keep on trying in every way possible. That’s how you let people know you’re serious. I’ve gotten turned down before, and then I kept working. I tried again, I got turned down. I kept trying, and eventually, the people realized I had talent and was serious. Now I have a record deal and I get gigs.

Another thing that’s helped me that I still need to improve on is networking and maintaining relationships with people in the field. I can network. I reach out to everyone in the scene who I can. I promote and advertise mine and others’ events. The only difficulty is keeping up with all these people. One has to show others that he truly cares about them and what they do, and that he’s not just getting to them for a  job opportunity. I think I need to find the relationships that truly matter the most, and invest more in those.

Finally, contracts and taxes. I’ve learned a lot this semester about taxes and contracts. I never realized that so many expenses can be deducted from the net income when filing taxes. I have always been worried about how I would handle taxes when I’m on my own, and now I feel much more enlightened about it. I still don’t know enough, but I’m at a point where I can understand what I as an artist need to do. More importantly, I need to spend more time on contracts and spreadsheets. The business side of art is something I’ve overlooked. Now that I’ve learned more about it, it makes me want to get out there and make more money. I feel much more in control of my business when using a contract to negotiate terms. I no longer have to worry about getting shorted on pay or bailed on for an event.

In all, I just need to be patient. I have to remind myself that over time, experience and knowledge will come, and that sometimes mistakes are necessary to learn how the business works. I’m still very young, and my career has barely started. And it’s off to a good start so far, so things are all uphill from here. Inspiration will come, money will come, gigs will come if I just keep doing what I’m doing and working hard.

Final EP

So for the purpose of the exercise, I have decided to go with my third elevator pitch since it is broader and incorporates theatre and music. I’m going to keep building on it and finding ways to make it better, but for now it is as it is. In case you haven’t seen it, this is what it looks like:

“To me, live performance is the most powerful way to bring people together. There is so much conflict and disharmony in the world, and yet a single shared experience can help people forget about their differences and act as one. I want to unite and connect people of all walks of life, be it through a riveting performance or the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time. My mission is to spread peace, love, unity, and respect through theatre and music. By day, I am Jace Covington, the actor. By night I am DJ Neenyo. Together we are one, and we would like to connect with you. Here’s my card.”

Elevator Pitch(es)

So far I have created 3 elevator pitches, each one catering to a slightly different area of what I do. The first two are more related to my music, whereas in the third one, I have attempted to combine my goals as an actor with my goals as a musician/DJ. I am satisfied with all of them, but I would like to find some way condense them into one while still keeping it short and effective.  If you would, please take a look at them and leave a quick comment on which one you like the most. Feel free to tell me why you like it the most, and how it could possibly be combined with the other EPs. If you like, give some feedback on how it could be improved. All feedback is greatly appreciated!

Music is the second voice and an extension of one’s personality. The sounds of dance music and the experience of a live performance is something that brings people of all walks of life together. It is possible for people to forget about their differences and come together if they all share a passion for something. My goal is to share the love of quality dance music and unite people through the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time.

I do dark, wicked bass lines mixed with assaulting synths and haunting melodies. I’m bringing the underground rave vibe with a dash of funky breaks. I want to show everyone that there’s more to dance music than what’s playing in the clubs. It’s time to open people’s minds to a wider world of sound. 

Live performance is the most powerful way to bring people together. It is possible for people to forget about their differences and come together if they all share a passion for something, be it music, film, or theatre. There is so much conflict and disharmony in the world that we need people who can establish common ground with their fellow man. I want to unite people of all walks of life, be it through a riveting performance or the visceral experience of the rave, one night at a time. My mission is to spread the PLURR through theatre and music.

Gothica Music Festival

This is probably one of the biggest gigs I’ve had in quite awhile, so I’m going to leave this here. It has been confirmed that I will be spinning at Dance Impulse’s Gothica Music Festival. It’s a Halloween-themed event that takes place the day after Halloween. It will be an entire night of hardstyle, hard dance, hardcore, breaks, DnB, dubstep, and all-out raving mayhem. There will be 3 stages, 33 Djs, a costume contest with cash prizes, camping, and 18 acres of awesome! I’m opening for RoboJoe from Synbot Records. You don’t want to miss either set, so bring your camping gear and prepare to rave all night! It’s all going down on November 1 through Nov 2 morning.  Get your tickets ASAP!

You can find more information about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1420347561520399/1422035814684907/?comment_id=1423709254517563&ref=notif&notif_t=event_mall_reply