Tag Archives: radio

Spotlight

Spreaker Bands: Meet the Sound of Rock in Russia – Stoneberry

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Stoneberry brings their eclectic beats to Spreaker and the world with their Oak Tree EP. We spoke to the band, based in Moscow, Russia.

Do you mind introducing yourselves?

Ilya: I’ve been in the band since we decided to form it together with Grant, during our school years. At first I was excited to play guitar, and was deeply influenced by David Gilmour, but since we never did find a bassist, I tried it out and have enjoyed it ever since then.

Grant: I’ve been playing drums for 7 years, and it is quite funny how I came to it. We decided to form a band and I simply said “OK, I’ll be the drummer”. At school I had met my first drum teacher, and now drums are my life.

Anton: I tried singing out when I was 12. At that time I started playing classical guitar, which I had received from my father. He was my first guru to the world of music, and he taught me to play guitar and piano. At that time I wrote my first songs.

How did Stoneberry start?

Ilya: Stoneberry finally gathered over 4 years ago, but since we came up with the spontaneous idea with Grant to play musical instruments at school, we went through years  of looking for members. I became acquainted with our guitarist Fedya in University and after we were three, Anton found us on the Internet.

Anton: Yeah, the guys tried several vocalists but it all came to nothing. I had also had a band at school, but it broke up as I was looking for a new one. After some unsuccessful attempts to form my own band, I saw they were looking for a vocalist. Since then, we’ve been Stoneberry.

How would you describe your sound? Who and what have been your personal influences?

Grant: Our music is a mix of different genres, because every one of us has different musical influences and frequently they are dispersed. But our compositions are the intersection of our musical tastes. As for myself, I was influenced by my first drum teacher, who gave me my first boost.

My influences are absolutely diverse, for example I like bands such as Gretchen Parlato and Animals As Leaders. But personally, I’m more inspired by individual musicians such as JP Bouvet, Ruslan Gadzhimuradov, Steeve Gadd, Aaron Spears etc.

Anton: I agree that in Stoneberry we can combine all of our ideas and influences, and that’s why I think we always vary in musical genres, play with song structures, apply new instruments, etc. This musical flexibility allows us to create something very exciting and unusual, and it could be why it’s attractive to people.

As for personal influences, I enjoy classic, unfading bands and solo musicians – and there are too many to list, but I also always try to find new names. The latest that have impressed me were soul singers Lianne La Havas and Rhye. My vocal style is mainly formed on Thom Yorke, Neil Young and Jim Morrison.

Ilya: We can’t describe our sound as a certain genre and though, as Grant said, we listen to different music, we can still correlate with each other. I’m inspired by bands such as Pink Floyd, Dredg, Porcupine Tree, and the Russian band In A Nutshell.

You are based in Russia, but have you had a chance to bring your music abroad?

Anton: We haven’t yet had a chance to play abroad, but with the help of social networks like Facebook and mainly Last.fm, we can be heard in different countries and sometimes get feedback. I think that one day we’ll play live somewhere in Europe or wherever and bring our music to foreign audiences.

Do you find audiences abroad take in your music differently?

Grant: Perhaps, yes. Foreign music sets a high standard for composing and performing, and it’s really hard to gather pace with it. Plus, in developed countries people are more accustomed to these higher music standards. In Russia there are fewer professionals and it’s easier to amaze the audience, although people are still not as eager to discover something new.

Anton: However the situation is changing nowadays and the new modern tendencies are beginning to penetrate Russian music markets, too.

Are you touring now, or will you be touring soon?

Ilya: No, though we have some local gigs booked in Moscow and in the suburbs. We are currently concentrating on preparing studio recording sessions for a new single – the starting point to our first LP. After that I think we’ll plan a tour in Russia and enlarge our audience.

Congratulations, guys! We wish you all the best!

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Spotlight

Talking with Alex Berenson of Kikwear

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Many may recall fond memories of the booming rave scene of the 90s, wearing phat pants and dancing to thrilling beats. Tightly linked with the scene was Kikwear, the clothing line of choice for EDM fans and fashionistas alike. We had the chance to speak to CEO of the company, Alex Berenson, on the resurgence of the subculture, and the company’s new developments.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

My name is Alex Berenson and I’m the CEO/Co-founder of Kikwear, Inc. I started the company in 1991 with my closest childhood friend Gregg Ostrow, who is still my partner today.

Tell us about Kikwear – how did it begin?

Kikwear came onto the clothing scene in 1991 with one product that we basically invented called “Longy Boxers.” We hated traditional boxers and so did all of our buddies so we started making a really kool below the knee style in plaids, stripes and tons of different fabrics. They were super comfortable with their plush back elastic and roomy fit. By 1992, we dropped a complete line of gear including pants, shorts, t’s, hoodies and head wear. We also had a very iconic character named “Chucky” that was a rasta looking dude and was the emblem that we put on just about everything. From there, we started to focus on pants primarily and it was sort of by accident that we got recognized in the rave scene. Our retail accounts were asking us for wide leg bottoms and we had no idea that they were going to capture the attention of ravers. One thing lead to another and soon started making super phat pants that became incredibly popular with ravers. The combination of our wide leg silhouette and “K” embroidery on the back of every pant launched us into unchartered ground with the EDM culture, and our pants became staples for ravers around the world by 1995.

When, and why do you think, did Kikwear begin to be identified with rave culture? Were you personally already a part of that scene?

The rave culture is all about freedom of expression, individuality and P.L.U.R.R. as we see it. Nobody should be judged for how they dress, dance or anything else that is important to that person. The idea that people can really let it all hang out and be natural is so cool. There simply isn’t any culture or scene that remotely compares to the rave way of life, and it is a way of life for those who are embedded in it. They wouldn’t have it any other way and are driven by the epic music. The kandi trading also adds a layer to this scene that is sacred and can be a very emotional aspect. People have tons of stories about each piece they’ve got and that defines a huge part of what this culture represents.

Kikwear started to infiltrate the rave scene in the mid 90s as the rave parties were in full swing. We were one of a small group of companies that constantly made gear that was fresh and amazing for dancing. Our fabric, fit and logos became recognizable in a big way, so we were accepted as a brand that was always evolving. We loved pushing the envelope with phats that got wider every few months. We listened to what our fans wanted and made sick merchandise that they could relate to. I wasn’t a raver before Kikwear, but once I started making clothing for this scene I hit up my fair share of parties. I wanted to see for myself what it was all about to better understand who our customers were and why.

Kikwear fits great with the rave scene today because we’re all in. We aren’t just a clothing company selling pants, but one that stands by the “family” element of the EDM culture. We have a global presence because our goal is to have everyone involved. There’s an international street team, resident DJ team, and we sponsor a lot of parties. We want to be close to our fans and have them feel part of what we are. Our social media platform helps us involve the Kik fans around the world, especially our Facebook page, which we try to make a lot of fun and interactive. We love the feedback on what our loyal fans like and want to see from us in the future.

What other music genres and subcultures has Kikwear been connected with?

The beauty of Kikwear is that we seem to have attracted fans from multiple EDM genres. Our resident DJ team comprises of several hardcore artists, but we feature techno, house, trance, trap, breaks, house, dnb and many other genres on our Kikwear Morning Mix FB segment. We love giving exposure to both well known and unknown artists. Every artist has his/her own sound and can use a little extra love so KW is here to support them.

You have close relationships with many artists, like Zoe VanWest, and as you mentioned, have a resident DJ team. Could you go into that, and describe the importance of those relationships?

We have a close knit family and I try my best to get to know everyone on Team Kikwear. Developing a great working relationship with our resident DJs is critical. They give us so much advice and knowledge which helps us tremendously. Without their support and dedication, I honestly don’t think that we would have re-emerged as quickly. They’ve helped educate the new generation of ravers about the iconic standing of our brand as has our insane street team. You ask about Zoe VanWest, who has been with Kikwear since the middle of 2012 when we were in the very early stages of rebooting. She’s a sponsored artist, street team leader of Florida and also our Kikgirl designer. Kikgirl will drop in the Spring/Summer of next year and we’re really stoked to bring Kikwear’s little sister back to the stage.

You also sponsor lots of events. What will you be involved with next?

We sponsored a lot of events this year and plan to continue that in 2014. What better way to reach our fans than through the party circuit we support and vice versa. They’re awesome for the company and the ravers who attend them. Part of our sponsorship entails supplying the promoters with stickers and give away gear which adds an exciting layer to these events for the ravers. We use our social media to promote the events and feature artists playing them on our Kikwear Morning Mix. The ravers can walk away from a Kik party with some of our gear and get to know who we are too. In 2013, we sponsored events in the States and Canada only. Going forward, we’d like to be involved with parties in other places around the world. We’ve got a presence in Australia thanks to resident DJ S3RL and our street team there. The same thing goes for the U.K. and Sc@r who’s a sponsored DJ. We will continue building our DJ team internationally and see where that takes our sponsored events.

What can fans of Kikwear expect from the new line?

Kikwear’s mission has and always will be to make the most epic EDM gear for an affordable price. We are never going to be satisfied with what we did yesterday and will never become complacent. The scene is on the move and so are we as a brand.

Thanks so much Alex! Check out their site now, and first time shoppers who join their mailing list will enjoy a 10% discount.

For more about Kikwear check them out on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

 

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Podcasting Tips

Improve Your Show In 30 Seconds!

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Whether you can grab listeners’ attention in the first 30 seconds can determine how successful your show will be. Hook new fans in with a smart sounding intro that will instantly perk up their ears!

Using a smart and professional sounding pre-roll is crucial to impressing immediately. It sets the tone to your broadcast and gives you your own, unique audio brand.

And what could be more magical than having your name spoken by a true voiceover pro? Just listen to these smooth intros, already being used by hosts in Spreaker‘s community:

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the voiceover professionals at Music Radio Creative, where Mike and Izabela can give you the polished sound you’re seeking!

Come on, we can’t wait to hear them!

 

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News

New Android Release!

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Broadcast no matter what kind of Android phone you’re using!

Those of you having trouble broadcasting from older Android phones will be happy to hear that we’ve made a few small, but oh-so-important changes to our app. Now, even if you have a less powerful CPU device, you’ll still be able to broadcast your heart out where to purchase commercial jumping castle.

Try it out now, and let us know what you think! You can download the latest update here.

 

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News

Introducing Spreaker’s Revamped Android App!

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It’s been a long time coming, we know, but it’s finally here – Spreaker has launched it’s brand new Android app!

It’s a fresh take on Android’s user interface, offering a new experience in broadcasting and discovering shows, profiles and tracks.

Easily flow through every part of the app, with its neatly designed look. You’ll find your favorite features like the newsfeed and left-access menubroadcast at the drop of a dime, and browse through genres and shows easily with the help of new curated lists, presented to you right in the Explore page

So what are you waiting for? The new Android is just begging to be downloaded, so do it now!

And then, tell us know what you think!

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News

New Profile Page with a Better View!

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Today we’re launching a fresh makeover of your profile page. It’s a new space where you’ll find all your personal information and account data, and better manage your Spreaker account.

It’s a merge of both the dashboard and user pages, creating a single space that’s easy on the eyes and better organized:

 

On the right, you have the usual profile settings, quick access to the music library and your stats. You also have a new Track Menu, featuring lots of handy tabs giving you quick access to  you to all your tracks, collections, followers, and who you’re following.

Invite your Facebook friends to listen to your tracks easily, too, by clicking on the icon located next to your profile pic, as well as share your content on all your social networks.

For a sum-up of all your contacts, interests, and localization, just scroll down to the bottom of the page.

See? It’s as clear as day! Take a look around and please, let us know what you think!

 

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Mobile App News

We’ve Updated Our iOS App!

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Spreaker has done it again, and given our app some fresh, new features. Here are just a few more ways we’re making things more enjoyable and easier for you:

Tap into everything the app features from the new menu, accessible from the left side of the page. Jump straight to broadcasting, the listen page, and more!

The homepage will now feature your newsfeed, this way you can keep up-to-date on all of the amazing audio your favorite users are making, plus check out what other community members are listening to.

Now you can discover new tracks and great artists no matter where you are by browsing through the listen page. It’s the best of Spreaker in the palm of your hand!

Like what you see? Tell us what you think!

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News

Spreaker @ Sónar

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In two days, Sónar 2013, the International Festival of Advanced Music and New MediaArt will take place in Barcelona, and we’re really proud to have been selected to pitch our app at Sónar D+ during the AppCircus Event.

Created in 1994,  Sónar has become a pioneering festival, the pulse of the current electronic music landscape. 

Activities will be divided into two main events: Sónar by Day, with concerts and showcases – the place to be to discover and track new talent; and Sónar by Night, which will be hosting the most famous names in the current international music scene.

Meanwhile at Sónar D+, professionals from various creative industry sectors will take the stage to showcase their creativity, technology, innovation, and business.

There are lots of concerts and meetings to attend, with a program full of activities for all tastes. Two days more for ’til it starts! Follow #sonar2013

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News

A stylish newsfeed is about to be released! Ready to take center stage?

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We want to help you put your best foot forward, and our new newsfeed will be showcasing you right under the spotlight on Spreaker. Kind of like a Spreaker catwalk, y/y?

Pick out your best outfit and comb your hair – you’ll be displayed for all to see, just like this:

Catch who’s listening to what, and rest assured that your fans will always be up-to-date with your latest creations.

So be prepared, the newsfeed is coming soon!

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News

Share Spreaker’s Sounds with Your Facebook Collection

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Keep track of all the sounds and talk you hear and discover every day on Spreaker thanks to your own Facebook Collection.  Build a story on your timeline of what you’ve listened to, and keep all the content together in one big album.

A Facebook Collection is a section that lets people express to the world the things that they care about as well as share these things with friends and family. Do you want to dedicate a specific part of your timeline to Spreaker? Now, you can! Follow these instructions and have your Spreaker sounds featured!

Step 1: Connect your Spreaker account with Facebook. Access this link  and allow the prompts to go through.

 

Step 2: Once your account is connected, go to the About section of your Facebook profile and click on the edit section.

 

Step 3- Enable the Spreaker app, drag and drop the section to the top, and your Spreaker Collection will have first place on your profile.
 

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