A narrative takes it further, beyond the facts into something that pulls fans on a more emotional level. It’s how you got to where you are, the struggles you’ve faced, how you’ve overcome those struggles, and where you’re going.

You’ve just bought a 180-gram audiophile pressing of your favorite album on vinyl. Getting home, you slide it lovingly from the sleeve. As your boutique turntable spins gently, you carefully place the stylus at the record’s edge, settle back on your beanbag with $400 headphones comforting your head, and savor the music just as the artist intended.

On this day, 57 years ago, James Brown and his Famous Flames recorded what would become one of the most earth-shattering funk and soul albums of all time.

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Born in Cambridge, England, Judith Weir’s musical path has been a very British one. Having studied with Sir John Taverner at an early age and later at King’s College Cambridge, Weir’s music proudly takes inspiration from British medieval history and the traditional folk arts of her parents’ homeland of Scotland. Another star-studded member of this list, Weir won an Ivor Novello Award in 2015 and a year earlier was appointed the first female Master of the Queen’s Music, a position which she currently holds for ten years, succeeding Sir Peter Maxwell Davis. True to her traditional roots and interests, Weir’s music has strong roots in British choral music, yet her output also includes eight operas, many orchestral works, chamber pieces, and solo instrumental pieces. If you’re after something modern and yet deeply rooted in tradition, I highly recommend the work of Dame Judith Weir.

Both of the new videos were made against countless odds: “In the 1970s” because of all the impossible ideas we wanted to make real, and “Felicity” because we had to find a place to shoot all 15 Baccis at the same time with essentially no budget. Thankfully due to my employment at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, I was able to get a day there to shoot, and Chris Shields, a filmmaker/writer/musician who I’ve admired for years, was completely instrumental in making that video work as well as it did, considering that we filmed it in six hours by the skin of our teeth. It was Chris’ natural eye for dynamism and lighting that made it look so amazing, as well as the insane post-production he did which made it look like an old VHS copy of an Italian movie. My dream came true!

Looking to advance your skills and open up more opportunities in music? Explore Soundfly’s growing array of Mainstage courses that feature personal support and mentorship from experienced professionals in the field, such as Faders Up: Modern Mixing Techniques, Beat Making in Ableton Live, Orchestration for Strings, and Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords.

If you have some additional tips or would like to be kept accountable by sharing your musical resolutions with the world, feel free to comment on this article. Good luck and happy new year!

Yet, just because somebody with deep pockets purchases something for an exorbitant price, doesn’t guarantee that it will be widely-accepted as a work of art. There have been numerous forays into “fine art” for pop musicians as of late, some of which, in hindsight, were nothing more than marketing stunts to sell more mass-produced album copies.

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You’ll probably be asked to stick to a short set time of between 20 and 30 minutes. Create a tight set of songs that showcases your music and creates some kind of momentum, and don’t play covers unless you’ve specifically cleared it with the venue. Some music venues aren’t legally set up for their bands to perform covers.

And once the mix starts to come together, make sure to play your track back on as many different speakers and listening devices as possible (the car, your laptop, your phone’s ear buds, etc.) and take notes. Listen, and trust your own ears.

These guys are always posting tons of new music as well as fresh news about the artists we all love, so you can find your new favorite track while catching up with your old favorites — all wrapped up in the same destination, Rap Up.

When musicians set out to dominate the world with their music, they usually envision playing to sold-out stadiums and amphitheaters of screaming fans, not living rooms in front of only a handful of attentive listeners. But believe it or not, for lots of artists, house shows end up being more beneficial and sustainable than ones played at traditional venues, and organizations like Sofa Concerts are trying to connect more artists with even more opportunities to everyone’s benefit.

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