TempoTrader

Invest in Music.

Interviews on the Ground: A Word With Priestess of Planet x

Coming from a family of musicians and pastors, Priestess of Planet X wasn't surprised when she found her path serving the people as an artist. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has lived in Nashville for most of her life and calls the city home. Influenced by "a long list of Prophets with microphones" like Tribe Called Quest, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, YoYo, Afro Puff, Kendrick, Chance the Rapper and many others, Priestess has a dynamic sound with a pure and genuine message. We got the chance to sit down with her and ask a few questions about her art, inspiration, and path. Enjoy!
 

PRIESTESS OF PLANET X

PRIESTESS OF PLANET X

Q: What inspired you to start making music in the first place? Any specific artist, track, or experience that made you dive in?

A: The starting point stemmed from the pursuit of truth for Self.
For a while there I was saturated in the low frequency, consumed by
confusion and dissatisfaction. It was overwhelming, so I took a
journey within Self to find a way to overcome it. My passion has
ALWAYS been to be a motivational speaker of some sort, so I created a
platform to speak and unknowingly a whole new platform was
created for me. Through my spiritual journey of truth the Most High
put the mic in my hand. I have not looked back since.
 

Q: How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it before?

A: Healing, That's always my first answer, just because I take pride in mastering the eclectic variations of my sound! No matter what type
of melody is behind me though, the message is always the same. To heal from hearing a reflection of yourself. My sound is eclectic, but my soul sound is Neo Soul/Boom Bap!

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects? Can you tell us a little about what that might look like?

A: YES!! I'm so excited to be able to say that! My first mixtape,
Writuwalls of Planet X, will be out on New Years! I'm working on my
1st album as well! The mixtape is my spiritually crafted map to the
highest consciousness, love. With that being said, when you hear it,
you'll feel like you've just left the Hip Hop party of your life that
healed you in every cadence. This mixtape isn't just a mixtape. There
is a shift in awakening happening in our universe, my music reflects
that.
 

Q: What influences your music other than other People's music? What elements of your life and lifestyle touch your sound? 

A: I feel like 2 things do that.
1. LOVE - Honest, big, and thorough.

2. I'm really really really into metaphysics. I study a lot of
the extraterrestrial,  astrological planets, chakras, Ancient Sciences,
Holistic principles. That is in essence the exact frequency that
shapes my sound.
 

Q: What is your creative process? How do you get started on songs or projects, and how do you know when they're done?

A: Good question! I'm still trying to figure that out myself!
I know when it comes to the song itself I've always needed the
instrumental first. Then I freestyle over it a few times, and that's
where I choose the flow, tempo, and usually the words as well. But
I modify accordingly! I know its done when I can memorize the words
and rap it back with no stress. The message of the song is what I
connect to. If the words flow from me, it's done.
 

Q: What has Been your journey as an indie musician? What are your thoughts on the current industry and its future.

A: It's a business. You have to have an authentic brand to last. Back in the day you could have the talent and they would invest in you,
develop you. Nowadays, you must be your own brand with business
etiquette, and if you have some talent with that, you're unstoppable.
I can't say that I've had major pitfalls in the industry, but I still
have a long way to go! By no means do I speak them
in my path, but I know life.  My journey thus far has been a reflection of the visions I had such a long time ago. I would sit back and have visions of me speaking in front of a park and auditorium full of people. This past year, ALL of those visions have come true. Funny part about the most high, I had no idea that included a mic and a melody! I specifically chose to be an independent artists because there is a certain type of drive and focus I attain when I know I have to save myself. I feel like that's the mentality of the new age now. People are wanting the significance of their own voice. Saving self... Independent music has a bright future as long as we have a platform, and we are creating that platform right here!

On the Rise: Princess Nokia, Villz, Ciscero

UP AND COMING INDEPENDENTS

We are back with another "On The Rise", this time featuring Princess Nokia, Villz, and Ciscero. These artists all offer different styles and feels so check them out to add some new music to your week. If you're looking for more up and coming artists, check out parts 1-3 of "On the Rise" below!

1. Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia is a multidimensional Afro-Nuyorican rapper. She challenges a lot of society's norms through her music and is one of those radically individual artists that you don't see all that often. Her recent mixtape "1992"  has been doing great since its release in September, and her international buzz is growing on the daily. Check out the video for "Tomboy" below!

Get "TomBoy" on iTunes below!

2. Villz

This Florida raised R&B artist now lives in Nashville and is making waves with his dark, pensive lyrics and dynamic vocals. In his words, he is inspired by love lost. He has two projects out-  "Till the End of Summer", which dropped in 2014 and got a lot of circulation, and V2-EP which came out in 2015. Check out his latest single "Drugs" with a feature from Pusha T.

Cop "Drugs" or either of Villz' projects below!

3. Ciscero

Ciscero is a hip-hop artist from Maryland who is a stand-out name in the DMV rap scene. His single "Kids Wear Crowns" got great traction about a year ago. Since then he has dropped a few more singles as his fans wait for the full "Kids Wear Crowns" EP. Working with some major names, he absolutely kills his feature on Gold Link's "Fall in Love" produced by Kaytranada and BadBadNotGood. Definitely keep an eye on this man!

Get Gold Link's "Fall in Love" Featuring Ciscero below!

On The Rise: Muddy Magnolias, CAPPA, and Dynamo

UP AND COMING INDEPENDENTS

Hello again as we take our third look at independent artists who are on the come up. This time, we're also staying close to home. All three of these artists are Nashville natives and are shining examples of the talent in Music City, USA. If you're interested parts one or two of the series, see below.

MUSICIANS ON THE RISE

1. Muddy Magnolias

Rolling Stone said it best: "a sound that melds city grit and Delta dirt, exploding onstage not like two lead singers but more like parts of the same whole...performed as if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards inhabited the Indigo Girls." With their debut album "Broken People" approaching, you might as well get on board now.

To preorder their upcoming album from the iTunes store, click below!

2. CAPPA

Currently touring with Matt Wertz, CAPPA is talented and upbeat. CAPPA was recently featured as a #TIDALRising star along the likes of Kevin Garrett and Neisha Ne'shae. They also compared her music to a cross between Taylor Swift and Halsey. Not bad. She prides herself on her independence and we like that. Her new EP entitled "Queen of Hearts" will be available September 16th. Save the date.

Order her debut self-titled EP CAPPA below

3. Dynamo

We saw this group of incredibly gifted musicians at ACME a few weeks back, and their performance has stuck with us as some of the best live music we've seen in Nashville. Which is saying something. Consisting of 9 core musicians, the group is either recording, performing in Nashville, or touring the world. We'll let the following video do the rest of the talking.

To purchase their live album, click below!

Mixing Music and Finance

Our concept was born out of the combination of two very separate industries - finance and music (if you’re not sure what TempoTrader is, click here). They differ pretty strongly from a cultural standpoint, and a lot of artists we have talked to feel that finance is all the way on the opposite end of the spectrum from what they do. Some artists have already asked us what we think the implications of what we are doing are. This is a very good question.

It is hard to know how creating a tradable market for music will affect the music industry. Some people have expressed concern that it will fully commercialize and commodify art. We think that although this seems like a legitimate possibility, it may have the opposite effect if we consider where we are at right now.

Realities of the music industry

Art is already commodified in the current industry. Labels sign artists who they think can produce a sound that will be profitable given the trends of the time. Often signed artists are limited to expressing themselves a certain way because their label dictates what is ok on the terms that it will sell. Because of the existence of multiple middle-men in the industry, artists are left with meager payouts at the end of the day (click the graphic above for more on this). Our model will put a price on artists’ Tempos, but that price will just be a reflection of how much people want and are willing to pay for the experience that artists offer. It is a freer, cleaner market where fans and artists can negotiate what they think access to digital content is worth.

The ideal result is that the extra income that TempoTrader provides to artists will allow more of them to stay independent and be the sole proprietors of their music. We feel that putting a price on art but giving artists the opportunity to fully reap the benefit of their product is better than allowing a third party (label) to put a price on art and take 50+% of the proceeds. We envision an industry where listeners will decide what gets popular based off of what they like or think is important, rather than labels deciding what gets popular based off of what they think will sell the best in the pop culture environment.

The Finance Side

There are some potentially interesting implications on the finance side. Finance feels inaccessible to most of us. The stock market is a distant world where someone somewhere is making money, but a lot of us don’t understand what it is or how it works. One main reason for this is simply the fact that you can’t really play unless you have money. With the commission that most brokerage firms charge and the price of most high quality stocks, you need a decent amount of capital to start out (and have well-managed risk).

To put money into investment vehicles you need to have some disposable income set aside for investment - something that a lot of Americans don’t have. Almost everyone, however, spends some amount of money on entertainment each year and music is a large segment of the entertainment industry (check out the graphic to the right on average consumer spending). People already pay to get music, so why not pay to get access to music but also have the ability to sell that access - maybe to break even, maybe for profit, or maybe for a small loss. We think that with small sums of money being traded in a gamified way, a lot of young, music-minded people will be more likely to trade on TempoTrader than they might be on the stock market. We would love for this to act as a foot in the door for people to understand finance better. Many of the technical principles of trading are the same across markets, and someone who trades successfully on TempoTrader might become interested in learning how to invest elsewhere. Public education does not teach us how to invest, handle, or even budget our money. This creates a cycle where the people that have access to wealth are also the ones with access to knowledge of wealth, which adds to disparity. Gamifying markets and applying them to areas other than finance where average Americans might take more interest could do something to democratize some of the basic concepts of investment.

Give us your input

Please leave thoughts in the comments! We would love to know how you think our model will interact with both music and finance, and become a part of the community so that we can grow the experience together.

New Features: Direct Uploads and Easy Music Management

One of our team's main objectives is to stay up to date with what our users want, artists and fans alike. July has been a big month for us, and we are very excited to introduce some new features that y'all asked for!

Direct Uploads and Free Hosting

We now offer our artists the ability to upload any of their music directly to TempoTrader, and we will host it (for the free of course). The functionality surpasses that of SoundCloud: 
from the "Music" tab, artists can choose to upload any public tracks that they want exposure on, or private tracks that they want to monetize by selling Tempos. If you currently have an account and would rather upload directly than have your SoundCloud connected, feel free to upload some tracks and disconnect your SoundCloud from "Account Settings > Connected Accounts" in the drop down at the top right of your navigation bar.


music management made easy

We also wanted to make it easier and faster for our artists to manage their singles and projects. Click the + symbol next to "Projects"  to create a new project. A project can be an album or a collection of  tracks that you want to put out, private or public. Add artwork, make it private or public (by clicking the lock), add a description, and you are good to go. When you upload tracks, they appear in the "Inbox" on your Music page. Tracks in your Inbox are only visible to you. To make them live on your profile, drag them to the right and drop them in a project you have created, or in the singles section. As we grow and add features, this page will be the easiest place for artists to curate a dope VIP experience for their fans.


Flex on Your Profile

Now its way easier for artists to edit and update their profiles. After you have uploaded some tracks, click the "Profile" tab to see the page that your fans will see. Add genre tags, a cover photo, and a bio to make your profile more attractive to listeners that land there. When you are ready to share your profile copy the link and get it out on your social media. You know we will be there to help you with promotion.

WHERE WE WERE

To briefly update any new users or readers, previously on TempoTrader artists connected their SoundCloud accounts to get their music on the site. Any private tracks that an artist had on SoundCloud would show as private on TempoTrader and any public tracks on SoundCloud would also be public on TempoTrader. Connecting with SoundCloud is still an option for our artists, but now artists can host music with us for a more intuitive experience.

If you have any questions or suggestions for features and updates you would like to see in the future, please reach out - we do this for you! Click the contact tab in the footer and send us a message. We are working daily on more updates, so stay tuned.

 

Industry Models: Subscription Based Streaming

In the next few posts titled "Industry Models" we will give an overview of the three major formats for music distribution that have arisen over the past 10 years: subscription-based streaming, the digital store, and online radio. The subscription-based streaming model is currently the most talked about with the growth of services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. 



Spotify is the dominant subscription-based streaming service today. The way it works is fairly simple...

Cost

Users on Spotify pay $9.99 every month and are able to stream any music from the Spotify catalog from their computer or mobile device. They do not, however, get to keep or download the music they listen to.

Payout

Spotify pays about 70% of its revenue to the rights holders of the music in their catalog. 

Of that 70%, rights owners get a share depending on how many streams their music gets relative to all of the streams on Spotify that month. 

The formula for a single song is as follows:
(The number of streams a song generates in a month/ the total streams on Spotify that month) multiplied by (0.7 * Spotify's total revenue for the month) = payout to the  rights owner of that song. 

Signed artists are not the rights owners of their songs so there is usually another step in the payout process. The payout to rights owners will go to the label, and the artist will get paid whatever their royalty is, which is often somewhere around 16% of the total revenue the song generates.

Spotify announced that the payout to rights holders averages around $0.006 - $0.008/stream.
This means for a signed artist, you get somewhere around 16% of that, or $0.0012/stream.

Based off of those numbers, a signed artist needs about 1,050,000 streams/month to make the federal minimum wage of $1,260/month. 

On TempoTrader, artists keep 100% of the revenue they make selling Tempos, and they get a 4% commission every time fans trade their Tempos. Click the About tab to learn more.
 


On The Rise: YE Ali, Whissell, and Chancellor Warhol

Up and Coming Independents

We're back for part two of our On The Rise series which is dedicated to spotlighting talented artists who are going at it on their own. Don't miss out on some great music from Eryn Allen Kane, Mike Floss, and Why Not Y in our first edition of this series.

Musicians on the Rise

1. YE Ali

Getting acclaim from two mixtapes titled "El Finito" and "The Instrumental" put YE Ali on the map, and he has continued to be one of the most prolific independent artists out there. 8 mixtapes in one year is no joke, and if you haven't heard him now is the time as he prepares to release his newest project, "Traphousejodeci".

2. Whissell

Shout out to ACME Feed and Seed for hosting this talented vocalist and songwriter a few weeks back. Recently being featured on Spotify's Femme Fatale playlist with the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse, she's got a bright future ahead.

3. Chancellor Warhol

Born in Nashville, Chancellor Warhol has been making albums since his debut with Japanese Lunchbox in 2010 which won "Best Rap Album of 2010" as voted by The Nashville Scene. Below is a more recent video that is 100% worth watching. 

The Rise of Digital Music



1991: CBS records is bought by Sony for $2 billion. 

1992: CD's start to spread as the most popular listening medium, but CD recording technology is still very inaccessible. 

1994: Kurt Cobain dies and mp3's surface as a new way to encode audio.

1996: Tupac Shakur and Notorius B.I.G. are killed 6 months apart from each other (Biggie in '97). MCA Music Entertainment Group is renamed Universal Music Group.

1999: 5 major conglomerates, Sony, BMG, Warner, EMI, and Universal, control 84% of the 754.8 million albums sold this year.


2001: KaZaA launches as the most popular P2P music sharing network.

2003: The iTunes store is created and the new digital download model starts to grow. 

2004: BiTorrent launches as a large P2P torrent network. It accounted for 35% of all internet traffic this year. 

2006: Record sales fall by 18% since 2000 as piracy grows.

2008: Both Spotify and BandCamp launch as alternatives to iTunes. Spotify will soon rise as the most popular subscription-based streaming model.

2009: US consumers only pay for 37% of the total music acquired this year. Piracy is at an all time high. 

 

On The Rise: Eryn Allen Kane, Mike Floss, and Why Not Y

Up and Coming Independents

This will be a series dedicated to making sure we're all aware of incredibly talented independent artists who are making waves. This is the first of many, and it's important to know that we're always on the lookout for new sound. Use the Submit page to key us in to what you're listening to.

Musicians On The Rise

1. Eryn Allen Kane

We'll start off with the fact that she's playing at Billboard's Hot 100 Music Festival in August with the likes of J. Cole, Ariana Grande, and Fetty Wap. She's "Detroit raised and Chicago based", and she has two "Acts" worth listening to on Soundcloud here.

2. Mike Floss

We appreciate anyone putting on for Nashville hip hop, and that's definitely Mike Floss. Dopeboy Dreaming is fire, and so is the rest of his music. His new mixtape called "Don't Blame The Youth" is available for purchase on iTunes here.

3. Why Not Y

Why Not Y is composed of Kelley Kessel, Pia Molina, and Ryan Raines. They recently celebrated one of their singles "Future Feel" getting 100,000 streams on Spotify. That's a lot of streams. They're from Miami, FL, and their latest single (The Line ft Titon Law) is available for purchase on iTunes here.