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5 ways of coming up with a great band name

Choosing a band name can be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make as an artist. You want something unique, something memorable, and the name should give people an idea of what you represent. And you want to pick one that you’ll be happy to have for hopefully a very very long time.

There are online random name generators out there, but if it’s something you’ve chosen yourself it will always mean more to you. And you’ll have a better answer to the question ’So how did you choose your name?’ than just ’Google’. Here are our tips for coming up with your great name:

1. Keep it simple

Some of the most memorable band names, like The Beatles, are really short and consise. You don’t need to make everything multi-layered and complex. Short and easy to be remembered can never be underestimated.

2. Draw from cultural references

Films can provide all sorts of ideas – My Bloody Valentine, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, McFly and Duran Duran for example, while literary inspired band names include the likes of The Doors, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground, Empire of the Sun, Klaxons, My Chemical Romance and Marillion. Did you ever notice the character Fall Out Boy in The Simpsons? Well they did.

3. Song titles and lyrics

Radiohead named themselves after a Talking Heads song, The Rolling Stones one by Muddy Waters. See also Phoenix, The Kooks, These New Puritans and Ladytron. This method can of course work in reverse once you have you name by calling one of your own songs after your band name – see Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Green Day and Bad Company among others.

4. Intentional misspelling of a word

A nice way of putting your own twist on easy to remember sounds or words. Diiv, originally named Dive after the Nirvana album, changed their name out of respect for the original Dive, a 1990s Belgian industrial group, while Linkin Park were inspired by a Lincoln Park. Other bands who have taken this route include Chvrches, Lynyrd Skynyrd and INXS.

5. Just open a dictionary 

A dictionary is just a book with lots and lots of words in it after all so hopefully there’ll be at least one word in there that you like if you have a look. Worked for Pixies and Evanescence.

 

Anyway, in the end there is no magic formula. Just make sure you distribute the music first on Spinnup!

Check out Decoded, our guide to the music business. Here is Artist Management – Decoded.

 

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Hängslena Brinner: Progg 2.0

Thursday 26 September. One of Spinnup’s scouted bands Hängslena Brinner are performing live at Debaser Slussen. Their scout, John Strömberg, gives us the lowdown on the group:

Hängslena have largely been inspired by the early Swedish Progg and Punk scenes. With their album they’ve taken Swedish Progg to another level – Progg 2.0 if you like! It’s original, fresh and gives the current, tired DJ/House scene a much-needed shot in the arm. Their most popular song on Spotify is Ett medelklassbarn followed by Skit i dom – both are up-beat tracks that make you want to dance and sing along.

With their strong melodies and lyrics, Hängslena will treat you to a performance you won’t forget in a very long time. So make sure you get yourself down to Debaser Slussen by 8pm, have a beer and enjoy the show!

 

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Ulrika Uma: My love affair with pop

Inspiration. That’s what I’m constantly looking for. As an unsigned artist doing it all on your own is hard work, so without inspiration I’d be lost. I’ve realised that heading to jam sessions and spontaneously checking out gigs are some of the best ways to find stimulation.

Every time I hear something live that’s truly exceptional, I’m always saying, “Aah maaaan I wanna do that!” and I get genuinely inspired! This can be at a metal gig or at the “Late Late Show” at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Soho. To be open-minded and able to appreciate all styles of music feels like a truly great gift.

I started to sing when I was 16. I loved neo-soul, learned every single Erykah Badu song by heart and used to listen to Lauryn Hill’s “Unplugged” album on repeat every day on my way to and from school. I’ve written and performed most styles of music and somehow I’ve now entered the pop scene. I’ve realised this is because pop was the first genre of music that I liked and got seriously interested in. My mum was very much into fitness and through the music she worked out to, I discovered an eternal passion for catchy melodies. I guess this style of music was embedded from an early age because I just couldn’t kick the pop habit. It has stayed with me till now and was the inspiration for my debut EP “Do It”.

My journey as a self-released artist has only just begun but, even though I’m just finding my wings as a solo artist, I’m no stranger to the live music scene. I have always been creating music with bands in some way, but now I am doing it on my own and I’m up for any challenge that comes my way. I cannot wait to show the world what is going to happen next.

Listen to Ulrika Uma – I’m Gonna Do Me.

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5 things to have thought about before your first gig

Your first gig is booked. This is it, this is the night you will always look back on as where it all began.

So you really want to make sure you get it all right. For example by thinking about:

1. Your image
We understand that for a new musician the idea of image may seem grotesque, but everybody thinks about their image. Obviously for someone like Lady Gaga image is massive but even an artist such as Bon Iver has a distinct look that suits his music. Everybody wears clothes unless they are in private or being arrested, so make sure that what you wear represents you and your music well. Don’t be precious, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix both did the same.

2. The set list
Make a statement at the start of your set. Perhaps one of your faster, heavier or louder songs, or maybe an a cappella if you have a strong voice. Just make sure the first thing you play grabs people, shuts them up and lets them know you are there. If you have two songs that are in 3/3 or maybe more than one song in the same key try not to play them back to back. Make your set seem as varied as possible. Also end with your best, but you probably already know that.

3. Stage banter
Decide on how you would like to behave in between songs. You have time to change your mind but do be aware, if you have awful stage banter it will make people want to crawl into their shoes with embarrassment and will compromise their enjoyment of your set. Do what feels comfortable but make sure you know what that is before you take to the stage.

4. Your second gig
You have just played your first ever gig in front of real life human people. Oh my lord, they love you. ‘When are you next playing?’ they all ask. Have an answer. A contingency plan for things going well is the most important plan of all.

5. Your internet presence
At the very least have a Facebook page for your music. It is so important that you give people the opportunity to go from people that enjoyed your gig, to fans. If you start from the word go you maximise your fan-base. When people compliment you, respond. Interaction and regular updating will keep you in people’s consciousness. Make sure you’re on top of this and bear in mind you are competing with the rest of the internet.

When you are gigging more regularly it might be worth thinking about Merchandise. Check out Merch – Decoded.

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5 things to avoid when mastering

There’s an old saying that never goes away – you only get one chance to make a first impression – and it never goes away because it’s true.

When your tracks are ready for global distribution through Spinnup you want to make sure they’re going to sound as completely amazing as possible. For that you need to think about how you’re going to master your recordings.

Friends of Spinnup Metropolis are one of Europe’s best professional recording studios and have some of the top mastering engineers in the world. We asked their advice on what NOT to do when using an online mastering service.

1. Do not “master” your tracks yourself before sending them for mastering
If you have been giving people reference files of your mixes with digital limiting to make them louder, remember to supply both your original mixes without limiting as well as your mixes with limiting to your mastering engineer. That way he or she will have an idea of how loud people have been hearing your tracks and it will be a useful guide for where to aim for with respect to loudness with the finished master.

2. Always export your master files at 24bit resolution
Never 16bit.

3. Send all files to your engineer in one batch
If you’re planning to release multiple tracks, for example a four track EP or a 12 track album, it is much easier to ensure track-to-track consistency if you make sure the mastering engineer has everything at the same time. If you send your files for mastering in separate batches it’s impossible to predict track-to-track juxtapositions and can lead to earlier tracks having to be remastered to match later mixes. Make sure they can be done all together.

4. Leave approximately 1/2 to 1db headroom in your files when you mix
Do not go “into the red”. When it comes to mastering that is a bad bad place.

5. Always be wary of over compression
Over compression is the one thing that cannot successfully be undone when you reach the mastering stage. Nobody wants that!

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Jessica Folcker’s latest single – Gone with the wind

Jessica Folcker has released her third single this year “Gone with the wind”, a laid-back catchy pop tune penned by Moh Denebi, who wrote her previous singles.
“I was instantly touched by the song when I heard it,” she says.

Over the summer Jessica has been working on an upcoming EP and has also been travelling. She was in Austria to record a music video and visited Germany for tv and radio appearances.

Jessica has grown in confidence and knows what she wants with her music. She hopes her EP will be well received by existing fans as well as a wider audience, “I want my music to reach new places and I want to carry on performing live, continue growing and working with new people,” adds the singer.

Last week she performed live at Sveriges radio P4. Listen here.

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Sa’ra: about being on stage

People say I look calm and at peace on stage. Truth is, from the moment I set foot on stage to the moment I conclude a set, I am waging internal emotional warfare with myself. I never really know if I will come out of it okay.

They say the only way to deal with your emotions is by confronting them, and that place of confrontation, for me, is always on stage. There is no escape. And by the end of it, I walk away with a heightened sense of my surroundings and a heightened sense of self.

This video is from my live performance @Stallet in Stockholm on September 11, 2013 – I hope you enjoy it.  I am currently recording my debut EP which, fingers crossed, will be released in October, so please stay tuned for more!

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A night to remember



As the crowd began pouring through the doors, you started to grasp the significance of the FATTA campaign. Spinnup is not only proud to have distributed the new song, entitled FATTA, but also to have sponsored the release party, where so many people took part in debates, poetry readings, art shows and performances.

In contrast to the heavy nature of the subject matter – the FATTA campaign aims to help victims of rape and sexual assault – the mood of the evening was positively light-hearted and the audience was in high spirits, full of hope and optimism. FATTA delivered a powerful set and had the crowd clamouring for more. Spinnup-scouted band flo. took to the stage later. Their energetic performance had the audience joining in and dancing along to “Sinking under my defense”, “Eyes to feel”, “False desires” – a firm favourite – and, finally, upcoming release “Hot air balloon”.

Overall, the evening was a great success: a worthy cause, lively audience, fantastic performers and one very happy Spinnup scout!

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