Meet Andrea Young of Aspenbeat Record Label!

Andrea Young of AspenbeatAndrea Young was born to work in music; it runs in your blood. After graduating college with a degree in music and psychology, she began work at MCA – a distributor who then handled Tom Petty, Chaka Khan and more. But like most of our Fluence curators she didn’t stop there, over time Andrea co-owned a chain of record stores, co-founded a company that computerized the music business (hello SoundScan) and eventually made her way to radio. We got a few minutes to catch up with Andrea and here’s what she had to say:.


Tell us about your present day career. What do you do? And what does it entail? 
It’s always been about the music for me, whether as a hobby or a profession. I currently run my record label and produce my radio shows, so I am doing what I have always wanted to do! I spend my time listening to music to find tunes to play over the airwaves and share [digitally]. What that entails takes many forms, from coaching artists through Fluence and other online review sites to promoting individual artists I believe in through my record label, Aspenbeat. And from playing tunes on my weekly eclectic public radio show on Aspen Public Radio (“Aspenbeat”) or my jazz radio show (“Jazz From Aspen”), to creating playlists on Spotify for my private clients, or sharing in my newsletter and blogs and playlist sites to my listeners and fans – in other words, I share them anywhere and everywhere I can.



Is Fluence helping make your role a little easier? How?
Definitely. I think Fluence is part of the future of music promotion and distribution. The good and the bad news is that the field of getting attention for your music has opened up to anyone and everyone with a tune and some persistence. But how do you spend your resources wisely, what makes the most sense? That type of strategy is what I love to do and Fluence brings artists to me to do that in both a shorthand version (online review) and then in more focused ways as I work with some of the artists who have come to me through the site. Fluence matches up curators and creators in an affordable and viable way unlike anything that’s come before it. In the past you’d have to struggle to find an industry expert to listen to your music – now with a little bit of research and work you can reach curators like myself and gain some traction for your music. I’m always listening for something that resonates with me and therefore my audience. Fluence helps bring those tunes to me.

On the other side, I get too many submissions to listen to every day: Fluence helps moderate that process for me, bringing in artists who might be a bit more serious (i.e. willing to pay an industry expert for a listen and feedback). I’ve got an ear for hits and what makes a great tune. I’m building my label and always looking for artists to work with. While I’ve been in the music business a long time, I’m working through the transition happening in the industry right now just like everyone else. It’s a new paradigm and a new road for me and everyone. Fluence helps with that too. I’m a big fan.


Have you made any epic discoveries while using Fluence?
On the music side, I have discovered artists, that I love, that I have played repeatedly on my radio shows and that have become part of my ‘Aspenbeat Top 300’, ‘Aspenbeat Top Songs of 2014”, and ‘Aspenbeat Constant Repeats’ playlists, including CMBSTN, Birds Over Arkansas, Ted Pearce, David Rosen and memoryfield (now on the Aspenbeat label).



Fan girl moment, what artists can you not get enough of right now?
I tend to play certain songs over and over again when I find something that catches my ear. Usually just one song off an album, it’s rare for me to find two or three that I really love. You can find my Constant Repeat playlist on Spotify, SoundCloud, Youtube and my website. I tend toward pop and singer-songwriter with some good high energy rock and roll thrown in.

Right now my list includes songs from Dr. John (‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child’), Sam Smith (‘Money On My Mind’), The New Basement Tapes (‘When I Get My Hands On You’), Stevie Nicks (‘Lady’), Willie Nelson (‘The Wall’) and Kids On Bridges (‘When The Needle Drops’). On the Aspenbeat label there’s memoryfield (with their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’), Natasha Marin (yes Cheech’s wife and a prolific classical pianist, try her ‘Chopin Collection’), MYA Project (electronic pop with ‘Believe Me’) and The Rifters (Americana with ‘One Hundred Miles’) just to start.



Oh! I just saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden and that reignited an incessant playing of Billy Joel music on my playlists, he’s one of the most prolific entertainers of all time, I consider him our world’s Beethoven or Mozart. I’m also a huge fan of what I call ‘big pop’ from the top of the charts, the Taylor Swifts and One Directions of the world, I love their complex production and energy.

Sweet! Thanks for your time, Andrea.

Want to send your music to Andrea Young? Visit her Fluence profile here.


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Music Blog and Record Label: Killing Moon Interview

Killing Moon Records on Fluence


Killing Moon began as a new music blog in 2011 and was founded by Achal Dhillon, formerly of Mercury Records, Columbia Records and Quest Management. Known for being one of the first to break amazing artists such as Alt-J, Foxes, and Royal Blood, Killing Moon has since evolved into a record label, artist management company and concert promotion hub.

We had a chance to interview founder Achal Dhillon and learn more about what it takes to run a respected music blog and record label.


You founded Killing Moon in 2011 – how did it all start?Killing Moon Founder Achal Dhillon

Killing Moon started as a blog which I launched having just left a job at Almost Gold Recordings/Quest Management. In one respect it isn’t much different from a lot of blogs already out there – I’d spend a lot of time looking at new artists via the various mediums of social networks, working out which one’s I liked with the slightly surreptitious purpose of bigging up those which I thought were objectively good.

In another it is very different from other blogs – each track has to have a degree of emotional significance for me as I am constructing the ostensible soundtrack to my life. The blog now reaches to most if not all of the UK A&R community at large, as well as in Europe and North America and is cited as the blog that helped launched careers for artists such as Royal Blood, The Family Rain, Alt-J, Clean Bandit, and a bunch of others. At some point in the same year I had the idiot idea of putting on live nights, putting out some records and managing some artists despite the fact I could barely afford rent each month (and this is me living with my parents…). It’s now become my livelihood and that of several others, and we’re still doing the same sort of stuff, just on a much larger scale.


Advice for musicians and artists in the digital age?

Make the music you like, as opposed to the music you think people want to hear. Unless of course you don’t write music and simply want to perform, in which case be everything everyone else wants you to be. Digital distribution has never been easier to gain, and we now have this wonderful thing called the internet which means you have a platform to market your stuff to a lot of people for not much money at all. Generally just concentrate on being a musician or an artist; if you’re good, people will find you. When you do have a “team” around you – management, label, publisher, agent, lawyer, whatever – do ask questions, do criticize and critique and learn as much as you can; but if you feel that you know better than your team, you should probably do everything or that specific function yourself.

Also, don’t measure your success or where you are generally as an artist by comparing yourself to others. They’re not you, and ultimately it’ll just leave you wishing for something more all the time rather than just existing as an artist. If stats are that important to you, work in the industry instead.


Favorite artists right now?

Unashamedly the artists that we manage under Killing Moon are my favorites – otherwise I wouldn’t be managing them! We’re looking after the careers of Draper, Rogue, Remi Miles, Washington Irving and Draper’s new live project called CHIMES.


We’ve put our records for artists such as Fickle Friends, Sons & Lovers, John J Presley, Looks, Honours, Racing Glaciers, Duologue, Malpas (who have an album coming up very soon), Dems, Carnival Kids, Verses and a whole bunch more. Our New Moons compilation series (which we curate with our chum and former BBC Radio 1 DJ Ally McCrae) has meant we’ve put out early releases for artists like Laurel, Slaves, Youth Man, Hector Bizerk, One Bit, St. South, Model Aeroplanes, Jack + Eliza, Daniel Wilson, GRRL PAL, Ambassadeurs….far too many to mention really, but I guess I have already.



I’m a huge fan of several artists we have ended up working with in a label capacity (as in we have put out records for them via imprints created under Killing Moon), such as Jack Garratt, Laurel and Racing Glaciers. Fickle Friends are a pleasure to work with and make the kind of pop music I adore. Other than that I am a huge rock/indie fan, which ranges across the spectrum.

On the heavy side I’m into bands like Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Poison The Well; then getting more into UK indie I love bands like We Were Promised Jetpacks, Idlewild, Tall Ships. Alkaline Trio are and always have been my favorite band. On the dance music front, people like Draper, Rogue, Pegboard Nerds and Haywyre are all doing great things. I’m also an avid hip-hop – Jay Z, DMX, Childish Gambino, Action Bronson, Mos Def, that kind of thing. I’m really getting into a new guy from Chicago called Matty Rico who straddles a line between feel-good party hip hop, and a more emotive poetic side.


What’s new and upcoming for yourself and Killing Moon?

We’re expanding our label by quite some way in 2015 – although I’ll be told off by the powers that be if I spill the proverbial beans right now. We’ve got our second Killing Moon tour coming up which will also touch down at a bunch of UK festivals, and a lot of exciting news coming up for our management roster as well. Wonderful stuff.

Keep updated with Killing Moon here on Fluence and Twitter.


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It’s Music Blogger Pioneer, Travis Keller!

Travis KellerTravis Keller has always been slightly ahead of the curve; a true DIY music industry tastemaker (and fan). He created his blog,, in 1998 which has since become a record label releasing over 40 records since 2001. And now he’s taken to Fluence to find fresh music discoveries and help artists with advice.


So, Travis, how’d you get started in music?
When I moved to Los Angeles at 17 my first friends were a band called, the Kanker Sores (they later became the Icarus Line) who were on Recess Records and ingrained into the punk scene. So I just kinda landed in the middle of everything; my best friends were always promoting shows and playing shows with their band. I picked up the slack in the areas of photography, ‘zine (later webzine) and started pressing 7 inch vinyls of extra songs they had.


Why did you initially create Buddyhead?
It all just kind of happened, it wasn’t something that was planned. Coming out of the punk DIY scene it just seemed like what you did. You got involved in whatever way you could and wanted to. I’ve always loved music and been around it, but never really planned on running a business around it. It was after Buddyhead’s fourth record release that we started getting demos from bands we didn’t know and it was like “Oh man! I guess I run a label now.” But the idea of BUDDYHEAD and still the motivation behind it is to shine a light on art or music that normally wouldn’t be seen or heard… And make myself and my friends laugh from time to time too.

The label side started because we were promoting a Valentine’s Day show in 2001 at The Smell (first show at that venue ever) and the Icarus Line had an extra song, so we pressed up a thousand 7″ vinyls and gave 214 of them away (to the first 214 people at the show). Get it 214 = February 14th. Sold the rest. Then our friends in Ink and Daggers singer died and they didn’t have a label for their last album so we released that. From there things just kept popping up that needed homes like At The Drive-In and Murder City Devils.


What artists are you currently listening to? Any new artist predictions for 2015?
This week I’ve been listening to that YG record a lot. Also, Kendrick Lamar, Rowland S. Howard and The Wytches. I predict 2015 won’t suck as bad as 2014 because I just don’t think that’s possible.


Tell us about your Fluence experience thus far.
I enjoy it because Fluence is different than reviewing an album, I try to look at it like parenting a bit. My version of Rock N Roll’s older brother I guess.


What types of artists would you like to hear from on Fluence?
All kinds… Maybe people that were inspired by the same records I was to do this and keep doing this. And people who are in music because they have to be because there’s no other choice… It’s something you have to do and be around (AKA no posers).

Visit Travis Keller on Fluence to submit your music today.

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Fluence Music Expert: Claudio Gallo (Bad Panda Records)


Beware The Bad Panda…

We’re proud to welcome Claudio Gallo to our community of curators on Fluence! Claudio is the Founder and Head of Bad Panda Records. Claudio is also a Music Business and Information Strategist at Stereomood.

Bad Panda Records showcases a wide range of electronic-based genres and has a special approach to running a Netlabel. Every Monday they feature a new release for free download under the Creative Commons license. Their goal is to encourage creativity and exposure for the featured artists in the form of downloads, remixes and sharing.

The concept has exploded since its inception in 2009 with over 170 releases and followers reaching well over 150,000 on Soundcloud alone. Bad Panda Records now stands as one of the established champions on the forefront of the Free Music Movement and provides a powerful platform for DIY musicians to broadcast their creations.

We had the honor of connecting with Claudio for an interview to ask him some questions. Here is Bad Panda’s latest mixtape for your listening pleasure as Claudio talks to us about Bad Panda and more:


You’re one of the most successful record labels championing creative commons. How did the whole story start? What gave you the idea?

I developed the idea while realizing that the listening unit was switching from albums to singles and moving from a passive Read-Only culture to a Read/Write one. That’s why Bad Panda cares about Creative Commons licenses and is mostly focused on single releases.

Any big news for upcoming for Bad Panda Records in 2014?

Exciting singles and emerging acts. New albums from Indian Wells and Populous plus a brand new website and platform!

What are your secrets to finding great music?

Listening a lot via different sources like Soundcloud, Hype Machine, Bandcamp, This Is My Jam and 22tracks.

What are some of your favorite websites and blogs?

Excluding the ones mentioned above, Twitter and Songkick.

Among my favorite blogs: The Needle Drop, XLR8R, Nialler9, The Quietus, Drownedinsound, Stadiums & Shrines, iso50.

What advice would you give to undiscovered and aspiring artists?

Be true, be passionate, don’t give up. Research and make your own kind of music.


We are beyond excited to have Claudio join Fluence! You can checkout his profile, and send your tracks for advice, feedback, and consideration here.

Our community on Fluence also includes experts in Filmmaking, Music Licensing, A&R, Journalism, PR & Branding, Music & Film Production, Audio Mastering, Radio Production, Music Writing, Venture Capital, and more.

Join Fluence for free here to start receiving advice and exposure for your creations.

P.S. If you choose not to send your creations to Claudio, we leave you with a message of caution from BPR:

“Beware The Bad Panda…Plotting a creative revolution and pressing beautiful things since ‘09.”