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5 Tips for Making Fresh & Interesting Music Videos

Posted on July 1, 2020 by admin

Today, music videos have evolved to the point that they blur the line between typical music videos and pure cinema. So much so that Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade is considered to be one of the best movies to come out of the 2010’s. If you’re inspired by this and want to make a fresh and interesting music video but don’t know where to start, read on for our five tips to help you do just that!

Image Credit: Pexels

One-Shot Music Video

One thing you can try that will make your music video more unique is to include a one-shot sequence. This means filming a sequence (or if you’re up for it, the entire thing) in one continuous shot. Bands and artists have utilized this over the years to give their music videos a little something extra to keep their fans entertained. One of the most recent examples would be Childish Gambino’s This Is America, a music video that netted him the Best Music Video award at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

What’s great about this approach is that it’ll take very little when it comes to resources. However, what it lacks in resources it makes up for with the immense amount of planning that it takes to pull off shots like these. Our tip would be to meticulously plan out every aspect of the one-shot sequence. Treat it as a dance that you’ll have to choreograph with no room for improvisation, as everything needs to line up to properly execute it. For those with little video making experience this will also make editing it much easier.

Live Music

Image Credit: Unsplash

Another thing you can do to liven up your music videos is to introduce the element of live music. Most music videos nowadays have bands and artists lip-syncing to their songs. By introducing live music, you give your music video a feeling of authenticity that lip-syncing just can’t give you.

However, this won’t be as simple as just recording a regular live performance. Since this is being done to create a music video, you’ll need to focus on the audio quality as well. Luckily, some pretty accessible tools can help you out with this. Vocal effects pedals can be used for pitch correction, as well as giving your voice an extra oomph to get the clarity that you want for your performance. The voice can easily sound different when played back, so you need to make sure you invest in the right equipment so everything will sound perfect when reviewing the performance. Another thing that’ll be extremely helpful is doing a thorough sound check. Doing so will ensure that everything is to your liking and the proper arrangements can be made at the mixing desk.

Vertical Video

Image Credit: Unsplash

If your goal is to create something new and fit for the times then going vertical may be just the thing for you. And while this may sound like a completely odd thing to do, take into consideration how much time people now spend on their phones. The average American teen spends two hours scrolling on their phones per day so it would make sense to cater to this medium.

One thing you have to take into consideration is how you frame the shots. Unlike regular videos, vertical videos will have more empty space to fill at the top and bottom of the screen. A quick fix to this problem is to move closer to your subject, which will allow you to fill up the space within the frame.

Go Retro

Image Credit: Pexels

Here’s a tip that’s perfect for people that are trying to get around having a low budget or limited resources. Instead of trying to use the best cameras that offer pristine images, why not go retro? This is perfect for people with old video cameras lying around at home, as what they lack in video quality they make up for in character. The graininess of old video cameras can add to the overall aesthetics of your video, making them feel like they’re straight out of the past. And in today’s high definition world, a retro video will keep your video looking professional despite the fact it is less pristine.

If you don’t have an old video camera, there are also free apps that will give you the same effect. What’s more, all you’ll need to film your music video if you choose to go this route is a smartphone.

Stick To A Theme

Image Credit: Pexels

Lastly, one great way to give your music video a lot of character is to pick a theme and stick to it. What’s great about doing this is that your music video will be able to convey a specific message through both the music and the visuals that you choose to show. Having a strong and clear theme will give viewers something to hold on to, increasing the chance that they’ll be able to relate to your content.

The only tip we can give you here is to plan everything to the dot. Make sure that everything that goes into your video is working towards the theme of your choice. Whether it be lighting or the locations you choose, try to ensure that it contributes to the overall effect that you want to convey.

If you’re looking for examples of great music videos, be sure to check out the top music videos featured on our site!

Written by: Jane Boigher

Music Artist Spotlight- Kari Erickson

Posted on June 10, 2020 by admin

What does winning the 2020 Virtual Dream Night Talent Search (VDNTS) mean to you?

VDNTS is giving me a chance to put myself out there and prepare for the music industry and hopefully Broadway. Being included with some great talent this year meant the world to me. To see and hear these great singers and artists pushed me to perform to my best. I am already seeing the benefits of winning.

What inspired you to become a musician?

I started out dancing and became aware of the music that I was dancing to, and how this music made me feel. This started me thinking about how I could create these same emotions and extend my creativity from dance through creating music as well. This allows me to express more of “me.”

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Starting down this path I felt all alone for all of 2 minutes when I realized how well the music community supports you as a growing artist. People were there to help with ideas, knowledge, and basic overall support. It is nice to see that even though we are in competition in some ways, we all seem to band together and help lift each other up. This is a career filled with several no’s before you get a yes. So hugs, fist bumps, high fives, and “woot woots” mean everything starting out.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The biggest challenge I face is struggling to find out who I am as an artist. Being from a very small town and wanting a career in broadway you find very few people who share your passion for Musical Theater. Most do not understand that Broadway is still a viable career path for me. Not all 16-year-olds want to sing country-pop or just regular pop. So when I break out into the rap “My Shot” from Hamilton it confuses people, because it is rap as well as Musical Theater.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

Usually, I end up in my room with my phone so I can jot down words and quickly record melody and music ideas. The inspiration comes mainly from my friends and movies. So I will watch a movie all the way through and when it ends I seem to get inspired on where the characters will go after the film ends. Sometimes I catch myself finishing off a happily ever after, beginning a new era or just making a scary movie more frightening.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

I have always enjoyed watching the “Wizard of Oz” and the character of Dorothy Gale. It was a dream come true when I got to play her with Dream Weavers Theater. It was a pleasure sharing the stage with all of the talented young men and women.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I have been honored and excited to have shared the stage with amazing dancers such as Kent Boyd and Molly Gray from “Teen Beach Movie.” To this date, I have not been able to share the stage with any of my Broadway Idols but Katherine McPhee (see picture) touched my face at the stage door for “Waitress.” One day we will sing together!!

Anything else you want to share?

This whole experience with VDNTS has been an amazing journey. I would like to thank the judges and the people who run this event. They made it easy and fun to participate even though we were not able to travel due to the COVID19 outbreaks. 

You can find Kari at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/kari-erickson.

Music Artist Spotlight- Sativa

Posted on January 28, 2020 by admin

Congratulations on winning the 2020 SpringBoard West Music Competition!  How would you describe your experience at SpringBoard West?  What stood out to you?

My experience at SpringBoard was fantastic! I didn’t really know what to expect but was very impressed by how well it was put together. I’ll be attending a second SpringBoard in the future.

What inspired you to become a musician?

My family inspired me. My mother and siblings are big music fans so it was always around me from the beginning. I wanted to give them all better lives. To me music is the best platform to reach the masses and inspire people through my messages in my songs. I believe my purpose on earth is help as many people as I can and my talents coincide with that in this way.   

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I was surprised to find someone I was going to work with whom claimed they wrote a song for me actually lied about writing the song after I randomly found the exact same song on the internet.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge to date is juggling my work life with music. I’m an indie artist so everything Sativa music that’s out there is because I put it there. I’m my own manager, promoter, stylist, writer, travel agent, financial advisor, researcher, designer and marketer. I have to manage my time wisely.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

If I’m starting with a beat, then how it makes me feel inside will tell me what the song should be about. If I’m just writing because something catchy just popped into my head, I’ll repeat it over and over with a melody and just build from there. Most of the time though it starts from after thoughts from a conversation, somebody’s story or personal experiences.   

Tell us about your most memorable performances. Performing on a daytime television show inside Cox studios in Virginia was really cool because it was only the production crew there and no real audience. It gave me a taste of pre-recorded showbiz. The  SpringBoard West festival has been my favourite though because I pulled it all together last minute and it all worked out. Plus performing outside facing the Pacific Ocean with palm trees on the coast right before sunset made that moment unforgettable.

You can find Sativa at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/sativa.

Music Artist Spotlight- Davin-lee Chavez

Posted on July 30, 2018 by admin

2018 Missouri Dream Night Talent SearchWhat does winning the 2018 Missouri Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?

It means a lot honestly. I never thought that I could be capable of doing something so amazing!

What inspired you to become a musician?

When I was little I was in my churches children’s choir. I loved the feeling of performing, whether it be with others or by myself. I chased the feeling and started doing karaoke at a local restaurant in my hometown and it just got bigger from there!

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

When I was 12 I was in my first ever singing contest. I was so excited and met so many amazing people, but I figured out that not every singer is as nice as they appear. It’s sad but true.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge when it comes to singing has been overcoming my stage fright. I have never been a shy kid by any means, but I’ve always been scared to sing in front of huge crowds. TalentWatch has helped me a lot in my stage presentation and has taught me that anyone can sing music, but an artist performs it!

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I actually don’t write any songs at the moment but I would love to learn or collaborate with any other singer/songwriter interested!

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

I have to say that performances to me are always important whether it be karaoke or opening for a band. But the most memorable one has been the Missouri Dream Night Talent Search. Everyone was so talented and it was an honor to perform on such a wonderful stage. The crowd wasn’t huge, but that isn’t what makes a memorable performance!

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I have opened for Clint Black a while back.

Anything else you want to share?

I just want to make sure that everyone knows to follow their dreams. I’ve done 3 dream nights and because I never gave up, I won and met some amazing people while doing it!

You can check out Davin-lee at https://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/davis73703.

Music Artist Spotlight- Daniel Sapphire

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin

What does winning the 2018 Texas Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?2018 Dream Night Talent Search Competition

Winning the Texas dream night means a lot. It gives you a lot more confidence for sure. To know that some of the music industry’s best like who you are and like what you do. That itself speaks volumes, besides the advice they give you to help you along in your music career.

What inspired you to become a musician? 

Honestly, I’m more of an artist than a musician. Yes, I’m a trained percussionist, but I love the art of creating something that no one has heard.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Fans! I love the fans! They’re the first ones to let you know when you get off the stage, that what you did lifted their spirits, made them laugh or cry. I like hearing everyone’s story and being an artist allows you to meet people from every walk of life. It’s a big plus for sure.

What has been your biggest challenge to date? 

Honestly, picking out which cajón I want to take with me everywhere I go. Haha.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs? 

Living life. Life gives me music to write. Either my story, a friend’s story or just what’s going on in the world. There’s a song in everything and everyone. You just have to be open to it.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

Texas Dream Night by far. Being on that stage where many artists have performed. That was the highlight of it all. The Texan Theater has had artists like Toni Tony Tone to Big bad voodoo daddy’s and I got to sing on that stage. I feel blessed.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I sang with the band from Small World in San Antonio, which was pretty awesome!

Anything else you want to share? 

Follow my Facebook page, Instagram. Just Google Daniel Sapphire and I’m the first cat at the top! Thank y’all! Blessings!

You can check out Daniel at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/danielsapphire8.


Music Artist Spotlight- London Lawhon

Posted on May 22, 2017 by admin

What does winning the 2017 Texas Dream Night Talent Search mean to you? 

Winning TDNTS meant I won over a little bit of the battle with confidence as an artist I was struggling with, winning, and just being around other artists who respected what I do so much and voiced that respect really resonated with me! The grand prize will also help fund my trip/shows in LA this summer which is a blessing!

What inspired you to become a musician?

I’ve always loved music from an early age, but what inspired me to become a musician is the connection and control the performers I would watch on TV and online had over their audience. It amazed me how a single song could bring a person to tears yet inspire another to overcome obstacles. I wanted to know what it felt like to stand back on stage and hear a crowd sing my lyrics back to me, so I told myself I was going to try until I made it reality.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Every day is a new surprise in the music industry. I’ve come to realize that I tend to surprise myself every time I step on stage. The real surprise though is the competition aspect of everything you’re working towards in a music career. In a way Texas Dream Night Talent Search is a small scale taste of the industry, there are hundreds upon thousands of performers looking to take your spot, so you have to make it count. That was always a shock to the system when I thought about it.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge to date comes in two parts. The first is finding shows to play in my area, and the second is having the guts to play locally in front of people I know in the community. In Houston venues for my music are hard to find, but when I do find them it takes a little extra courage to play the places just because people who know you personally tend to judge a little more.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

When writing lyrics, I always draw inspiration from the emotions I fight daily because of my anxiety. It’s always an emotional moment when I get the words down, then subsequently a release when I find the chord progression that fits the mood just right. I write my experiences of love, life, and music!

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

My most memorable performance was in the Klein Variety Show 2016 where I was the grand finale act. I had done the show for 4 years and it was my last chance to get on stage to sing for my friends before we all parted ways. I sang Stone Cold- by Demi Lovato and the crowd went insane! I had my friends and myself in tears by the end. So fun!

Anything else you want to share? 

I was so blessed to be a part of Texas Dream Night Talent Search. The people and the experience will be with me for the rest of my life I know! Thank you to the judges Wendy, Chad, and Debi for the feedback and knowledge! I am working on new music and new videos very soon!

You can check out London at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/londonlawhon

Music Artist Spotlight- Ashley Yankello

Posted on November 27, 2016 by admin

What does winning 2016 Ohio Dream Night Talent Search Competition mean to you?  Music Competition Winner

It makes me very happy and thankful to be selected out of all of the amazingly talented artists in the event.

What Inspired You to Become a Musician?

My mother inspired me.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

One instance comes to mind when I performed “Le Jazz Hot!” in a pageant where the microphone stand wasn’t tightened and it started sliding down, but I had to keep going!

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Having to perform with a lingering cold and sore throat.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

So far I’ve mainly performed cover songs, but I do like to experiment with lyrics that come into my head and while playing with my keyboard.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

Performing the National Anthem on a Friday night at a Major League Baseball Game in front of 30,000 fans.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I performed a duet with The Jaggerz, who had a gold record, on the 4th of July.

You can check out Ashley at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/ashley-marina-yankello

Music Artist Spotlight- Kaylin Brandsma

Posted on August 1, 2016 by admin

What does winning Wisconsin Dream Night Talent Search competition mean to you?  Music Artist Spotlight- Kaylin Brandsma

Winning the competition was amazing and it was a great opportunity to meet musicians and vocalists from all around the Midwest. The judges for the competition were from all over the US and shared their wealth of knowledge about the music industry and acted as mentors for us all weekend. It was awesome to work with judges who really invested their time and talents in each contestant. They talked about what steps were needed to promote yourself and get recognized along with the importance of staying connected to fans and so much more! Most of all, it was an opportunity to sing in front of others and get constructive feedback from the judges and fellow competitors.

What Inspired You to Become a Musician?

I have been singing as long as I can remember. In my house, music was and still is always on, whether it be on the radio or the television. My family would always turn on the radio in the car and we would sing along to the music. I used to sing along to the Wiggles and Kids Bop songs as a toddler. Then later, I watched Disney channel and I was influenced by the Disney stars. Then High School Musical came along and I absolutely fell in love with the music and movies. (I actually still am!) I really love Tori Kelly and Adele today.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I am surprised at how other artists have been so supportive and willing to give advice. They are also great sports during competitions and we cheer each other on and give out high-fives. I have met a bunch of talented and generous musicians throughout my singing experiences.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge yet is trying to decide what genre of music I want to go into. I love Country, R & B. contemporary Christian, and Pop.  I just need to stick to one genre for a possible career.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I don’t have any published songs currently, but in my free time I love to write songs. I usually start with the lyrics. The lyrics come from what I am feeling and what is happening in my life at the time. Then, I think of some chords on the guitar to put together.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we might know?

I have opened for local people and bands, but I haven’t worked with anybody that you would know because I am still an up and coming artist.

Anything else you want to share?

I am starting to learn guitar and the basics of piano.  I am looking forward to hopefully working with a band in the future.

If want to find me, like me on Facebook at Kaylin Brandsma Music, follow me on Twitter and Instagram at  Kaylinbrandsma, and subscribe to my YouTube channel Kaylin Sings.

You can check out Kaylin at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/kaylinbrandsma

Music Artist Spotlight- Luxe

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

What does winning the Zero to Hero Music Competition mean to you? luxe2

This means so much to me…I’m really thankful, and can’t wait to start recording!

What inspired you to become a musician? 

I’ve always loved music, but I think that what completely pulled me into music was concerts. My first concert was when I was 7, and I’ve gone to about 30 since then.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career? 

It’s truly surprised me how many different choices there are with music. There are a million different sounds and little details that you choose from when making music.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I would say my biggest challenge was probably just trying to get my music heard. I never knew what steps to take, or what to do.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I’m constantly writing lyrics. I don’t really have a process, I just write nonstop all day. I’m inspired by a lot of experiences and people in my life, as well as random everyday things. Everything inspires me.

Tell us about your most memorable performances. 

I can’t actually answer that because I’ve never really done any true ‘performances.’ I’ve performed for family and friends multiple times, but that’s as far as that goes (so far).

Anything else you want to share? 

I’m very thankful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get my music heard. Thank you to TalentWatch and Invengo Productions!

You can check out Luxe at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/luxe

Getting Your Big Break; Fundamental Challenges Facing Artists Today

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Bernard Porter

Over the last three decades, I’ve enjoyed an immensely fulfilling career in the music industry. The greatest reward my team and I have received has been through mentoring some of the world’s most recognized stars as well as people who are just passionate about being the best artist they can possibly be.Getting Your Big Break; Fundamental Challenges Facing Artists Today

But now there’s a big problem in our industry that most artists don’t even recognize. No doubt, there are unprecedented opportunities to get exposure through various online channels and the popularity of TV talent shows have stoked the public’s interest in emerging artists. The problem is, even if an artist gets some initial exposure, there are few good resources to help them continue to develop their craft and create sustained, fulfilling careers.  The way I see it, there are at least two fundamental issues that need to be addressed. One is practical. The other is financial.

At our brick-and-mortar institute, PCG Nashville, we often meet artists who have completed an associate or bachelor in music or are considering a degree program. I’m always dismayed at the lack of practical, real-world training that they received (or would be receiving) from these programs. The problem stems from faculty who have been removed from the day-to-day music scene for years if not decades. Additionally, because of the time it takes publish textbooks, the curricula that rely on these texts often reflect what was happening in the industry years ago. In essence, these students are learning music history…not helpful if you’re trying to make it in today’s music industry.

The second problem is financial and compounds the issues found at traditional music programs at the associate and bachelor degree levels. Like most higher education programs these days, the annual tuitions plus fees associated with room and board are tremendous and only growing. So much so, that even if these programs are within financial reach of the artist, it certainly calls into question the return on their investment. With that in mind, we created PCG Online, an online destination where artists can get anytime, anywhere access to the same lessons that are taught to professional artists. These lessons are created and delivered by a team of instructors that I hand-picked from the network of trusted and talented individuals I’ve worked with for many years. We’ve come together to create the most effective tools that any artist can put to use immediately and continue to use throughout their career. And, we’ve put them on a cutting-edge online platform that makes it easy to learn whenever and from wherever they’re connected.

I say this all the time, but I think it’s worth repeating…Our vision is to ensure that every artist who is willing to work hard and invest in their craft will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals as an artist. That is, in essence, why we developed PCG Online. Check us out at www.PCG24-7.com.

Time Sensitive Discount- If you are interested in plugging into this program, you can receive a 30% discount when you enroll by 11/18/2015 (midnight eastern time).  To receive the discounted rate, input the code TALENT30 when you enroll at www.PCG24-7.com.

About the Author

Bernard Porter is President and founder of PCG Companies.