D.A. Wallach was one of the first few thousand people to use Facebook, and he’s been a social media pioneer for artists ever since. His band, Chester French, was discovered by Pharrell Williams and Kanye West while at Harvard University. Since then, the duo has taken off. Wallach has already toured with the likes of Lady Gaga, Blink 182, and Weezer. We caught up with him in his hometown of Milwaukee before he hopped on a plane for London to talk about how social media, and more specifically Spotify, is changing the game for musicians. In addition to making music, Wallach is also the official “Artist in Residence” at Spotify, a digital music service that allows music lovers to tap into their favorite music for free and then share it across social media platforms.
As an early adopter of Facebook, Wallach says that social media has been interesting to him because it gives bands a way to communicate directly with fans. Spotify, he says, takes that a step further and allows us “to communicate with our fans, specifically using the music that we make or listen to. For the fan or the listener on a service like Spotify, the social integration is an amazing part of the experience because it allows you to discover music through your friends instantly and to listen to that music.” As an advocate for the creative community, Wallach says that one reason why Spotify’s model is so compelling is that it balances “the interests of the consumer and the artist and the right’s holders that is sustainable.”
Why is Spotify any better than other subscription music services like Rdio or MOG? Wallach says that Spotify “is monetizing the listening that’s occurring over your music over its lifetime. Rather than get paid for just single download or album, you’re getting paid every time someone listens to your music.” Over time, Wallach believes that’s a better deal for artists. Wallach is still active on Facebook and has over 1 Million Twitter Followers. He’s using that social media currency to spread the word about Chester French, his own music, and his friends’ music.
Pusha T. – Body Work feat. Juicy J, Meek Mill & French Montana (11′)
Here is the official video to Gloria Estefan’s first single ‘Wepa’ off her new album ‘Little Miss Havana’ available at Target and iTunes and here is the back cover of the album thanks to borsboom.
Gloria Estefan – Miss Little Havana (2011)
01 – Miss Little Havana (Pharrell Williams)
02 – I Can’t Believe (Pharrell Williams)
03 – Heat (Pharrell Williams)
04 – Wepa (Pharrell Williams)
05 – Say Ay (Pharrell Williams)
06 – So Good (Pharrell Williams)
07 – Right Away (Pharrell Williams)
08 – Make Me Say Yes (Pharrell Williams)
09 – Time Is Ticking (Pharrell Williams)
10 – Hotel Nacional (Emilio Estefan)
11 – Make My Heart Go feat. El Catá (Emilio Estefan)
12 – On (Emilio Estefan) (Deluxe)
13 – Medicine (Emilio Estefan) (Deluxe)
14 – Let’s Get Loud (Emilio Estefan) (Deluxe)
15 – Wepa feat. Pitbull (DJ R3hab Remix) (Deluxe)
The Tanning Of America touches on a concept called “The Thinnest Slice,” which is defined as “a person, object, or concept that is so authentic that it becomes popular because of this authentic truth.” Pusha T, who grew up in Norfolk, Virginia and came into the game as part of the critically-acclaimed duo Clipse, is a perfect example of this. The talented lyricist is known for intricate wordplay that stays rooted in drug dealer sensibilities and following the hustler’s ethos.
However, through opportune circumstances such as growing up and working with The Neptunes, collaborating with Justin Timberlake, and most recently, signing with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, he has managed to reach a huge audience without compromising his gritty lyrical content. Given the unique space he occupies in music, we thought he would be a great person to talk to about race, politics, and how hip-hop culture has changed in the past decade. Pusha also speaks on how being on songs with Justin Timberlake changed his audience, his love for tennis, and the significance of Kanye West’s “30 white bitches” reference on “So Appalled.”
TOA: Have you had a specific tanning moment in your own career?
P: Yeah, totally. And it was so much of a shock. I can remember specifically, The Knitting Factory in New York City. We had dropped We Got It 4 Cheap Volume 2, I think it was. We walked out to a sea of suburban white kids who had on everything I probably had on, or something close to it in terms of BAPE shoes, jeans, varsity jackets, and hoodies. It was totally a shock to me because, you have to remember, when I started off with records like “Grindin’,” I think I was in every black ghetto and performed for every black promoter in the United States for at least a year or nine months before the record even popped. These kids were not at my shows.
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