1 Year On
If you were to tell me a couple of years ago that by the end of 2019, I'd have set up a global online music community and label with 2 other amazing gentlemen then I'd have laughed at you. But look at where we are. Less than 1 month away from our 1 Year Compilation, meeting all kinds of talented artists, listening in to them and sharing their music and we have exactly that! A family of awesome, talented electronic music producers!
How did we get here though? I'd like to share a little bit about the story from the Co Founders and what it took to get here - I hope you enjoy!
Brace yourselves for the 1 year compilation from EMA/EAR
At the end of 2018, myself, Bufinjer and DaveyHub first came together after meeting through an independent musician community called Atom Collector Records (@atomcollector). In our conversations, which eventually lead to our "EMA HQ", one thing became very clear - we wanted to create our own community, focusing on these two core principles that have driven us forward:
1 - Help bring together a global community of talented electronic music producers who are actively engaged on social media, spreading positive vibes in the music community and,
2 - Provide a platform for music producers to grow, not just in terms of reach and getting new fans but also in terms of production and pushing new boundaries with our respective genres.
Setting The Foundations
Around this time in December 2018, we started getting to work on this community and, by using our strengths, knowledge and skills we've picked up from the years, had the aim of opening the doors on 1st January 2019.
My tasks were to build and maintain the structure of our own forum from scratch using a pretty powerful tool called Discord, which has been a Godsend for effectively building our EMA Mothership, and writing the weekly blogs and newsletters.
DaveyHub is our maestro on Twitter, using his social media know how to get ourselves out there and the forefront of interaction online. He's been driving the campaigns we run from time to time and, without his wizardry, we wouldn't be well over 3,000 followers in the first year!
Bufinjer set up and maintained the website for the EMA community and later, our EAR label, along with summoning tracks from our members to showcase the weekly playlists across the various streaming platforms. He's also been helping out with the social media side of the EAR label and got it over 1,000 followers when we launched it around July time!
We all chipped in where we could, giving feedback to each other and getting the foundations set in 3 weeks only before opening the doors to the online community.
Launch Date - 2nd Jan 2019
Looking back on it, how we managed to get a lot of what we set up in that 3 weeks is no mean feat! However, what it does go to show is that when you have a group of driven people all sharing the same goals, you go above and beyond for each other and use that motivation to spur you on! There wasn't a thought of getting cold feet, we went straight for it and launched the mothership!
The first round of invitations went out to people we had connected with at Atom Collector and some have stayed with us through thick and thin since the beginning, which we're really grateful for. There was a bit of a "refinement stage" (as we thought there would be) over the first 3 months with feedback from our members. I mean, the Founders are pretty good but we're only 3 heads and more ideas from more people with more perspectives allows us to open our minds even more and help out as many people as possible.
Over the year, word has spread as members, affectionately known as the EMAliens, were telling friends, fellow music producers and we were getting requests to join which gets us all excited from those who heard about it. We've stumbled on something here and it goes to show that positive energy IS contagious and we've got that in abundance with everyone. Gotta love those positive spirals!
Playlists For The Listeners
Another thing we factored in to our original principles was not just the focus on giving producers a leg up for their music careers but also the hidden philosophy we have is that we want to give listeners a variety of tunes to listen to with our playlists. Just as there's something for everyone in our Discord server, there's something for everyone who listens to our tunes on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube to name a few.
We chose the popular sites as that's where there's a lot more listeners and potential fans who will listen in with genuine interest and fans will get genuine interaction with the EMAliens. It is a two way street after all!
Where else can you discover new music and share your tunes? Radio shows are something that we'll be hoping to do more of in 2020 although the wheels are in motion already towards the end of this year. They are a great way for live interaction as well and Twitter is definitely more engaging for us on all fronts!
Some of the EMAliens are already hosting their own shows and the first we were involved with was Spotlight On The Artist (@spotlight.artist) where many members have now had some exposure to and we're grateful for all the support we have been given and we give it back as well!
There have only been a handful of these so far this year but it wasn't our main focus as we looked to build up the EMAlien mothership to be able to hand so much awesomeness. However, now it's looking like there's a bit more structure, DJ mixes are going to be a force to be reckoned with next year! Conversations in our Discord server of late have hinted that we'll be beaming down some EMA mixes in 2020 and I can't wait to hear them!
EAR - The Record Label
One of the things we always say to our EMAliens who ask about releasing on the label is that we don't take anything for the release. It's more of a thing we do to say "thanks for being a part of the family" and help to distribute to Spotify, Beatport and all the other online stores for them, free of charge. We're not interested in the money, this is a project born of passion and we intend to keep it that way. Anything that comes in financially is a bonus but not the primary aim - you can read back up to the top to see what our primary aims are ;)
I have to admit though, I wasn't convinced on the label front but Bufinjer works in sales for a reason and he convinced me and DaveyHub it was the right thing to do... and boy was he right! I'll only be releasing my music through EAR now haha! And with over 100 releases since July, it seems it will be an even more popular thing with our EMAliens moving forward!
Oh my goodness, you don't cross this guy! Haha! A bot that was initially programmed to welcome in our new members went rogue! He is seemingly hell bent on putting people in our "Naughty Corner" for anything he can get his metallic mitts on! Unfortunately, TygerTyger (@tygertyger) appears to have bore the brunt of his wrath by sending her there on more occasions than you can count with every abacus in the world at your disposal! Nonetheless, he has his own theme tune courtesy of EthanolADDiktz and Bonnie Legion (@soundlegion) - it wouldn't be EMA without him!
How's 2020 Looking?
Well, as the community continues to grow, we're getting to a point now where it's pretty much running itself and everyone is getting involved with what the want to. However, one thing that has come up is if we're going to have different genres now we have some good representation across a lot of them and some producers also being able to change their style up with consummate ease.
We're certainly open to it and for me, being a Drum & Bass head, I'll probably look to do some more DnB themed playlists/DJ mixes but there's already some playlists coming out from members that are in a genre so the best place to keep an eye on our website playlists page.
Otherwise, more playlists, monthly newsletters and DJ mixes from the mothership will keep us all plenty busy in the new year!
All Good Fun
The most important thing of all (and you can apply this to life as well) is to emphasise the word "fun". There's a steep learning curve when new EMAliens come along but we don't force them in to anything and always say "take your time" because there's a lot of useful information, knowledge and guidance within our walls and we're at the stage where we have over 125 members and it's not possible to listen to everyone even though we'd love nothing more!
But, those who pop in more often, say hello and have fun with other members will get the most out of it and they have done already. Long may the fun continue.
I could have gone on for hours about this family but there's only so many hours in the day and we are but 3 volunteers who are doing this all in our spare time when we can. We all have jobs, the other two have families of their own to plan around as well but as I mentioned earlier - if your heart is in something, you will make time for it and then anything is possible.
A big thanks to the Daves for being there through thick and thin, holding the fort whilst I went travelling and being top lads!
To the EMAliens, great to have met you and keep on inspiring! Who knows where we'll be in 2020 but I know where I'll be - EMA :)
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