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ExposedVocals: Why Personal Branding and Marketing is as an important part of your career with Kamelmat
Why Personal Branding and Marketing is as an important part of your career with Kamelmat
May 24 2013 at 05:38am
So, let’s start with your name. How’d you come up with that?
Well It was some 15 years ago, I was travelling around Europe for the first time, and needed a way to contact home and keep my family back in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I am originally from posted on my moves. You got to understand 15 years ago internet was kind of an almost unheard thing yet and not as commonly used as now.
A dude told me about “Hotmail” and recommended I should get an email address… So I wanted something short an easy to pronounce. That is why I got to mix my name with my surname, Matias Kamelman became kamelmat. Easy, right?
At the moment I was already working a lot with music, and studying in Berklee. I started doing a lot of different gigs on different things (that was always a trademark on me, a music chameleon) and some of them where really hardcore on “shoch show”… so I took it it was a good idea not to get my family exposed by using my real name, so I adopted that A.K.A kamelmat as my artistic name.
Through the years, I grew up and understood my full name wouldn´t commit my family to anything I do, and I can say stupid things or act crazy and that just might be part of a character or even part of me… you know, it´s strange how much you end up blending the artistic character whith your real self… I wouldn´t be able to say nowadays what difference ther is between Kamelmat and Matias Kamelman…
I often get told this “game” of names gets people confused… I´m not sure to the present if that is an advantage or a disadvantage. People do get confused easily, I mean… I am a kind of guy who Shreds on Metal as his mother language but comfortably plays guitar over house music in the best clubs in the world, records jazz albums, Pop, Rock Sessions… anything goes.
My brand as Kamelmat or Matias Kamelman is: I don´t do tags, I play music, and anything that has music is my field.
That is why this hybrid of Kamelmat as a name, is representative of all this… incredible… it is the first time I get across the fact that it all started with an e-mail address.
How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? Why did you decide to sign up?
I got contacted by an Exposed vocals rep. through I think was, reverbnation or one of those platforms.
The world of music bizz I grew up to was a complete different one than now.
People got famous after a lot of giging and hard work as a musician, there was this kind of paradigm of: “you are good, you´ll make it”.
I won´t say unfortunately because things are just the way they are, and the world evolved in a different fashion, or at least the music bizz changed radically.
With internet (again) labels got trashed, so the money was gone, and investing on an artist starting and developing his career kind of flew out the window. More and more Labels decided to get someone who has most of the job done and just blow it up.
So this is my answer to why signing up to Exposed vocals.
I went to one of the best music schools, and music marketing at the time was an optional course.
Music being what it is nowadays, all music schools should emphasize on Music Marketing, Social Media and networking. Skill nowadays has gone a lot further than just being good at your instrument or your composing, you need to convince people to pay attention to you, cause there are millions of great musicians just a click away of what you are offering.
Personal Branding and Marketing is as an important part of your career as your music skills are. This is just the rules of the game, and if you want to play big leagues, you need to do that.
That is why you will find Kamelmat (Matias Kamelman) on every social network and I personally manage and control most of them. I signed up to exposed vocals cause the kind of exposure it promotes.
What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Regardless of anyones opinion, music sharing is a fact. It´s here and it won´t go away. Many big stars have seen their patrimony jeopardized by this fact, cause sells have gone dramatically down putting the whole industry at stake. It is really a bummer on music production cause you will seldom get the money you invest on making a record back cause very few people (specially new generations) have the custom to pay for music.
I am a very pragmatic person, so I just think music sharing is here and undeniable cause people will share your music you like it or not, so why go against the flow?
I share my music with whomever wants to listen to it, you can download my tracks almost everywhere, paying, for free, voluntary paying (if you want to pay, you pay).
Even if you sell your music on the internet, the costs of making a record properly are still higher than what most bands will get as a revenue.
Basically you make a good record, let people listen to it, and work you’re a.. off to get people to come and see the show and pay for the tickets.
Music has become a carrier, a presentation card… people less and less just listens to music, they much rather watch the video on youtube, so basically the album, other than the artists art statement (we would go into a very long dissertation on the thin line between art and business), just an accessory to make publicity, and a reason to get noticed on magazines, tv, and touring of course.
On my multiple musical personalities I tend to draw a line between what I do for business and what I do for the sake of art.
People are not used to pay for art, rather they are used to pay for entertainment (which is a form of art of course), or just so it doesn´t sound cocky, there´s art that is mainstream, and art that isn´t. My heart claims for instrumental progressive metal which is what you´ll find in my album Sic Itur Ad Astra, and that is why I do that music project. Just because my soul asks for it… and since it is only Art, all I want is to share it with the most people possible. It is far from being mainstream (opposite side basically) so paying for it only drives me away from potencial listeners. That´s why making it free makes it easier to captivate audience.
All my other musical activites, produce money, and I finance my art project with the rest of more mainstream actions I do.
Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Best tip you can get man, and I got it at it´s time.
Get real. Music bizz as the name says it is a business, and the more you treat your music and your art as a business, the more chances you get to succeed (and eventually if you do so, not to get ripped off).
Become an expert on Marketing, social media, and Branding. Find your advantages and disadvantages on your product (yes, everything is a product, no matter how “liberal”, Free thinker you are, if you are reading this, and you have any intention of living on music philosophy is philosophy and business is business, I saw a John Lennon T-Shirt the other day with the slogan: “you may say I´m a dreamer but I´m not the only one”, for 50€… Lennon would probably get furious on it, cause it is a contradiction in terms, but that´s just how the business works).
Draw a time table, a schedule, plan your campaigns, invest, treat the band as a company and of course, remember this is a 24/7 job, and yes IT IS A JOB…
Above all… if you understand this, and you want to do it. CHOOSE your allies carefully, specially make sure they are on the same channel you are. Drop anyone who´s commitment is not at your level, you´ll loose a lot of energy and time if you don´t do so.
Remember, if you are in for music bizz, your band is your company, competition is savage out there, and you need to be up to the test constantly.
Just as roundups, don’t stop playing. Get better and better, ultimately, you are selling music.
Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Everyone makes mistakes on stage, even the best ones.
You just don´t notice, cause well, they are too good.
A teacher of mine once told me, the great ones makes mistakes that you believe are part of their playing. They “screw up with style”.
Having a flawless performance is very complicated, it can be done and you should aim to do so.
But when you are playing, in the heat of the moment things happen and you need to cope with it.
Of course, I´m talking of the kind of mistakes no one except you or the band notice.
Of course this involves not only solving the mistake properly so it looks like something you did on purpose, but of course not letting your face or attitude have people understand otherwise.
If you are messing up badly kind of everyone notices it, you should go back to rehearsals and refrain from playing live until you get things straightened up.
Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
I tour a lot, mainly cause I am a session musician so I get to do a lot of different gigs.
My musical versatility lets me do different kind of gigs and the kind of people you tour with is very different from one another.
So you get a thousand different anecdotes. Basically every tour leaves an anecdote and things you´ll tell people all your life… singers needing cold water basket thrown over them on bed to wake them up cause they are totally wasted (this still happens), Plane missing and getting stuck in a country where people don´t speak English (or they say they do, but you see the communication is not being fluent), always getting stopped on the metal detector cause all the gear you carry in your bag like, fx pedals, amp simulators, led batteries and all that looks suspiscious… the usual fighting with the plane companies about luggage and weather guitars are or not hand luggage (luckily the UE parliament have passed a law recently saying they are).
And of course, meeting wonderful people, and seeing how much what you do means to so many of them.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Everywhere, I can say I have a kind of inspirational diarrhea, I just can´t stop it. My iphone is full of voice notes with riffs and melodies, so is my music notation apps full with transcripts.
I can be walking and a melody hits me, or in the shower (this happens a lot!), or in my motorcycle (also happens a lot) I actually scaped from getting fined by an officer for pulling off on a highway to record a voice note… I showed him what I was doing and he was a head-banger and totally understood, told me off though and said: “next time keep singing until you get home!”.
I wake up at night sometimes and have to out of bed to write.
After all this, well you just go on to the studio (I have one at home) and just lay down what you ahd in mind, start twisting, adding, taking out, making drums, or bass for it and keep constructing.
Most of the process is inspirational, I mean, you get the music sounding in your head. But also, most of the times, I just force some rational things into it just to push it up a little bit, and those stuff give me new ideas or focus on the songs. This is of course because knowing about harmony, arranging and composition.
Do you have a band website? Do you have a Facebook or Twitter? Do you use Bandcamp, Spotify, ExposedVocals or SoundCloud to share your music?
Here are some kamelmat on the web sites:
You can find Kamelmat´s music on Exposed Vocals and Soundcloud.
Soptify and Bandcamp are watigin for my album to be mixed before putting it on their platforms.
What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
This is a difficult one, but I guess without demagogy I would say I hardly think if it made it to my ipod I will be embarrassed by it.
If it´s music I wouldn´t listen to, it´s probably in my ipod for learning it to play it and I´m being paid to do so. So…
Other than that, what someone who finds my ipod thinks it´s embarrassing to have on it, just think I play and listen: Metal, Pop, Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Chill Out, Soundtracks, Electronica, House Music.
I guess, all “Talibans” of each style would find my ipod embarrassing, cause you can jum from Miles Davis, To Slayer, to David Guetta and back to Sinatra just like that.
If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
I would just keep doing what I do, only better cause I´d have more money to invest.
So I would spend it in some new gear (always, there´s always new gear), Record another album, do a lot of promo and Tour around the world.
I would build a spectacular show (I am currently working on it), with lots of performers on stage in addition to the musicians.
Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
I just upgraded my studio to an Imac and Logic Pro. I use a Motu Mk3 lite audio card and lots of plugins.
I am about to buy (it´s really expensive) an AXE FX II by fractal Audio. It is the ultimate Guitar processor.
How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Try to stay updated over trending sites on the intertet, posting a lot of material over social networks, reading and learning about how to build audiences and keep them loyal by producing interesting material and of course, doing as many gigs as you can.
If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Well, this is a kind of question I do to celcebrities when I do interviews (I write for www.clickandrock.com) and it´s easier cause they are already celebrities and played with many of the people I´d love to play.
As regards playing, I would love to play with all the musicians I have looked up to since I was a teenager, of those alive and to name a few… I´d love to be Mr. Vai´s second guitar! Play with Dream Theater, build a band with Mike Portnoy and Billy Shean (I´m so envious of Kotzen hehe), I would love Dominic to stay in the band, but would love to be guitarist for Sting, Play a couple songs ith Paul McCartney, convince Prince of touring again and go along, play with David Bowie, do my laser show with David Guetta, or the Avicci guys (cause I play over one of thei songs) and well the list would go on and on…
I got this year the privilege of making that dream come true, and played with Eric Martin (Mr.Big) which is till the day one of my favorite bands ever! And I love Eric´s solo career. Eric was great and really nice to me and we got on really well.
Not alive: well The one guy, I´d pick above everything is definitely Miles Davis, no one has made so much for music in the last 100 years as he did.
Play with Lennon, Zappa, Have Mr. Sinatra sing a couple songs over my guitar, Have Mrs. Ella Fitzgerald sing along with Frank, why not.
Would definitely get Maller and Stravisnky to do some arrangements for orchestra and electric guitar, maybe have Bartok join for the session… and get little Wolfgang on Keyboards!!! We could do 2 keyboars, Wofgang and Johan Sebastian! Wow!
The reason why I would love to play in the places I will name, is cause the venues are great, and because it would be a way of being in the same place most of my idols where.
The Royal Albert Hall
The Carnegie Hall
The Madison Square Garden
River Plate Stadium
Woodstock (back in the days)
The Onyx (back in the days specially)
Monsters of Rock Festival.
So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Stay tuned, I am a really restless artist, If I could not sleep I wouldn´t (what a waste of time).
I am currently working on a show with my band, it was always part of the idea and we already do gigs with Air Show, I have 2 trapezists that come along with the band.
My main project is to turn my concerts into a sensorial experience, so I´m planning on expanding the show as much as I can.
Kind of Circ Du Soleil stuff, but with a different angle.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Tricky question: the answer is: I´d be dead.
There´s nothing in this world that would make sense to me if I wasn´t making music.
I love Martial arts, I surf a lot… I love spending time with my wife traveling and doing stuff, she is my best friend in the world but none of this things would ever replace music, and I get to do them while making music, so…
Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
I do, my first album was Megadeth´s Rust in Peace, and it is one of my favorite albums in the history of man kind. If I´d had to go to the moon, and take 10 cds. Rust in Peacer comes for sure… and Pink Floyd The Wall too, the other 8 I´d have a hard time choosing cause they are too many, but this 2, just can´t leave without them.
I was 10 years old, and had a lot of Guns N´Roses mix tapes… but CD´s where something new. I new I liked those “heavy” sounds, but was not sure of what came after GNR, so went to a store, went to the “heavy metal” section… and of course, started looking at the covers… Since very young I had something for skulls and those kind of things, and Vick Rattlehead on the cover of Rust in Peace holding a glowing gem over an Alien body with a number of dressed up old farts in the back caught my attention.
Eddie from Iron Maiden did the same thing after that!
How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
This is a great question.
I pretty much think that if you read this far what I wrote, It is clear that the only answer is… you are a pro, or you aren´t.
The fact of being so responsible as I am, and so meticulous at working, makes it obvious that you need to manage your time properly, and orther your priorities constantly.
I guess most musicians have a hard time making their social and family life cope with their work timetables. I won´t lie it isn´t easy and I would say that the previous work is fundamental, if it´s wife you are taking about, you need someone who completely understands this is your life, and that doesn´t mean she is not, rather you wouldn´t have the strength to do so without her.
My wife is an angel I got, looking after me and always supportive of what I do, also giving me advise many times on angles of things I´m not seeing. So she is a constant positive input. If you are an artist you need that.
So as with building a band, you need to choose carefully your life partners. If your girl can´t understand this, she will probably end up suffering a lot, and eventually make you suffer too.
If you have kids, the same happens, those kids need a father and not only to provide but to be with them, and spending time with them will make them grow up to be discent people.
It all comes to your levels of priority, and what is important to you.
The more conscious you are about all this, the more you can seize the time, and make the best of it.
In my case, music is the universe everything else lives in. But if you don’t´ live, you don´t hang out with friends, fall in love (If you are not now), if things don´t happen to you, then what the hell are you going to write music about?
I try to be aware of all this, of looking after my loved ones and spending quality time with them, I try to look after my self, by sleeping, working out and being fit, eating healthy.
I try to be aware all the time of what I´m doing and how I´m doing it, also being considerate of the people working with me, and how my work by being there or not affects my relationships.
All this makes the Juggling easier.
What should fans look forward too for the rest of 2013 and beyond?
Buckle your safety belt! Cause I will take you on a Journey you won´t forget!
Once the whole Kamelmat & The Total Harmonic Distortion Band show is on!
Also, check it out Ibiza and Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan) I´m hiting the stage there in October!