Rankable Ep.12 – Musicians In Marketing: The Importance of Creativity

Welcome to Ep.12 of Rankable, we are joined by Gaetano Nino DiNardi and Jonathan Rosenfeld to discuss the topic "Musicians in Marketing, the Importance of Creativity"

Welcome to episode 12 of iPullRank’s Rankable podcast, where we discuss various hot topics in the digital marketing industry.

In this episode, we are joined by Gaetano Nino DiNardi, Director of Growth Marketing at Nextiva, a leading VoIP technology provider, and Jonathan Rosenfeld, Senior Demand Generation Manager, at Twilio Inc.

In this episode, our discussion revolved around the topic, “Musicians in Marketing and The Importance of Creativity.” Every individual in the episode are musicians before marketers, and the story of how music plays a role in their marketing jobs is certainly fascinating.

If you want to hear about the stories of how these talented musicians leveraged their creativity into the field of marketing, be sure to watch the full episode below!

Video Transcription

Jarrett Thomas:

Hey, good afternoon, everyone. We are back. Welcome to rankable episode #12. I’m your host, of course, Jarrett Thomas, senior account executive at iPullRank. Thank you all for who was returning, and thank you to first time visitors, welcome to rankable. 

So today we have a really cool episode that we want to talk about. Today’s topic is going to be musicians and marketing and how to leverage the importance of creativity from our music experience and how we use it professionally. 

So I’ve got three great guests with me today. I’ve got Jonathan Rosenfeld, demand generation manager at Twilio. I’ve got Gaetano DiNardi at Nextiva, also a former employee at iPullRank and we also have our office manager, glue and person who does everything, we got Neferkara Aaron. How are you guys doing? 

Guests:

Good, good, good. 

Jarrett Thomas:

I really appreciate you guys having us today. And this is a really interesting topic for us because all four of us here today are musicians. And what we want to do today is really kind of tap into how our artistry and our music. How would that help us professionally? So I would love to start off the question with you guys of, you know, tell us a little bit more about your musical background and how has this helped you professionally in your day to day? 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

All right, sounds good. I think I’ll go ahead and start. So, you know, as a musician, I’m a producer and a composer. So as a producer, I’ve worked mostly with hip hop musicians. So, you know, rappers like Freddie Gibbs, Black Rob, Freeway, um, I’ve also worked with Parliament-Funkadelic, uh, things of that nature.

And then as a composer, I work for NBC universal, VIce, NFL network, Netflix, HBO networks of that nature. I’ve been involved in an Oscar nominated film called the Florida Project that was done by A24. Um, so I’ve always been kind of tapped in as a musician and leveraged that as part of what I do professionally as a marketer. So, you know, a lot of the things that I’ve learned about marketing actually come from even trying to promote my music. So it’s been something that’s really worked hand in hand. So that’s like just a quick little overview as far as, you know, my musical background. And we’ll obviously dive in more towards how it plays a role in the marketing function. 

Jarrett Thomas:

Absolutely. 

Gaetano DiNardi:

Good stuff, yeah. I mean, I’ll just jump in here real quick. I mean, look, I’ve been in the game for a minute. Um, doing all sorts of things, songwriting, producing, performing, um, I would say the opportunity I’ve had in the music game that I’m the most proud of has been producing or co-producing a record for Fat Joe. That was awesome. Get to meet him, get him to see how he works. Shaggy was at his house in Long Island doing work with shaggy. That was, that was, you know, kind of a surreal thing. 

And then of course like writing and producing my own music and co-writing co-production for up and coming musicians and artists as well. I also had the opportunity to work with the great late Fred the Godson, rest in peace man, a friend, the guy, he was a great one. It’s sad that we lost him. But you know, God must have had different plans for him. And then of course, working with a producer out of Queens that, an acquaintance of ours here, V-notes, um, she’s a phenomenal producer out of Queens that I’ve worked with quite a lot. And I think someone else on this call has worked with quite so let’s hear from her next.

Neferkara Aaron:

Yeah. So, Hey guys, my name is Neferkara. I’m a singer songwriter and I also do voiceovers and, I actually had a chance to work with Gaetano a couple of years ago and he just realized that my work life and my music life have now kind of intertwined, which is always good, but I’ve had the chance to do voice overs for YouTube burrs and also write and do music for their intros and their eBooks as well. I’ve also been able to actually do voiceovers for runtime, which is the latest production from, um, iPR as well as singing the intro. So I did two of the voiceovers and also, I’ve done the music for that or the background vocals. So that’s been pretty cool.

Jarrett Thomas:

Perfect. Perfect. I know for me, myself, I’ve been rapping since I was about 12 years old. I’m doing it now all the way to 30 to have my own set up. Like I said, and really what the main thing for me, right. In terms of like, what has helped me professionally, I think we’re all in the same boat. We all have to figure out from our music, we all love art and how do we get it to the consumers? And there’s so many similarities to that in brand marketing like, you know, our main thing is how do we get into people who want to hear our music, right? How do we get more exposure? How do we become the next superstar? 

And there’s certain things from a marketing standpoint that we have to execute in order to get that because it’s so competitive. Everybody’s a musician. I feel like there’s so much competition in that space and it’s just really crazy. So I would love to hear from you guys, like now that you guys are all in the marketing space, what are some things that you would do or incorporate into your earlier music years that you think would have been impactful? Or what are some of the things you’ve done to help you guys get to some of the places and musically that you did?

Jonathan Rosenfeld: 

Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, for me, I think I would certainly want to leverage a little bit more on kind of paid media for music. So that’s something that I have done historically and know a lot more about it as far as running paid social and things of that nature. I know it’s kind of commonplace now, but you know, when I was really kind of coming up, it was more about running the PR playbook. Right? And ironically, I write really good email copy because of promoting my music right. Trying to get into double XL or on hip hop TX or whatever, and forming relationships on the PR side. 

But you know, some of the things that I know now, as far as using paid models for distribution, you know, that that’s something that I would have been doing more during 2010, 2011 when I was really active in that sort of thing. So that’s one thing that kind of comes top of mind. 

Jarrett Thomas:

Yup. Yup. Great point. I know when I first started, there was no social media. There was no any of that. We were actually selling CDs. Hand-to-hand on our first mixtape. We thought about 10,000 copies right out the trunk. And that was a crazy time back then. So I would love to hear from Neferkara and Gaetano, what are some things that you guys would, or how did you guys get to know work like Fat Joe and some of the people that you’ve worked with and what are some of the advices you’d give your earlier self now that you guys are digital marketers?

Neferkara Aaron:

I think looking back, I would have invested more into producing my own like original content. I think, you know, a couple of years ago when I started, a lot of people were doing covers, but I feel like especially now that content, you know, content is King, but I would’ve invested more into original music, especially I think that would have given me more of like a one up because, you know, it kind of goes hand in hand with everything that’s going on in Tik-Tok and Instagram reels and whatnot. 

I think that if I would have invested more time into doing the original content and building out my brand a little bit more, that would have definitely been helpful, but I mean, it’s never too late. And I think that timing is also important, there’s a lot of things that I released that I probably shouldn’t have released earlier and I rereleased, and I had a better return on it.

Gaetano DiNardi:

That makes sense. Yeah. I’m actually going to say the opposite. I think I would have done more covers. Actually, I would have done the opposite. In marketing, there’s the rule of first, the law of being first at something or doing something early before everyone copies and then everyone starts doing it and then it gets played out and it gets too cluttered and YouTube SEO is one of those things that I wish I would have liked tripled down on back in like 2010, you know, but it takes daily work and daily consistency. 

So if every week I would have said, imagine if 2010 to today, every week I would have said, here’s the top, you know, pop R&B song, that’s trending on billboard. I’m going to do a cover of it. And I’m going to optimize it the best way that I know how to do today, you know, back then, with the right kind of title tags and descriptions and keyword tags and all that stuff. And then just investing in growing my YouTube channel through non-branded search, right? 

Because people search, you know, Chris Brown cover of this song, Drake cover of that song, whatever. And they find you, and then once you have original music, you have that momentum already behind you because every week you did a cover of a popular song and eventually it’s just going to catch, like, you know, you’re going to catch a wave. People are gonna start following you, they’re gonna start subscribing. 

And then what happens is just like website domain authority, it acquires channel authority by the number of subscribers that you have to dwell time on your videos, things of that nature and so forth. So I probably would’ve gone all in on YouTube SEO, if I could have done it again. Like Neferkara said, still not too late, but that’s probably one thing I would have done. And then I probably would have gone bigger on music business thought leadership. I probably would’ve gone bigger on the kind of snackable, social media, 30 seconds to 60 second clips that you’re seeing now. Just sharing my experiences, working with people like fat Joe and shaggy, I probably could have done more of that. But you know, it just kinda is what it is. 

Jarrett Thomas:

Totally. I think I agree with you on that front Gaetano, it’s like the biggest thing for me, what I would’ve done. I would’ve recorded everything I did with film wise. One thing I didn’t do, like I would have recorded every single session, every single behind the scene video, every performance, every everything now, cause now I’ve got this catalog of great music for about 10 years now and I have no visuals to coincide with it. You know what I mean? That’s one thing. 

And then also like you said, the YouTube SEO, I think that’s super important because I wasn’t really necessarily thinking monetization at that time. I was just thinking, Hey, how do I get my music out there to as many people, but I wasn’t thinking monetization. Cause I just loved the music. That wasn’t my thing at that point.

But now it’s at a point where it’s like, Hey, now I’m using social media in order to drive business, professionally it’s the same type of concept. Now you just gotta rinse and repeat it across different social channels, understand who your audience is, build your tribe, make sure you engage with those people and then release great content. So, and I’m curious for you guys, like what would you recommend to what artists right now? Who’s not who doesn’t have the digital marketing background that we have, where would be a good place for them to start today in 2012?

Neferkara Aaron:

I think kind of just going off of what guy Gaetano said, just looking for me. I like to look to see what works for people, you know, alongside doing original content, but what works with people? How can I improve it and how can I put my own twist on it as well, as far as a marketing standpoint is concerned too. So, and then I would definitely say to have a plan of action for your content and do it consistently. 

I think if you don’t do it consistently, it’s just not, it’s never going to catch on, especially now that everyone’s home and everyone’s going to be home for quite some time. Like this is the prime time to record all the content that you can have a plan of action, especially for winter that’s coming up and just move forward from there. I think you just have to have a plan and be consistent when you’re rolling out your content as well.

Gaetano DiNardi:

Yeah. I would say there’s no secrets to any of this stuff, like when you go to the gym, Ryan Leslie even said this, um, when you go to the gym that same dumbbell, you’re doing the same exercises, you might be changing your reps up a little bit, but ultimately the way to grow muscle at the gym is to just keep picking up that same dumbbell, keep doing the same reps. And that’s the way you grow website traffic. That’s the way you grow a social media following. That’s the way you grow fans and music. 

You know, it’s the aggregation of marginal gains. It’s doing something over a sustained period of time over and over again, until those gains build up to be a lot in perpetuity and whatever it is that you decide to go all in on, whether it’s Instagram, whether it’s YouTube, that’s kind of what I would say about all this. Like don’t try to do it all. Pick one thing, kind of go focusing on one thing and do what you’re great at and let that build up over time. But don’t try to spread your water too thin because then you’re not going to be able to grow the seeds.

Jarrett Thomas:

Totally. And I appreciate that also analogy with the guns out man.

Gaetano DiNardi:

I mean, come on now, this is Miami. This is, you know.

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Exactly, and just to kind of piggyback on that thought, just abandon the traditional album approach to promotion. I think like if you kind of want to develop a following now, put out as many singles as you can, right? And to go tunnels point, pick a channel that you think you’re going to get some momentum on. Maybe it’s TikTok, maybe it’s Instagram, whatever the case may be and then have a rollout for each one of those singles that’s a repeatable and scalable process.

I think, you know, with how things are now, the attention spans, if you’re new artists, people aren’t going to check out that album that you spent two years on or whatever the case. But what you can do is release a single over time. You know, maybe once a month over the course of two years, then compile that into an album after the fact, once you’ve actually developed an audience.

And the good thing about kind of gaming the system with that approach is that when you take singles that were released and then you put them on the album, all the streams actually are attributed to that album. So you’ll see that a lot with certain artists that have had like a really hot single it’s been out for a year or whatever. And then it just magically shows up on a bonus track on the album. The purpose of that is to juice their numbers in terms of sales, because streams, you know, equate to a certain amount of sales. 

So that’s kinda how I would think about like, you know, what to do now is to really just abandoned the traditional approach of a music marketing, where it’s like, okay, I have this album that I’m going to select two to three singles, I’ll do one or two videos and have that sort of traditional rollout. It doesn’t work anymore. I’m using that kind of singles approach, I think is a really good tactic to use.

Jarrett Thomas:

Absolutely. I think we’ve seen that. I actually want to ask you guys a question, who do you guys think is the best musician marketer in the game right now and why?

Gaetano DiNardi:

Um, I’m gonna say Illmind.

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Yeah. That’s a good one.

Gaetano DiNardi:

For those of you who don’t know, he is a, well there’s two guys actually that I really admire there’s Illmind. And then there’s this other guy named Gabe from Legion Beats. So Legion Beats is the master of ClickFunnels. If so that’s another thing actually, I probably would say that I would have tried to figure out earlier on is like, you know, nobody was really doing ClickFunnels for music production selling beats. 

Everyone was trying to go to the, you know, the beat store, beat stars and Southern beats online, you know, the tight beats, you know, you guys know what I’m talking about, Chris Brown type, the Drake type beat, J Cole type beat, you know, there’s a million other producers doing that on YouTube, but instead this guy gave from Legion Beats found another way to do it.

The classic, you know, click funnels, style marketing that you see all these guys with fake mansions in LA, trying to sell you marketing courses. It’s the same shit. You know, he mastered that technique before and it goes back to the law of being first. This is such a basic, fundamental marketing principle, but like, if you can be the first person to do something in an industry or in a vertical. I mean, you’re going to be successful in that just because the law of being first just says that you’re going to be successful until everyone starts copying you and then everyone’s doing it, which is kind of what’s happening now with ClickFunnels. 

But I would say Gabe from Legion Beats and Illmind, he’s got a, probably the top music business production podcast out there called blap chat. I would highly suggest checking that out. And then, he’s just a beast with social media. He’s all about organic. He’s just now starting to get into the paid ads game, but his organic reach is pretty nuts just because he’s committed, you know, it goes back to the same principles and philosophies we’ve all been saying, all of us, this call so far, but like it’s just commitment, you know, putting out really good content. 

And actually let’s call this out too for what it is, doing the work and sharing what that’s about because what you actually have now, unfortunately, and you guys are definitely also seeing this in the world of B2B marketing and sales and shit like that, is people who are not doing the work, but claiming that they have the authority to tell you how to do it.  They’ve never actually grown traffic to a website, but they want to tell you how to do it. They’ve never actually grown a social media following, but they want to tell you how to do it. They want to tell you how to, you know, become great, but they actually haven’t gone through the steps of doing it. 

So it’s kind of weird that you have these people who aren’t really writing the emails, they’re just forwarding it to you. And I think that’s, that’s the difference in Illmind’s content versus everyone else’s. He’s actually in it every day, you know, doing audio production, tutorials and logic or Ableton or whatever, have you. And that’s what makes him able to stick out from the rest. So I guess I’ll end my little rant there.

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Just to continue on it real quick though, about Illmind, master in branding. So you mentioned the podcast, right? So that’s the Blap chat. He’s got the Blap kits, which are your drum kits. He has Blap events, right? It’s everything under that brand name and it’s grown. So I think more people know about Illmind now than ever before. And this guy has consistently made hit records. You know, I know about him in the early 2000’s working 50 cent and things of that nature. And he’s really just an exceptional job of branding as far as the whole Blap concepts and all the different applications of it now. So he certainly somebody I look up to as well in terms of, you know, especially from the production side of things, right? 

So there’s great marketers who are artists, but you don’t really have the same amount of great marketers that are our producers, the behind the scenes guys. And that’s something that we’ve seen a lot in the last 10 years is that songwriters, composers, producers are coming to the forefront more so than ever and doing it in a really smart fashion. So whether it’s someone like Illmind and the Blap kids or Jake One with Snare Jordan, all of the samples that he creates for other producers to chop up and use, there’s so many, like really cool applications of how producers are creating brands for themselves.

Jarrett Thomas:

Yeah. I think that’s really cool that producers are doing that. I haven’t seen so many producers really branding themselves really well. And in terms of musicians, I think my favorite marketer, musician, I think is Dababy. If you guys aren’t familiar with them, he’s a rapper out in Charlotte. So one thing that stood out to me, right? It was like three years ago in the South by Southwest. If you guys know about it, it’s a big music event down in Texas and Austin. And basically there’s thousands of artists there, right? So this guy’s name is the baby. He comes there, thousands of people out there and he comes in a diaper. Do I advise going out there and a diaper? No, absolutely not. But at the end of the day, he separated himself from his audience and the press coverage he got for being the baby as a grown man in a diaper, separated himself out. 

And then now he’s one of the top three or four stream artists in the world right now from hip hop. So I just thought that that was really unique from him to do that outside of social media, plus all the things he does from social media. I think another one would be 6ix9ine, but I don’t really like his values and what he stands for. But from a marketing standpoint he’s a genius.

Neferkara Aaron:

The two people that come to mind, unfortunately, one person is Tory Lanez. He did a great job over quarantine with quarantine radio and he had a lot of momentum. And for anyone who doesn’t know what happened, you guys can just look it up. That’s kind of like a, you know, there’s going to be a very large drop up from that. And I think the other person, the only person that I followed too is Saweetie, she does a really good job. Like she posts every single day. She has a partnership with Pretty Little Thing, which is a clothing brand. She has her own edge control. Like she’s in it all. She’s in the sneaker culture as well. 

So her audience is very diverse as well. So those are the two people that I see doing very well. And they’re doing very well as far as I am concerned because she’s still going out there and shooting videos at, you know, sneakers stores. She’s still releasing a lot of videos as well. So yeah.

Jarrett Thomas:

Yeah. I think that, I think you hit the nail on the head, right? Diversifying your audience is key right now. Right? You can’t just be in one channel. You just can’t be in one lane. You really have to really build that audience with your tribe and really show them the process, show them who you are. What are you thinking about a day to day? How do you come up with your music? What’s the creative process, right? People want to be involved with you nowadays. 

And even from a brand perspective, as a brand, you can’t just put out a corporate response. We want to know exactly how you really feel. I don’t know anybody followed the last blockbuster Twitter account, but did you guys see,

Gaetano DiNardi:

Oh, that’s genius. I know they came out of nowhere, they came back. Hey, we’re just checking in and then like, go back.

Jarrett Thomas:

But they’re sending out tweets like that. They’ll keep it so real and be like, yeah, shoutout to our little league team, the season’s canceled, so you don’t make us look like idiots this year. 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Aren’t they doing like 90 scene sleepovers in that last blockbuster, they made it into an Airbnb. This was like last week or something that came out.

Jarrett Thomas:

It cost like 4 bucks. It’s booked all the way to 2023, sir. 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

They’re doing it the right way.

Jarrett Thomas:

That’s the way to do it, man. I’m curious to ask you guys. So I would love to hear what, what’s the craziest story that you guys would be willing to share in terms of your musical, your musical background, have it ever intertwined that like, have you ever been in a meeting professionally to be like, Oh damn, I know your music, has anything like that happening to you guys? 

Gaetano DiNardi:

Yeah, a lot. The one that I always tell people about is how I got a meeting with Atlantic records and nothing happened.

Jarrett Thomas:

Well, expand, sir!

Gaetano DiNardi:

So this was back when I was like a clueless, big eye dreamy musician thinking like the only way to be in the music game was quote, unquote, getting a deal. And this was in 2008 or 2009. And through a friend through connect, I got introduced to a lawyer in LA. And if you guys don’t know, lawyers can make things happen. They’ve got connections. You know, they can plug you into all sorts of situations. Sometimes even going through a lawyer is even better than trying to get a deal or an opportunity going yourself. Cause you know, a lawyer it’s pretty much guaranteed that it’s, you know, really like a serious legit opportunity. 

So the lawyer listened to my stuff, really liked it and said, you know what, man, I’m a plug you into my connections at Atlantic, one of the top ANRs there. Um, and you’ll go and have a meeting. So I’m like, Oh man, I’m tripping. I’m like, wow. Like this is, I’ve always seen people in my network posting pics of them at label offices doing cool shit. I want to be doing cool shit at label offices. I want to feel cool. I want to walk in those glass doors on my guitar feeling like I’m important. Here’s my moment to shine. Oh shit. Right? 

So I show up and you know, I’m sitting in that waiting room and of course there’s some hipster looking dude with huge glasses and like red afro at the desk ignoring me, sitting there for like an hour. Finally, the dude comes back out and he’s like, Hey, you’re a Gaetano right? G come on back. Let’s talk. Right. So I’m like, yeah, cool. So I play him some records. And you know, when you, whenever you play a music industry person, your songs, this is always the reaction 100% of the time. It’s dope. It’s dope. Nah, but like, it’s dope though. Like it’s dope. Alright, cool. So I play another record. That’s dope. That’s dope. That’s dope. So then he’s like, Oh, you brought your guitar. 

I’m like, yeah, you know, I can play some songs. So it’s like on my guitar, I play some songs live, you know? And then somebody was walking by and he was like, yo, come in here. Like one of like the fellow, like ANRs or colleagues or whatever. It was someone who I can’t say their name. Cause I don’t want to get sued or anything like that. So another person came in, I played more songs on my guitar and same reaction. That’s dope. That’s dope though. That’s real dope. So, you know, it was like an hour and a half and they’re like, I’m talking, playing my songs.

Then, then at the end of the meeting, they were like, yo, honestly, like you’re dope, bro. Like we, we want to get you in the studio with Trey Songz, just get you working with some artists, CeeLo Green , they were name dropping like crazy. Like yo your guitar shit would be crazy on some of these records, you know, we’ll get you started like that. And then, you know, we’ll just build, I’m like, alright cool. So I walked out of that meeting like, wow, like this is going to be awesome. Like I’m going to be working with people like I’m going to just be collaborating, building, like of course I wasn’t expecting to get signed or anything overnight, but like I just thought it was the start of building a great network. 

And then what happened, week went by, crickets, two weeks went by, crickets, a month went by, crickets, I’m following up, looking stupid. Then I hit up the lawyer. He’s ignoring me, two months go by and nothing. Finally I heard something from the lawyer saying, yeah, I finally connected with them. They said now was not the right opportunity to work with them. You know, they wish you the best of luck and that was it. So, you know, that’s the cruel part about the entertainment game. You could be knocking at the door, they could be telling you you’re awesome. They could be telling you you’re dope. They could be telling you, you know, you’re going to be working with them on all these cool projects in the studio with all these people and shit.

And in reality, you’re going to walk out of there and they’re going to be like, whatever, you know, we ain’t got time for that guy after hyping you up. I don’t know why they don’t just say what it is. That’s just the nature of the game sometimes, which is annoying. So, that’s my story. 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

I think people in the music business, the traditional music business are allergic to the truth. A lot of times, like they just want to tell you how it is and that’s super frustrating. I mean, every label situation that I’ve dealt with has been like that. That’s for sure where it’s kind of a smile on your face and then it’s a whole other different situation after the fact. But I have a bunch of these stories, but I’m just gonna go with one. Um, so when I was living in Miami, I threw a lot of shows, right.

So I would use, um, promoting shows as a way to work with different Rappers. And we booked Sean Price, RIP, legendary rapper from duck down. So we booked it for Art Basel. Right?. And typically we would have the, kind of the same sort of playbook. We’d find a decent hotel either on the beach or right on the Bay, you know, three star, four star sort of deal. Right. And I’ve never once had a complaint. You know, we spent good money on hotels for people to feel comfortable. Right. But you know, the show he’s supposed to go on like, I don’t know, let’s say like 1:00 AM or something like that. And then at 11:00 PM we get a call and he’s like, pissed. 

He’s like, yo, what’s, what’s up with this hotel. I’m like, well, you know, it’s about two miles from the venue. We thought it would be like, it’d be nice. He’s like, this is too nice. Like what do you mean? It’s too nice. He’s like, I can’t smoke no blunts in here. They got a mini fridge in here. You know, I’m Sean Price. You know, I’m Sean P, I don’t need all this stuff. I’m like, well, you know, we were just trying to, you know, it’s Art Basel, there were a lot of choices. I mean, we could do something about it. He’s like, yeah, you have to, I need to be able to smoke in this hotel room. I’m like, okay. It’s. So at the last minute, instead of getting everything set up and making sure I’m, you know, we’re on time and everything, I’m trying to barter some sort of motel 6 and OPA Locka for him. So he could smoke his blunt after the show and everything like that.

It was super random. You know, it was like the absolute opposite of every other situation I’ve dealt with booking any rapper in Miami. Everybody’s complaining that, Oh, you know, I’m in downtown. I want to be on the beach. No, Sean P is mad that he’s in a four star hotel when he wants to be able to basically smoke in the hallway or whatever the hell he wanted to do. But that was, that was one hell of a time. And I, I always loved Sean P, you know, great, great person beyond being a great artist. Certainly somebody we lost too soon, but, yeah, that’s, that’s when I needed to kind of throw in there at the end. 

Jarrett Thomas:

That’s awesome, I could picture that too. In a big jar. Eye’s all red, What about you Neferkara?

Neferkara Aaron:

I don’t have any like crazy stories. I mean, I know like when I was younger and when I’m stuck on younger, I mean the 90’s, I had a cousin that worked for Sony and I was like, Hey, I want to be a singer. And she was like, okay. She’s like, make a cassette, and you know, I’ll send it through. And I was like, okay. And I made the tape and I just never sent it in. In my mind, I was like, I want to live a regular life. I’m too young for this. I’m going to make it. So I’m just going to wait until later. And I just never sent it in. I know. I’m nuts.

Jarrett Thomas:

Oh, wow. Wow.

Neferkara Aaron:

The second story that I have is, um, one of my songs that are out, I found out that someone used the song without the producer’s knowledge, shot a whole video, and I hadn’t even done what I needed to do for the song. So I was like, Hey, you guys gotta get this together. So I reached out to the producer, I reached out to my lawyer and I was like, you don’t have permission to use this. You need to take this down right now. And it’s not going to be pretty. And it worked out because my song is still up and theirs isn’t. So Yeah. I mean, I don’t really have super crazy stories, but there are some things that people have done. It’s just like, why would you do that?

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Yeah. The song theft one is always interesting. I think everybody who’s done music has a story for that. I ended up doing virtual for the NFL because of someone stealing my song, which was nice. So I did a Q for the NFL network, some advertising agency in LA, just figured, Oh, it’s on the NFL network. So we have clearance for it. Everything’s cool. They shot the commercial, they aired it. Right? So I use this tool called tune set, right to monitor when my music is on TV. And I kept on seeing it, the late night show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, the X files.

I’m like, first of all, there’s no way I’m on Jimmy Fallon. They got the roots. You know what I mean? So they allow you to have these little previews and I hear these people talking about the NFL, right. So I took the verbiage and I typed it into Google and sure enough, it was a national TV ad sanctioned by the NFL,  happened right around Superbowl, 2018 and same sort of deal. I called my lawyer. I called my agent and we’re like, what is going on here? 

And then the moral of the story is I got paid double what they would have paid anyways. So the story is, you know, let people slip up, you know what I mean? Let people have a platinum record with your beat. Cause then when you come and have all the proof like, Hey, here’s the files, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’re going to get double the amount. So, um, yeah, same with beats to let people use your beats, screw it. If they make a hit song, you’re going with them, you know, you win. So everybody wins that scenario, even though it’s a weird thing to say though. Yeah. Sometimes thievery works, but I don’t know. I have a success story there.

Jarrett Thomas:

I was actually going to ask you guys before we end off today. Cause we actually have a question from Nate, from our marketing team. He wants to know, how do you guys think TikTok would change how people promote, especially with the new creative fund being released $200 million to top creators? 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Oh boy, I haven’t really touched TikTok too much, everybody and their mother says that I should, but I don’t necessarily, I always just view it as like, Hey, this is stuff to kind of do like dances too. And things of that nature, I don’t have enough. So I’m going to defer to someone with a little bit more insight on TikTok.

Gaetano DiNardi:

Yeah. I’m also the same, my audience is not, you know, the audience for TikTok is a little too young, a little too immature for me. So I haven’t dabbled with TikTok and it’s all about, see TikTok to me is all about doing things that are not conventional. So comedy, skits, and then throwing your music in there in the background is like a product placement type of type of way is I think the right formula for TikTok. Like you’re not just going to be able to go on TikTok, make a typical cover video and think, you know, something’s going to happen with it. 

There has to be something really remarkable about it. And usually what you see trending on TikTok is, you know, shit that’s funny or a skit or like something really amazing or wow, like, Oh, 60 year old homeless guy in New York city subway can sing like an angel, you know, like some kind of gimmick. That’s what you need in order for things to trend on TikTok. I don’t know if the traditional way of creating content would necessarily work there, personally for me, I’m gonna say, um, I’m gonna stick to what I know that I’m good at and what I could do.

And just because something is new and hot and there’s a shiny new toy doesn’t mean you should go chasing it. So, if you think it could be great at TikTok and your audience is there and like you want to go into that whole route and then do it. But if it ain’t for you, it ain’t for you. And I’m kind of with Jonathan on this one, but you know, Neferkara, I’m over to you to see like, yeah. 

Neferkara Aaron:

I mean, I don’t really make music that’s like TikTok worthy, but I do know that they have a new partnership with UnitedMasters, which is headed by Steve Stoute. So I think it would be very interesting to see what will come of it because I know through UnitedMasters they have a lot of rappers and like a lot of uptempo music. So I think that they have an idea of how they’re going to use TikTok to their advantage. And it’s just left for us to see how that will work out for them and their artists as well.

Gaetano DiNardi:

Yeah. I mean, one thing I’ll probably just drop in there is a friend of mine in Miami. She’s a marketer at rich music, which is a label for reggaeton and Latino artists. And one of the things that she does actually, the whole label marketing team does to get their artists music to have greater reach is they find popular, um, accounts on TikTok. You know where I’m going with this. And they asked them to do stupid dances and shit to the songs. So like, you know, dema, low flow and all those guys dialects and all that, they’ll reach out to them. Hey, you know, I’m reaching out on behalf of DEMA. Low-flow at, you know Rich music. We, you know, we’ll pay you to do like a, you know, a dance or whatever to this new song.

And then, you know, they’ll report that back to the label in terms of like, Hey, this is how much reach we’re getting for our artists, and it’s a form of influencer marketing if you think about it. 

Jarrett Thomas:

Absolutely. So I think I challenge all three of us to be on it. Cause one, this audience there’s one, two, we all have content that fits with that 15 to 25 demographic and they all pay and we all could use that audience. Right. And third is like, as far as TikTok, I definitely agree with you guys. But if you look at how the game is the whole look at Drake and some of the individuals look at what he did with Toosie Slide, right? There’s obviously an audience there and it obviously drives more users. And then the thing I don’t know about TikTok is like, not like Instagram, if you’re an influencer, you have to put up a sponsored post. It looks more organic. 

So nobody knows the behind the scenes stuff. That the brand went to Toosie and said, do the slide and do all these things. It just looks organic. So if you get a good strategic influencer campaign on TikTok, I think it could take off. And you’re really promoting your music as a lifestyle. You give your music a narrative, you know what I mean? 

Gaetano DiNardi:

So here’s the difference between SEO and social. With TikTok. You don’t claim the sponsored, it’s strategic and good, in SEO when you pay for links. Oh, it’s bad. But it’s the same concept, you’re paying for links, but you’re not, but you’re not advertising that it’s a paid link.

Neferkara Aaron:

Yeah, I think it’s funny that you guys mentioned it because I actually wrote an article on influencer marketing for iPullRank. And I think that could be a new wave, especially for artists being that we cannot necessarily go out and perform. That could be another stream of revenue as far as like having something already built out and reaching out to a company, or if they reach out to you having content already built out for them and they either say yes or no, and you tailor it to them and then just kind of keep it moving and you can always recycle your content that way as well.

Jarrett Thomas:

Totally, totally. Yeah. So I know we went a little bit over guys, but I know we could talk about this all day. I would go another half an hour with you guys. I’m enjoying this too much. So I just want to say first and foremost, I appreciate all you guys, you know. Neferkara, thank you for joining as well. You know? I appreciate you guys joining, Gaetano, Jonathan, it’s a pleasure. Everybody listening, please go join them or follow them on TikTok. I mean not TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter. Yeah. Don’t follow them on TikTok.

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

We want to see the dance, bro. 

Jarrett Thomas:

I’m doing it. I’m creating a dance tomorrow. So we want to look out for the dance. We want to look out for our LinkedIn posts. Um, also check out. You can check out Gaetano and Chris Walker, they do some really good content pieces on demand gen. So if you’re in a B2B space, it’s fantastic. It’s really informative. Make sure you go check it out. J, any new projects you want to promote? Anything you want to drop? 

Jonathan Rosenfeld:

Yeah. I’m working with the Arrested Development and Parliament-Funkadelic. I’m super excited and proud of that. So those songs will come out, and speaking of UnitedMasters, my R&B groups Zap your wave is distributed through United masters. So you might see your boy do a couple moves on TikTok as well, bro. We’re going to have an impressions battle to happen.

Neferkara Aaron:

My EP is coming out at the end of this month. It’s a little cute little quick, quick tidbit. And then my album is going to come out after I’m following Jonathan’s advice. They’re all out from yeah. So check it out.

Jarrett Thomas:

Make sure you check us out and make sure you go follow us, man. We’re very open to talk. Always open to connect with people. Thank you again for joining Rankable. It’s up to you because you guys want episode 12 and continuing. So we appreciate the support, a huge shout out to the iPR team. Kevin, Nate, thank you for all your hard work. 

Thanks again for joining rankable. Everybody. We’ll see you guys next week and also please join us for the black Friday webinar next week too. So if you’re in the eCommerce space, you wanna understand some new tips and tricks and how you can drive more sales during this climate, please come join us. So appreciate you again guys. It’s actually September 3rd, I messed up. That was September 3rd and we will have rankable next week. So thank you again, guys. Much love as always and see you next week. Peace out.

iPullRank Agency

iPullRank is a digital marketing agency behind Fortune 500s' winning strategies. We are a team of marketing experts who operate by the "PROUD" creed, which stands for being Proactive, Reliable, Outstanding, Useful and Determined. We’re the house that strategic, creative and technical professionals go to learn new strategies, POV's, and to find a competitive edge.
iPullRank Agency

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