Interview with Viral Animal.

by Christian Iles.

 

Christian: You met in Nashville. What were you both doing in Nashville on that day? What were your first impressions of each other? And what made you both decide to work with each other?

D Powers: I was out shopping for some new studio gear so when I wasn’t running my company I could and try and pitch some music to industry friends I knew in Nashville. Coincidentally I ran into Rokman, we started talking about the music scene, and hit it off really well.
We actually had a lot in common. It was one of those situations where we hung out as friends and it kind of evolved into an amazing music production duo. I was very impressed by Rokman’s talent. At 24yrs old, he was more beast than a lot of producers in Nashville.

Rokman: I was actually working at the music shop at the time when D came in looking around. After we ended up in a conversation, he wanted to hear a song I had written/produced. I played him a song or two, he loved it, and asked me to be an endorsed producer with Brand Ur Band.
After jelling and hanging out the first two months, we realized that we both had backgrounds in the industry and similar aspirations on future music endeavors. Naturally we ended up collaborating.
Christian: Can you both describe each others character traits and personalities?

D Powers: Rok is defiantly the “music visual creative guy” between the two of us. Even though we both produce, he sits in the driver seat. He’s like a tattoo artist: You’ll dig the sketch, but might not see the entire picture until you hear (and LOVE) the final masterpiece!

Rokman: D is more of the marketing business mind. But we both have the same understanding in how the business works, which gives us a pretty good balance. We both have backgrounds in both business and music so it’s easy to jump in anywhere and we both get it.


Christian: For D Powers – What lead you to create Brand Ur Band(www.brandurband.com) ? How long has it been running?What were hardest challenges in setting up Brand Ur Brand? And most proud achievements?

I created BrandUrBand in 2009 to be a springboard for indie DJ’s, artists and bands that would work with corporate brands to help cross promote. The challenge was trying to create the platform. We wanted it to utilize social media and the rest of the web efficiently, but also stand as its own platform. Our goal was to create a component for other companies as well as bands to give them value on the Internet.

One of the proudest achievements was signing Rokman to be the face card for our company and really represent the new age indie artist/producer. I’m a big fan of Jimmy Iovines and Dr. Dre (Beats Audio) as well as people like P Diddy because they made strategic business moves, not just with their talent, but also with corporate companies.

I’ve always wanted to build an amazing roster. Rokman is the future for music producers, and I believed in his talent even without a long track record or web presence. This situation just felt right – not just for us, but for the vision of how indie music deals should be structured. We want to set the bar for other industry heads that want to invest time and money in artists who may have the talent, but little or no presence.

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Christian: To Rokman- What made you decide to leave New Jersey? What do you miss the most? And what do you enjoy most about Nashville?

Well, New Jersey is not the best spot for being an aspiring musician. It does have an occasional surprise, but it kind of feels like a dead-end for finding contacts and resources, especially for how big I aspire and how I want to change things.

I do miss my family and the beach haha. I love Nashville though; it’s very accessible if you know the right people. Plus, my style of talent and production helps me stand out. Nashville is going to be a big city in coming years, and I figured it would be a great spot to get grounded before it did.

Christian: What are your views and opinions on today’s pop music trends? Which are your favourite acts/ performers or singers?

D Powers: I think pop music is a sexy genre. It’s really a good time for music in general, especially EDM/trap music. You see a lot of pop artists fusing electronic and trap music these days. We totally dig it and want to capitalize on it.

Rokman: Pop music has always been about fast, catchy melody, production and writing. I love pop music. The way I look at it is when somebody can take something so simple and make it so memorable, there’s something great there. My favorite styles of music though are R&B, rock and EDM, along with pop. I love everything from Def Leppard to Trey Songs, The Weakend, Jason Derulo, and a lot of the contemporary DJ sounds like Skrillex.

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Christian; What advice can you give young musicians, wanting to interact with their fans/ audience?

D Powers: Stay dialed in too your fans. As your career grows, your fan base grows, and it’s important to always express how grateful you are for having the support of a community who loves your music. It’s humbling to have such an amazing support system from people you don’t know who just love what you do! So to all DJ’s and artists, keep that G.C. (“Great Connection”). Also, if your show sucks, your fan base will too. #RealTalk

Rokman:
• Always do things your way, but find a way to make the masses like your style.
• Once you do, definitely interact with your fans through all forms of social media.
• Network – be out there meeting people as you grind at home making your music.
• Make your music easily accessible and definitely have people to help you spread it around. Having loyal fans and people you communicate with will allow you access to more people willing and eager to help.
• Also, know that for people to be on board, they must believe in your music.
• Always be open to critique and willing to learn. People will gravitate to humility.

Christian: Merchandising, PR, image and fashion are now an integral part to a musicians, singers, bands success. How have you found the process? The challenges, pros and cons? And what advice could you give other young performers?
D Powers: I personally think it’s sexy to be your own brand and not just sell music. Why not sell the lifestyle?! It really allows fans to feel like they are a part of your music journey. As far as the process, it can be time consuming because you really have to think about how you want people to perceive and embrace you.
Fans really gravitate to that real genuine vibe as opposed to the reproduced, manufactured, plastic gimmick. People like real shit! The challenge is really being different enough to become a household name, but not so different that no one understands your direction or the story about who you are.
My advice to other young performers is to find that “swagger.” What makes what you do and how you do it sexy? Remember, you are a brand as well as an artist. Know how to package yourself and don’t take anything personally. And remember, no one will invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself first!

Rokman: Having an image is an obvious necessity in the industry. People need to not only recognize you by your sound but also by branding. To most people it seems difficult to find a way to do that. It may take some time, but it’s not as bad as people think as long as you keep it consistent! People may see visuals before they hear music, which leads them to judge it before they hear it. That goes both ways of course, but by mastering both, it helps an artist stay well-rounded.

Christian: Who or what inspires your music? How best do you work? The process in creating a track? Who has which key strengths when writing a music track?

D Powers: Skrillex, Diplo, Drake, Juicy J, Aviici and just the EDM scene period inspire me! When we collaborate on music it’s all about the vibe in the studio. We might be feeling like we want to turn it up and make a club banger, or we might feel like writing a panty-dropper for the ladies haha.
We both come up with ideas for songs, and our chemistry is so dope we always do what’s in the best interest of song. We both produce the music, but Rokman runs point and I co-pilot, and we both write.
As far as key strengths, I will say our thing is, “If you both don’t agree, don’t do it.” I think for all artist and bands you have to have such a huge level of trust when collaborating, not just with your partner, but with other creative people you work with.

Rokman: I find making the music very easy. I can hear music in almost anything – when you scuff your shoe or tap on a desk or crush a soda can. All these kinds of things inspire different sound design (I’ve actually have used those examples in songs before!) There is influence all over the place; even just on your desk there are tons of ideas. D and I work very well since he is also a producer. Sometimes he will be messing with a groove, bring it forward, and we’ll build off of it like that or vice versa.
Our strength in writing usually stems from D being able to come up with a lot of lyrics very fast. I’m able to sort through his ideas and we’ll organize them into melody or whatever. Its so great having somebody like that who can spit out lots of usable parts and then be able to put the pieces together in multiple ways.

Christian: What is the hardest part you find when writing a song/music track?

D Powers: Really just a starting point is the hardest part. We have so many ideas that finding a focus can be hard. The good thing is, we always have options. “Too many ideas” is a good problem to have haha.

Rokman: Starting the first verse has always been the hardest for me. Once the song gets started it usually flows fast.

 

Christian: Can you tell us about “Lights/Camera/Fashion?” When, where and how do we get tickets?

D Powers: Lights/Camera/Fashion is a benefit we are doing presented by FrozenZen Photography and My Best Friend Jenna Boutique in Jackson, TN on January 31st. It is co-emceed by our dear friend and amazing fashion designer Johnathan Kayne who will also have merchandise in the show. The proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The Show will be at the Perkins Civic Center at 6:30 on Saturday!
How did the partnership between yourselves and Johnathan Kayne, come about? And what are we to expect?

Rokman: We met Johnathan at a private party and a mutual friend introduced us. We actually were designing our own clothing collection at the time. After a few weeks of getting to know Johnathan, we invited him out to our house to come listen to our music. Once he heard it, he instantly coined the phrase “Luxury Dance Music.” He has really been a great inspiration to us. Hopefully this will be a collaboration that will turn heads and set an example in the industry.

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For more details please checkout:
http://www.reverbnation.com/ViralAnimal
https://www.facebook.com/ViralAnimal
https://www.youtube.com/user/ViralAnimal
http://www.brandurband.com/
Manager: Shawn Carnes: www.nuartistmanagement.com

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Post by: CHRISTIAN ILES, known Worldwide as ~ The Beauty Architect.
Instagram: THEBEAUTYARCHITECT

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