Flint Bedrock: A Musician and Entrepreneur with Heart

I met Flint Bedrock a while ago on Twitter and then thankfully, we recently became reacquainted. I have always been impressed by his drive, his outlook, and his collaborations. He’s a musician and businessman from Leeds, England who knows how to work well with others and obviously enjoys it! I love the story he tells in the answer to my first question about his mom and to me, that is so telling of the type of person he is. When you are raised right, you are definitely put on the right path early on.

Q: You are both a musician and an entrepreneur. Which came first and how did you become interested in music?

Flint Bedrock: That’s a tricky question, LOL! I started having piano lessons when I was 5 years old after my mother noticed that I had taken interest in playing the instrument. I was often found playing or rather trying to play on our church piano before and after the service.

I come from a business family and have in one way or the other been involved in some type of business however small the role, for the most part of my life. I remember my mom giving me a pack of sweets (lollipops) and telling me I could either eat them all or individually sell them and make enough money to buy more than what she’d given me. Kids would have little stalls outside church during lunch hour where we’d sell all sorts of snacks and refreshments. Our community encouraged an entrepreneurship lifestyle and from a young age children were taught business values. To answer the question, I definitely had a passion for music first but I also took to business at an early age.

Q: I know you like to collaborate with other musicians. How do you choose the projects you work on?

Flint Bedrock: I enjoy working with other artists, being able to create a new piece of music with other people is such an amazing privilege. I tend to be drawn to artists who have the same values as me, I believe music is an expression of self. I like to make sure that behind the fun and artistic expressions there’s also a strong message that listeners can hold on to or something that inspires them to make positive changes in their lives.

Q: Do you also collaborate with people on the entrepreneur aspect? 

Flint Bedrock: I absolutely love collaborating with other entrepreneurs, I have always believed that if your dream only involves you and your interests then it’s too small.

Q: Who would you like to work with musically that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet? 

Flint Bedrock: I have a lot of respect for artists who have excelled in both music and business, the likes of Will.i.am, Pharrell Williams and P Diddy, I would be over the moon if I got an opportunity to work any of them. There’s many people I’d love to work with.

Q: Both Music and the entrepreneurial world have been changed a bit by reality TV with shows like The Voice, Idol, and even Shark Tank. What do you think of those platforms? Useful or not? 

Flint Bedrock: TV reality shows create a great opportunity for the right people. The format draws in  different kinds of artists and by design does not benefit everyone, but for the people who are able to maximise the exposure they get, it can be life changing. I think it’s important for a contestant to understand exactly what the show is and what it’s not and be realistic about their expectations. The downside to it in my view is an unknown person with no experience of dealing with the media can find them self on the cover of every magazine one day and be out of the competition the next day. This can cause a lot of psychological trauma and difficulty in adjusting back to normal life. There’s no aftercare or financial compensation and with the whole country expecting you to be some sort of a celebrity it’s incredibly difficult coming to terms with the fact that nothing much has changed and in a sense you’re back to square one.

Q: What advice would you give someone who was just starting out in music?

Flint Bedrock: The business has changed so much. 6 Deciding to become a professional singer/artist is a very brave thing to do. The most important thing is to know exactly what you want out of it and be completely realistic with your expectations. Not everyone can be a superstar but if you have talent, drive and determination they’s no reason why you can’t have a successful music career. Do things the right away, register with organisations that support artists and put in the hours. There are no shortcuts to success and don’t wait for someone somewhere to come and make your dreams come true. Believe in yourself and never give up, good things take time!

Q: What advice would you give them on how best to utilize and incorporate Social Media?

Flint Bedrock: Social media platforms provide a perfect opportunity for artists to get noticed, promote and sell their music. You can also get invaluable data about audience demographics which can help you identify and develop your niche market. I have personally benefited from social media, Twitter in particular; a platform which I signed on to virtually unknown and now have a following of over 150 000 people. It’s given me credibility as an artist, exposure and more importantly has helped me sell my music which is what you need to be able to make a living off your music.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

Flint Bedrock: At this point in my life I can’t live without my phone, smartphones provide incredible convenience and capabilities which are indispensable for my music and business.

If we could do away with greed, the world would be a much better place.

Q: Speaking of social media, where can we find you online?

Flint Bedrock: Follow Flint Bedrock on social media: Twitterhttps://twitter.com/flintbedrock Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/flintbedrock1 Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/flintbedrock

Q: What is coming up next for Flint Bedrock?

Flint Bedrock: I am currently working very hard to develop my business and creating new music. People can expect to hear much more music from me this year.

Aris Has his Voice on the Pulse of Some Hot Tunes

I’m always honored to be asked to review the work of my artist friends. ESPECIALLY when I’m already a fan of their work. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been listening to Aris Ziagos’ new album Pulse on repeat since it came out last month. To be honest, it has been on repeat in a mix that includes Donna summer, Lady Gaga, and Tina Turner.

The moment I heard clips of the songs and a few full songs in a car ride with Aris, I immediately thought of Donna Summer. This actually began my renewed desire to throw on a few of my favorite Donna hits. The first single from Pulse has been out for a while now and it has been making me want to move since first hearing it. I have said that I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve probably listened to it but I am someone who has at least one ear bud in my ear even while I’m working. A good beat keeps me going and in a good mood no matter how much work I have to do or how intense it is.

I listen to very few albums all the way through without pushing past a few songs, even from my favorite mainstream artists so when I can thrown on one album and listen all the way through that is saying a lot. Pulse is definitely a collection of songs that is good for a long car ride, a hike, a workout, or just while you are cleaning and cooking.

The first song, Love (Thank you) features artist Paula Cole. It remind me immediately of Donna Summer’s hit I Feel Love with it’s sexy, breathy repetition and underlying sexy rhythm. Rain is a storm of emotion, desire, passion, and pain. I’ve said I felt like he was in my diary at some point, especially when I hear this one. It just feels that personal and I think it will to many people.

Speaking of Donna Summer, the title track has a sample of I Feel Love and I can actually hear Donna performing this one with approval. Handle It is definitely for anyone who has been wronged by a lover or just not appreciated for who they are. To me, it sounds like a dare to handle me in all my fabulousness if you think you can. But if you can’t, well the hell with you. It is reminiscent of a Beyonce empowerment piece. Basically, take me for what I am or everything you own will be in a box to the left.

Next, I want to talk about the Reborn remix. I do enjoy a good remix, especially when it is different version of the song that brings a new way to enjoy it. This remix does that for me by giving it a new beat. Make sure you check it all out for yourself at Aris’ website and follow him on social media because you are also going to want to check out his covers.

Have you met Richie Nuzz?

I first met Richie Nuzz at an EyeCon convention for the show Teen Wolf on MTV. He performed at that event and I was very impressed with his talent. Since then, he has attended more EyeCon events with us and he’s actually become a friend. A friend who constantly blows me away with not only his talent but his drive. I’m inspired by him daily through his social media posts and his desire to make a difference with his music.

Not only is Richie a song writer and performer, he has done modeling and dancing. Like I said, he’s got the drive to succeed and the desire to entertain!

Richie has a new song and video out currently called “I Will”. I wanted to share that with you and introduce you to him if you don’t know him already. Check out his video and then be sure to go like his Facebook Page and follow him on Twitter!

Here’s the video for “I Will”

With Tony Luu Consistency Is Key

Tony Luu is one of YouTube’s most talented artists and for obvious reasons. When I listen to his music, I can hear a soul much older than he is in years. I can hear his music being played on top 40 radio stations and with his personality, I can see how he has amassed such a loyal fan base.
Tony has been busy not only starting a career in music but with creating a brand for himself. I’ve said it before and I whole-heartedly believe each of us is a brand. There is an art to building one, which Tony seems to have a handle on. I must say, I was quite impressed with him, his philosophy, his work ethic, and his authenticity.
We could learn a bit from Tony Luu by listening to his music, visiting his website and heading to his social media pages. I’m also proud to say, I believe we can learn a bit from his interview as well:
Q: Tell me a little about your childhood. Was music always a part of your life? 
Tony Luu: Ever since Elementary school I’ve always had a passion for music. My favorite subjects in my childhood school years were music and art. Every Monday morning we would spend an hour class singing in the auditorium with the piano teacher. That was most definitely my favorite part of the school week.
Q: What does music and being a musician mean to you?
TL: Music is an expression of character for me. I enjoy singing and building my brand as a musician. My message to the world is “You can do anything you choose to do”
Q: Who are some artists you admired growing up?
TL: When I was about 12 years old is when I started to listen to a variety of music. One artist/performer who really inspired me was Chris Brown. I’ve been watching his moves since he was only 16 years old.
Q: What writers and performers would you like to work with?
TL: There are so many different professionals I’d love to work with in the near future. My favorite artists of lately have been Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, and The Weeknd.
Q: If you weren’t in the music business, what other fields interest you?
TL: Music will always be my number one passion, but I am also very fascinated by the business world. In the past year of 2015 I have spent a lot of my time traveling being able to meet highly successful business owners & real estate investors. That specific lane is definitely one that interests me.
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
TL: I can absolutely not live without my family and close friends. They are the fuel behind my success. They are the reason why I continue to achieve the goals that I set. One thing I wish we could all live without is hatred, envy, and greed. There is too much love to spread around for people to focus on the negative. Love is what should ultimately overcome. That’s one important way we can make the world a better place.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received and from who?
TL: The best advice I’ve received was from my manager Reggie Batts. He is a successful worldwide speaker and business coach. One of the subjects he speaks upon is “overcoming fear”. Fear is all made up in your mind, so if you believe you can achieve…just go for it! It’s better to take a chance, rather than regretting you didn’t take the chance later on.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever given? Do you normally take your own advice?
TL: “Consistency is key”
In any industry there will always be countless numbers of competition. The way to beat the competition is to be consistent with your brand, and have a strategy behind achieving your goals.
Q: What are some family traditions you look forward to with the holidays right around the corner?
TL: My birthday is December 27th, so every year that I am in town with my family we have a huge Christmas & Birthday party. It’s my favorite part of the year because that’s when my whole family gets together to enjoy our time and love for each other.
Q: What are some of your goals for the coming year?
TL: In 2016 one of my goals is to gain the fullest possible momentum in my music career, and keep at the consistent fast pace of releasing music & visuals.
Another goal of mine is to touch base in the real estate & business world.
Q: Do you have a wish for us all as a race as we enter a new year?
TL: I wish for everyone to have the best year of their lives in 2016. That includes financials, relationships, careers, health, and more! I believe it’s very important to hold your head high with confidence, believing you can do anything you set yourself out to do! A little work today brings greater rewards tomorrow.

Allow Aris to Raise your Pulse with his Music

I have been friends with recording artist and performer Aris for a few years now. I enjoy the conversations we have off the record but am honored to be interviewing him so you all can get to know him a bit better! Since the first time I sat down to talk to him, I have found him to be insightful, authentic, and passionate about his work. As a fan of music, I find him to be unique, talented, and genuine as an artist. I believe those of you who read my blog, follow me on Twitter or anywhere in social media will enjoy his music as well. If you live in the NYC area, you may want to catch him at one of his upcoming performances as well!
Q: First, congratulations on the new album, Pulse! Tell me a little about the process of making this album and your process in general when creating new music.

Aris: Thank you Tommy!! I feel like I’m having a baby! I’ve been working on this album for the last year and a half. I started writing it when I finished writing my last album “Twilight Revival”. I set out with the goal to write an album that would celebrate love and life and keep people on their feet dancing.

My last album was more of a rock record with dance elements, where this album is primarily a dance album, weaving in rock, soul and world sounds. I set out to right a really universal, uplifting album. The last album was written while I was going through a lot of heartbreak and stresses in life, so the themes were darker. I wanted this album to be a solace, a shinning light. I channeled a lot of 90s pop and dance influences, soul music and eastern soundscapes. There’s a lot of soaring hooks and big choruses, and really emotional vocals.

I set out to keep the lyrics more universal, and for every track to move not only your heart and soul but also your
body. Even the slower tracks are built around solid grooves. I named the album Pulse because our heart and our pulse
are our body’s drum, carrying us through the rhythm of life. In the past I’ve let the songs have more space to fall
into other genres, but this time around I wanted a thematic record that would work great live and on the dance floor,
and I drew elements of inspiration from albums like Madonna’s “Confession on a Dancefloor” and Kelis’ “Fleshtone”.
Q: I know you have a Kickstarter for this album. What goodies are you offering fans who contribute? Where can we find out more about it?

Aris: Yes! I have  3 weeks left on my Kickstarter campaign (ending on February 21st!)

I’m utilizing the platform to help finish funding and distribution of the record, and I’m using it as an album pre-sale.
I’m also offering a variety of special merchandise and experiences for higher pledges.
I’m offering a deluxe digital album with several exclusive bonus tracks, and also offering original pieces of art,
private concerts, songwriting sessions, even home cooked meals, nights on the town, and all access passes for life to
all my live shows.
Every pledge of $20 or more also comes with a “best of” EP, and there’s a bunch more goodies too!
You can join the pre-sale, get a sneak peek of some new music and find out more at:

Q: How important is crowdfunding for today’s artists and have you seen it change in the last few years?

Aris: Crowdfunding is a huge platform for independent artists. Over the last couple of years I’ve seen a lot of artists use sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to back their albums, generate buzz and also connect with their fans and offer a special pre-sale experience.

Someone actually  raised $55,492 on Kickstarter to make Potato Salad! It’s hard to grasp that, but it actually happened! In comparison,  my goal to make and distribute my new album “Pulse” is far more modest, and it will last much longer and be more universal than any combination of potatoes and mayonnaise!

For me as an independent artist, I’ve self-funded all my work every step of the way for the last 5 years. In that
time, the music industry has changed so much, and few people actually purchase music. This Kickstarter is a huge help
to me in that it allows me to actually have a budget for recording the album, to do it in a timely fashion, and to be
able to give the recordings value via the pre-sale. It also allows my listeners to be a part of the process from early on.
Q: More Congratulations are in order on your OUTMusic Award nominations, can you tell me a little about why it was important to you and how it felt to be recognized by such an organization?
Aris: When I found out I was nominated in 5 categories at the 9th annual OUTmusic awards, I was beyond thrilled . It was a

huge honor to have the work from my last album “twilight revival” recognized. I was most moved by the nomination for
producer of the year. The organization in the past has honored a lot of prominent LGBT artists, and to me being
nominated felt like the community understood and appreciated what I’m doing. It felt like coming home.
Q: The honor was sort of bitter-sweet. I’ve read that they were charging the artists $100 per ticket but that the 

event was postponed without a new date. We’ve spoken about it but can you tell us a little about that?
Aris: Yes, it was definitely bittersweet. Shortly after the nominees were announced, the artists involved received an email

from the organization telling us we had to purchase $100 “nominee tickets” or else we would not be allowed to walk the
red carpet, to sit with the other nominees or to be featured in the documentary the organization was filming.
Something felt very wrong about paying the highest ticket premium to be in attendance to possibly win an award. It
seemed really lob sided especially since they were selling general admission tickets for $25.
Many artists like myself took the risk because sometimes as independent musicians you have to invest in things hoping
they carry you further. It was money I otherwise would have spent recording new music, but it seemed like it could be
a good promotional opportunity.
It really was a huge shock and very alarming when an email came roughly 24 hours before the event saying it was
postponed until an undetermined date, for reasons not disclosed, and that the organization would NOT be issuing
refunds. This actually wasn’t the first time that the OUTmusic awards were postponed, and there seems to be a trail of
murky business practices in the past, so it’s all very disheartening.
Q: Do you think they took advantage of the artists so that they could afford to hold a different ceremony that they held for bigger names like Deborah Cox? I’m sure the bigger names would not be happy if they knew these circumstances.
Aris: I wish I knew the real motivations of the organization and I wish there was a lot more transparency about how the

money they collected was spent.  It was very disappointing to find out that in place of the awards ceremony, the
organization would be having a “reception for the celebrity artists, such as OUTMusic Award Honoree Deborah Cox and
Monifah Carter, Omar Thomas and superstar recording artist Jonte Moaning as well as many others who journeyed to New
York City for the Awards.” (to quote the official email from OUTmusic)
What’s most upsetting about what happened is, none of the actual nominees were celebrated, and instead the focus was
put on “celebrity” artists the organization hand-selected. Since we really don’t have any transparency about their accounting
practices, we can only speculate that the nominees’ money went to fund this other event.  Also OUTmusic claims non-profit
status, but when looking into their organization, it becomes clear that they may be fudging their taxes and
involved in unethical business practices. I think it’s sad that an organization that frames itself as champions of LGBT
artists would take advantage of the very artists it was supposed to be celebrating. I seem to have been one of the
most out-spoken artists regarding this situation, and it’s also caught the eye of former Village Voice columnist
Michael Musto. Hopefully soon we will all be able to get to the truth about what really happened and why.
Q: What do you think artists can do to avoid being taken advantage of or do you think this is all part of the business and learning process?
Aris: I think the best lesson to be learned is, do NOT pay to play. And do your research! Google is an amazing tool to help

artists understand the validity and reputation of organizations/groups/etc. Before getting involved in something, do
your homework! Also, never lower or diminish your self worth to be included in anything!
Sell up, don’t sell out. Choose your partnerships and associations wisely!
There’s a certain level of investment that comes with the territory of being an artist. Just make sure you are
investing in something that is honorable, effective and beneficial!
Q: What else is coming up for Aris, the artist? Performances? Appearances?
Aris: I’ll be spending the next couple months finalizing my new album and preparing the release of the first single and

video from the album, along with putting together several photo shoots to accompany the release.
I also have some upcoming performances in the next 6 weeks in NYC that I am excited about!
* Friday February 13th at BPM in NYC (time TBA)
* Sunday March 1st at the LGBT expo at the Jacob Javits Center (time TBA)
* Friday March 6th at Triad in NYC (time and additional info soon to be announced)
(Updates regarding these appearances will be posted on my official website at www.aris.fm)
Q: Where can we find you online to keep up with you and your music?
Aris: I’ll be sharing updated about my upcoming album “Pulse” on social media, as well as on Kickstarter.  I also archive

everything on my official website. Connect with me! Share your voice, your feelings and your stories. I read
everything!