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.

DJ Captain Kirk and His Amazing Starfleet

Ronnie Matthews has worked with just about everyone in the course of his 38 year career in music and continues to work with big names.  I thought it would be interesting to talk to him and explore the other side of the business, since I have had the opportunity to speak to so many artists.  I hope that his advice is helpful to those artists that have become part of the Teeco71.com family and I know his stories will be of interest to many of you.  I truly believe he should write a book about his life but until then, I wouldn’t mind if he drops by to tell a few stories whenever he has time.

It was so great for me to find out that Ronnie is not only in the “business” he is a big fan of music himself.  He is also a Trekkie, which gives him some major cool points!  I was surprised to find out that he was an auto mechanic when he was first introduced to DJing which then led to producing.  Be sure to check out Starfleet Music Pool on Facebook to keep up to date on what they are working on and who they are working with.

Q: You have worked with Sylvester, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson,Cyndi Lauper, P Diddy, Carol Hahn, Taylor Dane Village People, Kristine W,  and CeCe Penniston, just to name a few. We could do an article full of stories about each of them.  Can you tell me one thing every artist you have worked with has in common?

A: Passion for their music, their fans & performing in front of a live audience. Recording new music, sitting in a studio with your producer, banging out the details of a new album can be so tedious, but standing on a stage in front of 50, 1000, 100,000+ crowd, singing those songs & watching the crowd interact with their music is a head rush that they probably wish would never end. I too felt similar when I was a club & Mixshow DJ for over 28 years in my region. There’s nothing like making a crowd dance to music that they’ve never heard before & enjoying the interaction with the DJ.

Q: What do you think of social media and the way artist are using it today? Do you think it has helped artists to stay Independent?

A: I love it! We utilize it as well in promoting, exposing new & veteran artist as well. Today you, me, anybody has the possibility to put your thoughts, wishes, questions to artist & labels, that is if the social site is actually viewed or run by the artist, which was unthinkable 5, 10, 20 years ago. Some artist like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, etc makes sure that they communicate with their social networks & sometimes with very personal things, which makes their fans feel so much closer. That can be a drawback at times, but fans & followers feel more connected & that can translate into sales & more people at concerts.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the business?

A: As an artist, love your music, be prepared to work as hard as you’ve ever worked in your life, be prepared for the long haul too. Be open to expanding your music to wider audiences by having remixes made of your music in different styles like, Dubstep, House, Trance, Trap, Country, etc. Also, don’t let promotion companies pass around your music in low quality, 128 to 192kbps mp3s to music professionals like myself, radio, music pools. People have short attention spans, with tons of new music coming at them daily. The delete button is so easy to find on your keyboards, even if they like the song.  Having to reply & ask for the HQ version on an mp3, 320kbps or a wav file can be a hassle waiting & soon forgotten. Last but not least, remember the DJ! I mean ALL DJs, be they mobile DJs playing to 10 to 100 people at a party to the top of the ladder playing to thousands in big arenas. They are playing your music, making their crowds love your music more & they are often forgotten in the hustle of the music business.

Q: How did you get the name DJ Captin Kirk?

A: Well, I’m an old Trekkie. I saw the original Star Trek back in the 60’s & I always wanted to be Captain Kirk. Throughout my early DJing career I had not given a thought to having a DJ name/handle, so when one of the radio stations, WCKZ Kiss-102, asked to do their mixshows, the PD asked what my DJ name was, “DING”, the light went off in my head & DJ Captain Kirk was born. I’ve had a ton of fun with that name, plus it helped spawn my company name as well, Starfleet Music Pool. I have all sorts of items given to me from companies associated with Paramount/Universal, even have a drop by Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod Roddenberry, who is in charge of the franchise now, saying thanks to Starfleet Music Pool DJs. You’ve gotta love it.

Q: The music industry has changed so much over the years, do you think the artist that you worked with years ago would have fared the same in today’s times?

A: That’s a great question that could be made about so many things over the past several years to decades ago. It’s a totally different world in many ways, but not totally bad either. Yes, sales are way down for actual material music like CDs, Vinyl & now digital music. Yes vinyl is still around. People have changed so much as well from just 10 to 20 years ago with the way they listen & gather music. Digital changed everything, however it has opened the doors to more people around the globe having more access to an artist or group’s music that may never have been seen or heard before. You can have a song or video go viral within hours or days & have a million plus new fan base, if it’s done at the right time & place. The doors are wide open for new music, to new audiences because of digital music & the Internet. Yes, there are so many downsides to this as well with people sharing, stealing music rather than buying it legitimately, but the cat is out of the bag, so let’s look at this from the positive side, you can have people in any country on the planet dancing to your music, as long as there is someone playing your music in that area & that means more fans. Let me say this to everyone reading or hearing this, support your artist by purchasing some form of their music! If artist stopped making music because they weren’t able to make a living, then think of what the world would sound like with no music!

Q: What do you think of shows like American Idol, X Factor, and the Voice? Are they helpful to artist and to the industry?

A: I love all of these shows & YES they are making a big difference in the musical world. They give artist the opportunity to be heard to millions of people weekly from the start of the shows to the grand finales, good or bad. They have shown the public a side of the music industry that they really never thought of or maybe didn’t care to see. Sometimes it helps a fan base to have more respect & love for the artist because they are actually seeing what an artist has to go through to be successful. For the people giving Simon or LA grief about their comments, hurting the artist feelings, then don’t go into this business. They are true musical veterans that have seen the massive changes to this industry & continue to thrive. The only thing I have to say to those shows, where are the guest DJs that could sit on the panels?

Q: Can you share a favorite story with us?

A: Wow, as you can see I can get long winded & there are soooo many favorite times I could post about artist I’ve met, crowds that I’ve driven to a frenzy, records that I’ve broken, meaning played 1st, to how I got started in this industry over 38 years ago. Let me tell you that story. I’m what was known, back in the old days, as a Jack of all trades. I was an auto mechanic during and coming out of school, specializing in high performance. I had a young customer, Gary Patterson or known as Disco Pat back then, that use to bring multiple cars in to be serviced. He always had a wad of cash on him when paying his bill. I asked him one day what he did for a living. He said I’m a mobile DJ. Mobile DJ, I asked? You’re talking the early 70’s now. Long story shortened, I went with him one Friday night to do a party at a high school. We setup the large light & sound system, which actually rivals some clubs today. I watched him talk to the crowd as he was changing songs. I saw so many hot girls crowding around him as he worked throughout the night. I asked at the end of the night, do you make any money doing these kind of parties. He said, I made $500 tonight. WHAT!!!! I then thought in my mind, what a great way to make money, be around beautiful girls & not have greased up hands, standing under cars. 38+ years later, here we are talking about music.

Q: Who would you like to work with among the new artists coming on the scene?

A: So many to choose from, so little time. Sounds like a song, right? Actually I have the opportunity to work with & around so many well-known & just starting out artist weekly. I’m working with music icons from the 60, 70s, Motown, Disco R&B legends to Pop stars of the 21ts century that are starting their careers after winning the X-Factor, like One Direction, shhhhh!! I’m working with DJs that are just learning how to DJ, up to some of the top world DJs/producers, that do the remixes for the major & indie artist around the globe. I’m blessed to be able to do all of this because of my old friend Disco Pat & my love for Motown & funky music when I was a kid. There are artist that I’d love to meet someday, but for now loving & promoting their music will just have to do.

Q: Can you tell us about what you are currently working on?

A: I am running one of the top music pools in the world & that is a full plate, daily. I’ve got some new VIP Featured Artist projects I’m pushing throughout our systems like BOHANNON’s “Light Up The World-Live In Harmony”,   Nuthin Under A Million – “Above The Pharaohs”, L & O – “Now Everybody Stand In Line”, Jonathan Luke – “Move On”,  Daisy Hicks – “Electric Love” & more. We’re also working on an upgrade to our website, www.StarfleetMusicPool.com, so as always it’s busy & life is great!

Q: What’s up next for Ronnie Matthews?

A: I’ve thought about writing a book about my life as a DJ & my many adventures, but I can’t seem to find the extra time to put it all down into words, but maybe one day. I’m looking forward to working with new artist, new labels, new DJs around the globe, helping to expose music to larger crowds than ever before. We now have over 34,000 registered DJs on our main website, so the possibilities for getting music played to more people in more countries is greater & we love it! I’ll be celebrating 39 years in the music industry in January 2013 & hope to celebrate 50, maybe even 100 years in this business someday. I’ve enjoyed doing things that I never thought were imaginable 39 years ago. I’ve met some of the most interesting people in an industry that has changed so much in the past 30+ years and am still successful at making people dance to music they had never heard before they met me. I love music!