Tony: I had the great fortune of running into a really interesting dude named Mantis Evar.
Mantis: My name is Mantis Evar co-founder of Indaba Music.
Tony: He has quite a list of accomplishments which you can check out at mantisevar.com which includes playing bass, sound and recording tenures, producing and working for a few record labels but the reason I was interested in talking with him is his latest project indabamusic.com.
Mantis: Indaba Music is a social network for collaborating musicians. Our community is comprised of over 900,000 musicians from 200 countries around the world. Indaba Music is a free service. Musicians do not have to pay to be a part of the service. Our mission at Indaba Music is to actually put money into the pockets of the musicians rather than take money out of the pockets of the musicians.
Tony: So this is a large social network for musicians where they can communicate with each other and also collaborate on the writing and recording process. You can submit songs for licensing opportunities and there are also things like remix contests and other sponsored opportunities. On top of this, there are some really cool resources for song writers, producers and DJs.
I asked Mantis how the licensing side of things works. Can any musician just upload their catalogue of songs for consideration in a licensing opportunity?
Mantis: Absolutely, and we have a non-exclusive agreement with our members. It’s essentially a bucket and they drop all the material into this bucket. We built a division called Indaba Sync which is our licensing program and we built this platform to where music buyers can go in, narrow down the fields, narrow down the genre, pinpoint this particular mood or whether it’s an instrumental or if they want something with lyrics, they can go through our database and narrow down their choices and then select a piece of music by clicking a button. It’s a very, very easy licensing platform to use.
When a song comes through Indaba Music, we actually run it through our staff and we sit there and we do the meta data and we’re the ones that determine what key it is, what tempo it is. If a vitamin company for example wants to come in and download a happy song they could put in their BPMs, they could put in their mood as jovial or happy and it would be narrowed down to a certain group or whatever material is applicable within those metrics. They would be able to just purchase it in a click of a button.
Tony: One really cool thing I’ve learned about this platform is that they provide a sample library that artists can pull from free of charge.
Mantis: We launched this product a couple of weeks ago and it’s called the Converse Sample Library. What Converse wants to do is they want to pay back the musicians community for supporting Converse all these years. Converse hired Indaba Music to build out a sample library and what we did is we went out and we contacted our musicians’ community which includes many, many greats. We have The Roots as part of this sample library, Vernon Reid from Living Color, we have the legendary saxophone player named Gary Bartz who used to play with Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus and then we have Jack White’s Band that went in and provided a bunch of samples. They all signed the agreement to give the material to Indaba Music . They understood that they were going in there to create these samples to give them away. Let’s face it for many years as musicians we have all been swiping samples from the 70’s, 80’s to 90’s and now it’s time for us musicians to give back and there’s a whole group of people that feel this way.
Tony: That sounds really cool! You can just logon and browse through all these samples and see if there’s anything you like, throw in your song and you won’t even need to worry about licensing.
Mantis: Let me throw this in there too…for the Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library, seeing we used these fantastic musicians and the musicians understand that they’re giving it away for free, they also understand that they could possibly be credited on new works. For example, we could have a remix or from anywhere in the world or a song writer from anywhere in the world create a new song, take one of these samples from the sample library and they can actually credit and tell that they have The Roots as a part of their new song.
Tony: Man, that is huge. You can actually work with famous musicians without having to worry about the red tape or licensing or any of those headaches and you get to brag about it on social media, like, ”hey look who I just worked with!” Hahahaha! That is social media gold, I love it.
If you would, instill upon us some words of advice for upcoming musicians and artists…
Mantis: Yeah let me put it this way, I think this is a wonderful time to be in the music business. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a part of the music community. When I was younger, you only have a couple of outlets to go through. You had to go through major record labels. They were the ones who had their grip on radio. They were the ones who had their grip on the press. But nowadays with the new technology that’s out there, and the changing landscape of the major record labels, this time that we’re living through right now presents a lot of opportunities for today’s musicians. I encourage all musicians nowadays to check out all the technologies that are available to them. These are the tools that we have to work with to promote ourselves and to get our music out there. Whether you are a touring musician, a recording musician or if you’re looking to license your stuff, if you do jingles, there’s plenty of places for you to turn to. Come to Indaba Music, see what we have and become a member and we’ll take it from there.
Tony: Thank you Mantis Evar of IndabaMusic.com.
Find the Converse Sample Library at www.conversesamplelibrary.com
Totally let me know if you seem to have any of those samples and any songs or tracks that you put together, I definitely want to hear that. My name is Tony Coke, you can hit me up at bandsrising.com.
Photo courtesy of http://mantisevar.com