Monday, June 23, 2014

Nino Arobelidze Creates New Crossroads Between Pop, Jazz, Soul and Damn Good Beat Boxing with NOMAD

Nino’s new album excels at the art of being classy, subtle and cutting edge. The U.S. musician and vocalist, who grew up overseas in the country of Georgia, represents rhythmic and lyrical exploration. Perhaps traveling the globe contributed to the adventure and beauty of bridging pop, jazz, soul and beautiful beat boxing.
It is a triumph of the merging of genres from many countries, as well as the U.S. Listeners of smooth jazz, R&B, hip hop, EDM, genuine rock and roll and spoken word can all light candles together. Layers of sounds become clouds that float over traditional boundaries, and merge together joyously. Colors are bright. Thoughts are free and relaxing, with flavorful bends and turns.
With her springy, curly hair and smiling eyes, she remains uplifting, artistic and wise. A fan explains the magnetic lure as “enchanting as the sirens of lore, revealing her soft, beguiling smile…[Nino’s music] teaches and we are eager students.”
How did she achieve sounding unique but remarkably universal? NOMAD, recorded with her partner and Producer Pablo Gordy, is a testament to the power of individual artists. Carrying notable musical prowess, the partnership is comparable to if Madonna and Prince teamed up, respectively. Their energy and artistry is intense and generous, whether performing solo, duo or band. 
The duo, which is constantly inventing and creating, also performs as “Forbidden Knowledge”. With these two artists collaborating on Arobelidze’s NOMAD, the results are unlike anything else that you’ve heard. Plus, it’s just as good as any of the albums sold at Starbucks lately. 
“People pay more for a cup of coffee than they do for music,” says Pablo Gordy in a video interview about NOMAD’s record label, Ni Fu Ni Fa Records. 
Here’s why you should skip the latte and drop some shiny dimes on the album: NOMAD is more than just groove, it redefines the complete partnership of lyrics and rhythm. The two become inseparable. The style will make your troubles melt away into peace of mind, like chocolate on the tongue.


The modern urban setting comes to life visually with colorful street murals and Nino’s lyrics on the video for “Coltrane Skies.” Filmed in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, the song lyrics connect people in distant places as being “under the same sky”. The song is about forgiveness, resolution and travelling light, says Nino.

“I’ve lived in so many neighborhoods in my life, in a colorful way. Every single place has contributed and enriched my curiosity for diversity in sounds, textures and colors of people and places. I continue to be fascinated by urbanity,” says Nino. She shares that with fans via the Coltrane Skies video.

As Nino sings in the video, there’s a bump—literally. When asked how being pregnant affected the music video she replies, “Pregnancy is such an incredible time in any woman’s life and it was such a tremendous time in my life that I wanted to integrate the emotional component into the visual context of my work.” Since then, Nino has given birth to her son. Being fearless in incorporating real life into art is only one facet of her work. It is a testament to her ability to create and thrive under any circumstances, and in any place or time.

The song’s title is a nod to the influence of jazz greats on Nino’s music. She spent days listening to LOVE SUPREME on repeat, entranced in its spirituality and emotional depth. Plus, Billie Holiday was one of Nino’s first musical influences when she moved to the U.S. as a teenager. “Raw emotion. Truth unencumbered. That’s Billie,” says Arobelidze.

With so much goodness from the past, and a sound that is heading toward the future, you may wonder where you can find the album? Just search Nino Arobelidze NOMAD on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.
Nino’s ability to keep moving is also taken literally. With a background in dance and choreography, the singer keeps our minds and bodies moving. “Music is an extremely physical form of expression for me, as it is cinematic…It moves and it is moving. Even in stillness there is motion and I’ve always experienced music that way,” says Nino.
It was important to let each song “grow into its own shoes, despite the odds,” says Nino who also incorporates a loop pedal into live shows. 
With plenty of ingredients to draw from, listeners can enjoy where she succeeded.
As a shorty growing up at the tail end of the Cold War, her influences ranged from Bollywood staples to Brazilian, Venezuelan and Colombian soaps. By 5th grade she was more interested in listening to George Michael and the Doors than world music. As her environment had no NPR or free cultural events, it wasn’t until she lived abroad and in the States that she’s been able to explore styles and types of music, and find her own voice. Being able to understand various music forms makes her see similarities that others may not be able to see; such as similar music elements shared between blues, Flamenco and Russian Gypsy music.

Her rhythmic ideas come from “everywhere-- patterns of speech, locomotives, nature..” she notes. 
The emphasis on rhythm as an art form in itself is reminiscent of contemporaries like Xenia Rubinos. Lyrically, Nino shares “artists like Joni Mitchell, Mos Def, Ani Difranco, Public Enemy or P-Funk have a way of keeping your ears and mind busy. Clever stuff..but always honest.”
When asked what about music makes it international or universal Nino answers, “Rhythm and sound. These two elements defy barriers of language, time and culture. They are the ultimate BS filters and cannot be used to mask any faulty emotion or thought. They are fantastic tools in communicating honestly and freely. In fact they are Freedom itself.”

Arobelidze relates to sound and rhythm when it’s honest and selfless. “I connect very deeply to the blues, the music of perseverance and personal strength that draws from one’s spirituality. I believe in freedom, fairness and beauty. Anything that conflicts with these concepts I will put up a fight against,” says Nino. Support the good fight and purchase this album NOMAD.
Click here to learn more about Nino: http://artistecard.com/ninoarobelidze
To purchase the NOMAD album use these links:
On iTunes

By Hannah Frank / On Axis Music

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Testing your Strategies: Bringing Fans to Venues

One Author's Approach
When his gigging band is asked by a venue to bring a certain number of people to the club, this author took a unique approach. He compares the idea of asking a band to bring in customers to the idea of asking a waitstaff or the chefs to bring in customers. Read the article at the link below:
http://www.grassrootsy.com/2012/02/22/an-open-letter-to-venues-that-exploit-their-musicians/

This raises the question, is it the band's responsibility to bring fans to a venue?

The OnAxis Music Answer:

Musicians are musicians. Musicians can also be philosophers, have political views and hold opinions on how society and commerce should work. Musicians can choose to default to the archetype of the complaining musician, longing for the days of old where venues did all the promotion and the musician simply showed up, played and walked away with living expenses. However, being a musician is not a license to stand on a soapbox and talk about how your art is or isn't appreciated. Musicians, being musicians, must be able to survive and thrive in any context (social, political, commercial, etc.).


Facts and opinions can be true on a micro scale, but when they are looked at on a macro level, a bigger picture comes into view. The author of the article makes a good point about small clubs, particularly restaurants, that are attempting to build a music reputation. In this niche market, his comments are well taken. In the larger realm of the music industry, one must operate their business based on the context of the state of the industry.

The state of the industry is that musicians must bring fans to venues. There are always exceptions, such as events, festivals, private parties or other cases where there is a built-in audience.

Think of being a musician in the music industry the same way you would if you were thrown into a river and couldn't swim. One can either tread water and search extensively for life preserver rings, i.e. paying gigs that don't require the musician to bring any draw. You might find a couple, although it's uncommon. Or, you can stay in shallow water and play shows that accurately reflect your draw. Of course, the best solution is to learn how to swim:



1) Find out what the minimum draw is at the venue. In order to reach a certain number, you need to know what number you are attempting to reach. Even if it's five people, that is a goal. Even if it is 500 people, that is a goal.

2) Develop a strategy to reach that goal.

3) Use Tools at your Disposal: Mailing Lists, Facebook, Twitter
Mailing List: We recommend Mailchimp.com. Even if you don't have a professional mailing list, review your email contacts and choose the ones that would be interested in your music and send them a personal message inviting them to the event. Use copy and paste to repeat the main information. Send one email blast and at least one follow-up email reminder.
Facebook: Facebook invites as well as sending personal messages to friends and fans. Personal messages trump simply making a Facebook event and expecting the masses to click "Join".
Twitter: Use tumblr.com or hootsuite.com to post numerous posts about your show. It can't hurt.

4) Text messages: Some prefer text messages with info about local shows. Don't send it on the day of, please. How about a week notice?

5) Incentives anyone?

6) Look at it like the opportunity it is.
- It is a chance to connect with your friends, fans and family to see your music live and in person. Most of the people that want to see your band already know you. Tell them about it.
- It is a chance to develop the skills that will help you connect with and keep fans. When you're selling albums or merch, your customers are your customers. You might not have as many unless you were required to pull them out of the woodwork for your next live show.

7) If you are afraid of hard work, just go back to the shallow waters!

8) In deep waters, there are piranhas. Don't pay someone to make you a star, or fall for the hype of people that have something to gain from you. Build your fanbase yourself.

There's nothing like a live show that makes you connect with fans! Think of promotion as connecting with fans before the show, and performing as connecting with fans during the show.