Posts Tagged ‘Jewelia’

City of My Mind

November 9, 2017

City of My Mind, title track of forthcoming album of same name by Jewelia.

If familiar with her earlier work, this is very different.

Earlier work was like the young Kate Bush.  City of My Mind radically different, more mature, polished and complex. An Alice in Wonderland surreal quality, reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane, the video what would expect and come to expect from Imogen Heap.

The album is being crowdfunded on kickstarter.

Funds needed have been raised. Any additional funding raised will go to adding a couple of extra tracks.

Monsters  début  from Jewelia, released mid-August 2014.

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All I Want for Christmas is You

December 25, 2016

Christmas song from Jewelia.

I Would Never Tell

April 16, 2016

I Would Never Tell written and performed by singer-songwriter Jewelia, plus orchestra.

I Would Never Tell will be on her new album, possible release September 2016.

Sends shivers down the spine.

The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot

December 25, 2015

The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot, performed by Jewelia, originally sung by Vera Lynn.

Jewelia:

When I was young, one year was particularly tough for my family. My mum was ill, my dad had problems with his job. That year Santa sent me a letter apologising for misplacing my gift and promised to make up for it the following year. I was sad, of course, might even have cried a bit – I can’t remember that well – but I believed Santa and forgave him.

I had a home, a loving family and food of my table. My biggest problem was that I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas. Now, there are many people who don’t have any of this. There are people who lost their homes, their families, people who have homes but are not safe in them, people who are spending their holidays in hospitals. There’s so much more than our ‘stressful’ Christmas shopping and cooking and petty day to day problems which might not even be as big as we think.

My point? Be grateful for what you have and cherish it. Wish and aim for more – always aim for more! – but don’t forget to appreciate and be thankful for what you have. Who knows, it might help make you happier. In fact, I’m sure it will. It’s just that it’s so easy to forget..

Heat me with your Breath

August 23, 2015

Written by Jewelia when she was only fourteen years old.

Recorded at Royal College of Music in London.

A year ago, Jewelia released Monsters.  She hopes to have a new album out in September.

Beyond the Glass Sky - Jewelia (released 21 September 2015)

Beyond the Glass Sky – Jewelia (released 21 September 2015)

The Tower

May 3, 2015
The Tower

The Tower

A flight of ravens flew over my frozen desert in the morning
Such a view I won’t forget
I saw their wings of smokey darkness covering the moon
they took away within their claws my sleep and with it
the most beautiful dream I’ve ever dreamed.

The lover of my dreams, he’s lost his powers
since they took him away and locked him in the tower
and through the bars, he sees the stars
he’s too close to the sky now
he calls my name, but what a shame
the wind blows his words away

And there, beneath the stars, the empty tower lies hidden by the fog
not even ravens fly so high to reach it
up there even the wind forgets to blow
down here on Earth there was a storm, but life goes further
and I am looking now for a real lover

 Iubitul din turn

Iubitul din turn

Un stol de corbi a trecut in zbor
Peste pustiurile mele inghetate au zburat
Au luat cu ei in gheare somnul si cu el
Ultimul vis pe care l-am visat.

Iubitul meu din turn a trist acum, e singur
L-au luat cu el si l-au inchis in turn, singur
Printre zabrele se uita la stele, e mult prea aproape de cer
Ma striga pe nume, l-aude o lume, d-ar crede ca-i vantul stingher

Acolo sus, in turnul suspendat, nici corbii nu mai vin
Acolo sus nu-i aer si nici vant
Iar eu imi caut azi un alt iubit
De-aici de pe pamant..

Last year Jewelia released Monsters.

Aquarium soundtrack for 13 Shades of Romanian

April 13, 2015

13 Shades of Romanian

13 Shades of Romanian

Aquarium by Jewelia is the soundtrack for 13 Shades of Romanian.

13 Shades of Romanian is a  documentary that questions the popular misconceptions of Romanians living in Britain, as seen through the eyes of thirteen Romanians.

13 Shades of Romanian is funded through crowdfunding, the target was met last week.

They may have been wiser to have chosen StartJoin or FairCoin, as both support community and art projects.

The funding raised so far, will cover filming.

There are still post-production costs to be covered.

FairCoin and Robin Hood Hedge Fund are looking for suitable projects to fund that expand the commons.

Last year Jewelia released Monsters.

Dance with the Enemy

March 27, 2015
Dance with the Enemy

Dance with the Enemy

Beautiful haunting music from singer-songwriter Jewelia.

Video is poor quality, not the usual high standard can usually expect from Jewelia.

The song  ‘Dance with the Enemy’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal  about a medieval knight who plays chess with Death, for his life.

lyrics

On an empty beach, where the sand is never asleep
The waves wrote and erased so many yesterdays
Barefoot and without a hat, for decades the Knight has been sat
Under a silent sky, with a Queen so salty and dry

Cradle me, oh restless sea
Dance with me the dance of the enemy

The pawns won’t be sacrificed, but one good deed won’t suffice
Rejoice the old memories, fresh milk and strawberries
He chased what has never been; he called someone whom he’s never seen
In this game of chess White can never win

Cradle me, oh restless sea
Dance with me the dance of the enemy

Dance with me, oh restless sea
Cradle me to sleep in the arms of the enemy

Thom Yorke makes over $24 million on BitTorrent?

January 10, 2015
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes

It has been claimed Thom Yorke made over $24 million on BitTorrent during 2014 on downloads of his latest album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. 4.4 million downloads of a digital bundle, album plus video, $6 a download.

To put the figures in context, Frozen soundtrack has sold 3.46 million copies and is considered the highest selling album of 2014. A quarter of downloads were in the first week, as much as One Direction 2013 album, Midnight Memories.

An article in the Independent screams bullshit, though the only bullshit is the Indy article.

Reports that Radiohead’s Thom Yorke made a whopping £13m from a solo album he published solely via the BitTorrent website have been met by cries of “finally!” from those hoping for a direct means of making music profitable outside of the shackles of conventional promotion and distribution.

But, unfortunately for those who thought it must be too good to be true, it was. A spokeswoman for Thom Yorke described the reports as “totally and utterly false”.

Tomorrows Modern Boxes, which was released on BitTorrent for $6 last September, hadn’t made anywhere near the approximate figures being bandied about.

The news will be a blow to those who were beginning to see the web as a means of safeguarding the livelihoods of musicians and artists rather than simply a way of distributing content

The article in the Independent reads as a regurgitation of a press release from Big Record Labels.

The implication being, he should have stuck to a Big Record Label, or worse enter the sewer that is spotify.

Big Record Labels are dead, but mass media regurgitates their bullshit.

That Big Record Labels are dead, does not mean music is dead, what it does mean is more opportunities for more musicians, a better sharing of the cake, more money going to musicians.

There appears to be no dispute of the download figures. What we do not know, is the mechanism behind those download figures.

Let us assume the download of 4.4 million is correct, and $6 a copy is correct.

Most artists would be happy with 100,000 downloads, let alone a million.

If a CD, Big Record Label, he would be lucky to see 10%, less any advances, less studio, publicity promotion etc. $2.64 million.

Had he released on bandcamp, they would have taken their cut of 10%. This would have given him a cool $23.76, not to be sniffed at.

The 10:1 ratio in favour of the record label, is reversed in favour of the artist with bandcamp.

Not only that, he gets all the data, fans can listen on-line, share with their friends, leading to more sales.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Monsters EP, sold for £20 more than asking price

What this shows, is that fans, be it through BitTorrent or bandcamp, are willing to pay for music, are willing to support artists.

On bandcamp they often pay more than the asking price. What they are no longer prepared to put up with is being ripped off by Big Record Labels.

I have spent some time talking with artists, including big names, and they do not know what is available. And worse still, no one is going to tell them, not their agents, not their record labels, as all are taking too big a cut.

When the Big Record Label, offers big upfront payments, the naive think great, are we not doing well. Then into the recording studios, no expense spared, overpaid producer, more hangers on. What they fail to appreciate, it is not the record label paying, it is they, it all comes out of future earnings. Net result, at the end of the day, they are left penniless, all their money has been spent on their behalf.

Read Rock and Roll is Dead. Incredibly badly written, but wonderful from the viewpoint of the insider.

And if you think it cannot get any worse, welcome to The 360 Deal. The Big Record label offers to do everything, management, concerts, merchandising.

If you have the money, pay for studio, recording engineers etc. And if you lack the money, play a few gigs, crowd fund.

Examples of musicians who have done it themselves, Jewelia with Monsters, Carrie Tree with The Kitchen Table.

iTunes does not simply rip artists off with the cut it takes, it charges for being there. And what do you get, a few seconds lofi sample, iTunes gets all the data. Similar deal with Amazon. Similar deal with CDBaby. And do not even think of going down the sewer that is spotify.

Bandcamp takes between 10 and 15 percent, it used to be a straight 13%. Can listen to entire album in reasonable quality mp3 128, can download high quality audio including non-lossy compression FLAC, actively encourages sharing, and the artist gets the data.

The underlying problem as ever, is corporate greed.

Bandcamp by contrast was established to provide a service for artists, if they make money, bandcamp makes money.

The one thing artists should not try to do, is install own media players, on-line shops. Whenever I have seen this done, it is a disaster. Be prepared to pay a small fee for a site like bandcamp to do a far better and more professional job, and focus on what you are good at, creating music.

If they need a record label, try Any And All Records. It offers nothing and expects nothing in return.

The onus on all of us, is when we see artists using iTunes, Amazon, spotify, ask why, challenge them, tell them there are alternatives like bandcamp that offer a much better deal for everyone. And encourage them to move.

Bandcamp | P2P Foundation

December 27, 2014

The surprise is not that artists use bandcamp, the surprise is that they use anything else.

Jewelia acoustic set Staycation Live 2014

singer-songwriter Jewelia acoustic set Staycation Live 2014

Great music is priceless, bad music is worthless. — Steve Lawson

The best way to support an artist is to pay then directly. — Ethan Diamond

When I am at a live music festival for example Staycation Live and the musicians tell the crowd to find them on iTunes I groan, when they tell the crowd to find them on spotify I want to scream out loud.

Why oh why, are they sending people to sites where everyone gets ripped off, where everyone gets a raw deal?

Amazon or iTunes, take a big cut, iTunes even charges for being there, spotify you do not even want to go down that sewer. The least said about spotify the better, other than major record labels have a stake and artists receive a pittance.

Bandcamp by contrast, takes somewhere between ten and fifteen per cent. It used to be a straight thirteen per cent.

With Amazon, a few seconds lofi sample. That is to insult both the musicians and those wishing to listen. How can you judge a piece of music in a few seconds except maybe to reject as unbelievably bad?

On the other hand on bandcamp, can listen to entire album in reasonable quality mp3 128.

Bandcamp was co-founded by Ethan Diamond as a site for musicians.

The principle behind bandcamp is if you want to support musicians then pay them directly, not pay a global corporation in the hope that something trickles down to the artists.

Two years ago, I found few artists knew about bandcamp, now I am finding more and more do, and it offers both them and their fans a very good deal. And yet what is strange, they are still directing fans anywhere other than bandcamp, even when they themselves are on bandcamp.

It is not only they and their fans, by directing to bandcamp, they benefit all the other independent artists who are on bandcamp.

If you have the resources to record an album and if not, play a few gigs, crowd source, then you do not need a record label.

Sometimes artists have their own kludgy media player on their website. Why re-invent an inferior wheel, when you can embed bandcamp media player?

From the perspective of the fans, you can listen to an album on-line, the entire album in reasonable quality mp3 128 unlike Amazon or iTunes where all you get is a few seconds lofi sample.

Download is easy. And can download hifi not lofi, mp3 320, or better still studio quality non-lossy FLAC.

Fans can choose to pay more. Many do. Jewelia recently reported someone paying £30 for an album listed at £5 (or maybe it was for the free download).

Monsters her début album, limited edition signed copy or digital download.

snapshot of bandcamp sales

snapshot of bandcamp sales

Artists set a low price, sometimes free, leaving fans to pay more if they wish. Because fans are not being ripped off, because they know the money is going to the artist, they quite happily pay more.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Selling Right Now: The Kitchen Table sold for £16, £7 over asking price.

Selling Right Now: The Kitchen Table sold for £16, £7 over asking price.

Bandcamp has a very unusual feature. What is selling is shown in real time, including how much is being paid over and above the asking price. This is in addition to a listing of the top selling albums.

Artists get the data.

Bandcamp is a model of how websites should be.

Bandcamp is not backed by venture capitalists. It is not supported by advertising or abuse of personal data. It is supported by the music community.

Because of the way bandcamp works, especially its sharing button, word, essentially word of mouth, spreads laterally, or in other words peer to peer.

In essence this is the gift economy, sharing, collaborative economy at work.

If you like a piece of music or an artist, you spread word of mouth using social media.

Those who like, will spread the word, they may download, they may toss some money by the way of the artist, they may attend a gig.

Serendipity plays a part, as people stumble across something they may like, or a friend may tell them, or share with them. I stumbled across Quantic whilst writing this article on bandcamp.

The important aspect here is sharing.

Those who share, do not get anything out of it, thus a gift, but the artist may benefit through their collaboration. The artist will then feel it is a viable way to earn a living, and do what they wish to do, play and produce more music.

Everyone has a stake in the outcome.

It would be an interesting social experiment, having mentioned Jewelia, what difference she sees.

The big record labels hate the internet, they complain of piracy, criminalise those who wish to listen to music.

Bandcamp turns this on its head, far from seeing the internet as bad, sees as a force for good, the means to share music.

If I listen or download music for free, no one has lost out. On the other hand, if I like, I may buy, I may attend a gig, I may tell others. In other words an opportunity has been created.

And it is a truism, I cannot like a piece of music until I have heard it. Through sharing, makes it more likely to hear it.

Those artists who only make available a few seconds lofi sample, or in too many cases, nothing at all, are not doing themselves or their fans any favours.

Hope & Social make their music available for free for digital downlands, the productions costs for a CD. They do not get ripped off. Turn up to one of their gigs, buy a CD, you set the price.

Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood a beautiful magical live acoustic album from Hope & Social is on a pay-what-you-think-it-is-worth or what-you-can-afford model. For CD it is minimum price of what the CD costs to produce (plus shipping).

Cellist Zoe Keating published her accounts on-line, to enable people to see a breakdown of her income.

  • iTunes 32,170 single tracks and 3,862 albums netted her just over $38,195
  • Bandcamp 185 tracks and 2,899 albums netted her $25,575
  • Amazon mixture of physical and mp3 earned her $11,571
  • Spotify 403,035 streams earned her $1,764

Apple keeps 30% of iTunes sales, bandcamp takes a 10% cut of sales.

On bandcamp, albums considerably outsell tracks.

Jazz pianist and composer Will Todd is a classic of how not to.

I happened upon a rehearsal in a church for a concert that evening. A large poster for Lux Et Veritas. Had Will Todd been around I may have bought a copy of Lux Et Veritas. I was told he would be there in the evening. I checked out his website. Big record label outmoded thinking stamped all over it. Snippets of videos, lofi mp3 samples. This does absolutely no justice to the works of Will Todd and is an insult to those who may like and wish to listen to his music. He is not doing himself any favours.

What is the point, releasing music, then making it difficult to listen to?

Were I a radio producer, not a writer, they would be beating a path to my door asking to be put on my play list.

Very strange, musicians release music, which one would suspect they wish one to listen to, then make it difficult if not impossible to listen to.

Going back to the musicians telling the crowd where to find them, this time they say find us on bandcamp.

This makes a huge difference. Because of sharing, anyone who finds them, can click share, and immediately share with their friends, hey this is who I saw, they were great, word spreads. Or they may write about them and embed the bandcamp media player. Why write about music if no one can listen to what you are writing about? That would be as dumb as writing about a book or an author and not citing a few passages. Or writing about a work of art without a picture.

Although bandcamp is a centralised site not peer to peer per se, how it works in practice is peer to peer. There is lateral communication, and that is the key to the success of bandcamp, enabled by a share button.

We should never underestimate the power of sharing, of word of mouth.

What bandcamp does for music and the spoken word, leanpub does for the written word.

In the sharing economy, collaborative commons, a website should be an enabler that charges a small fee for its role, made self-financing by the users.

Bandcamp and leanpub fulfil that role.

Note: Reposted from P2P Foundation. An expanded version of this article on Medium, with additional examples and extensive notes.