Why You Don’t Need a Record Deal to be a Big Success in Today’s Music World
from RADIO-TV INTERVIEW REPORT APRIL 2008
Bands like the overnight success story Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are proving that musicians don’t need a multimillion-dollar record contract to gain a fan base or make a stellar record. Because of today’s technology, independent artists and musicians can produce and hype records on their own without giving up creative control.
Colleen Curtis, “CC” from FIREPIT FRIDAY, is a musician and host of a podcast that combines the experiences of Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers, acclaimed directors, and artists with the ideas of their up-and-coming counterparts into a show that is part roundtable discussion, part variety show.
“CC” has seen the independent music scene bloom because of podcasts, cheaper recording equipment, and the untapped Internet market for new music and can explain what the independent music scene means for the future of music.
CREDENTIALS: Colleen Curtis is the host of the podcast FIREPIT FRIDAY. She recorded the theme music for seasons 1 and 2 of the reality show Port-o-Call and has producing and acting credits in the upcoming movie, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.
Artists big and small find freedom of speech on a local podcast
Shellie R. Warren
ALL THE RAGE
Not long ago, landing a radio interview was an entertainer’s dream. Now, thanks to upgrades in technology, podcasts are everywhere. Just ask Ricky ”Hypeman Rick” Toran and Colleen ”CC” Curtis, hosts of Firepit Friday.
In 11 months, the hourlong show has grown to average 250,000 listens a week on the strength of chats with guests such as Carrie Underwood, Michael W. Smith and LeAnn Rimes, as well as indie musicians such as Darnell Levine, Damien Horne and Tim Dillinger.
The format is simple: Industry insiders sit around a set of mics and dish on … whatever. All they ask is that you be yourself — and not reveal Firepit’s secret location after you leave.
ATR: How did Firepit Friday come together?
CC: It started out as a writing session that took a different turn while sitting in a recording studio. As different people started sharing their stories, we realized that it would be cool to tape them. Then, after going to one of Ricky’s Not Just Country shows, I approached him about co-hosting a podcast. Our first episode featured the VC Strut Band. Kevin and Alex from DiggNation.com pulled us out from the World Wide Web and aired our show. We got 10,000 hits from that, and it’s been growing ever since.
ATR: You’ve gotten some major acts in a short period of time. What’s the attraction?
RT: Because we are so laid-back, we think that relaxes them. It’s not so much of an interview, because we don’t really plan shows ahead of time. We like people to come and speak their minds without fear of censorship or judgment.
ATR: I’ve been on the show, and I had a ball. The only pressure I felt was to not tell anyone where you guys are. What’s that about?
CC: Once you come, you have an open-door policy to come again at any time. Some nights we have as few as one or two people. On our biggest night there were 35 guests. Because we want to respect everyone’s privacy, we just ask that people not share our location.
ATR: You’re donating your time and equipment right now. What’s the payoff?
CC: We like being able to provide listeners with something unique. I remember when I was recording in 1999 and no one supported my group because we were doing electronica. If this is really Music City, we must look past the stigma that it only includes certain genres.
RT: A lot of artists should be known beyond word of mouth in the city. We would love to have some music execs on our couch to share their side of things. The door is always open.