248 episodes

The Unstarving Musician features interviews with independent musicians, songwriters, producers, and music industry professionals who share their experience and expertise on recording, touring, marketing, the business of music, and more. This is all intended to help you, the independent music artists create a sustainable and profitable music career.

The Unstarving Musician Robonzo (Roberto R Hernandez)

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 12 Ratings

The Unstarving Musician features interviews with independent musicians, songwriters, producers, and music industry professionals who share their experience and expertise on recording, touring, marketing, the business of music, and more. This is all intended to help you, the independent music artists create a sustainable and profitable music career.

    Stacey Bedford – $100 Million In Commission-Free Sales, Bees, Lessons Learned At Bandzoogle, The Value Of Unplugging, Advice To Musicians, And The Importance Of Websites For Musicians

    Stacey Bedford – $100 Million In Commission-Free Sales, Bees, Lessons Learned At Bandzoogle, The Value Of Unplugging, Advice To Musicians, And The Importance Of Websites For Musicians

    Stacey Bedford, CEO of Bandzoogle is my guest for this special episode number 250. She didn't know  this would be our 250th episode when we spoke, but we had a great conversation.
    Stacey shares the news of Bandzoogle's recent milestone of surpassing $100 million in commission-free sales of music, merch, and tickets through their websites. We also talk about bees, skeleton humor and how we came to be in this universe, the significance of Bandzoogle's last five years, lessons learned since her humble beginnings in customer service at Bandzoogle, her current passions, the value of unplugging, public speaking, her best advice to creative artists and musicians, the importance of a website for musicians, relevant success stories) and more.
    Please enjoy my conversation with Stacey Bedford of Bandzoogle.
    Support the Unstarving Musician The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers.
    Learn how you can offer your support.
    This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.
    Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?
    To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.
    This episode of the was powered by Liner Notes. Learn from the hundreds of musicians and industry pros I’ve spoken with for the Unstarving Musician on topics such as marketing, songwriting, touring, sync licensing and much more. Sign up for Liner Notes.
    Liner Notes is an email newsletter from yours truly, in which I share some of the best knowledge gems garnered from the many conversations featured on the Unstarving Musician. You’ll also be privy to the latest podcast episodes and Liner Notes subscriber exclusives.
    Sign up at UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
    Mentions and Related Episodes StaceyBedford.com
    Bandzoogle.com
    Salt Fat Acid Heat
    You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing, by Chuck Wendig (Author), Natalie Metzger (Illustrator) 
    Wednesday Comedy Series on Netflix
    David Crosby
    The Many Ways Musicians Are Adapting To Change–Dave Cool (Ep 185)
    Options for Musicians Amidst Uncertain Times – Dave Cool (Ep 142)
    Resources The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo
    Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income
    Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website for your music
    Dreamhost – See the latest deals from Dreamhost, save money and support the UM in the process.
    More Resources for musicians
    Pardon the Interruption (Disclosure)  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission, at no extra charge to you, if you purchase using those links. Thanks for your support!
    Visit UnstarvingMusician.com to sign up for Liner Notes to learn what I'm learning from the best indie musicians and music industry professionals.
    Stay in touch!
    @RobonzoDrummer on Twitter  and  Instagram
    @UnstarvingMusician on Facebook  and  YouTube

    • 36 min
    Dariann Leigh–New Songs, Pursuits In Pop, Creating A Sound, Songwriting, Journaling, Documenting Lyrics & Hooks, Theatre, Being A Solo Artist, Media Features, Release Strategy

    Dariann Leigh–New Songs, Pursuits In Pop, Creating A Sound, Songwriting, Journaling, Documenting Lyrics & Hooks, Theatre, Being A Solo Artist, Media Features, Release Strategy

    My guest for this episode is Dariann Leigh. She is described as red carpet glam and camo in a tree stand, big city beauty with small town humility.
    “As a kid,” Leigh says, “I remember closing my eyes, plugging my headphones in and listening to tracks that ended up being the theme songs to my daydreams. I want to be that artist for someone else."
    Here's what people are saying about Dariann's voice and stage presence.
    "Big voice!"  "I book anthems singers all year long, Dariann Leigh is the best-hands down!!!" –Jon Praska GM of CJHL Norskies
    "Stage presence and vocals will have you melting! Wonderful to work with!!" –Jeff Kroll, Marshall County Talent Fair Board
    We spoke during the holiday season and Dariann was looking forward to celebrating family. In this conversation we talk about her newest songs, pursuits in pop among country artists, creating a sound, songwriting and journaling, documenting lyrics & hooks, how theatre has influenced her, being a solo artist, her many media features, her new year release strategy and much more.
    I hope you enjoy our conversation.
    Support the Unstarving Musician The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers.
    Learn how you can offer your support.
    This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.
    Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?
    To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.
    This episode of the was powered by Liner Notes. Learn from the hundreds of musicians and industry pros I’ve spoken with for the Unstarving Musician on topics such as marketing, songwriting, touring, sync licensing and much more. Sign up for Liner Notes. Liner Notes is an email newsletter from yours truly, in which I share some of the best knowledge gems garnered from the many conversations featured on the Unstarving Musician. You’ll also be privy to the latest podcast episodes and Liner Notes subscriber exclusives.
    Sign up at UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
    Mentions and Related Episodes DariannLeigh.com
    Dean Johanesen – Album Artwork, Song Reference Files, Record Release Mode, Balancing Creative Time, Arc Of A Thematic Album, Writing Press Releases, Release Campaign Framework, Heightened Creativity, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival (Ep 246)
    Live Streamed Shows In Isolation —Dean Johanesen Part 2 (Ep 156)
    Circus Swing and the Transformation of Dean Johanesen
    Resources The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo
    Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income
    Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website for your music
    Dreamhost – See the latest deals from Dreamhost, save money and support the UM in the process.
    More Resources for musicians
    Pardon the Interruption (Disclosure)  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission, at no extra charge to you, if you purchase using those links. Thanks for your support!
    Visit UnstarvingMusician.com to sign up for Liner Notes to learn what I'm learning from the best indie musicians and music industry professionals.
    Stay in touch!
    @RobonzoDrummer on Twitter  and  Instagram
    @UnstarvingMusician on Facebook  and  YouTube

    • 38 min
    Musician Websites – Choosing A Theme, Site Content, Search Engine Optimization, Email Forms And Incentives, Selling Merch, Music And Services, The Launch, And Continuity

    Musician Websites – Choosing A Theme, Site Content, Search Engine Optimization, Email Forms And Incentives, Selling Merch, Music And Services, The Launch, And Continuity

    This is the final installment of the Unstarving Musician websites for musician series. I decided to call this one "Everything Else." You can find links to the first four episodes in the series in the show notes for this episode at UnstaringMusician.com, episode 248.
    Choosing A Theme
    We'll begin with choosing a theme. Look for a theme with a design layout that supports your brand and vibe. The theme should be a fit with your music, while supporting your goals. Your theme needs to look good without compromising usability and simplicity. 
    The menu layout should be easy for visitors to navigate.
    A menu located at the top is always good, and locating it on the side is okay too. Sub menus should be easy to find. And it all needs to be easy to read. Not everyone has 20/20 vision!
    Your theme should allow for easy content creation and layout
    And it should be or have: 
    Easy to customize A responsive design (mobile friendly) Updated regularly Features you need Good ratings and reviews An active support team Optimized for search (SEO) A popular theme provider for WordPress is themeforest.net. I encourage you to also consider a Wordpress core themes, if you do in fact choose Wordpress as a platform.
    Site Content
    Homepage content is arguably the most important, as it will be your most visited page. Begin by defining your purpose. The objective of the copy should support the goals of your music business. Example goals include:
    Sell merch or services Build traffic to increase revenue Attract new fans Generate leads Attract subscribers and build a community Understand Your Target Audience
    As you write copy, consider that it should hook prospective fans and supporters. You want to get into their mindset by thinking about these questions.
    Who are the people coming to your site? Are they fans, supporters, venues, talent buyers, venues? What problems do they want to solve? What search terms would they use to find music sites like yours? By writing in the ways that your visitors speak and search, you can start building up a relationship of trust. If you answer their specific questions or solve their problem, they may become your loyal audience. 
    Know Your Competitors
    In the musician world, knowing your competitors can be thought of as “know your peers.” See what other artists in and around your genre are doing, and take note of what appears to be working for them. Borrow ideas and find inspiration in knowing your competition and peers.
    Lessons from the business world
    Search your main genre, product, service, or topic in Google. Discover which sites are ranking, and investigate what they are doing.
    What is the primary thing they offer? And how are they offering it? What type of content do they use on their main pages (success stories, videos, statistics)? What audience are they targeting?  Hook Your Readers from the First Line
    You have 15 seconds or less to capture your site visitor's interest. If you manage to do this this, your next challenge is to get them to stay on the site. You can start your copy with some exciting news or data, a one-sentence story or a question. Make sure people are hungry for more content after reading your site introduction. 
    Make Your Copy Scannable
    Your site layout is important. Most people skim read, so ensure that the text is easily scannable for them. Include headers, bulleted and numbered lists, descriptive subheadings and white space between paragraphs. 
    Help Readers Navigate
    There are multiple ways that audiences find web content. It could be from a post shared on social media, via links on other websites, via a marketing email or through a search engine results page. 
    People who find out about your website might not be that familiar with your brand or music, but they will appreciate a website that's clear in what it offers. Use relevant links for further details in your copy.
    Prominently display links to your social media accounts on your website to create connection

    • 28 sec
    Charlie Berry – Spotify Streaming, Songwriting, The Creative Process, Booking Shows, Productivity, Routine, Studio Production, Advice For Singers, And Surviving Nashville

    Charlie Berry – Spotify Streaming, Songwriting, The Creative Process, Booking Shows, Productivity, Routine, Studio Production, Advice For Singers, And Surviving Nashville

    Nashville-based country artist Charlie Berry launched his solo career with the release of his first single at the beginning of 2021. Berry produces his own recordings, highlighting his combined talents as a vocalist, songwriter, and instrumentalist. I agree wholeheartedly with this from his bio.
    Berry is carried by his strong grounding voice, smart songwriting and skill as a producer. Charlie’s compositions are catchy and relatable. 
    His influences span multiple genres including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac. But Charlie hasn’t always been a country artist. He started out playing punk rock back in his home state of Texas and still draws inspiration from the energy of that music. Originally from Dallas, Berry moved to Nashville to immerse himself in the world of country music and has spent the past decade learning the craft of songwriting from the source. After a 7-year run as the singer of country trio Mockingbird Sun, Berry decided to embark on the journey of carving out a solo career for himself. With the release of his single “Whiskey Take It Easy” in January 2021 Berry established his place in modern country. He writes thoughtful lyrics akin to singer-songwriters of the 90s and combines that with production styles of modern country and pop.
    Based on our conversation, Charlie seems to have found his groove in Nashville and I'm sure he welcomes country super stardom, should that day come. In the meantime he's doubled down on songwriting.
    We talk about songwriting, plus Spotify streaming numbers, the creative process, booking shows, productivity and routine, studio production (and lessons therein),  advice for singers, and advice for surviving Nashville.
    Please enjoy my conversation with Charlie Berry.
    Support the Unstarving Musician The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers.
    Learn how you can offer your support.
    This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.
    Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?
    To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.
    This episode of the was powered by Liner Notes. Learn from the hundreds of musicians and industry pros I’ve spoken with for the Unstarving Musician on topics such as marketing, songwriting, touring, sync licensing and much more. Sign up for Liner Notes.
    Liner Notes is an email newsletter from yours truly, in which I share some of the best knowledge gems garnered from the many conversations featured on the Unstarving Musician. You’ll also be privy to the latest podcast episodes and Liner Notes subscriber exclusives.
    Sign up at UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
    Mentions and Related Episodes CharlieBerryMusic.com
    Chris Raspante on Serendipity, Networking, Reputation, Nashville, and The Wonders of Today’s Talent (Ep 2)
    Crossing Paths with Jace Everett
    Alyssa Trahan on Recording, Sponsorships, Merchandising, Marketing, and Getting to Nashville
    Nashville, Songwriting, Periscope and Spiders–Mira Goto
    Resources The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo
    Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income
    Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website for your music
    Dreamhost – See the latest deals from Dreamhost, save money and support the UM in the process.
    More Resources for musicians
    Pardon the Interruption (Disclosure)  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission, at no extra ch

    • 44 min
    Dean Johanesen – Album Artwork, Song Reference Files, Record Release Mode, Balancing Creative Time, Arc Of A Thematic Album, Writing Press Releases, Release Campaign Framework, Heightened Creativity, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival

    Dean Johanesen – Album Artwork, Song Reference Files, Record Release Mode, Balancing Creative Time, Arc Of A Thematic Album, Writing Press Releases, Release Campaign Framework, Heightened Creativity, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival

    My guest for this episode, Dean Johanesen, first appeared on the podcast in July of 2018. This is his third feature on the Unstarving Musician. He has a new album called Cautionary Tales, which is out Feb 3, 2023. This date is also the anniversary of the release of King King (1933). Dean says that this release seems to fit his style perfectly with its influence of swing music ala Django Reinhardt, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Louis Jordan etc. 
    With a sonic palette that dips into speakeasy-era Americana, and swingin' Hot Club jazz doused in circus tent hues, the New York-native has made his home in many parts of the United States. Dean's mother delivered motor homes when he was young and the family traveled around listening to a wide range of artists. Hearing everything from Led Zeppelin to Simon and Garfunkel, classic country to Broadway Musicals. That provided the soundtrack of Dean's youth and heavily influenced Dean's interests musically.
    In 2013, Dean released his first solo record focused on the storyteller songwriting format. Meanwhile, a recent passion for Hot Club jazz music in the vein of Django Reinhardt put him on a musical path of telling new stories of old times.  Non-fictional characters from the '20s and '30s – circus performers, the sideshow, prohibition, the war of currents (Tesla vs. Edison) all inform Dean's writing. These stories are projected against a backdrop of uptempo jazz in a style Dean has coined "Circus Swing."
    In this conversation we talk about mutual acquaintances, the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, Album Artwork Development, Song Reference Files, Journals, Record Release Mode, Balancing Creative Time, The Arc Of Writing A Thematic Album, Writing Press Releases, Framework Of Release Campaign, Heightened Creativity Of Songwriters Festivals and more.
    "Dean is simultaneously a throwback to an era of gypsy jazz and circuses while pointing the way to what will always be timely"
    - Steve Huntington, Sirius/XM Radio Margaritaville 
    You can find all things Dean Johanesen, including stories and songs from his forthcoming album, Cautionary Tales at DeanJohanesen.com. We had a real nice time catching up and I think it was a really good conversation, that I hope you will enjoy. 
    Support the Unstarving Musician The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers.
    Learn how you can offer your support.
    This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.
    Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?
    To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.
    This episode of the was powered by Liner Notes. Learn from the hundreds of musicians and industry pros I’ve spoken with for the Unstarving Musician on topics such as marketing, songwriting, touring, sync licensing and much more. Sign up for Liner Notes.
    Liner Notes is an email newsletter from yours truly, in which I share some of the best knowledge gems garnered from the many conversations featured on the Unstarving Musician. You’ll also be privy to the latest podcast episodes and Liner Notes subscriber exclusives.
    Sign up at UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
    Mentioned in this Episode DeanJohanesen.com 
    Mo Meta Blues: The World According to QuestLove
    Nick Nace
    Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival
    Resources The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo
    Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income
    Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website fo

    • 47 min
    Marlee XX – Recent Releases, Serving The Voices Of Women As A DJ, Becoming A Producer, Self Expression Through Style, Life As A Solo Artist, Learning The Music Business, Sync Licensing, Stage Fright (Ep 245)

    Marlee XX – Recent Releases, Serving The Voices Of Women As A DJ, Becoming A Producer, Self Expression Through Style, Life As A Solo Artist, Learning The Music Business, Sync Licensing, Stage Fright (Ep 245)

    My guest for this episode is Marlee XX, the multi-hyphenate musical artist (vocalist - songwriter - DJ - producer) hailing from Washington, DC. She's  a powerhouse entertainer who has honed a distinctive style, sonically versatile and fluid in genre. 
    Marlee is busy creating crossover-ready pop songs having just released the singles Frequency and Only One, at the time of our conversation. Her resume is solid. She and her former band Marlee In the Mixx held a two year at Indulj On U Street in D.C and performed in venues across the US,  including Afropunk’s Battle of the Bands, SOB’s in New York City, and Hollywood’s Whisky a Go-Go. The band also toured internationally as co-headliners at the Essence of Seoul festival in Seoul, South Korea.  
    In 2017 she launched her solo career with the release of a track called Shift, that landed licensing deals with TVOne, The Hype (HBO) and The Come Up (Hulu/Freeform,). It's around this time that she also became a representative at “Girls Make Beats,'' an organization empowering the next generation of female music producers, DJs and audio engineers. Marlee has been featured in World Wide Waves,  Black Music Month, The Washington Post, Voyage LA.
    Marlee's bio states that she's a renowned as a fearless fashionista, unapologetic in her self-expression and bold personal style, and calls her a convergence of punk, street and fantasy. 
    In this conversation Marlee talks about growing up in D.C., her latest releases, how being a DJ helped her serve the voices of other women, becoming a producer, style, life as a solo artist, learning the business of music, sync licensing, stage fright, her love of chicken & rice, and more.
    Support the Unstarving Musician The Unstarving Musician exists solely through the generosity of its listeners, readers, and viewers.
    Learn how you can offer your support.
    This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.
    Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?
    To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.
    This episode of the was powered by Liner Notes. Learn from the hundreds of musicians and industry pros I’ve spoken with for the Unstarving Musician on topics such as marketing, songwriting, touring, sync licensing and much more. Sign up for Liner Notes.
    Liner Notes is an email newsletter from yours truly, in which I share some of the best knowledge gems garnered from the many conversations featured on the Unstarving Musician. You’ll also be privy to the latest podcast episodes and Liner Notes subscriber exclusives.
    Sign up at UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
    Mentions and Related Episodes MarleeXX.com
    Mo Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove
    SoundBetter.com
    Girls Make Beats 
    Resources The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo
    Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income
    Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website for your music
    Dreamhost – See the latest deals from Dreamhost, save money and support the UM in the process.
    More Resources for musicians
    Pardon the Interruption (Disclosure)  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission, at no extra charge to you, if you purchase using those links. Thanks for your support!
    Visit UnstarvingMusician.com to sign up for Liner Notes to learn what I'm learning from the best indie musicians and music industry professionals.
    Stay in touch!
    @RobonzoDrummer on Twitter  and  Instagram
    @Uns

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Max Branding ,

Roberto is a delight to listen to

Roberto knows his stuff and interviews some of the most fascinating people in the industry. Excellent podcast

Jaraorah ,

One of the best music podcasts available

Fantastic show with a fantastic host. Robonzo is doing great things for any musician by hosting this podcast. I’ve learned so much from it and have applied so much that I’ve learned to my own career and band. If you love music and want to learn more, discover new artists and do more to advance your career, listen to this.

Tony467429 ,

just the right tone

i make $20k a year playing piano...i have a day job...i would like to expand my music business. this podcast does just that. not a lot of glam...not so technical that i need an electrical engineering degree. it’s conversations about tools, strategies, techniques, and fun that will actually help my business grow.

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