Chillin’ with Curt Yagi

 an interview on the music, the life & still being a kid……..

 

Sweep Me

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If Only

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Live My Life

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Home

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One of the most interesting things about doing interviews is finding out the kind of information other artists really want to know. As a musician, my perspective runs deeper than the normal journalist.

 

Curt and I started off by talking about his own music marketing strategies, “In the beginning, I tried to hire a PR person & that failed miserably. I submitted to all the songwriting competitions out there and those basically ended up being dead-ends. The goal was to build off of media attention and gain momentum.” As with most artists, Curt used trial and error to figure out what worked for him.

 

For the album Curt released last year, he did a couple things different. “I went with IDC. They helped with marketing, press releases and physical distribution. In addition, I contacted tons of outlets and was able to get more and more reviews and quotes written.” Curt’s idea of viral journalism makes absolute sense. Being interviewed on one blog–> that blog hyperlink’s back to your artist site and on and on. The internet is this fantastically interwoven web of marketing possibilities.

 

The idea of being an artist these days usually brings the notion of project management into the mix. As the industry has changed, artists’ business sense has also had to advance. If not careful, artists can find themselves overwhelmed with every necessary aspect. “If I know I can add value to do something, then I just do it myself. Being organized in my day job has helped me leverage the same principles for my music.”

 

Not only do artists have much more on their plate these days, they also face one distinct reality: “It’s sort of a double-edged sword. Anyone can record songs and distribute online, but the challenge is that their are so many artists….the public might feel bombarded.”

 

Artists have a freedom, and yet run the risk of never developing fans. Curt’s answer? “You really have to be structured, clear messaging and strategic. Recognize your audience. I found my demographic is young kids and moms. So, I was specific in targeting as many mom blogs as I could find.”

 

Ok ok, enough of the business stuff, let’s get to the music! I first heard Curt a couple years back. I was walking through The Cannery in SF and there he was. Curt Yagi and his band. I thought, this guy has a great sound….fun-loving tunes, happy sounding vocals. I stood there for a bit & hung with the small crowd that formed. I remember thinking: this is what city music sounds like….perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. And I’ve been a fan ever since. Seeing as though we’re big vinyl fans here at The Vinyl Life, I had to ask Curt one last question.

 

What are (or were) your favorite records?

“I remember having U2’s The Joshua Tree. As a kid, I remember listening to Hall & Oates and Toto’s Africa.”

 

On the topic of nostalgia, Curt mentioned cassette tapes he owns, “I actually still have some cassette tapes from childhood. I think what’s missing now is that people buy singles and not necessarily the entire album. The cassette era was all about listening to the entire album.”

 

To check out calendar dates, please visit: http://www.curtyagi.com/

 

 

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