We are all now aware, or are becoming aware, of the vast amount of potential that Social Media holds for creative types. The latest ad for Google Chrome UK does just that by showing us that Jamal Edwards, creator of SB.TV used social media tools to become a successful entrepreneur at the tender age of 20.
But not everyone is going to be the star of a Google ad (not straight away at least) but that doesn’t mean they’re not getting the most out of social media. I’ve taken a look at how social media tools are being used for alternative musicians. What’s being used and how?
General Mumble, AKA Lewis Cooper, a 21 year old student and musician has recently been riding the social media wave with over 40,000 hits on his album and hundreds of pounds made from optional donations he has spoken about what he uses online and how it’s benefited him.
Mumble started out exploring music at the age of 11, discovering how sounds should be arranged and what sounded good. The ever common transition to local teen rock band followed before Mumble eventually found his niche in electronic music under the alias ‘General Mumble’ in April 2010.
Mumble’s most popular work and majority of his fan base are within the ‘Brony’ community, a community that to the outsider can (understandably) seem ultra-niche. The story of Bronies was also covered here Mumble creates music using sounds and themes from the latest series of My Little Pony and his music is enjoyed by thousands of fellow ‘Bronies’. Mumble was introduced to the community in late 2010.
“It didn’t seem right to have remixed something like that without getting to know the subject matter, so I watched the first episode. Then the second, third, fourth… then suddenly, ponies everywhere.”
General Mumble describes the Brony community as “the term used for people who are fans of the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” that don’t exactly fit into the target market. The show was aimed, quite obviously, at little girls, but has managed to somehow touch the hearts of hundreds of thousands of grown men. This is what is considered to be the brony community: “bro-ponies…bronies”. Though I like to think the term is gender neutral, since there are plenty of active female bronies too.”
It’s not Mumble’s liking of ponies that is interesting though. But how he has utilised social media to connect to his Brony fans.
Mumble’s site of preference for sharing his electronic pony beats is YouTube. Each upload of his pony themed music has thousands of views. He says, “in order to get people interested in my Youtube I submit (almost) all of my pony-related music to a highly popular fan-site called Equestria Daily.” a site that has views into the millions.
Mumble goes on to say: “Everything I post on my Youtube has links to anything else that is related, too. For instance I will promote the artwork I design for each song by providing a deviantArt link, and that deviantArt page will also contain a link to the song, for anyone who stumbles into the artwork first.”
This interlinking between sites is a great way to bump up interest and views for the different types of media.
As for the volume of people paying interest in his work Mumble tells us that, “My Youtube account has been gaining between 20-40 subscribers a day since I started submitting my work to the hard-working people at Equestria Daily. My deviantArt suddenly started gaining a lot of followers since I posted pony-related song artwork, too.”
With the ever increasing number of followers on YouTube, comes the inevitable feedback. Mumble gets daily feedback from the thousands of people listening to his work, “Almost all the feedback I have recieved has been overwhelmingly positive. I receive plenty of feedback on Youtube each day, ranging from little comments like “awesome stuff, Mumble” to full blown private messages saying how great I am.” and it’s the little things like feedback from listeners that validate the work online. Knowing people out there are consuming what’s been put online and sharing their thoughts afterwards.
General Mumble is now also on Tumblr where his account is slowly becoming more popular. Mumble says of his new Tumblr account: “[I’ve] mainly just linked up with my other musical friends from the community- who have already heard a lot of my stuff while it’s in production etc. I feel that the reblogging tool is an excellent way to spread material though. If one person takes a fancy to a post I make, then they might reblog it, where someone else might take a fancy to it, follow me, and so on. I can really see the potential of this sort of site.”
General Mumble has certainly proven the value of the power of Social Media and one could argue he has yet to fully exploit all the tools available to him.
‘CLOP /)^3^(\’ by General Mumble is available here