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Get Your Fix of Sufi & Ghazal Music on Spotify

Sufi_Ghazal_SpotifyCoverThe Orchard and Times Music have engaged in an unprecedented campaign to actively showcase and promote Sufi & Ghazal music from the Indian subcontinent.

Servicing a huge demand for these two genres in the US and UK, Times Music has put together their Top 100 Sufi & Ghazal songs, thereby offering their listeners the very best of both genres from within their repertoire.

If you don’t know, Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah and Khwaja Ghulam Farid. It’s not just about entertainment, but rather about spirituality. Its powerful lyrics talk about achieving divinity by spreading love and harmony. A Ghazal is a poetic expression of pain from loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. Ghazals have proved to be capable of a variety of expressions around these central themes, traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing and metaphysical questions. Ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani and Indian musicians. This playlist features world renowned artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Sabri Brothers, Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan and many more…

“Sufi, Fusion and Ghazal are today’s most progressive forms of music from the Indian subcontinent and Times Music has witnessed a surge of listeners in these genres from the US / UK markets over the last couple of years,” shares Mandar Thakur, COO of Times Music. “Times Music is quite excited to present this amazing collection of Sufi and Ghazal music to consumers through this unique opportunity via The Orchard and Spotify.”

The campaign for this special playlist is running now through the end of the month of August. During that time, you might find the playlist on some of Times Music‘s high-profile online properties, like the Times of India E-Paper and, and if you’re a Spotify freemium user, look out for the cool audio and visual ads we’ve put together to promote the playlist.

Of course, it will be available for your ears long after the promotion ends and will be updated regularly by the label, so be sure to follow it to stay in the loop! And now, for your listening pleasure:

10 Quick Pinterest Tips

pinterestlogoYou’ve surely heard of Pinterest by now, right? Just in case, Pinterest is a growing network which allows you to easily share content by “pinning” images found online (think of it as a pretty bookmark) to a “board.” These can be shared through a link or by following the creator, and boards and pins can be viewed publicly and are consistently (well, the good ones!) updated. The platform lends itself to visually sharing information simply.

Here are 10 Pinterest facts and tips you should know:

#1 – Pinterest is one of the primary ways people share stuff online. Coming in third to Facebook and Twitter, but topping email, Pinterest’s sharing stats are growing the fastest. Time to stop ignoring it and sign up!


#2 – Tag users you are pinning from. Simply posting “@” before the person’s username will tag them. This is great way to engage with fans and influencers as they can see you are posting their content.

#3 — It’s all about the visual. Post your content, whether that’s gifs made from stills from your upcoming video, artwork, behind-the-scenes photos, etc. Avoid black & white or blurry pins.

 — Get verified. Verifying your website on Pinterest lets people know that you own it. Doing this also gives you access to analytics.

#5 Review your analytics. See site metrics such as pins, repins, impressions, clicks and reach. Check out Pinterest’s Web Analytics Walkthrough video.

#6 — Partner with media sites. Do you make a mean veggie lasagna, have a crafty hobby or great personal style? Look into ways you can partner with blogs or sites where you could “guest pin” on one of their boards to cross promote.

#7 – Collaborate with your team. You can add users to a specific board where they can add/upload pins. That way you’re covered when your WiFi isn’t working in the van while you are driving through South Dakota on tour and you really need that fan submission contest board updated. Pinterest makes it easy to be collaborative with your team.

#8  Map it out. When creating a board, you have an option to add a map which allows you to upload a pin from a specific place or city. This can be a great way for fans to follow you on tour and see where you visited while on the road.


#9 – Showcase your promotional campaigns. Did you launch a contest where fans can submit their art or photos? Compile the best entries to a board to inspire more fans to get involved and current entrants to re-pin their photo or art.

#10 — Oh, How Pinteresting! Last, but certainly not least, read Pinterest’s blog. They showcase interesting pins, hacks and users that may provide you with some pinspiration.

Bonus: Pinterest has added a new search tool to let users add specific filters to their original search term. Read more on Guided Search.

Pick Your Valentine’s Day Playlist

Valentine's Day: S/He Loves MeHello, lovers. And haters. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so we’ve revisited and updated two playlists conceived last year to either celebrate your partner’s love, or say phooey to the whole greeting-card scam.

Whoa. Who. Is. THAT? My heart’s racing. My stomach is flipping. I’m lightheaded. I’ve never felt like this before. What’s that sound? Oh, it’s angels singing. Look, the clouds are parting. The sun’s rays are forming a perfect spotlight around that beautiful creature. Oh my God. I have to sit down. No, I should go over there and introduce myself. What should I say? OK, don’t freak out. Calm down. But how can I act casual when every cell in my body is exploding with unbridled passion for such human perfection? Wait. Now I hear different music. Wonderful music. Approximately 35 songs, egging me on. I think I’m in love.

S/He Loves Me Not: A Valentine's Day PlaylistS/HE LOVES ME NOT
What did I ever see in that self-absorbed, manipulative, back-stabbing s**tbag? Oh right, I thought I was in love. Big mistake. Ugh. All those shallow platitudes. All those broken promises. And I thought I had found “the one.” Instead I found “the zero.” I just wasted a chunk of my life I’ll never get back. Hey you, reading this. Next time you see me getting all sloppy over some dud, give me a little heads-up, OK? Slap some headphones on my paralyzed noggin. Play me something that’ll pull me out of the fuzzy-wuzzy sentimental slop. Approximately 30 songs, to give me perspective and remind me: Love stinks.

Texas-Sized Glass of Lemonade, Wrapped in White Denim

October 31, 2013 Artist News No Comments

White DenimStill hot from what seemed like endless touring in support of their breakthrough album DWhite Denim is not showing any signs of slowing down soon. This week, Downtown Records released the band’s highly anticipated Corsicana Lemonade.

From the blazing entrance guitar riff that kicks off  “At Night In Dreams” to the layering harmonies on “A Place To Start” which closes the album out, the group’s fifth studio album delivers exactly what their fans are wanting. Not only is Corsicana Lemonade a step up in White Denim’s songwriting abilities, it presents a more matured and refined approach to their dense, yet discerning brand of Rock and Roll.

Serendipity has played a huge part in shaping White Denim’s path to recording Corsicana Lemonade, starting all the way back with the initially supporting tour of D. As the group was en route from Texas to perform at the Sasquatch Music Festival’s Gorge Amphitheatre, they were notified that vocalist/guitarist James Petralli’s home in Austin was robbed. Nevertheless, White Denim pressed on and made it to Sasquatch, only to perform an unlikely set that would help shape their future to come. While the crowd was sparse for the oft dreaded daytime festival slot, Glenn Kotche and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) caught the performance from the side stage. Story would have it that Jeff introduced himself and congratulated them on their well-played set and striking up conversation. “Maybe he just got what we were trying to do,” Petralli has stated about the dialogue that day. A few months later, Tweedy invited White Denim to open for Wilco’s West Coast Winter 2012 tour. I think it’s safe to say that Jeff Tweedy indeed understood what White Denim was doing.

In the early months of 2013, Jeff Tweedy called the group again, this time to inform them that there were four open days of studio time at the famed Loft in Chicago. Those four days marked the beginnings of Corsicana Lemonade and the group laid the framework to “A Place To Start” and “Distant Relative Salute” before heading back to Texas. Once back in Austin, White Denim fashioned a recording studio in a rented house overlooking Lake Travis. Finally, they tapped local producer Jim Vollentine (Spoon, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) to help wrap up the album.

Here are a couple of quotes from Chase Hoffberger’s article in the Austin Chronicle on how this move helped elevate the quality of the album-to-be:

“With expectations outside of the group, and within the group, it became too much for Josh Block [ed.: drummer, who produced the band’s existing catalogue] to be the musician he needs to be in addition to the engineer that all these business people expect him to be.” Petralli continues, “I love Josh’s production, and if I had my way, we’d do every record the way we did Last Day of Summer, Fits, and Explosion. But it was just a little much for him. If we’re going to get somebody, we might as well get somebody who’s a professional and knows how to be that guy.”

Vollentine played no part in scripting the songs, which sound like a mixture of Thin Lizzy (“Corsicana Lemonade”), Steely Dan (“Come Back”), and Paul McCartney’s Ram (both “Pretty Green” and “Cheer Up/Blues Ending” pull directly from that LP’s “Oh Woman, Oh Why”), but he did enforce its welcome sheen. Along with Petralli’s condensed songwriting — all the songs track in at less than 4:40, with one exception, “Cheer Up,” which drifts into a sleepy jam — Vollentine’s contributions make Corsicana Lemonade the most accessible, fulfilling album White Denim has ever made.

In a world of Alternative Rock inundated by bland over-recycled drum beats and synth lines obscuring melodies, White Denim are writing music that are well beyond these constraints. To borrow a sports catch-phrase, “they are playing in a completely different league.” Check out the new album and see for yourself!

Don’t Fall Into the Autumn Leaves Music Nostalgia

October 29, 2013 Industry Trends No Comments

autumnleaves_anneh632When I say that I think this year has gone extremely fast, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. We are already towards the end of October working on the last priority releases of the year and Q1 in the new year releases are already on the radar. How did that happen?

It feels like it was summer yesterday and I kind of catch myself dreaming about a never ending summer. But I know that it’s not possible, and in fact, I do actually like the change, also when it comes to weather. Oh well, most of the time.

Likewise, in the music industry, it’s easy to fall into the “Autumn Leaves” nostalgia, but sorry we need to face it, the summer is over, it’s a new season and I have to say that Spotify is not “The Last Desperate Fart Of A Dying Corpse.” I think it’s about time we all started to embrace the change and make the best out of it.

Getting attention is probably the most difficult thing to get nowadays. It takes talent, a lot of work and if you get lucky enough to get it, why not take advantage of it and talk to your audience where they are? Lots of ordinary people are consuming and finding music on YouTube and various streaming services; that choice was made a long time ago by fans and it will only change to something new, not go back to what we call the more “traditional” ways.

Counting how much you get paid per stream is the wrong way to value a service. The same way temperature perception is different if it’s 18°C in the summer or in autumn. As with the weather, we can’t control the fact that changes happen all the time. There was a big outcry when iTunes launched; the same with the CD. But we learned to love it. I’m convinced it will be the same case when a new business model arrives, and we’ll probably all speak about how great the streaming services were.

Thanks for your attention while reading this post. I hope you enjoyed the music links, here is a link to the full soundtrack. Feel free to share it!

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