Guest Interview By RAIN
After three consecutive hit dance club singles “New York is Dead”, “No More Angels” and “Keep On Movin” which respectively climbed to 15, 14 and 12 on the UK Music Week Pop Dance Charts and earned the artist a 5 week residency and a 39 peak position on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, the artist known as NOAH opens up about his adventures.
RAIN: Your most recent release “Keep On Movin’” was licensed to an Italian record label. Can you tell us about this?
NOAH: EGO was the label. All artists need to be warned: If EGO calls “Do Not Drink the Cappuccino! They didn’t pay the licensing advance or release the single within the contracted period so I took my record back and ‘Kept On Movin!” This label literally stopped my momentum and I will never forgive them for this. I had my distributor pull the record from the world for the label when early distribution reports from my UK distributor, Labelworx, counted 19 different currencies. The scope was huge. As an independent artist and label, I was doing very well ‘under my own steam!’ as one of my main promoters phrased it.
RAIN: What would you have done differently if you were just starting out today?
NOAH: I would never want to start again. I just needed to “Keep On Movin’” and not look back... to live up to my own lyrics in “Keep On Movin’!” I would, however, have a better contract negotiated with reversion clauses worked into it. If I would’ve had the foresight, I would have not let a little shit Italian label near my record.
RAIN: How it is to have a hit dance record?
NOAH: The reality is actually not so riveting. It was a very anti-climactic experience. I had to push it. There was no magic. I know exactly what went into it. There was nothing glamorous about it. It is a lot of hard work. I sorted out the remixes. I organized Billboard Dance Chart promotion for the U.S. market and Music Week Chart promotion in the UK, hired a UK based radio promoter and a public relations firm to support the release in the U.K., along with several other promoters in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. This is without even mentioning my own blood, sweat and tears with PR, radio promotion and social media. Social media helped immensely. The social networks connect everyone together. This is really amazing. The world has become so small. However, social media can also be extremely consuming… to constantly need to create content for followers can be quite slavish. A little privacy and mystery would probably be good for everyone… and definitely more relaxing. We live in an ADD culture and it demands to be fed constantly.
RAIN: How does an artist go about having a Billboard or Music Week Charting Dance Club Hit?
NOAH: You hire promoters. There are only few who actually succeed as Billboard promoters… roughly a handful who can get tracks to the Billboard Reporting DJs and get results. There are approximately 135 (give or take) Billboard nightclub reporting DJs across the United States that maintain charts of what they play on a weekly basis and send them to the ‘chart manager’ at Billboard for tallying and publication. As one can imagine, the competition is fierce and the politics are thick. And each promoter has his or her particular tribe of loyal DJs that they can count on to report their projects as being played…even if the record doesn’t hit the dance floor. It is a statistical game of sorts. The name of the game is to get as many of these DJs charting the record as possible at a given time and there are strategies to do this.
Music Week functions similarly, however the UK is just more receptive to new music and there are fewer politics involved. Power Promotions in London is a top-notch company that have consistently been able to deliver very great results with virtually non of the drama that I endured when promoting to Billboard in the U.S. It can be a dirty business. The stories are true.
NOAH: We can save this for a private conversation. I witnessed some very absurd things. I can’t even laugh about them yet…
RAIN: What does being on the charts do for an artist?
NOAH: Basically, it lets people know you exist. Billboard is a household name and to have your single charting on Billboard may be worth its weight in gold…. I say “may” only because of the perception it can create. It’s a great sound byte. However, Billboard is an industry publication and the average Joe doesn’t even read the magazine and could care less if you are on a Billboard Chart. So in a sense it’s like show and tell to your industry peers.
RAIN: I've read that you decided to take some courses at the electronic production academy, Dubspot in Manhattan. What prompted this? What do you think you got out of going?
NOAH: I spent two years boxed up in my apartment promoting my last three singles. I needed to get back to production, mixing and mastering and to sharpen my DJ skills. As well, I needed to be with other musicians. The great thing about Dubspot, in addition to all of the training, is that it is really a very vibrant community of artists who all share a love for music and technology. It’s bliss really.
RAIN: Do you find recording and songwriting to be a lot different to DJing. Has it helped your songwriting?
NOAH: DJing inspires songwriting and teaches one to write better songs. In many ways DJing is songwriting. It’s like sonic tapestry. Telling stories.
RAIN: What's been the high point in your musical journey so far?
NOAH: The support and enthusiasm for my music is the very gratifying. And every song is high for me. Every song is a new baby and they all come with their own joys and challenges.
RAIN: What drives you to write and perform music?
NOAH: It’s been with me since childhood. The impulse. I managed a meticulous record collection. Music was always there. And my tastes are quite eclectic.
RAIN: What projects do you have coming up?
NOAH: I’m wrapping up my next single titled “Man in the Making” at the moment. It’s the sequel to Keep On Movin’! I’m very excited about it. It’s being produced with Ben Dabson aka Radical Academy in Wales.
RAIN: Do you believe in aliens?
NOAH: We are aliens. There are a zillion forms of life on our planet alone. It is ridiculous to think there isn’t more out there.
RAIN: Is New York still dead?
NOAH: Hmmm. “New York is Dead” was a song about looking for a party on a Saturday night. New York City is great but it is not what is used to be. It lost the edge it once had. Thankfully I was able to experience the era. And, really, there is so much life in New York City it’s overwhelming at times.