Student Quarterly November 2011
"I have come across some exceptional talent, but a particular artist that stands out above them all is Simon Smith.
Calling himself a multimedia artist Simon writes, makes music, takes photos, and paints. He is a man whose talents are only exceeded by his
Interview on MTM Radio
Interview about using Social Networking to help artist and audiences connect
Interview with Jennie Lees of www.strayfm.com October 2011
Festive single children's charity
A SINGER from Eastbourne has released a single for charity in the run up to Christmas.
Simon Mark Smith has written and performed a new Christmas single called Christmas Day, which is available to be downloaded.
Seventy per cent of the profits are being donated directly to the Tree of Hope Children's Charity based in Bexhill.
The song is sung by Simon together with Rebecca Burge with additional backing by Katouche Goll and her sister.
The Tree of Hope has provided help to Katouche over a number of years.
Katouche was diagnosed with spastic diplegia at birth, a form of cerebral palsy which affects her lower limbs which means she need constant mobility support.
Her mother Ngaio Goll said, “Katouche also had Erbs Palsy which affected her whole right arm. Her movement of the arm as well as her sensitivity to temperature and pain was severely reduced. She suffered burns and had surgery to her hand as a result.
“Thankfully, this is now minimised. She has full use of the arm and hand, although it is larger than her left arm and hand.
“She needs ongoing Conductive Education at the Peto Institute in Budapest, Hungary, and surgical intervention, to correct her feet, to loosen and lengthen muscles and correct her posture.”
A spokesperson for the Tree of Hope Children's Charity said, “We are over the moon to have such a talent recording a song to raise money on our behalf.
“We think it is a great song that is really meaningful and the money raised will really help change sick children's lives here in the UK.
“Not only is it a great song but it's for a great cause and we encourage everyone to go to iTunes and CDBaby to purchase their copy for only 99p.”
The song has already generated advance interest from Simon Mark Smith's fan base.
It was released last Friday and Simon says he hopes it will be a big success with its mixture of melody and meaningful lyrics.
Further details are available at http://www.treeofhope.org.uk/index.php?page=a-song-for-christmas
During my ten months meeting local bands I have come across some exceptional talent, but a particular
Many of our readers are unfortunate enough to have not heard much about you; tell us about
Simon Smith: I'm Simon Mark Smith. I'm a multimedia artist. I work as a recording artist, painter, writer,
I often work with Steve
Dumelo now. He's a multi instrumental musician, singer, engineer, producer
What's your sound?
SS: I try not to pin my work down to a style however ultimately the range and tone of my voice and
You have an album coming out soon; what can you tell us about it?
SS: Nearly all my work is about a multi-layered approach to life, so each song takes a situation and looks
Most artists have favourite songs on their releases, what are yours?
SS: Facebook ; this is one of our most commercial songs, lots of people like it and it kind of captures a bit of
Last time I checked you had over 80,000 fans on Facebook which is more than many well-established
SS: The world is starting to feel the effect of technology on business, as with all change there are those who cling
Who should listen to your music?
SS: I think my work will appeal to people who know what it's like to have loved and lost, who think and feel about life,
By Andrew Nicholls
The original article was at this location:
How did you get to hear of Audio Rokit?
A friend told me about it, so I thought I'd check it out. Many artists complain that they shouldn't have to spend time promoting themselves or networking but unless they're rich enough to pay someone else to do it then IMO it's a good idea to explore every avenue.
Aside from Audio Rokit, what other methods do you use to get your music heard?
We use social networking mainly. People seem to spread our links. It kind of escalates when we put out new free tracks or videos.
So far we've got around 82,000 followers. We're just about to do a 3 month publicity campaign using traditional methods, but see it as a limited exercise. The internet and social networking feels less limited.
What do you find most challenging about the music industry?
“You got to be in it to win It” and “You're not coming in here looking like that”, spring to mind. At one point DJs had more freedom. Now it feels like the industry is so closed that the only option for most artists to get any recognition is via the Internet. I mean how many new artists do major labels promote each year? The answer is probably in the 10's, yet there are so many niche areas out there that aren't catered for by the major labels.
I feel like it's as if showing you're financially viable isn't enough, and in most industries it would be. If you go to the supermarket they don't just stock the best sellers, they give you a choice.
What music are you working on currently?
We always try to have something on the boil and plans in the pipeline. We have so many approaches to creating a song which in their own ways influence the direction of it. The song we're working on now came from jamming and then assembling the ideas. It's subject matter came from people talking on social networks about losing themselves in a relationship. Stylistically it has a leaning towards Chris Isaak's music.
What advice would you give other musicians?
Don't listen to me… However if you did I'd say: Do you want to have a real life audience? If so, spend as much time promoting as you do creating. Try to get honest opinions from other people and use the feedback to see if it's what you think too, continuously look for ways of improving. Work continuously, and love doing what you're doing, that way, even if you don't get the breaks you'd like, at least you've had fun. Finally, have a genuine relationship with your audience, engage with them as you would anyone and don't be pushy.
What is the best gig you have played and why?
I don't do much gigging now, I did do quite a few years of it, but now I see myself more as a recording artist. After a few years of gigging things just clicked in to place so most of the gigs then became enjoyable, The Union Chapel, the Blackheath Concert Halls, The Bottom Line, The Half Moon, The Orange, and even The While Hart Fulham all had their charm.
A gig is about the connection through the music, the dialogue, the movement of all concerned. I learned early on to always stay connected to an audience, none of that turning my back and having a laugh with the band… It's all about connection.
If you could hear and see anyone play live right now who would it be and why?
Leonard Cohen, firstly because I've never seen him live and secondly because I love his music and equally I'd love to see Bruce Springsteen because of his rapport with the audience.
How are you finding Audio Rokit?
I've had a few enquiries and we'll see where they lead. If I make a million I'll take Audio Rokit out for lunch, somewhere cheap though, so don't get too excited! Seriously though, if you don't try these things out how will you make connections? It's better to be out there connecting with others, you never know where they'll lead.
Who or what are your biggest influences to you and your music?
Mark Knopfler, The The, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Isaak, Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson, Elvis, and many, many more!
Get connected with Simon Mark Smith
An Interview with Simon Mark Smith August 2011
M. RachailovI asked Simon Smith if he considers himself to be an artist and he answered "On Sundays I paint, the rest of the week I'm an artist" he pauses then looks at me "I stole that line from a thief, I mean another artist. All artists are thieves in a way, the Roman god for artists was the same as for thieves, it goes with the territory". Who knows what it is that makes someone an artist, but Simon did do his degree in Fine Art Painting at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art in London, so does a qualification qualify you? Simon seems to shrug the question away as if it's not really important. After a few years exhibiting following his degree he felt that music suited his needs as an artist more. "People in galleries spend more time reading the labels than looking at the paintings, I wanted to reach out to people and I loved making music so I started to develop as a singer songwriter". As time went on he also became a photographer and writer. His work has been used on television, published in magazines, books and of course on the Internet. Currently with close to 80,000 followers on Facebook there must be something about this man that's drawing so much attention?
“I hope it's the work” he says and laughs. “Although personality can play a part in what interests people about an artist, I imagine most artists would like to feel their work had played some part in the process”. Indeed his work has something about it. With vocals in the vein of Springsteen, Knopfler, Cohen, and REM he's also incorporated dance rhythms that give a modern feel to a style that might have appeared as retro had they not been incorporated. "I like the combination of old and new, it's a kind of reaction against the typical attitudes you tend to meet from both the young and old that cause such unnecessary divisions, it's an attempt to show the value of both their worlds." Much of his work is about trying to understand what's going on both around and inside of us and that combined with lyrics that will sometimes make you laugh and sometimes touch you to the core, it's no wonder that so many people have linked up with him.
There's something else about what's going on here that's capturing people's attention and that's the people power behind this artist. There's no company in the background pouring money in to this project. It's just people, passing on his website or Facebook page to each other. Simon is one of the older new kids on the block and has his own take on what's going on. “Before social networking took off, an artist was still at the mercy of record companies. Even with home studios, or on line distribution, or Myspace, it was still near enough impossible to get off the ground but it's Social Networking that is the final part of the jigsaw. It allows real communication and involvement between artists and followers and, within this process engagement takes place in both directions. Instead of artists becoming untouchable and consequently isolated they are now very much connected with their audience and back to being part of “the community”. This is new territory and it's going to change the whole landscape of the music industry”.
Simon's own musical history follows a similar path to many. Critical acclaim, but no support from the record industry, so it's no wonder he's a keen advocate of the New Musical World Order. With over 300 recordings under his belt, he's proved he's got staying power but it's when you see that he's also a published photographer and writer (Microsoft even paid a five figure sum for one of his poems), occasional film maker and, on top of that he's still painting, it's then that you begin to get a sense of the energy behind this man. “I don't sleep much” he jokes, and it's true (he mainly works through the night) and when it's time to pay the bills, he's also gone out in the day and earned his crust. On top of that he gives most of his songs away for free, charging only for premium membership of his website and his CDs.
His latest album, entitled “Wonderful Life”, a title that's more about how life fills us with wonder, as in questions rather than joy, is currently available for $15 (around £8) inc p&p (worldwide) OR for the deluxe version it's £10 inc p&p to the UK.. Both CDs have 19 tracks but different running orderas and booklets. If you're not sure, do as Simon says, “just download them for free from my website and see what you think."
M. R. 2011
An Interview with Simon Mark Smith "Connecting With An Audience Online"
Whilst the Arab Spring turns in to the Arab Winter, the Internet continues to erode the multi-national conglomerates structures we've grown used to being under the control of . Meanwhile the record industry becomes far narrower than ever so it's no surprse that recording artists such as Simon Mark Smith are beginning to harness followings hitherto unattainable without record label intervention.
“Not only that” says Simon “but now when something goes on the Internet it may remain there, ready to be discovered and engaged with way beyond the shelf lives of products on the high street, what's more, once found, a chain reaction of connectivity occurs that wouldn't have been possible previously. This Long Tail shelf life will have a profound effect on how markets and products connect.”
Simon has been promoting his music for just over a year primarily focusing on Facebook as a platform through which to engage with his audience, and in that time he's hooked up with over 95,000 followers. When he puts a message on his page 95,000 people potentially get to hear what he has to say, and what's more, for him it's free!
So what's it all about Simon?
“It's about a lot of issues from how good the work is to what kind of branding is going on, but most importantly it's about a genuine dialogue going on between audience and artist, it takes commitment and time but aside from building up a following it's a deeply enriching experience to have that kind of communication going on.”
On the 28 th November 2011 Simon will be releasing a 19 track album entitled “Wonderful Life” which can only be bought via his website (£10 inc P&P), once again Simon is defiant. “Why sell primarily through i-tunes or CD baby and lose the potential connection with someone who likes my work?”
On top of that, figure this in to the equation: Most of Simon's songs can be downloaded for free, so why would anyone buy his CD?
“Because like most of us, people like to support artists they have an affinity with. Most people can download songs for free anyway so I felt I might as well just let people have it from me rather than from pirate websites which could also put those very people who like my work at risk. The payback is, people will link up and keep in contact. On top of my CD sales there's my membership site which for either Free or $10/year offers premium services and in time there will be merchandise for sale too. So if people want to help support what I do, there are still plenty of channels available ”
Simon is also a painter, writer, photographer and occasional film maker so each of these disciplines has led to further promotional opportunities, for instance if he writes a blog people may get to listen to his music or view some of his art works whilst there and conversely those who come to his music page will often end up looking at his art works. In a year's time how many more people will he have linked up to, and what earning potential lies behind such followings?
Using an estimate of just 1% of the following spending £10 per year one can see that fan bases approaching the hundreds of thousands may well offer lucrative incomes, especially to individuals. With the Internet's ability to offer “long tail” connection then these followings may well reach the millions for many artists in time.
I'll let Simon have the last word:
“We don't go to a supermarket and expect only to be offered the most popular products that the shop offers, which coincidently is the only product offered. Yet that's precisely what the music industry is up to, so it's no wonder that both buyers and sellers are meeting on the Internet to trade and engage. It's not always about making the most profit possible, sometimes even a small profit is enough.”
For more information go to www.simonmarksmith.com
Press Pack www.simonmarksmith.com/epk
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Simonmarksmith
M.Rachailov November 2011
Or you can link up with him on the following networks: