2017 Travels | Dominican Republic, Spain, and USA Road Trip

A small glimpse into our travels the last couple months...! Filmed between April 2017 - June 2017 on GoPro HERO4 and Sony RX100.

Places featured: 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic --> 🇪🇸 Spain --> 🇺🇸 USA
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic; Montserrat and Barcelona, Spain; Grand Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park

Isle Of Light 2017 Lineup Announced

The fourth annual Isle of Light festival will take place April 1, 2017 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

This year's lineup will feature headliners Crystal Castles, fresh off the release of brand new album Amnesty (I), an act that continues to set the standard for a visually arresting and utterly breathtaking live show. 

Isle of Light 2017 will also host the triumphant comeback of Dominican artist Rita Indiana, her first show in nearly 7 years. Having moved on from previous project Rita Indiana y Los Misterios, the performance will be done under her new guise, simply 'Rita Indiana,' and is an indication of big things to come on the horizon from the prolific musician and esteemed writer/novelist.

The lineup further consists of international acts alongside local acts from Miami, the Dominican, and the Caribbean, rounding out the diverse lineup. Adding to the culturally immersive experience will be gourmet food and drink curation, on-site installations, and an unmatched environment set on the sparkling surroundings of the Caribbean shoreline.  

The festival will also include IOL PLUS, an innovative networking and panel discussion event for music industry professionals. Taking place March 31, the event will feature a series of talks and workshops with national and international speakers providing insight on today's music industry climate. IOL PLUS is available as a free upgrade with an Early Bird ticket purchase.

Isle of Light is presented by creative collective Mishu. The Miami-based company promotes music events across the U.S. and abroad, notably House of Creatives Music Festival held in Miami, which featured headliners The Flaming Lips last fall. The company also runs a record label arm (Mishu Records) and an original content creation arm (The House of Creatives / HoC). 

Touted by Urban Outfitters as a 'Top 10 Destination Festival,' Isle of Light has boasted performances by Run The JewelsNeon IndianUnknown Mortal Orchestra, ShamirTwin ShadowThe Juan MacleanEzra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Danielle Haim (HAIM), Chromeo, Warpaint, and Soul Clap, and has seen coverage from The Wall Street JournalBillboardNYLONConsequence of SoundComplexVice/Live Nation TV, etc.

Hosting over 3000 people, the fest extends over the gorgeous shoreline of Santo Domingo's "Old Colonial Zone" under the historic harbor light house. Attendees are immersed in a vibrant cultural exchange exposing local festival-goers to a diverse lineup of international artists while giving international attendees a chance to explore the plazas, restaurants, hotels, beaches, and natural beauty of the Dominican capital city. 

Tickets and additional info available here: www.isleoflight.com

Top Albums of 2016 and a few to come..

2015 was certainly a year of some incredible albums.. but 2016 came in full speed and brought some amazing releases across Pop, Electronic, Rock, and Hip-Hop with international presence. Some of the most critically acclaimed came from artists like Frank Ocean, Beyonce, Kayne West, Chance the Rapper, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Anderson .Paak and many more. Here was a few that I couldn't stop listening to this year.

Top Albums
1. Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Ride
2. Jake Bugg - On My One
3. Kings Of Leon - Walls
4. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
5. Matt Corby - Telluric
6. Thrice - To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
7. Young the Giant - Home of the Strange
8. Bear Hands - You'll Pay For This
9. Big Gigantic - Brighter Future
10. Flume - Skin

1. Lawrence Taylor - Bang Bang EP
2. Leo Stannard - Free Rein EP

Honorable Mentions:
Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow
Pierce The Veil - Misadventures
The Weeknd - Starboy

Albums to come 2017
Kevin Garrett
Colony House


10 live session recordings stripped down..

It’s always a good sign when well produced artists can strip their songs down to their core and perform them exceptionally. True sign of talent? I would say so.. Here is a list of 10 live session recordings that feature tracks just as so.

The Preatures “Is This How You Feel?” – Live from 1 Mic 1 Take (watch)
Courtney Barnett “Depreston” – Live from La Blogotheque (watch)
Young The Giant “Strings” – Live from In The Open Sessions (watch)
Alt-J “Every Other Freckle” – Live from The Current (watch)
James Bay “Let It Go” – Live from Christian Tierney Sessions (watch)
Lawrence Taylor “Waiting For Your Love” – Live from TMRW x Sperry Sessions (watch)
Arctic Monkeys “Why Do You Only Call Me When Your’re High” – Live from Avatar Studios (watch)
Leon Bridges “Lisa Sawyer” – Live from Sofar Sounds (watch)
Daughter “In The Shallows” – Live at Tales from the Shop (watch)
Michael Kiwanuka “I’m Getting Ready” – Live from Mahogany Sessions (watch)

Four Letter Lie at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN

For the first time since Four Letter Lie’s benefit show in 2012, we are returning for a special performance in Minneapolis at First Avenue’s Mainroom on Friday, October 2nd, 2015. The show announcement comes shortly after selling out the smaller room at 7th St. Entry in just a matter of hours.


Like Structures, our newest album, was released last year in August on California based record label Artery Recordings. “Each and every track – from the opener, “Speak For Yourself,” to the closer, “The Safest Way” – is worth a bevy of repeat spins.” New Noise Magazine giving insight to the band’s newest effort going on to calling it the “best work the band has ever done.”

The highly anticipated show at First Avenue will also feature reunions from 2 local bands that Four Letter Lie have shared the stage with many times in the Twin Cities, Take Cover and Emiliana. Opening up the night are popular local ‘up and comer’ bands In Search of Solace, and By The Thousands. The lineup will be sure to grab your nostalgic music strings on growing up in the hard rock music scene of the Twin Cities.

Taking the stage will be founding members, Brian Nagan, John Waltmann, and Connor Kelly, and also introducing Anthony Jones, who provided clean vocals on the newest record for the first time since the departure of our older singer. The performance also brings back drummer Timothy Java who has played with bands as Dead To Fall and Darkest Hour.

Four Letter Lie will also be performing on October 1st, 2015 at local independent and non-profit venue, The Warehouse in La Crosse, WI with By The Thousands, In Search of Solace, and Before We Fall.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/4LLFirstAvenue
RSVP: http://on.fb.me/1KeMi04

Tips for musicians using Twitter

By John Waltmann
Client Relationship Manager of Symphonic Distribution – View the full article here.

If you’re starting from ground zero with your band/musician Twitter profile, I’ve put together a quick write up on Symphonic Distribution’s blog that should help you get the ball rolling and utilize some of Twitter’s key features for bands.

So you’ve created your Twitter page for your artist or band, that’s great! Now what?

It can be a scary and intimidating situation starting a social media page from ground zero and these tips may help you grow your network of followers and help promote your music for the future.

First and foremost, the Twitter page you’ve created should have an association with the rest of your musician or band social media pages. Google and other search engines will prioritize your pages if it can recognize multiple pages for your band. In a perfect scenario, all of your slug URLs would be properly streamlined to look like, for example:


If you can’t get these perfect, it’s not the end of the world, but try small variations like adding ‘music’ or ‘band’ or your local ‘city’ after your artist/band name to keep the SEO and familiarity for your fans relevant.

The next step, before you start tweeting at people or even following your friends, would to be skinning your profile with graphic assets and fill out all the information you can for your profile. Do you have an upcoming release your promoting? Live performances? A single? Put together some graphics that will fit Twitter’s guidelines. You can find those here.

Once you’ve got your profile looking sexy and streamlined, you can start now by following some of your friends, favorite bands, blogs, and any relevant music editors that may stumble across your page. You can also begin to find fans of artists you may sound similar to and start to follow them as well. All in all, they are most likely to discover you and end up digging your sound based on these similar interests.

Another step that you can get set up before you even start tweeting is adding this new Twitter page link to your official website, SoundCloud, Facebook and anywhere your band name might exist. The backend of Twitter can also provide you with a slick and easy-to-use website embed that will host the feed onto your website. Highly suggested..

Next, it’s time to make some Tweets. Oh, so you think you’re boring and you don’t know how to use social media? That’s OK. Social media is about being yourself, and showcasing who you are as a musician/band. Try not to think about starting off and impressing every person in the world, that’s going to be impossible. Just remaining active is the name of the game on Twitter. Joining into a conversation of someone that you follow can be a great way to start some solid interactions and gain some followers. Don’t be shy now… start tweeting at some additional artists/bands that maybe you would want to collaborate one day as well. No one but yourself is going to be counting the number of times someone might not respond, but these types of reach outs to them cannot hurt at all.

Don’t let you Twitter turn into a feed for your Instagram photos either. It’s important for the reader to pick up your voice from your Tweets, or they will eventually just get bored. Best practice would to be sharing your photos from Twitters photo post feature, that way they will actually show up in the feed and the user won’t be redirected to Instagram when they click on your aggregated link.

Here’s some relevant content that you’re going to want to think about in the future as well: Updates from the studio when you’re recording and pictures and video from the packaging or manufacturing of your music (this can include when the artwork or promotional items are being created for your album release).

One of the most important topics to be posting about can be while you are on the road and on tour. People love to see this journey that you’re experiencing and wish they could be a part of it while they read your tweets from their office desks. Let people into this adventure with you and tell them the craziness that the world brings to an artist on the road.

The next steps to utilize Twitter for the long haul would to be scheduling marketing plans for your releases using social media. There are many platforms that artists can take advantage of where you can set up Tweets for Trades on promotional items. This could be a free track, signed drumsticks, and basically anything else you could think of.

We could chat for days on best practices on social media, but these are a few things that should definitely get you up and running and interacting with people in no time. Don’t be scared to follow back fans and be sure to be responding to people taking the time to @reply you. Being personal, consistent, and relevant to the times will take you a long way on the ever-famous Twitter platform.

10 live performances you should probably watch

One thing that I can’t get enough of, live performances. There’s something special about connecting the music you love on recordings, to real life experiences. These are 10 live videos that keep me inspired.


Bring Me The Horizon – Live From Wembley Arena in London, England (watch)
Arctic Monkeys – Live From Reading Festival in Reading, England (watch)
Ben Howard – Live from Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England (watch)
Kendrick Lamar – Live from Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands (watch)
Jake Bugg – Live from Royal Albert Hall in London, England (watch)
Mutemath – Live from 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. (watch)
Gary Clark Jr. – Live from Crossroads Festival in Chicago, IL (watch)
James Bay – Live from Isle of Wight Festival in Newport, UK (watch)
Hozier – Live from iTunes Festival in London, England (watch)
Matt Corby – Live from The Enmore Theatre in Newton, Australia (watch)

YouTube simple and effective practices for musicians

By John Waltmann
Client Relationship Manager of Symphonic Distribution – View the full article here.

The countless features and optimizations of YouTube’s platform can seem intimidating, but we are here to provide you with a few basic optimizations on YouTube profiles that can have you looking the part in no time.

Take a look at our simple guide to some of these best practices HERE, and start utilizing one of the most powerful tools for your brand today. We’re going to break down some of these features for you now below.

First and foremost, set up your profile with a branded profile image, nice header image that can be optimized for mobile, and making sure you have included all your social networks and officials website in the header options.

Google has provided us with a simple step-by-step instruction on best practice for creating your channel art. Take a look at the specifications here.

Now, there are some changes that have happened the past couple years on how you update your profile image. Your branded YouTube channel icon is now changed through your connected Google+ profile. Again, YouTube likes to requests a size of 800×800 pixels at about 100kb file size. For a step-by-step process of optimization your profile image, visit here.

Your profile channel should be looking pretty sweet by now, but we’re just get started. After you have a handful of videos uploaded to your channel, you’re going to want to take advantage of the ’section’ or ‘shelves’ feature. You can find this optimization by selecting “Add A Section” at the bottom of your main homepage of your profile. You can then customization the content and layout of these. Have some fun seeing how some of the features under ‘sections’ work, and find what’s best for you.

The branding watermark and InVideo Programming are a great and effective feature of YouTube that can boost your engagement and views in no time. All channels are capable of this feature, so make sure you are taking advantage of this convenient service. You will need to create a custom image to use for this. You can access these ‘channel settings’ from your YouTube dashboard. Simply select ‘add a watermark’ and upload your image. Best practice calls for an image that is 800×800 pixels. You can also select which time you’d like the subscribe branding watermark to appear, I generally select ‘entire video’.

Now, to feature a video across your entire channel in every video, you will just select ‘feature a video’ from your channel settings. Generally, you will be selecting a video that is your own, but you can also point to any public video on YouTube.

After some time with these new features engaged, you can check out how they are performing by visiting ‘YouTube Analytics’ > ‘Annotations/Annotation Type’ and you will see InVideo programming listed. Click around and test out other variations of branding watermarks and featured videos to see what is giving you the best results.

A couple years ago, YouTube only allowed Partners to create custom thumbnails for their videos. Now with their new Partner program, anyone can create custom thumbnails, which is a major plus for content creators. Having attractive thumbnails are a great way to reel people in, thus driving more traffic to your videos. Always make sure you don’t leave your videos with the thumbnails YouTube automatically chooses for you (the thumbnails they choose are random stills from the beginning, middle and end of your video). Your thumbnail images should be high quality with a recommended size of 1280 x 720 pixels. For more tips on utilizing thumbnails to your advantage, click here.

There are endless possibilities to the content you can create and upload to YouTube. We here at Symphonic want to help you find the look, personality, and feel of your artist, producer, DJ, or band profile. Everything from lyric videos, visualizer videos, tour promotions, album streams, and even music videos, we are here to help along the way.

10 artists to discover today

A lot of people come to me for music suggestions, so I thought I’d give a share to some up-and-coming bands that you probably haven’t had the chance to hear yet. Lucky enough, here’s some live performance and music videos from each!

Kawala – London, UK (listen)
Matt Corby – Sydney, Australia (listen)
Jack Watts – Brighton, UK (listen)
Northern Faces – New York, NY (listen)
Nothing But Thieves – Southend, UK (listen)
Rhodes – Hitchin, UK (listen)
Honne – Somerset, UK (listen)
Anderson East – Athens, AL (listen)
Royal Blood – Brighton, UK (listen)
Nick Mulvey – London, UK (listen)

Music videos you should probably watch

As an artist who has released several albums, one of the most exciting things to plan for was the music video for the newest single. The vision, the inspiration, the production company, all things a musician takes in account when filming a music video. It's an art, and represents the music in such an unique way. Here’s some recent favorite music videos of mine that you hopefully have seen/heard before, but if not…enjoy!

Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine? (watch)
Jake Bugg - What Doesn’t Kill You (watch)
Queens Of The Stone Age - Smooth Sailing (watch)
Micky Ekko - Pull Me Down (watch)
Young The Giant - Mind Over Matter (watch)
Ben Howard - Only Love (watch)
Magic Man - Paris (watch)
Mutemath - Blood Pressure (watch)
Chromeo - Come Alive (watch)

Four Letter Lie releases "The Safest Way" music video

Today, Four Letter Lie premiered our new music video for “The Safest Way” on Alternative Press! The track is featured off our latest EP ‘Like Structures’.

HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this project, we couldn’t have done it without you. Check out the premiere link here, and the video on YouTube here!

“Decade strong post-hardcore devotees Four Letter Lie are teaming up with AP to premiere their new music video for “The Safest Way.”

It’s taken from their latest release, Like Structures, also their first EP for Artery Recordings, with whom they signed to this year. You can download it on iTunes.

The band worked with director Jay Ness for “The Safest Way,” who also worked with them on 2010’s video for “Daymaker.”