Ypulse Interview: Toby Gad, Music Producer

tobygadWith concert sales falling, YouTube stars rising and “American Idol” (as fans know it) ending, this summer has raised a lot of questions around the future of the music industry. For today’s Ypulse Interview we reached out to Grammy winning songwriter and producer Toby Gad for an insider’s perspective. Along with working with many popular artists including Beyonce, Fergie, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson, Toby specializes in building the careers of young talent.

Below he speaks to some of the recent changes in the record industry, what’s required to make it in music today and speculates on what will become of the record company.

Ypulse: How do you see platforms like YouTube and MySpace changing the music industry?

Toby Gad: I think it is giving the power back to the individuals. Now it’s up to the artist to not just rely on the record label to do all the footwork because artists can do most of the footwork themselves these days. They can build their own fan base via MySpace where they have their own audience and they have their own feedback. It’s a huge change and the record labels that used to be A&R-ing [Artists and Repertoire]  records and putting records together and were in between the audience and the artists are now almost replaced in certain ways by media like YouTube where the artist can get direct feedback from the listener.

Look at artists like [Dutch singer] Esmée Denters.  Justin Timberlake signed her to his record label after she had a huge buzz in Holland with 50 million YouTube views a year ago. She started out as an unknown kid in Holland just singing other people’s songs getting feedback like “try to sing this song,” or “I don’t like how you sing this.” That’s the same feedback A&R at a record label would give new talent. It presents a lot of opportunities for…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

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Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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