Marmoset Sponsors Hawai'i Songwriting Festival

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When listening to friends exchange summer vacation stories, the words “conferences” and “workshops” probably won’t jump out in the trip highlights anywhere — until you talk with the Marmoset team. But it’s anything but boring. Here’s why.

This week we’re calling Hawaiʻi our home, settling in and sponsoring the annual Hawai'i Songwriting Festival. With 2018 being the fourth year in a row of proudly being affiliated with and sponsoring the festival’s initiatives, we’re eager for yet another opportunity to dig even deeper into supporting the music community on island time.

The heart of the fest is education. It’s an event for bridging a local community with actual industry professionals while providing an exposure to resources that may not exactly be locally present otherwise. It’s an opportunity to learn beyond what some may not even have fanthomed when pursuing the music writing dream.

In order to ensure our impact is far reaching while involving all areas of the community, Marmoset is providing around 15 scholarships to local Hawaiians. These deserving attendees receive an opportunity to attend the fest’s informational workshops and panels, along with speed mentoring (rapid fire round of collecting feedback and career advice from those working in music).

And while songwriting might be mentioned in the festival’s headlining title, there’s much more going on below the surface. Just look to the Copyright Overview, Music Business Basics workshop being led by music attorney, Jula Brotman; it’s an example of something that’s imperative to familiarize oneself in, but may not be so easily broached otherwise (especially for newcomers). It’s invaluable insight to rough and tough topics — the business side to making art.

It’s also another reason that makes us leap into action and lend the kind of support this festival deserves. When it comes to advertising, we’ve live and breathe the concept; it’s a big part of what our Creative Music Licensing team does day in and day out. Proponents of artists, we aim at helping those we represent earn a living by licensing their music from everything from television to movies to commercial projects. It’s also why our CEO and cofounder, Ryan Wines is leading the How to Sell Out: Music in Branding panel. The workshop circulates techniques on navigating this unique kind of terrain, how to smartly sell one’s music without selling oneself short.

The panel also features three special guests contributing to the topic — Kate and Khaled of MUNNYCAT and Frankie Simone. We caught up with Kate and Khaled while they were kicking it at Waikiki Beach to talk more about the fest and their participation:

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"For us, we’re most excited to empower and inspire girls to start producing for themselves. Like a lot of the songwriters coming to the conference, we grew up isolated from the LA music machine, but it was a gift because we were able to find our own voices as artists and producers."

"We hope they can realize that it’s a gift for them too. We think it’s so important for young girls to know that everything they need to make a living in the music industry is already inside of them. If we can inspire them to be a little less afraid to be weird and a little more self-sufficient, then we did our job."

"Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii, so we came out five days early to take in as much of the beauty and culture as we possibly can! We’ve heard about how magical this event is from songwriter friends for years now and are over the moon that we get to experience it! We’re excited to get closer with our Portland Marmoset family, Ryan Wines, and Frankie Simone and also to make lots of new lifelong friends. We’re really pumped about learning more at the panel on royalties, the speed mentoring sessions, and Kenny Loggins, of course. Man, this is gonna be amazing!" 

With other Marmoset artists also attending and participating at the songwriting fest, we connected with emerging pop artist, Haley Joelle before she jet set to the festivities. As someone who's attended a few times before, we wanted to collect her thoughts on the event:

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 "When I first attended the festival two years ago (I was 16), that was when I didn't have a producer yet so my music sounded a lot different."

"The festival not only made me realize that as a pop artist I needed a producer but it also gave me access to producers that I could work with. I also learned the value of co-writing! Two years ago I'd never co-written a song before and now I co-write all the time. The most amazing thing about the festival though is the ratio of attendees to staff members.The staff members are so accessible all the time during the festival, which is how I've been able to make connections with some of them and get really useful feedback on my songs. "

"This festival is one of my favorite things I've ever been to in my life and it's really close to my heart because it was basically the start of where I am now. I found out about it through another music conference so when I was 16 my dad and I decided to go and check it out. That year I wound up being a finalist in the songwriting competition so I got to perform in front of everyone (including all the staff members). That night was when I met Richard Harris and about a month later I flew down to California to work with him. He introduced me to co-writing and the 2nd song we wrote was "Meet in the Middle" — which was my first #1 earlier this year!"

Want more community and education posts? Read on below.

Posted on July 18, 2018 and filed under Marmoset, Education, Community.

Artist Spotlight: Ants Ants Ants

Ants Ants Ants

Ants Ants Ants is an emerging Portland band that’s challenging music genres in their own way. Channeling the likes of The Beatles with psychedelic ‘70s vintage rock sprinkled on top, the musical group sets themselves apart in how their content is designed — keeping both kids and adults in mind. It’s a mergence that doesn’t happen often in the music world where content can be both appreciated by kindergarteners as well as their parents.

Comprised of Johnny Clay, who played with The Dimes for over 10 years and Dave Gulick of Derby, Ants Ants Ants became a new venture for the two artists. The creative project became an opportunity to craft music for a completely new kind of audience altogether.

“I think the best part about writing these songs was that there weren’t really any constraints,” says Gulick. “You could write about anything; that was really liberating and a blast to do. I think it’s easy to overthink things while you’re writing music, so simplifying things was such a breath of fresh air.”

With the freedom to begin exploring new creative territory, Ants Ants Ants became a liberating chapter in Clay’s and Gulick’s lives. The duo found themselves returning to “the basics,” embracing a new songwriting process by welcoming input from Clay’s kids. The idea was to step back and allow the content to develop more organically, preserving its genuine and relatable qualities.

“I think we both approach the songwriting process like we do in our other bands,” says Clay. “Kids are smart and they know when something isn’t authentic. We really want to write great songs that they can relate to lyrically without sacrificing the production or the music. That’s what our favorite songs from our childhood did.”

The inspiration for the band’s premise came from Gulick’s and Derby’s own childhood influences, recalling how the songs from The Point by Harry Nilsson and Schoolhouse Rock made such an impression on them as children. Alongside the material they were inspired by when growing up, Ants Ants Ants taps into the pressing questions that kids can’t help but be intrigued by.

Ants Ants Ants

“For me, most of these songs were inspired by the things my kids say or questions they ask,” says Clay. “I’ll never forget when my oldest asked what the biggest animal in the world is — when I told her it was a blue whale she didn’t believe me. So we looked it up together and that inspired the song “Blue.”

With an unlimited source of inspiration living under the same roof as Clay, Gulick notes how the ideas are useful jumping off points for their project. Clay’s oldest daughter even inspired one of Gulick’s latest works, a song that’s about a giant eating an ice cream cone.

This sort of imaginative world that Ants Ants Ants brings to life paints a clear mental picture as each song unfolds. But for listeners needing more of a clear guiding visual, the duo work closely with Chris Purdin, an animator who’s collaborated with Laika and Cartoon Network. Through Purdin’s illustrating expertise, he brings to life the cheeky and incredibly imaginative world of Ants Ants Ants. The animated videos are filled with pops of color and an array of characters, it’s work that would fit right into a segment on Sesame Street or Nickelodeon.

Ants Ants Ants proves an artist can have a creative mission to mix up genres while remaining true to their listeners. When it comes to putting their material to the test, both Clay and Gulick can rely on the kids in their lives to bring on the honest feedback.

“If I catch my eight year old singing the song to herself later, that’s usually a good indicator,” says Clay. “Or if we’ve recorded a demo and they keep asking to hear it. When Dave first sent me the demo for “Morning Song,” my five year old wanted to hear it every morning before school. We knew that was a good sign!”

The age range that Ants Ants Ants’ music taps into varies, allowing the artists to explore a variety of subjects and storytelling formulas. An example of this are the songs “Why Why Why” and “Helicopter Leaves” — older kids and parents can more easily identify the well-constructed hooks incorporated into the songs. Songs like “Six Pickup Sticks” vibe a bit better for younger listeners, the rhythmic and repetitive nature designed for learning purposes.

For new listeners of Ants Ants Ants, we recommend beginning with “Are We There Yet?” The song exudes a touch of CCR and ‘50s vintage rock while painting a picture of an endless adventure. Energetic, playful, and still educational, it’s a song that touches on every youthful person’s memory of family road trips.

Ants Ants Ants has debuted their new album Why Why Why this year. The band is currently working on writing new music for their next album — listeners can expect a bit of funk with their upcoming work.

Want to check out more artist spotlights? Read on below!

Posted on July 17, 2018 and filed under Spotlight: Artists, Music, Marmoset, Artist Spotlights.

Top Picks: We're Obsessed with These Vintage Labels

  Sly Stone, musician, songwriter, and producer of the 1960s/1970s. 

Sly Stone, musician, songwriter, and producer of the 1960s/1970s. 

With the surge of vintage revival, it's old school jams, rock 'n' roll, and soul commonly rise out of big feature films and hit television soundtracks. There's something special about feeling the time warp via sound, it's much like getting a sneak peek into a different generation and cultural vibe. 

Being admirers of music — all music, especially rare vintage — Marmoset set out on a quest to help timeless, amazing oldies see the light of day once more. And so our Artist & Repertoire team delivered BIG. 

Now with over 550 vintage artists from record labels like FervorSecret Stash, Goldband, Cleopatra Records, Saxony, and the Hadley Murrell Collection, listeners don't even need to dig through dusty crates in their estranged uncle's basement. The range of these record labels are especially unique in that our vintage music is mostly not available for standard click licensing — instead, you'll want to reach out to our Creative Music Licensing team to begin that conversation.

We spoke with our Repertoire & Roster Coordinator, Farnell Newton to find out what vintage work listeners should check out. Check out the list below:

"Fatback" by Mr. Wiggles  /// "I Judge the Funk" by Black Ice /// "All Thru the Night" by Eddie Horan ///

"Tonight, I'm Gonna Fall in Love Again" by The Teardrops ///  "Ain't No Time For Stoppin" by Fat City ///

"Do Your Stuff" by Count Rockin Sidney /// "Big Boy" by The Jackson Five /// "Lowrider Rap" by Poor Boy Rappers ///

"Rosina" by Carl Coccomo /// "Afro-Funk" by Peter King 

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Want to check out more mixtape and music highlight articles? Read on below. 

Marmoset Artists Speak out on America

Marmoset Fourth of July Artists Music

With yesterday's Fourth of July (an American holiday) being mostly filled with watermelon, macaroni salad, and giant pool floats, Marmoset wants to take a moment and nod at the rich history accompanying this day. It's a day when America celebrated its motion for independence from Great Britain — just a friendly reminder that America's founding fathers fled from another country.

Things have changed a bit since then, the political landscape feeling tumultuous, the destination intensely uncertain. It’s this undercurrent that while is the bane of our anxiety, prompted us to hone in what we can do, to use our platform for focusing on the positive change that is happening — the change you are noticing too.

With Marmoset being home to artists from all backgrounds and throughout the globe, we wanted to check in with our community. We wanted to know what these artists are hopeful for, how they're fighting back, and highlight the many ways they're giving back.  With a ton of thoughtful replies so far, we’ll be sharing the responses throughout the rest of the month, here are several to begin the conversation:

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We talked to Lisa Schonberg of Secret Drum Band who described her favorite place in the United States. She dished her personal take on none other than New York.

Schonberg:  "My favorite place in the United States is New York City. I was born and raised there. My family arrived there as immigrants about a hundred years ago and is still mainly based there so it always will feel like the center of the universe to me.

I love NYC for the deep feeling of history, for its architecture, for its wonderful diversity, and for just its dynamic character, honesty, depth and beauty everywhere. I have been excited about exploring natural areas in the city and connecting with other artists and scientists there. Stepping off the plane and hearing someone talk with a NY accent is just about the happiest I get."

Marmoset: What makes you hopeful about our country today?

Schonberg: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! And other badass, honorable, true and honest fighters.

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We also heard from Marmoset artist, Dobsy on what makes him hopeful about the United States:

Dobsy:  "I'm hopeful about the people in our country because of the fact that when you get outside of the news and social media, people genuinely do care about others and take the time to understand each other.

We aren't as divided as the media portrays. There's so much gold in the world when we get out and really connect with the amazing people we share this country with. Don't let what you read or watch cause division, there's so much to be happy and hopeful for!"

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On the topic of activism, many of Marmoset's artists are constantly in motion. Whether it be creating music to bring awareness to causes or using their time outside of music, there's a lot happening in the community.

Songwriter and composer, Oliver J. Hughes fills us in on where he's focusing his efforts:

Hughes: I’m very passionate about immigration issues and more specifically highlighting reality in a world of lies.  I’m working on a mini-documentary right now about the impact of immigrants in our cities.  Spoiler alert: it’s pretty damn positive.  

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We also spoke with with Portland based band, There is No Mountain to find out what keeps them hopeful for America. Here's what they had to say:

Kal: The fact that we have toured coast to coast several times and never once had to sleep in a car. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, we've stayed in over 100 different homes over the past few years. No matter how divided our country may be right now, when it comes down to it, there are people everywhere who are happy to share what they have. 

Marmoset: What kind of activism are you involved in right now? 

Kal: A cause that I have become very passionate about over the past 5 years is employment inclusion for people with disabilities. We recently produced a podcast called ABLE that aired on KBOO, and we even have a song inspired by my day job called "Wheels." I have also volunteered with Living Yoga for around five years and often bring music into my classes. Living Yoga provides classes for people who wouldn't usually be able to access yoga (i.e. prisons, rehab centers, clinics, and behavior healthcare facilities). 

Thanks to our amazing artists who continually strive to give back to their communities. We'll be highlighting more of the incredible responses pouring in throughout the month of July. Stay tuned!

Want to read more community focused posts? Read on below.

Posted on July 5, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset.

Let's Make a Movie! Marmoset Sponsors StudioFest

Marmoset StudioFest Sponsorship Filmmakers Music

Centered around music licensing and creating original music, Marmoset is no stranger to helping filmmakers license and/or compose original music for their creative projects. It's something that goes hand in hand with our overall  initiative — equipping visuals with the best soundtrack imaginable, all while having our artists' backs along the way.

Our effort to stay involved in lending our services to filmmakers (and other creatives) is why we jumped at sponsoring StudioFest, an event that's reimagining how festivals operate to better support its artists. 

Think of it this way — with most festivals centering around short form mediums, it's challenging for filmmakers to figure out what happens next once the festival circuit finishes. Even if a short film is well received, the hurdles for branching into feature filmmaking are endless. And we're not even brushing the topic of budgeting for a 90-minute movie. 

This all being said, there’s often no place for artists to flex their creative muscles between this transition from short to feature length filmmaking. It’s a big leap for many (unless you have industry connections). Identifying such an industry gap, we knew we had to contribute to the cause, which is why we're joining forces with StudioFest.

The groundbreaking festival’s mission is to support filmmakers and writers in developing their debut feature. It's a one-of-a-kind experience for newcomers to dream larger, being able to bring their art to life on the feature length scale. StudioFest is set to host five short filmmakers and five feature-length screenplay writers  at the Graham and Co. Hotel in the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York. At the end of the festival, one film director and one screenwriter will receive the opportunity to partner with StudioFest in making their first feature film. 

Where does Marmoset come in? Music being our expertise, we’ll work alongside the winning filmmaker by licensing music to incorporate within their feature film.

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What do you need to know:

  • Finalists must be able to travel to Phoenicia, New York for the festival. All 10 finalists will need to attend and participate if chosen.

  • To enter, candidates must be new to the feature filmmaking game — this means to be eligible, filmmakers cannot have made a feature  film or written a feature script in the past. It’s strictly an opportunity to newcomers and a way to even the playing field.


  • Regular deadline: July 8th, 2018 — $50. Late deadline: August 3rd, 2018 — $65

Where to Submit Your Application:

Want more information? 

Want to read more on Marmoset's community outreach? Read more below!

Posted on July 3, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music.

Portland's Summer Scene: Catch These Shows Around Town!

It's official. Summer has arrived. 

If you're not listening to music while floating down a body of water or while relaxing on a warm beach — in the company of several hundred other people — is it really summer at all?

Whatever you decide to do over the next couple months, don't forget to support your local music scene. We've got the complete Portland list below so you can get up and go! For each performance, we've curated summer visuals to capture what each artist's vibe resembles.  Which one aligns with your summer vibe? 

Marmoset Tribe Mars

Who: Tribe Mars

Where: Mississippi Studios

When: July 6th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Soulful and hip-hop rooted, Tribe Mars can best be described as smooth and easy-listening.  Walking on clouds, Tribe Mars creates a feeling of transcending above everything. Like a long sweat-drenched hike with no end in sight, there's an elated moment of tranquilness as you emerge above nature, the city, all life below you. Listen to  "Soul Syrup" to channel a revelatory change in scenery. 



Who: Jeremy Enigk

Where: Doug Fir Lounge

When: July 11th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Orchestral rock, relish in the rebellious and carefree soundscape of Enigk's work. "Late of Camera" emotes that feeling of hopping chain linked fences to sneak into closed swimming pools — it's that adrenaline pumping moment before jumping into the cool water. 

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Who: Lemuria

Where: Holocene

When: August 5th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Indie rock with a dash of punk, Lemuria is a group that's constantly reinventing themselves and their sound. Songs like "More Tunnel" make us feel in touch with our confident side. Just like being immersed in the vast ocean before surfing to shore, it's that moment of letting self-doubt go and owning the waves.


Who: Blossom

Where: Mississippi Studios 

When: August 24th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Both fiery and cool, Blossom's vocals are timeless while still being at the top today's game. The laid back mood that permeates off of Blossom's music channels our summer cruising vibes. "Video" is that partial sun-kissed feeling with our feet hanging out of the car window — it's about kicking back and enjoying summer's fleeting moments. 

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Posted on July 2, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music, Shows.