Posts filed under Shows

Get Interactive at Umbrellaslang — Coming to Marmoset

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Imagine a performative music event that was just as much about celebrating the music on stage, as what the audience was thinking. An evening where boundaries come down and everyone in the room has an opportunity to contribute, to offer an opinion, their art, their voice. Umbrellaslang is this special kind of place.

Founded by LA duo, TiRon & Ayomari, Umbrellaslang is not merely an event, it’s an immersive and collaborative atmosphere that examines culture through a philosophical lens. It’s much like what it’d be like if Ted Talk, MTV’s Unplugged & Bill Maher merged together.

Attendees can expect live music performances and a free flowing conversation that garners participation from the audience. And it’s beautifully inclusive. “Umbrellaslang is all conversations and phrases centered around health, wealth, positivity, prosperity and love” says TiRon.

To learn more about Umbrellaslang, we sat down with TiRon, scroll further to read our interview with him — then make sure to RSVP to join us for the upcoming Umbrellaslang on October 11th.


TiRon & Ayomari

TiRon & Ayomari

Marmoset: Could you dive a little bit into how the idea of Umbrellaslang came about?

TiRON: I’m part of a group called TiRon & Ayomari. We make a brand of music that we call “urbanamerica,” which is a mash up of all types of music. We’ve been a group since 2011 and our first album was an album about relationships called A Sucker For Pumps. We noticed that the genre we were rooted in, hip hop, hadn’t really talked about relationships in a way without romanticizing it. It was either, “I’ll give you the moon, stars and the sky” or “F*ck b*tches, get money”. There was a lot missing from the conversation, so we tapped into it.

That concept of focusing on the why rather than the what of our music is what inspired every song/album we would release after it which lead us to The Great New Wonderful. We wanted to give our fans music to help build their self esteem and courage while working toward their goals so we started to use the umbrella symbol.

The umbrella is the universal symbol for protection. People do their best work when they free themselves from shame and low self esteem. They’re able to operate at their highest form and grow in a healthier way when they can tap into their inner umbrella and avoid the bad weather of the world. The umbrella represents the freedom to make mistakes and the freedom to learn new things without judgement, the ego navigation. After a while, we started using this philosophy outside of our music and would throw these events called Umbrella Social Clubs which eventually turned into umbrellaslang.

M: We admire how community focused Umbrellaslang real is — how did you go about infusing this into the event from its early stages to how it's set up now?

TiRON: We just noticed as musicians that our audience had something to say. A lot of people don’t have the platform to express themselves in healthy ways without fitting into a groupthink mentality. Our fans in particular loved hearing us talk about what inspired a specific song but would also share what they got from it. So we created this platform to be able to do that.

M: In what ways does the event contribute to its artists and the audience who shows up to participate?

TiRON: Umbrellaslang is kind of an artist development tool. It’s a reminder that behind every song is a potential conversation so make sure your music is about something! With all of the social networking platforms that exist, people aren’t just consuming art... they’re also creating it. Sharing their ideas and thoughts more now than ever. And because everything is so accessible the why is becoming far more important than the what.

Why you do a thing carries more weight than what you do. So while you may be a talented rapper or singer, what you stand for is key. Umbrellaslang helps artists focus on articulating their message. It also allows for different artists and audiences to be in the same room and connect. We can find a lot of common ground on the issues in our society today if there was real conversation. We have more in common than we give ourselves credit for and we’re starting to notice it in the music we listen to.

Rock isn’t straight forward rock anymore, Hip Hop isn’t straight forward Hip Hop anymore. People are learning from other genres and it’s influencing the music. A teen’s Spotify playlist is more diverse than a teen’s CD collection in the ‘90s. There is a lot of intersectionality happening and our opportunity to connect is higher than ever. My theory is, the diversity of a Coachella would be more impactful if the people were actually inspired to talk to one another.

M: How do you see Umbrellaslang contributing to the future of music performance and social education?

TiRON: I believe interactive live shows are the next step to the live music experience. People are growing tired being passive observers, they want to be a part of it. Post Malone said he was inspired to play guitar and make music from playing the video game Guitar Hero. Interaction is the key. The best way to learn and grow is to get involved. And keeping it fun makes it even easier.

M: What’s the biggest thing you envision for the future of Umbrellaslang?

TiRON: The goal for Umbrellaslang is to take the concept worldwide and maybe even implement the format into high schools. The more conversations with the right intention the stronger we become as a society. TED talk meets MTV’s Unplugged. Maybe the next Bruno Mars will be developed through Umbrellaslang.


Special thanks to TiRon for chatting with us! RSVP below and we’ll see you at Umbrellaslang on October 11th.

Eyes on Hip Hop Artist, WebsterX — Taking the Stage at Turner Hall Ballroom

Marmoset artist, WebsterX

Marmoset artist, WebsterX

“When I do something, I want to be passionate about it,” says Sam Ahmed, the man behind the moniker WebsterX.

Tactile and determined with a creative spirit, WebsterX was born with a natural hustle, a natural inclination toward poetry and music; he’s selective in what he wants to create and say, pouring his energy into things that fulfill his artistic vision, but also his community.

A relentless inventor, WebsterX takes deep care presenting his work. His music videos visual chapters reflecting present yet passing ideations; much like how lightning strikes — impossible to ignore and elusively powerful — the hip hop artist grabs onto listeners’ attention before embarking onto the next great creative process.

In this, WebsterX’s songs and music videos exude a unique style and narrative; still, an irrefutable commonality that ties his visions together, the product of WebsterX working toward deeper meaning and connection.

Inspired by WebsterX’s creative force, our Visual Content team (Josh Brine and Kale Chesney) are heading to Milwaukee to capture his story as an artist. Look into WebsterX by checking out “Blue Streak” and “Lately” below, then stay tuned for Marmoset’s exclusive artist profile video debuting this fall.

Catch WebsterX on Saturday, August 10th at Turner Hall Ballroom for TDM Festival.

Marmoset Summer Roundup — Catch These Shows in Your City

Like the first day of summer swooping in this past week, everything that follows suit offers an air of new music happenings. With new releases by ePP, Kingsley and more, we can’t help but have summer concerts on our minds.

It’s one thing to spot these artists’ music out in the wild when licensed for video, TV and film, but getting to catch their music live is another experience. Grab your tickets and get to see awesome artists while they’re still on tour.

Lineup coming in hot below. See you there!


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Portland


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Seattle


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NYC


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Los Angeles

Y La Bamba at The Echo 7.11.2019

August Burns Red at House of Blues (Anaheim) 7.19.2019

Ozomatli at The Wayfarer 7.21.2019

August Burns Red at The Wiltern 7.21.2019

Ozomatli at The Greek Theatre 8.8.2019

Icon For Hire at Moroccan Lounge 8.13.2019


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Chicago


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San Francisco


Discover the Best Undiscovered Music for Commercial Use: Bells Atlas

Marmoset presents miniature music concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.

Cultivating a floating landscape of sounds, surrealism guides Bells Atlas; their latest album The Mystic offers layer upon layer of abstract electronic textures and charismatic lyrics, an open exploration of pace and rhythms, likened to jazz’s uninhibited perimeters. Front singer, Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s vocals help define the band’s cosmic DNA, aesthetically blurring the lines between psychedelic rock, electronic pop and soulful R&B.

In Bells Atlas’ mini concert performance here at Marmoset, the group expresses creative agility throughout their performances of “First Gen Pisces” and “The Khamsa” — it’s an imaginative range between ebbing, alluring energy to great emotional force.

Click play above to watch/listen their performance of “The Khamsa”, then head over here for an exclusive mini concert look at their performance of “First Gen Pisces”. Read on to discover the subtextual meaning behind their two songs.


The meaning of “First Gen Pisces” in the words of Doug Stuart:

First Gen Pisces

In short this is about a mind inundated by expectations of how to exist in this world, and woven into that is a pool of fear, memory and fantasy. And then there’s sleep, a temporary path to peace of mind.

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The meaning of “The Khamsa” in the words of Sandra Lawson-Ndu:

The Khamsa 

This drifts between images of dreams, spirituality, and imagination, and the space they share in connection with the intangible. The song is about making space for each other's beliefs and being open to varied lenses of experience.

"People like you enrich the dreams of the world, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are the unknowing transformers of things". — Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist.

The word Khamsa translates to five” or “five fingers” in Arabic—this is probably a symbol that you’ve seen many times of an open right hand often with an eye in the center. In many faiths this symbol is seen to bring about happiness and peace while protecting from the evil eye/ negative influence.

Uncovering the Podcast License Pt II

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Our clients come from all walks of life—and industries—yet they all share a common mission: too find music that serves their content’s purpose.

We’ve spotlighted everyone from independent filmmakers whose work has premiered at Sundance to Tribeca and dug into the stories of music video directors and producers. But what about the non-visual creative projects that also make the world go ‘round?

Kicking off our Uncovering the Podcast License series last week, we looked at the number of ways music and sound can serve a podcast’s narrative and theme—how licensing the right music can intrigue listeners to tune into future episodes, while creating a signature experience for the show’s overall brand.

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Audio producer and podcaster, Megan Tan knows a thing or two about licensing music for her esteemed podcast, Millennial—a notable series on growing up and finding a place in the “real world.” While Tan wrapped up the series a couple years back, the show has been recognized by publications like The Atlantic, The Huffington Post and A.V. Club, it remains to be a relatable series that can be applied to today.

Now living in New York City, Tan is still a producer, working on Gimlet Media’s The Habitat, NPR’s Planet Money and on a Pineapple Street Media podcast. Through her podcast and productions, Tan has utilized music and sound design to cultivate an immersive environment strictly through audio.

We sat down with Tan to look back on her arrival in podcasting (when it was still new and expansive territory) and her experience in making the hit podcast, Millennial:


Marmoset: Could you give us a look into what it was like before you made your first podcast

Megan Tan: Basically I wanted to be a radio producer and I had an internship at NYC Radio Lab for a semester but I didn't actually make radio, I didn’t know how to make radio. And my background is in photo journalism—and in photo journalism, what you do is, you go out and you shoot, right?

You Take photos and you create a portfolio and then people can see your work and then they can hire you. So I guess I just took that idea and decided to apply it to this new industry and Millennial started out almost like a portfolio piece; because the closest thing that I had was my life. I just wanted to practice collecting audio, interviewing people, writing scripts, mixing, making episodes and making radio stories.

M: What did it look like leading up the Millennial gaining more momentum and attention?

Tan: The whole idea was that all the work that I was doing would be a portfolio to get me a job in public radio—which is dead. I ended up getting a job at New Hampshire public radio. There I was continuing to make Millennial, I had like almost two full-time jobs. I was making this podcast and then I was working full-time at a public radio station.

And then at one point the podcast started getting more praise and press than the shows at the public radio station. And I just kind of decided to make this leap and dedicate myself to doing it full-time.

M: Did you ever view making Millennial as a way of connecting with other people through your own experiences?

Tan: You know, that wasn’t the goal, because at the time—I don’t know how many podcasts there were, maybe 250,000—I mean, right now the market is really saturated, but even then you’re like ‘who’s going to listen to them?’ Right, so yeah and to be honest, because it was built from the ground up and a lot of the press was organic, I didn’t think anybody was going to listen.

Yeah, so when people were listening, I was like oh shit. A friend of mine just said to me last night, you know, sometimes the best dancers are the people who dance as if no one’s watching. I feel like that’s how Millennial was created. Where it was created in this way where I just spoke into a microphone like no one was listening.

M: Looking back, what did the evolution of Millennial look like from its creator’s standpoint?

Tan: It did evolve because it had to become more sustainable. That’s why there are multiple seasons, if you keep listening, we’re really trying to find our footing after we get past the first season. Instead of it just being a ‘Millennial, a podcast about maneuvering your twenties post-graduation captured in real time,’ it just becomes ‘Millennial, a podcast about coming of age.’

And so that is broader and the purpose was for it to encompass a lot of people’s stories. But the problem with that is, you know, once you give an audience a very specific character to care for—which was me— the less personal you become. It was also the identify that was changing in real-time, as well.

The purpose also changed. It was no longer a portfolio or a personal essay about growing up or a personal documentary. It also has to become a machine, had to be able to live off it full-time and pay people—it became a business. So the mission had to kind of change a little bit. 

M: What did the ‘making of’ such a successful podcast look like story-wise? How did you decide what content to focus on as a millennial yourself?
Tan: We had a bit of a formula but each episode was different, you know? Hopefully the entry was some sort of peg to my life. Whether it was long distance relationships or being Asian in a very white setting.

And then we would try to branch off, maybe do other people’s stories sometimes—it was still my story. And I would just collect tape all the time. Like if I was still making Millennial, I would say, ‘hey do you mind if I record our conversation?’

M: What’s an episode that stands out in your memory as one of your favorites?

Tan: I really enjoyed making “Brunchies,” which is the third episode, because it’s purely sound. I lavved myself when I was doing a shift one day, so I have sounds basically from an entire work day compressed to like two minutes of audio. It was just kind of fun to create that scene with all of that tape.

M: We know you’re busy plugging away in New York—what kind of projects do you have in the works right now?

Tan: Since wrapping up Millennial, I’ve helped produce Gimlet Media’s The Habitat, then there’s also Pineapple Street, they did Missing Richard Simmons; I helped them produce a couple of those shows. I helped them produce Going Through It with Ann Friedman of Call Your Girlfriend. And then also another show called The Unwinding of a Miracle and worked at NPR’s Planet Money. And just recently reported on a piece for NPR’s All Things Considered.


A big thanks to Megan Tan for taking us behind the scenes in making Millennial—it’s just one example of great podcasts utilizing music and sound to create an immersive audio experiences. Check out the full series here and more of her work here.

Songs for Commercial Use: Uncovering the Podcast License

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Every podcaster wants their series to stand out—it’s why licensing music for can be considered a secret weapon not just for the content creator but also the musician, band and artist trying to get their music licensed.

In the past, we’ve set out in highlighting filmmakers to commercial campaign creators—revealing the behind the scenes process of scoring original music to picture to finding music for videos. In our Uncovering the Podcast License series, we’ll look beyond using music in videos and refocus our attention on the non-visual medium. Let’s look at examples of noteworthy podcasts, along with uncovering why every podcast should be licensing music.

In podcasting, a listener’s experience is completely an audio sensory one. Applying music throughout a series is one of the biggest way to cultivate an immersive environment—and it can happen even before the show delves into any actual discussion point.

Even if a podcaster runner isn’t generating a huge cult following, music can attribute incredible value to setting the pacing for the content itself. Regarding music playing in a episode’s introduction, the song is operating as a quick taste of what’s to come—subconsciously telling the listener why they should be invested.

This foundation gives precedence for episode’s real story, paving way for what’s to unfold seamlessly and naturally. Sure it might seem subtle when casually listening—perhaps the music just blending together as a common introductory theme song—but a song can be monumentally influential in getting listeners onboard without them even realizing why they’re hooked, leading them straight into the next episode…and next.

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Look at the new podcast series, Gender Blender created by Bonnie Thornbury. The episode opens with “LOVE//WARRIOR” by Frankie Simone—it’s an anthemic piece of music with a message echoing the series’ discussion of queer culture and the tropes of gender norms. It’s a perfect example of using music that instills parallel themes and sentiments; the song hits home what the podcast is about, while also grabbing listeners’ attention.

A more seasoned podcast is the widely known, Millennial podcast created by Megan Tam. The series incorporates everything from licensed music environmental sound and noise (stay tuned for a one to one interview with show creator later this week).

Understanding that high quality music comes with some type of cost is one step in securing music that serves a podcast’s work and purpose. In the instance of not feeling 100% confident in finalizing a license agreement for a podcast, forgot the hassle and get in touch with our music licensing team—we can help you secure music through the podcast license before you can even say “thanks for listening.”

After all, isn’t it better to use someone’s copyrighted work (i.e. an artist’s music) correctly the first time around then having your podcast flagged for incorrect use? We know you don’t have time for that and neither do your subscribers.


Stay tuned as we continue exploring finding music for podcasts and licensing songs for commercial use.