Posts filed under Shows

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.

Marmoset Presents a Mini Concert with Ceschi

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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.

Currently on tour, Ceschi and his 7 Piece Band came through Marmoset headquarters following their Portland performance at Bit House Saloon. Their springtime jam-packed tour means coast to coast performances, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine (and so much in-between).

When we started this mini concert series, we knew here lied an inherent opportunity to feature the gems within the Marmoset music roster through a live performance medium. Kicking off the series with the endlessly talented Mree, we looked to Ceschi for a kinetic shift, a drastic contrast and variation to Mree’s floating vocals.

The Connecticut based artist is widely known for utilizing rap styled lyrics with acoustic instrumentals—the artist’s miniature concert is truly a voluminous showcase, the video a glimpse into artistic exuberance that can only be fully absorbed when witnessed in real life.

Watch his performance of “Daybreak” and “Ojala” below, then scroll down for a one to one interview with Ceschi.


Marmoset: Hi Ceschi! Can you share with us how you got into making music?

Ceschi: I’ve been making music since I was a child. A free school program when I was seven got me started on violin. Within the next year I was messing around with raps. Eventually went onto guitar & beat-making. 

The kind of music I make is simply the product of a lot of my influences, everything from experimental underground hip hop to ‘90s indie rock & hardcore punk to Latin American folk. I create because it’s my therapy, one of my reasons for existence & because of the many beautiful personal connections that music has brought me.

M: Your style of rap is really engaging in how you incorporate a lot of acoustics. How would you describe your approach toward experimenting with your music and do you have any advice for artists trying to be more genre fluid?

Ceschi: I feel like I have the unique privilege of studying with some of the masters of freestyle & jazz rap in my youth. Elders from that world taught me techniques, styles and tools since my teen years that essentially brought my skill level beyond amateur. Still, I never felt like just a rapper. I’m a songwriter first & foremost. My goals were never to be the best rapper nor best guitarist or whatever. Since an early age I’ve only wanted to present an honest version of myself. 

I don’t think anyone should fight to try to be genre fluid or whatever—if it doesn’t come naturally to you—don’t force it. That’s my advice. 

M: Who would be your dream collaborator—dead or alive?

Ceschi: At the moment I have to say Andre Benjamin of OutKast. Frank Ocean Or Joanna Newsom. I’m picking living people that excite me musically & lyrically. 

M: How would you like your music to evolve or what do you envision for your music a few years down the road? 

Ceschi: I plan on focusing on non-rap based music, instrumental composition and more acoustic work in the upcoming years. I envision myself playing quieter shows, haha.

M: Do you have anything in the works right now that you'd like us to be loud about? 

Ceschi: Yes! I’m wrapping up a trilogy of Ceschi albums all coming out this year. I believe it’s my best work yet. Sad, Fat Luck came out in April. Sans Soleil will come out summer. Bring Us The Head of Francisco False comes out in the late Fall. 


Ceschi’s music available on Marmoset’s music roster. Discover more of his music here and reach out to us if we can help you license music for your next video.