Innovating Music

Innovating Music
In this Innovating Music podcast, we talk about disruptive technologies in music. Hosted by Gigi Johnson and produced by the UCLA Center for Music Innovation at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, we bring together unique voices from inside and outside of the music industry. As Kevin Kelly has been quoted to say, “The Future is Already Here — It’s just not evenly distributed.” Join us here to see where the future may already have landed.

Livestreaming and Live Connecting with Dmitri Vietze
Aug 5 • 36 min
This year, Dmitri Vietze has moved his whole thought leadership with Music Tectonics online with virtual conferences and community gatherings. He shares his thoughts on crisis-driven shifts to music livestreaming, expanding new releases, and digital…
Connecting the Music World: Portia Sabin, Music Business Association
Jun 28 • 42 min
This week on the Innovating Music Podcast, we talk with Music Business Association President, Portia Sabin about the ways in which she is helping to connect the music business as a community.
Reconnecting to Virtual Audiences: Jay Gilbert, Label Logic
Jun 14 • 45 min
This week, we talk with Jay Gilbert, photographer and co-founder of Label Logic, about new challenges artists in the music industry face in light of social-distancing and what their “new normal” will be as the world regains its rhythm.
Blockchain as Buffet: Stefan Schulz, Bitfury Surround
May 31 • 26 min
In this week’s podcast, Stefan Schulz, CEO and co-founder of Bitfury Surround, joins us to discuss the potential of blockchain technology for connecting not just content, but data and new value chains for content. Coming from a rich background at the…
Learning to Compose Virtually
May 17 • 31 min
Guest: Akira Nakano, President and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Inception Orchestra. This week, we look through the lens of applying virtual reality technology paired with original composition to the creation of educational programs that engage…
Bridging Fans to Live Streams
May 10 • 37 min
Adaptation is key when it comes to technology and innovation. In this week’s podcast, we discuss how technology evolves to fit the ever-changing dynamic between artists and their fan-bases with Fabrice Sergent, the co-founder and CEO of Bandsintown. We…
Evolution of the Creative Workflow
May 3 • 43 min
Circumstances can spark innovation when changing work environments require new solutions. This week on the Innovating Music Podcast, we talk with Michael Gitig of G-Technology about the transformation of digital workflows and how his operation has…
Public Policy and Music: Innovation Bringing Cities Together
Apr 19 • 29 min
This week on the Innovating Music Podcast, we discuss innovation in public policy with Shain Shapiro, the founder and CEO of Sound Diplomacy. We discuss music communities in cities as ecosystems and how public policy can support and protect them. We also…
AI Changing the Way We Edit
Apr 5 • 23 min
In our latest episode, we discuss how AI is powering the future of audio editing, transcription and podcasting with Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Descript. Along the way, we delve into Andrew’s career, and learn how he turns lemons into lemonade as he…
Public Health Outreach for Mass Gatherings
Mar 25 • 50 min
In this special episode, we share the WebCall last week to hear what was happening on the ground in Seattle, WA and King County, WA, in the face of COVID-19’s closure of music venues and live experiences. Kate Becker talks about how King County is…
Twitch Streaming for Musicians
Mar 17 • 33 min
Karen Allen helps decode and make simpler streaming music for artists on Twitch. Twitch is a live streaming service, bought by Amazon in 2014, and has 2.2 million daily broadcasters and 15 million daily average viewers. It is mostly gamers, but also has…
Scratch Mixes to Pirate Radio to Software Instruments
Mar 4 • 36 min
Matt Black has been intrigued by computers since reading “The Shockwave Rider” from a bookmobile in his small English village of his youth. Since then, he has created scratch mixes from a set of decks across London warehouse parties in the late 1980s,…
City Shapes, Streets, Layers, and Ecosystems
Feb 19 • 52 min
Kwende Kefentse, both DJ Memetic and Music Lead for the City of Ottawa, explores the urban terrain, urban fabric, and politics of the city and music. He closes with TIMEKODE, one of Canada’s most established independent dance parties, and the documentary…
Bonus: Updates on Move to Wed. and Live Events
Feb 17 • 1 min
We’re just sharing quick news that we are now 4 years into the Innovating Music podcast adventures and thank you for your friendship and community. We’re shifting to Wednesday releases and planning upcoming live events/recordings. Let us know of suggested…
Making a Music City Home: Ft. Collins, CO
Jan 20 • 42 min
Jesse Elliott helped create The Music District to support and work with music ecosystems in Ft. Collins, CO. He shares his earlier work with Richard Florida, his journey as a musician and a creative community organizer. Jesse shares the challenges and…
From a Sketch to an App to Change How We Sing
Jan 13 • 38 min
Andrew Goren at 20 has built Harmony Helper, a newly launched app, from his own experiences and observations in the live stage rehearsal and audition environment. He has built his undergraduate program around this work, and brought together a team of…
Recording, Live, Virtual, and Augmenting Experiences
Jan 13 • 41 min
Roman Rappak is forging ahead on two parallel tracks — creating recorded music for traditional channels and creating new systems to create mixed reality experience with the same music in live environments. Enjoy this episode where he talks about what…
Enjoying the Path: Violin to Bass to One-Stop Shop CEO
Dec 16, 2019 • 37 min
Kristen Agee has made her way from classical violin in Oklahoma to touring and studio bass to … CEO of a production music, publishing, and custom music company. She has built a one-stop shop and has learned a lot along the way. She shares the power of…
Create and Collaborate in the Palm of Your Hand
Dec 9, 2019 • 46 min
Omid Rahmat came into the music business from the tech and app world in order to solve music creation workflow problems with Joyner Lucas — and now solves them for more than 350,000 creators through the Tully App. He talks in this podcast episode about…
From Piano and Beach Blanket Babylon to Pokémon: A Musical Journey
Nov 10, 2019 • 40 min
Ed Goldfarb sees and hears differently. Where you and I might be just talking, he is hearing background music and seeing the notes in a manuscript. Ed shares with us his journey from professionally accompanying performances as a youth to creating live…
Art of Mass Gatherings
Oct 14, 2019 • 37 min
Matthew Ché Kowal is innovative in looking at a very specific set of overlaps in music. He has parlayed his experience in running festivals focusing on sustainability into work focused on mass gatherings. What can emergency workers learn from music…
Artificial Intelligence + Messy Music Data
Sep 9, 2019 • 42 min
Guest: Hazel Savage, CEO and Co-Founder, Musiio Hazel Savage and her co-founder Aron Pettersson have built Musiio in Singapore to bring artificial intelligence to the messy large data sets of the music industry. She shares her own past in retail and…
Music Cities: Connecting Stories of Music Lives
Sep 3, 2019 • 47 min
Don and Peter shared their experience performing music ecosystem audits for 4 cities. The 2015 Austin Music Census and their continuing studies of Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC are more than doing a venue count. They gather the personal,…
Connecting Creators and Social Impact with Fans
Aug 5, 2019 • 48 min
Jeremy Gruber, Head of Digital Marketing at Strategy at Friends at Work, enjoys connecting artists, creators, and social impact forces directly with fans. He shared his adventures with Friends at Work, working with not only John Legend and Lindsey…
Data and Emotions: Painting on a Canvas
Jul 29, 2019 • 36 min
Shelita shared how as an artist she uses data and emotions to connect with fans and create community — and to create music itself Most of us think about data and music about marketing — which she has done well to attract more than 175,000 fans on a…
Music Cities and Evolving Songs
Jul 9, 2019 • 39 min
Storm Gloor from CU Denver has been tracking how songs succeed since he was a young teen … and now explores anything from how music cities can succeed and how one-hit wonders thrive (or don’t). We enjoyed talking about how cities create and sustain music…
Social Justice Melded with Music
May 27, 2019 • 42 min
Rehan Choudhry joined our podcast to discuss the upcoming second year of Emerge LV — and to share his journey on how he re-melds social justice and music in this Facebook-embedded era. He walked us down his path through college, Homeland Security,…
Complexity on the Road
May 13, 2019 • 45 min
Paul Bradley joined the podcast to talk about his adventures creating the tour management software system, Eventric. He shared how he started in band management and tour operations, along with being a drummer on tour, and created databases on a Compaq…
Changing Limiting Beliefs
May 6, 2019 • 39 min
In this week’s podcast, we enjoy Laura Escudé taking us on a tour of live performance music … and touring … and breaking negative beliefs about performance and ability through tech tools. She mixes Abelton Live, her own violin skills, tools like the…
An Invitation: Amplify Music in Los Angeles
Apr 22, 2019 • 9 min
This brief episode features our host and Center director, Gigi Johnson, inviting you to join us in person at UCLA (while supplies last) or via Zoom online for our May 15 Conference on Amplifying Music in Our Los Angeles. Gigi shares the questions that…
Down the Music Data Rabbit Hole
Apr 1, 2019 • 36 min
Amadea Choplin, the COO from Pex, takes us down the online music data rabbit hole. She shares how official music distribution is just the beginning of the adventures of distributed songs, and how on average 99% of top artists’ music use has moved beyond…
Marrying Tech and Opera
Mar 26, 2019 • 47 min
Marivi Valcourt at LA Opera is connecting digital marketing to a more traditional, low-tech, multilingual art form. She shares practical ideas for building local audience while learning from other cities and building tourism tools for our local opera…
Connecting Artists and Tech
Feb 25, 2019 • 38 min
Seth Schachner returned to discuss the changes afoot in music and tech deal-making. Enjoy this continuing conversation of how deals are being made between artists and new technologies, and how artists and managers can think about connecting with new…
Music,Marketing, and All That Jazz
Feb 18, 2019 • 25 min
Mike Casey mixes jazz sax with marketing savvy. He shares in this podcast how he uses digital tech and music … and understanding his audiences … to spread the word on his music as an independent artist. Enjoy this discussion with Mike about how he has…
One More Canvas to Play With
Feb 11, 2019 • 26 min
Iris Wu and Pei-Lun Hsieh from Ambidio were inspired to understand and create new ways for creative artists to design immersive sound for “regular” playback on computers, laptops, and phones. In this podcast, they share their journey in experimenting,…
Forging Human Connection
Feb 4, 2019 • 46 min
Jay LeBoeuf created Real Industry when he was guest lecturing and realized that his students did not really see what jobs and careers were out there in music in technology. After four years of growth, Real Industry now brings together 40 colleges and…
Los Angeles: Building a Grassroots Movement
Jan 28, 2019 • 40 min
Ross Gardiner is co-launching the Los Angeles Nightlife Alliance, convening a group to bring together a love of LA’s nightlife, government savvy, and community organizing. He shares his stories of how efforts in Berlin, Amsterdam, and London led to…
Digital Journeys, Old and New
Jan 21, 2019 • 47 min
Seth Schachner shared a great history of how he has been able to be a long-time deal guy, helping with diverse deals in changing industries. He is now working across sectors to bring together deals across virtual reality, social music, spatial audio, and…
DJs as Curators in this Streaming Era
Jan 7, 2019 • 45 min
Stephen White shared his journey from Madison, WI, to various ventures combining music, communities, DJing, and tech, which led him to Gracenote and now Dubset and MixBANK. He shared his observations on early streaming and in shifting from one type of B2B…
Creating TV with Acoustic Heart
Jan 2, 2019 • 34 min
Siddhartha Khosla is making magic on TV, combining acoustic instruments with rapid inspiration and remote teams and production. He is at the heart of music creation in this abundant world of peak TV, working across shows at his home studio with a remote…
[REPLAY] Playlists: A Revolution for Artists
Jan 1, 2019 • 37 min
[REPLAY] A 2018 podcast favorite — Andrea Young from Koral Young sees playlisting as a revolution for artists. She shared a lot of basics of how to engage with both your fans and playlisters to create a thoughtful playlisting strategy for artists at…
[REPLAY] Music 3.0
Jan 1, 2019 • 39 min
[REPLAY] A 2018 podcast favorite — Vickie Nauman and Andrea Young joined us to talk about Music 3.0. Vickie had written an article for Rethink Music, a blog by the Berklee College of Music, about Music 3.0. Music 1.0 in this discussion was music sold as…
[REPLAY] Changing Mindsets in Music Innovation
Dec 31, 2018 • 35 min
[REPLAY] A 2018 podcast favorite: To marketer Michele Tharp, innovation is creating a better way to do something, and working with an inner desire to make a change. She focuses - as we do - on changing mindsets — new ways to work with technology,…
[REPLAY] Songwriters + Global Digital Streaming = ?
Dec 31, 2018 • 39 min
[REPLAY] A 2018 podcast favorite — Songtrust has been collecting songwriters’ royalties, creating systems that were ready for streaming’s global growth path. We spoke of the impacts on streaming growth from cheaper smartphones in urban markets in China,…
Reporting from the Leading Edge of Music and Tech
Nov 19, 2018 • 37 min
Cherie Hu has grabbed a front-row seat to tech and music change. Forbes grabbed her after graduation from Harvard, bringing her interests in music and tech to their own digital pages. She also brings that magic to both Billboard, Variety, Pitchfork, and…
2019 — Future of Music in Los Angeles
Nov 5, 2018 • 9 min
Gigi Johnson invites listeners of this Innovating Music podcast to join in research, events, and conversations in 2019 on the possible Future(s) of Music in Los Angeles. She discusses the Center’s research so far in looking at tech’s impact on live…
Music Beyond the Speakers
Oct 29, 2018 • 49 min
Gigi interviewed Adam Moseley, a long-time producer/mixer/engineer who is exploring new adventures in spatial audio, mixed reality, and sound technologies. Adam shares the blockages and doorways from learning saxophone to a wide door into audio…
SF: Nurturing Music By the Bay
Aug 20, 2018 • 34 min
Maggie Weiland and Dylan Rice from the SF Entertainment Commission talked with us about how they work to nurture music in San Francisco. We had met them through Jocelyn Kane, who created many of the public policy rules and artist-supporting structures to…
New Songs for Global Singers
Jul 30, 2018 • 34 min
Jonathan Stone shares the adventures of Rocket Songs, which connects new songs with singers from around the world to discover and perform. He talked about the past century or so of relationships between singers and songwriters, and the challenge of…
Bridging Cultures — Translating Music Lyrics
Jun 18, 2018 • 33 min
Robert has been on a 14-year quest: to translate music legally between languages and cultures. Lyrics are the #1 search term on the internet and Robert shares the story of LyricFind’s path to creating a legal marketplace in the US for song lyrics, up to…
Tech as Trust and Relationships
Jun 3, 2018 • 22 min
We caught up with Deborah Fairchild at MusicBiz in Nashille in May 2018. We talked about music tech as both a relationship and trust business, with VEVA Sound’s role as an archive and validation company standing right in the middle of the boost in…
Expanding Futures: Local and Global
May 29, 2018 • 4 min
Gigi Johnson, our Executive Director, shares the new and expanded directions of this Innovating Music podcast. We are shifting its focus from looking at Innovation now in music to looking at how tech may be changing music in the future, both globally and…
Solving a Problem
Nov 15, 2017 • 24 min
Dennis Murcia, Global Business Development and Digital Strategy at CODISCOS, shares his insights and experiences with innovation and Latin music. He shares how innovation is “solving a problem” and how it creates growing pains in traditional industry…
Making It Simple
Sep 26, 2017 • 43 min
Jay Gilbert runs three organizations, each working to help artists expand their work and presence. To Jay, innovation is standing on the shoulders of giants, improving tools you have to grow your audience. He works to take complex tech and make it simple…
Creating Value
Sep 12, 2017 • 35 min
Gary Young sees innovation as creating value for others, and does so with creating an auction system for intellectual property that creatives want to monetize. He shares with us how Royalty Exchange connects 20,000 buyers with creative rights across…
Finding Fresh Approaches
Aug 14, 2017 • 35 min
Bas Grasmayer from IDAGIO and MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE shares insights on how technological realities drive fresh combinations and possibilities, and how we can learn and grow new capabilities from “MySpace moments.” He muses on conversational interfaces…
Blockchain and Ticketing
Jul 31, 2017 • 40 min
Jason Robert takes us down the blockchain rabbithole, introducing us to the many details that make up a new cryptocurrency business, which he calls a “social movement disguised as technology.” His new platform to sell tickets with Ethereum is mere weeks…
China and The Long View
Jul 24, 2017 • 36 min
Ed Peto started placing a bet on music in China in 2006, and has been waiting for the market to catch up. We caught up with Ed in Berlin, but it could have just as easily been in London or China.
Creating Fearlessly - In Virtual Reality
Jul 6, 2017 • 29 min
How do you create new and innovative systems for producing content in a new space? For Connor Illsley of Combo Bravo in Toronto, you innovate by “creating fearlessly.”
Data-Driven Touring Insights
May 31, 2017 • 21 min
How can artists and managers use all the streaming and touring information to plan their markets and concerts better? Rossanna and Efrain from Cayo5 joined us to talk about how their are working to help artists manage disparate data sets to make decisions…
An Artist from Thin Air: Artist as Code
May 31, 2017 • 35 min
Elodie, Paco, and the team at Neweb Labs in Montreal have created Maya Kodes — from code. She’s not just a new girl group — she is a new girl.
Love, Passion, and Hard Work
May 8, 2017 • 30 min
This episode lends more philosophically humanist than some of our more technical sessions. David Hernandez of Colonize Media preaches “love, passion, and hard work” in an online video and data-driven marketing world.
The Challenge of Unasked Questions
Apr 2, 2017 • 29 min
Refik drives new combinations of music, architecture, technology, and design forward, always asking “unasked questions.”
Combining Unrelated Ideas as Music Innovation
Jan 26, 2017 • 36 min
Dmitri Vietze, CEO of Rock Paper Scissors and StoryAmp, joins us to share stories of how new combinations of unrelated ideas create innovation in music.
Solving Intractable Problems
Jan 19, 2017 • 46 min
Matt, founder of MetaPop, shares his perspectives on innovation as solving intractable problems, versus creative disruption.
Life as a “Data Nerd” : Dancing with Music Data
Aug 29, 2016 • 28 min
Dae brings us his adventures from the start-up world. He shares his observations from living as a self-described “data nerd” while creating new business solutions in music tech as a “non-tech person.”
Transforming Music through Data
Jun 30, 2016 • 17 min
Alex White has put together puzzle pieces to connect music and data, building Next Big Sound over the past six years and selling it to Pandora.
Beyond Vinyl: Ceremony and Next Tech
Jun 16, 2016 • 35 min
Beatie shares her pathways as a modern artist in a post-CD world.
Back to the Future: Cycles of Innovation
Jun 9, 2016 • 41 min
Brian Zisk has worked across decade(s) of innovation in the music business, and he shared many of those tales with us.
Weaving Past and Future
May 25, 2016 • 29 min
Sam shares his experiences in music management and rights management, both as an entrepreneur and in larger organizations.
Shifting to Daily Data
May 11, 2016 • 24 min
Jim Lidestri, BuzzAngle’s CEO, shares with us his perspectives on changing the process side of music data, and how his idea as a consumer turned into a daily data solution for music companies.
How Interface Design Matters
May 4, 2016 • 30 min
Guest: Mike D’Errico, UCLA
Mapping Event Space with Sound
Apr 26, 2016 • 29 min
Guest: Chris Ostoich, Co-Founder, LISNR