There was a time when recording artists and corporations, with the exception of major label deals, were mutually exclusive terms. However, the paradigm has dramatically changed in the music industry.
Savvy recording artists are aware of what’s next. V!, who leads pioneering Electronic -Pop act VISHNO, is ahead of the curve. V! is a visionary who, having worked for Michael Jackson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child (Beyonce), is embracing the power of lifestyle branding. V! knows that it’s not just about crafting catchy, clever radio-ready tunes. It’s about creating a new model for recording artists, working to reach that next echelon. The charismatic vocalist-guitarist has married the amalgam of art and commerce by connecting with brands that fit with the message of his hook-laden music.
“What’s the point of making great art if nobody is going to hear it,” V! asks. “I’m going to do what I can to get my music out there.”
VISHNO, who creates a sound that is comparable to such innovative EDM acts as Avicii, DeadMau5 and Infected Mushroom, is connecting with music fans via a live show, with an assist from companies, who get what his music is about.
The concerts are unpredictable, inspiring events, engaging the audience through fantastic lights, video, and playful improvisational moments with real musicians. They are pushing the boundaries of live music: merging musicianship with technology.
V! is progressive enough to combine branding with VISHNO events. Fans get to taste the music and experience brands as well. Few artists have had the same vision but it has been done before. Perry Farrell mixes lifestyle branding with Lollapalooza, which is arguably the most respected festival in the business.
Splitzee.com, Peter Pan Bus Company and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are some of the organizations that are aligned with VISHNO.
“Lifestyle branding is the wave of the future,” V! says. “But it has to be done without compromising your artistic sensibility. I work, and want to work, with like-minded brands. It’s got to be tasteful and it’s got to about touching people and about the music. I’m all about the music but I really want to get it to people in the best way possible.”
VISHNO’s brand of compelling and catchy electronic-pop deserves to be heard. The songs V! composes have big hooks, deep grooves and provocative lyrics. VISHNO’s sound is a burst of electronic dance music. Its songwriting is enthusiastic pop with a touch of rock tossed in for good measure.
“I’m a rock musician at heart,” V! explains. But rock wasn’t enough for the Berklee School of Music alum. He had an epiphany while leading a cover band rendering Michael Jackson hits three-years ago. “I’m playing guitar and I look out and the whole floor is shaking and the entire crowd is jumping up and down and I thought, ‘I want this.’ I didn’t want to just be this rock guy doing a big solo.”
So V! dove into the vibrant EDM scene. “It’s exciting and it’s full of energy,” V! says. “ I love it.”
However, V! added back an integral element to the electronic dance music scene: songwriting. “I like songs and that’s the one thing that was missing from the world of EDM ,” V! says. “So I added songs to what is the most exciting type of scene that there is out there.”
VISHNO has crafted ten new songs but don’t look for an album anytime soon. “The album is a dated concept,” V! says. “It’s a singles-driven market. We’re releasing songs bit by bit. Some are already available via iTunes. The songs may come out as an album someday but for right now it’s singles.”
V! has been wise enough to craft a collection of songs that would make for a great album. Unlike, many of his peers, who release albums with a single and nine songs that sound like the featured track. VISHNO has made ten songs that each stand on their own. Each cut is its own entity.
“That’s something that was very important for me,” V! says. “The way I see it, every song has to be damn good. Why not have ten songs that are awesome?”
VISHNO is hardly a solo venture. V! is ably guided in these musical and business endeavors by savvy producer/manager Jordan Tishler of Digital Bear Entertainment (Britney Spears, Kevin Lyttle, The Motion Sick). With 20-plus years of experience in the music industry as producer, mixer, publisher, teacher and lecturer, Tishler understands how art and commerce walk hand in hand.
Tishler and V! work on a song a month. “I put everything I have into each tune,” V! says. “When I’m inspired I go for it. (Legendary composer George) Gershwin once said, ‘you’re lucky if you have two inspirations a year and the rest is hard work.’ When you’re lucky enough to be inspired, you have to work hard at the music end of it.”
V!, who earned his Masters in instrumental performance on guitar at Cal Arts and followed that by pursuing an MBA at Babson College with a concentration on entrepreneurship, understands that music and business go together.
“I decided to learn the business side of music so nobody could knock me on my ass,” V! explains. “So I went to school and I’m with all of these future entrepreneurs, who are so creative. I discovered that the entrepreneurs have the same problem that musicians have, which is getting their idea out there. The MP3 messed up the music world. This is what I’m born into. I’m not complaining about it. I decided to dive right in and come up with some answers.”
By Ed Condran [+]