Rest in Peace, BradleyQ

Last night, I was introduced to a relatively obscure songwriter/musician whom I had never had the pleasure of listening to before. Because the unfortunate news of his passing was so eloquently shared on a fan’s social media post, an interest was sparked, and I took the opportunity to visit this artist’s Reverbnation page. What I got there was a close-up view into the beautiful soul of BradleyQ. And as I sat there listening, it occurred to me that, aside from any prayers of sympathy I could offer to his loved ones, the best thing I could do to celebrate BradleyQ’s life was to listen, and to share that listening experience with others. So this morning, I introduce him to you in a post of my own.

Meet BradleyQ

20141121-071217-25937860.jpg

Plant the Seed, Spread the Word

Successful networking is a game of numbers. That principle certainly applies to the science of promoting art through social media. And although quality is more desirable than quantity, there is no need to be ultra selective in your pursuit for growth. If you are in this game to gain followers, subscribers, etc., you must be prepared to accept the fact that many of them are going to have very little in common with you, aside from a passion for creativity, and the ongoing drive to build an audience. And even then, their tastes are often varied. So don’t get too discouraged by the occasional indifference of those who appear to just be trying to build a legion of fans. Every one of them isn’t going to take the time to appreciate what you have to offer. But some, as well as some who are connected to them, might. And that’s why you must continue to plant the seed and spread the word…for the one’s that might. So the next time someone fans you, follows you, subscribes to you, or likes your work, don’t be annoyed to discover that they may not have even viewed it or listened to it. What is most important is that they at least show enough respect to reciprocate the support on the surface that you give to them when you fan, follow, subscribe, or like. By doing so, your network grows, making it possible for your work to be circulated. And that is how the percentages begin to work in your favor. That said, if you ever want to connect with me on whatever sites that we are mutually active on, below are my links. Rest assured, that unless you are excessively obscene, controversial, or completely whacked out, I will reciprocate.

20141116-204131-74491231.jpg

Website Link: http://baluja.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.baluja.1
Facebook Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baluja/58318373083
Soundcloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/baluja
Reverbnation Link: http://www.reverbnation.com/baluja
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/Baluja
YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDd6iuGXDYGuVntiu-joe6g
Google +: https://plus.google.com/app/basic/103859515923370021161
Bandcamp: https://baluja.bandcamp.com
Wordpress Open Mike: https://thevoiceoftampa.wordpress.com
Wordpress I Remember Tampa: https://iremembertampa.wordpress.com
Wordpress The System: http://fallintothesystem.wordpress.com

Thinkin’ of Paco Malo

I know you’re watching down on us from those club seats in the sky, Jim, but your Gold Coast Bluenote blog is still up and runnin’ down here, and available for all to stumble onto and enjoy.

20141115-193511-70511165.jpg

The Flavor of West Tampa

Tomorrow marks the 5th annual Flavor of West Tampa, celebrating the community that I was born and raised in. The event will take place at MacFarlane Park, which lies in the heart of West Tampa. There will be plenty of food, music, and activities for those attending. But for those locals who cannot make it, as well as for those of you in other cities, states, or countries around the globe who just might be interested in tasting our humble little slice of paradise, I would like to share a few songs and videos representative of this diverse community.

West Tampa

20141107-191221-69141568.jpg

West Tampa Remix

20141107-191704-69424879.jpg

MacFarlane Park

20141107-192320-69800570.jpg

In The True Spirit of Networking

I have been a songwriter for over 40 years, and I have been posting my songs on independent music websites since the late nineties. I have had the good fortune of meeting many interesting people along the way; people who share the same passion for music that I have. I’ve collaborated with some, been inspired by others, and learned what to do and not to do, in terms of social media etiquette, from countless artists who are longing to be heard. The one characteristic I’ve found to be consistent among the most successful independent artists is their willingness to promote not only their work, but the work of others as well. That is what networking is all about. If you are looking for fans, followers, and supporters, you should be willing to recipricate. Independent artists, as a community, should always be supportive of one another, no matter what level of talent you possess. We all know how difficult it is to get visits, views and listens, so we must strive to work together, and to be generous with our time and energy, whenever possible. A prime example of this train of thought is the artist who inspired this particular blog entry, Derek “da boi derinho” Damico. He has multiple sites on Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation, etc., each representing either his own individual artistic endeavors or those of the bands or projects that he is involved with. You may know him as bandleader of The Magneto Flobe or Maloa Warriors, or you may simply know him solo artist, da boi, or even personally as Derek, but however you get to know him, know this: he is your Number 1 ally. He plays the social media game, and he plays hard, but he plays fair and he follows the rules. He is the ultimate team player. For every post he makes with regards to his own material, there are a dozen more made on behalf of the artists he connects with. He always looks for the positive aspects in someone’s work and tries to build them up with positive feedback, rather than tear them down with negative criticism. Yes, perhaps he sugarcoats the truth at times, but that’s all part of the game. Leave the brutal honesty to the “so called” critics. We are the artists, and every artist needs what we have to offer each other: kindness, respect, and a brief moment of our attention. This is what we do for each other…in the true spirit of networking.

Here is my personal favorite Magneto Flobe song, which I dedicate to all independent artists across the globe…This Way Again.

20141105-114243-42163754.jpg