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Posts Tagged ‘Jarome Matthew’

Improving vocal performance….

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Pro Soul and Jarome Matthew in the studio

Founder of Pro Soul Alliance, Jarome Matthew,  just posted this on his own blog, a must read for any performer and artist.

An important part of my role as a music producer is to get the best possible performance from artists in the studio both technically and emotionally.

I find I often fall short in this area though because unless they are professionals who have done large live performances for many years, most vocalists are often unable to deliver to their full potential. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t give great performances, it just means they could have done even better.

This is usually because the vocalist is not in optimal physical shape. Your health and physical fitness level has a huge impact on your vocal performances in the studio, and of course live. Sure, how comfortable you are with letting go and giving your all emotionally in the studio is also very important.  But to get a great performance, you really need to have a lot of power to deliver strong, clean vocal phrases. Without this power and energy, your performances will sound weak and shaky, quivering, particularly on the ends of longer words or sustained melodies and this drastically reduces the quality and impact of the performance.

Studio tools and tricks can rarely correct these problems effectively, so that’s why it’s so important for singers to keep in top physical shape if they want to give the best performance they’re capable of live and in the studio. Eat healthy food that gives you lots of energy, and adopt a regular cardio exercise routine at least 4 times a week.

Another recommendation, in addition to warming up properly before a performance and singing regularly in a choir, is opera training, or a great vocal coach such as Brennan Barrett, to help you get as much power as you can without exerting yourself more than you have to, and to assisting with effective breathing techniques that will give you better phrasing and power in the right places.

A producer can only do so much, and in my case, I can work a lot of miracles to make you sound great no matter what, but ultimately, I can only use the best you give me! Make sure that really is your best, as you never know who will hear your finished performance, or how far it will spread.

Introducing Pro Soul’s newest artist, Bahiyyih!

Friday, January 16th, 2009












Bahiyyih (Ba-hee-ya) is a Vancouver-based artist whose formal exploration of her voice was preceded by many years of constant singing.  She soon picked up the guitar and has been writing emotionally-charged folk/indie/pop ever since.

Under the expert guidance of Pro Soul owner and producer, Jarome Matthew, Bahiyyih is currently working on new material, which her loyal fans are eagerly anticipating.  Though her new website is under construction, you can hear Bahiyyih’s music on her MySpace page.

Working with talented artists in China

Friday, November 28th, 2008

The following is the first of many posts by label founder, Jarome Matthew.  Jarome will be blogging about his exciting experiences as a producer and label owner, so be sure to check back often!

I recently spent an amazing couple of weeks working with some talented musicians in Beijing, China, for various projects. 

I recorded several incredibly talented musicians in the studio of Pro Soul’s own Elika Mahony. The studio has gradually been upgraded to the point where it is almost as good quality as my own. This visit, we further enhanced it with the SE Reflection filter on the left.

The first artist we recorded was talented musician, Jin R, on her beautiful Yang Qin. Jin R, Beijing recording Yang QinJin R is a famous modern chef in China and the owner of Green T Living restaurants across China and Hong Kong. The Yang Qin is a famous Chinese hammered dulcimer originally from Persia and resembles the Persian Santur.

Jin R played improvised compositions with fluidity and emotion for a special spiritual Chinese CD featuring a number of Beijing artists. It was inspiring and moving to capture live.
We also had the privilege of recording Phil Morrison and Keith Williams, two extremely accomplished American jazz musicians who are fusing jazz with traditional Chinese instruments, such as the Erhu, and are taking advantage of a new emerging jazz scene in Beijing and Shanghai. Their song was one of 30 selected for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

In addition, we had the pleasure of being able to record Chinese superstar singer and Erhu player, Cheng Lin, who was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award for some of the most memorable Chinese songs of all time.

It was great to work with such a seasoned professional and a genuinely kind and humble person, considering she has sold over 23 million albums in China! She is also a victim of the changes in the music industry. Especially in China, things are challenging, even for those who are well-known. We have been discussing how Pro Soul can help her, and she is excited about it.

One of Lin’s dear friends, Lily, is another talented vocalist on the project. Lily will be singing several of the songs from Elika’s most recent album, Fire and Gold, in Chinese.

In between sessions with these artists, we were working on new material with Elika for an instrumental album and a new progressive original pop album that I am very excited about. We were also putting the finishing touches on her latest album, Birds of Love, a special book and EP album on the theme of Love and Marriage. The package will be an elaborate fabric-covered book of quotes with CD inside, which would typically be far too expensive to produce, but we met with a fantastic product designer in Beijing that can design our product very beautifully at a fraction of what a simple CD jewel case and booklet would cost in North America – another great resource for Pro Soul artists!

While in China, I talked with other artists, some of which were originally from North America but had moved to booming Beijing to escape the instability of the economy. China represents over 60% of the world market for music, so I will undoubtedly be working with more artists in China and spreading the Pro Soul philosophy and assistance to artists in Asia next year.

– Jarome

What’s really going on in the music industry? Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Because of their unwillingness to adapt and meet the needs of consumer and artist, who have long been calling for digital distribution that is easy to use, efficient, affordable, and unrestrictive, record companies have been merging, cutting costs, making massive layoffs, dropping artists, and twisting the facts. They are unable to afford to sign as many new artists unless they are already established and successful. Partnerships with such companies are extremely risky now, both for the corporation and for the artist. Even if these companies now decided to suddenly change to meet the needs of artists and consumers, the current infrastructure and legal obligations make it nearly impossible.

The industry’s concept of instant monetization based on a product is quickly becoming passé. According to Forrester Research, half of all music sold will be digital by 2011. The two essential components previously required to release music – a record label and retail distribution – are no longer needed. Artists are using the DIY method to release their music to audiences with whom they have built relationships through online and offline means. Even experienced industry experts, including Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride, have advised their clients that they need not sign or renew contracts with major record labels.

It’s not easy for artists to do it themselves in a new industry though, and many don’t even know what to do to become successful. They still need the help of professionals. So what does the future of the record label look like? It must be one that provides a full range of services, customized to the artist’s needs, while eliminating the negative aspects associated with a traditional label. These include large recoupable expenses that drastically reduce an artist’s profits, and control of the artist’s rights to their music. In this changing music industry, monetization has moved from a product to a relationship, and the new label must assist artists to affordably develop their career by building a strong, long-lasting relationship with their audience. Only this will create sustainable financial rewards that far surpass those possible with simple CD sales alone.

There are scores of individuals and companies claiming to have the secrets and the answers to help artists do it themselves in the changing industry, but their old-fashioned techniques often fail to reflect the new direction of music consumption in the 21st century. Buzzwords, like “getting signed”, “press kits”, and “radio airplay” no longer hold the relevance they once did.

Pro Soul offers the ultimate solution: working in the best interests of the artist, without taking the artist’s rights or profits – simply providing essential effective services that a label should by established industry professionals. A novel concept indeed, but one that label founder and industry veteran, Jarome Matthew, says has been a long time coming. The new music industry requires the relationship with fans to be nurtured, a daunting task to many artists who simply wish to create music. Pro Soul assists artists in this area, through unique viral marketing techniques, connecting offline activities with the online world, and creating innovative promotional campaigns. The key objective of this is to develop a core group of loyal, dedicated fans that will continually support the artist. And instead of the label financing artists up front, artists choose from a variety of flexible monthly subscription options offered with no contracts, that can be upgraded or cancelled at any time to fit the artist’s changing needs at different stages of their career.

In an age where Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have proven that the game has changed and that a drastically different idea of how to reach consumers can work very well, Pro Soul just might have the solution that is desperately needed in the music industry.

Meet Pro Soul A&R at the SchMusic BC Party tonight!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Reps from Pro Soul, including founder Jarome Matthew, will be attending the SchMusic BC Networking Party in Vancouver tonight.  Come down to the Biltmore Cabaret at 395 Kingsway Street for a casual meet-and-greet with industry professionals and fellow artists.  How could you turn down complimentary drinks, food, prizes – and the opportunity to kick your music career into high gear with the help of Pro Soul?

The event starts at 6 pm tonight, but head over early to beat the massive crowds expected to turn out.

For details, visit Music BC.

Welcome to Pro Soul Alliance!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Pro Soul opens its doors today as a progressive, 21st century record label to combat the exploitation of artists by major label conglomerates. Led by music industry veteran, Jarome Matthew, Pro Soul’s approach of providing services to artists without taking the rights to their music or earnings will revolutionize the music industry, providing welcome relief to artists who are struggling to develop their career without professional help.

“Despite being perceived as the holy grail of the music industry, major label deals are accessible to very few artists. Unfortunately, the artists who sign these contracts often aren’t aware that the labels are taking advantage of them,” explains Jarome. “There is something wrong when a million selling, top 5 charting artist has to declare bankruptcy. Pro Soul is helping to put the power in the industry back where it belongs – in the hands of artists. The music industry has changed; the Internet allows music lovers to show how they want to consume music. Unlike the major labels, Pro Soul is embracing that change. It’s time to give both artists and fans what they want: accessible, high quality music and meaningful interaction. This is a wake up call for the industry; start living in the 21st century!”

Pro Soul’s official launch party is open to the public and will be held on January 25 at the Backstage Lounge in Vancouver.