Holiday Tours

Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t believe it’s already that time of the year, so for this post I want to reminisce on the past two Sammy Adams holiday tours. Over the years, Sammy has done holiday tours after Christmas, which are usually all on the East Coast, and lasting only a couple days. Some of the shows will be back to back, or have a day in between for a break. I’ve attended his “Home Alone for The Holidays” tour in 2016, and this past holiday tour. 

Home Alone for the Holidays tour, which was back in 2016, was my first holiday tour of Sammy’s! It was such an experience seeing him perform at the House of Blues in Boston. He had Huey Mack and INDY Raps open up for him, and Huey had brought out Cam Meekins. When Sammy came on, it was amazing just seeing him perform, and singing along with him to his songs. I love seeing and hearing other fans sing along, and enjoying the presence of Sammy too. He sang some older songs that tour like “Only One,” “L.A Story,” and some songs off Boston’s Boy. I never heard Only One live before, so hearing that was amazing, I basically got the whole thing on video! He always ends his shows with All Night Longer, and he had a special guest appearance by Mike Stud at the end, and they sprayed water on everyone from the water bottles on stage. Huey Mack, Sammy’s friends, and family came on the stage at the end to enjoy the moment with him. The show ended and we all went to get merchandise from the table and headed home afterwards.

Sammy’s last holiday tour I attended was in 2017, being last year! I went to three shows that tour, with the first one being in New Jersey. It was a crazy week, with having to be up at 5am to head to Boston to meet up with my friend, and then drive to New Jersey together. We met up with my other friend, and we all got ready together quickly to head to the venue in time. We were in the back just chilling, and watching the opening acts and dancing to the music. Sammy finally came on opening to “Thunderstorms,” and we tried moving closer, squeezing through the crowd. We were about three rows back, and decided to just stay there for a bit, until we saw Andie side stage, and headed over there to talk to her. We all sang and danced listening to Sammy perform, and watching him do his crazy dance moves to each song. It was interesting since he didn’t end the show with All Night Longer, but instead I Hate College.

The next day we saw Sammy in Boston, and met up with some more friends! After VIP happened, we all went to the barricade to talk about our pictures, and watched everyone else take theirs. It was the same setlist again, and opening song to start out with after the openers performed. After that show ended, we all were going home the next day, when last minute, my friends and I decided to go see him Rhode Island! We ended up getting free VIP, where I was bugging Sammy to sing Just Love Here next tour. (We’ll see about that one.) After VIP, we went to the barricade to secure a spot and did the same thing as the past two shows, sang and danced.

His venues were smaller this tour, like every other holiday tour he’s done. Sammy likes to have an “intimate” setting for the fans, and making it all about the connection he has with us. I’m sad to say I won’t have any upcoming holiday shows this year, but we all know I’ll see Sammy soon in the new year!

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HWH 2018 Pt. 2

Hi everyone! Here is my final part of the Hanging With Hoodie Tour, enjoy!

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The last show of the tour was in New Jersey on November 8th, and of course we went. We couldn’t miss the last show, and we had to get another cake for it saying, “Love Boston Hoes.” We only had General Admission, so we chilled in the hotel getting ready and ate before going. Arriving to the venue, we gave Nicky C, the bass player, our cake and talked with him for a bit before getting in line. Watching Super VIP go in, we were counting down until General Admission was going to go in. Inside the venue was a bowling alley as well, so it was interesting seeing people bowling when we walked in to get pictures with Hoodie. Ending the show in New Jersey, there’s always pranks happening for the last show of the tour. When Gianni & Kyle come on, they’re about to sing one of their most popular covers, and Hoodies crew comes on stage, and starts singing a completely different song throwing Gianni and Kyle off. All fun and games and they laughed and got back on track to their setlist. Hoodie then gets pranked when it comes time for the Trivia/spinning the wheel time. The crew changed all of the sayings on the wheel to negative sayings towards Hoodie. A fan landed on Hoodie having to kiss Alex, his lead guitarist, and I must say it was pretty funny.

Wrapping up the show with No Interruption was bittersweet  because I don’t know when the next time I’ll see Hoodie will be. It’s always a fun time seeing him and watching him living out his dream, so I can’t wait until the next time he tours again. Hoping sometime soon because I miss him already, but I know he’s busy, and needs this break before the Europe tour. Also, I can’t wait until he drops some new music of course! Hope you guys enjoyed reading my Hoodie Allen concert experiences and decide to go see him sometime!

 

 

HWH 2018 Pt.1

Hi everyone! As I stated in my last post, I was going to write about the Hoodie Allen shows I previously went to, so here’s part one of my Hanging With Hoodie Tour experience!Hoodie_HWH_Tour-_FB_Banner_Name_Only_1400x

On November 3rd, my friends and I all saw Hoodie at the Middle East for night one of his two Boston shows. The majority of us had his Super VIP, where you go in before General Admission and get some cool items like a polaroid and drawstring bag. After we all took our pictures, we lined up at the stage to get ready for the show to start. The openers were Gianni & Kyle. They are two guys called Gianni and Kyle, who sing/rap together. They were pretty good, and I must say I’ll definitely see them on their own tour sometime soon! Once they were off stage, Hoodie comes on and gets the crowd going crazy, like always. He played one of his new songs and then some off The Hype, and older albums. He always finishes with No Interruption, and that’s when we all know the shows over. The next day was Boston show number two. My friends and I had just GA, but the rest had his Super VIP. We chilled in the back after we took our photos with him to just have fun and dance around! After the show ended we got some merch and headed to get food before our drive to NYC.

November 5th was the New York City show. We got up early in the morning to drive down. We stopped in Connecticut to get a cake for “Cake Boy,” of course, and had the bakers right “F*** the Yankees.” Once we got the cake and some snacks, we headed to the hotel to get ready for the show since we had Super VIP. Once all of us were done getting ready, we headed to the venue to wait in line with everyone else who had VIP. VIP was another good time seeing Hoodie and giving him a letter I always write for him, and just talking about New York. Gianni & Kyle killed it like always opening up before Hoodie, and getting the crowd going for him. They always interact with the audience which is amazing, and call people out for going hard or what not. Hoodie comes on and it’s just a great time seeing him performing in his home state, and just seeing how happy he is that his dream really came true. Such a sentimental time for him, his family, friends, and of course fans. After the show was over, we were waiting outside to see Hoodie and the crew, but the rain was making it cold and wet, so we decided to get some pizza and head back to the hotel.

The Lightspeed World Tour

For this post, I wanted to write about one of the previous concerts I went to in downtown Boston at the House of Blues! My friend and I saw KYLE & Marc E Bassy on Tuesday October 30th, but of course we only went for Marc E Bassy since we hadn’t seen him in a couple months. The last time we had seen Marc E Bassy, was at University of New England, in Biddeford Maine. It was UNE’s spring concert that was open to the public for students to have guest, and my friend who goes there got us tickets.

KYLE’s tour was called “The LightSpeed World Tour” and was hitting every city in almost every state of the US and Canada, as well as heading to Europe to finish up the “world” tour. We had general admission, which was standing room only on the main floor of House of Blues, and we chilled in the back about four to five rows from the barricade. When Marc E Bassy came on, we were excited and started singing along to the songs he performed. The one song we wanted to hear live, but didn’t think we would, was Simma, and when he performed it for the first time, you could only imagine how crazy we acted when hearing it. Everyone stared at us like we were crazy, yet we just kept singing and dancing along.

After Marc E Bassy’s set was finished, we went to the merch table to get some merch to represent Bassy. I saw Kyles merch guy Kent, who worked with Hoodie Allen on his Hype tour, as well as Logics tour over the summer for Kyle being an opener for it. I said hi and we talked about life, and how everything was, as well as his job and how he got working with Hoodie and Kyle. I was intrigued because that’s a side job I would love to have, selling merchandise for an artist or working for one to run their social media. When I was done chit chatting with Kent, I went to go to take a picture with Marc E Bassy, and then talked to him for a couple seconds since multiple girls were wanting their pictures taken. Around 10-10:30pm, we left to go get food and reminisced how much we missed seeing Marc E Bassy.

Next post I’ll talk about the Hanging With Hoodie tour, so stay tuned!

 

From GOOGLE to Recording Artist

With all of the music artists there are in the world, and whether they’re upcoming musicians, not as known, or world known, they all have a story to tell. Most of these artists who are known globally are signed by a superior record company to get their music out; however, there are some artists who are not signed and doing their work independently. An artist who stands out is Hoodie Allen, and here’s why.

Steven Markowitz who goes by his stage name “Hoodie Allen” is from Long Island, New York. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in Finance and Marketing. Allen chose those two majors based off of how they interested him and were a challenging combo. In his interview with Mashable, Allen speaks on how he worked at Google as an AdWords associate for the company START (Standardized AdWords Reseller Training) program. A year later, leaving the company to pursue his “dream and passion” of music,  Allen had taken the opportunities for live shows to get a jump start in his career of being a rapper.

Making music at the age of twelve, Allen knew he would be much better off making music instead of working at Google. “I love creating, and writing was my first form of creative expression that I took a liking to.” Allen says on how he decided music would be a full-time career for him. He defines himself as a “rapper, singer, songwriter and business owner.” Most musicians have other artists they look up to from listening to them when they were young, or getting inspired by how they make their music and putting it all together. Allen talks about how “Mos Def, Outkast, Beastie Boys” were his favorite artists growing up, but also his inspiration of becoming who he is today.

Starting out in the music industry can be challenging, from either having little to no experience with performing, or not enough fans to broaden across the world. Most independent artists have a tough time with this since no record label is promoting their music for them, or helping them by broadcasting their music everywhere. As an independent artist, Hoodie Allen mentions how he started out in this career by having “made a few songs that people started sharing and playing a lot on the internet” and how he “used that as a spring board to build more fans around the world.” Independent artists typically will try and promote their music like Hoodie Allen does by uploading on websites, or being active on social media. Allen discusses how “it’s a slow process but built organically,” which means nothing is forced, but just found naturally.

Majority of artists will look for a record label to sign them, but Hoodie Allen is one who says he’s “not currently interested in a record deal.” He doesn’t feel the need for a record label to help him further himself anymore than he already has all by himself, and with the help of his fans of course. This career choice can impact a lot on an artist’s life and be full time. Allen mentions how “my career is not a traditional 9-5. I’ve dedicated my life to my job and my job is a very public thing, so I think it has impacted me in multiple ways.” Given a chance to make any changes in his career, Allen says, “I’m my own boss, any changes I want to make to how I work, I can do it.” Interpreting, if he were to make any changes in the way he’s promoting himself, his music, or anything in general he’d do it. An important milestone that Allen had reached early on, was having a number one album on the iTunes charts and selling out MSG Theatre in his hometown. That gave him more self-assurance that he’s on the right track for becoming bigger and better. Continuing with making music and starting to get features, he’s worked with some other independent artists and well known artists. Out of the several mixtape and or albums he has, Allen has collaborated with Jared Evan, Ed Sheeran, G-Eazy, Chance the Rapper, State Champs and many more. Fans of his have always reached out asking for certain artists to be featured on upcoming songs or album. He brings up how he would like to work with certain artists like, “Logic, Jeremy Zucker, Jon Bellion and Alessia Cara.”

As an artist starts out to where they end up several years later, their music always tends to change for the good of their career. A change in an artist’s music would be how they alternate different beats, details in the lyrics or even the way the artist re-designs themselves. “I just make what the music inspires me to write, so based on where I am at in my life I am sure that plays a big influence.” Allen explains on how he sees his music from The Bagels and Beats EP, to latest album The Hype all differs. When an artist grows and matures their music changes from life events happening, and how they express it all in a song. Writing music is a way for most, if not all artists, can escape from what’s going on and put it all down into a rap or song. Allen describes how he writes and states, “let it flow naturally, don’t try to force it. Creativity is a fickle beast.”

To get where Hoodie Allen is now in the music industry, takes a lot of hard work as explained earlier, and devoting to promoting music all on the internet. Promoting is a big factor for artists because it’s how one gains their audience’s attention, and to make appearances on music charts. In the same interview with Mashable, he talks on how he markets his music through the online space and takes a unique approach to social media. Where Allen use to work at Google, he expresses that there’s no other job he would want in the world today. Speaking to other artists in the music industry, whether they are upcoming or already working on their image, Allen breaks it down, “my advice is that it is nearly impossible and therefore you have to not only get lucky but you need to work very hard for a very long time to break through at it.” Allen’s advice isn’t necessarily saying to give up if you can’t make it to where you want to be in a couple years, but more so to work hard and devote your life to where you want to be. He didn’t get to where he is today in the industry by marketing his songs here and there, or promoting himself on social media once in a while. It takes time for an independent artist to become known in the world, let alone internationally.

A popular question every artist will get asked is where they see themselves, as well as their career in five years. “Doing all the same things, touring and putting out music. Hopefully extending into other avenues as well,” Allen says. Given all the information with Hoodie Allen and how he describes himself, it tells a lot about him as an artist. With a wide fan base all over the U.S and Europe, he’s definitely getting up there to becoming well known. Fans are an important factor of being an artist, where they support you and your music. Getting Allen to where he is now, it’s safe to say he has a strong and well built fanbase. On top of having done multiple interviews, radio shows and podcasts, his opportunities for other career avenues are increasing. Working at Google may have given him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to technology, making him a different kind of artist than the typical “Hip Hop.”

M.A.X.

How Working with multiple Artists landed Maxwell a lifetime Profession

A lot of people might wonder what their dream job would be like, or what their dream career would even be. That’s why I decided to interview someone a little outside of my community, but someone who’s in the same career field as I want to be. I know this person from him having worked with one of my favorite artists, and I actually look up to him as a career mentor in a way.

His name is Maxwell Zotz and he grew up in Scituate Massachusetts. Heading into high school and then college, where he attended Bandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He thought he was going to be either a lawyer or politician. When he realized he had an entrepreneurial mindset, and wanted to support that through his education, he graduated with a double major in International & Global Studies Communications and Business. Leading up to where Maxwell is now, it had all started during his freshman year. During freshman year, he started interning for rapper Lil Jon, which was an opportunity overseeing his Crunk Juice energy drink. That had sparked his interests in the business side of music, and from there he met people who have inspired him to where he is now. Mentor Wale, and artist Mike Posner’s manager Dan Weisman, have pushed him into the Artist Management field.

Over the past 8 years, Maxwell has managed musicians in different capacities, founded a tech start-up and a media company, tour produced a few arena tours, and consulted for a major label, television network VR company and e-commerce website. In those 8 years Maxwell has worked with a lot of different musicians for example, he’s produced tours for Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Steve Aoki, Krewella, Chance The Rapper, Rae Sremmurd. Managed the career of my favorite artist Sammy Adams, tour managed and management consulted for Jazz Cartier and Mike Stud. As well as done brand partnerships with Brantley Gilbert, Matt Kearny, Gavin Degraw, Granger Smith, High Valley and many more. On top of currently developing the music acts Farrow, Aziz The Shake and Checo.

Getting to where Maxwell is now in his career, he is the Director of Artist Relations at Music Audience Exchange. Maxwell works with brands that want to align with emerging and break-through artist who have a brand affinity for their respective product or company. He explains “we at Music Audience Exchange (MAX) are not only delivering hundreds of brand partnership campaigns to emerging and break-through artists, but also educating the market on the opportunities and benefits of aligning with a brand, while streamlining the overall process.” Maxwell also states that with a MAX campaign, “we are often pairing an artist rate (for their time on camera and overall likeness), a licensing/publishing rate (for the use of a song-ideally their new single) and then a level of media engagement and impressions (i.e. 5 million impressions w/10% fan engagement) to create a well rounded, drastically more beneficial campaign, that attempts to form a true partnership between the brand and the musician.” Of course all jobs have a stressful side to them, and Maxwell briefly mentions a few he has encountered, but there’s also a rewarding side to the job. He speaks on educating emerging and break-through artists on the power and value of brand partnerships, and how they are satisfying to him. As well as it slowly sets the landscape for the brand partnership space in music they’re looking to create.

To wrap up the interview, I asked Maxwell the advice he would give to someone pursuing the same career as him, and how his job has impacted his life today. His advice was “make sure your passion is in line with what you are good at.” He then states, “I am creative and an extrovert, that is I am able to create ideas and network to turn them into reality.” How his career has impacted his life today, he answered by saying, “I like to believe I am as diverse as it gets in terms of my experience in the music space, which helped me land my current role in brand partnerships.”