It's now a world where the acquisition of new music is as easy as a click of a button, rather than getting on the bus to the city centre and going into the local megastore to have your brain wiped by Britney blaring out at full volume!
So, just how does the world of downloads operate.
This week, on Big George’s Business of Sound he speaks to John Romano, whose label Avant Garde A Clue Inc and "playlist free" Internet radio show "Best of LA Podcast" is making headlines across the cyberworld.
Find out more about John Romano below.
John, where on the planet Earth are you based?
Los Angeles, California, the hottest yet smoothest place in the USA.
When, and why did you start your own record label?
My business partner Laura Glendinning and I decided to release my music independently first. The label grew from there. We then signed Jaime Paxton who has sold a bunch of records for us through the fact that her music is all over MTV’s show “Laguna Beach”.
How would you describe the style of music you look for?
Great question. The other night I was heading down the ten freeway to Santa Monica. Cool night .... no traffic .... just after dusk .... windows wide open. Basically any song that can stand up to those kind of cruise conditions is something I would sign. In this case it was “Everybody Loves You” by one of our artists Mat Jones.
What kind of artists are you looking for?
Anybody that has the ability to sell records and has something unique or fresh about their music. For instance one LA artist by the name of Chapa is someone I’m pursuing now. He makes the weirdest hippest jams I’ve heard in a long time. It’s not spot on my thing but it is clear he is building a scene around him and his music. Another artist I like is a guy who goes by the name of Mitchell. He writes heartfelt songs, but women react to him like he’s Elvis Presley. That stuff matters.
What’s the strangest act to approach you for a deal?
Hmm, never thought about it. We are still relatively new. Also, I kinda search for artists personally. I don’t introduce myself to everyone as a label president. But, if I like your music you’ll see a different John Romano come out.
How did you get to this point in your career?
Well, playing music is my favuorite thing. My most recent single “Green Girl”, possibly the world’s first eco-friendly song to chart peaked at #21 on the AC charts here in America. The music business is in such a state of flux. In today’s market being good isn’t really good enough you must have other stuff cooking.
What’s your favourite track, at the moment, and why?
The full version of the UK Office theme “Handbags and Gladrags” and Jim Bianco’s “Belong” are two tracks I’m diggin right now. Also, “You better you better you bet” by The Who has been stuck in my head for weeks even though I haven’t heard it in ages.
What’s the most memorable gig you’ve done and why?
The Viper Room in Los Angeles sold out. The audience and I were sympatico and I basically made up two songs in the middle of other tunes I was doing. When that happens you know you are doing something right.
Who do you most sound like as an artist?
Lou Reed, Lou Reed, Lou Reed. Oh, and did I mention .... Lou Reed
What’s the most amazing gig you’ve ever seen?
U2 at Giants Stadium in 1998. Bono singing “One” while a Keith Haring cartoon rolled in the background. Very cool night.
How did the “Best of Los Angeles Podcast” start?
One night last June I kinda jokingly put a short show together. I threw it up on the web to see what would happen. Almost a year later now the show is picked up all over the world via the web and on the radio at KYOU San Francisco.
Name one unusual fact about you.
I was born deaf and couldn’t hear until I was three.
If you could record a collaboration with ANYONE - who would it be and why?
Producing would be Daniel Lanois. Songwriting would be Bob Dylan or Bono and a duet would be Wynonna Judd.
What’s your ultimate ambition or dream?
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the world?
Our newest release the “Best of Los Angeles Podcast Music Volume #1” is available on itunes right now.