RJ Thompson interview – The self made artist

For music artists like Newcastle based RJ Thompson, promoting new albums and singles is never any easy task, but thanks to some innovation, and web marketing skills, you can build an online presence and promote your own personal brand.

RJ Thompson is what you could call a ‘self-made’ musician. After setting up his own record label Chicken Wire Records back in 2003, RJ has toured across the UK along with musicians such as The Proclaimers, John Martyn and Joe Brooks.

From writing to social media, and with the help of a few friends and family, RJ has full control over his career, and many artists are turning towards entrepreneurial means thanks to the power of the web.

Check out RJ’s recent music video ‘When I Get Old’, which he shot in POV style with the One Nine Four Studio team and my interview with him below.

RJ Thompson – When I Get Old

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPdx4bYcSuw

RJ’s new single ‘When I Get Old’ comes out on July 17th. Check out his official site to find out more.

Film Industry Network brings you an insight into RJ Thompson’s music and visual etiquette:

Interview with RJ Thompson

Iain : How did you work with your director and studio (OneNineFour Studio) to come up with this concept?

RJ: We held a few brainstorming sessions back in April, just bouncing ideas off each other and trying to find something that would suit the song. I’d worked with Luke, one of the guys from the studio, on some of my earlier videos and photo shoots so we both had an idea of what we like to see and what works with my style of music. The core idea came round pretty quickly and then we spent a few weeks tweaking things and adding subtle shots to the storyboard. We aimed to create a concept that could translate to print as well (the single artwork etc).

Iain: How important do you think music videos are for indie artists to showcase their work?

RJ: I think they’re really important. The technology available to people nowadays has made it almost a level playing field, providing you can come up with ideas that work with the music. Indie artists are competing directly with major label artists, especially on places like YouTube, so you need to have a good presence there I think.

Iain: Do you use youtube as a main outlet for promoting your album?

RJ: I would say it’s one of the best ways to reach people, for sure, along with other video sites like Vimeo.

Iain: Can you tell us what the music scene is like in the UK at the moment?

RJ: It’s pretty strong. In my hometown, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, there’s a bunch of great venues and a lot of really really good bands. A few of them are starting to break out and get the attention they deserve.

Iain: Why did you decide to create a narrative in the style of a POV?

RJ: The song is about getting stuck in a daily routine and drifting through life, and how it sometimes takes something out-of-the-ordinary to wake you up. When we were all brainstorming the concept, the POV perspective seemed like an interesting way to try and tell the story.

Iain: If there are other indie artists looking to shoot a music video, what would you recommend them to do first before looking for a director? Do you need to have a visual concept ahead of time?

RJ: I didn’t have a full concept ahead of time, but I’ve known Luke (one of the directors) for a couple of years and we both know what elements we like to see in music videos and live videos, so the concept didn’t take long to come together. Really, I would just recommend finding a director, or a studio, or a group of friends that you are comfortable working with and bouncing ideas off.

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