Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast. A follow up interview with author, music marketer and radio host David Hooper

David Hooper Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast

A while back I interviewed radio host, author and music marketer David Hooper about his book Six Figure Musician. We did the interview in Nashville about a week prior to the launch. At the time he told me about his plans for the book and how he intended to market it. I thought it would be interesting to follow up with him and find out how his marketing strategies were working and what he had learned about his audience. The book is available for free as well as a number of paid versions too. Would people value them differently? Was there any unexpected insight as to what people would go for? I have noticed that free can often result in less interest due to a lower perceived value of the content, whether it is a free music industry panel, workshop, webinar, concert or album download… What can David tell us about the world of book marketing within the music industry?

In our conversation we talk about marketing, getting a #1 on the billboard charts and a best selling book on Amazon. We discuss the global business market and the ability to choose the best partners on a global scale. Although I am not one for talking about hype, on this occasion I ask David his opinion of the media around Miley Syrus from a marketing perspective.

As always the conversation takes many twists and at every turn David has some hugely valuable insight to share. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator. 

www.playitloudmusic.com  www.abovethenoise.ca  @playitloudmusic


Interview with David Hooper

For more on David Hooper and his book Six Figure Musician please visit:




Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with Associate Director, Music Marketing Strategy & MuchFact at Bell Media Inc., Gregg Stewart

Gregg Stewart Above The Noise Music Industry PodcastToday’s interview is with Gregg Stewart, a marketing expert with over 13 years of first hand experience in the entertainment industry.

As the Associate Director, Music Marketing Strategy & MuchFACT he’s the main point of contact for music industry partners at Bell Media Inc. when it comes to music and entertainment.

Gregg leads the music team in weekly committee meetings, promo opportunities, communications, production, programming, appearances on all media platforms across their brands. Brands include MuchMusic, MuchMore, MTV, MTV2, MuchLoud, MuchVibe, MuchRetro, Juicebox, The Loop, E!, at broadcast and for all of their digital offerings.

Gregg also leads the MuchFACT team which is a funding board that supports Canadian music through content creation for all media platforms.

He was instrumental in the launch of MTV in Canada in 2006 and also grew the audiences of the major shows by 40% from year one! He has been involved with MTV events nationally from Wakefest in Kelowna to World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler.

This interview covers topics including:

  • How to get into the music industry
  • Building your value
  • Instant gratification and YouTube
  • New music discovery
  • Making the most of music placements
  • Building relationships and following through.
  • SXSW and beyond
  • Factors that count beyond the music
  • Timing
  • How MuchMusic and MTV formulate their own countdown chart and what factors in
  • MuchFact and creative pitching

Gregg is a very knowledgable guy and offers some great insight. Get out your pens and paper and take notes!

Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator.

www.playitloudmusic.com  www.abovethenoise.ca  @playitloudmusic

Interview with Gregg Stewart:

To visit Gregg’s blog:

Good Music Is Good Music

Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with Director of Music Programming for Sirius XM Canada, Jeff Leake

Jeff Leake Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast

Today’s interview is with Jeff Leake,  the director of music programming for Sirius XM Canada and host of The Leak In Review. I met Jeff at a music industry panel in Victoria, BC.  He’s a knowledgable guy, a funny guy and most definitely a very well connected guy!

We got together at his hotel to do the interview and drink tea. Rock n’ roll.

I am always interested to ask questions about what people do but I’m especially interested to find out how they got where they are. The more I have looked at successful careers the more overlaps I have found with the types of events that lead to success. To be more specific, the types of opportunities that have been the stepping stones to success.

Finding success in music or business is all about the accumulated experience and knowledge that allows us to recognize and seize the opportunity that ultimately results in what the general public observe to be “overnight success.” I was curious as to what those opportunities had been for Jeff. With his experience and first hand stories to tell about artists and their careers I was curious as to what advice he could offer for those looking for a career in music.

In our interview we talk about how to get your music on the radio, how to submit it, the importance of having a story, how to incorporate airplay into your overall strategy, the importance of follow up, but more importantly when to approach radio and why. Jeff also talks about networking and being ready and willing to take opportunities when they present themselves no matter how big or small they may seem.


Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator.

www.playitloudmusic.com   www.abovethenoise.ca   @playitloudmusic

Interview with Jeff Leake

To listen to Jeff’s show:  Jeff Leake In Review

Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with CEO of TraitMarker, Educational Entrepreneur and Personal Guru to The stars, Robbie Grayson

Robbie Grayson, Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast


Today’s interview is with my friend Robbie Grayson from Franklin Tennessee. Robbie is the CEO of TraitMarker, a way for you to discover the “real you.” As it states on the website: “Chances are that your personality lies buried beneath years of expectations and demands that life has heaped upon you. TraitMarker uncovers the genuine you lying beneath it all…” 

Robbie works with many well known artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and so on. I’m curious as to if there are any similarities in the traits of those that are most successful. I’m also interested to find out what Robbie told a number of highly successful business people as well as Grammy Award winning artists that he invited to his house, in Franklin TN, to meet me a while back.  On very short notice he put together two days of meetings that he hosted at his house, but what was it that he said or did that inspired these people to show up?

I have met a lot of people in my life and continue to build my network on a weekly basis. After a while you start to find similarities in people’s ways and actions. I have come to recognize the types of people that have a large network of loyal relationships. There is just something about these people that make them connectors. Robbie is one of these people. 

We talk about trust and honesty and their role in business success and living the life we want. Not only that but how to build and establish trust in order to develop our careers. 

I hope you enjoy this weeks podcast!

Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator.

PlayItLoudMusic   Above The Noise   @playitloudmusic


Interview with Robbie Grayson

For more information on TraitMarker please visit: www.TraitMarker.com


Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with Drummer, Label Owner, Author & Educator, Martin Atkins

Martin Atkins Above The NoiseI have been speaking to Martin about doing this interview for about a year. Between our schedules it seems to have been almost impossible to line it up. Finally we made it happen and 25 minutes in you’ll find out how it ended…

Martin is a guy that has “been there, done that…” he has played with everyone from Johnny Rotten in his band Public Image, Ltd to Pig Face, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Flea, Danny Carey from Tool, and many others… He owns a record label and is an in demand speaker at music conferences around the world as well as a professor at Columbia College in Chicago. He is the author of many books including most recently Tour Smart.

I was curious to find out what the decisions and opportunities had been along the way that lead Martin from Johnny Rotten to the educator and entrepreneur he is today. For the record he still plays on albums and sits behind the kit for bands. How he has time for everything I don’t know but he was up for sharing some of it with me to answer these questions!


Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator

www.playitloudmusic.com  www.abovethenoise.ca  @playitloudmusic


Interview with Martin


For more about Martin, his books ad tour dates please visit:


Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with The Empty Pockets

The Empty Pockets Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast

While meeting with a songplugger friend in Nashville, he asked me if I would interview some clients of his that were in town. The truth be told I was not really interested. I have always tried to keep my personal interviews (unlike when I am being hired…) to be with people that I have actively searched out. This situation was a little different and also a perfect example of how the industry really is based on relationships. I didn’t want to offend my friend and I understand in this biz that if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. So I said “sure.”

It turns out that The Empty Pockets were a perfect group of musicians to interview. They had made the trip down from Chicago to pursue their dreams in Nashville. I figure that that just about sums up the majority of bands that go to Nashville looking to swim in a bigger pond. Now I had a chance to interview one.

The Empty Pockets came across as driven, bursting with energy and rearing to go. But where were they going? What was the plan? What was driving them? What did they expect they would accomplish in Nashville? Was there a strategy? What could other bands learn from them? How were they paying their bills? How did they expect people to take interest in them? How were they securing meetings? What set them apart? What was their “difference”? Why would people care? What would constitute as successful trip?

This interview was conducted live at a studio on Music Row in Nashville. While we were conducting the interview a German film crew came in with a German music star wearing a cowboy hat. They asked if the studio would mind them filming an interview with the star at the studio for German TV. The studio leapt and the opportunity to be on German TV and let them in. I thought it interesting that nobody once asked for proof that they were with German TV. I am not suggesting they weren’t but I did think, if you are looking for ways to meet people in the industry and get guaranteed one on one time without prior appointment, maybe you should go around with a video camera and say you are from a TV station. Seems like a good way to open some doors…

I hope you enjoy this interview with The Empty Pockets as much as I did!


Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator. Author.

www.playitloudmusic.com   www.abovethenoise.ca   @playitloudmusic


Interview with The Empty Pockets


For more information on The Empty Pockets please visit their website:


Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast with Radio Promoter, Oscar Furtado

Oscar Furtado Above The Noise Music Industry Podcast


Today’s interview is with Oscar Furtado on the art of radio promotion.

Oscar is a renowned Canadian radio promoter who has worked with the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Tiesto, Swollen Members, Classified, and Marcy’s Playground to Jets Over Head, Madeleine Peyroux, Robbie Robertson and Jordan Knight. He focuses on commercial radio in Canada and knows exactly what it takes to break on radio.

Radio is not only part of the “rockstar dream” but it is a crucial aspect to a “rockstar career.”

When I first met Oscar a few years back, I remember him telling me that he recommended artists do some of the groundwork themselves before hiring a radio tracker. But how do you get started? Where do you begin?

I asked Oscar some straight up questions to help understand not only the process but how exactly you can get your music on the radio. What format do stations want your music in and how do you deliver it to them? Who do you call at the station? What do you say on the phone? How do you find out if your track gets added to rotation? How do the charts work and how can you chart? Should you focus on certain stations? Is it better to start locally or go nationally? What are the best ways to build relationships at radio? Who makes the decisions? Is there a better day of the week to phone? Why do some songs get picked and others don’t…? These are just a few of the many questions Oscar tackled.

There is a lot here and you might want to take some notes. Oscar’s answers will give you more than enough information to start laying the ground work and beyond!


Aaron Bethune. Music Specialist. Creative Collaborator.


Interview with Oscar Furtado

For more information on Oscar and his company Tandemtracks Promotions please visit his website here: