Monthly Archives: November 2009

Amma Johnson Album Review

Artist Name: Amma Johnson

Album Title: Self-Titled

Description: Inspirational Singer/Songwriter – Amma Johnson

Genre: Praise and Worship, African and multi-cultural music

Record Label: Independent

Difficulty of Music: Amma recorded this album with some amazing musicians, and with an amazing compilation of different genres of music. Coming with an array of sounds, Amma proves her musical talent and her ability to integrate alongside R&B, Rap, Jazz, and Praise styles of music.

Comparisons to Other Artists: Amma Johnson is very original with her music, keeping every song on the album diverse in every way. Her inspiring and melodic tone, provide a refreshing boost that lifts your spirits.

Lyrical Significance: Amma tries to reach out to people with her uplifting lyrics. Every song on the album tells an encouraging message. Her overall theme of the album: To live your life with a purpose and never turn back on your dreams and goals.

Overall Rating (out of 10): 8

Analysis: Amma comes with a very strong passion and desire to excel and teach others how to follow in her steps. She works very hard at making sure her point comes across well along with all the meaning behind it within every song. Amma accomplishes this very well with her emotionally capturing lyrics, and uplifting melodies and beats.

Band Website:

CrimsonFaced Album Review

Band Name: CrimsonFaced

Album Title: Binge

Band Members and Positions: Michael Trapp – All Vocals and Instruments, and Paul Kurzweil – MixMaster and Psychologist

Genre: Rock

Record Label: Independent

Difficulty of Music: The main difficulty here is Mike’s work with all the instruments and sounds you are hearing in each song. The music is put together well and creatively broken up. Michael is very talented, bringing a new and innovative form of modern rock.

Comparisons to Other Artists: Imagine – what if Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, King Crimson, Ozzy, Sabbath, Nirvana, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Steve Vai and Frank Zappa were all thrown in a blender with some Tequila and strawberries. That just BEGINS to tell the story… Hold on to your hats… cause the rollercoaster is going off the tracks……

Lyrical Significance: Micheal Trapp’s curious twist of the English language seems to get across his thought provoking lyrics in a way that gives the words even more of an impact, and will actually make people listen to the words more. They seem to gel perfectly with the rhythmic musical processions behind them, and the poetic integrity of the lyrics is enhanced.

Overall Rating (out of 10) : 8

Analysis: CrimsonFaced will be big sooner than they know it. Their almost haunting harmonious feel can be equated to slipping off the top of a hot air balloon at 20,000 ft into a free fall. They will certainly keep you intrigued, keep you listening, and will NOT disappoint.

Band Website: CrimsonFaced

Music Without Labels & Beat-Play at the Independent Music Conference –Northampton, MA- November 19-23, 2009

Founder and President of Music Without Labels, Dante Cullari, has been blessed with the pleasure to speak at this year’s Independent Music Conference in Northampton this Saturday at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton, MA, in which, he will be one of a select expert group of panelists, mentors, and workshop presenters, gathered to discuss empowering ideas for indie musicians to achieve success. The four day long IMC, offers many influential opportunities for independent artists, thanks to the educational and internetworking platform provided by the event’s coordinator, InterMixx.

Featured panelist, Dante Cullari, has been invited to discuss the underlying issues within the current music industry, while providing clear and insightful solutions to its impending transformation. Along with the ideas, Mr. Cullari has founded Music Without Labels to provide an effective, yet free, promotional outlet to the musicians experiencing the repercussion exerted by the current industry. Mr. Cullari states, “Artists should take advantage of the real promotional opportunities the Internet provides, in an effective way,” and suggests several tools to do so – INDEPENDENTLY.

The Independent Music Conference is known for offering a resourcefully valuable learning experience for producers, musicians, industry professionals, students, and a dedicated online fan base of over 7000 supporters. Music Without Labels serves as an educational platform to discuss the issues, share, the solutions, and promote the organic evolution of the music industry.


For additional information and/or tickets to the IMC, please contact them at 203.606.4649, or visit For further information on MWL, catch them at

Jaway Album Review

Band Name: Jaway

Album Title: Decontee

Band Members and Positions: Jaway- Singer, Song-writer & Producer

Genre: Pop, World, R&B

Record Label: Independent Label – Jawkua Music Records

Level of Music: Jaway comes to us with very catchy hooks followed by extremely uplifting lyrics to drive the overall feel of positivity throughout the album. Some of the songs are more focused on the lyrics while he also incorporates songs with difficult melodic and rhythmic verses.

Comparisons to Other Artists: No Comparison

Lyrical Significance: Jaway brings many motivational and influential lyrics to his album that relates to his beautiful childhood and upbringing but yet extremely difficult teenage years in Liberia due to the civil war. Having gotten away from his hardships in his homeland, he projects the many positive and beautiful things in which he gained mentally throughout his music. Jaway’s lyrics are his main strong point, given his background of reality, sharing his knowledge on what he has learned from the life he had been brought into and overcame.

Overall Rating (out of 10) :  8.3

Analysis: Jaway comes to the music industry with many things to say about the world around us. In doing so, he keeps the positive side of things with his faith in change for the better. The upbeat melodies and rhythms mix tastefully with his extraordinarily positive lyrics, which hold much power when understanding the man behind this genius. He brings very catchy music along with a learning experience that builds every time you listen to his album.

Band Website:

MWL Interview with Lokeii

Give us some background where are you originally from?
I am originally from Colorado. I was born in Littleton, Colorado. When I was a year old, my family and I moved to California. I lived in Orange County until I was six years old, then we relocated to Dallas, Texas. After Dallas, we moved to St. Louis, MO and I lived there from fourth grade until I graduated from high school. I normally tell people I am from four states. Each state I have lived in is a deep part of my psyche and has formed my perception of the world. The easy answer would be St. Louis because that is where I spent the majority of my life, but like I previously stated, I consider the other three states a very important part of my life.

You are currently attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood Correct?
Yes, that is correct. Tell us why you decided to attend the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
I just graduated from Colorado State University, and I wanted to further my education. Music has been my passion ever since I can remember, so I decided that there was no better way to continue my education than through a music school. I wasn’t ready to go into the corporate world like my brother and father, (because that’s not my style), so I decided to attend the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. For one, I am an artist and I produce and mix my own music. I realized that the best option for me to pursue my dreams would be to come to Hollywood (the epicenter of entertainment), and learn how to become a sound engineer so I could engineer my own music while learning the other components that make up the music industry. They teach you a wide range of the skills needed to be successful in the industry such as; how to hear sound correctly, recognize frequencies and understand how to conduct a session and run a studio, along with a lot more valuable information. What do you expect to gain as an independent artist by attending the Musicians Institute?
I expect to gain a multitude of things by attending M.I. as an independent artist. For one, M.I. is an incredible place for networking and getting your name “out there”. All of the teachers that teach at M.I. are extremely qualified and proven in the industry. They all have connections and they all know their trade to the smallest details. Some have received Grammy’s for their work; most if not all have worked and still work with famous and established musicians. For example, one of my engineer instructors has worked with 311, Brian McKnight, Bone Thugs, and Def Leppard. In fact, that particular engineer is so good at his job that McKnight pays him just to be in the studio when he’s recording to make sure nothing goes wrong and everything is exactly like Brian wants it. He isn’t even his sound engineer anymore; he is just paid to be there. Another great thing that I have already gained through M.I. are the connections that you make with your peers. I have already started collaborating with my boy V.I. (Vic) who I met at M.I., and we have formed a band called Two $cholars $hort. I have met a plethora of musicians who I also intend to collaborate with: guitarists, violinists, pianists, drummers, keyboard players, vocalists, etc., all at different talent levels from pro to beginner.

Tell us about some of your experiences at school and how they have motivated you to become a better artist.
The school has clinics every week that feature various musicians or prominent producers/people in the industry who come and speak at the school. Scientist will be coming to give a clinic soon and that should be a very influential and informal lesson. These clinics give additional information that we might not learn in class or elsewhere. There are often live shows occurring as well and that is inspirational to see because it makes you realize how talented your fellow students and teachers are.
Do you think your choice to go to a music school is going to give you a better advantage in the music industry and if so, why do you think that is? Absolutely. In the small amount of time I have been attending M.I. I have already learned twice as much about the industry than I previously knew. They provide a large amount of information that you can’t read in books, and that I feel a lot of people don’t know. They tell you the mistakes they made so you can learn from them. Also, it won’t hurt to have a college degree and an education from one of the best music schools in the world.
Now that you have attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood for a little while, is music school something you would suggest to fellow indie artists and producers and why?
Definitely, you should never stop learning and challenging yourself, and as cliché as the saying is “knowledge is power”, it’s true. There is a lot to learn from the teaching staff at M.I., and the equipment at the school is world class. In Studio A, there is a beautiful SSL 4000G console with forty-eight channels, top of the line monitors, and a solid acoustic room for recording. The networking and connections that you can make at this school is unbelievable, and the location is perfect. The information that you receive at the school will only further your level of expertise, and you will have more control over your sound and vision.
Do you find yourself more focused on your career in the music industry than you did prior to attending music school and if so, why do you think that is?
I am more focused that I have ever been. I finally have the tools to further my career and education in the music industry. At the school all of the top of the line equipment is at my fingertips and I am being taught how to use it all. It is very exciting and I can’t wait until I have my own studio. I am more focused because, unlike other places I have lived, Hollywood is all about entertainment, and that is my passion. Every type of music that you want to explore is located here, and the amount of musicians and artists that come here is astronomical. Tell us about some of your favorite teachers and how they affect your creativity and development as an artist.
It’s hard to single out a single instructor that I have at M.I. because they are all so talented and cool. A couple would be David Hewitt, Ted Greenberg, TJ Helmerch, and Otto ( Dave is very relaxed and chill individual who has a lot to teach because he’s seen it all and experienced it too. TJ is one of the founders of the RIT program at M.I. and a very talented musician. Ted has received multiple Grammy’s for his work in “Standing in the Shadow of Motown”, and is a very intelligent man. Otto is a certified master of both Pro tools 8 LE and HD, and Logic 9. I almost forgot Nels Jensen who is a bad ass with pro-tool, production, mixing, and post-production. He has worked with Flight of the Concords, (he engineered their last season), Jamie Foxx, and other successful musicians and artists. You are originally from the mid west and now you are on the west coast. Tell us, have you noticed any differences in the struggles of being an independent artist in St. Louis vs. Hollywood?
No, not really. I would say that everything is working out better if anything out on the West Coast. Even though there is a massive over-saturation on the music market right now, especially for hip-hop, the networking and capabilities here are far more substantial than the Midwest. Don’t get me wrong; St. Louis has it on lockdown. I just wasn’t able to make the connections that I am here. Do you have any new projects you are currently working on that we should keep an eye out for?
Always. Especially right now. My buddy V.I. and I just created a new band called Two $cholars $hort. We’re working on our first album, and we’ll hopefully have it out in a couple of months. In the meantime, you can go to my website on myspace,, and check out some of the tracks. I’m going to put up some of the new tracks we’ve been pouring our heart and soul into, but only just a taste. I got to keep you hungry so I can feed you later.
We want to thank you for taking the time out to speak with us today and for your support of MWL and Beat-Play.

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MWL & Beat-Play

Music Without Labels

Creation Over Promotion

Every independent artist in today’s music business has the same question. When will the right person hear my music? The problem with this way of thinking is the fact that you have now set your focus on pleasing someone that could ‘potentially’ help you out, rather than focusing on the creation and production of new music. Musicians are supposed to create new music to stimulate the fans interest, but in today’s market every band and record label has the focus set towards publicizing the already created music.

If fans want to hear the old music you had made then they will obviously go back and do that based on a song they had enjoyed of yours. Too much time and money is put into the promotion of music these days that you only see new music from a band maybe twice a year if you’re lucky. What the artists need to realize is that they will make more money, create a larger backing, and promotion becomes free through the fan base.

Here at MusicWithoutLabels, we offer that same FREE promotion idea discussed to help the artist get their name out there so fans buy the music. With Beat-Play comes the first social network radio, in which users will login, activating the radio. Each user will have their own playlist where the friends that they make on Beat-Play will pull new music from to play on their radios. With this, the user has the ability to hear a new song every time you hit next. Once you hear something you like, you then save it to your playlist, to help spread the music. The radio system truly is a great innovation to the business of music promotion, all free.

With a model like this, it is proven that all the artists will need to do is create new music to spread on the site. This will give the artists more traffic on their site for ad revenue along with the ability to sell their music. Once it is on the site, the rest is up to Beat-Play, allowing the musicians to be musicians. Then, finally pull in the amount of money that is being made off their music, rather than having it taken from them because of promotional costs made by the labels.

Keep Makin’ Music

By: Mark G. Valente | Director of Online Marketing | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC