The music industry is notoriously difficult to grow in. Rising stars and newcomers may be the hardest affected, as they require the appropriate people to help them expand their network and mentor them in the profession. Promoting your music may be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Marcus Ch dela Peña is a singer-songwriter, music producer and founder of musivv.com, a platform for independent artists and those who are new to the industry
What were your struggles as an artist and how did you come up with the idea of musivv.com?
I started music when I was young. The idea of musivv.com came halfway through my entrepreneurial journey. In 2013, I started a boutique design studio that focused more on graphics and web design. Around 2018, I started thinking about how I could create a platform for artists in the form of a digital magazine. Since I was in the digital market, I thought why not create a space where I could hold events online.
What equipment did you use when you started and what advice would you give to the new generation of artists?
I started with Cakewalk back in 2000, it was a simple application that was already available when I bought my first computer. Now I use Logic Pro which is a more professional version of a Garage Band. I don’t think all artists can master it but I think it is important for them to understand the basic production and recording setup. When I started recording, I would just use my gaming earphones and mic and then edit the audio later on. I would advise investing in a professional microphone or for starters, recording on your phone so that you can understand how your vocals sound. Sometimes we feel awkward hearing our voices so this will help you practice and discover how to control your voice better. Since we live in a generation with the internet, you can learn through YouTube videos and study more about recording yourself online. Invest not only in equipment but yourself as well. Practice every day and believe in yourself because how can you come out with a great product if you are not confident.
It is said that emotions play a huge role in creativity. What are your opinions on that?
Yes, I find that to be very true. In the first album I produced, most of the songs that I wrote were from personal experience and emotions. When an artist grows and becomes more versatile they can even use other people’s emotions and create music. Music, in general, is very emotional. It touches other people’s hearts because of the feelings the artist pours into his songs.
What has your inspiration for music been this year?
My inspiration now is my family. Compared to the heartbreak album I wrote when I was younger, now my songs are more upbeat, cheerful and overall radiates positive energy. My wife is also an artist and we create a lot of songs together. We met at church and expressed our emotions about God, peace, and love through our music. We try to uplift listeners and spread the message of peace with our voice.
Who did you look up to growing up?
Growing up, I got exposed to a lot of singers from the US, boy bands, rap metal and alternative rock bands. My inspiration has been very diverse because, in my mind, music is music. No line separates what kind of music you create. I believe that although some people are purists and listen to only one genre, I could never be able to love only one style. This extends to how I interact with young artists as well. I don’t differentiate how I treat you and your music just because it is different. The influence that I’ve had has always been so diverse hence why I can connect with any artist no matter what genre they come from.
We know that your vision for this digital platform is really big, but so far where has it taken you?
There are existing entities that discover artists but these are artists that have already released their material. I wanted to create a platform for those artists that don’t have any means to record, produce their music and get their song out there. I created an artist discovery segment called JumpSTART to help upcoming independent artists. Last year was a digital contest. Participants had to upload their audition via the platform and we selected the top four finalists. The finalists were then judged by the public which then declared Evaliaa the winner. She was given training and lessons on how she could produce better music and we helped her release her first single on digital platforms. She gained a fan following from the UK after musivv.com partnered with a PR company in London. We are currently looking to partner with a PR agent that is based in Dubai as well for Season 2. That shows how far we are willing to go to help aspiring musicians.
What have musivv.com’s various segments been like so far?
Other than JumpSTART, musivv.com also includes a MUSIC+ component that features artists who succeed in music as well as other fields such as fashion, theater, sports, and health. We also have the Musivv Awards: An annual awards ceremony honoring musicians and artists who have been featured on our site throughout the year. musivv.com also includes HOT 40 Singles CHARTS, which rank artists’ tracks based on digital data collected by a computer we built. We like to think of it as a digital equivalent of Billboard’s Top 100. Last but not least, we have a BACKSTAGE segment in which we spotlight the creatives behind the stars. They could be make-up artists, producers, music photographers, music videographers: men and women who are supporting casts.
Are there any artists that we should look forward to that are in hands with musivv.com?
We have with us, singer-songwriter Cmagic5, our global ambassador from Canada. Great singer! We recently selected our global spokesperson Matilde G (@matildegirasole) an Italian international singer from Singapore. Definitely check out Evaliaa, the winner of JumpSTART Season One. I produced her first single and we had Grammy-nominated producer Beau Vallis (@beauvallis) mix and master her song courtesy of musivv.com. I am currently producing the first single of Sherbeth, one of the runners-up from Season One.
Many artists are growing and yet to be discovered and because musivv.com is a new platform in the local music industry, meeting fresh faces and working with new talents is top-of-the-list. Follow Marcus (@themarcusch) and musivv.com (@musivv) in their journey to find diamonds in the rough.