Radio Sandwell Music

L.L. Cool J: 'You don't need a record label'

2013-01-13 23:47:43

LL Cool J

The Windows 8 Liquid My Connect Studio app from Boomdizzle is the brainchild of LL Cool J which allows users to create music with another person from a mobile gadget or PC.

The unique sharing tech allows music and vocals to be mixed and recorded in real time - once you're done you can save or upload directly to Soundcloud. Boasting 20000 users and with LL Cool J behind it, it's got the attention of the music industry.

We caught up with the man himself at CES to ask him what he expects the new service to achieve and why it's important for all music makers...

You had the Def Jam label and people around you when you started out - does this app mean it's easier to create a band?
I think it makes it easier to create stuff and it widens your pool of talent because it's one thing if I'm only pulling talent from my high school or my neighbourhood. You can meet people from other states - I could meet a guitar player from out of state, the guitar player that I always dreamed of having and that changes the game. It expands the pool of talent.

I'll give you an example. When I was coming up, I lived in Queens, I would go all over Queens around different parts of the borough trying to connect and network with people so I could make my music. It was wasting time - now you can go to My Connect Studio and meet all of these 20,000 people online that are already working on music.

Do you think artists need a record label anymore?
Do you absolutely need a record label? Probably not. Things have changed. The world is much more independent and if you have great music you'll find your own tribe, your audience. That doesn't mean that you'll sell 5 million albums, you may sell 5000 albums but you'll find an audience and you'll find a home. The major label situation is different, that's like blockbuster land where you can get that push. It's more about the dollars behind the project rather than the project itself.

What advice would you give to someone who has a finished track? What's the next step?
I think the next step is that you have to make great, great product that you believe in. You can't let time be an obstacle - some people create something great and if it doesn't work within a month, they give up. You may have one single that you created and you may have to work it for two years. It may take that time - you have records that are 40 years old that you love, you have music that was made before you were born that you love so you can't say stuff about shelf life and that the song isn't fresh. You've got to stick behind your product - that's the best advice I can give someone. A lot of the time, people don't have the money to hire the promo guy.

When you came up with the idea for that app, did you face resistance or challenges?
There's always going be sceptics - they know I don't come from this world, though I come from the music world, they think that I don't come from the tech world. You can't allow people to talk down your dreams - this is a dream, a vision. I wasn't going to say I've got a cool radio and put my name on it, this is something real. I also had people tell me it wasn't possible - I've been to CES two years in a row doing a demo of technology that I had companies tell me that it wasn't possible to do. I went to a couple of games companies to get them to help me with this thing and they didn't even think it could be done - now they're watching us talk about it...

This app relies on gadgets - what gadgets can't you live without?
I'm funny, I know I sound like a dinosaur but I use a BlackBerry to type on because my fingers find it easier that way. I use an iPhone for everything else, apart from typing and emails. All of my fun stuff is on my iPhone. I have an iPad but I don't mess with it much. I like the Sony Tap 20 - I'm trying to figure it out - touchscreen is a new world to me.


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