Other than being a brilliant business owner and DJ, Josh Allegro (AKA Josh Justice) is also an avid Music Gateway user. After connecting with an Artist from Uganda on the site to complete his most recent project, we were able to discuss with him recently just how the project came about. As well as his thoughts on the site and his tips on how our members can utilise the platform to help aid their career.
#1 Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in the South of Manchester in England. I started DJing when I was 13 and ended up building quite a successful mobile DJ business playing at all our friend's parties & social events.
By the time I was 16 I'd started playing on the Manchester club circuit under the wing of a prominent promoter who ran a bunch of the popular nights in & around Manchester at the time. It was great fun and my first exposure to large crowds as some of the clubs had a 2 or 3000 capacity. I and a group of close friends were also promoting and putting on our own nights which I was playing at. Around the same time I got my first studio setup and started producing music. I moved to London a few years later and had a number of residences at various London hotspots like 333 Mother Bar & Punk in the West End. All the while, constantly writing, producing and working with new artists and cowriters in London and New York where I traveled quite frequently.
About a year ago, I moved to Sicily where I have a home studio & currently work from.
#2 What made you want to pursue a career in music?
Music's in my blood, it’s what I do. I have probably written nearly every day since starting out at 16. I just love the introspective process.
#3 How’re you enjoying the platform, what benefits have you noticed so far?
The accessibility of the platform is fantastic. If I'm stuck on say, a lyric for a track, just being able to reach out & bounce off people is invaluable. It makes collaborating so much more open & accessible. The writing process can be one of great introspection which, for the most part (I believe) is how it should be. But, there are times when you just need to get out of your head and introduce new ideas to the mix.
Especially when I’m in Sicily and am cut off from London (one of the reasons I came out here); if I need that objective input, it's there on tap. Quick access to other creative minds, other top liners, vocal talent, etc.
On the pitching side, it’s also been great. The format for the briefs is really clear and everything is very transparent. There are no politics, the tracks just get listened to by the Gateway team or the Client and you get notified on whether they like the track for the particular brief. The availability of projects from reputable companies in various international music markets is second-to-none.
#4 You recently completed a project on the site, are any of the results being released anytime soon for people to check out?
I’ve recently been working with a Ugandan artist called Tracy Agaba. She's fantastic. I was actually introduced to her through her manager via the platform.
I was looking for a certain type of vocal for a dance track I was working on. He sent me a list of about 12 artists he is currently managing. I listened through & picked Tracy out of the bunch. She just has a very youthful, pure tone to her voice which I loved and fit the record perfectly. We’ve formed quite a good relationship & I think we’ll be working on a number of other projects together shortly.
The track we recorded, “Presence” is currently being pitched to Sony(through Music Gateway) so we will see if it’s successful. I have a good feeling about that track. If the project isn’t placed now we may just release it independently anyway as we feel it could really catch on if we get it to the right promotional channels online.
#5 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
Communication tends to be clearer & more efficient. This is important if you’re doing your own pitching & spend the majority of your time immersed in the creative process - not to be interjected by too much industry correspondence. On the project management front; all the project files & stems are managed in one place, in the project “Workspace". There are no email or external links to manage & lose track of.
#6 In your opinion, is digital technology progressing at a pace that is helping artists proactively pursue work in the music industry?
Yes, definitely as long as labels & publishers continue to see quality results turned out from online platforms, they will continue to be embraced. All we need are a few big hits from collaborations facilitated on platforms like Music Gateway, and these companies will dedicate more of their A&R resource to utilising them to find quality music for their projects.
#7 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career and staying pro-active on the website?
On a creative level, write every day! Even if it’s just 20 minutes in the morning. Continually developing your ideas and production skills will allow you to more consistently take advantage of the opportunities that are posted.
Set aside a couple of time slots each week to go through new projects on the site and think of how best you can serve them with the work you have done and/or your skill set. Keep your production catalog well organised (in iTunes, etc) and upload your best selection of tracks to your Gateway profile, ready to pitch as soon as new briefs are posted.
Outsource! If you can get someone better than you to work on a particular part of a project (the vocal, production, mix, etc), do it. If you can find someone to work with consistently who turns our quality results, this is golden. It can dramatically impact your trajectory in terms of production quality, the number of tracks you turn out and subsequently, your pitching frequency.
If you'd like to get involved in opportunities like the ones Josh has been talking about to help develop your career or equally if you'd like to connect with people like Josh ,sign up to Music Gateway today!