Artist Interviews

Catching Up With Nick Culp Of Goin’ Native Records

Photograph of the blog post author, Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson


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We caught up with Nick Culp of Goin’ Native Records and IBA Music to hear about what he’s been up to, how he got started and his exciting upcoming projects! Read on to find out more…

Nick Culp Goin Native Records Music Gateway

1. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us! Could you first tell us a little bit about your background and what your role in the industry is? How did you get into music?

I was first introduced to music by my parents at a young age. My father is a pianist/accordionist, and his parents were both music teachers. My mother is an artist and her relatives include generations of musicians and creatives. I started playing guitar when I was 11, which led to joining a few bands in the Kansas City area. My first serious leap of faith towards music was moving to Florida to study at Full Sail University. I studied from 2003-2006, and gained an Associate’s Degree in Recording Arts and a Bachelor’s Degree in Entertainment Business.

2. How did you get involved with Goin’ Native Records? What’s the background of the company and what do you guys do?

Goin Native Records Nick Culp interview Music Gateway

While I was finishing the program, I was introduced to Glen Barclay who is the owner/founder of IBA Music and Goin’ Native Records. 14 years later, I play a significant role within both of these companies.

IBA Music is a live events and production focused talent agency producing world music entertainment. Goin’ Native Records is a world music label that develops, produces, distributes, markets and represents the master and publishing rights to our catalogue.

Goin’ Native Records started in 1998 to support the growing number of artists at IBA. It began as a boutique label producing cover albums to sell at the central Florida attractions as souvenirs. Over the years, and as our talent roster grew, so did the label. We now have an eclectic mix of genres including Afro-Pop, Andean, Caribbean, Floribbean (from Florida and the Keys, a la Jimmy Buffet) Latin, Electro-Pop, Jazz and more.

3. Can you tell us about your work with Disney?

Glen Barclay was originally a Disney musician in the late 80’s. He eventually took on a producer role, and began focussing on building the talent agency which he incorporated in 1989. Since then, IBA Music has become one of the largest independent suppliers of entertainment to the Walt Disney World in Orlando. IBA Music is known as providing the highest level of culturally unique and authentic musical/atmospheric entertainment from across the globe, including the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.

4. Do you have any upcoming releases? I hear there’s a track called ‘Boss Lady’ featuring a very talented 11 year old, Carson Holley.

Carson Holley Nick Culp interview Music Gateway

Yes, we’re currently producing the hardest working 11 year old in the business named Carson Holley. She’s a talented actress and singer, who we met at Disney. Eventually, we invited her on stage to sing with one of our Latin bands (did I mention she sings in 5 languages?)

She blew away the crowd with her rendition of Marc Anthony’s ‘Vivir Mi Vida’. The video went viral and garnered over 50 million views. Because of her persistence and passion, we decided to start working with her on some original projects.

Her first single ‘Que Late’ was released last November (along with a music video). Her second single will be released on 23rd April, and it’s entitled ‘Boss Lady’. With everybody dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, we wanted to come up with a strong and empowering message. We felt that Carson had the perfect voice and attitude to pull this off.

It’s a very inspirational Pop track with some Latin elements about being brave and standing together. It deals with themes of equal rights, girl power and being fearless in the face of any obstacle.

5. Have you found any other collaborations or done any helpful networking on the platform?

Laptop and headphones Nick Culp interview Music Gateway

I haven’t found any collaborators yet on Music Gateway, but that really hasn’t been my focus on the platform. We are blessed enough to have an amazing team of musicians and producers. However, I can see how this could be an extremely useful resource for producers / singers that are trying to build their network of industry contacts. 

6. How are you getting on with Music Gateway? What parts of the site do you use most and what do you think of them?

I’ve been using Music Gateway for almost 3 years now, and I still feel like I learn something every time I explore the platform. At this point, I utilise many areas of the site, but my normal day-to-day is to look for the music briefs email, and then take a closer look at all the daily opportunities in the projects section.

I love how the opportunities can dramatically change one day to the next, so I try to stay on top of it. Another feature that is great is the commenting. If I feel it’s necessary, I’ll drop a quick comment so the listener can be aware of a certain segment that matches the request. Outside of the Projects section, I spend the most time in the Song Info area under the Database.

Music Gateway has one of the most comprehensive metadata dashboards I’ve ever seen. I realize this is the section that musicians/creatives want to spend the least amount of time on, but from my experience, it’s the most important part of pitching and exploiting your catalogue. To have your music appropriately tagged is invaluable, and is one of the first things a supervisor will look for. I also wanted to mention that I do utilise the playlist section a lot. We have many different genres and this is a great tool to group different titles together and send out a nice package for review.

7. What advice would you give someone in a similar position to you or someone trying to achieve what you have?

I would give the same advice to both someone in my position or someone who is just starting… stay true to your path. Whatever that might be, do your best to stay the course and be focused. Success takes time and seldom happens overnight. This is a complex industry filled with so much talent and opportunity. It’s easy to get lost in the mix…you have to be relentless when promoting and believing in your art.

We all started in this industry from a similar place of loving music and entertainment. However, only a small percentage of us find longevity because of the constant battle to be heard or to be given that first break. I truly believe if you stay focused on your path whatever that is…to be on stage, to write a hit song or receive a big sync placement from Music Gateway, you will get there. The hard part is continuing to push because it takes so much heart, talent and passion to make it happen – but I truly feel it’s achievable for anyone with this combination.

8. What are your plans for the near future?

Island Breeze Music IBA Music

For the near future, we will do our best to weather this COVID-19 storm. Regarding IBA Music, we are building up our digital presence and promotional material so we can hit the ground running once the world opens again. Our Goin’ Native Records team is taking this time to better organise the catalog, and to write and collaborate remotely. We’re focused on Carson Holley’s next single and will be releasing a quarantine style music video for ‘Boss Lady’ soon after! 

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Feel free!

One other project I wanted to mention is that I’m trying to become the first American born (with no Latin ancestry) to perform and sing in the style of Bachata. I fell in love with the genre after being introduced to it about 10 years ago. I have one single out with a music video and so far and it’s been receiving a lot of great feedback from Latin America, so I’m looking forward to exploring this more!

Follow in Nick Culp’s footsteps

If you’d also like to find opportunities as a creative like Nick Culp, make sure to have a look at our global collaboration marketplacesync licensing toolsmusic promotion service and more! Try Music Gateway out for free:

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