YouTube’s “Musicians Wanted” Program Has Now Gone Global

YouTube’s Musicians Wanted Program Has Now Gone Global

YouTube’s "Musicians Wanted" Program Has Now Gone Global

People who live in the States became the first beneficiaries of YouTube’s “Musicians Wanted” program when it was announced just last year at South by Southwest.

For those who have never heard about it before, “Musicians Wanted” is basically a program aimed at new talent. Up-and-coming artists are given the chance to become partners of YouTube, and reap the full benefits of being advertised on the leading video portal on the Internet.

And if you had indeed never heard about “Musicians Wanted” before, then that was going to change in the next couple of days for sure. The “Musicians Wanted” program has now gone global.

Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., Sweden, the Czech Republic, Argentina and New Zealand are all supported now. If you live in any of these territories, you can proceed to fill out the application form and (to quote Cohen) “wait for the miracle to come”. Continue reading

The Johnny Cash Project Is Building The Ultimate Tribute To The Man In Black

Johnny Cash Performing Live

Johnny Cash Performing Live

The Johnny Cash Project is a collective art initiative. People from all over the globe are invited to submit their own drawings of Johnny Cash, and these will eventually form a crowd-sourced video celebrating the release of  the posthumous “Ain’t No Grave”.

In the words of the people who have created The Johnny Cash Project:

“Through this website, we invite you to share your vision of Johnny Cash, as he lives on in your mind’s eye. Working with a single image as a template, and using a custom drawing tool, you’ll create a unique and personal portrait of Johnny. Your work will then be combined with art from participants around the world, and integrated into a collective whole: a music video for “Ain’t No Grave”, rising from a sea of one-of-a-kind portraits.”

All in all, quite a splendid chance to show people from all over the world what Cash meant (and still means) to you, and let them see him through your very eyes. And if you are not a great illustrator, then you needn’t worry. You will actually be provided with an image that will act as your point of reference to draw Johnny.

Justin Bieber Is Getting His Own Movie: “Never Say Never”

Not Content With Having Announced The Release Of A Biography, The Canadian Tween Idol Now Also Has Got A Movie In The Pipeline.

Not Content With Having Announced The Release Of A Book, The Canadian Tween Idol Now Also Has Got A Movie In The Pipeline.

Scary news, huh?
Well, it gets even worse (or better, according to how maliciously you like to laugh out loud).

The movie will be in 3D.

“Inception” wasn’t in 3D. “The Dark Knight Rises” won’t be in 3D.

And Justin Bieber’s biopic will.

That’s all the more ridiculous because the movie will feature tons of homemade clips that have the shoddiest quality you could imagine. These will be interspersed with interviews and live performances, obviously. But they make the release of the movie in 3D all the more difficult not to scoff at.

This post wouldn’t be complete if I had omitted the movie’s delectable trailer. Sorry, guys. I promise to review a classic rock record tomorrow in order to redeem myself.

The Return Of Kanye West

Chicago Rapper Kanye West Is Back With A New Album (“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”) And A Hip Hop Opera To Promote It.

Chicago Rapper Kanye West Is Back With A New Album (“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”) And A Hip Hop Opera To Promote It.

Kanye West’s career took a dramatic turn when he interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. What he did that night earned him the anger not only of music fans but also critics and the media in general. Even president Barrack Obama lashed at him.

But it wasn’t until September of this year that the rapper took to Twitter in order to redeem himself. He sent over 70 tweets the same day, all within a couple of hours. As well as apologizing for his actions, he also enumerated the direct consequences of that fateful interruption.

– “Had to let employees go… for the first time I felt the impact of my brash actions … I felt the recession from an ownership side”

– “How deep is the scar… I bled hard.. cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world … closed the doors of my clothing office”

– “That’s when you realize perception is reality. I’ve been straying from this subject on twitter but I have to give it to you guys raw now.”

– “If you google Asshole my face may very well pop up”

In hindsight, these apologetic tweets might as well be remembered as one of the cleverest ploys in Kanye’s career. He projected himself as a fallen star with a sympathetic heart, and as a person fully aware of his failings. And it is no wonder that his next album (“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”) is already being spoken of in very favorable terms. Continue reading

It’s Official: Lady Gaga Is The First Artist With 1 Billion Views On YouTube

Lady Gaga Did It - She Will Go Down In History As The First Artist To Have 1 Billion Views On YouTube

Lady Gaga Did It - She Will Go Down In History As The First Artist To Have 1 Billion Views On YouTube

As predicted by those who have long beards and just too much time on their hands, Lady Gaga is now the first artist with 1 billion views on YouTube. She won’t be alone for long, though – Justin Bieber will join her in a couple of days.

In having 1 billion video hits on YouTube, that is.
What did you think I was talking about??

Wanabez – Where New Talent Is Discovered


Name: Wanabez

The meteoric success of artists like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga has opened everybody’s eyes to the role the Internet can play in a musical career, and Wanabez is here to let singers and instrumentalists have a fairer chance of being discovered.

Wanabez is a brand-new video portal for aspiring musicians, a place that is comparable to a version of YouTube in which only videos of people looking for the big break are uploaded.

Just like YouTube, Wanabez can be used for free. And the videos that are uploaded can be commented and rated by just anybody – site visitors, other performers, industry folks who stumble upon them…

Besides, since videos can be sorted both by rating and by the number of comments they have received finding the most promising acts is a much easier task. Any person looking for emerging talent can visualize only those that have received the highest qualifications, and avoid having to sit through one band after the other of fifteen year olds doing their own versions of “Whole Lotta Lovin'” with the divine conviction that they are incendiary, when they are just a good couple of light years from getting anywhere near the mark. Continue reading

Conkistadores (Uruguayan Unsigned Artist)

Conkistadores Are Gabriel Laborde, Angelo Galeazzi, Darwing Pato Cabana, Jonathan Garcia and Juan Lujambio.

Conkistadores Are Gabriel Laborde, Angelo Galeazzi, Darwing Pato Cabana, Jonathan Garcia and Juan Lujambio.

Hailing from the City of Maldonado, Conkistadores is a recently-formed band whose sound lies somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal. The current lineup comprises singer Gabriel “Rubio” Laborde, guitar player Angelo Galeazzi, drummer Darwing “Pato” Cabana, bassist Jonathan Garcia and keyboard player Juan Lujambio.

They all have played in bands from Maldonado before – Darwing played in “La Mole” and “Gangster”, Gabriel sang with “Minerva”, Angelo was the guitarist for “Cardíacos”… even Juan (the youngest member) is a well-known face in the local scene, having formed his first metal band when he was just 14.

The band has just finished recording its debut EP. It is bound to be released soon, and Conkistadores is playing his first gig in Montevideo on the 13th of November at La Comuna along with the bands Cimarrón and Ginebra (from Salto and Montevideo, respectively).

Musically, Conkistadores references the ‘80s in a dynamic and constant way, with bands like Iron Maiden, Warcry and Yngwie Malmsteen being just some of their clearest standard bearers. But so are Guns ‘n’ Roses, Dream Theater and the Argentinean band Rata Blanca.

You can tell the band members are not new to the game when you listen to them playing. Gabriel’s vocals are sonorous in the best sense of the word. The bass work is decidedly mellifluous, and the guitar is an effective emotional vehicle. More than often, it is hard to believe that the keyboard parts come from someone who is just 15. And Pato is playing the drums with the strength and conviction that only those who have had a close call can muster (he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident not so long ago).

Conkistadores On Stage

Conkistadores On Stage

Out of the six songs that are going to be featured on their debut EP, my personal favorite is “Nadie Escuchó” [Nobody Heard]. It deals with the murder of a 10-year old girl in Maldonado (“Un demente con una estaca de Madera/dejó muda una ciudad entera”) [A madman with a wooden stake/left a whole city speechless] and it is a good example of the band’s ability to touch weighty issues without sounding preachy or overbearing.

The song also has my favorite guitar solo of the whole EP. A true sense of walled desperation is conveyed. Nobody would mistake it for Eric Clapton’s famous weeping guitar, but it is an instrument that is speaking a language capable of moving even those who have not been personally marked and marred by tragedy. Continue reading

John Jones (BuyWidget) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the second and final part of the interview I had the pleasure of conducting with John Jones from Buy Widget. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as the first!



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

At a very young age – growing up in Toronto in the late ‘60s, I listened to radio all the time. First single was Badfinger – No Matter What and first album was The Best Of The Guess Who. Probably the Canadian influence on the last one, but it actually purchased on a trip to the US!

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

Never in a band. However, I’ve had the good fortune to work as a producer in both live and studio environments and have worked with some incredible talent across genres from rock to alternative to jazz to blues to world. Here’s a link to some of my productions:

Also, as a radio and TV producer I got to work or interview with just about everyone I had ever hoped to work with at some point. Here’s a link to a subset of TV productions: Continue reading

John Jones (BuyWidget) – Interview (Part 1)

Back in May I wrote a post about a system for the monetization of music named BuyWidget, and just last week I managed to talk with its CEO, Mr. John Jones. I did wish I could have featured him before on MusicKO, but now I know that the saying “Good things come to those who wait” couldn’t be truer – just look at his answers. Incredibly insightful, rich in content and a joy to read.

But enough of my chatter. On with the interview!


Full Name: John Jones
Age: 50
Startup: BuyWidget
Position: CEO



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What gives it an edge?

BuyWidget was conceived as a means of allowing any site, blog or portal to quickly set up their own music download sales store. The core idea was to give sites a means of enhancing their visitor’s experience, increasing their user engagement, and increasing their revenue. The significant advantage is that the signup, and build process of creating a BuyWidget only takes a few minutes – less than it takes to watch a video explaining it actually! And it works on WordPress, TypePad, Blogspot and any HTML site. BuyWidget is a product from our parent, fortyninegroup, a digital products and services company.

What was the original launch date?

The service launched in beta in May 2010.

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

Great, thanks for asking! BuyWidget is now on more than 250 sites. The US has the most installations.

What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?

We recently added a PayPal payment process. All site owners who host a BuyWidget can be paid through PayPal. We are working on a number of new additions. The great thing, from the beta launch, is that the code has been stable, and our hosting provider is fantastic, so reliability has not been an issue! Continue reading