Do you remember the Notorious xx mix from the spring of 2010? The man behind its meteoric rise on the music blog scene was Wait What, aka Charlie Kubal. Charlie recently exchanged some emails with us (while backpacking around Southeast Asia) about making music while working and being a graduate student, and using Memolane to promote his music.
1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into creating music?
Sure thing — I went to college in New York and started producing hip hop while I was there, and started experimenting with different genres of music and got into sampling. That lead me to producing mash-ups, and I caught a break when I released an album last year that pitted The Notorious B.I.G. against a British indie rock band, The xx.
That album ended up catching the right ears at the right time, and was downloaded a million times in just under two weeks, and has allowed me to tour and play some awesome shows, from a festival stadium show in New York with Lil Wayne to club shows in Toronto and Bangkok.
2) As a musician, how are you using social media to promote yourself and connect with your fans?
I’ve been using social media to promote music since Myspace was popular. So when that first record I mentioned, the notorious xx, came out, I knew that social media would be my best opportunity to spread the word about my record as an unknown artist. I was working at Google at the time, and have always been pretty tech-savvy, so when bloggers and music tastemakers started tweeting about my record, social media was a great way for me to connect with people and help build a fan base.
I talk to fans a lot via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and have recently tried some things out with Google+.
3) How did you find out about Memolane, and how are you using it to represent yourself professionally?
I noticed a lot of my friends had started using the service, and so was intrigued to figure out how they’d organized all their info into one timeline. The ability to have everything in one place in a clean, easy to navigate UI is really compelling to me. It helps to not have to give someone six different social media links, and instead direct them to my Memolane, where they can follow it all, or decide from there which aspects they’re interested in.
4) What are some of the challenges that you face with making your music known as a one-man entity?
The biggest challenge is probably getting feedback — if I get stuck on something, there’s no other person in the band to help figure out how to fix a part or whether to abandon the track. I do give tracks to friends for feedback a lot, and that helps, but only having one person drive the creative vision can have some limitations, and runs the risk of me running with an idea that actually isn’t very good.
Overall though, I like doing it on my own — I’m at Stanford for grad school and tend to be pretty busy, so keeping odd hours and working on music in the middle of the night is easier when it’s just me.
5) What one song would inspire you to friend someone on Memolane if you saw it in a Last.fm memo on their lane?
Seeing people who listen to a variety of different things — my Last.fm has everything from 90s pop to random indie bands to Top 40 and underground hip hop. If I see someone listening to a lot different things, I’m always intrigued.
As far as a single song, if I saw someone had Third Eye Blind – Losing a Whole Year, I’d probably friend them on the spot
6) Where can the Memolane community find out more about you and hear your music?
7) Would you share with us what you are listening to now (w//link)?
Yeah, absolutely. Most recently, I’ve been listening a ton to Childish Gambio — he’s a rapper whose material ranges from pop culture to the personal, and also happens to be a comedian/actor, Donald Glover, so his insights tend to be hilarious and really interesting. Also, this guy from Toronto, The Weeknd, who makes this really raw, personal R&B.
This blog post is part of our Music on Memolane series, highlighting musicians and people in the music industry creating great things with Memolane.