Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Jocelle Koh

Level Up is a podcast by music journalist, industry hustler and Mandopop nerd Jocelle Koh aimed at helping independent artists navigate the Asian music industry while levelling up as artists. Informed by a wealth of experience in speaking and working with artists in the Greater China and Southeast Asian music scenes, The ‘Level Up’ podcast seeks to empower artists to make decisions about their music business independently, and to help artists to ‘level up’ in their own unique way.

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Digital Distribution | Exploring the Greater China Streaming Market ft. Believe Taiwan's Jim Tseng

Digital Distribution | Exploring the Greater China Streaming Market ft. Believe Taiwan's Jim Tseng

🄴 Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Digital Distribution | Exploring the Greater China Streaming Market ft. Believe Taiwan's Jim Tseng This week, we’re honoured to have Believe Distribution’s head of Taiwan and my good friend Jim Tseng on the Level Up podcast to school us all on how the Greater China music streaming industry works, and the landscape of today. Both Taiwan and Mainland Chinese streaming markets grew despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and Jim shares about the unique benefits of both markets, some obvious and others not so much. And for listeners interested in the Mainland Chinese market, we answered the big question on everyone’s minds: what is the market all about, and what kinds of artists are primed and ready to take on such a daunting industry. We also talked in depth about how independent artists can make the most out of their data, and when it might just be best for them to put it aside and focus on planning and strategizing their releases instead. Key Takeaways: Listeners in Taiwan are increasingly focusing on international and diverse content as can be seen from their platform preferences Seeing 30% year on year growth despite the pandemic, the Mainland streaming market is still going strong, and expected to grow exponentially in size. However, there are high entry barriers including a totally different ecosystem, and large gatekeepers. For indie artists just starting out: Data might not actually be your best friend. Double down on planning and strategizing at stages when the data you have isn’t too significant. Jim’s best advice for navigating streaming: have a plan and execute it in a timely manner   Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly   Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!

Digital Distribution | All Your Distro Questions Answered feat. SINGPOP's Hubert Ng & Terrence Huang

Digital Distribution | All Your Distro Questions Answered feat. SINGPOP's Hubert Ng & Terrence Huang

🄴 Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Digital Distribution | All Your Distro Questions Answered Feat. SINGPOP’s Hubert Ng & Terrence Huang *This episode is an audio replay of a SINGPOP webinar titled ‘Let Your Music Be Heard’. Watch the full webinar here on Facebook* I was honoured to be invited by SINGPOP to share about my experience working as a label manager with Believe Digital, and also about my understanding of the streaming market in Asia as well. Over the last few years, I’ve serviced and come in touch with hundreds of artists who come in all different shapes and sizes. I believe that all of them can tailor their distribution strategy in different ways to achieve their potential. But many soon encounter their first roadblock, which is when dealing with a distributor, they’re unsure of where to proceed from here, or to make the most of the services they offer. On this podcast episode, I break down all the myths and tell it to artists straight about topics such as: How to release my track worldwide The difference between DIY and account management based distributors How to get the most out of your pitching services Managing expectations between yourself and your distributor Pitfalls to look out for before signing a distribution deal Shaping indie artist distribution strategies & more. Yes, it’s going to be a long episode. But I promise that all of these are tried and tested tips that have helped many an artist level up their distribution game, and as always, make the most of it.   Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly   Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!  

Social Media | Interview with Jaguar Jonze - Finding Artistry & Independence via Social Media

Social Media | Interview with Jaguar Jonze - Finding Artistry & Independence via Social Media

🄴 Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Social Media | Interview with Jaguar Jonze - Finding Artistry & Independence via Social Media When I came back to Perth for the Summer, I did not in my wildest dreams expect to meet Taiwanese-Australian artist extraordinaire Jaguar Jonze here. But yet here she was, seated in front of me in all her signature leopard print glory. I had met Jaguar aka Deena Lynch the day before at a music mentorship program for West Australian musicians, and given that the previous episode of our Level Up podcast was very much inspired by her amazing social media strategy, the serendipity was too strong to ignore with this one. A self-managed artist who has gone from strength to strength with her uniquely sensual and vulnerable alt-rock sound and striking east-meets-west visuals, Deena is one of few artists who has truly pivoted the pandemic to her advantage in 2020. As she so succinctly puts it, she made COVID her bitch. Becoming Triple J’s most-listened artist in 2020, scoring brand deals with the likes of Christian Louboutin and Adobe, and fighting for accountability and change against sexual predators in the Australian music industry, it’s mind-boggling to know that Lynch achieved all this after spending 40 days in the hospital battling COVID-19. Yet she is very transparent about social media and digital media’s role in her success on the whole, sharing that the brand partnerships she garnered last year were definitely down to the social media presence she’s created during this time. We sat down with Deena to pick her brain on her mindset surrounding social media, her relationship with it throughout her career, and the logic behind some of her stellar online content. Also...we are so excited to announce our first ever sponsor for the Level Up podcast - Yunizon Eyewear! We really connected over the diversity than ran through both of our brands (especially the inclusivity for Asian fits) and thus felt they would be the perfect partner for our podcast! Check out their frames on their website or Instagram, and use FIRSTORDER10 to get a discount on your first order! Race you to the checkout page! Website: https://www.yunizoneyewear.com/ More about our sponsor: Yunizon Eyewear is a New York City based company producing premium handcrafted eyewear with a focus on fit. They are the only sunglass brand to offer three distinct headwidths (narrow, medium, and wide) and non-slip nosepads in every frame. Each gender neutral style is designed to maximize comfort and look great. The founders, Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas and Rebecca Lay, combined have 20 years of experience in the eyewear industry and ensure Yunizon customers never again have to compromise fit for style.    Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly   Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!  

Social Media | Artist Case Studies - Jaguar Jonze, Karencici, Joy Crookes

Social Media | Artist Case Studies - Jaguar Jonze, Karencici, Joy Crookes

🄴 Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Social Media | Artist Case Studies - Jaguar Jonze, Karencici, Joy Crookes We can talk all we want about social media, but what better way to put it in context than with some case studies deep diving into some artists we love? With Instagram as our medium of choice, we’ve chosen three artists who we  believe embody all the foundations for a healthy and creative social media persona as per talked about in our last episode: Taiwanese-Australian singer-songwriter Jaguar Jonze, Asian-American singer-songwriter Karencici, and British artist Joy Crookes (of Irish/Indian heritage). We believe that the most important thing is to use social media to empower yourself, and what you hope to express to your listeners. These artists have taken the basic social media format Instagram has provided them with, and merged it with their own creative direction and workstyles to create content that is uniquely and consistently them, creating interesting ways of creating content through the platform in the process. If you’re a visual person, don’t forget to check out the YouTube verson of this podcast ep we put up with screengrab walkthroughs of the various Instagram posts for full effect! Here are the main takeaways we got from each of the artists’ profiles: Jaguar Jonze Great use of colour profiling and textures: Jaguar Jonze loves her bold reds, yellows and orange hues. These are displayed prominently across her feed. She also loves leopard prints (hence the stage name) and even when she’s posting day-to-day content, she’s often seen sporting leopard prints too!  Awesome reusing of content: Content is precious, and Instagram (as well as most social media) is a primarily visual platform which requires quick and consistent releasing of content to stay relevant. Jaguar is adept at making sure she has lots of visual documentation of all her exploits, from photoshoots to live photos, and uses them frequently to share new information with fans or to engage with them. This is a great mindset to have. Using her own ways to create intimate spaces visually on IG: Jaguar is passionate about voicing her support for women. Last year, she campaigned against sexual harassment and assault by posting resources and events she had personally encountered or heard of on her social media on colourful, bold sticky notes written in her own hand.    Karencici Social Media Native: One look at Karencici’s page will show you that she is a millennial social media native through and through. There is just something so organic and natural about the way that she shares content, while building on her brand as an artist and musician. Original use of filters to easily create new content: In instances where Karencici has done challenges or shared demos on her page, she often uses filters to spice up her off-the-cuff videos so that it tells a bigger story both musically and visually than just another video of someone singing into their microphone.  Authentic, consistent, unique engagement methods with fans: As mentioned above, Karencici is the queen of coming up with new and fun ways to engage with her fans using her own voice. From the abovementioned Christmas song challenge to a recent challenge where she recorded a video of her writing a song in under an hour and then releasing the demo on her Instagram, Karen is generous with her talents and songwriting ability, and this allows audiences to be able to take a peep into her world and her prowess as a singer-songwriter without even having to release a single.   Joy Crookes Authentic social media persona: Given her name, it’s no surprise that Joy’s sweet, passionate and authentic persona shines through just so on her social medias, especially on Instagram.  Unafraid to share her creative process: Similar to Karen, Joy is generous with her songwriting talent, often sharing demos and unreleased snippets on her Instagram, mixed with covers.  DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this episode are mine and mine only. Photos of the mentioned artists were taken from their official Facebook pages, and these examples are used purely for educational purposes. Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly   Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!      

Social Media | The Social Media Mindset

Social Media | The Social Media Mindset

🄴 Level Up by Jocelle Koh

Here's the thing about social media. It's an ESSENTIAL part to your role as an artist. Even your lack thereof of social media use (when done correctly) can establish your branding and your positioning as an artist.   I see a lot of artists and work with a lot of artists who feel constrained by the regimented and time-consuming routine by which they feel they have to use social media, to engage and interact to keep those likes and follows coming in. Here's the thing: you don't HAVE to do anything.   But if you, as the artist, the primary creator of content are unwilling to put in the work, then the buck stops with you. And by doing this you are sending out a clear message that you don't want to create engaged, authentic relationships with people who truly love your music.   Instead of feeling dragged along by the social media grind, change your perspective and take control of your presence on social media. To me there’s just something so empowering about understanding the platform you’re using, and that you’re using it on your terms, to your advantage.   Here are my best tips for getting yourself into the right mindset to tackle your social media presence.   Figure out which platforms work for you, and which just don’t. If you find Facebook posts time consuming and not that engaging for your target audience, maybe post key updates but include other platforms you’re more present on as your key strategy. Learn everything you can about the platforms you’re honing in on. Check out artists with cool social media presences that you can learn from, or check out a few articles or YouTube videos about neat social media tricks to help you level up. There is no better way to learn, than to USE the platform. I find great joy is toying with Instagram story in particular, and figuring out hacks for how to easily create posts that suit my needs, by learning how to paste backgrounds onto Spotify shares, or to use the poll function to engage people in all sorts of different ways. Although there are only a couple of features, the possibilities for how you can use them in different combinations for your variety of purposes are endless. Fail fast and keep going. A short period of inconsistency is forgivable on social media where people often have the memory of a goldfish. Experiment as much as you can until something sticks, and don’t be afraid to fail. Do it fast, get it over with, and once you’ve found what works, it’s smooth sailing. Keep it consistent. Although people have goldfish brains, that’s also why to keep your brand intact, you have to be consistent. To drill the message into their brains time and again. So once you’ve found your angle or ‘thing’ on social media, keep at it. Regroup and re-evaluate. Keep an eye on those stats, on the engagement of the posts you’re doing different and try to compare it with engagement of previous posts. Is it working? Is it not? Yes maybe it is working but it’s taking too much time? Remember to keep coming back and evaluating your social media strategy, because things change and you can’t keep doing the same thing forever. And if your strategy isn’t efficient or effective, then it’s time to switch things up again.   And when we talk about whether something is working or isn’t, think past the numbers. As an artist, remember to always go back to your positioning, and evaluate whether what content you’re creating is on brand for you. Another metric that’s really important to me, is time spent. Is the amount of time spent on social media proportionate to the value that you’re getting out of it? Again, when we talk about value, think outside of likes, shares and retweets. Think about the deep conversations you’ve initiated, about the way people resonate with these new messages you’re putting out. Think about how you feel as a content creator in the process. Does this excite you? Feel like a sustainable long-term endeavour that you can manage? Numbers are great to give you a quick overview of success thus far. But define success for yourself, and then work backwards to figure out how you would like to get there. Don’t let these numbers control you, educate yourself, feel it out, and find what works.   Key Takeaways: Educating yourself and become adept in a social media environment Continuously re-evaluate your social media strategy Think past the numbers!   Links and Resources: Subscribe to our mailing list for access to this episode’s cheat sheets! Subscribe to our Patreon ‘Level Up’ Tier for forthcoming ‘Level Up’ cheat sheets and materials (exclusive materials not available via mailing list) Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for Podcast updates Hang with us on Asian Pop Weekly   Don’t forget to subscribe/follow our podcast if you enjoy levelling up with us! And please leave a review so we can keep helping even more artists!