Famed for her 2014 opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom, Dr. Nkeiru Okoye’s music has been described as “emotionally charged and musically sublime.” Okoye also cites inspiration from a dizzying range of influences including Gilbert and Sullivan, Gershwin, Sondheim, Copland, gospel, jazz and yes, even Schoenberg. Born and raised in New York, the composer studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division and later at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she completed degrees in Music Theory and Composition. Okoye later went onto complete her PhD at Rutgers University. Her varied and well-crafted music sits nicely in a diatonic framework, making it easily accessible and highly enjoyable for a range of audiences. With music as captivating and loud as her recent opera, I believe we’ll be hearing a great deal from Dr. Nkeiru Okoye.

Well, here’s what I discovered: Basically, holiday albums have been somewhat merrily immune to the decline in album sales that’s plagued the music industry since iTunes took over. Quite probably, a lot of people purchase holiday albums as low-cost gifts for people they don’t know what to get. Or because sales are driven by the nostalgia and communal values of Christmas: A house without a Christmas album is not a house that comes together for the holidays.

+ Check out Soundfly’s brand new mentored online course, The Art of Hip-Hop Production, to learn the nuances of producing beats, arranging tracks, and creative sampling techniques in hip-hop’s various subgenres! Free preview here.

Nea steam grant

+ Pursue your dreams faster with a Soundfly Mentor! Share your musical goals with us and we’ll pair you up with a professional musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran who will help you achieve them in a customized four-week session.

Explore Soundfly’s wide array of free online courses and expand your musical skills over your lunch break! Here’s just a few free courses you can choose from: How to Create a Killer Musician Website, Theory for Bedroom Producers, Touring on a Shoestring, and How to Get All the Royalties You Never Knew Existed. Or check out our 4-week coaching program, The Headliners Club, and work with one of our professional Soundfly Mentors to reach your musical goals! 

Touring is great. But it can very quickly turn into exhaustive, monotonous work. Here are 10 great tips to keep things interesting and fun on the road.

TDR Nova is a parallel dynamic equalizer that actually covers a number of tasks: parametric equalization, side-chain compression, dynamic equalization, frequency selective compression, multi-band compression, and wide-band compression. Essentially, this is a Swiss Army knife EQ that can solve pretty much all of your home recording problems, whether it’s vocal sibilance, lack of drum bus weight, or overall master bus clarity. Trust me — you want this EQ.

On this day, 57 years ago, James Brown and his Famous Flames recorded what would become one of the most earth-shattering funk and soul albums of all time.

Hip hop artists list

If you’re interested in becoming a content partner, please send articles and inquiries to support(at)soundfly.com!

In an excellent think piece, Pitchfork’s Adam Ward waxes nostalgia for the low-bitrate file and its ability to transmit an artistic feeling unique to the medium:

Good music is whatever you want it to be! But because of streaming services like Spotify and the affordability of distribution for independent artists, more people are able to make their voices heard rather than a small number of people the record labels deem worthy of influencing our youths’ ears.

Charles Burchell is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, educator, and diplomat from New Orleans, LA. He has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New England Conservatory (B.M. ’12), and most recently completed the Masters of Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed. M ’13). Burchell has recorded and produced albums with Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Delfayo Marsalis, Ran Blake, Ciel Rouge, his band The Love Experiment (featured in Touring on a Shoestring), and has performed and given master classes at various music festivals around the world. Burchell also works as a cultural diplomat with the Next Level Program and is currently a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall’s Digital Music Production Workshop and Musical Connections Program in which he works with court involved youth and students from various boroughs throughout New York City. Burchell continues to perform regularly around the U.S. and internationally as a DJ, drummer, and bandleader.

Shoegaze music has a way of sticking around in our heads for a while — that familiar but distant sound of the guitar echoes endlessly in our memory. There are so many ways to create this kind of soundscape with your guitar. In my last article, “How to Create Dreamier Guitar Chords,” I started to investigate various chord structures that lead to signature shoegaze song crafting, so here I’ll be looking into affordable effects pedal combinations that can achieve that shimmering wall of sound.