Today’s Sunday service delivers the delectable Jamila, from one of our favourite blogs Cruel Rhythm. In fact it’s fair to state that Jamila is actually responsible for two of our favourite blogs, as she also used to curate the now-defunct Fucking Dance blog too. Both the older blog and it’s shiny new replacement are always at the sharp end of music discovery. People can shop with confidence when visiting Cruel Rhythm knowing they’re sure to return with an armful of juicy suggestions.
Her new blog not only has fantastic selections to wade through, but the site itself is one of the most pleasing on the eye, opting for a modern grid view of 16 posts on the front page. Like a lot of our favourite music bloggers, she also works inside the music industry, giving her a useful insight and some handy connections that allow her to serve up such rich finds. We’ll let her explain the rest of her story…
THE RECOMMENDER: When did you first become aware of the existence of music blogs?
CRUEL RHYTHM: The first couple I stumbled across were in 2005/2006.
TR: When did you start your own music blog?
CR: April 2007 I started Fucking Dance after a year of running a physical fanzine started becoming quite expensive. I started Cruel Rhythm in April 2011 on the 4th anniversary of FD’s creation!
TR: What were your initial aims as a music blogger? What do you think makes for an excellent music blog?
CR: The blog was (and is) a space for me to store musical likes, sort of like an online scrapbook, more than anything. There are so many types of good blogs but the best are the ones with 100% passion and love behind them. Those are all gravy with me. You can always tell whether someone really enjoys what they’re posting about.
TR: Describe your music blog in three words?
CR: Like my baby.
TR: Geographically, where is your blog based?
TR: Which genre(s) does your music blog focus on?
CR: It doesn’t really have an intentional bias towards specific genres but I guess most of the stuff I post at the moment is based around anything that is either: a) Arthur Russell influenced, b) of the “future garage” (lol) persuasion, c) pop with a leftfield twist.
TR: Do you work alone on the blog, or do you have contributors – if so, who are they and how did you initially get them on board?
CR: Just me by myself.
TR: Approximately, how many visitors does your blog get each month?
CR: Isn’t this a bit like asking an old biddy her age??
TR: What perks have you experienced since becoming a music blogger?
CR: Free stuff like gig tickets, festival tickets, people saying weird stuff like I’ve changed their lives.
TR: Are you employed? (If so, is it inside or outside the music industry and what is your job title?)
CR: I’m a scout for A&M (Universal).
TR: An important part of a music blog is the network it has at it’s disposal, so which other sites/forums do you network on mostly?
CR: Primarily twitter and facebook. I’m too lazy to properly get into Google+ just yet.
TR: Who are your favourite three music blogs?
TR: What is more important to you, quality or quantity?
TR: What was your most popular post in terms of visitors?
CR: On my current blog I think it’s Ghostpoet remix of the last Cocknbullkid single.
TR: What do you think is the most effective way to earn comments on your blog?
CR: Ask a question! Which I never really do, I don’t mind that people don’t comment as long as I can see they’re listening to the music hah.
TR: How often do you read music blogs?
CR: Every day.
TR: How do you think music blogs from the US differ from those in the UK?
CR: UK ones are better…. haha. But seriously, I think the US blogs tend to be either quite “trendy” OR very diverse with what they post. I’m not sure of too many cliques etc with US blogs, but it seems to be quite prevalent with UK blogs. Or perhaps that’s just the ones I read.
TR: Which aspect do you care for most in a music blog, a good design, or well-crafted content?
CR: A nice design helps but if the content isn’t good I’m not coming back!
TR: Approximately, how many emails do you get in your inbox each day?
CR: Too many. About 150 from bands, PRs, etc.
TR: What advice can you give any aspiring bands, record labels, PR, agents, or managers, to help their emails get noticed?
CR: Don’t waffle, know who you’re emailing (spelling their name correctly never hurts), leave the brown-nosing at the door.
TR: How do you prefer to listen to music online, (ie Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Myspace, iTunes, Spotify, Hype Machine, or any others)?
CR: Soundcloud is an absolute dream, bloody love it. Bandcamp is great too. Youtube… any clean, non-computer-crashing streaming sites are winners in my eyes (or ears).
TR: What is the most common way you discover new music (ie through your network, tips from the industry, tips from friends, gigs, other blogs, traditional media/journalism, emails etc)?
CR: Other blogs and my own personal trawling of the web wide world.
TR: What does the future hold for music blogging? Do you see their importance growing or shrinking in years to come?
CR: For the time being it looks like music blogs will continue to be the bringers of hype over the next couple of years. As for the future, who knows? Especially with the development of things like turntable.fm, I’d guess ‘tastemaking’ will become a lot more specific to whoever is in your personal circle as audiences for tv, radio, blogs, all fracture and splinter out into very niche groups according to what they like. Kind of back to a word of mouth thing, but a 2020-version? Something like that.
TR: Can you name an artist that you expect to break through in 2011?
CR: Hoping that everyone will start loving Bondax as much as I do. Amazing young talent.
TR: Please let us know any useful links to find you elsewhere online (ie, Twitter, Hype Machine, Facebook etc)?