FMC is grateful to have the support of folks from all across the music-tech-policy landscape. As part of our Giving Rocks! year-end campaign, this month we’re sitting down with a handful of FMC fans to reflect on why they support our work, and what they see as the big issues on the horizon in 2013 and beyond. Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate and read on!
Ben Maitland-Lewis is the CEO of Indie Ambassador, a forward thinking music tech company, dedicated to building tools that make the lives of creative professionals easier and more sustainable. Ben began his career as a performer in the US and Europe before working with the head of A&R at Columbia Records in CA. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music and manage retail marketing initiatives for SonyBMG, helping design award winning campaigns for artists such as Modest Mouse, Bruce Springsteen, My Morning Jacket, and Incubus. In 2004, Ben founded an artist development & management company that went on to release 23 records, a full length rockumentary DVD, and won a couple of Boston Music Awards.
Ben and the team at Indie Ambassador have just launched their first industry product, Presskit.to, a mobile ready portfolio solution which allows musicians and music professionals to organize, protect, and share their work on-the-go.
What’s your first music memory?
I was fortunate to be indoctrinated into music at a very young age. My father is a huge jazz aficionado and a trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, my uncle Michael Hofstetter is a successful classical conductor in Europe, and I began studying music formally at age 6. Certain musical milestones that played a huge role in my musical development were seeing The Beach Boys live when I was a boy, joining a traveling German circus as an early teenager, and being introduced to Nirvana’s Nevermind in ‘91, which led to a life dedicated to music and its future development that hasn’t slowed since.
How did you first get involved with the Future of Music Coalition?
Both as a fan and contributor! Then also when Charles McEnerney hosted Music 2.0 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge and gave us a more behind the scenes look into the organization. After that, two Indie Ambassador colleagues and myself attended the FMC Summit in DC last year and met many of the people behind the organization who we felt right in line with. Since then, it’s been incredible seeing the results from their Artist Revenue Streams study and I look forward to being more actively involved with the FMC in the future. We covered the conference and a few stories on the FMC on our blog.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues that musicians will face in 2013?
There are many problems facing musicians these days, and there are a lot of companies out there doing a damn good job in addressing these issues, which is awesome. Getting equipment to play or record is much easier than it was, and communicating direct-to-fan through social media is like second nature. The issue facing musicians that I am most concerned about right now, however, is improving the communication channels between artists, music professionals, journalists & bloggers.
What would you tell friends that haven’t donated to the Giving Rocks! campaign?
I’d say GET ON IT!! The Artist Revenue Streams research is the most comprehensive study of its kind and is vital to understanding the new music economy. We’re in this for the long haul and are fully behind the FMC.