Posts tagged music
Music is a vital part of my daily routine. My playlists are catered to the seasons I’m experiencing or the life events happening around me. Music has grown to become a constant soundtrack playing in the background of my life. There’s a song for every emotion, & when I’m in a funk, music helps me get out of that. This specific playlist is dedicated to transition between Spring & Summer. Everything is blooming & it’s time to feel refreshed, but we can’t go through it without the perfect playlist.
— Hope

Meet Hope Alvarez, our new #TeamHype Content Creator! Hope is a Photojournalism major at the University of North Texas with a minor in LGBT Studies. (Go Mean Green!) She’s passionate about visual storytelling, music, & the wonderful world of social media. She believes in the power of creativity to create meaningful connections.

When Hope isn’t taking photos, you can find her at a concert or hanging out with her cats. Chicago is her favorite city, but she prefers New York style pizza rather than Chicago deep dish. Island in the Sun by Weezer is her favorite song, but Paramore is her favorite band. Come say hi to her at an event!

This track-list is ‘the inspiration’ behind “Demigod”, every song means something special to me
— 7 Tha Great

Phantom City Records is on a mission to help Dallas artists reach their maximum potential by providing & sourcing professional recording studios, & executing & implementing 360-degree branding & marketing initiatives. No one knows this more than local rapper 7 Tha Great, whose recently released sophomore album, “Demigod,” is a Phantom City production.

7 Tha Great, aka Ladarrion Burton, has worked incessantly for over a year, writing, recording & packaging the long-awaited record. “Demigod” is a follow-up to his debut mixtape “7 Days,”

“Dude’s a hip-hop thoroughbred,” says producer & Phantom City Records co-owner Chris Nicolaou. “It’s like he was born to do nothing else but fit words together in 16-bar increments to spit at the world. But it’s his determination to learn, hustle & grow that sets him aside from everyone else.

That hustle made 7, a native of the Dixon Circle neighborhood, a perfect partner for Phantom City. The rapper’s homegrown label FGMG teamed up with a then unknown Phantom City Records in 2017. Since then, 7 has jumped at every opportunity to provide support, mentorship & corporate resources to help hip hop artists thrive in Dallas. The rising star plans to help transform Dallas’ hip hop scene for good.

Partnering with artists like 7, Phantom City Records strives to help artists get their music heard without tying them down with contracts that limit creativity.

“We’re changing the culture of hip-hop in our city,” 7 says. “Period.”

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When I listen to music, my reaction to a song on any given day is 100% unpredictable...sometimes I can’t hold back from jamming, sometimes I’m shocked to the point of jaw-dropped silence, & a time or two I’ve audibly screamed! It amazes me how lucky we are to be experiencing the sounds that we do, in addition to the sounds that have come before.
— Sierra

Meet Sierra, a Houston native who will happily respond when called anything that translates to the likes of music lover, playlist perfectionist, podcast addict, or a girl who laughs so much that it yields the soreness of an intense ab-workout. Most recently she’s test driving the title #TeamHype PR Assistant – it has a nice ring, don’t you think?

Sierra is a senior at the University of North Texas studying public relations & minoring in social sciences. #CollegeLife has been a totally beautiful whirlwind the past year – the beautiful part being the abundance of “aha!” moments & nuggets of inspo that have her 100% stoked for endless possibilities of the future. She’s hypest lately for brand strategy, experiential marketing, & developing innovative ways to story tell. Nothing will ever replace what she loves the most – music! She has big dreams of pursuing artist & tour management, with the end goal of creating her own music festival.

Outside of work, she loves thrifting, drinking strong coffee, cleaning her most faithful pair of Adidas, catching shows, & falling in loves with dogs online that she can’t adopt just yet. When you see her at upcoming events, be sure to say what’s up!

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Meredith Erikson
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Meet Meredith Erikson, one of CultureHype’s fall interns! She’s a graduate from the University of North Texas (UNT), who majored in journalism with a focus in public relations & a minor in sociology. She aspires to work for any group that values social good, diversity, & creativity, which is why she’s more than thrilled to be a part of #TeamHype.  

 She’s always on the hunt to discover something new in her city, whether it’s a restaurant, happy hour, or museum, she’s passionate about anything that expands her knowledge. In her off time, catch her vibing to some hip-hop, reading autobiographies of her favorite celebrities, or binge-watching Broad City. She loves traveling, especially to Los Angeles for its beautiful scenery, beaches, & eclectic food. After working in Thai cuisine for several years, it’s her dream to travel, & maybe even live in Thailand one day. Also, she can’t wait for the day she has a house, so she can own lots & lots of pit bulls.

I use music for every occasion in my life. From a party to cooking, to just relaxing in my bed, my best memories are always tied to a song. This playlist matches the variety of moments in my life.
— Meredith
#MUSICMONDAY feat Sydney Anderson

Meet our new pop-country client, Sydney Anderson! She began her quest as a singer at the age of 8, performing country classics like “Leavin’ on Your Mind,” on music row stages such as Tootsies & The Stage. Over the past decade, Sydney has performed the National Anthem for both minor & major league sports teams across Texas, as well as military events, &and national races drawing in crowds of over ten thousand. Talent, drive, & a smile that just doesn’t quit allowed her to sing at local fairs, nightclubs, & opry houses on a weekly basis consistently for several years now. In the past Sydney has captured the title of CCM’s “It Girl,” & has opened for artists such as Three Dog Night.

Sydney has also dabbled a bit in voice-over work. Her voice can be heard currently in The Voice Karaoke app, The Karaoke Chanel, & commercials for Travel Dallas. Her true passion is for storytelling, & this is evident in her songwriting. Sydney’s music is a blend of Texas & Nashville country, full of sass &and energy.  

Watch her new music video "Fool Like You" on YouTube & stay tuned for her EP out Sept. 14 on iTunes & Spotify! Listen to her #MUSICMONDAY playlist below.

This playlist is a mix of throwback & new country. Lyrics are what I connect with most, & this batch of tunes lyrically could never go out of style. A couple of these songs I’ve been covering for years & the majority have influenced me deeply as a songwriter & performer. I’m a sucker for a sad country song & good storytelling.
— Sydney
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Ghost of Blind Lemon

Join Ghost on Aug. 4 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Oak Cliff's Spinster Records for a local live music celebration as our music blogger friend celebrates 11 years with a slew of Dallas-based musicians! The event will showcase acoustic performances by Megan Storie & Jacob Furr, followed by full-on rock debacles  by Mean Motor Scooter & Hand Drawn Records signees Meach Pango.  Then, head over to Double-Wide for a psych rock filled lineup featuring Caved Mountains, Corner Suns, & Sunbuzzed.

If you want to tune into Chris's radio show you can catch Ghost of Blind Lemon Radio every Wed. night at

Listen to #MUSICMONDAY with Ghost of Blind Lemon! Back in 2007,  Chris Mueller chose the name Ghost of Blind Lemon as a tribute to Blind Lemon Jefferson, one of the earliest musicians of note to play in Deep Ellum. Since then, "The Ghost," has not only been blogging about Deep Ellum & the music scene, but has booked showcases at various Dallas venues such as Club Dada, Opening Bell Coffee, Free Man, & much more for over a decade. In addition to scoring gigs he also is the host of his own radio show on Deep Ellum Radio.

In addition to the blog, Chris works as a teacher at a Charter high school.  When he's not obsessing about local music, he likes to spend time with his cats, play Sudoku, & other "nerdy" things.

I started the playlist with Old 97’s & Deathray Davies because those were the two bands that were most instrumental in my introduction to the Dallas music world. From there, I chose a list of some of the acts who have made the greatest impression on me (musically &/or personally) over the past eleven years. The last two tracks are newer releases that I feel are the best representatives of what the metroplex has to offer right now musically.
— Ghost
#MUSICMONDAY feat. David Wilson

David picked up the guitar here and there from age 10 to 13 but it wasn't until 16 when he started playing seriously. Now he plays with several bands across the metroplex: BJ Stricker & The Kings, Electrik Ants, Badkid, Skruff, Sister Grove, ACB, and JDM Trio. Each project has a different style so he enjoys having that variety. 

On top of that, David works full-time at Nokia as an Information Security Analyst and will graduate from the University of North Texas in December. He has spent many nights playing out late and having to work at 6 a.m. the next morning. It takes hard work to be successful and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. 

Come see David play at the BJ Stricker & The Kings Album Release Party at Deep Ellum Art Co. on December 8th at 9 p.m. Purchase tickets to the event here

"This playlist is a combination of songs I've really been digging lately as well as songs that I keep returning to over the years. Had to include one of the singles with BJ Stricker and a track from one my previous bands, King for President." 

The CultureHype Collective: Meet Kali Ah Yuen

EVERY FRIDAY we'll be rolling out a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Kali Ah Yuen is a senior PR Executive here on the Culture Hype team. Starting as an intern while attending the University of North Texas, Kali has graduated & grown into a pitching maven. She is artistically rounded with a background in writing, singing, dancing, design & fashion. The music scene is where she thrives. 

What is your biggest goal/dream for your career?

It was to own my own public relations firm or at least make it to work for People’s Revolution, which is a huge fashion PR firm in New York/LA/Paris. However, getting my music going to the point where I can inspire & motivate others around the world would be amazing.

What is your random special talent?

I’m a singer-songwriter, but I’m not sure if that’s very random. If we’re talking more along the lines of a party trick...then I can mimick Lil Jon’s infamous “yay yeah” to a T.

What is your favorite perk of being in the PR business?

Gaining more knowledge & a unique experience that I wouldn’t get doing anything else. I really love learning the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that goes into a project. You also get to meet a lot of cool people along the way.

If you had to choose three words to  describe yourself, what would they be?

Intellectual, free spirit.

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration?

Anything compositional. I’ll go to a scenic area, listen to some good tunes & let my mind wander. It usually sparks something inside & gets my creative juices flowing.

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

As an avid music enthusiast, this is tough. It’s a tie between “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande & “In The Lonely Hour” by Sam Smith.


What do you bring to the DFW creative scene? Why are you proud of it?

Being from Hawaii, I think I bring the island vibes to Dallas’ creative scene. I’m all about supporting artistry & just hanging loose. I think sometimes it’s hard to be in the entertainment industry, but being kind & friendly never hurts.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Any Beyoncé song.

Who is your celebrity crush?

As heartbreaking as it is, Paul Walker was my biggest celebrity crush. So, I’m gonna go with Justin Bieber.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

My distressed jeans jacket because it goes with everything.

What is unique to you about living/working in Dallas?

Just like the West & East coast, Dallas has it’s own creative scene & I’m here for it. The city is full of amazing talent & a little something everyone can take away from.


How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in? When did youknow that’s what you wanted to do?

I watched this reality show on MTV when I was growing up called ‘The Hills’ & loved Lauren Conrad’s lifestyle. So, when it was time to go to college I looked up what she majored in & went with what was closest: Public Relations. I graduated from UNT & ended up getting a job at the place I interned for. Now, two years later I’m officially in Dallas’ creative scene!

Who is your fashion icon?

Rihanna. I also  tend to look around for fashion inspiration everywhere from the streets to Instagram.


One right now, but more to come. It says ‘faith’ on my forearm to always remind me to stay strong throughout this journey.


#MUSICMONDAY feat. Nicollette Mollet

"Music is this mystery that has a way of swaying our moods & emotions & it can even harbor memories. With the right kind of playlist, my subjects feel they can be whoever they desire to be in front of my camera."

Graduating from The Art Institute of Dallas in 2013 with a BFA in Photography, Nicollette Mollet has continued to build her successful photography business from the ground up in Dallas, TX.

Mollet specializes in fashion and beauty portraiture, balancing commercial work as well as her high school senior portrait photography business, SENIORS by Nicollette. 

With ambitions to continue growing & learning, she finds it personally fulfilling to help people see themselves in a new light and to create lasting, tangible memories for people to cherish throughout their years. Over the years, we've done some amazing shoots with Nicollette - she's our go-to for high-fashion, creative photography. 

Check out her website, Twitter, and Facebook for more information.  

How to take the next step as an artist

So you’re an artist & your music has had a growing buzz for a while now. You’ve done some shows & picked up a decent fan base & you feel like now it’s time to take that next step in your music career. Great. Good. Awesome. You’re ready to get started, but how? I mean after all you’re the creative right? You write great music & perform amazing shows & hire a business manager or partner to handle the rest… Well, nowadays it’s crucial for you as an artist to know the business roles so you can take that next step in your career. Luckily we’re here to help you out.

Here are a few things you can do to take that next step:

Create A Musician’s Portfolio

As cliché as it may sound- your portfolio will serve as a way to brag on yourself & your band’s accomplishments. A resume is cool or whatever, but a musician’s portfolio will allow you to include every aspect of your musical background. According to an article on Our Everyday Life your portfolio should constantly be evolving with your career & include what you have to offer “such as your image, genre, style & achievements.” Also, make sure you include photography, a cover letter & bio, a demo & press clippings. Putting this bad boy together is a good step towards moving forward in your career.

Gig Outside of Your Comfort Zone

It’s so easy to perform around your city in clubs & small venues, but have you really taken the time to branch out? According to The Hub’s 10 Steps To Success for Independent Music Artists musicians should “consider gigs at schools, fairs, festivals & perhaps parks in the summertime.” I go to college in a growing town & our city always has annual festivals that promote musicians with different genres of music. It’s a great way to find a new following!

Spend Money To Make Money

Many musicians know the struggles of paying for recording time & tracks so it’s no secret that in order to make money you gotta spend some. There are a lot of music blogs & streaming services with a large following that charge to feature your music on their site. Some don’t even charge at all! You may have your own Soundcloud link that you constantly pub, which is great, but you should really look into getting your music across to more listeners. Check out blogs like,, & The A.V. Club. These are some popular music blogs that have played a vital role in the success of many musicians today.

Get a Good Manager

This step ties into the step of spending money. You may have a manager or promoter now that you’ve been with since you first started, but now that you’re ready to move forward are they really able to help you advance your career? Do they have the connections? Do they know how to roll with the big dogs? Your manager should ultimately love your music & be a go-getter. They need to know the ins-and-outs of the music industry. If after a few months you’re still feeling stagnant & they haven’t really been making moves to your benefit it’s time to move on and hire someone else. You may have to spend some good money on a manager, but just make sure what they’re charging matches their experience & credentials. 

NEVER stop making music

Last but not least, NEVER give up. At times you may get frustrated & feel like your music hasn’t gone far enough, but trust me…you will find a breakthrough! Before The Weeknd blew up, he put out many single tracks & short mixtapes for years. Bryson Tiller used to put out song covers on YouTube before his song "Don’t" went viral. And let's not forget about Kanye. Yeezus himself used to make 5 beats a day for 3 summers straight. Now, 21 Grammy's later he's one of the most respected & successful music artists to date. If you’re passionate about your music & you have the mindset to succeed, never give up, even when times get hard. Keep on pushing. Remember, “What comes easy won’t last, & what lasts won’t come easy.”

Written by: PR Asst. Krystal D. Solomon

Check out also:

10 Best Places To Promote Your Music Online

#WWAPD (What Would A Publicist Do): How to release an album

So you’re an indie musician, you’re releasing your album solo. What do you do? You’re not Beyoncé; you can’t just drop an album & achieve overnight success. What do you even need before you release an album? We’ve got a new blog series just for you: #WWAPD. Listen up, guys.


Does your album have a summer or fall vibe? If neither, just don’t release it too close to the holidays – unless it’s a Christmas album of course. If you hire a publicist or choose to do it on your own, don’t set a release date until you create a game plan. If you’re buzzing locally, you may be able to swing a one-month campaign, but that’s pushin’ it. Three to six months is ideal. Think about your goals. Are they achievable in this timeframe you’ve set for yourself? Will you be able to crunch out a photo shoot, studio time, tour booking, finding a venue for your release party, construct a press release or EPK, etc. in time?

Plan ahead & don’t rush things! Musicians tend to be eager to get their material out ASAP, but without the right game plan, you might as well release your music for free on SoundCloud without a peep from even the local media. In our minds, that’s a waste of five to 12 tracks. When we receive emails from bands who want us to help them release an album in a matter of weeks, we literally just tell them no. We can help you with the next one, buddy! What’s the rush anyways? PR peeps have planned campaign schedules, often months in advance, so you need to be flexible if you hire someone too.

According to’s “4 Things You Need to Do Before You Release an Album,” musicians often have an urge to release their music as soon as they record it. It’s a good read, actually, providing creatives with key advice: “instead of rushing it out, look at it this way - you've worked hard on your music, & it deserves to be shown off in the best light possible.”

Pitching writers may take some time (even if a PR guru is doing it for you) & you also need to be aware of their writings habits. Keep in mind that different publications work on different deadlines & writers often have day jobs and other obligations, not to mention thousands of unread emails daily. Some of them have to submit their story ideas months ahead; others can turn in a story within a week. Therefore, know the publications you are targeting and their editorial timelines in order to communicate with them efficiently & effectively.


Have you even thought about a premiere? If not, you’re losing an opportunity to get another person talking about your album. Do you have a music video? If not, you’re losing a second opportunity. You or your PR rep should give writers options and use their relationships to leverage the best premieres for your brand of music. Are you Pitchfork material or is a niche blog a better fit for you?

Another thing to consider is the narrative that will help you secure press interest in your story. Look for newsworthy elements that will make you stand out. Did critics like your last single? If you don’t have any past press, what makes you as a musician unique? Did you grow up in a strict religious household before you created edgy house music? Mention it in the press release; don’t be afraid to share interesting tidbits about your life. Be selective about what you share and make sure it’s notable enough to mention.


Tidy up your web presence before you pitch the media. They will be searching for you online & an unprofessional web presence may turn them off. Make sure you have all of the important info on your website, social media & SoundCloud to make yourself easy to find.

Don’t use old images to promote your album. If it’s been seen before, it’s old news. Consider contacting a local artist to create a visually cool concert poster, cover art or new merch. Make sure you have images of you and/or your band to send along with your new music. If you don’t send them images, they will search for them online & who knows what they’ll find! It’s better to control the message & take care of this yourself.

Make sure you have your artwork done before starting on your campaign. Also, if you are planning shooting a music video, you should plan on it earlier on, don’t stress out about it the last minute before the album release.  You don’t want to look disorganized if things aren’t ready when you said they would be. Come up with creative visuals that fit you but at the same time something that will be consistent with your brand & keep it coherent throughout the campaign. Are you a laid-back Southern rock band? Cool. Take a band photo on your colorful 70s couch together.


Research, research, research. This is literally the most important element of an effective campaign. Don’t waste your time pitching people who write only about hip-hop if you’re an emerging folk rock artist. You’ll not only waste your time, but you’ll also look a little clueless as well. Try your best to come off as knowledgeable about the publication and who you’re reaching out to. Research writers’ “beats” – aka what topics they tend to cover on a regular basis before you reach out.

Good practice is to start reading the local & national publications you want to be featured in. This will help you craft your pitch & understand what their audience is looking for.


No, really. Press releases take us hours upon hours to write. A good press release tells your story and has all of the pertinent info included, but it also intrigues. Remember the 5 W’s from grade school? We may be biased, but we wouldn’t recommend writing your own press release. Why? Because you’re not an expert (unless you’re a PR-maven-turned-badass-musician).

Look at local PR reps in town & if you don’t have the budget for a full press campaign, ask them if they can write you just the release. What do you never ask a publicist for? Their contacts. That’s something you have to pay for.

Whether it’s a DIY release, or you scrounge up enough dollar bills to hire a publicist to do the job, you need to plan far ahead for any album release. Your music has value & you need to give it same attention releasing it as you did when you were slaving over the guitar in the studio.

Check out also:

Plan a Music PR Campaign: Five Steps

9 Things You Need to Do Before You Release a Single

Why you should get involved in your local music scene
Credit: Dallas Morning News from Suburbia Music Festival 2015

Credit: Dallas Morning News from Suburbia Music Festival 2015

Is your dream to receive a Grammy Award & national recognition? Are you a music publicist who wants to pitch Rolling Stone and tell them about your newest band discovery? You have all these plans, but you don’t know how to get there? Start today and engage with your local music scene! It does not matter where are you from, seek for local musicians and artists & become a part of the music community in your area.

Dallas has a strong music scene, but it’s just starting to garner national attention. Dallas supports local bands & proudly hosts & promotes them during local music festivals & other events. We have so many fests (Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Untapped Festival Dallas, Index Fest, Edgefest to name a few). So, if you want to follow the footsteps of: Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Erykah Badu & Nick Jonas, it’s the best time to explore local bands and network in your area.

If You’re A Band:

Build A Community

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others! Try to go to local shows & support local venues. See what companies are doing bigger events in town like Transmission Entertainment or Communion Music. Fans are more excited about your talent when they see that you support local community & you belong to the same circles as them! 


Network with other bands; get to know your fans & community. Stick around after the show, buy some drinks and enjoy meeting new people. More people you meet more chances that somebody will get interested in your d your music. You will have fun & at the same time you may land your band a new opportunity for a show. Offer to swap shows. Now, you don’t need to go to every show. Think of it as music networking – you pick & choose what fits you and is worth your time. 

Learn From Others

According to Sonic Bids Blog, real insight from experienced people can be an invaluable aid in your journey through the independent music world. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask questions & work on collaborations with other bands. When you’re an indie musician, you’re your own manager, publicist & more – it’s better to learn the basics of other roles in the music industry. Know a booking guy at Club Dada? Ask them their advice on booking an upcoming show. Have drinks with your friend who just happens to take photos for the Observer? Ask them what they’re looking for coverage-wise in the music scene.

Study What Other Musicians Are Doing

Is there a music festival coming up? Check it out & see what others are doing.  It’s great to see for yourself what others are doing & how they interact with the crowd. Also, it is another great opportunity for you to meet other musicians and people from the music world. What are these artists doing on social media? Which bands are drawing the biggest local crowds? Think about adding them to your lineup as a headliner. 

If You’re Music-Obsessed And Aspire To Have a Career In The Biz:

Go To Local Shows And Support The Scene

Volunteer for local music events, read every publication in town that covers music & get to know local musicians. See who comes to see them & what articles are published about those shows. Listen and take notes about things that are buzz worthy. Observe & listen what people are talking about it, what makes them react the certain ways while a band is on-stage! Get involved & buy tickets to local shows, purchase some merch & keep the local music scene thriving.

 Maintain A Strong Social Media Presence

Social media is great, especially when promoting local events & artists. We somehow are all connected & the word spreads out even faster when we get to be involved in the same activities. Share, comment & spread out to the world. Re-post & share local music news & happenings, “Like” bands’ Facebook pages & follow them on Twitter & create your own social media personality. 

Look For Other Networking Opportunities

Make nice with local bands & venue managers. Always introduce yourself. Whether it’s volunteering to sell merch for one show or helping out with a festival on-site, you’re gaining invaluable experience & making contacts that will last forever. Remember, the scene is smaller than you think – even worldwide. Music professionals are interconnected and last for life, so be a good representation of your personal brand.

Check Out Also:

Why Being Part of Your Local Music Scene Matters So Much More Than You Think

20 Easy Tips for a Better Local Music Scene