Friday, January 11, 2008

Interview With Jonathan Clay, ( Singer / Songwriter / Musician )

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Jonathan went through his share of issues trying to find himself as a musician, starting and stopping on the guitar, but the last time, as he says, “I finally picked [the guitar] up and things just started to click.” Through a friend he eventually met who was studying recording technology, he finally started to record and immediately began showing off his music. This led to shows, which led to a CD, which has led him to now being able to do this full-time; a direction many musicians aspire for.


"Whole New Me" album (7 track EP) has sold over 15,000 tracks on iTunes in the last 12 months, and over 2,500 physical copies from as well as live shows.

"Back To Good" sold over 500 physical copies from within it's first week of release.

Strong internet presence with:
over 2.75 million plays and over 44,000 comments on myspace
70,000+ myspace friends
Current daily play average of over 2,000

--Placement/TV Shows--

TV Series:
MTV's "The Real World" - Season finale 2007 (After All)
MTV's "The Hills" episode 309 (Back To Good) as well as various end-of-season recaps.
MTV's "Newport Harbor" season 2, episode 8 (After All & More Than A Picture)
ABC's "Lincoln Heights" (After All)
WB's "The Home Team"

Lifetimes Movie - "My Name is Sarah"

Independent Films:
"Anderson's Cross"

Featured artist in Martin & Osa clothing stores nationwide

Q's & A's

What is the most satisfying accomplishment in your music career so far?
Probably the TV placement, and everything that has come as a result of that. I worked really hard to make that happen, and it was amazing to hear the songs I had written being broadcast on national TV.

How did the TV placement come about?
I created a strong internet presence and built a solid foundation. I got my music (and still do) to people's ears through whatever respectful means possible. People started to notice, and someone who was in charge of program music for MTV contacted my manager.

Song placement in T.V. and film has to be one of the most asked about topics on our blog. What is your advice to an artist looking to find placement for their music.
Create a solid fan base. Build your reputation and your credibility. Use the internet to get your music across the country overnight, and get creative. If you really work, it will most likely happen organically. Honestly, It takes alot of preparation and a little bit of luck.

Social Media Sites

Are there any social media sites that you think artists must be on?
Myspace is the obvious first answer to that question. Aside from that, youtube, facebook, and iLike are all extremely beneficial as well.

Which sites are you getting the best response on?


Are you playing clips or full songs on those sites?
Full songs. If people think it is quality stuff, they'll spend the money they worked for to support it. Just GET THEM OUT THERE. It will pay off later.

What are your thoughts on providing your fans with free music?
I guess my answer to the last question and this one go hand in hand. If your fans want to support your music, they're going to support it. Every artist seems to have a different take on this issue. I really just don't think that giving away a song or two hurts the artist. There are alot of underlying benefits to doing that that many people seem to overlook.

What is your is your overall strategy and goals for your social media sites?

My overall strategy is to try to get my music to people who I think may like what I do. I try to be respectful, and I do not spam people. That does more harm than good. I also try to use the media sites for what they are, and not center my whole career around them. They are an amazing tool, but I see some artists who put soo much energy in to their myspace page's that they're not even playing shows. There is no replacement for playing a live show, and going out on tour.

Jonathan Clay- "A Little Time"

Promotion & Marketing beyond Social Media sites

What type things that you are doing to promote yourself that are making an impact?
I don't have the street team thing organized like I should, but that can be a really great way to get fans involved. Contacting music supervisors, song placement companies, etc, are all good things to do too. Get your music on iTunes (CDBaby and tunecore are both great) and play out live. Contact local news stations, and get out there.

What are some of the things that an artist on a tight budget can do to generate a buzz?
Thats really the beauty of the internet. Most of the internet-based promotional tools/sites are free. There is a general correlation between budget and marketing. The stuff that is free usually takes the most time to get results, and the stuff that is expensive can really free you up. Make sure you balance your time. Keep honing your craft, and don't lose sight of the whole reason you're promoting. It's about the music.

Fan Management

How you are collecting your fans information for your database?
On my email list, I can organize subscribers by age, gender, and state. Same with my mobile fan club. You have to be able to target specific fans and send them only pertinent information. Your fans from Texas don't want and email about your show in New York. That's just going to annoy them.

How often do you keep in touch with them?

Every day. I’m either writing back emails, hanging out after shows, or posting blogs every day.

Where do most of your signups come from?

Myspace; which leads people to; which has a link to my email list on the front page.


How is your music made available to your fans?

Physically, from the online store (paypal).
Digitally, iTunes

Which service has the most sales?


Streams of Income

Based on percentages can you list the top four streams of income from your music?
Keep in mind that they're all co-dependent, and one feeds off the other, but they would be:
physical CD sales from
live show sales and income
and film/TV licensing.

If you had to start all over again what would be the top five things you would do first to move your music career in the right direction.

Get my music recorded. Build it live locally, and build it nationally through the internet. Learn how to play out and practice. Put together a tour and hit the road.

Our readers can learn more about Jonathan Clay by visiting his website at or his myspace at:

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