One of the things we do at ACR is to test-drive new social media technologies in hopes that we’ll pick up the next big thing for promoting our artists and our community at large. We had heard about turntable.fm, and managed to get into an early Beta of the platform - I remember logging in that first day, choosing an avatar with a ridiculously pointy hairdo, and starting a room, aptly titled ‘A Cappella’. The site’s existing selection was somewhat sparse - ”Level“, by the House Jacks was on there, as was The Red States’ “No Political Affiliation“, but the vast majority of the ACR catalog seemed to be missing. E-mails were sent out, and now the entire ACR catalog is available on Turntable through MediaNet, the service that provides their music. That’s part one of the big news.
Part two is that yesterday, Peter Hollens sent out invites through Google+ (another service we’ve been keeping our eye on lately) inviting us to listen to him DJ in the A Cappella room. Chris and I showed up in time to grab 2 of the 5 DJ spots, and we spent much of the morning with one screen open to work, and another open to our Turntable.fm room. Peter sent out a blast to his friends in the A Cappella community, and the response was impressive. Within minutes, we were spinning everything from collegiate to professional tracks (and even a few highschool groups), from vocal Jazz to the Swingle Singers to Sonos to barbershop quartet music – as long as it was 100% human-grown sound, it was fair game. Many people stumbled into the room and were blown away by what they were hearing – if you’ve ever wondered whether or not ‘normal’ people listen to our music, the screenshot below should give you a definitive answer:
Not only was a crowd gathering, they thought A Cappella was awesome - literally (the meter at the bottom allows users to vote ‘awesome’ or ’lame’ based on their tastes – you can see what they thought of Awaken A Cappella’s “F**k You“). Every time someone came in and exclaimed “Wow, this stuff is incredible”, I knew we were onto something hot.
(The first 3 DJs are Chris Crawford, myself, and Peter Hollens)
Some people were only familiar with A Cappella from groups like Rockapella, Bobby McFarrin, and the Bobs, and their music got playtime, too. And of course, Peter Hollens and On the Rocks got some very favorable percentages on the “Awesome” meter. It ended up being an incredible walk through the broad spectrum of our history, and we learned a lot about our community and fans (even if it was hard to concentrate on spreadsheets and sales data that morning!)
The last and possibly best thing to report is that Peter Hollens was so excited by the crowd and their appreciation of his music that he has decided to release his new single and first completely original track, “Sleepwalking”, live on turntable.fm/a_cappella tonight at 9:00pm PST. This will be the first chance anyone has to hear it, and is probably one of the first-ever “Turntable Premieres” – not to mention you’ll have the chance to help Peter Hollens unlock a giant gorilla avatar for 1000 DJ points. The track will be available on iTunes the following day for download. For a sneak-peak of the sneak-peak, check out the clip below: