Tweedl's Time is Now: Young Artists Have a Place to Flourish
(photos by Dennis Cacho & JMartin Visuals courtesy of Tweedl)
Attendees standing in the rain wrapped around the block, forgoing umbrellas for mixtapes and promo cards, before filling the large theater space in Harlem. Once inside, employees tirelessly attempted to steer the audience to the open bar and away from the ropes leading into the theater. However, the urgency to get a close seat was a far more enticing offer over an under-iced well whiskey and lime.
“Work hard, keep grinding, always hustle, stay motivated,” were familiar mantras recycled by panel members representing The New Digital Music Industry. This cyclical non-constructive advice is exactly what Tweedl, a new digital platform offering music lovers the chance to select hot new artists, is trying to challenge.
Prior to the launch, Tweedl’s founder, Tony Abrahams, worked as the Chief Financial Officer under Combs Enterprises, while overseeing finance and operations compliance at Bad Boy Entertainment.
Abrahams addressed a large crowd with some discouraging statistics that he hopes to change. “Less than 1% of all artists on Spotify get sufficient streams. There are over three million artists on Spotify, roughly 22k get exposure,” he solemnly shared.
So how does Tweedl work?
Tweedl is a platform that allows anyone to upload 30 seconds of a track that is then shared with users. From there, listeners can decide, by swiping, if the track is ‘dope’ or ‘nah.’ The app then uploads the track to a custom playlist that can be shared on other social platforms. Tweedl aims to put the artist first rather than an algorithm or artist popularity.
The night’s moderator, Lowkey, a Beats 1 on-air personality and host of D’usse Palooza/Trap Karaoke, tried to elicit constructive answers that an aspiring artist could tangibly use to get their career started. Unfortunately, most responses didn’t offer useful information.
Tak, President/A&R of Dreamchasers, was adamant about the importance of social media. “Personally, I’m on the [insta]gram,” he candidly shared. The crowd took the pause after this statement as an invitation to enunciate their Instagram handles. In an attempt to refocus the conversation, Mona Scott-Young, CEO-Monami Ent. & Productions, said “let’s try and bring this conversation back to Tweedl.”
(Tak W. and Mona Scott-Young)
The night was filled with pleads from the crowd to be heard. In one incident during the Q&A, one crowd participant was handed the microphone and began freestyling to the panel. The microphone was swiftly snagged from him before he could finish his fourth bar.
Tuma Basa, Director of Urban Music at YouTube, offered a way to advise on how to capitalize “there’s a moment and then there’s momentum-take momentum then turn that into a movement.” Unfortunately, advice such as this was overlooked.
(Lowkey and Tuma Basa)
Pursuing a creative career does not come with a formula or a road map. The daunting reality is that the odds are highly stacked against aspiring musicians. Just as much as new artists are looking for people to believe in them, Tweedl is trying to chip at the streaming powerhouses by leading the vanguard.
Burgeoning artists limit themselves by trying to enter the castle of the streaming giants. However, these apps invest in maintaining relationships with the most popular artists. Tweedl seeks to build an ecosystem of young artists to launch their careers. What makes Tweedl appealing is after an artist gains significant data and popularity, they are better prepared for the next steps.