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Ghostly Beard

Read the Ghostly Beard Interview below and share it on social media.

Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?

There is an enigmatic bigfoot-like character that just came out of the woods after 15 years of being lost. He goes by the handle Ghostly Beard, and he’s a visionary artistic entity with a boundlessly creative sweep that encompasses soft rock, jazz, prog-rock, fusion, pop, classic rock, and more.

Ghostly Beard’s kaleidoscopic creativity has garnered him comparisons to such diverse artists as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Genesis, XTC, Cat Stevens, Weather Report, Michael Franks and Chicago. He crafts immersive dreamy sonic landscapes that emotionally blur the line between dark catharsis and subtle rays of hope. Now, he lets us into his universe with an eclectic clutch of thoughtfully sequenced EPs and albums.

This is what my official bio says. What it doesn't say perhaps is that I'm a big advocate of Indie music and do my best to support and help other indie artists friends and indie "actors" (radios, podcasts, blogs) which I consider partners. I don't show my face because it's my way to say to everyone: forget the face, forget the images, focus on the music, it goes through your ears, not your eyes.

One of my song is called "Close Your Eyes" and it showcases some of music I do:

How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?

I've been influenced by many genres, having started listening and learning about music in the seventies. I wanted to be a session player so I've learned every possible genre I could, from rock to blues to pop to progressive rock to jazz to fusion to flamenco to finger picking to folk to bossa nova.

I've spent an enormous amount of time integrating all these genres to find my own blend. At the age of 30, I was capable of playing anything. After a hiatus of almost 15 years without touching an instrument due to all sorts of personal issues in my life, I came back to it more determined than ever to play and record (which was always what I loved most).

I had lost a lot of technique in the meantime, but I realized that this was not an issue, quite the contrary, it forced me to go deeper in my song-writing and arrangement/production. I've learned a lot about audio engineering, mixing, mastering and am now confident that I can finally record and produce the kind of music I have in my head.

What´s new right now?

I am preparing a new album which will be my third and biggest release. It will be released early May but available for pre-order before that.

I believe it contains the best song that I've ever written, the best production, the best performances (even vocals, that have never been my forte) and best sound overall. I'm very proud of it.

The masters are ready, cover and design too, and I'm going to spend my time in the coming months promoting it.

A new single from this one will be released early February and you will be able to hear on partners radios.

The album will not be available for streaming as I have an ethical allergy to it – see my blog where I speak at long length about it, for example:

People will be able to buy the album from my website (in downloads or physical format), from iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and CD-Baby. They will be able to hear it on many radios as well.

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Are you a superfan of anyone? How did you become a superfan? Do you remember how you become a fan and what turned you into super fan? Have you ever thought about why you´re such a fan?


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What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?

I was too focused on the technique and less on the emotion and the song-writing.
I've learned that doing simpler music is actually a lot more challenging when you want it to have some depth.
I'm spending a lot more time trying to find the one note that will make a difference now instead of trying to play a thousands that don't have any meaning.

Another mistake is that I've started by putting my music on streaming platforms, I have since removed it altogether. I would recommend any artists not to do that, they are just getting screwed by corporate greed, this is not helping them. They should concentrate on networking, and communicate at a personal level with their fan base, not try and be in anonymous playlists which is just a way to try and circumvent the system but brings zero real fans in the end.


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How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?


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Do you have good promotion tips for other musicians?

I think promotion is all about networking. Social media is key but they key to social media is to understand that it's about being social! It's not about pushing your links all the time, and pushing yourself in front of your followers. They will get tired of this.

Have human connection with people, chat with them, after all, that's what it's all about, isn't it?

And share the content of your peers!
Personally I still act like I did when I was with a group of friends and we were sharing the new album that we had just discovered. We were exchanging cassette tapes and were always happy to share with others. "Listen to this one, it's great" – "Have you heard the latest xxx, it's killer!" – if everyone was genuinely doing that online it would actually be fun, instead of pushing their own links all the time…

See my blog post where I've explained some of my views about that:


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Do you have insights on how to grow your audience on soundcloud that you want to share with our audience?


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What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Finding an audience is always a challenge, especially if you're not doing mainstream music…

I'm not a rapper, I don't do "beatz", I'm not young, I'm not a top model (hell! I don't even show my face), so having people focus on what's important (the music) is a challenge, they would prefer that I sell tee-shirt than to buy music, which I find kind of ridiculous.


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How do you personally discover new music?

Through indie radio shows, indie blogs, recommendation by other artists.


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Once you discovered new music, do you tell others about the new music/artist you discovered? If yes, how exactly?

“If I like the artist and the music, I will add it to my friends page:
Then I will share it regularly on social media, especially Twitter, sometimes FB (I'm a lot less active on FB).

I will grant them a Ghostly Beard Award™©® and put a beard on their portrait as a way of showing my appreciation and share it with everyone on Twitter and FB.


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What is your number one tip to improve your music production or songwriting skills?

Learn you craft. Learn something new every day. Listen to all kinds of music, not only your genre.
Learn to play any genre, learn the technique of your instrument until you are a master of it and can play anything.
Then forget about all of that, forget the technique and play with your heart and soul.

Also learn about audio engineering, mixing, mastering, listen to others, participate in forums for artists and audio engineers. Learn to listen critically, to the music of others, offer help, define your own likes and dislikes in terms of sound and offer positive criticism, learn to accept other's criticism as well.


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What is your best tip for those who struggle with finishing their tracks?


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We meet again in one year. What has changed?

My new album will has been successful enough to have bring me a wider following, and some recognition as an artist and producer.

I hope to become an influencer and in the end establish myself as a producer (not a beatz maker, mind you!) and help indie artists get a better sound (some really need help with that) and help promote them.


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