Musician lives the dream
Wakapuaka musician Bryce Wastney has signed a distribution and global radio promotion deal with United States label Musik and Film, a chance he says is a "dream come true".
"I feel very excited and this is certainly a huge break for a Nelson lad," he says.
Florida-based Musik and Film is one of the largest indie digital distributors in the United States. Wastney met its chief executive, Stephen Wrench, online through some graphic design projects he was consulting on. Wrench heard Wastney was a musician and asked to listen to one of his songs. "As soon as he heard the track he rang me straight back and said ‘Oh my God, you're not signed yet? We can certainly help you," Wastney says.
He has released two self-funded albums in the past, A Perfect Day for Travel and Hope Mountain, but has now withdrawn digital sales of those to concentrate on just one single.
Wrench is a former vice president of RCA Records and a long-time manager of Lynyrd Skynyrd, also working with the likes of Axl Rose, Prince, and Paul McCartney. Wastney says they are busy polishing Dead Man Walking, which will be re-released digitally next month after originally being included on Hope Mountain. Wastney plans to release four more singles this year.
"When I first heard the new single, it blew me away," he says. "It's one of my best songs and I thought ‘Is that really me?'
"It's great to focus on one song rather than a whole 10-track album. By the end of the year I should have four really polished tracks with some serious promotion behind them."
Wastney will keep a high percentage of the digital download profits and income from radio play. While pursuing his love of music he has been running Astonish Me Creative for the past two years, a freelance graphic design business that has seen him working with some of the top music marketing people in the Australian music industry.
Based in Melbourne until recently, Wastney now records in Mapua in a friend's home-built recording studio, complete with a new purpose-built vocal booth. He records his vocal tracks there and sends the sound to the States via the internet, to be engineered by Jeff Silverman, long-time engineer and co-writer for US legend Rick Springfield. All Nashville-based musicians feature on Wastney's new tracks, which he describes as having a Mumford & Sons feel.
■ Bryce Wastney and guests, Saturday, The Free House, 8pm, tickets $10 on door or $7 from Everyman in advance. For more info see brycewastney.com.
The Nelson Mail