Articles by Joshua Smotherman

Father, emcee, producer, music blogger. Joshua is a member of Manchester, TN Hip Hop collective BUNKS and co-founder of Middle Tennessee Music. If you are looking for digital distribution or publishing admin services, he also acts as CMO for Unlimited Sounds Publishing and Distribution, LLC.

How To Apple Music Connect – Claim Profile, Add Content, Engage With Fans

Apple Music Connect Home Screen

With the launch of Apple Music (the subscription streaming service) comes Connect which allows You to claim your artist or band’s profile on Apple Music.

With profile claimed, you can post updates to your fans on the Apple Music platform. You are able to add:

  • text,
  • photos or video,
  • a song,
  • a soundbite (recorded in the app).

How to claim your artist profile

CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog has published a step by step guide to claiming your artist pages on Apple Music. Feel free to check that one out.

You can also sign-in directly here using your Apple ID e-mail/password combo. Once logged in, you will be asked which type of content you want to manage. For our purposes, choose Music.

Next you will be able to Add Artists. You want to have direct links to your band’s Apple store page; this will guarantee you are claiming the right band or artist (and not one with the same name).

If you like step by step instructions, refer to CD Baby’s guide.

Unless you have already been approved by Apple, you will have to wait for them to approve your claim.

I claimed mine by filling out a form my distribution company sent to me. I submitted this form months ago and just received access to Connect today (which prompted me to publish this article).

How to use Apple Music Connect

Once you have claimed your artist profile, you will post updates by using the Apple Music app on your mobile device.

Apple Music Connect Home Screen
Tap the Connect icon in the lower-right to enter the Connect home feed.

Once open, simply click the Connect icon in the lower-right.

This will open the Connect feed which shows you the latest updates from artists or bands you follow.

Create a Post

To create an update simply click the Pencil & Pad Icon in the upper-right (next to the search icon).

Apple Music Connect New Post
Create a new post to engage with fans via Apple Music Connect.

If you notice the As box, you can see it defaults to posting as me the person, not me the artist. Simply tap As.

Apple Music Connect Post As
Before posting an update, make sure you are posting as the band or artist and not a person.

You now have the option of posting text, uploading photos or a video, uploading a song, or recording a soundbite.

Apple Music Connect New Post Attachments
You can post text, photos, video, a song or a soundbite to your Apple Music Connect feed.

I am just posting my first update so I have nothing to report on what happens next. People who have bought music from you before will automatically be following you when they login.

Now that I am branding myself as a solo artist, I will need to go back into their system and claim my solo profile (J.Smo).

Where are my posts seen?

  • All of your followers’ Connect feeds
  • Your artist page, under the Connect tab
  • External social networks (if your fans share the posts)
  • Any catalog content that you attach your Connect content to
  • Anywhere on the Internet that you or your fans embed the content.

Below is an excerpt from the email Apple sent after my access was granted.

Any songs, audio, videos, or photos you post in Connect can be listened to and viewed by everyone—even users who are not Apple Music members. This makes Connect a very powerful way to reach a lot of people. Also, any Connect posts are embeddable on any website, including your own, and can be played back inline.

Here is an additional excerpt concerning how fans will engage with your content.

When users sign in with an Apple ID (whether or not they are members), they will see artists in their Connect feed. Users who’ve previously purchased anything from you in the history of the iTunes Store will already be following you. Anyone who adds your songs, albums, or videos to My Music or purchases your music in the iTunes Store will also follow you. And of course, users can also tap on the Follow button on your artist page.

You can learn more about Connect directly from Apple.

Thoughts? Questions? Contact us or leave a comment.

Watch: Colorchange by Thieves


Thieves have released their new music video for Colorchange documenting the head bangs from some of our touring this summer. If you dig the video, please help us out by sharing it on social media!

Catch Thieves on tour with No Tide at the dates below:

9/2 Oklahoma City, OK – Capitol City Bike Company
9/3 Denton, TX – J&J’s Pizza
9/4 Austin, TX – Gypsy Lounge Inside
9/5 San Antonio, TX – The Korova
9/8 Memphis, TN – The Abbey
9/9 Kokomo, IN – Mainstreet Skatepark
9/10 Chicago, IL – Livewire Lounge
9/11 Moline, IL – Theo’s Java Club
9/12 Lincoln, NE – Knickerbocker’s
9/13 Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall

Listen: Have You Ever by D Webb (prod by Mr. Carmack)

Have You Ever by D Webb

I was inspired to write a song about going through struggles that we all face. From depression to progression, from being broke and alone to experiencing life with a new positive outlook. We’re the same underneath it all. We may not have the same beliefs but we share similar hardships. Underneath our skin lies a brain and a heart. It’s time we start using them.

Watch: Jump Off by Oogee Wawa

About Oogee Wawa

With a ton of reggae, reggae-rock, reggae/hip-hop, reggae-punk (and the list of sub-genres goes on and on…) acts on the rise in the tight knit community that is Long Island’s music scene- so many musicians are hustling, scrambling, clawing, and striving to be the “Next Big Thing” on the island that’s spawned acts like Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Glassjaw and more. Rising in the ranks and standing tall among them, however, has been Oogee Wawa: the reggae tinged, hip-hop powerhouse who in recent years have played with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads, The Wailers, Badfish, Ballyhoo!, Passafire, rocked the 2015 Beer Fields Craft Beer & Music Festival alongside Collie Buddz, and hit the road with a touring schedule of over 200 shows a year. Having released their second LP “More Sand Than Money” this past April, You’ll get your chance to see them with 311, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and The Green at The Great South Bay Music Festival Friday, July 17th at 5:00PM!

Before officially starting Oogee Wawa- MC Jesse Lee Roenbeck of Centereach, JP Aceto on guitar and vocals of Baiting Hollow, Chad Chadwick on bass of Selden, and Nick Loiodic on drums and vocals of Smithtown were friends just messing around playing the bar scene so many Long Island musicians know and clamor to on nights and weekends to get a little bit of that adrenaline pumping, big-or-small crowd cheering rush that comes with performing live. Forming in 2008, the band began playing consistent shows to ever-growing crowds before the release of their first LP- 2012’s “Ride Waves”, and as their momentum got going they quickly became the island’s in-demand reggae act from Long Beach to Montauk.

Garnering praise from the likes of Long Island Press, Chilled Magazine, I Am Entertainment Magazine,, and West Coast Reggae-Rock-Acoustic hotspot who stated on their recent release “Oogee Wawa’s sophomore release is a good one, and they obviously have the potential to become a breakout band in the industry”, Oogee began touring Nationally and spreading their good vibes on both East and West Coasts. In an interview with the Long Island Pulse, the band has aid of themselves “We have gotten a lot of love in the rising reggae rock scene and we take a lot of pride in that. We are working very hard to build up this family of bands from all over the East Coast”.

Oogee Wawa

Listen: Little Hollywood by TÙ


The song Little Hollywood (by ) is about not being afraid of being who you are, what you look like and accepting it. The song mainly reflects upon social pressures of what your body image should look like and the Industry plays a huge role when it comes to actors and celebrities looks. However, the pros and cons about body image are everywhere around the world, and we can either let it make us or break us.

Interview with Kathy Muir

Book Cover Judge by Kathy Muir

How have you been? What’s happened in the world of Kathy Muir since we reviewed your last album, which was released in the summer of 2012?

Well, Far From Entirely was recorded over a series of trips between the UK and the States. Six months after the album was released I moved over to the USA permanently. With roots more secure I started to check out the live performance circuit. So, during 2013 and the first half of 2014, I not only continued recording in the studio but I started doing the local open mics venues, eventually resulting in small shows in and around Connecticut.

I have also released two singles. Keep on Walking was launched in April 2014 and was as a project of collaboration thanks to social media, photography, music, and the desire to help make a change. The background to the song is that, a year earlier, two high school students found me on Twitter and said they liked my music. When I discovered their website ‘artishomeless’, I was deeply moved by the images and learned that the Kiener brothers sought to raise awareness and funds for the homeless in Miami. To contribute to their cause, they agreed to my writing a song that would capture the essence of their photography: realism interwoven with empathy and optimism.

A song and photographs are combined in this project to reach out to people and share the moment when two high school students changed my life, and made a difference in the lives of others.

In November 2014 I released Seattle Mornin’ which was a two year project in the making. Seattle has been a major creative influence for me for quite some time. Back in the summer of 2012 the main purpose of my trip to Seattle in the summer of 2012 was to see photographs of the Seattle Camera Club (1924-1929), held at the UW’s Special Collections. The morning after I arrived I woke up early, super excited to be back in the city. By early I mean 4am. I remember looking out the window and below, on 1st Avenue was a little lady walking her dog. For some reason, that sparked an idea. The song structure and melody were written that morning. The lyrics took much longer to form, and are inspired by Picasso’s change in artistic style.

The album Book Cover Judge came out in March – a 12-track album that’s taken 18 months to record. Plus, we’ve made a couple of music videos for the album, two of which I’ve still to release.

In June 2015 I release Believe the Impossible which is a fun summer tune, and acoustic pop in style. I had a blast writing and recording that song, which we wrapped in a month. It was one of those songs that was waiting to reveal itself, so it was pretty straightforward creating the arrangement for it..

How is your new project different…or how has it evolved from the last project?

I think most songwriters would agree they are always growing, always evolving in their work. There is a great quote by American folk singer Jean Ritchie who said ‘Living is collecting’. I think that’s true, I think you are becoming what you are. I didn’t expect Book Cove Judge to contain twelve songs, and I certainly couldn’t have envisaged including the style of some of these songs. But you never know what you’re going to write until, well, you write. This album still has a mix of Americana, with hints of blues and jazz, and a few songs that are almost cinematic. I think I explored to a much greater degree the arrangement and orchestration side of things. I’d bring to the studio pretty complete demo: Seattle Mornin’ and I’ll Be There, Back To You, to name a few.

Who did you work with on this new one? It sounds great!

Essentially we’re a team of three: me, Steve Hansen and Harry Whalley, In the main, I’ll create the rhythm guitar parts, keyboards and vocals. Steve will lay down drum, bass and lead guitar and Harry will mainly lay down piano, occasionally keys and from time to time his input on arrangements. For example, Harry created the horn arrangements on Softly. We bring in specific musicians as and when we need them on a song.

What was the last song you listened to?

Amber Run ‘I found’ featuring the London Contemporary Voices. I would love to do that with a song of mine. The power of voice, you just can’t beat it.

Do you have any upcoming gigs? Tours? Where can fans see you perform?

Because I’ve been ploughing away in the studio these last six months finishing a 6-track EP entitled Second Life, I haven’t been performing as much. However, with the September release of Born By The Water from the EP, I’m itching to get out and play in the next wee while.

I’ll also be launching some music videos over the next six or so months. There are a couple of songs on the EP that just beg to have imagery added to them. Before then I have two music videos to release from Book Cover Judge which will be happening fairly soon.

Where’s the best place to connect with you online?

My website always tells folks what’s going on and where to find me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. I’m, also a huge fan of Instagram.

Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?

If any fans are interested in Google Hangouts, Stage It, Newsletter podcasts or podcast with other female artists about the song writing process I’d love to hear from them. I for one would be up doing it. I mean, I’m sure there are readers and listeners out there who don’t often get a chance to see one of their favourite artists perform let alone talk to them, hear them sing a few tunes in an informal setting or ask them about songwriting.

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5 featuring REBELMANN, Diary of My Misanthropy, Less Than A Billion People, Stonegrey and Colby Bright

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5Mid Tenn Listens 5 @ 5 features 5 songs at 5 AM Pacific 5 days a week with the intent of providing your daily indie music fix.

Be sure to check out the links below to find out more about the bands as well as find links to support them.

Be sure to share, stream and purchase music and merchandise from your favorites.

Today’s playlist features:

  1. Indian Land by REBELMANN
  2. War Is Peace by Diary of My Misanthropy
  3. Don’t Forget That I’m Human by Less Than A Billion People
  4. Catch Me Now by Stonegrey
  5. Better Days by Colby Bright

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5 featuring Johnny Searfoss, Tim Broome, Megan Landry, EagleWolfSnake and Bill McBirnie

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5Mid Tenn Listens 5 @ 5 features 5 songs at 5 AM Pacific 5 days a week with the intent of providing your daily indie music fix.

Be sure to check out the links below to find out more about the bands as well as find links to support them.

Be sure to share, stream and purchase music and merchandise from your favorites.

Today’s playlist features:

  1. A Beautiful Sunny Day by Johnny Searfoss
  2. Bust Out by Tim Broome
  3. Pieces by Megan Landry
  4. We Are We Are by EagleWolfSnake
  5. Carnaval Blue by Bill McBirnie (Extreme Flute)

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5 featuring Cabin Creek, Pawl Wheel, Midori and Ezra Boy, Wolf Kier and JP ONE

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5Mid Tenn Listens 5 @ 5 features 5 songs at 5 AM Pacific 5 days a week with the intent of providing your daily indie music fix.

Be sure to check out the links below to find out more about the bands as well as find links to support them.

Be sure to share, stream and purchase music and merchandise from your favorites.

Today’s playlist features:

  1. Sleeping Sound by Cabin Creek
  2. Atlas Shrugged by Pawl Wheel
  3. Born Lucky by Midori and Ezra Boy
  4. The Big Trapeze by Wolf Kier
  5. Livin’ Life by JP ONE

Mid Tenn Listens featuring The Alpine Camp, The Charflies, Flatwoods, Mikhail Zagot and Tom Hood

Mid Tenn Listens 5@5Mid Tenn Listens 5 @ 5 features 5 songs at 5 AM Pacific 5 days a week with the intent of providing your daily indie music fix.

Be sure to check out the links below to find out more about the bands as well as find links to support them.

Be sure to share, stream and purchase music and merchandise from your favorites.

Today’s playlist features:

  1. Regrets of a Cosmic Mountaineer by The Alpine Camp
  2. Dear Linoleum by The Charflies
  3. Dad’s Chevy by Flatwoods
  4. Evreyskaya Solonka by Mikhail Zagot
  5. Drivin Your Drunk A Home by Tom Hood & The Trailmen