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TL;DR

sourced.fm was made from a lifelong relationship with music with the intention of connecting local music to help local musicians spread their sound.

5-10 minute read

Never has a more perfect title presented itself than this. My love of music was present from birth, but the birth of sourced.fm happened with The Story So Far.

I've always been around music. From my father playing guitar and belting songs at deafening volumes and perfect pitch, to visiting relatives in PEI at 5 and having a jam session breakout in the kitchen, music is in my soul. I started piano lessons in second grade, guitar lessons in eighth. I was in a couple of bands in high school, and being from a small town my bandmates and I looked to the closest music scene. Belleville.

We all piled in and ventured south to a show that seeded the creation of sourced.fm. The show featured the bands For The Mathematics, Forty Cent Fix, and a local band I would come to know well, The Story So Far.

I had never really been to a concert at all before then. Some sit down ones at a theatre but nothing that compares to a live small venue show. This whole experience was new to me. I had never experienced the instant welcoming I felt from the show goers. I had never experienced the deafening monitors and the band performing on the floor directly in front of us. I was love struck.

I watched in amazement as the drummer from For The Mathematics, still one of the best drummers I've seen live, played incredibly demanding rhythms and smiled in my direction as if it was simple. I watched the singer Rob drip sweat, something I learned was a recurring theme of FTM sets, as he poured everything into the vocals. Forty Cent Fix played lightening quick blast beats and guitar licks in a wonderfully well timed harmonies. The vocal harmonies didn't have quite the same refinement but it didn't fucking matter, it was great music!

That show featured some of my favourite bands who I made sure to see whenever I could. I learned of new bands and eventually moved to just outside of Belleville so I started going to nearly every show that was booked. I helped bands cart their gear in and out. I got to know the promoters and the regular show goers. I was hooked.

The Story So Far was a constant force in the community. They could draw a crowd, and they could fucking entertain a crowd. I have never seen as much passion as I did at each and every TSSF set. I watched Brock jump off monitors, flip his guitar, toss his guitar across the stage, pick up another one and keep playing. I watched Ryan scream his heart out making it look effortless and playing to the crowd the entire set without rest and without exception. That band shaped my life as a musician.

I learned to flip my guitar. I learned to scream my heart out in my room. I learned to recover when disaster strikes on stage. I looked up to The Story So Far for a measure of a band. And then, as all great local bands do, they broke up. It sucked.

They had all the talent. All the support. All the passion. But they lacked resources and exposure to a broader market. Sure, they toured. But one show in each town for each resource and energy draining tour can only go so far to spread your sound. They needed a way for the local community of Belleville to be able to vouch for them as a whole to help them spread. That wasn't available.

I was active, primarily as a lurker but still relatively active participant, on a Canadian music forum called Stillepost. For those who don't remember Stillepost, it was a music forum, broken down into sub forums by province and city. The simple choice to break the subforums by city made it become an incredibly powerful resource for local music. Promoters could announce shows, and fill lineups. Show goers could discuss shows and music they're listening to, gear they're looking at, things they're learning. It wasn't always used so productively, but it gave something notably special to local music that always stood out to me. If you were interested in neighbouring scenes, just visit their sub forum. You'd see a lot of cross talk and it made me realize the size of the greater music network outside of Belleville.

My band broke up, we sucked and just didn't put enough into it, and I went to college for programming. I'd been thinking for a while about why The Story So Far broke up, and why they couldn't make it. It never made sense to me. If they're good, and people like them and show up, why can't that be enough? Why can't that help them find success? I thought about how the support could be built out to help musicians break out. I toyed with a million ideas, developing out a social network in my mind based on the experiences I'd had, and then I saw some hopeful solutions popping up so I stopped thinking much about it.

I graduated college and started working on some hobby projects, and had started to notice Kickstarter and Indiegogo more and more. I noticed primarily the tech projects for a while but then started browsing the site and realized music was a category. I was happy to see musicians able to fund themselves through their fans. It just makes sense. And then it hit me.

The answer was both. The answer was the social aspect of music I'd been thinking about, married to the funding aspect of music. It doesn't make sense to build an audience on one site and then drive that same audience to another site to fund something. Fund it right there, using the support you already have. sourced.fm was born right then. The hopefuls I'd let deter me before didn't fill my hopes, so I decided I had to try my answer.

We've been building our vision for a new music. A vision where rather than relying entirely on an industry to support your career, you rely on a community. A community I know from experience can be welcoming, supportive, and faithful. This online community isn't meant just for funding and discussions, its meant to help entire scenes vouch for amazing local artists and promote them out to a broader audience. Its meant to provide a means to crowdsource the prouction, promotion, and distribution of music based on the relationship between artists and fans.

We have a lot more built, and even more planned, but in the spirit of working together we want you to help us build the rest. We'll be releasing any upcoming projects to get your feedback and gauge what features are highest priority to the community. We hope you'll help us build something special and help us write the rest of this story.

Brandon Thorn,

Lover of Sound/Founder of sourced.fm

Conversations

    I'll post a longer, more in depth reply when I have the presence of mind to do so (I am in a SXSW haze at the moment) - but I am super pumped to be part of this project. Forums have been an integral part of my life since I was about 17 years old. Working with them definitely helped set the stage for my career in digital strategy, and the slickness of this alpha release is more than I could have hoped for. It sets the bar ridiculously high :)

    I believe you have a great idea with making it local. I can use bandsintown and songkick to find events, myspace and bandcamp to find artists. But I’m not aware of a site for finding local bands / local events. Probably blogto comes the closest to finding more underground events. It’s a good looking forum, the ux is enjoyable and linking to soundcloud is a good idea. If you can get local bands and their hardcore fans on the site than you definitely got something here....I'm always looking for some sweet new music so if I find some cool stuff here I'll be a fan for sure.

    Music is life. People get relaxed after working a whole day just by listening music. I dont know more about canada and love of canadians for music, as I am new here but I believe music has no barriers. We can unite all the music lover and can organize a way that bonds the musicians. No one is boss here but still everyone can contribute. Make videos that origins from the heart of this unknown musicians and show to world digitaly through our web and other social media. People will love and there are thousand and one reason that these musicians will have exciting scopes ahead. A lot more ideas but cant describe all right here...Looking forward for your response.

    wow, I actually want to make this a big thing now. I didn't know what sourced was really about until I read this, and now I feel as if it's my duty to get sourced on the map! It's crazy because I see sourced having it's own music festival lool but it will be a while till then. This solves every problem with social media artist being to needy of their followers. IF YOU LOVE MUSIC AS A FAN OR ARTIST USE SOURCED!!!

    Interested to see what the next steps are for this great concept! Enjoying the integration of soundcloud (where I tend to post tidbits). Maybe an "in house" support of music sharing? :)

    Sourced.fm is the solution to my need of sharing music with others. I don't really have anyone to discuss and share music with except my twin sister. We would constantly be linking songs back and forth and referring to different points within the music. I am the type of person that gets really worked up over stumbling upon a great song, a festival lineup release and concerts. To be able to share and discuss something I feel very strongly about with other people that are equally as passionate seems like heaven.

    I could say that sourced.fm is an excellent idea, and it has everything to become a success. I would love to help you to build the sourced.fm and I know I can help you for two main reasons. First, I'm a musician, I've been playing guitar for almost 12 years. Music is in my life, I cannot live without music. I also used to participate in some forums, but because of the university I no longer do it. Second, for my experience in software development. I'm a international student at UofT, I came from Brazil in the last september. I came to Canada to really make the difference, to learn with the best and to improve my knowledge as much as possible. I've been working in software, most web, development for almost 3 years know. I also would like to add that I really engage the StartUp environment. In fact, I started a startup back in Brazil (www.greaton.me), but because of my exchange program I had to take a time. I used to work at the startup as project manager and developer. The project is all implemented in Django, which is a amazing framework to startups. So, I hope I can join to help you the make this project become a success.

    Sounds like a brilliant idea! And I do feel that this would help musicians and introduce them to the mass audiences! There are many great functions here already. It would be even greater if sourced.fm could have mobile apps so that people might be able to share cool stuff anytime and anywhere!

    The concept behind sourced.fm is not only innovative, but equally inspiring. The proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child” comes to mind while reading The Story So Far. What makes sourced.fm’s objectives stand out to me is the level of importance placed on the community. In this situation, the community stands as an incubator for emerging artists, where funding and support can be generated- Wow! Just as artists want to reach out to their communities for support, community members that are continuously seeking new tunes are willing and able to offer this support. I believe that sourced.fm is an incredible opportunity to bridge the gap between artists and communities, creating sweet sounds and vibes!

    Love the idea, and excited to see where it goes! I feel I can contribute to the further development. I also have a few potential sponsors that I can get you into contact with. I would love to further discuss this with you all, if you are to inbox me.

    I'm definitely a big fan of the idea. Being an avid listener of all genres of music, but primarily rap music, this kind of exposure seems like a great idea for not only up and coming bands and artists, but also individual artists like rappers or even producers. I have many friends in music programs at colleges/universities around Ontario currently and I love taking time out of my day to go through their archives and listen to all the beats they've produced and all the lyrics they've written. I think that this resource would be an exceptional place to showcase things like that, and would be amazing for people who are on their own (rappers) and solely rely on them selves to advertise and spread their noise.

    The concept of sourced.fm seems really innovative. Specifically because there isn't much out there for emerging artists. Other than just gigs and small scale concerts, emerging artists could find it hard to reach out to music enthusiasts. I have been around the city and places that have some great music, so there definitely is a wealth of talent out there. But I definitely do believe that some of these artists are unsung heroes for the most bit. And providing a platform that supports these artists would be a great way to build a musically sound and talented community. Looking forward to seeing what the projects would have to offer.