According to the Studio Bums website, the phrase is “a slang term for someone who thrives on creating and being involved in all areas of the music industry, including culture, art, technology and the politics thereof.”
So creators Theodore Perry (a.k.a. Tedd Swell) and Annaliese Artemis (Perry) have created a brand that matches the name. The proposed Studio Bums will be a lifestyle publication and gear company based in Syracuse. The goal is to create a magazine that goes where others don’t, exploring parts of the industry that are often not discussed in mainstream publications.
“We had this realization,” Artemis says, “that all these magazines had the same people on the covers. Where’s the coverage? Where’s the exposure of new bands? Those same people aren’t the only ones making good music. That’s where the spark started. We’ve been brainstorming what we could do that’s different.”
The couple’s backgrounds complement the goal. Artemis was born in South Africa and moved to Canada, providing her with a wealth of life experiences spanning riots in her hometown to a quiet life in Canada. Her eye for photography and art lends to the visual aspect of the publication and its products, which include mugs, clothing, hats and bags.
Swell hails from New York City and boasts a deejay resume that started when he was 13. He created the website onestopbeats.com, where producers such as Dr. Dre and Eminem could grab sounds for their music. Swell’s own music has been featured on TV shows including Cedric the Entertainer’s Barber Battle. His work with local artist Erika Lovette also helped earn her a Syracuse Area Music Award (Sammy) in the Best Rhythm and Blues category in 2014.
He also started beattalk.com, which provided a site for interviews with the producers, musicians and songwriters who frequented the domain. Although those sites have since dissolved, the idea of mixing culture and performers with discussion never went away.
“We knew certain stories weren’t being documented,” he says. “That’s our mission: to be a lot more in-depth.”
The magazine version will be published quarterly, but will remain a constant, vibrant presence on the Internet, drawing readers from around the world. The content will also draw from industry professionals. Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer Ivan “Orthodox” Barias and Jef Forston, a.k.a. Def Jef, are two examples of the arsenal of supporters, contributors and molders of the magazine.
“The music industry keeps changing,” Swell says. “The entry level is low. More people are doing it. Studio Bums will allow old guys to learn from new guys. It’s changing out there: It’s the wild west. Artists are tasked with so much. We will curate the content to bring value to anyone in the industry trying to survive.”
Swell and Artemis have even dubbed these musicians as entrepreneurs. “Artists who are forced to do it all on their own are forced to be entrepreneurs as well,” Artemis says. “You have to do product development, cover art, advertising, setting up iTunes. You’re not assigned to a record label. You have to do it yourself.”
The magazine will address that scenario, mixing the glamour and reality of the music industry. And while the creators’ roots lie in hip-hop, the magazine will stretch beyond that genre.
“Hip-hop is my entry into the game,” Swell says. “It’s a culture I’m very familiar with. But I think it’s taught me about other genres, maybe more than if I’d come from another. My vinyl collection has many genres within it. We’re inspired by jazz and rock. There’s no limits to what we’re inspired by. We’ll have contributors who have worked with everyone from Erykah Badu to Steely Dan.”
The couple is planning various promotions and finding campaigns in the coming months. They hope the first issue will run in early 2016.”
“If you do music, this is something you’ll want to have as a tool,” Swell says. “It’s something that will help you along the way. If you’ve ever been to a music seminar, you’ll find value. That’s how we’re marketing it. It’s where you’re inspired and educated.”