As today’s pop stars are pumped through the media and into our homes, we find ourselves seeing our singers promoting perfumes, acting gigs, writing memoirs, and even backing various weight loss products. After a few years of mass marketing themselves, we often forget what music it was that put them into popularity in the first place. Where have those artists gone that have a love for making the music? Where has the dedication gone from weaving a tapestry of sound that intoxicates our ears and words that give us the inspiration to live by? Where are the real musicians that are dedicated to the sound and spreading a voice? Can a real musician please stand up?
There is a new revolution of sound hitting our eardrums. Many musicians are now taking control of their own label, marketing themselves the way they see fit and keeping creative control over all of their ventures. Thanks to the internet, blog radio and fan pages online, musicians can now reach out directly to their fans, have listeners from all over the planet, and get instant feedback from each fan without going through a middle man. Marc Arseno from the Raven Black Eyes of Fire is one of these musicians leading the way into a new age of communication with fans, creative control over his label, and giving back to the community that he lives in.
As a young man growing up in Montreal, Canada, Marc had a dream. Like many of us fantasizing of being a star, Marc made his dream a reality. With a unique sound and an appreciation of a wide array of musical interests from old blues players to character singers like Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison, Marc knew he was meant to play. When he first saw Jimmy Page play guitar, which Marc refers to as a “magician”, he was certain that he too, was meant to play guitar. Marc had a unique idea for his European sound. Following his Canadian heritage, he would have songs in both English and French, reaching both sets of fans, and expanding that to Europe. From this premise, he can extend to more people from many cultures and complete his dream of travelling while pursuing his passion of music.
After a fascinating trip to Europe from an invitation of an Indie Label, Marc left his lucrative career as a top 40 DJ in Montreal and signed. With complicated contracts and a company in control of his music, Marc realized that the reality of becoming a star was compromising yourself so much and losing the heart of your music. After two short years, his album was taken off the shelves.
“Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, everything to gain.” Diane de Pointiers
After watching his music slip away into a mountain of contract negotiations, legal issues and battles, Marc saw his dream evaporate. Devastated but not broken, Marc went to Toronto, Canada to meet Neil Young’s sister, Astrid, and reinvent himself. After recording and using the internet to his advantage, Marc spoke to a lawyer and rebuilt his growing empire. He got his own label, his own uncompromising sound and all creative control and distribution rights. Marc did something that we hardly ever hear of a musician doing when in a process of building. He read. Marc read about the Power of Attraction, philosophies from new aged motivators. He was fascinated by the metaphysical. Marc thrived on the power to change your thoughts, and manifest your individual present. He investigated about religion, and listened to motivational speakers. He channeled all of his energy into his music. He was no longer just a new aged rocker, but a new aged thinker, and thus, a trailblazer.
Rebirth- “Follow your personal legend, your path” Marc Arseno
The question everyone wonders is: without a marketing team, how will Marc reach his fans? The answer is simple. With the advances of modern technology, he was able to test the market through ITunes and MySpace. He reconnected with old fans directly, and quickly learned that the power of globalization would link him to many more, all over the planet. From Wisconsin, USA to Brazil, from Spain to Mexico, Marc was getting feedback from each corner of the globe. He not only had a fan base, but satellites of listeners from all over the world. Radio stations began to contact him and play his music. He made a promise to himself as his popularity was reborn: “I vowed 100% to be real; authentic. I would not compromise because my music had to be something I could live with and I could never sell out to my fans. It may take longer for me to reach them, but it’s worth it.”
However, on his fast path to a growing popularity, Marc took a bit of an unlikely turn. As most growing musicians have more narcissistic aspirations, Marc decided to give back to the community. He held seminars for at risk teenagers to channel their energy into music. He created a monster, a musical monster, possibly spawning many more young musicians with hope and with a dream. His creative control over himself allowed Marc to give back to the community without consulting a label first.
With a new song, New Dawn coming out in April and many opportunities knocking at his door, Marc Arseno and the Raven Black Eyes of Fire have a busy year ahead! Marc’s advice to anyone, whether it is an author, writer, painter, or another aspiring musician is simple. “Whether it is a book or a song, do not stop at anything to get it out there… If the planets align, when it feels good inside and opportunity knocks, you must answer.”
Though he might not be cross promoting himself with products, services or infomercials, this is not what Marc’s message is to his fans. Authenticity, creativity and passion are the three ingredients to following your dreams. “Even if I had twenty more sales, I am doing it myself, this is what it represents. I am laying the foundations…” Marc’s message is quite simple, never lose yourself in the chaos that is life, and never compromise your dreams to reach high. When a door closes a window opens. We all can agree the window is opened wide for Marc, thanks to his authenticity and his drive. With all of the new opportunities on his plate, Marc’s formula is simple: “The music will find the fans, and the fans will find the music.” Indeed they have Marc.
***Want to connect with Marc Arseno? Here’s how:
Facebook: Raven Black Eyes of Fire
ITUNES: Raven Black Eyes of Fire