by Jake Navarro, Nov. 11, 2015
Getting started in the music industry can be pretty daunting, especially if you're just getting your feet wet. If you're fortunate enough to have your toes in the water, you're, at the very least, skeptical. You have to be in an industry like music.
There are plenty of factors you have to take into consideration when it comes to beginning your venture as a musician. The first, and most important, is having quality product to have your fans listen to. That's where Invengo Productions, their open mic nights and event this Saturday comes in to play.
MyCityATX had the opportunity to chat with the CEO and Producer, Josh Rumer, to learn about what Invengo Productions looks for in artists, their desired goals for Austin music and reasoning behind giving away free studio time.
We start with Josh being concerned with how long his answers should be because he knows I'll have to "go through it all" and wants to make my job easier. As I get to know Josh, his genuine attitude and awareness of others becomes apparent.
I haven't met someone quite like him. He carries himself in a way that confirms he knows his true purpose and being. Having 13 years worth of experience and hundreds of hours per project under his belt, his daily goals are pretty spot on.
"I strive to honor people's creative gift through recorded medium. We strive to help people get to where they're going," as he nods to Chief of Operations and business partner, Alexa DuWors, sitting a few feet away working on her computer.
"It's been a life-long passion to watch people go from a garage to a stage and to be online for sale--but somebody that gets an education along the way. I want to tell them everything I know. Hopefully, they learn from it, because nobody ever showed me," Rumer finishes.
It's easy to showcase Invengo's uniqueness when Josh says he wants people to feel loved and respected and explains the company's atypical business model.
Invengo Productions' business model derives from Rumer's own experience as a recording artist.
"I was one of those guys. I learned the hard way. I went to a studio with my first band. We paid by the hour--an exorbitant sum of money--and we walked out with a cassette tape of music that was not us," Rumer explains.
The CEO goes on to fill me in on how most production companies operate and how daunting they can be. He's not a fan of pressuring the artist to "cram 20 years of your personal experiences into a three-hour recording session."
Rumer continues, "If you're a musician and not a producer, you don't know how many hours you need. You know how many hours you can get it done in, but you have no idea. The first record I did, I thought I could do it in four days--it took nine months."
Having long-standing and consistent partnerships with acclaimed session musicians, Invengo Productions wants to link up with creatives that are willing to put hard work and dedication into their music. Whether it takes a month or nine, Invengo wants the artist to walk out with product they're happy with and proud of.
"The goal is not to just make money. Artists do need to own their own material, of course, but my goal is when artists put that CD down to have someone listen to--they don't have to say anything."
Having goals that aren't solely on the premise of making money is a very interesting business model, to say the least, but there's a reason for that. The business duo believe in talented, hard-working artists.
"That's why we're selective. We don't work with just anybody. Just because someone is looking for a studio to hire, does not mean they're going to be a good match for Invengo," Rumer says.
Who is a good match for Invengo?
"They have to smell good," Josh jokes.
As he continues to explain what a good match for Invengo Productions is, you can feel the passion he has, not only for the company, but the people he wants to inspire and help.
"Some people have a stronger talent than others. Some are just going through the motions. There are people that come out and sing their songs and are practically in tears when they're performing. They've been performing it for three years, but they still feel the same way about it. That's a good match for us. You have to believe in what you're doing."
As Chief of Operations, the doing is Alexa's specialty. She facilitates day-to-day operations, organizes events and is point of contact for the company.
"The events we coordinate are aimed to bring together different elements of Austin music and a sense of community. We want to give people a space to share that highlights their talent. Personally, the open mic nights are my favorite," Alexa tells me.
Josh gives some insight on what these open mics mean to the production company. These musical gatherings are interesting in the fact that Invengo offers the opportunity of free studio time as part of them.
"There are two goals to these open mics," he starts.
"It's good practice for people--making sure your guitar is in tune, your monitor mix is good, getting up there on stage. If you're thrust into that with no experience, you're more than likely going to screw it up every time. Been there--done that."
I start to see the commitment he has to developing and teaching people what he can for their betterment.
"The second goal is to discover new artists that may be a perfect match for Invengo. We can say, "Hey, there's another way for you." I see something in artists that I can help them exploit. If they're honest with what they're doing, that's what matters to me," he almost finishes.
Staying true to his atypical self, Josh adds in a third goal.
"It's just to bring people together. There's a disconnect in this city, I've noticed. There are groups that are working together, and there are groups that are not that should be. There are power in numbers when people are on the same page."
Invengo Productions is a company that takes pride in their work and artists. Their freshman feel to the Austin scene is a refreshing take on what this city is accustomed to.
They cultivate a family and true following of their artists for their development. If you're wanting to get started in the Austin music scene and feel you're a match, Invengo is the way to go.
November's Lunaclipse will host live acts including Waking Fable, XAVIER, Chris Strand, Jesse Ryan and more. The event will be held at El Sol y La Luna Restaurant on 6th St on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. For more information and RSVP, click here to be directed to November's Luncaclipse page on Facebook.