In this interview, dream pop artist Cuesta Loeb discusses strategic methods for promoting your music, the value of having 'a plan', how it was that she became signed to Fierce Panda, and where she's headed next.
Guest post from the ReverbNation Blog
Hailing from NYC, multi-instrumentalist Cuesta Loeb comes from a family of musicians. Inspired by popular ’90s artists like Green Day, The Smashing Pumpkins, Fiona Apple, and (early) Sheryl Crow, she found her home in Dream pop with dark, haunting melodies, and ethereal instrumentation and vocals.
“We had no idea what we were actually looking for until we found ‘it’ and that ‘it’ was Cuesta Loeb. Fundamentally it was the quality of their ‘Dive’ track which stood out from the pack – the fabulous shoegazey sonics were essentially familiar, but the combination of ethereal melodies and low-slung guitars was something we’d never quite heard before.”
Check out this interview with Cuesta Loeb, where she shares how to be strategic in promoting your music, why it’s important to have a plan, and what’s up next for her.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you start, how long have you been performing, what kind of music do you play, etc.
I feel very lucky to have been raised surrounded by music. My parents had a studio in the house and there were always musicians around. Everyone in my family is a musician, and we all play very different styles of music. My dad was a jazz guitar player, my mother is a Brazilian and Spanish inspired artist, and my sister is a singer/songwriter and guitarist. I was classically trained on the flute, piano, and bassoon from a young age, but didn’t find my home in music until much later in life. I had done some musical collaborations (including some with my sister, Lizzy Loeb), but it wasn’t until I moved out to Los Angeles 3 years ago that I started my own project, Cuesta Loeb.
I set out to put together a collection of my songs and quickly found my home somewhere in the world of Dream Pop. I linked up with incredible artist/producer Michael Garner (of Hunter Hunted) and Guitarist/Bassist/Producer, Blake Straus (Deepsleeper). We were all excited and inspired by the music and it kind of just grew from there. We recorded everything in our home studios in LA. Our band came together pretty naturally too. My sister is now part of the project: singing, playing guitar, and producing. We met our bass player, Jordan Klienman, through the local music community (BuzzbandsLA) and it has all been just an incredible experience. We’ve been playing out more and more in LA.
Without the help of a big team what has been the biggest struggle for you as a DIY artist?
I think the hardest part for us was wanting to do so much more all the time and toeing the line between putting content out there and being strategic. There is so much that goes into building a band and it’s hard to know where to prioritize and when. As soon as we put out our first single, I wanted to put out more. We have all this music, but also want to be smart about releasing and letting each song breathe.
How did you hear about ReverbNation and our opportunities for labels and artists? Had you heard of Fierce Panda Records before this opportunity?
We found ReverbNation soon after we released our first Cuesta Loeb single. It came highly recommended by other artists I know. It was awesome for presenting music, putting together an EPK, and getting all the right resources organized in one place. It was also a great platform to connect with other artists and industry contacts. The opportunities to submit were an added bonus.
I had actually discovered Fierce Panda Records earlier this year. We went out to the desert to one of my favorite music venues “Pappy and Harriet’s” for a Surfer Blood show. I love their music and I had done a little digging into their story. I remember loving the name, Fierce Panda, and quickly realized that I was already a fan of so many of the artists they had represented.
What was the submission process like? What was your reaction when you found out that you were picked for this opportunity?
ReverbNation is very user-friendly and fun to use. There are always new opportunities popping up and my favorite part is that you can see when people have listened to your songs! It is still surreal to me that we have been chosen for this opportunity. This is such an important next step for us. Fierce Panda is such an exciting partnership for us because they are into the music and what we are already doing and ready to elevate it. We have been dreaming of this.
What are you hoping to achieve with Fierce Panda? What are your goals?
Music has always been a growing family to me. I am looking forward to building a great team around us. We are excited to release a full-length album in 2018, make more videos, take our songs to radio, and link up with other artists for tours. I’d love to have a chance to play in Europe this year too. Half my family is in Spain (where my mom is from) and it would be a trip to play for my 94-year-old Abuela.
Any advice for new musicians just starting out? How do you get your name out there, find new fans, keep fans engaged, get noticed by labels etc?
I am so new to all of this, but I would say one thing that has really made a difference for me is having a plan. Right before I released my first single, I was just eager to get it out there. I just wanted to put all my music out into the world. A close friend made me really think of the best, most strategic way to do this so that it didn’t just go out and get immediately buried. Literally, the night before I released my first song, he suggested I send it to a local music blog instead of just posting on Soundcloud. This changed my whole outlook and made a huge difference in releasing music.
What’s up next for Cuesta Loeb?
We are looking forward to releasing a new single in early 2018 and following up with a full-length record later in the year. We have some collaborations in the works that we are super excited about, and really just want to play out more and widen our audience in new cities.