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Richie Hume | How Technology Changed the Music Industry

In this episode with Richie Hume, we dive into Richie’s journey and his profound connection with music. Discover how Richie’s passion for music began, and what it truly means to him, and get an exclusive glimpse into his remarkable music career. Join us as we explore the transformative impact of technology on the music industry and explore the exciting realm of leveraging AI to create music.

Lastly, we delve into the beautiful harmony between human connection and music. Tune in for an enlightening conversation that explores the dynamic interplay of music and technology with Richie Hume!

Listen to the podcast episode here!

How’s your day going? How’s your week going?

Good, man, I’ve been playing gigs, pretty much every night, which is amazing. Just trying to keep my voice intact and, and keep my energy up.

So what goes into, like playing a gig on a night? Like, how much do you prepare and the timing of all that?

So at this point, I’m doing a lot of acoustic gigs solo and sometimes do and sometimes I’ll get together with like a trio or full or small full band. So smaller scale, not huge band stuff. And it’s typically I try to keep musicians that I play with on the regular. So not a whole lot of preparation at this point.

It’s just a lot of learning on the fly, and leaning on the songs and structures that, work and trying to kind of be spontaneous, because when people come to see live music around here, it’s at a beach bar, or it’s, there’s a lot of tourist destinations that end up playing out, or maybe it’s a private party, but they’re trying to have fun.

And I think kind of experiencing and letting them in on the spontaneity of it is definitely a part of facilitating, like a relaxed, fun environment. So, that’s the name of the game around.

So are you playing original songs or are covering songs? 

I’m mostly covering songs. When I play out around here, I do throw in maybe an original set or so maybe two originals. Obviously, as somebody who’s been playing for a long time, the goal has always been to put out your own music and have people hopefully listen to it and check it out.

But, studio time is expensive, and you got to make a living so definitely got to go out and play some covers for me. Got to play some covers so that you can do the things that you want to do during studio time. Video time and putting out original music.

 How long did you were you in this area?

I kind of moved around quite a bit. So I grew up predominantly in the northeast, Carolina, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Okay, I came down here about six years ago now. Okay, five and a half years ago, and just been loving it, man. It’s a great gray area for music.

There’s a lot of like you said, the beach bars and some of them, the cities like the smaller (areas) like Dunedin and stuff they lean into, like the live music and stuff.

It’s a working scene down here. So with that most of the musicians that do have original music, kind of do what I do, where they play the covers so that they can do other things. And because it’s a working scene, you got all these musicians around here that have put in 10,000 hours doing what they do.

So when you get to see them really do what they do. It’s amazing how talented some of them are, just because of the sheer amount of time at three to four hours a night, 250 times a year. The sheer amount of time that the musicians around here put in is crazy and it definitely I think shows when you go to see some of them at a showcase or something.

So take us back to the beginning. Like how did you get into music? What was that like for you?

I’ve been obsessed with music since I can remember. I remember being three years old and there was like a mic at maybe four years old. When I first had memories, there was like a mic at the pre-K. And I remember singing Queen into the mic like singing We Will Rock You and, and I was really infatuated by this Queen’s Greatest Hits, see that my mom and dad had and then.

I remember going to the mall couple of years later, like six years old, and seeing a KISS poster. And just being like, taken by it like these weird crazy looking guys and like sneak up fireworks and, and I heard it and it’s just this powerful rock and roll, kind of just overtook me.

And since then I’ve just been, it’s like all I was able to think about as a kid. All the other kids were playing sports, and I would try but I was never very good. And I just, and maybe kids were good in school. And it’s like, all I could think about was music or music all the time.

So did you go to school for it? How did you learn how to play? 

So I just grabbed the guitar and started playing and had some lessons for sure. On the guitar, I’ve always been naturally able to carry a tune vocally. But I heard that in voice lessons through high school and stuff like that. So I definitely nerd it out. Through Middle School in high school, it was in bands and battle the bands and, and all that stuff. And I’ve just had some, I’ve tried to do other things. But I’ve always come back to playing music.   

What goes with a guitar? What other instruments do you play? Or is it just the guitar?

I play guitar vocals.  Most guitar players can at least be proficient on a bass. And then I can play keys just enough to kind of use it as a songwriting tool. But I would not consider myself a piano player. So the guitar is definitely my, that’s my instrument for sure. And probably a singer first I would say

I was talking to my wife the other day, and like she was in, she did color garden in high school and stuff. And so had a lot of friends and band and everything. And we’re talking about what it’s like.

She has a lot of those kids that she knew in high school and in the band, and, it’s like, the band doesn’t have like, in high school. It’s kind of like, oh, you’re in bands. Like, it’s not like the cool thing to do or whatever.

I think for most high schools, but like, like people like yourself, like you, like the careers that you can have after that and stuff. It’s so fascinating, and really cool experiences that you get to have, from what you have from your talents.

It’s always, I think, in most high schools, sports is the inverse thing to do. Now, choir and band are not something that the cool kids I guess only get involved in, but if you love it, you just do it, and you stick with it. And I guess if it ever becomes cool, it’s like, maybe a bonus or a byproduct. But you just gotta love music man. And that’s why you do it.

And it’s weird that it’s not cool in high school, though, right? Because like, as, as adults, or anybody that’s doing it professionally, like you’re in love with like that, that band or that person or whatever, right? But for some reason, in high school, it’s just not the cool thing.

But it’s funny, it goes in and out of being cool, right? And it depends on what you’re doing. Because I remember, it was like really cool when I was in college, and I was able to play in the bars. And then after college, my buddies were getting jobs.

And I was like, on the road in a van with a bunch of dudes.  200 shows a year and it was like, not cool again. But regardless of that, you just if it’s cool the morning you wake up, you smile about it, and you’re grateful. But even when it’s not cool, it’s just some it’s just what I do. It’s just like what I do.

What does music mean to you?

I mean, it’s my life, and it’s the number one way that I’d say I get emotionally moved is through music and through creating music and the show energy that, I’m able to have with people when I play, man, it’s literally an energetic force coming out of speakers and wavelengths, sound waves coming through and they just I think they affect our emotions in a way that’s like divine.

And I know that sounds really cheesy, but, but I think it’s proof that God exists. Music is one of those things. 

That’s cool. What I like about music is I’m always like, fascinated by people who are super talented and are able to do things like what you do. It’s like one of those things like I wish I could sing I wish I could play guitar and that sort of stuff. I think it’s really cool what musicians are able to create. 

I mean, really creating anything is awesome, though that’s true. I’ve been reading Rick Rubin’s book, and it’s kind of like a coffee table read. It’s anecdotal. It’s sort of like a page at a time I forget the title of the book, to be honest, so just called Rick Rubin’s book.

But I don’t know who Rick Rubin is. He’s like a legendary producer, okay. And he’s got these very unconventional methods. Sort of like, the kind of guy who might have a musician be exhausted coming into the studio, for example, to try and get a more vulnerable take out of them, or just unconventional sort of ideas.

And he will profess himself that he doesn’t have any musical knowledge whatsoever. He just knows human beings. And in the book, he talks about creativity and how it applies to everything and the principles that he applies in the studio with his artists are really universal and can be applied by the real estate agent or by an architect or salesman, there’s creativity and everything that we do.


Richie Hume | How Technology Changed the Music Industry
Creativity is coming up with an idea and making it happen. And I think that not enough people think of it that way. And they think about it as just drawing or music or acting or, but there’s art and everything.

That’s true. So what goes into creating a song? How long does that process take like walk me through that for anybody that hasn’t experienced that before?

Oh, man, it’s so different for everybody. I’ve had songs that I’ve written in a day, and I’ve had songs that I’ve written in, over the course of 10 years. Just an idea, or a riff that you had in the bank forever, and you finally decided to act on it and built it piecemeal at a time.

But if you want to know just like kind of the standard process of recording a song, you would, I’d say, the latest tune I did, for example, I wrote it in I demoed a guitar track at home and put a vocal track over it.

And then I brought it into the studio, and found a producer, I’m working with Peter Klatt, who is known for his work in Candlebox. And we pulled together our favorite musicians in the area, and you track drums first, and then put the guitars over it and then put the bass over it and then write the vocal melodies, refine the vocals, and then send it off to mix, and mixing is when they refine the sounds of all the tracks and make it really cohesive and really cleaned and polished. And maybe they beefed it up a little bit to make the song sound really good. And that’s sort of the standard process. I’d say.

 How long does that is? I’m sure the time takes it’s just different for each one, right?

We’ve been chipping away at it. And this last song, it’s almost done has been, I think we started on it about three and a half weeks ago.  And there’s been a lot of hours put into it. These days, I  don’t think we’re going to release a record. I think we’ll go with singles. But, it’s, for example, that this one, this latest song we’ve been working on, it’s been like a three and a half week. Probably all in, I’d say it’s gonna be like 6570 hours. For one song for one song.

What starts a song? Is it a melody? Or is it the lyrics?

It changes and I go through phases. I would say most recently, it’s a guitar riff. And then a concept. So it’s like the meaning of a guitar riff and a concept. So I’ll be driving, and I’ll think I’ll hear a phrase, or think of a phrase, or I’ll be talking to a friend on the phone and something will hit me. And I log mentally that concept that I really love, or that I gravitate toward.

And then I sort of bank these things up. Maybe I make a voice memo, maybe I make a little melody recording, or a little note. And then I’ll be in my studio just playing guitar or maybe riffing at soundcheck, or just noodling on the couch on my guitar, and I’ll come up with a riff and then if that vibe of the riff matches one of the ideas I got, then it’s just off to the races after that.

That’s pretty cool. What are challenges in the music business like?

Oh, man, how much time have you got?

I would say one of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the changes in the industry, usually brought on by technology. And, man, the new music industry, there are a lot of upsides to it. But there are a lot of downsides in that it’s a lot less simple, I think than it used to be.

It’s not that it used to be easier, per se, but I think the path, the paths, you could take, I think used to be a lot more linear than they are now. And I think with ever-changing technology, there’s just a million different ways you can go. In today’s music industry, it’s hard to really refine a clear path or vision. In today’s industry, if that makes sense.

So how has like, technology changed music?

As a general term, Or is it as a general theme, I should say, technology is taken music more and more from the physical to the digital. So there was a time when bands and this is before my time, unfortunately, I would love to live during this time. But there was a time when bands sold records, vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, physical products, no units.

And then Napster came along and put music on the internet. And for a while there, people were downloading it illegally. And the music industry freaked out. And then it went to iTunes, which was a pretty solid format for musicians to thrive. And then it went to streaming and streaming. I mean, it may as well be like Napster is back. Oh, which is easier to get? One cent per stream.

Oh, really?   

I’ve heard it’s pretty low.  It’s like any money you just have to have millions and millions and millions of streams, millions and millions of streams. And basically, a song is like an advertisement to get people to come out and see you live or buy your merch.     ,

Is that how they make it? I mean, I guess if you’re not like one of the top musicians like is are you making money like live performances?

Live performances, syncing is a big deal now, which is like getting music, movies, and television to pick up your song. That’s like, kind of the new. I want to say it’s like, the new thing that a lot of musicians are striving for now is to get a sync deal. Selling merch is a big one.

So if you’re like a band out on the road, and you’re like a conventional touring band, selling merch, but, I’d say just the biggest change has been just taking music from the physical to the digital and now AI is Coming along, and, it’s gonna be a whole new thing.

I want to dive into that for a second. But before that, is music more competitive now because of technology and streaming and that sort of stuff than what it used to be.

This is going to be another bit of upsides and downsides, right? Yes, it’s much more competitive. There’s like, I’m not going to pretend I know the number. But it’s a staggering amount of songs that go to stream every single day, I think it’s like, multiple hundreds of 1000s of songs hit streaming platforms every day, new songs new songs. So in that, it’s way more competitive. And it’s very, very, very hard to make a living off of original music.

But it also gives everybody a chance to put music out there, have it be heard, and maybe, make some money from it, or it’s not all about money. But, or get some recognition for it. Or it gives somebody the chance to make something amazing in their home studio and put it out and have it be heard.

So there are upsides to it, and that you didn’t need to, you don’t need to anymore, get this elusive record deal and go into a major studio with 1000s and 1000s. And 1000s, of doors overhead, that could only be funded by an entity larger than you and your band. You can make this amazing stuff. And you’re, all it takes is an amazing song, and you can make it in your room. And put it out and have an advertise it and push it through social media and hopefully get it to hit an algorithm and people will hear it. So that’s an upside.

I can see that. But it also creates more competition, right? There’s more opportunity.

So, AI, I guess is mainstream, like relatively new? Like, there’s been different avenues for AI for quite some time. But how has AI changed? Or how do you see it changing music even into the future?

Well, it’s hard to answer that question. It’s so new. It’s, I’d say it’s this thing right now, that is scaring the heck out of musicians. And most musicians are probably afraid of the changes it’s going to bring, but some are like it could also bring amazing changes. But I’d say things that I could places I could see it going the cliff notes would be like generic music is going to be in huge trouble. So like kind of the cookie cutter, Nashville songs you hear, like a lot of the popular country stuff I’d say, and a lot of just pop music, and sort of like if you’re in CVS, those songs you hear that are kind of stock, which I love many of those songs, they’re going to be in trouble because AI can write the AI is going to be able to write those songs.

And so songwriters I think are going to be in trouble. And then from there. I mean, I heard an Oasis song the other day that other day with Liam Gallagher’s voice on it that Oasis didn’t write.

Oh, really?

And it sounded so and it sounded like one of the most killer Oasis songs I’ve ever heard.  So now you’re getting this strange territory of like, people looking into licensing out their voices so that regular folk like me, and my friends can take their voice and use it through AI to make a song, So like Grimes is licensing out her voice so that if you’re at home and you make a techno beat, you can put her voice onto it.

So crazy.

So that’s the next wave that I think a lot of us are intrigued and afraid by.

So because I think again, like it makes it it’s more competitive, right? Because you don’t necessarily have to have like, maybe, 10,000 plus hours into your craft or whatever, to kind of create something.

But yes, and there’s a big plus, in my opinion, a plus side here right? Now they’re on the pros and cons team. I think that people will always crave human connection. And music is one of the integral ways to establish a human connection through sound. And AI artists, AI voices can’t connect with their fans.

They are not real people who can’t perform live, they can’t perform live. Well. A hologram of mercury can come out but people will crave human connection through music. And I think it’s going to open the door for maybe like a really cool punk rock counterculture where there’s an embracing of bands that are doing it for real live without the assistance of AI and you’re already seeing it with people wanting to see bands who aren’t using BS backing tracks and stuff like that.

I think that that is going to be something that’s going to happen. And, it makes my job just like a ballroom entertainer, right? Like, I’m not a rock star, I play mostly covers and stuff like that, but it’s going to make my job really important because ultimately, I’m able at my gigs to facilitate human connection. And that’s really important to me, and I think it’s going to make the roles of myself and my colleagues in this area. More important than ever. So, something I’m optimistic about,

I think you nailed it right there. I think that’s a really good point. I think anybody any business that is, sort of threatened by AI or technology for whatever reason. It goes back to the human connection in that interaction.

There’s always going to be people like a small percentage of people that are going to they’re going be okay with without that are okay, using AI or some form of technology and not having that human interaction. But for the, I think majority of the population majority of people, that relationship that we have with one another is going to be extremely important and more important than anything else that comes along.

And, man, I think that that’s like a broad theme right now. I think that people are recognizing how glued we all are to our phones, and I’m guilty, man. I’m like the worst sometimes.

But I know that I feel worse when I’m on and all the time.  I know that I feel much better when I’m outside and playing music with my friends. And I know that I put on in a musical sense. I know that when I put on a Led Zeppelin record, and I hear John Bonham strums Jimmy Page’s guitar and Robert Plant, Ripon vocals.

I  know that that feels way cooler to me than some synthetic garbage that’s coming out now. Like that, rock and roll is music and great music of all genres. It’s just it’s a way for us all to connect and feel something real. And I think that in a world where things are becoming more and more synthetic and manufactured by technology, I think that that’s gonna rise up.

I like that. Where do you play? Where can people find you to listen to your music?

I play all over the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area. And hopefully, try to expand in the next few years by putting a plan together. My music is on Spotify. Hume Hu M E. If you type that in, and you see a guy with brown hair. Medium size, that’s me. And I’m on Instagram, Facebook, social media. If you type in Hume music official, you’ll find me everywhere.

And then one last question for you. When you’re not playing music or you’re not playing a gig, let’s say. What are you doing? What do you like to do for fun?  

Me and my fiance who was on this podcast. Yes. Jamie Langlois soon to be Jamie Hume. We are fitness gym rats. So I’m in the gym.

And I love that it keeps me sane. We’re walking our beautiful dog all the time. And, man, just enjoying what Florida has to offer. We live in paradise. So, I’m grateful for that. And that’s what I like to that’s what I like to do absorb sunshine and hit the gym.




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Richie Hume | How Technology Changed the Music Industry
We Love Local
July 27, 2023
Categories: Podcast