Recording Mentor Johny Fischer on Branding Oneself Authentically
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Johny Fischer aka Johny Rocketz (Denver, CO) is a mentor for both the Recording Connection and Film Connection. A modern day Renaissance man and artist in his own right who works in both film and video production and music, Johny gets the students who extern with him working on music videos and in-studio where they’re learning the ins and out of what it takes to make music and chart one’s course by being entrepreneurial, driven, and multifaceted in one’s talents.
Johny doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to helping hardworking, committed students get going on real world projects and learning what it takes to see their visions from concept to completion. Under his mentorship recent Film Connection grad William Ninivaggi shot and edited Black Pegasus’ music video “Gauntlet.” And that’s not all. Black Pegasus’ recent release “Idolatry” which features Madchild & Mr Biscuit, has more than 1.5 million views to date and was shot and edited by multiple Film Connection students: Alex Willey, Rachel Sobson, Leticia Rodriguez, Ryan Morris and William Ninivaggi.
We recently connected with Johny who graciously peeled back the curtain and offered some extremely useful advice on something many DIYs and up-and-comers find pretty mystifying—branding. So dig in and get Johny’s insights on savvy, authentic branding. Enjoy!
FOR ARTISTS, BUILDING A BRAND IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE:
“In today’s day in age, especially right now, everything is contingent on your branding and who you are and building that identity, so artists need to think about branding as being really important and something that they need to adopt if they’re going to take their art seriously… I went on tour with MMG, that’s Maybach Music Group…Guaranteed my group had their branding together. Our manager made sure it happened, otherwise without that it would be limiting your success and where you’re trying to take it…So yeah, it’s definitely important. When your branding is packaged properly, you start winning people over and you start getting a bigger following, a bigger presence, because you’re that much more out there, you know?”
AUTHENTIC BRANDING THAT SHOWS WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT IS A WORTHWHILE ENDEAVOR:
“Most people find themselves running into the wall of, ‘Who am I? What am I about?’ And if you’re dealing with a publicist and they ask you, ‘What is your bio?’ and they send you these questions and they, ‘Who are you? What are you about? In a sentence, what defines you as an artist?’ you’ll find yourself with these questions, and you find a lot of artists giving the same regurgitated answer because they haven’t really thought about it… Finding out who you are is a big part of being an artist, because if you don’t know who you are, your music can stand for yourself, but at the end of the day if your image doesn’t match your audio content, there’s a big detach there, you know? Branding is that staple that bridges the two together to make things make sense and make a real brand. What’s going to engage with that listener is if your branding is good. By that I mean, if they hear a song and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to Shazam this. Oh, it’s on iTunes. That’s cool. Is it on YouTube? Is it on SoundCloud? And they’re going to go to these platforms and look to see and hear what more that this artist has to offer. They want to learn more about this person and kind of involve themselves in knowing who this person is and really become a fan.”
JOHNY BRAGS ON STUDENTS’ SUCCESSES:
Johny’s former extern Mark Doster went on to win the coveted Award of Merit from the Accolade Global Film Competition for his suspense horror short “God Rest Your Soul.” Another star student who impressed Johny is recent Film Connection graduate William Ninivaggi, who racked up considerable experience under his direction. “The last 10 projects he learned how to do it so well that I let him DP every music video because he was that good. We did a music video with another famous rapper (Chino XL). He shot the whole music video…He did the whole thing himself and it came out phenomenal. He learned so fast. I was just amazed…So he’s definitely a success story.”
ON WHY HE CHOOSES TO MENTOR FOR US:
“My father was a teacher, and I feel like he took that teaching that he taught every day and he taught me as a kid. And I think that just stayed with me and manifested into me doing it, me being a teacher to other people and really feeling passionate about what I do, and being able to express that passion to someone else who’s trying to come up.”
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