Portland production company, studio rally to get local musicians national exposure

Production company Knack Factory does a shoot with Olympic gold medalist Seth Westcott. (Photo courtesy of Alex Steed)

Production company Knack Factory does a shoot with Olympic gold medalist Seth Westcott. (Photo courtesy of Alex Steed)

Portland production company Knack Factory is partnering with High Output Studios and music blogger Victoria Karol to help some local musicians get a shot at some national exposure.

It’s a cool way local businesses are rallying in support of Portland’s and Maine’s vibrant music scene in a way I haven’t seen since internationally renowned designer Glen Halliday started devoting his talents to creating local band T-shirts and other merchandise.

Here’s what’s happening: National Public Radio hosts a series of intimate in-studio musical performances it calls its Tiny Desk series.

NPR is seeking submissions from performers who are interested in featured slots, and the Tiny Desk team will reportedly pick at least one musical act to be awarded support for a nationwide tour.

It’s a great opportunity for national exposure, but the competition could be fierce.

So Knack Factory and High Output, with coordination by Karol, are teaming up to help Maine musicians put their best foot forward.

“It is a rare opportunity for independent artists to have access to the caliber of video production that Knack Factory offers — more than just a submission for the Tiny Desk Contest, each artist’s video also becomes a valuable asset for marketing and social media.” said Karol, who blogs at the site Hot Trash Portland, in a statement. “I’m incredibly excited about the artists participating in this project; some of my favorite local acts are among them. It will be amazing to see how the talented team at Knack Factory will translate their big sounds to this small, desk-sized stage.”

The Knack Factory team is volunteering its efforts to the cause, while High Output is making the shoots possible by offering studio space for what a Knack Factory release called “a considerable discount.”

The eight musicians slated to be featured by the collaborative include singer-songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson, psych-rocker Jeff Beam and alternative pop/rock project SeepeopleS.

“This is going to be a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to doing it,” said Knack Factory partner Alex Steed, who you may also recognize from his popular blog here on the BDN site. “Since the submission deadline isn’t until February, if there is interest and someone out there who wants to offer material support for another round, we’d love to start planning for another session.”

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.