HOLLYWOOD — Dave Stewart, longtime musician (part of the ’80s pop duo Eurythmics with Annie Lennox), music producer (Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Stevie Nicks) and TV creator (he is the executive producer of ABC’s Malibu Country with Reba McEntire) is also a major tech-geek.
We caught up with Stewart at his production company here, where he greeted us with a cool looking video camera in his hand.
8mm video camera
The Fuuvi Bee 8mm retro camera ($80) is a teeny little device that captures vintage-style footage on an SD memory card. “This is the tiniest little camera you’ve ever seen. It automatically turns your digital filming into 8mm cinefilm. There’s only one look. It’s not like an app where you can choose different looks. The lens is a cheap lens, so it’s a bit impressionistic. People don’t realize it’s real. They think you have a toy cigarette lighter.”
Stewart is a long-time photographer whose portraits of musicians (Jagger, Bob Dylan, Joss Stone, Sinead O’Connor) have exhibited in top galleries. What’s his camera of choice for portrait shoots these days? “I would take the 8mm camera, to document it, plus a Canon 5D Mark II….I’d also be tempted to bring along a film camera.”
Music today vs. yesterday
“It’s easier now for many more people to make music in their bedroom with (Apple’s) GarageBand or other music programs and create tracks that sound really good. Writing songs is equally difficult.”
Reaching music fans today
“To connect to the people who might be passionate about the music, I’d use all the various social networks and make sure that it was constantly fed. I wouldn’t just say `buy our record.’ Have a constant to and fro with the audience. `Here’s a remix we just did. A limited edition.’ The future will be of complete…connectivity between the artist and their audience.”
Making money with online music
“The world has changed beyond anyone’s wild imagination for consuming music. For the listener, and the audience, that’s great. Now, I can go out and get all this music through a subscription.”
The problem is artists getting to benefit, Stewart says. “The companies that create these services, they don’t pay the artists, they pay the record labels. The labels were bad enough paying you when they had physical product. Now they’re being bombarded with micro-payments, which they cut up and divide among the 186 artists they represent. I know that Spotify has paid money for me, but it’s gone to the record label. I’ve yet to see it from the record companies.”