Jeeni Blog

Helping the next generation of talent to build a global fanbase

Jeeni Spotlight - Mel Croucher

/ By Admin
Jeeni Spotlight - Mel Croucher

 

This week marks the start of a new blog series here at Jeeni.com, where we shine our spotlight on remarkable Jeeni people.

Our first Jeeni Spotlight shines on our very own creator, Mel Croucher.

Mel is an icon with a decades-long career, architect, journalist and founder of the British computer game industry, he has released countless albums and books, and has spent the last few years creating the free music platform Jeeni.com, where we have bridged the gap between fan and artist for a seamless musical experience.

Mel is best known for creating Deus Ex Machina, a ground-breaking and innovative computer game that was far ahead of it’s time, bringing together music and gameplay in one effortless accomplishment. Although set in a dystopian machine-led world, the game is an allegory of Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man. Throughout the game, the player experiences each age from  conception to the afterlife, including an old and feeble creature on the verge of death. What was especially fascinating about Deus is the way it was designed meant the music synced with each stage perfectly, something that was unique to the gaming world at the time of it’s release forty years ago. Mel wrote and performed all the music in Deus and has since had a lucrative career selling his own music, including albums Pimania and Hang Loose.

Counting luminaries such as Sir Christopher Lee, Doctor Who himself, Jon Pertwee, and Steve Jobs’ mentee Kelli Richards among his collaborators, Mel has had a passion for music since he was a small child. Creating a platform for undiscovered artists to sell and share their music without being exploited by big names like Spotify and Apple Music has been a wonderfully fresh new take on the world of streaming, with Mel becoming a pioneer in music sharing as well as in the computer game industry. Jeeni is ‘a multi-channel streaming service for independent musicians and performers, providing a unique showcase to put undiscovered talent in front of a global audience’ says Jeeni’s US managing director.

Mel is a force to be reckoned with and has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business such as Eminem, Prince, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.

Mel is not one to name-drop, however this Jeeni writer thinks it is important to highlight that Mel has worked with many more music industry veterans discretely, like Phil Collins and U2, as well as big names in other parts of the celebrity world such as the comedian Frankie Howard, who voiced The Defect Police in Deus.

Beginning his career as an architect, Mel has gone on to create video games, written articles and in recent years has changed his focus to revamping the music industry with Jeeni.com alongside our CEO Shena Mitchell. He has faced many challenges in his glittering career, such as Deus being well ahead of its time, as well as more physical issues such as recovering from an accident that left him in a wheelchair for some time (Mel would now recommend calling a locksmith when you lock yourself out of your house, and don’t try to climb onto your own kitchen roof, leap towards your bathroom window and end up breaking yourself). As a writer, performer and creator, Mel is a genius. As an acrobat, less so.

To find out more about Mel’s exploits as a video game creator, working for celebrities, and painful accidents, check out his book Deus Ex Machina: The Best Game You Never Played In Your Life or his website www.melcroucher.net.

Here at Jeeni, we are so excited to welcome undiscovered artists to our platform that breaks down the barrier between fan and artist to create a unique relationship and allowing for easy interaction.

How does Jeeni support artists?

JEENI is a multi-channel platform for original entertainment on demand. We’re a direct service between creatives and the global audience.

·       We give creatives, independent artists and performers a showcase for their talent and services. And they keep 100% of everything they make.

·       We empower our audience and reward them every step of the way.

·       We promise to treat our members ethically, fairly, honestly and with respect.

·       Join us at Jeeni.com

 

01
Apr

MUSIC STARS JOIN NEW TALENT TO BEAT COVID

On April 10th seventeen acts from around the world will beat the pandemic restrictions and join together to perform in a virtual festival called JAM, and they guarantee complete unknowns will get equal billing with world-famous headliners. Grammy Award nominee Barrington Levy contributes from Jamaica, in defiance of the Covid virus. Spanish youngster BlueVein will multi-track his own backing from his bedroom. Number One Billboard Dance Chart star Zeeteah Massiah will appear in her own spectacular James Bond movie sequence. Indie rocker How Mean will perform from his grandmother's house in California. Daisy Chute, the lead singer with platinum-selling supergroup All Angels, performs live from her home in London with newcomers on the other side of the world in Australia. Grammy-Award winner Skyler Jett, whose Record Of The Year with Celine Dion for Titanic is the highest-grossing movie theme of all time, will perform his latest track with complete unknowns dancing in lockdown on every continent in the world. And more artists will beam in their contributions from Detroit to Brighton, from Northern Ireland to Rhode Island. The producer of JAM is Mel Croucher, veteran founder of the UK video-games industry, and creator of the world's first million-user viral marketing campaign. Mel says, "Members of my team have made it to the top. We've been responsible for over 500 million record sales over the years, we've pioneered the online music revolution, and now we're giving something back to help unsigned independents and new talent in an industry that all but collapsed in the face of Covid. We've got Paul McCartney's Wings Over Europe double-decker bus ready to roll out as a mobile live venue, and we can't even think about using it until the crisis eases. So we've gone online. This is our third online festival, and by far the biggest. And it's absolutely free." Mel goes on to explain why it's called JAM. "The Festival is a collaboration between three organisations. The J is for my own company Jeeni, where performers showcase their talent and keep 100% of everything they make. The A is for AmplifyX, based in Los Angeles, where you invest in artists you believe in. And the M is for MultiView Media, an amazing streaming platform where fans get to be the director and control the action." The JAM Festival is at 12 noon Los Angeles time, 8pm London time on Saturday April 10th 2021, free to live stream on: https://mvm.multiviewmedia.co.uk/jamfestival For further information etc... jeeni.com amlifyx.com multiviewmedia.co.uk

03
Mar

Team Jeeni- 4 months today since Lockdown.

LOCKDOWNThe impact of the pandemic crisis on the Jeeni project continues to be remarkably positive, not least because we have genuinely been able to help hard-hit artists and performers. The decision to open Jeeni for free subscriptions to all-comers in response to lockdown has seen mass sign-ups via our website and online community.  Yesterday, Jeeni returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. Jeeni founding director Mel Croucher says, “We’re ahead of our original schedule, but there’s still so much more to do. We need to scale our online platform globally now and build our mass artist showcases to hit all our targets, and give our new artists the recognition they deserve.” We have already reached 90% of our target so if you want to see our pitch click HERE. Shena Mitchell, Jeeni founding director, says: "I have never worked so hard in my life, but it's actually been a welcomed distraction. I am fortunate that I have been working from home for many years, so no change there, and fortunate to be living in a house with an office and a garden. Living on my own 24/7 for 120 days has been a challenge. Working with musicians and performers in lockdown has been a massive privilege, listening to music all day and watching magical performances is a treat for me, as up until 2 years ago I was mainly working in academia and public sector fundraising for start-ups, which I loved. But working with Team Jeeni creatives is a dream come true. Most importantly, during this time of lockdown we have been able to reduce the cost of acquisition from £3 an artist to zero, and has again proved the concepts successfully pioneered in our Directors' previous marketing campaigns. We are connecting, collaborating, sharing and supporting each other, while we have fun and make a real difference, and we are delivering well. We now have over 27,000 unsigned artists waiting to be uploaded, with over a 1,000 new artists joining every day. As predicted, once the flood gates opened we would have plenty of content and could easily reach 100,000 videos relatively fast at no cost. However, we need to carefully balance our success against storage and streaming costs and that is why we have decided to relaunch Jeeni as a paid subscription service."  Jeeni aim to raise £100k for 2.4% equity with a pre-money valuation of £4million. Jeeni is needed more now than ever and we have proven that the demand is high. Jeeni Generation-4 will only support 100,000 videos, so we must now embrace Generation-5 as we head for global roll-out. TEAM  We are pleased to welcome five new members to Team Jeeni. Andrea Harding: Social Media. Dedicated to reaching out to new audiences, spreading the word about Jeeni artists, and helping build their fanbases. Sharron Goodyear: Image Maker. Photographer of the Year Winner, Jeeni official photographer for artists, performers, promotions and events, specialising in online virtual shoots.  Sammie Venn: Writer, Columnist and Blogger. Syndicating Jeeni news, interviewing and promoting our members, and spearheading our poetry and drama channels. Louis Mitchell: Video Wrangler. Identifying up-and-coming unsigned musicians, performers and dancers focused on Asian Hip Hop, Grunge and Rap. Lizzie Crow. Popular presenter for the BBC and top commercial broadcasters, and our go-to expert for voice-overs, podcasts, jingles and spoken word channels.  Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

10
Jun

A Kiss from a Rose – Why the Rose is such a powerful symbol in the arts. By Sammie Venn.

Here at Jeeni.com we celebrate and support all musicians and performers, and poetry has its own dedicated channel for artists and performers to showcase their work and earn 100% of their sales, ticketing, merchandise and donations. Last week Jeeni returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. We have been very encouraged with the positive response as we reached our target in just 6 days and now overfunding If you want to see our pitch click HERE. Today we showcase Sammie Venn as a very talented and creative writer. The Rose has long been considered a symbol of the divine feminine; when my daughter and I moved to our home in East Sussex a few years ago we bought a “Coeur Rose”, a “Love Rose”, in hope that it would manifest exactly that. Consequently it has never flowered when it should, in fact it has blossomed during the oddest of times, throughout harsh frosty winters as well as scorching hot summers. I even found two perfectly formed flowers one New Year’s eve under a dusting of snow. Suffice to say I see it as a strong and firmly rooted plant that can spring to life in the most adverse conditions, In Tarot a rose is seen as a symbol of balance, it expresses new beginnings, hope and promise. I see our magical plant as something that has stood the test of time. It is full of boundless wisdom and copious richness, whilst her petals answer my prayers the thorns protect the splendour it bestows. So why is the rose such a powerful motif in the arts? It appears as a mark of love, beauty and virtue within every creative genre. It is a recurring theme in ancient literature and features in the greatest love poems of our time. Christina Rossetti, William Blake, J.B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Rumi, Charles Bukowski all herald the rose in their prose as nature’s metaphorical flower of Love. Roses have symbolised God at work, the scent has been aligned to that of an angel and the Virgin Mary has also been called the “mystic rose”, “the rose without thorns”. Clearly its power as a plant is multifarious, from religious connotations to passionate exchanges, sincere friendship and spiritual holiness, the rose can mirror any human sentiment. The Ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the Goddess of Love. However they have also been used to communicate messages without words. It is not just Love that the rose represents but also confidentiality. The Latin term “sub rosa” translates as “under the rose” referring to the notion that something is told in secret. When a confidential matter was debated behind closed doors in Rome, the wild flower was placed outside to indicate that a private matter was being discussed. It is not just literature that celebrates the rose, singer-song writers have immortalised the exquisite flower in their lyrics for centuries. Without doubt it is an iconic plant and holds a plethora of meanings depending on its colour. A crimson flower is for lovers, it signifies enduring and life-long passion. The velvety petals of a lilac bloom represent enchantment and love at first sight. A white rose reflects humility and innocence whilst a yellow bud expresses friendship and joy. Stems with pink flowers can be given to express gratitude, appreciation and admiration whilst those with an orange hue can portray enthusiasm and desire. Every mortal emotion can be aligned to this beautiful woody perennial. There are over 300 species and tens of thousands of cultivars, whether they are trailing, climbing or standing tall as shrubs, the rose comes armed with prickles and thorns making them strangely more beautiful in many ways. Leigh Bardugo in “The Language of Thorns” wrote that “Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns”. This seems like a perfect metaphor for the life we live. From Bette Midler to Janis Joplin, form Poison to Westlife, the rose has featured as a powerful overture in many songs and genres. It has been idolised for both its natural beauty as well as its harsher, darker side.  Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”  was released in 1994 and again in 1995 when it appeared in the film “Batman Forever”. 25 years later it’s still a song that sends shivers down my spine, I can even hear it loud and clear in my head as I’m writing this article. But it’s the lyrics of Bette Midler that resonate like a thunder bolt to the heart. Harmony is not always achieved when everyone sings the same note. It is what lies between these musical tones that produces accord. The rhythm and rhyme that they ensue creates a melody that dances to its own beat and this verse from Midler’s “The Rose” does exactly that. The lyrics are haunting, rich, joyful, romantic, wild and intoxicating, just like the rose itself. “When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too longAnd you think that love is only for the lucky and the strongJust remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snowsLies the seed, that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose”. Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com