Meet the MusicWorks Panelists: Chloe Chafe, Daniel Bennett, and Steve Sladkowski

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Social media is one of the most useful tools in marketing your music and engaging your fans. At a time when our screens are saturated with ads and attention-seekers, being strategic about social media content is more important than ever. In our next DIY Series session on November 22, Fan Engagement & Social Media Strategies, we'll hear from Synonym Art Consultation's Chloe Chafe, Transit22's Daniel Bennett, and PUP's Steve Sladkowski, who are mastering the wizardry of fan engagement with their DIY approach to social media marketing and talk methods, ideas, and tips for solid fan response.

Chloe Chafe is the co-founder and acting co-director of both Synonym Art Consultation and Wall-to-Wall Mural + Culture Festival. She has worked in many capacities of Manitoba’s arts and culture sector; as assistant manager of Studio 393, event coordinator for Arts & Disability Network, stage managing for Big Fun Festival, as well as providing curatorial assistance with nùna (now) Icelandic Convergence Festival. She is currently completing her undergraduate degree in art history at the University of Manitoba. Chafe also has a career as a professional visual artist in many different mediums and has shown work at The Graffiti Gallery, the REEL PRIDE Film Festival, Rip/Torn Magazine, and currently performs with the vinyl-collective The Vinyl Salon. 

Daniel Bennett aka Transit22 is an Independent Music Award winner and Western Canadian Music Award nominated rapper, a Calgary poet laureate finalist, and a winner of a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award. He has released six albums which have sold thousands of copies, and has collaborated with Rhymesayers recording artist Grieves, Sims of Doomtree, Astronautalis, Madchild of Swollen Members, and eight-time JUNO Award winner Jann Arden. Transit22 has toured as a headliner several times and has also supported tours of Canada, the United States, and Europe with Doomtree, Sage Francis, Swollen Members, Apathy & Celph Titled, Astronautalis, and Zion I, and has shared stages with internationally recognized names like Mac Miller, Tech N9ne, Murs, Hilltop Hoods, Dirty Heads, Down With Webster, Shad, and 54-40. Transit22 has been selected to showcase at prestigious festivals like SXSW, CMW, and BreakOut West, and has performed live in front of over 200,000 people with a stint as a featured artist on the Calgary Stampede main stage. He has received national media coverage including features on Global TV, CTV, CBC TV, Shaw TV, CBC Radio One, in Maclean's Magazine, and regular MuchMusic rotation of his music videos, which have also gotten substantial support online with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube. Transit22 also operates a free recording studio for youth in Calgary with the Boys & Girls Club.

Steve Sladkowski is a guitarist, improviser and songwriter from Toronto. Although best known for his work as lead guitarist in PUP, he has been known to dabble in bluegrass and experimental music as well. When not on tour giving the people what they want, you can find him crate-digging in local record stores, trying new slow-cooker recipes, or yelling about Toronto sports teams to anyone who will listen.

If you could invite five famous or noted people (past or present) to dinner who would you choose?

Chloe: Sophia Chang, Solange, Amy Goodman, FKA Twigs, Erykah Badu.

Daniel: Dennis Rodman, Jay-Z, Elon Musk, Bill Burr, and Lauryn Hill.

Steve: David Remnick (Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and editor-in-chief of The New Yorker), Simone de Beauvoir (existentialist/feminist philosopher), John Zorn (American composer/saxophonist), Bill Russell (11-time NBA Champion), Sarah Silverman (one of the funniest people on earth).

What’s your hidden talent?

Chloe: Due to my talents and addictions in social media, no talents remain a secret but highly public. 

Daniel: I can kick above my head.

Steve: I'm surprisingly good at making fried chicken.

What is the best praise or advice you’ve received?

Chloe: Stick up for yourself. 

Daniel: That my music was honest and relatable.

Steve: "Playing music is easy; it's figuring out how to do everything else that's the hard part." - Scott Thomson, trombonist / artistic director of the Guelph Jazz Festival

Who was your role model when you were a child?

Chloe: Lara Croft Tomb Raider and/or every female athlete… my adoration for music and art came MUCH later. 

Daniel: Michael Jordan.

Steve: As a child? Hmm... probably Toronto Blue Jays first baseman John Olerud. But as I got a bit older, and started playing the guitar, it was the blind American folk/bluegrass guitarist Doc Watson.

Who is your favourite person or group to follow on social media and why?

Chloe: Dear Journal (@dearjrnl) This group uses their social media platform for sharing stories of female/trans/non-binary artists across the world. They do regular “take overs” that result in so many different dialogues. Not only does this connection happen online but results in a magazine that gets distributed internationally and celebrated with an event bringing folks together. 

Daniel: Tyler The Creator. I'm not the hugest fan of Tyler's music but his branding is incredible so I follow everything he does and try and learn from it. 

Steve: Facebook > Millions of Dead Posers - music-related memes that are so perfect it's almost painful. Twitter > John Lurie (actor/musician/artist) - he is thoroughly engaged in politics but also not afraid to tweet about sports, music, art, and sometimes is just patently absurd. Instagram (account) > Chicago Music Exchange. This one is a must for any/all. Instagram (stories): LeBron James - his stories are both totally inspiring and utterly demoralizing with a total lack of self-seriousness running throughout. The perfect mix for Instagram stories.

Connect with Chloe, Daniel, and Steve at DIY SERIES: Fan Engagement & Social Media Strategies on Nov 22

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