Interview with George Kallis

George was born in a musical family, although not in a professional context. His grandfather played the violin and sung in choirs, while his mom played the piano and performed concerts with arias from opera.

Tell us about your latest release, what's it about?

This is a soundtrack for a heartfelt documentary called Sadan Hanim, directed by my friend and visionary director Goksel Gulensoy. Goksel followed his mother in law for a few years at the first moment she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and we are shown the progress of Alzheimer's disease through the patient's long term memories. The title song is called 'River of Life' which got a lot of positive response and comments from audiences.

How did you record it?

I created the mock-up score in my studio and we had a wonderful string orchestra with Budapest Scoring record it via source connect from Hungary. My friend Burak Besir is on ethnic flutes and Joy Adams on solo cello. River of Life was performed by the emotive voice of Mairead Macmullan.

How did you distribute it?

This is the second time I self distribute and I went through Distrokid. It was quite a smooth process and up to now seems to be working really well.

How did you promote it?

I used some Facebook ads for 4-5 days and of course Songwhip which provided the necessary links to all the major music stores.

The music industry is in a state of flux right now, where do you see it heading?

I think it's an exciting time for us artists because for the first time there are means to release and promote music the way we want to without being tied into long-term contracts with a record label. You only need to spend $50 dollars on distribution, not $50,000, and no-one can tell you not to. I am not saying label contracts are not good - they sometimes get you there faster, but now we have the choice as opposed to 10-20 years ago where unless you were signed it was difficult to get released.

What's the most important thing missing from Songwhip?

Unless I missed it, a little customization 👨‍🎨

Which artist do you look up to the most and why?

I love a lot of rock/metal artists but since I am in the film business I listen to a lot of composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Miklos Rocza, John Williams, James Newton Howard and Elliot Goldenthal.

What artist tools/services can't you live without?

To be honest I have not been using many tools in terms of promotion etc I have to get better at it. But practically when writing scores I could not live without Logic Pro and my 6Tb of sample libraries! :) 

What is your advice to other indie artists to help fund their work/produce music?

Find your niche audience and target, target, target.  Communicate with them on a one to one basis. Nowadays 50% of our time goes to music and 50% on marketing/communication.