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Promotion in Motion: How GoPro Helped Scott Wilkie Take his Album to #1

In January of 2016, Sweetwater’s Chuck Surack, invited jazz pianist Scott Wilkie and his band to tour the Sweetwater Campus, and suggested that the group check out Sweetwater Studios.

When they walked into the studio, Scott saw a familiar friend. “Then I found out that Sweetwater Studios has the same piano I have at home — a Yamaha C7 Grand,” explained Scott. “That’s when I knew I had to record a few songs live with the whole band.”

Scott’s visit to Sweetwater Studios turned into a seven song, three hour live recording session. Scott says that this project was the first time he’d successfully captured the energy of his live band on a recording, focusing on single takes, no click tracks and a live-in-the studio feel. “This was the first time I’ve successfully captured live band energy on a recording,” said Scott. So the group, with Scott, Dave Hill (guitar), Jeff Olson (drums), Monette Marino (percussion), and Nathan Brown (bass), returned to the Sweetwater Studios in August of 2016 to record 4 more songs.

At the suggestion of a friend, Scott bought several GoPros and borrowed others from friends to bring along to the session. In total, three standard GoPros and four GoPro HEROs were mounted on tripods and boom mic stands, slipped inside the grand piano, and mounted on a roaming DSLR. Scott would put the footage to good use. “We posted a few of the videos my website and on Facebook to generate some buzz ahead of the release,” says Scott.

The response was immediate. The videos were viewed and shared at an astounding rate, exceeding Scott’s expectations. On release day, StudioLive rocketed to the Top 5 on iTunes. Since release, it has also been Amazon’s #1 hot new release.

But Scott isn’t done with the footage yet. He is planning to drop an iTunes video album and a DVD of the full album sessions in spring of 2017.

One impromptu recording session. Seven GoPro cameras. Infinite promotion opportunities. The next time you head into the studio, why not take a couple GoPros along? You never know what you’ll set in motion.

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