Discover Derek Adam: A Life of Music

Today, we are extremely excited to bring to you a unique story: the
Odyssey of Gigmor Rising Artist Derek Adam. Guitarist, singer,
songwriter, lifelong music lover and entertainer, he performs throughout
New York City at private events, various restaurants and bars, and the
famous Paramount Theatre. We spoke with Derek to learn more about
his work and experiences thus far, and to be able to share with you his
background and some of his plans for the future.


Derek first became engrossed with music when he was in the fifth grade,
but music has been in the family for his whole life. “My father was in a
band and had played guitar for a huge part of his life. I was always
surrounded by music.”

He told us the story of how he knew he wanted to be a musician: “It’s
such a core memory. It kicked me over the edge and got me started. It
was fifth grade, one of the last days of school, and we were blasting
music in our classroom. I think it was Good Charlotte or something…
and I saw this girl I had a huge crush on absolutely rocking out to it and
I was like… I have to learn how to play this stuff.” It wasn’t long after
this moment Derek picked up his first guitar at age 10.

So, What Kind of Music?

In our conversation with him, he told us the vibe of the music he writes
and performs is largely based on his early influences: “My parents were
never shy about playing their favorite records in the house. My father is
a big classic rock and blues guy. So, that’s kind of hardwired into part of
my influence even if I may not even know it at times.”

He told us some additional influences on his guitar playing include
Randy Rhoads, David Gilmore, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, John
Petrucci, Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Richie Kotzen, and Andy
Timmons. For vocal inspiration he pays homage to Chris Cornell, Matt
Shadows, Richie Kotzen, Paul Rodgers, and Chris Stapleton.

But of course, deciding on one’s sound is a dynamic process with plenty
of twists and turns. “It’s a collective kind of having grown up listening
to what my parents listened to and then getting into the guitar virtuosos
of the seventies and eighties up until modern day.” He can pull from his
early training in high school jazz band, study of classical guitar at SUNY
Potsdam, and his early environment and of course his preferences to
form the unique rock fusion coming through hit song “The Circle” on
the 2021 EP “Silver Lining.” His songs have amassed more than 60,000
streams on Spotify alone, and his audience grows every day. He also has
singles “Truth,” (2020) and “The Road I Know” (2022).

Being Your Own Everything:

One of the major topics of our conversation centered around his
experiences with the various responsibilities of being a modern working
musician. He told us, “I certainly wish there were two of me. I think that
the biggest stressor that comes from the seemingly necessary
requirement of having to be on social media.” Being a musician in
today’s world requires a few steps beyond the music one creates. It
requires fluency with an entirely separate skillset sometimes equally or
more important than the art itself: “I have a much easier time writing a
song or playing in front of a couple thousand people than I do getting in
front of a camera and attempting to be “relevant” or “kooky” or
“engaging”…and being so concerned with what’s going to get me all the
views and likes … you know?”

Beyond social media, rising living costs across the country and the
world, and worst of all in New York City, is also a perpetual challenge
for musicians everywhere. Keeping consistent work is an extremely
important element of making a living doing music, and a popular and
consistent act that utilizes the skill set of musicians like Derek are cover
gigs. “I feel like we’re in an age of tribute bands,” he said. Establishing
oneself as an original artist in this environment is exceptionally
challenging. Derek shared that his usual gigs predominantly feature
covers, with a few original pieces mixed in, even if people are coming
specifically to see him play.

“I’d say to be generous, it’s 80/20 when comparing covers to originals in
a live set. I like to think I know how to read the room. If I’m doing a
cover gig where I know that it’s not the time to whip out an original, then
I’m going to keep giving them something that I know they love. But by
the same token, if I have the right audience and the vibe is great then I’ll
decide to play one of my own. If they respond really well to it…I think
that is an effective tactic.”

Looking Forward:

As an in-demand gigging musician and growing artist, the future is
bright for Derek. His music is awesome, his personality is radiant and
he’s a hardworking, dedicated artist who has a very respect-driven
perspective and plenty of creative ideas. He plans on releasing new
music during 2024, so look out for Derek Adam! Find out more about
Derek on his Gigmor profile, or follow him on social media. Stay tuned
for more!

Subscribe to Derek on YouTube

Follow Derek on



Listen to Derek on


MIHI NIHIL, Photo credit: Jenna Hipp Spencer -

Discover MIHI NIHIL: Redefining Artistry with Film

Discover MIHI NIHIL: Redefining Artistry with Film

We are extremely excited to present Gigmor Rising Artist MIHI NIHIL, a Los Angeles-based band that’s redefining the boundaries of music. Even beyond their art, they offer us some extremely potent, crucial lessons about the potential of alternative methods of monetization for all modern artists: collaborating with the film and entertainment industries. We talked with their lead singer, MIHI, to gain some insight into the group and how they work.

Who Are They?

MIHI NIHIL is composed of an incredible foursome of singer Mihi Vox, guitarist Benjamin Montoya, bassist Nick Steinberg, and drummer Adam Alt. MIHI NIHIL is an emerging band self-described as “a melodic sound redolent with nostalgia” and steeped in atmospheric post-punk and rock music. They formed as a group of music-interested friends, just hanging out: “We’ve been friends in other musical circles and we just decided to get together as a way to, you know, to be together and decided, like, let’s just try writing. We all like whiskey.” With their captivating blend of alternative rock, their free-flowing creative process, and their remarkable achievements in the movie space, they are a noteworthy bulb of creativity in the music industry.

According to other reviewers, MIHI NIHIL establishes itself as a compelling blend of musical genres. Press have described MIHI NIHIL as “street poet post-punk meets shoe gazing art rock,” “a darker cow punk/paisley underground vibe,” and “the most beautiful translation of melancholy to music.” But MIHI NIHIL doesn’t fit neatly into any box. Mihi herself discloses, “The music we create is very free-form. We write all together in one room, and it kind of just happens very naturally, almost like a jam. Someone comes up with an idea, and we create music that way together. So, I would say the end result is categorized as alternative rock music, but we dabble in a little bit of post-punk and various other influences.” 

Celebrating Milestones

MIHI NIHIL’s journey has been marked by numerous milestones, including the release of its debut album “MIHI NIHIL” in 2021. Since its release, nearly half of its tracks have been used in feature films. Through these films, their music reached #1 on the Amazon Music charts, #15 on iTunes, and #18 on the NACC most added music charts. Their album was listed in the 2021 Grammy ballot for Best Alternative Music Album. In 2023, they released their single “So Please” at Gigmor’s Showcase at the SXSW Music Festival.

Credit: Tracy Eumont (Gigmor Co-Founder)

Alternative Monetization: Film & TV Placement

MIHI NIHIL is a window into a whole new unique approach that musicians can take in attempting to monetize their work. Many musicians never look past the $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on average Spotify or $0.0013 per stream on Pandora; especially the many artists all over the world who may not have an overwhelming audience from which to financially justify the cost of producing merchandise, generating sponsorships, hosting and booking live shows, or selling physical music. One incredibly interesting way smaller artists can get their start is by writing music for films and television. 

Credit: Jenna Hipp Spencer

MIHI talked with us about her experience with film placement: “So, everyone says like, oh, try to hit up music supervisors, but that really has not proven to be very successful. It ended up that the producer (Adam Lasus) that we used for the first record knew a couple of music supervisors [on film sets, the people responsible for licensing, commissioning, and purchasing music fit for specific elements in the movie] who contacted him for recommendations for specific spots in movies.” These music supervisors often work with a limited budget and don’t have the means to book Led Zeppelin or Blink-182 for every small part of their movie. Instead, they’ll reach out to musicians in the same creative space as what they’re looking for, and ask them to provide music with specific tempos, styles, or other things that will make the music fit their vision. Artists are then paid relative to the amount of music used in the film. This is a significantly more lucrative opportunity for artists than streaming and can have some great tertiary effects due to exposure like MIHI NIHIL experienced.

However, hiccups can disrupt the process. With so many artists out there vying for work, you want to make sure of professionalism, and part of that is ensuring that paperwork is easy for the music supervisors to file. Mihi offered some advice to anyone starting a group and intending to work in this space. She offered that in her experience with MIHI NIHIL, it can be easier to execute these placements if the entire band operates under the same PRO (Performing Rights Organization). Making your work easy to license (not having to ping-pong documents to several institutions for a small clip of work) is an important task. MIHI NIHIL is a great example of the potential for success of film placement.

What’s Next?

As their music continues to captivate audiences inside and outside theaters and their cinematic placements expand their reach, MIHI NIHIL showcases the limitless possibilities of the world of entertainment. This quartet is a cool force to be reckoned with, and their work and story are a testament to the boundless opportunities that await artists who explore the intersection of music and film. Be sure to follow them on Gigmor and social media! Stay tuned for the new album to come out early next year.


Subscribe to MIHI NIHIL on YouTube

Follow them on



Listen to MIHI NIHIL on


Apple Music

Featured photo and black & white posed photo credit:

Jenna Hipp Spencer

Sadie Miller: Your Musical Therapist

We’re excited to present singer-songwriter, producer, and Gigmor Pro Artist Sadie Miller as our September Gigmor Rising Artist. Hailing from Santa Monica, California, Sadie is a student at Syracuse University. She is a talented singer and producer, who also plays piano and guitar. She recently released her Archives EP on streaming platforms, and released her new song “Liar” today, August 11th, 2023! Garnering 20,000 monthly Spotify listeners on average, her music has received attention in Spotify editorial playlists and amassed over 60,000 streams for her single “Friends.”

Early Work

Sadie has been producing her own music since middle school. Even early on, she always dedicated a ton of time to her music, at times writing 5-6 finished songs every day. She’d put them on SoundCloud, livestream them, or post them anywhere she could find listeners. 

Sadie also looked for other opportunities to help others with her music. In high school, she was a founding member of Cords2Cure, an organization that raises money to support Pediatric Cancer research and clinical trials at the UCLA Sarcoma Program. C2C was created in 2015 by students at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences and their families when Crossroads student Jaxon Blumenthal was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma (liver cancer). They’ve raised $1 million since inception, and $200,000 this year alone. In a conversation with us, she told us, “I just knew, and I still know, that this is what I want to do. It runs a lot deeper than music to me. It’s therapeutic and part of who I am.”

The Power of Relatability

In our conversation with Sadie, she explained her process. This approach allows Sadie to create a sense of universality in her music, as listeners likely find comfort and resonance in knowing that someone else has gone through similar experiences or emotions. Many successful songwriters use this technique to build a strong emotional connection with their audience. By sharing personal stories, she can tap into the common threads of human experiences and make her songs more relatable and memorable. “I just want to make authentic music that has emotion in it, so that you can really hear what I’m saying, not just in the lyrics but the way I’m singing it.” Sadie loves it most when she receives messages from fans who relate to her music. “I write it to help myself, so it means a lot to me.”

Curating a Sound

Many people can identify their favorite artists’ songs within the first 3 or so seconds, because many of today’s biggest artists understand the importance of having a unique and identifiable sound: motifs and stylistic choices that define their music. Sadie spent considerable effort and the better part of 6 years figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like in the music she listens to and produces—resulting in an interesting and complex bedroom pop sound. Sadie describes her own music as “spacey, ambient, slower pop.”

The Songwriting Process

The process of writing music is different for every artist. Sadie told us that to her, inspiration often appears in a flash. “I have a bunch of voice memos on my phone, so I’ll take something from there sometimes. Sometimes, I’ll just be walking on the street and find myself humming something, and I have to record it to remember for later.” Other times, Sadie said she finds that a more bottom-up approach is better, with a dedicated songwriting session at the piano and computer. “I’ll go in with the keyboard, and then I love to layer a bunch of sounds on top of each other. I’ll play around with keyboard sounds, settings, add reverb, pads, synthesizers, and then once I have the track I’ll start writing on top of it.” But even with a strong base, writing lyrics is a difficult thing to do. Sadie said she’ll freestyle the first few times, then choose things she liked about different takes, and mix and match them until she’s happy with what she has. She emphasized that she likes to record everything. “I keep every take in case there’s something I want to do again, or I liked, or hated.”

Getting Out There

Sadie told us that one reason that her music has reached so many people is because she took advantage of the promotional power of editorial playlists. On Spotify and other music platforms, some playlists curated by the platform are pushed out to users who match the listening profile of the music in the playlist. Getting music in the mix of these big playlists can be a huge boost for an artist’s  music career. For example, Paul Johnson’s “Firework” in the Folk-Pop genre blew up in 2016 when it was added to a popular Spotify playlist at the time. Now going by the name Canyon City, he now has 500,000 monthly listeners and 285 million streams on Spotify alone. Similarly, when Sadie’s single “Friends” was selected, her listeners jumped by nearly 30,000. Sometimes, it can be as simple as writing an email or text with a sample to the right person at the right time.

Sadie reaches out to and talks to Spotify curators, posts on social media using key words and hashtags, and acts as her own manager, reaching out to venues to book live performances.

What’s Next?

Sadie’s career is only getting started. Her accessible sound and charismatic, genuine approach to songwriting makes her someone to look out for. Sadie’s music is a great listen for anyone. Check out her single “Liar” today August 11th on all streaming platforms. For more information, follow her on Gigmor and her social media.