Trey Xavier started as a writer at the blog Gear Gods, grew their YouTube channel to 237k subscribers and then purchased the brand from his employer. In this video we talk about that journey, what its like owning a music blog and other music industry secrets.
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Andrew and Trey urge artists to nail down a clear vision for their music and content. When brainstorming, aim for fresh and inventive concepts. Some content and music have a short shelf life, especially if they ride on trends. Solely chasing trends can stunt growth. Dare to take bolder musical and content risks, push your limits, and you’ll reap greater rewards.
While bringing your music ideas to life, Trey reminds listeners that it’s more than just gear and marketing. Gears don’t craft fantastic music, and marketing alone doesn’t mold remarkable artists. Ultimately, relatable storytelling, skilled editing, and thoughtful packaging are what make music truly connect.
When you’re sketching out tunes or content for your YouTube channel, aim for that sweet spot between wide themes and niche interests. Going too broad might scatter you, yet getting stuck in a tiny niche could stunt growth. Amazing content isn’t a formula, but it boils down to two must-haves: bridging the curiosity gap from thumbnails to descriptions and staying relatable to your fans.
[02:05]: Trey talks about putting out content that’s both educational and entertaining on his YouTube channel (@treyxaviermusic). – Trey
[04:11]: Starting as a writer at Gear Gods, Trey progressed and assumed greater responsibilities, ultimately purchasing the company. – Trey
[07:56]: Trey bravely faced financial risks and sacrifices to acquire the website he used to work for, opening doors to content creation opportunities. – Trey
[10:32]: Trey did not buy shares but the assets of Gear God and registered it as its own LLC. – Trey
[13:36]: Anticipating backlash for altering the YouTube channel and website content, Trey was pleasantly surprised by the addition of 1,000 new followers following the announcement. – Trey
[15:49]: Shifting from gear reviews, Trey envisions a fresh platform direction—crafting content on music writing, recording, mixing, and mastering. – Trey
[18:51]: Andrew believes that it’s not the gear that makes the music. It’s the story and quality that counts. – Andrew
[20:26]: Creating a song and music that connects open doors for artists—opportunities to be heard and seen by booking agents, labels, and potential fans – Trey
[25:34]: Just nailing marketing and social media presence isn’t sufficient. True success for an artist hinges on the power of their music. – Andrew
[27:47]: Both Andrew and Trey were on the same page: there’s music you drop for the world, and then there’s tunes you create just for the love of it. – Andrew and Trey
[30:36]: According to Trey, there’s no recipe for originality, but there’s a blueprint to package your music effectively and serve it up to your intended audience. – Trey
[33:01]: Trey stresses the need to match your music and video style. It’s smart to delegate to prevent any drop in the quality of your music and marketing. – Trey
[39:31]: Trey talks about the free, 1-week songwriting course he offers. – Trey
[41:08]: Andrew notes that while some artists have brilliant ideas, they can hit roadblocks in execution. Not all good concepts in theory work smoothly in practice. – Andrew
[44:24]: Trey’s tip: Do not juggle too much on your YouTube channel. Stay consistent. Hone in on key themes and mix them up creatively while staying on track. – Trey
[51:31]: Trey knows some creators opt for broad music content, targeting a wide audience. Others delve into ultra-niche subjects. But that approach can be restricting. – Trey
[1:01]: Andrew and Trey are on the same page: Your video thumbnails and description should trigger enough curiosity to get the audience clicking.- Andrew and Trey
[1:15]: Gear Gods not only covers fresh gear drops but also rocks exclusive premiere playthroughs. They team up with bands to stream brand-new tracks for metal musicians. – Trey
[1:19]: Trey aims to blend the hits, the must-haves, and the substance when curating music for their premiere playthroughs. – Trey
[1:27]: While Gear Gods dabble in sponsored content, Trey advises artists to pump some resources into social media ads. It’s a smart move, especially for those just starting out. – Trey
[01:34]: Trey encouraged aspiring songwriters to write amazing and relatable lyrics. – Trey
[01:37]: Andrew and Trey agree that playthroughs keep viewers engaged for longer, while narrative videos shine in media pitch kits. – Andrew and Trey
[01:41]: “Scream” centers on the concept of someone undergoing a cathartic release through screams, breaking free from self-imposed confinement. – Trey
[11:39]: I bought the audience because it’s possible that, you know, I maybe could have announced that I was leaving, and all 200 and whatever thousand subscribers would’ve subscribed to my new channel that day. And everything would’ve been great, but I wouldn’t have the website. Realistically, what would’ve happened is that I would’ve been starting a new channel, a new identity, everything from scratch. So, that would’ve sucked. Yep. And I was like, “It’ll take me years to get back to where I am now. I would rather pay the money. I know that I can make it back pretty quickly, and I have already. – Trey
[18:51]: I’ve noticed that the more gear you have, it doesn’t really free you. It kind of puts you in a little prison where now you can’t decide what to use, and it’s fun. I’m not going to say having all this stuff isn’t awesome because sometimes I’ll just dive into it and use it extensively. But it doesn’t help you write better music at all. Right. And that’s the most important part of the whole thing. It’s like you can have the best gear in the world. Your songs can still suck. You can do the best marketing in the world, but if your songs suck, it’s going to go badly. – Andrew
[26:46]: If you’re going to stop and watch a music video from a band, how long are you going to watch it for? It depends entirely on how good it is. Like, if you click on it and the song is f****** awesome, you’ll probably watch and listen to the whole thing.- Trey
[54:58]: The content has to be great in the same way that you have to have a great song to start with. But if you don’t package it correctly, no one will even see it to know or hear it to know how great it is. So the packaging part of it is good editing, which includes a lot of exciting transitions and zooms and sound effects and stuff which seemed like dumb tricks, but l it it just makes it more fun to watch.- Trey
[1:42] So, having a narrative music video to me is incredibly important for connecting with people, which is the reason that we do this. – Trey
If you enjoyed this interview you might also like this one I did with MMXVII about becoming a full time music and YouTube creator.