Clarissa Burt
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Stef DM and Your Music

Stef DM and Your Music Company Are Revolutionizing The Music Industry

 Clarissa BurtMusical Beginnings

Stefan Di Maria  or Stef DM has had a passion for music since childhood. In second grade, while the rest of his classmates were focused on their studies, Stefan was belting out a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” in hopes of making it big one day.

Italian born, Arizona raised and Los Angeles living, 25-year-old Stefan Di Maria, or better known as “Stef DM” for his musical career, is fulfilling his artistic dreams with a royalty campaign through Your Music Company, an online venture where fans have the power to decide what songs end up on his album by purchasing shares of his company. 

Stefan splits his time between Italy, Arizona and Los Angeles, but while his residency changes often, one thing has not.

“Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to perform,” Di Maria says. “I knew that I wanted to do music from the get [go].”

In his younger years, he experimented with instruments and found a natural talent on the guitar.

“Once I got into high school, I was starting to experiment with song writing and trying to find my sound and my musical identity,” Di Maria says. “Of course, if somebody plays an instrument, especially a melodic instrument, usually vocals come with that, so I just naturally started singing because of guitar playing.”

Chasing His Dreams

Instead of pursuing the collegiate path after high school, he moved from Arizona to pursue his career dreams at Musicians Institute  in Hollywood. He graduated in 2008 with a 2-year guitar and composition degree, but it was just his presence in Los Angeles that really furthered his career.

“It’s more of coming out here and being at that school I was able to really network and meet the people, a lot of the movers and shakers,” he says. “I was able to make a lot of things happen.”

 The Musicians Institute gave him the opportunity to have a recurring role as a drummer for the NYADA band on “Glee” since season 1. Another chance for exposure came in 2010 when he competed in Italy’s hybrid of “American Idol” and “Big Brother,” called “Amici.”

Stef DM + Your Music Company

Although these television appearances gave him great experience, it was his partnership with Your Music Company that has really shaped his career. 

 “We’ve slowly been working toward development, trying to figure out a vision for my project which is nice because I don’t have to compromise,” Di Maria said.  “I have artistic freedom, which is very rare.”

He signed a contract with them last summer and is now in the process of funding his own campaign, which goes toward producing a digital album and a music video.

How You Can Benefit

Now fans, or FanVestors,” can go online and choose the songs they like, which ones will be singles, and even the song order on the album. They are, in essence, small scale producers.

In order to receive royalties once the album sells, FanVestors must purchase at least one unit, or a minimum of $10, of his company. 25 percent of the album sales will be divided among Di Maria’s FanVestors, depending upon the amount of shares they purchased and how well the album sells.

“That’s the big difference between something like Kickstarter or Indigo,” says Di Maria. “It’s actually the first company in America to do this. Instead of just rewarding donators with a signed T-shirt or a coffee mug, they actually can make money on the project.”

According to Di Maria, there is only about three and a half months of funding left to reach his calculated goal of $181,080. He is currently at $33,630.

Your Music Company is unlike any music sharing website because everyone benefits from the campaign.

“Once you give this power to the fans to invest and be part of the music industry, I think it’s a way for people who maybe aren’t musical or artistic or in the business to be part of the business,” Di Maria says. “And that also motivates them to support and tell friends about it and kind of build a community.”

As if funding his music campaign isn’t enough, Di Maria’s goal after doing a U.S. tour would be a “world dominating tour,” or at least an international one. In the meantime, he will be the main act at the Chicago Heart Association Ball  in April 2014.  

As a school kid, Di Maria might have had seemingly far-fetched dreams of sharing his talent with the world. But now he is changing the definition of sharing music, one share of his company at a time. 

 And if you don’t think you can wait that long to hear Stef DM’s pop-’70s-soul infused demos, you can become a FanVestor by visiting Your Music Company’s website, or you can go to his YouTube page.

 

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