Ryan Davis Launches The Upnote, a Podcast for Musicians

Ryan Davis pitches The Upnote in last year’s New Venture Competition with his co-host and Colburn alumnus Jared Dickerson.

Ryan Davis, a violist and Artist Diploma candidate, was an avid follower of podcasts. However, he noticed a niche audience that wasn’t being addressed, despite the thousands of audio offerings on services such as Apple and Stitcher. He set out to fix that, launching The Upnote, with his musical friends and colleagues. He told us all about the project, the process, and where it will go from here.

What inspired you to start the podcast?
I have been listening to podcasts for some time—specifically programs that pertain to basketball! While I have also listened to a few podcasts about classical music, I felt that it would be really exciting to start a podcast that provided a platform for young professional players on the cusp of their careers. I hadn’t yet heard a podcast that centered around the perspective of young people in the music industry, and believe that my age group is facing uniquely difficult obstacles as we embark on our careers. I am grateful that we have a talented and diverse team of hosts, who will help shed some light on the various things that young musicians are experiencing.

Where do you hope it goes from here?
My hope is that The Upnote will be a vehicle for dialogue, exploration, and even some form of therapeutic listening for anyone who is pursuing a career in classical music. Here at The Upnote we recognize that is there is no singular way to carve out one’s path in this ever-changing industry, and we hope to highlight the many exciting ways that young musicians are making their passions their livelihoods.

Describe the process of working with your friends on this—the dynamic, how you problem solve, anything?
It has been an absolute joy teaming up with my close friends, Jared Dickerson, Wynton Grant, and Simone Porter! They are all wonderful musicians and personalities, each in their own style. I believe that the strength of The Upnote is in our flexibility. We are all passionate about our careers, but also about the intrinsic value of music, and are aiming to underline its importance every step of the way. We all work well together, but it has certainly been tricky managing a podcast around our busy lives! A lot of work happens through message threads, WeTransfers, and brief planning meetups. This is only the beginning, so we can’t wait to build more momentum together as a team.

What has the reception been like so far and how do you feel about it?
In the spring, Jared and I made a pitch to the New Venture Competition, and were thrilled to receive funding for our website, theupnote.com, which has allowed us to host an accessible platform for our content. As the summer went by, we all brainstormed about the possibilities for episodes, guest interviews, and branding. We are all extremely excited, as we know that the best is yet to come. On a personal level, after we recorded our very first episode, I was simply struck by how the four of us almost seamlessly wove through many different topics in our field of work, in one giant take of recording. We basically didn’t have to redo or edit anything! As we finished recording, I couldn’t help but feel that we were meant to work together like this.

Our friends and listeners have been extremely supportive thus far, which is been very encouraging. We are also thrilled to have The Upnote on Apple Podcasts, which allows our listeners to easily subscribe and catch every episode. Nonetheless, we are certainly hoping to expand our reach, and feel far from accomplishing what we hope to. It would mean a great deal to us if our podcast could be shared to anyone and everyone who might be fascinated by what we’re up to here. We are hoping to continue working hard, and are energized to see where this new podcast will take us!

How should potential listeners reach you?
The easiest way to connect with us is to follow us on all major social media platforms (especially our Instagram account!) @theupnote, as well as by emailing theupnote@gmail.com.

You can download and subscribe to The Upnote on Apple Podcasts.