Hi! I’ve been great! Thank you guys for having me!
How were you drawn into the world of journalism?
My major at school was PR and journalism, I didn’t know where exactly what I wanted to do, all I knew was that I wanted to write and be creative. For years I was freelancing and writing for different media in music industry, and also working in PR and social media, and now I’m so happy to be writing for my own music outlet.
Was music always your first field to go or were you rather drawn into this world?
Being in music industry was definitely my top priority! Obviously life happens J and I had to work on some random things over the years, especially after moved to LA and had to start everything from scratch, but it’s definitely the filed I am most passionate about!
After a time writing for others as a journalist – how did you come up with the idea of Surfing Sound Waves?
My life wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go and everything seemed to be burning down. So I thought that I needed some kind of creative outlet to keep me sane. I went on to launch this art website where I featured various artists and talked to them about their stories. A year later I decided to start focusing on music. So, I rebranded it and changed the name for it to become a music-focused platform. It’s been five years and it’s something that brings me so much happiness every single day!
What did you get to learn from your time as a journalist that you initially used on this new endeavor?
I think what I learned is, Like in every profession, it is all about paying your dues and earning respect and just sticking with what you believe in.
With many choosing to go with the mainstream – what made you want to help those up and comers and unsigned artists?
I am very passionate about discovering up-and-coming, unsigned acts. Giving them exposure, seeing them blow up later, and following their success makes me so happy. It makes me so happy that I have a chance to turn my passion for sharing music into a source that helps bring music to the masses.
Are you open to any submission or you also seek for something in particular?
Yes, I accept submissions through my website! I am open to any music genres, I just wanna find and feature greats songs and talented artists, that’s the goal!
What would say makes SSW stand out from other platforms?
That’s a really good question, I never like to compare what I do to anyone else, everyone has their own unique way of doing things and there are so many amazing website that are moving in the similar directions, but in their own way. This platform is something I do from my heart, I truly want everyone to be inspired by some great art and amazing stories, I want people to learn from these artists, who went through a lot and are willing to share their experiences. And if it inspires even one person or helps someone to go through the dark times, I’ll be more than happy.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced running a platform that seeks to help the underdogs?
I feel like running any platform and building the audience in general is quite challenging as it is, as there are so many things that go into the process. Working with signed artists is definitely a much easier process since everything goes through their respective teams, and the steps for organizing any feature, or interview are very streamlined, and compared to that communications with independent artists, especially those who are just starting out, can be quite chaotic, and take a bit more time. But obviously it absolutely depends on the person! I encountered many young artists that are prepared more than the full PR team at a major record label haha I always tell every artist: get your shit together! Have your bio or EPK ready, photo assets done and quotes about your songs or album prepared to go, and you would be surprised how much more press you can get all on your own.
What else is happening next in Irina Liakh’s world?
I’m currently working on a really exciting music project! Can’t wait to share with everyone!