Joel Burleson (ki:theory)

Joel Burleson is a Richmond, VA based musician, producer, and remix artist working under the Ki:Theory moniker. To date he has released three albums, as well as several movie and TV placements, including his cover of the classic “Stand By Me” on the FOX series “The Following”. In addition, Burleson has had remixes of Daft Punk and Rodrigo y Gabriella featured on the soundtracks for TRON and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Listeners on Listening

1. You buy a new album, describe your routine/experience of its first listening.

I prefer streaming to owning, but I do listen to full albums. I have a playlist in Spotify called “CHECK-IT” that I fill with music I want to give a listen too. Usually I’ll listen passively to see if something really stands out. If so, I might add a record or single to a favorites playlist for further enjoyment. I also have many other playlists that something might go from “CHECK-IT” into…eg. “CHILL”or “DJ”. I also have public playlists under a second artist account like “Ki:Theory//<3’s”…for fans who might be interested in what I’m listening to.

2. On subsequent listens to that same record, which aspects of the music do you focus your listening on. does this change over time? how? 

If I listen to a record a 2nd time then I liked it for some aspect or another. Maybe the vibe was right for a certain activity, or the melodies were catchy, lyrics insightful, production…etc. There are some records (usually less digestible) that take a while to catch on, but become some of my favorite albums.

3. If you could choose your favorite listening environment, what would it be? what draws you to that place to hear the music you’re listening too?

The best place to hear music is in my studio on monitors (the most accurate listening environment I own), and I do listen a lot there when I have it on while I’m working on other tasks around the studio (other than recording my own music). But I also enjoy listening in my car and at home on my Sonos player while I’m making dinner or anything around the house.

4. How does one make their listening listened to? What is the best avenue to communicate your listening experience to others?

There are many websites devoted to providing others the means of listening to what you enjoy and provide via playlists. Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube to name a few. As for which is best, I think depends on the audience you are going after. Younger listeners tend to opt for free avenues like YouTube, while college age listeners might be more on the SoundCloud vibe (also free streaming). Then the services w/ pay tiers like Apple Music and Spotify are little more likely to have paying adult customers.

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