The Music Lounge’s Launch at Velour

by M. Lewis Barker

I write this from inside Velour, having just eaten a couple slices of Slab pizza. Tonight is the premiere of The Music Lounge, and I don’t know what that is yet. After brief introductions from Velour’s Kaneisha Johnson and someone from Lime (one of tonight’s sponsers), we are going to soon find out what this actually is. There are less than 30 people here, but local artists like McKay Stevens, Ryan Innes, and the Moth & the Flame are in attendance.

The Music Lounge is the brainchild of Daren Smith, owner of Soundsmith Studios. While attending Brigham Young University as a Sound Recording Technology major, he had the idea of coming up with a grand “network” of musicians and industry professionals. He wanted to help those without experience in the industry start to gain that experience, one step at a time. You can’t go from the couch to the major leagues, tee ball comes first. Right now, Provo lacks the infrastructure to get our musicians to a national level.

Tonight, that is all going to change.

The Music Lounge wants to help local musicians to connect to one another, learn from each other, and help one another get to that professional level. With the enormous wealth of talent in Utah County, these artists need that national exposure. In addition to providing the content we need to unleash our potential in the industry, it will provide online forums for discussion.

The Music Lounge’s forums

Daren Smith cannot do it alone. He doesn’t have the content, connections, or time. But if we all help him, and each other, out, this dream he has can be realized. It may sound idealistic, but his vision for Provo is so similar to my own and is why I started this site. But Daren seems to be much better at it than me, having gone out of his way to really try and help out. I would have never organized an event like this one, so I’m glad that Daren exists and I plan to help him as much as I can. I wanted to have forums on this site, but now I don’t need to.

He gave us this quote from, oddly enough, Oprah Winfrey. As corny as that sounds, it fits his vision for The Music Lounge’s contributors perfectly:

Each one of you has your own platform. Do not let the trappings here fool you. Mine is a stage in a studio, yours is wherever you are with your own reach, however small or however large that reach is. Maybe it’s 20 people, maybe it’s 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies.

All of us can contribute to the site, whether it be through blogging or just posting on the message board. I already signed up for an account on the site, and I am to help it out however I can.

Daren ended the presentation by telling us that The Music Lounge was longer his site, but is now ours. Here at Provo Music Guide, our main objective is to let those already in Utah County know about the music here, but The Music Lounge aims to take our wonderful artists out to the major leagues. And I can say with certainty that they have enough musical talent to thrive out there.

Go to to help out! It still doesn’t have much content but that will all change thanks to you!



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