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The 3-Minute Interview: Chris Naoum

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People,Matt Connolly

Listen Local First co-founder Naoum works to bring D.C. musicians exposure by finding events for them to play and matching them up with local businesses in need of entertainment.

What can a good local music scene do for a city?

A city that has a vibrant local music scene gives its residents an outlet. D.C. is one of those cities where there's a lot going on, there's a lot of people involved in different types of work -- we have a very educated city. What a lot of people don't know is that there's a lot of talented musicians right here in their backyard. When you find a local band that you really like, you can have a connection with them, you can go grab drinks with them -- it builds a stronger bond between the artist and the listener.

What does Listen Local First do for local artists?

The whole idea of Listen Local First started because we were talking with local businesses. Everyone enjoys their local coffee shop or restaurant, and people said, "How come these shops aren't playing the music of their local artists?" When you're trying to make a living off of your artwork, you have to be able to build a fan base. By working with businesses, we started to create a local music stream.

What's the biggest misperception listeners have about D.C. music? What's the biggest misperception new artists have? The first misperception is that the heyday of the D.C. scene is over. That's not true. I think the quality of music is rising, the diversity is rising. For the artists, some think they just have to deal with playing these Tuesday night shows wherever they can get booked because that's all that's available. You don't have to settle with the venues you know of. You'll find there are multiple platforms to play and plenty of ways to grow your fan base in the city.

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