New local music streaming site QC Beats gearing up for first rollout

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- You may have heard David G. Smith's music on FOX TV, Lifetime or Cable Channel Networks according to his website. Maybe you've seen him perform in Nashville, Michigan or right here in Iowa. Soon, you may even get to listen to him on the Quad City's first ever local music streaming website.

QC Beats is a platform for local artists to share their music with their community, and it's coming to Davenport in the beginning of 2019.

"This is something that feels innovative, it feels needed and it feels like it could be successful," Smith said.

Smith calls himself a DIY musician, standing for "do-it-yourself." This means he makes all his own choices from start to finish. He writes, he records, he works on getting publicity, he tried to get his material on the radio and he tours. He said a lot of musicians in the Quad Cities are like him, and it's a life that takes a lot of time and effort.

"I travel all over the U.S., touring, going to conferences," Smith said.

Although he has lived and worked in Nashville for a large part of his career, he lives in Bluegrass, Iowa, and he said he's originally from the area.

"From Cascade, Iowa… I would come to [the the Quad Cities] occasionally to catch concerts at the Masonic temple and the Col Ballroom," Smith said. "It’s a cool area, and the more the public invests themselves and supports this, the better it’s going to get."

Related: Historic Col Ballroom set to close next month

He's talking about local music. One of the ways David and the public are investing in music is through QC Beats.

"It gives you a chance to hear ahead of time a particular artist and say, 'yeah, I really like that... I want to go see them,'" Amy Groskopf, director of the Davenport Public Library, said.

Groskopf is the one spearheading this plan after seeing success with this idea in other, larger cities like St. Paul, Madison and Seattle.

It's through a company called Rabble, which develops the program, MUSICat. Through Public Library systems across the U.S.,  MUSICat creates a space for music streaming and takes care of all the licensing. The library is just in charge of curating getting the funding and curating the music.

The DPL "applied for a grant with Q2030," Groskopf said. These grants are given by the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend as a way to help the Quad Cities thrive.

She also said the library partnered with River Music Experience and St. Ambrose University to help fund the project.

As for the music, these partners help with this as well.

"We have a jury," Groskopf said. "We want to make sure we get a wide variety... representing the Quad City music scene."

Anyone will be able to stream the music for free. However, only DPL members, who have to be residents of Davenport, are able to download the music because of how the system is set up through the library database.

Smith said this kind of development is just what local musicians need.

"I think it’d be wonderful to let people know there is a community that fosters a bit of safety and comfort," Smith said. "I see all kinds of talent, but you know what, there’s some amazing talent right here in our back yard."

QC Beats began accepting music submissions on Oct. 15 and will stop on Nov. 2. Groskopf said their goal is to publish 10 artists at first with more in the next year.

To submit your music, click here. Also, watch this video we did on Smith five years ago.

Want more? See other local music coverage on our website by clicking here, or join our Facebook group, QC Music News - Studio 8.

Also, check out more of David G. Smith on his website.