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Posts Tagged ‘production’

Indie artists, get six months of free management and promotion

Monday, October 5th, 2009


Pro Soul Alliance artist contest banner


Receive 6 months of professional management and promotion to take your career to the next level!
Services and support selected artists will receive include:

• professional phone consultation and education with CEO of Pro Soul Alliance on the artists development *and career
• a professional blog based website they can edit and update, complete with hosting by Rackspace, one of the best in the world, with
• Professional bio and press copy writing, blog development and updating
• Search engine optimization for effective search ranking
• Graphic design, photography and image assistance for promo materials
• Social networking configuration and integration, connecting with fans (ReverbNation, Facebook, MySpace,, Twitter, Youtube, Ourstage etc)
• Offline & online marketing assistance, radio airplay, follow up, and tracking
• Product development, design, CD production and digital distribution through major online retailers worldwide including ringtones and mobile phone
• Licensing and song placement; electronic licensing options online
• Scheduling of show dates for live performances
• Video Production; Youtube promo viral marketing videos

To narrow down the 2 winners, Pro Soul Alliance will be choosing the artist that is the most marketable, and has already shown commitment, and dedication to their career.

Contest ends October 30th. Details, entry information and music submission can be accessed here:


The New “Press Kit”

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The “Press Kit”, which typically includes a demo, photos, printed reviews, the artist or band’s biography, etc., is now available electronically, and artists are using the electronic press kit (EPK) and artist profile to replace the traditional method. Either in digital or online format, an EPK is available to anyone at all times, and is a far more cost effective way to present your music. Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, says: ” Get rid of your Press Kit. Finally focus on creating an Artist Profile that will best represent you to radio, retail, press, clubs and online.”

According to Ariel Hyatt’s Music Think Tank article, The ugly man behind the curtain in music publicity…the cost of submitting a traditional Press Kit equals this: 500 Press Kits in the Mail = $2,500, a publicist’s 3 month retainer = $9,000, Extra expenses = $1500, a whopping total = $13,000. The article is written to expose music publicity’s “dirty little secret”, the resale of promo CDs distributed to music journalists on the promo list. The unethical practice revealed in this article, adds to the already growing mistrust in the old way of doing music business. “40,000 CDs come out every year and that means hundreds of thousands of CDs will be mailed out for review consideration.” According to finding anybody in the music business to actually talk about this vast and ever-fluctuating underground economy is tough….. Ask a publicist what he does with unwanted promos and there’s usually an awkward pause, as though you’d just asked after his porno collection. Few are willing to go on the record regarding their income stream for fear of being blacklisted…..“Everybody sells them, let’s be realistic,” says one prominent L.A. music publicist.

The ever more acceptable DIY music career allows artists greater control, and spares the monetary and emotional expense of using a traditional music publicist. Tim Sweeney also offers this piece of advice: “Throw away your press kit and one sheet that “supposed” publicists and radio promotion people think is right (but only signifies you as a non-priority that people can ignore) and create an Artist Profile. One that talks about who you are as an artist and what your music is about.

Music is business…

Monday, July 13th, 2009

To most artists who desire the opportunity to be creative above all else, the business part of it is daunting. To make a living off your music, you have to take on an active role in promoting and managing your own product, just like any other smart business person.

Creative beings are at times overwhelmed with the minutia of their craft’s business dealings, and may often omit – albeit unknowingly, the fine details and small print related to getting music to market or advancing their career. The business of your music is as important to your career, as your art. This is another mantra that should be recalled daily.

It’s not necessary that you develop a critical understanding of the music business at the level of a trained professional, but knowledge of the concepts, and methodologies used to manage the legal, financial, and ethical issues facing the music business professional is empowerment to you as an artist. As your popularity and fan base grows, the need to recruit qualified professionals is more evident. The ability to discern, monitor and manage your team is critical.

In order to assist you in the business of a “do-it-yourself” music career – Web 2.0 professionals are available. Making your own decisions, and learning everything about this exciting and passionate industry runs deep through your veins as a life source. Failing to realize your dreams is not an option for you – being unsuccessful is not in your vocabulary. You are a talented, ambitious soul – excited to let the world hear your art – don’t get lost in the red tape, and don’t give your powerful energy away.

Remember this mantra “The business of your music is as important to your career as your art” – be a savvy, and creative businessperson. Be a well rounded, polished professional, respected among your peers and manage your formula for success!

The Free Thinkers

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

In search for insights on “Free” digital music, the music industry’s Kevin Arnold was asked his perspective on the value and future of free music. The CEO of digital distributor The Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) had this to say:

” We definitely believe Free has value in a number of ways for music. First and foremost, in the way it has almost always been used in music and in many many other consumer businesses: as a free sample to introduce a product to new users.  Just like the handouts at Costco, tasting at a winery, or swag bags at conventions and parties, labels and artists have long given away music in the form of samplers and promo CDs, free performances, and outlets like radio and MTV.  In the digital world this act has value in ways that we’re still learning and consistently surprise us.  Who would have thought that the free giveaway of Nine Inch Nails’ last record would end up with it being the top selling album at AmazonMP3 last year?   The important thing with this type of (promotional) Free is that it is done on the artist/content owner’s terms, and that they can control the process to manage the value of the effort and get what they want out of it.

Beyond the promotional Free are the more recent attempts at commercial offerings that “feel like free”.  This covers pretty much everything from the massively popular streaming sites like MySpace, Playlist, and imeem to ideas like ISP-endorsed free file-sharing or newer models like PlayAnywhere from Catch Media. The key difference is that these platforms aim to offer not a few sample tracks but rather full releases and catalogs. In exchange, content owners expect to get paid for the use of the music.  These models still have a long way to go towards providing monetization levels that most content owners are comfortable with, and many unanswered questions as to whether these services help or hurt other online sales models remain.

Good old-fashioned free P2P file sharing can also be valuable in some cases, generally for the developing artist in accordance with the “give-it-away-until-you-can-charge-for-it” theory.  But this should be done at the discretion and control of the artist or label, ideally with some measurable results, be they emails from new fans around the world or more people coming to your shows. In any case, only the content owner can decide if any of these flavors of Free work for them or not.”

Kevin Arnold tells us that although free is a good way to go, its important to manage this practice with discretion and control by the artist or label. Monitor and measure the results of the give-a-way, by new fan e-mails or an increase in attendance at your shows.

Giving free music is a way for the artist to create a fan base, and creating good music is every reason for a person to be a fan. This is definitely a good place to start.

Let’s get your career going – today!

Monday, December 8th, 2008

No matter what stage you’re at in your music career, it’s never too late to work with Pro Soul – or too early. 

One of the first steps to getting started in your music career is recording a high-quality demo, a musical snapshot that you’re proud to have bear your name and to share with others, but it’s also one of the most difficult steps to take – especially alone.  

At Pro Soul, we’re often approached by talented artists who have written and/or performed amazing material but haven’t yet made a proper recording only because they don’t know how to get started on their own.  They ask us to keep them in mind for the future.

But why not now?

There’s a common misconception that we need to hear a professionally-produced album before we’ll even consider an artist.  In truth, Pro Soul prefers to work with artists as early in their career as possible to make sure that time, money, and effort are best spent on what matters most: creating interesting, well-produced music and reaching out to the artist’s audience in innovative, proven, and attention-grabbing ways.  We’ve got top-notch producers on hand to bring your artistic vision to life.

Just prove to us that you’ve got the talent and drive to succeed, and we’ll help you get there.  We can start to promote you even while you’re creating your music.  Commit to engaging your fans early on, and reap the benefits in the future.  We know there’s always a market for good music, being music lovers ourselves, and we’ll help you find it.  

Do it right, from the start, with Pro Soul.

Working with talented artists in China

Friday, November 28th, 2008

The following is the first of many posts by label founder, Jarome Matthew.  Jarome will be blogging about his exciting experiences as a producer and label owner, so be sure to check back often!

I recently spent an amazing couple of weeks working with some talented musicians in Beijing, China, for various projects. 

I recorded several incredibly talented musicians in the studio of Pro Soul’s own Elika Mahony. The studio has gradually been upgraded to the point where it is almost as good quality as my own. This visit, we further enhanced it with the SE Reflection filter on the left.

The first artist we recorded was talented musician, Jin R, on her beautiful Yang Qin. Jin R, Beijing recording Yang QinJin R is a famous modern chef in China and the owner of Green T Living restaurants across China and Hong Kong. The Yang Qin is a famous Chinese hammered dulcimer originally from Persia and resembles the Persian Santur.

Jin R played improvised compositions with fluidity and emotion for a special spiritual Chinese CD featuring a number of Beijing artists. It was inspiring and moving to capture live.
We also had the privilege of recording Phil Morrison and Keith Williams, two extremely accomplished American jazz musicians who are fusing jazz with traditional Chinese instruments, such as the Erhu, and are taking advantage of a new emerging jazz scene in Beijing and Shanghai. Their song was one of 30 selected for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

In addition, we had the pleasure of being able to record Chinese superstar singer and Erhu player, Cheng Lin, who was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award for some of the most memorable Chinese songs of all time.

It was great to work with such a seasoned professional and a genuinely kind and humble person, considering she has sold over 23 million albums in China! She is also a victim of the changes in the music industry. Especially in China, things are challenging, even for those who are well-known. We have been discussing how Pro Soul can help her, and she is excited about it.

One of Lin’s dear friends, Lily, is another talented vocalist on the project. Lily will be singing several of the songs from Elika’s most recent album, Fire and Gold, in Chinese.

In between sessions with these artists, we were working on new material with Elika for an instrumental album and a new progressive original pop album that I am very excited about. We were also putting the finishing touches on her latest album, Birds of Love, a special book and EP album on the theme of Love and Marriage. The package will be an elaborate fabric-covered book of quotes with CD inside, which would typically be far too expensive to produce, but we met with a fantastic product designer in Beijing that can design our product very beautifully at a fraction of what a simple CD jewel case and booklet would cost in North America – another great resource for Pro Soul artists!

While in China, I talked with other artists, some of which were originally from North America but had moved to booming Beijing to escape the instability of the economy. China represents over 60% of the world market for music, so I will undoubtedly be working with more artists in China and spreading the Pro Soul philosophy and assistance to artists in Asia next year.

– Jarome