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Posts Tagged ‘Record Label’

The Most Overrated Things In A Musician’s Career

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

“The time of the Record Label has passed. Artists do not need a record label to survive, and in fact, most artists would be better off as a hot indie group than one desperate to sign with any label.”
This and other great advice comes from an article by Simon Tam outlining “The Most Overrated Thing’s In A Musician’s Career”.
Simon goes on to describe other “overrated” things, like paid Electronic Press Kit or EPK services, booking agents, and professional music gear. Especially overrated are big music industry festivals like SXSW, which just finished in Austin, Texas. Bands who get asked to play these festivals are already on their way up, and do not come with any guarantee that you will be noticed by the right people.
Simon also takes aim at Kickstarter, which has been in the news recently for large sums paid out to artists. Without an existing fanbase already willing to pay for your music, your campaign will not be funded as we recently blogged about here.

Read Simon’s full article here on Music Think Tank


Trent Reznor on signing with a major record label

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

“I started my career in the late eighties, where the template was: sign on with a record label. That’s you’re ticket to admission.  You have to have distribution, they have it tied up – promotion, all the team in place. And then just try to work as hard as you can, and over time, what I was hearing when we were first getting signed was, by your third or fourth album if you get your audience, that’s what we’re aiming for, and we look at you as a Prince type character, with a career like The Cure, or Depeche Mode or bands that’ve been around for a long time and that will continue to be around. Ok, all right, I’m ready. I’m in for the long haul; I’m ready to do this.

Then you start to learn as you see contracts. Wow, whoever went along with this contract originally, it’s not a very fair contract. Let’s see, you as a record label lend me some money to make a record, and then I have to pay you back all that money. And after I pay it back, you own it forever. Wow. And then I get to make this little sliver on top of that, if I’ve recouped (expenses). But you get to control how much I spend on marketing and other things I have to pay you back for. So, wait a minute. I could sell this many records and still never recoup? And you do all the accounting?  And then when you don’t pay me, ever, then I have to spend twenty-five grand to audit you, for you to then tell me “Oh, yeah, we do owe you this much.” That kinda sucks. And then [there’s] the mysterious, purposefully convoluted and tangled world of publishing, and how confusing that is. And a lot of musicians, myself included, that just wanted to work on music, and hoped someone had figured that out.
And you realize – some of the unfair business practices and precedence that’s been established.   And I’m not saying that no one should benefit from songs I write, or that I do all the work and I should make all the money. But I should make SOME money, and I should be able to clearly see where that money is coming from, if I did all the work, essentially. I wrote the song, I came up with the idea.

But then when you see the industry start to collapse, which means you’re kinda happy to see some of it collapse, but then you’re sad because also my livelihood is in danger, and I think how am I going to support myself and a family in an industry where we’re essentially making typewriters, you know? Nobody wants typewriters anymore. Everybody will read, and everyone still writes, but they don’t use these clunky machines…

I think the promise, and what I would hope more than anything, is that when we get to this new business model, whatever that is, on the record label side and also on the publishing side, [is] that somebody is strongly speaking up for artists’ rights when that starts to get figured out. And that in an age of potential transparency, that the actual content creator has a seat at the table…

What I consider, from a consumer point of view, the next good business model, the next thing that makes sense, is if there were mass adoption of music subscription services, like Spotify. I think in an age of broadband connection being everywhere, everyone having powerful computers in their pockets, this sense of feeling-  normal people feeling comfortable with the idea of the cloud, and their data’s somewhere but it’s is secure, it’s somewhere, and they have access to it, having all the music available in the world available to you at your fingertips, anywhere you want it all the time, that’s pretty cool.  That requires some education on the part of those companies, to help people to understand what that is. But is it fair to the artist? Not really. Look at the checks you’re getting paid from those services. It’s not an inspiring amount, and it certainly doesn’t replace lost revenue.

In my case several year ago, sitting around realizing “Hey, that kind of hazy dream I had, of sitting around getting checks for record royalties for the rest of my life? From work I did years ago?” You know, Eagles style, “Hey, Hotel California, another billion dollar check shows up.” It’s not gonna happen. Being able to make a sizeable amount of money from selling a record. It’s not gonna happen anymore. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. Music is free. I don’t think it should be free, but music is free. I can right now search in Google for any music that there is, and find it free. And so can anyone else with above-rudimentary searching ability. That’s a fact. That’s what you’re competing with.”

– Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails

More on Trent Reznors proven solution to these issues in the music business:
The new music business model: Connect With Fans!



Pro Soul Alliance celebrates first year anniversary!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

We recently celebrated our first year assisting Do It Yourself artists with their music careers, representing them as record label and manager!

The occasion went by without much fan fare, we were too busy formulating up big plans for our future, and working hard to assist our artists! That is always our first priority, and we’re a small company without any investors or such to answer to, so we can focus our efforts on what matters most:
Helping our artists connect with existing and future fans in the most effective way possible, and assisting them in giving fans what they want, how they want it for a long-lasting and profitable relationship!

Thank you to all our artists, who endured with our growing pains, and pioneered this transforming industry with a whole new way of doing business.
Thank you also to our staff, particularly Roshena and Clarice, without which we could never have accomplished this first year milestone.

We’ve got bigger and better things than ever for our artists and for the company this year, stay tuned for all the news right here.

Happy New Year! Our top blogs of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Our first year has been great so far despite the economic times we live in, we’ve been working with a total of 9 fantastic artists!

Here are some of our top blog posts of 2009 in order posted:

Tips from a successful DIY indie musician…

Music and the Mobile Phone

Automatically posting your blog feeds to Facebook etc.

How many ‘active’ fans do you have?

The new music business model – Connect With Fans!

Is Music for free really a good idea?

The 10 Commandments of Music 2.0

A brave new era of music self release…

How to get people to come to shows

DIY takes more time than many think

Thank you to all the artists we work with, you have made this a great year, helping us take the music business into the future!
In return, we hope expanding your career to new heights has made this a great year for you as well.

We’ve got some fantastic new things planned for our artists in 2010, and were looking forward to a great year!
Happy new year to all of you, all the best for the year ahead.

Director Jarome Matthew, and the Pro Soul Alliance Team

Improving vocal performance….

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Pro Soul and Jarome Matthew in the studio

Founder of Pro Soul Alliance, Jarome Matthew,  just posted this on his own blog, a must read for any performer and artist.

An important part of my role as a music producer is to get the best possible performance from artists in the studio both technically and emotionally.

I find I often fall short in this area though because unless they are professionals who have done large live performances for many years, most vocalists are often unable to deliver to their full potential. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t give great performances, it just means they could have done even better.

This is usually because the vocalist is not in optimal physical shape. Your health and physical fitness level has a huge impact on your vocal performances in the studio, and of course live. Sure, how comfortable you are with letting go and giving your all emotionally in the studio is also very important.  But to get a great performance, you really need to have a lot of power to deliver strong, clean vocal phrases. Without this power and energy, your performances will sound weak and shaky, quivering, particularly on the ends of longer words or sustained melodies and this drastically reduces the quality and impact of the performance.

Studio tools and tricks can rarely correct these problems effectively, so that’s why it’s so important for singers to keep in top physical shape if they want to give the best performance they’re capable of live and in the studio. Eat healthy food that gives you lots of energy, and adopt a regular cardio exercise routine at least 4 times a week.

Another recommendation, in addition to warming up properly before a performance and singing regularly in a choir, is opera training, or a great vocal coach such as Brennan Barrett, to help you get as much power as you can without exerting yourself more than you have to, and to assisting with effective breathing techniques that will give you better phrasing and power in the right places.

A producer can only do so much, and in my case, I can work a lot of miracles to make you sound great no matter what, but ultimately, I can only use the best you give me! Make sure that really is your best, as you never know who will hear your finished performance, or how far it will spread.

How will Indie labels react to major label partnership?

Friday, July 10th, 2009

NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Music Entertainment (SME) today announced that it has entered into a global partnership with IODA to create a new leading distribution and services network for independent rights holders. As part of the partnership, Sony Music has made a strategic investment in IODA, a leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement released by Kevin Arnold, Founder and CEO of IODA, “Sony really impressed us with their respect for, and understanding of the needs of the independent community.” He adds, “We remain, as we always have, fully dedicated to helping independent content owners succeed in the digital world. This alliance will greatly enhance IODA’s ability to continue delivering effective solutions for Independents.”

The question arising out of this major merger or “Partnership”, is how will the independent label community react? After all, the I in IODA is supposed to stand for Independent. What we do know is that some indie labels are seen at times to be in distrust of large corporations. We know that IODA gains a strong marketing partner in Sony. Sony operating through its independent distribution subsidiary RED taps into IODA’s digital distribution system worldwide. Released in the Newswire, Sony identifies making a strategic investment in IODA. Sony’s subsidiary, RED will continue to offer digital distribution services and IODA will be an added option for clients who need other services than what RED currently provides, specifically more indie-focused marketing and global distribution services.

In time, the answer will unfold as to how the independent community will react to this meeting of corporate minds. What is clear – did we honestly think – major corporations, responsible to their shareholders, would sit on the sidelines for long – better yet, did they ever sit on the sidelines? Or were they just waiting for the savvy, independents like IODA to work hard, build and develop this growing, transitioning industry, and then come in when the time was ripe and call “Merger” aka “Partnership”.

Corporate strategy and business development in true form. Sony’s way of addressing the changing needs of their market without doing due diligence to innovate and make changes necessary themselves from scratch.