Friday, October 13, 2017

Wonder why.

Ever wondered why you do stuff? Why are you playing music and don't get anywhere? Creating stuff that no one cares about.

To be honest even the most successful thinks that. I think that many times. Laying in a empty hotel room somewhere thinking why am I doing this?

Then a message comes in to the phone. A friend wants a meeting when you are in the same city. Suddenly I just realized why I'm doing this.

It's a matter to hold on.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's a marathon not 100 meters.

You really have to be persistent if you gonna work in this business. I just saw another prospect throw in the towel.
A typical example. He came in three years ago with a lot of enthusiasm in the belive that he could make a change. Fast opened a recordlabel signing some bands. Then expand it to management since the recordlabel couldn't bring in the money. Run around like a sick rat promoting this band. Of course the first band you do almost never make it. In reality the band is good not excellent. Start then with side things like Pr services and concerts, in reality just make some money on anything. Then comes to the delusion that the musicindustry doesn't give you the chances you deserve. Then run in the wall and become sick of all the work with a hopeless project. Comes out on the other side gets a job that has some music but really not. Like working for the government making camps for children that like music or sitting in the reception on a PRO.

I see these a lot. We call them rat racers. Right now a majority of them are women. Have no answer why. The thing is that they wrong is that they want to get everything fast. Getting to the point where I am in a year time (took me 20 years) and then in two years become Tony Mottola.
You have to hang in there to succeed. You have to take the years until the network is strong enough. But right now to many want it to fast.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Know your favour

I have been seeing lately people asking stuff on Facebook. In reality they ask for services that people sell for free. It can be things like can someone give me advice how I do a funnel page or do you have contacts to UK publicists.
Sure I would help you if you give something back. But most people asking for things like this is newcomers that can't give something back of value in the position I'm in.
These also want to create clubs or meeting spots where they think the information flows. Reasently I have bumped into many in the level where I'm in that is really tired to give info to these newcomers and want us to start a club for a higher level. Problem is just to know how to measure the level.
Yes I used to help newcomers but like the rest I really growing tired to help out without even a thank you. I will be really picky who I will go along with.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The audience search they way you search!

The most pointless things you can do as an artist is just looking so things look alright. I don't know how many times I get calls from people want to change things on Spotify (or other sites) so they should look good on just their device. It can be all sorts of things they think should be there like a photo or bio.
The tragic part is that they think people won't listen to the songs if this piece of information is not there. Or the picture looks a bit out of shape.I can't really see any audience saying: Ohh the picture look awful so I won't listen to their song.

One of the key ellenments is iuallay that the artist that goes around complaining of small things like this is the  ones that dosn't have so much streams. Reality behind that is two things.

One is that they spend all this time fixing things that really is not necessary instead of taking the time to promote the song so people actually listen to it.

Second is thinking since it's wrong doesn't spend the time to promote it to the audience.
In both cases the end results qwill be few listeners and that they blame on that the picture is a bit out scale.

Same with genre. Ohh we went to be in Country/metal/jazz fusion. The genre is nothing to care about. I have never met anyone that actually goes into Spotify and look up pop and start to browse through all the things that are under pop ( i don't know if it's even possible). So stop being a dumbfuck around genres. In reality you can almost put it under anything. The only thing the genre is doing that some site that only holds a certain kind of music won't pick it up. But hey if you don't do that kind of music. Nobody care tat you are not on that site.

You know what, good music will find its listeners if someone is talking about it. That we have seen with songs that people try to hide. They still find them.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Don't let them treat you like cattle!

Listen to a speech by Paul Pacifico who is the head of AIM. he said that the tech world is mainly coming into the music world saying, ohh we have a solution for its easy. Thinking that they who have been there for 3 minutes can solve the problem the industry had for 20 years.
After they tried they come back with what Donald Trump is saying here.

Yes, they did all his pre assessors knew it was that hard. Otherwise, they would have done it. In fact, Donald Trump making an ass of himself telling the world before this that solving the healthcare system was easy, can't be that hard. Then coming back a half year later tell you no one knew how hard it was.

Like there was something new that the systems of copyright are complicated. Yes, they are and no small app will just solve the problems.

I get the same feeling with the tech  music industry right now. They come up with ideas that we had 10 years ago. Abanded these ideas since we now know it's too darn complicated. The one that they are presenting and tell you stuff like we will help artists, they build in a way so they rip off artist their money.

Really! Who doing that, you wonder. Well any tech site where they force you to use their IRSC codes is stealing your money. And it's very common because the tekkie thinks it's an easy way go around a much bigger problem, who is owning the master and can IFPI handle so many users?

I won't get into the bigger problematics on the ISRC codes, to not be fooled get your own codes, never upload on a page where you can't put your own codes ion and you are fine.

The bigger part is also that the tech companies treat the artist like cattle. They build their platform like all the artists are the same, which they are not. It's would be the stupidity that everybody looks at companies in the same way. There is a huge difference in needs at the U2 head office then the local band from Dublin. There is a difference between Google problems from the local grocery stores. Still, the music tech acts like they re all the same.

They never build on the subject of one artist. Just a mass thing of the artist. Like a herd of musicians. Right now I more than ever hear the crying help from musicians looking too swift through all there sites that are coming up with ideas that should solve the problem to reach an audience. I guess the future is in the tech companies that will get the solution for the artist on a personal level. Right now they are kind of few.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The showcase shows if you are proffessional.

I heard a story from a guy touring with the reggae superstar Peter Tosh. They played a big show in Italy. Suddenly the power went out. There they were standing in front of several thousand people. Peter then took out an acoustic guitar and told the audience to be as silent as possible. Then started to play songs acoustically from the front of the stage. He did this for a couple of songs then the power went back.

That is the professional way to do it. When the obstacle happens you just go around it. The artists that have been papered with usually can't really things like Peter Tosh did. They are freaked out if anything is not in order and the sound needs to be utterly perfect for them to do their thing.

In reality that is actually a sign that there not good enough. They try to hide behind a manager that demands different stuff that really is not necessary.

That is why I like to see an artist get into a showcase where it's only 10 people in the audience. There is a struggle with the sound and not the best stage. If they can master that, well then it's no worries that they can take on 50 000 people on Madison Square Graden with perfect sound and stage.

It might not be fun, but it's a good test if you have the skills to make it. And the understanding to know what to do.

One of these moments was when we played at SXSW with You Say France & I Whistle. We got to the gig place and the drumset that supposed to be there was just a mess. The floor tomb only had one leg. Instead of start nagging and drag out on the misery, the drummer instead went behind the bar got a box to put under the drum to solve the problem.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Vlog revealing nothing or?

No releases but a lot of rumors about different things.

The link to send music

In the head of an A&R blog


Twitter: @peterastedt

Instagram: @peterastedt


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

They will steal your ideas as you steal theirs.

Nothing is really new. You steal to do new songs or inspired that they sometimes say. Same with clothes and stuff. The funny part is when artists get their ideas stolen back from someone. Many times I have been in situations when they steal back and the artist gets really mad that they stole back the things they stole already. Instead, you should be proud someone took something you did and get so inspired that they wanted to create out of that idea. Yes, I know there is a problem if it is pure piracy a totally bootleg, that is not okay. But sometimes it's kind of fun.

The Magnettes found their clothes being copied by H&M in Sweden the other day. This is from an H&M store in Sweden.

Yes you can really see where you got this from. I mean even the name "Witches". The Magnettes is creating something new so they mainly laughed about it.

This is also one of the things you wonder. You Say France & I Whistle released this video on 5 of March 2012. 

Imagine Dragons released this one 10 of December 2012.

I don't know if the director for You Say France & I Whistle stole the idea from something else. But I don't think so. The video was about that You Say France & I Whistle stopped having the stuffed animals on the stage and killed them. What I know is that the "blood" was a new effect coming out.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Vlog about Influencers and Algorithms

A VLOG about two very fancy words like Influencers and Algorithms. Also, check out witch band really SUUUUCKS and why the computer really can't tell the next thing.

Facebook Twitter: @peterastedt Instagram: @peterastedt Musichelp

Friday, September 29, 2017

You don't lose on the delay!

I have been working on a song that got stuck in the system for a couple of days. It got me thinking when this happens and you don't have a great person behind it. In the case I'm on right now the artist is great but I have meet worse cases.

Errors always happen. You can't get around it. If you release on a certain date and it won't happen well it's not good but not the end of the world.
Many times you get from the artist when it happens that it's so important with this release and now they have lost so many people not listening to it.
This argument is so bloody boring. People won't be, ohh it's not out 5 of September I will never listen to that song. And your old stats show that your past three releases have not gone over 1000 listens on Spotify and you have 16 followers and 50 monthly listeners. I don't think this release is so special that it would draw a million streams.

Many big bands actually use the tactic of just release the song and let the audience find it.

But we had a release party and it was not on Spotify. Well, that is also kind of dumb, you had the master play it in the speakers get the email addresses and send a message to them when it's up.

Yes, turn all the delay to your advantage instead of acting like a victim.

No, you didn't lose several thousand dollars on that release being delayed. Don't give me that crap.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Another tech startup, with no solution?

My friends were posting about another tech startup in the music business. This time on the live side called Gigital. The story is that they want to revolutionize the live industry.
Telling that the live industry is very closed and immature and not digital friendly (i can actually agree on this in certain points). Their solution building a site where booker can find bands to book, with a more approach to dating and more open numbers of what they artist cost.

I have seen this so many times before. One of my hobbies is to go on startup conferences and get shirts from companies that really will fail. I have a wardrobe full of this t-shirts. My favorite is Glomper, an Instagram with different filters, I wonder if they still exists?

Several companies had this idea, some of them actually with the same idea is already out there. In fact, the idea is around the same as Gigmit, Bandwagon, Bands in town, Gigsalad, Sonicbids, Music Glue, Artistivity, Bookmyartist and then I know at least four Swedish ones. And really no one of them works.

One of the features was that you could see the social numbers of the artist. Right now since several festivals going down after trusted that the social media numbers were good, it's not the right way to point.

They were complaining that it's all built on networks and emails and that the artist agencies is holding everything and gives out different price tags. It's true they really do. But sometimes in the artist's favor. This is a way to say no to gig you don't want. You get a gig that you really don't want. Okay, you are not booked but it won't be that nice. Still, if the price is good enough you do it gladly. Many times that is what it is you tell them to give me five times more and they say yes and you do it with a smile.

But they are up against a bunch of other real problems. Sure when I meet Spotify 2007 they were up against an even bigger problem. Same that it was several others on the market. I really hope they make it and that I can get a t-shirt that will have in the pile of the companies that actually went on. My Spotify T-shirt is kind of alone in there.

I'm skeptical but I hope for change even in the live area. and I hope they pick up the small things that need to change to get a revolution like Spotify did. Put Gigital on your mind. I think they have some new solutions inside it, not like many of my T-shirts that had no solution just an idea.

I will follow this project it will be interesting, despite mine negativity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


 A Vlog about Dog Rescuing, Mondo NYC, Eurosonic and some more

The link to send music

In the head of an A&R blog


Twitter: @peterastedt

Instagram: @peterastedt


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

If you think to long the oppertunity is gone!

I had an artist that we are discussing a contract with answering very fast and very surely on the corresponding we have. And that is really good, but it made me think of all the times when I had artist miss out on opportunities because they could never take a decision.

Okay, I understand that when a contract comes on the table it's quite a big thing for an artist. I'm dealing with contracts almost every week it's not that special. And I also know that this contract is just a piece of paper and doesn't mean a shit until you start doing stuff.

So when artists are looking over a 2-page contract for two months you start to lose interest in them. You are thinking of the more serious problems you have to take very fast decisions on along the way and if they are sitting löike this and just think, well then I really don't want to work with them.

At the same time, you don't want the persons that just go straight ion and just sign the deal and doesn't understand what they have signed. they can be equally bad to work with.

I guess it is a bit like a job interview. You don't have all the time in the world to say yes and don't propose to start tomorrow if the job is scheduled to next mouth.

My record was a band that I sent a contract to and they wrote back eight months later with a lot of comments what they wanted to change in the contract. I never answered them back. Two years later I meet them again and they still thought we were in negotiation.

Monday, September 25, 2017

No sites makes you famous

If you are an artist going up and build a fanbase the people that you need will find you. That is pretty good advice. The error many do is to instead of looking for an audience is looking for an outlet that has the audience.

I guess they think it goes faster but in reality, they are spending time on nothing. If you are using Bandcamp sure do that, but use it. Not just put up an account and think people will find you. In my opinion, Bandcamp is kind of stupid. But when you use it and drive traffic to it might work.
In reality, you might have the same success with a homepage and then you own your clients.

The sites you really8 should not go on is the ones that want you to upload your music and suddenly you can be famous. Especially the one that you have to pay to get to industry people. I have spoken to may industry people both people who not use them or use them but both say they have never found anything out of these sites.

In reality, you have to get out there and fight to get recognition and in the end actually, deserve that people recognize you. Now so than ever.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vlog about how Spotify is pissing on their artists.

A Vlog about how Spotify are pissing on the artists according to a journalist.
Also about send in music.

The link to send music

In the head of an A&R blog


Twitter: @peterastedt

Instagram: @peterastedt



The article (just in swedish)

Rockit Gaming

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fake it to you make it

You can usually see this line "Fake to you make it" and it's the truth. Okay, sometimes it feels wrong to blow things up more than it is. Still, you compete with others that blow smaller things up much more. In the whole competition that is the rule and all the people that read this messages takes things off so if you don't boost it well then they take off their percentage of the not boosted part.

It usually better if someone boost it for you. This is also true. One A&R told me not long ago. Yes it's good to know people but it's even better if they know you. What she means is that if I tell you I know someone and you ask that person around it and they answer - ohh yes I know Peter very well.
That is worth much. So yes if someone else tells is better. But in many cases that is not gonna happen so you have to do it yourself.

One person told me what the limit is when it goes from boosting to a pure lie.
- Well if you sit and eat ion a plane going over Washington, you are having dinner with the president. All after that is lying.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do we have a deal?

What really annoys me is when an artist is trying to change a deal just because things have changed. Imagine I get to you with a great new company idea. I will open a juice bar that serves a new juice of an apple and a pear that just got on the market. I need money to open the restaurant and to the PR. There is no safety that this new apple and pear will even take off, in fact, the first tree is just ready to get fruit in a couple of months. But you need the money now so you have to take a risk that it will work.

The more money you put in the more percentage you will get. So we strike a deal that you take 50% of the risk. The part you will do is also shouting about on the social media since you have really many followers and do some work in the juice bar for no payment when we open the bar.

Everything is fine and the juice bar opens. And the apple really takes off, it comes out it's really healthy and everyone wants it. The pear is going okay, but not as good as the apple which is a success.

The money that you lent me is got back to you. But no profit so far, you will start getting profit from it. Then I come back and start talking about that we should change the deal. You can still get a percentage of the pear part but the apple, well it was my trees and you already have gotten your money back. We should change the deal.

Not nice huh. I mean you took a risk just getting me the money and now when we finally get some I want to cut you out?

This happens all the time. When you then say no they go around and tell that you are the evil music company. You invest in their record and then when you get a hit they don't want to give you the percentage that we agreed on. That you took a risk, well you knew it was a hit so it was no risk. All that work you did for free since you calculated to get it later. That free work was just for fun.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Vlog 20 of September

Okay another Vlog, here with topics like What picture does The Magnettes hate? The Orb, Shockholm, Reeperbahn, Youbloom and Swedish radio.

Look what you have.

Sometimes it's easier to work with an artist that has been on a company that didn't deliver. Signing a new artist that really doesn't know what to expect is much harder. They build up fantasies around what you should be able to carry out for them. Also all the time the grass is much greener on the other side.

One such case was a group that I know who was giving out on a smaller indie compnay. the company did a  great job witrh them,. But what did they have to compare too? One day a really big manager came by and loved the band. They get signed with the manager. His point was to get them to a bigger company and spread the music.

In my eyes, they were not that commercial to even do that. They were more likely to have a good time on this indie company.

Well, the manager found a small thing in the contract and used it in the worst way to get the artist from this indie label. Of course, this was done with the concent of the band so no blame on the manager.

Then they signed with a big label, released an album that really went nowhere. Then teh big label was not that intrested in them and they still had an option. Less and fewer opportunities came in and the manager also grew tired of them. In the end, nothing relaly was going on and they fired the manger.

After that, they went back to teh indie label and tried to get them to release their latest album. Ot course the label was pissed and just told them to get fuck out of there. The band in the end now has no outlet and really not exist that much.

Sure the grass looked greener but in reality, it was a dead end. Same time they took a chance and lost it. I can't say it was a bad decision but I would have done some things in a safer way.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Too much DIY will kill you

Too much love will kill you. Well to much DIY can kill your career too.
But how much is too much? Some DIY is necessary to even become a good artist. So where to draw the line to find a professional to get your stuff in the right direction?

This discussion is really not easy but the last couple of days I bumped into quite many of these with a bit too much and the mindset of keeping it that way. The reality is that I see so many mistakes and loss of money while they haven't even got the rehearsal room in the basement.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Return of Vlog

It has been a couple of good days in Barcelona on Future Music Forum. New friends and new views, old friends as well.
I guess the idea that gets the blog in a new light was during this conference.
I finally will make it also on Vblog. Yes, I tried two years ago. I didn't have the tools and formats ready back then. Now I have a better idea and a better overview. I guess I also found the solution to the biggest problem that I had with it. So I'm really hyped to take my little project to a new level.

So get out on my Youtube channel and subscribe. I'm aiming to release a new Vlog every Sunday. 
Here is my first one.

Discussions on stupidity.

Over the week on FMF I have heard so many of the issues I have brought up in the blog. Even that these stories are going on at higher levels.
One time we got into a battle who had the dumbest artist issue. I didn't win.
I less and less believe that I one day will see the Diy totally self-made. And start to more see that to much DIY is actually not good for the artist. Well, I have a bunch of new stuff coming up soon from this conference.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We will test you!

In bigger corporations they test their next employees, severe tests are usually done to get a good placement into a company. Why do people think this is not applying on when you seek out artists?

I mean in many cases you are gonna work with this artist for at least 10 years or even more. Do you really think we just take the first best that comes in the door with a good song?

Would you be late to an interview meeting with a company that you applied for a job? I guess not. Same here keep the times. And yes we work office hours so starting that you can only take meetings on Sundays between 2 and 6 when you have your rehearsal time, is really not a good opener.

Or even better call in and just ask them to take it another day since you are busy. Just forgetting that you are the one who applied not the opposite around.

Your first day on the work and you start by refusing to do some of the day to day things with the words "that isn't that cool". I guess they won't keep you after 6 months of trial period.

I guess phoning in a week after that you don't come in on Monday since you are spending time with your partner on a weekend trip to Paris and just want to extend that.

We bump into this all the time. I just wonder how many careers have been blown by idiot decisions.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lost in the studio. Lost in the game.

I got a mail from a manager today. He has been complaining that his artist is not going that much forward. Actually, the whole thing was not moving that forward. I suggested getting to some conferences usually you get new contacts and you get things moving in some way. So I gave him a couple of suggestions of some that is pretty good.

Now he got back thanked for the suggestions but he didn't have time since they were spending time in the studio.

At the same time, I got a message from a band that they were soon ready with their new EP and since they had spent time in the studio the last six months they were keen on going out playing,

This is the greatest stupidity of them all. In the old days yes you were in the studio, then did PR and touring band then went back to the studio. That was the life cycle of an artist. Still somewhat for big mega artists. But for a new unknown artist that is just empty phrases.

In reality, most studio things happen when you don't have anything going on. The possibility that you will spend six months to record an album in a studio is not realistic. Not even the megastars are doing that. To put all other things on hold sitting and rot in the studio is just not an option either.

In this new world, I bump into artists that actually release two songs a week and still do three live shows and think that is the normal speed. You have to be in the limelight the whole time. My artists usually record between shows one day in the studio here, one weekend there. You do it between when you have days off during the touring, and the touring is always.

You are out when you start to say no to opportunities I usually say. But you are also out of the game if you stop looking for these opportunities.

What puzzles me is what the manager is doing in the studio at least he should be out there getting new opportunities for his artist. The artist the answer is possible that easy that they actually don't have anything going on so they spend time in the studio. In the end, it will just be hard to present the finished results. A release of a song is not much of an event today so you have to keep you busy in the feed of things that people are bombarded with all the time.

Friday, September 8, 2017

There is no compromises.

If you have started a business you know how much work and effort it takes. For example to start a restaurant you have to be there and work for years before you get profit and get it rolling so much that you can take time off and let other people work for you.

This effort is mainly the reason it's a certain kind of people that are fit to do this. Many are having a good life going to work get paid and have their time off. And that is okay, but as an artist, you have to expect to throw in, even more, effort than the usual company owner.

How much work that is are hard to grasp. Literally, it means that you have to take your work before everything else. You are gonna miss out your best friends birthday. That family reunion that you do every year, just forget it. Even miss your grandmothers funeral. It's really hard and unforgiven.

Having a relationship is really hard, you have to have a partner that is very understanding. There is a reason why people get together in bands even though the labels don't like it since it can be problems if you separate and still have to work with each other. Just this week I heard stories about how people had to choose between the partner and the career.

The thing I noticed is though that people get this information they still think they can compromise. Sure you need your day job to survive before the career takes off. And if you have a sucky job that is usually not a problem to discard before a gig. The problem I see is when the artist has another job like backgrounds singer, musician for hire, working on a music related job like on a PRO, but try to get a solo career. Many times they pick the paid job before the dream, mainly because they like the job but still is not satisfied.

I usually say that the career is over when you start saying no to shows or development.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New insights how to do it and the two stories.

Just left my last guest from Live at Heart on the airport. And back again to continue to blog.

This is the great part of being at a festival and a conference, you meet so many new good people and get insights to so many new things. That is the driving force in my blog so I have a lot of posts to share over the next few days.

I did some really great jobs during the festival as well. We booked to showcases around the world and got new tours for several of my bands. Also the knowledge of backstabbing that this business is very famous for.

I'm very good friends with most of the speakers that get into Live at Heart and many artists, managers and other invite them to their gigs. Usually, though these stories you should not scream that you have done a deal.

One of the artists sought me up totally overexcited. One of my guests had been down to their gig and seen them. After the gig, they managed to get a short talk to the guest and had a fantastic conversation where they got suggestions and some good advice. Now they were certain that it was a done deal.

Later I was driving my guest to the airport and had to ask about the artist. My guest just sighed and said that the artist was miles from finished. In reality, the guest was not impressed at all. Of course, the questions the artists had was answered but also put in a way so they had a lot of things to work with.

Totally two stories!

And that is the thing. You really don't tell anyone that they suck in their face. Opportunities that are in front of you on the festival. It can happen but it can also be a case where they never reply your emails and calls.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

We can't build the platform for you!

I get in more and more artists that really haven't done the whole job of the platform. So what do you need in a platform?

A homepage, yes you need a homepage. This is the place where you have your bio (no it's not good to have it on Facebook, hidden in the about page. Also here is where you build your funnels and have a proper tool to pick up your fans info. Also here you have press pictures in high res and not in some strange format where you can't save them. Then links to the social media.

In social media, you need Facebook just because it's biggest, Youtube because it's where you can make money. Instagram because many are turning to that. Then it's good with Twitter (yes you can post things in cross over so getting things like HootSuite).

Then are several more you can add. Still, I see too many only having Spotify and Facebook, even artists that really should have the other stuff in place for a long time ago.

And when you have the basics in place, work it. When you have done that for a couple months then you are ready. And no this is not the job for the record label, the manager and hell no the publisher.

Monday, August 28, 2017

One thing is crucial.

I just got a newsletter from an artist that I'm following. I really like this band, they are nice good live and working their asses off. Unfortunately, they are based in the USA so really can't work with them also their genre is not an area I'm good at.

Still, I want them to succeed. They do everything by the book. Have all their channel correct, take all right steps. In a way that should be paid off. So I took some of their music and sent off to a couple of good people in the industry in that genre they are playing that works in the USA.

What I got back was that well it didn't trigger any sparks for any of these people. They said, yes it was good, but not exceptional. Also, they had so many bands at that level that they would be drowned in the competition.

I was a little bit like the parents of artists that come in. You think your kid is so good since you are close and you really don't know whats out there. same for me I can't read this genre, they were better than many of the acts I have seen, but I'm not seeing the best in this line of music.

This is a problem that is not easy to fix and probably the hardest problem to have. You are not good enough. You are good so in your local town you are the hero, but nation wide you are just one out of five hundred. There are only two ways to fix this problem. Change your things so you become unique. This is really hard. In away you already tried it, you think you are unique.
The other one is to work so hard and create a fan base so big that people can't ignore you.

This has been done, there is a famous case called Nickelback. Not so special, just mediocre but the fan base was so big that they couldn't be ignored. You have to work uphill though, no one in the media likes you and you get nothing for free, it's easy to quite there.

The crucial is to have that "it" factor. If you don't have that it's gonna be harder in a really hard game. How do you get that "it" factor? Hard to tell. In many cases you just have it. In some cases, you can build it up. Some will never have it.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Save you from the DIY mistakes!

One of the biggest reasons that DIY (Do it yourself) will not work is when I look back on all the times I have to save artists from making total asses of themselves.

Most of the situations are about that the artist doesn't understand what is reasonable or not. Also, what is polite or not. The reason is mainly that they are rookies and not experienced in these things. Of course, as they grow bigger they get better to read the situation. The problem if they had done those mistakes they would never get that far.

Here are some of these situations that were close to disaster.

One band that we signed to a label wanted on the first meeting with the boss yell at him because they wouldn't get to play on the company kick off. The thing was that they were signed two weeks before the event and the spots were already taken by far bigger bands on the label. Took me two hours to get them to understand not to even talk about it. My guess would have been that the band had been dropped if you start your first meeting with the crew by telling them that they are doing a bad job before you even start.

One I managed to see the rider the band was supposed to send into a festival we just managed by a really hard struggle to get into. Gene Simmons in Kiss had been jealous of that rider. After all this festival owned several other festivals so make these requirements would them laugh and probably not book them again,to the other festivals.

In one case a band needed money for a video. Their budget was bigger than the biggest video shoot in Sweden that year. And this should be put on an artist that just releasing their first album. There was no way they even get 10% out of that budget so this would just have been a disaster. Of course, we had to make another budget and another strategy.

In many cases, the industry is never forgiving and making stupid mistakes over nothing can be very costly. One artist that was recommended to us by her manager was very unpolite against what she thought was my "girlfriend". Of course, that "girlfriend" was the boss of the company and she never forgave that and the signing went off even how talented the girl was.
Another band was arguing around a clause in the contract that you couldn't change (and had to be there to make the contract correct).  Their stubbornness just made us walk away. When they understood that they came back with another offer, but the damage was already done there was no point to work with this band.
One band, we discovered two days before we released their debut album that they had taken the promo copy that we gave them for press and sent them to other labels to get a better deal. All PR for that band was just stopped and no money was spent on them.

Yes, what ever not kills you gets you stronger. The problem here is that this kills your career. And what we expect is that a DIY artist should just have the same experience as a person that has worked with it for 20 years is just stupid.

If you give me this, I will work with you.

I just got another of these messages from an artist with no clue. Sure I have written about this in my blog hundreds of times in different versions, still, I get these messages. So I will take it one more time, sorry if you feel that you have read this before.

What I got was a single of course already recorded and mastered. The artist asked if we could work on this, they wanted to release it in early September. They were already recording an album and wanted it to reach a bigger audience (sorry they all tell this, so it's not YOU).

Nothing wrong with this. At least they sent their stuff before it was released (see this post). But the timing is not that good. We are a couple of days to September. Always count that we need 10 weeks minimum to release a track. Yes, there are idiots that now will tell me that they can upload a track in 24 hours to get it online. Yes, I can actually get a track up in 3 hours. But what's the point of that? These 10 weeks are preparing and doing PR so your track really has the chance to get as many peoples attention as possible.  Yes, it can be done faster but not that good.

Also, don't you think we have other artists that we work with that already has booked time to release around here? I don't think we would drop any of these jobs to get on your project. Oh yes if your project could guarantee us to get a lot of money in return we might push something, still quite unlikely.

This is a good artist though so they were willing to push their release to another time this autumn.

Of course, they had been asking us if we wanted to listen to the music. In fact, I just wanted to know more if there was a point to listen to them. I asked the question that actually no one sends in but every company wants an answer on.

What are your plans for this autumn and spring?

The answer I always get is:

1. We keep going to record the rest of the album.
2. We are planning to get some gigs.
3. We are really not sure.
4. We are giving out more singles.

The answer I want:

1. We have planned and booked these gigs and we are planning to visit these industry events to promote our music.
2. We are also planning to this things on social media to promote this single we are planning.
3. We are going to be on this thing that people really watch.
4. We have all these things for the first single that we are planning to do.

I guess the best answer was a band telling me that to the spring they will "burn rubber on the road in Europe". So you have booked a European tour? Well, not yet but we plan to do it, it can't be that hard.

I guess many think that this is the job of the label, PR team, booking team. Yes in a way but you have to start the things to happen. I can't get your radio interviews if you are not visiting that city that the station is broadcasting from. I can't get my booking contacts down to a show if you don't have any shows. It's hard to support nothing.

Then they usually go to technical stuff. Our single is recorded in this studio or and mastered by this person. Sorry, that is a none story. That won't get you the gigs or the PR or anything. The sound of the recording is probably really good if you used professionals. At the same time, I have number one hits recorded by a nobody in a kitchen. It's really not that important. Your song won't be better if it's mastered at Sterling Sound in NYC. It will be a good master, but if the recording and song are already crap it will be like polishing a turd.

Let say that the song, recording and the master are brilliant. Still, nothing will happen if you don't have planned what steps you want to take to promte the stuff. That has to be in place before the release, it's nothing you make up on the way.

When you hear people talk about that it came up on the way, it's usually when something is already in motion. Things are dragged to things that are in motion.

The secret is that I already know what is going to happen with my artist I work with. Right now we are planning the spring of 2018. The Autumn we already spoke about before summer and we are mainly updating around the events that we agreed to work on. Then, of course, things change. Suddenly you get a really great opportunity and we have to reschedule. That is a good thing and usually if a single is pushed because of events it's just a good thing. If it's pushed by laziness then it's bad, usually not happening that often.

Same with my professional things. I know I will be in Barcelona on Future Music Forum in September. Also, know that I will be on Reeperbahn in Hamburg in September. I will be in NYC in October and in Tokyo. In fact already know where I will be in January, February, and March next year. Right now I'm checking the opportunities of April 2018. Yes, this schedule will change, still, as long nothing better comes up I at least know where I'm heading.

So can you give me a good plan that is reasonable, the chances that I will work with you is pretty good.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Facebook a new music channel?

The whole summer has been rumors what is going on Facebook? We have seen employment ads where they have hired music lawyers.
Of course, it has to do with that you can put up videos in the Facebook feed, and as it is right now the creators won't get paid. Still, we already see that Universal has stopped their songs to be on Facebook if you upload any Universals stuff you get a warning.

It's kind of easy to see that Facebook must pay for other peoples content. They probably in the same as Youtube working up a fingerprinting system and that you will have ads in front of the video.

The interesting is what happens when people start marketing things like a radio station inside Facebook. This also would include Instagram that is growing fast (Facebook is slowly become not so cool).

And how will it affect Spotify? I mean you would be able to create channels like that inside Facebook, they would just need to add a function so they play after each other.

This can shake things up.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Though weeks

I'm entering the toughest weeks of the year. It's time for Live at Heart the showcase festival we are owning a part of and are creating some parts of. It's a really big task to take care of all the speakers that come internationally to the festival. But it's nothing compare to take care of 220 bands that are playing, that is tough.

It will be really fun. I hope I have time to write in the blogg, still, it can be some down time while this is going on. Yet there will be so many subjects to write about.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Celebrating 500 posts

This is post number 500, the blog has proven what I wanted to prove. It was mainly a test to see if you can do a blog on a very tiny narrow subject like artist development. Also, test out tools to give away to our artist that we work with.
It's easy to just sit and say "do this, do that" when you don't know the effort.

So the project has gone on now for a bit over two years. I have changed the language to English, not easiest move.

35000 views, it's not the biggest blog still I got around a 100 a day logging in and reading. Not bad for such a narrow topic.

Most read is still a Swedish post where I tell how the political institutions in music Sweden are not that serious. You can read it here. The funny part is that is now an uprising to get the money from these institutions to give to real artists.

The second is where I out a kind of scam PR stunt. A Swedens version of Nickelback said they should try to get to the USA. The problem here is that I know they didn't even make it in Germany which is much easier. The band also sign in the USA to a label that really can't do anything. And yet we have not seen anything about this USA thing, so I was right about the bad PR stunt. You can read it here.

The third is the post with the name Spotify is Dead! Of course, it was also a test if the headline effects the reads, oh yes it does. The funny part here is that I was early on to this and now the moment is very strong and the most streamed song Depacito was broken through Youtube, not Spotify. I guess the game is on and here you can read this post.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Learn how to own your fans.

11) If All Your Eggs Are in Instagram You’re Doomed

Yes, Instagram is the hottest social app out right now (sorry Snapchat). But that doesn’t mean it always will be. I’m sure you’re too young to remember Myspace, but at one point the only online presence that mattered for musicians was Myspace. Those that didn’t grab their fans and transfer them to a database they owned (i.e. email list) lost contact with all their fans when Myspace died.

You rent your fans to social sites. You own your fans email addresses and phone numbers. Get them.

Don’t ignore the social sites where your fans exist, but also have a way to keep in touch with them that isn’t dependent on the whims of the latest hot social app.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This is a part that most artists forget (and labels too). These numbers are held by the site or app you are using. And in many cases like Facebook or Instagram, they want money for you to reach all your people, which is really insane but we buy it every day. You have to get things in your feed to get these people to give you their emails and phone number and location.

And to be honest this has been proved to work in many cases over the years. Per Gessle (singer in Roxette) had people sign postcards to send to radio to get his first single played. Yes, he went out manually to get these people, easier today, still you have to get down to do it. Part of Blink 182:s plan was that they called up fans personally in the city they were heading at. Of course for a fan to get a personal call from your favorite band telling you to bring friends with, yes you will bring friends with you.

So the tools are easier today. Still, you have to get down to have that list. You don't have the emails on facebook. But you can use Facebook to get people to get you there emails.

Friday, August 18, 2017

You need knowledge in the studio.

9) You Can’t Trump Talent With Tech

Yes, 18 year old Steve Lacy produced a song (and played on) Kendrick Lamar’s new Platinum record DAMN with just his iPhone, but that doesn’t mean all you need is an iPhone to make a Platinum record. You, of course, need talent. Just because you can make an entire record on your iPhone doesn’t mean it’s going to sound good or compete. Whether you’re working out of a giant, state of the art studio or in your bedroom, never settle for ‘good enough’ and attempt to cover up your lack of chops with tech. It may fool your parents, it ain’t gonna fool your musical peers who matter.

10) You Don’t Need a Big Studio to Record a Big Album

And the flip side of that, of course, is that if you have the talent you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a gigantic studio. Know who cares that you tracked Neumann U47s through the same Neve console as John Lennon? You do. Nobody else. All anyone cares about is what your record sounds like – not what studio it was recorded in. Not what amps or mics you used. Stop wasting your money.

If you can get the sound you need from your bedroom, there’s no need to drop $1,000/day just for bragging rights.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This has always been the case. It has always been a discussion about having better studio better mics. But always end up that is the talent and a good song that is the thing. Beatles still did their song on four channels, still great songs.

Today I usually say that the tech is there, but the knowledge is not. Yes, you don't need a fancy studio but have a person that knows how to mic your instrument, and use the tools is everything.
So look for the experience rather than the gear.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

If you have a manager, you have a manager!

Things you really hate are when an artist contacts you. You answer the questions. Then they artist hands over to a ”manager”. It’s really annoying when this manager is just some dude that really knows as much as the artist does in the matter so when you answer (in some higher terms) you get an answer back that is so stupid you want to kick them in the face. In the first place, it just annoying that it hands over to someone else.

While you are having the painful task of explaining this to the “manager” the artists start sending new questions in many are questions to explain what the “manager” doesn’t understand. Suddenly you are answering the same questions to two different people.

Of course, now you look like a real asshole as an artist.

If you have a manager, well then it’s the manager who should ask the question, in fact, that manager should have started the conversation and you should not hand it over. Then it’s good if the manager is someone that knows something about the business. It’s okay to have friends as “managers” that deal with the backline at gigs and sell the merch, but when it comes to more complex things get a real manager, and stop doing the managers job.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Live at Heart Tip Off, Use your social media.

This is a part of a series of a tip off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 30 of August to 2 of September. The tip off is not just for Live at heart would work on any showcase festival.

Use your social media.

Actually, use media over all. If you are chosen to play in a showcase festival, the local media reports on events like that. So go a head send a press letter to the local media in that city. Take a couple of hours to scan the internet. This also makes you stand out so this media usually choose a couple of acts that they will say: Don't miss this during the festival. Sending out make that chance much bigger.

Then, of course, make a facebook event and invite relevant people. Post about it a couple of times. This is really important. Both for the festival but also for you to build up that you are chosen to this festival.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Live at Heart Tip off, You can drink beer later!

This is a part of a series of a tip off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 30 of August to 2 of September. The tip off is not just for Live at heart would work on any showcase festival.

You can drink beer later!

Yes, we know after a really exhausting show it's really nice to get backstage and grab that cold beer that waits in the dressing room. This is really not a good time to drink beer. Just minutes after the show get back out there in the audience and mingle.

I have been both sides my self. I have seen bands and wanted to get their contact information and answers to some questions. Hey in some cases I wanted to book them to Live at Heart. But they never come out again and I need to get to the next show. And since time is going fast I manage to write to them and in the end that opportunity they didn't know was there is lost.

One of my jobs as a manager is to actually go backstage and get my bands out of there to mingle some 20 minutes with new fans or industry people. Sometimes it's the beer that keeps them, but in most cases is that friends of them are invited backstage and keep on talking how good the show is and so on. And it's hard to say to a friend, excuse me I come back to you I just need to work the room. In many cases that are my job to be that irritating person that nags them back out.

Some also go back and then they go directly on the stage taking things off. That is necessary. But if you are not a  solo artist, send someone to work the room and the rest pick things off and join in when they are ready.

Live at Heart Tip Off, Bring your music.

This is a part of a series of a tip off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 30 of August to 2 of September. The tip off is not just for Live at heart would work on any showcase festival.

Bring your music

Yes, it's kind of usual that I meet artists that don't have their music with them to give me. Sometimes they want me to listen to songs on a phone right there and then. That never works for me. I want to listen in my office when nothing is disturbing me.

But then you have the people that bring CD:s. I remember when I got to showcase festivals in the 90:s and you got a suitcase full of CD:s, to be honest with you, I never listen to CD:s. mainly because of the only CD player, we have now is on the Xbox that is in the living room. I won't have time to get there to listen to a CD. So they are mainly just lying around.

Here is a picture of CD:s that I got the past year. Last week we went to the land fill with the CD:s I got over the past five years, and just dumped them.

No, I will never listen to them.

So what is better a USB stick. well better, but today I took one of these USB sticks and erased it since I needed space on it. Did I listen to it, no! same with all these download cards I get, also very hard to do, you have to go to pages and put in a hell of a long code.

The most I know in the business prefer to get links. And prefer video links so you can see the band. You get approached by several so you won't remember their names, but if you see them you usually remember who they were.

The trick is to make business cards, cost almost nothing. Put your contact details there (email, phone, and homepage. Then put a link to your songs. Okay, some one says that would be a hell of a long link on the card, that will be trouble to put in for you.
True but do it this way. Do a secret page on your homepage ( yes you need a homepage, if you go on a showcase festival with just a facebook page or Bandcamp page you are out of the game, a homepage with bio and contacts is a most). Then on this secret page, you put in links to secret songs from Soundcloud, better even embedded. So the link would look like Easy to put in.
And yes put videos there as well embedded.

Another thing you should do is try to get the address of the person you speak with and then send an e-mail with the links to that person on the same evening. Don't expect them to answer, but you got the links in front of them.

If you are really good, put your gig times on the card. Then you have to print cards to every showcase, still a low cost.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Live at Heart Tip off, Get the most of it

This is a part of a series of a tip off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 30 of August to 2 of September. The tip off is not just for Live at heart would work on any showcase festival.

Get the most of it.

Live at heart has a conference part to it. Use that! Most showcase festivals have a conference part, most artist never uses it. Okay, some of the panels might seem boring. Hopefully, they will give you new information. Think of it, not for the panels. It's the mingle before and after that is important. also knowing who is who, get a face on people.

Last year Royal Prospect was on Live at Heart they went on every seminar, if not the whole group at least part of the band. They introduced themselves to Tommy Rehn from Rehn music and asked him to come down to their showcase. This was Royal Prospects first showcase festival and they came in in the last section so they only had one show on the festival. Tommy had gone through the list of bands, but since they introduced themselves he was determined to see them. At the same time, there was a really popular band playing at another venue so Tommy needed to take a decision. And that introduction was why he went for Royal Prospect. The rest is history, Tommy was so excited he signed the band directly after and he is now taking them to the international market.

You can see Royal prospect this year as well looking for a booker. This time they have grown bigger and have three shows during Live at Heart 2017.

Instead of just doing a show you have to drag people down to it. You are faced against 220 good bands so start to mingle and try to be active. Two years ago a Danish band was signed after a panel talking to one of the speakers. The showcase is only 30% of the work, most are the legwork around it. I know myself if someone comes up to me and introduce themselves I usually try to see that artist showcase. By doing that you get a better chance that the important people come down to your show.

Also, the panel is a good way to know what people are doing. Just because they work at a booking agency or record label it might not fit. If you play metal and they work with country music it won't be a match. During the panel sometimes, you find new ways. Maybe this country label has just started a metal division.

I was on a showcase in NYC a couple years ago where I took care of two bands. One band was the headlight, people love that band. But the artist wanted to do some sightseeing instead of going to the conference. The other band I had went to the conference with me. Suddenly I got the opportunity to play two songs acoustically in the mingling part. The band took it and that drew a lot of important people to their showcase in the night. The other artist mainly just played on the festival and nothing got out of it.

This method also works quite well even though you are not playing at the festival. The introduction part is a huge part of the success of an artist.

Think of it as an opportunity to just be chosen, use it.

Here is "Fire" from the gig of Royal Prospect on Live at Heart 2016

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Live at Heart Tip off, Use your time.

This is a part of a series of a tip off I give in front of the showcase Live at Heart that is going on in Örebro 30 of August to 2 of September. The tip off is not just for Live at heart would work on any showcase festival.

Use your time.

A showcase festival will give you 40 minutes to play 20 minutes to change over. Prepare a set that really is 40 minutes, not 35, not 45. If you play longer, of course, you eat someone else playing time and that is not fair. Things like that can fuck up the schedule bad time. So clock your performance.
Playing to short is equally bad. Okay only are affected by it. A showcase festival is several artists playing at the same time, during Live at Heart it can be up to 25 artists at the same time on different venues. And yes some people want to see artists at the same time. what you do is that you see a couple of songs from one band, goes to the next one. But if you end your show to early there might be people coming in that wanted to see your performance missing it, even if it was just the last song.

The 20 minutes change over. Practice this, I don't know how many times I see artists do change over and run around like chickens and it takes longer than it really should. Practice it so it goes faster.

And in all cases, it is main line check. And when it comes to line check it won't be that perfect. Don't waste time to find the perfect sound on your snare. Don't try to squeeze in a full sound check into these 20 minutes it won't work. Also, everybody that is professional knows that the first song in the set usually sounds a bit strange since some of the sound checks are done there. We know it is your time to shine, still, we are also interested to see how an artist handles these situations, that is why I love showcases you can sort out the professionals from the beginners just by see the changeover.

Whatever you do don't go over these 20 minutes. It's horrible when you get into a show where you want to see the first two songs and they are still doing the changeover. In severe cases, we have left before it starts. If something is going wrong try to go around it instead of changing the fuse of the amp. One time it was a black out during a showcase and the artist just took the gear and started play acoustic, it was marvelous.

If you have some asshole artist that has gone over the 20 minutes and leaves you with only 10 minutes change over. It's critical to do it all in 10 minutes instead and rather start in time, here the practice comes handy. If it's so bad that it even has taken off time of your set. Shorten the set to help the festival get the schedule on track. Don't think that you should have your time worth of show that you only contribute to the problem the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Live at Heart tip off

It's almost time for Live at Heart 30 of August is it opening day in Örebro, Sweden. 220 artists will play and people from the international music industry will come and talk.

I will take five days here to give some tips for artists around showcases. I get the question quite often and even sometimes the answers are quite logical, still it gives a quite aha experience to many when I say them.

Do you really want to get signed?

8) The Goal Is Not To Get Signed The Goal Is To Make a Living Doing What You Love

“How do you get a record deal? Don’t try to get signed. Try to become popular first.” – Avery Lipman, President of Universal Republic Records

You know how cool it is to say you just signed a record deal with Warner records is? Kinda cool. But that coolness wears off very quickly. You know what is less cool? Three years down the line still signed to Warner with only one song released to your name and no tours, no growth and no money to speak of. But hey, you’re signed to Warner! Sometimes record deals can help tremendously. Sometimes they can hurt. Sometimes they’re right for an artist. Sometimes they’re not.

If your goal is to get signed, then you’re going to miss. If after building your career on your own to a level where labels are begging to work with you, then, and only then, should you decide if it’s the best move for you.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This I think is the biggest mistake that artist is doing. I meet so many that only work only to get signed. The rest of audience songs and other shit should just come automatically after you signed that paper. The worst cases also only go for the majors, a major deal is an ultimate goal.

Today that is no option. In the 80:s and 90:s sometimes it was, but now that window is totally gone. Today the device is we find you you don't find us. You have to build up a presence so the companies start to look at you.

I have worked on that theme for the past 15 years. I develop my artists so there is a platform where the labels are interested to step in and work WITH us. Yes, the labels are more like an extra engine for all the things we do. A label is a really hard time to just take an artist and build it up to be a star. It takes to a long time and is too risky so these projects are so rare.

The things people believe is that the labels are doing the job Musichelp is doing. You can't be more wrong. The labels have not a chance to be close to all the things that an artist development company can throw in. That is why they have started to rely on us as new artist providers. Also, the artist developers work in all fields the record labels only try to present the music to listeners.

Yes, you have to be built on all levels not just on a level. We are back to the team, you need the right team.

Another problem we have is that the artist that hunt record labels doesn't get what they are doing and why they are doing it. A good example was a guy that I had on the development side. Every time it became slow the solution was to get a record label. If a single wasn't played on the radio the fault was that it was not a record label behind it. Sure we were looking for a label that could join our team. The problem was that the band wasn't doing shows enough and was horrible to pick up fans and social media was an unknown word for them. In the end, the lines were right and I found a bigger indie that could do some really good things.

Here started the downfall. The band really thought that the label would do the work so they literally put their fat asses on the sofa doing nothing. The label became frustrated before at least some things happened now nothing happens. Also, the label wanted them to produce tracks that fitted the PR. The band had their deal so they thought they could do a strange album that was totally insane. We left the ship, and later I heard the label left them and the band split up.

I have hundreds of stories where bands writers on facebook in the big capital letters that they are signed. And I just think to my self
- Poor bastards, what should they do with a label in that stage.

and in 99% of the cases, nothing happens with the band. Then years later when you meet them you think they have learned their lesson. No hell no then they think it was something wrong on that label and are hunting another label that will do the same to them.

And in the most cases is that the band is doing noth9ing waiting for the label, and the label is waiting for the artist.

I usually say the hard work starts when you sign with a label. In the end, you don't need a label you need a team and do the things that are needed to be done.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How you collect the fans

7) You Don’t Need To Have An Online Presence To Make a Living as a Musician

There is no one way to make it in music anymore.

There are musicians who make six figures getting their songs synched to films, TV shows and ads with no Instagram or Twitter to speak of. There are people who make good livings touring colleges or house concerts with very little to show online. There are composers scoring for TV shows and films. There are freelance musicians who aren’t on any social platforms. There are producers who have recently been labeled as ‘fake artists’ because they don’t have an internet presence anywhere outside of Spotify (where they have millions of plays) and are getting paid by a production house to pump out these highly playlistable songs.

There is still a physical world out there where money can be made. You have to find what makes sense for you and how you want to structure your music career.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This one I'm really not agreed with. The syncs numbers are really down so that era is really over. I don't think a career is to tour colleges and living rooms. Sure there is money to be made. Still, you will go crazy over after awhile.

I think you should have a presence all over the place, but learn how to pick up these fans. In the end, the e-mail and phone numbers and area they are from are the golden pot to monetize from people that like your music. So all these places are just connecting points for you to grab this information. in the end, you need a good homepage to pick all this stuff up.

In the end yes presence by it, the self is not good. You have to pick the end clients also. and this is was most of the artist's miss.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Following the trends

6) You Don’t Have to Follow Musical Trends to Make it

Don’t make music you think people want to hear. Make music that is meaningful to you. You can find your audience. Or rather, the audience will find you if you market it properly.

You don’t have to be a pop musician if you don’t want to. Yes, if you want to be a pop musician, then it’s a lot easier to follow musical trends. But chances are, by the time you’ve put out your record that trend will have shifted and you’ll be behind or simply a “me too” act which will be tired and boring. Make the music that moves you and makes sense to you BUT make sure you know where to find that audience. You don’t need 100 million people to listen to your music. You only really need a thousand or so true fans to support you for life. Go to them. Find them. Nurture that relationship. Respect them. Build your community.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This one is true. The problem is that the industry is always trying to figure out what people want to hear. I got several rejections from Spotify because right then they only wanted mid tempo dance music. Then the track hit on the radio so there you go, people wanted to hear it. Also, Spotify got alot of critique from blogger telling them that their playlists sucked and were too generic.

Still, Spotify relied on what people actually listened to. The problem is that people really don't know what they like or not like. They think they know. Also, people are complex and like the different stuff at different times. But of course it is the wet dream for the industry to know before you know what you want to hear, still, it will never happen.

That is why you should do music you like. Also, don't take off music that you liked before just because it's old, someone that has the same feeling can come along and grab it.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

This is why DIY don’t work.

It feels like 2003 again. When the digital revolution started everybody was talking about that the labels and the publishers and all other professionals could be taken off that the whole thing could be handled by the artist direct. The system would provide them with the copyright money and they could solely live off their music.

 I was on the same path back then. My idea was to create the services that the artist needed to get the things out, like CD pressing, distribution some small marketing things. In the end, we had over 40 different services we could provide the artist with, it was the start of Musichelp.

As you can read in my post about how labels services should have been gone, they are still here.
The problem was not money. We profit a lot from these artists using our systems. The systems were good. It was the same systems I used my self to release records. Still, after almost 10 years in operation, we did a survey and checked how it was going. Around 8000 artists had gone through our systems in one way or the other. We put up the criteria that to “made it” they had to live from their music. Not just playing it you could be an artist making money of a studio you were running. Or an artist but wrote songs for others in the spare time. But you were not allowed to have a day job and just doing it as a hobby.
Out of 8000 artists, we pinpointed around 300 that fit the criteria.

We started to wonder why these 300 hundred. We could easily see that it was not the best acts that contained these 300. When we came up to was that these 300 had the help of someone professional. It could be a manager, a publisher but someone who had a bit more know-how than the general DIY.
Why couldn’t the rest of them do it? They had the same tools. The problem I saw was that with every new DIY that called us they invented the wheel again. The professionals build up knowledge about different things that are essential. This knowledge can’t really be thought out, we tried with info banks, seminars, we did everything to teach these DIY to get it right. Still, they did the mistakes over and over again.

Are DIY more stupid than others, no definitely not. It’s just that there are too many components that affect things that if you don’t do everything totally right it really won’t work. And actually, the most frequented question was

  -   I just want to be sure I’m doing it right now.

The second is the market. When you are a DIY you actually only have one product, your music. Let’s say I look for a song to a commercial for my brand. I really want this rock anthem to go with it. But you are doing slow ambient pop songs. Your product doesn’t fit the criteria. If you send it to me I will be annoyed because it won’t fit my criteria. If you just skip me, well then you don’t get what the customer needs. That will lead to that I probably won’t call you next time I’m looking for a song even if this time I look for an ambient pop song.

As a publisher or a record label, you have a catalog and you will get it pretty close to at least keep the interest. As a DIY this is really hard. And this applies to a lot of things like festivals, gigs etc. The DIY is like having a store with only one brand even just one thing. We got cheese, only Gorgonzola, nothing else. That kind of store is really hard to have.

Then there are the limitations. When I got my distribution deal we need to have 250 000 songs to get in and get that good percentage that makes sense to go through them. The big amount of songs gave the distribution a feeling of safety that all the work they do actually will give them something for that small percentage.

AS a DIY you don’t have that many songs. Okay, you say but we can go together with other DIY to build up to that many. Well, then you are not a DIY you are a record label. The problem will you have only one account and one password that should be distributed around to 1000 of members. Okay, so you let on a person do it. Suddenly you are just a normal distribution.

This can be gone around if you are a really famous artist and people are sure to make money off your release. And there are a couple of theses DIY like chance the rapper. Still, they have done their brand, and in most cases that can take years and in most cases it won’t work.

So a lot of doors are closed to a DIY. Sure we have put up companies mimic the options for a DIY artist to have the same as the big ones, in reality, that is not the case.

It’s also about the team. DIY is usually the artist some band members. Chace the rapper has 60 employees. Max Martin has over 15 people just to check out his rights in the copyright society systems. This is the part that the DIY world always forget. The team will be hard to create as a DIY. The record labels, publishers even managers most of the professional world has built in teams that they have tested and use. And to build these teams takes time and trial errors. As a DIY you don’t have that time to do these errors. We calculate that it takes 10 years to build up an artist to the level that we sat as “made it”. If you going to do all the mistakes we did you have to add 20 years. And 30 years well it will be too long without money to make it.

When it comes down to it. Most the time people that are talking about this DIY are an artist that gives out music that is a very Nish genre, like Keltic Metal. They usually also get their income from another place like working in a bar as a gig promoter or on a PRS something that holds music but really is just a 9 to 5 job that has elements of music. In these kinds of situations, the DIY world is fine. Won’t take you that big but it’s a neat little hobby.

The problem I see right now is these people are telling this to people that really want to be on “made it” level. I stop believing in this years ago. And yes I have the experience of answering the phone for ten years answering the same stupid questions every day since the DIY always invented the wheel again and again and again repeating the same mistakes over and over and over.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

This is how you "make it"!

5) Making It No Longer Means Superstardom

It is the most exciting time to be a musician in the history of the music business.

Never before could you have a successful career as an original performing musician without the help of a record label. There are more ways than ever before to make a living as a musician. For some reason to many, music seems to be the only industry where the sole definition of ‘making it’ is superstardom. Don’t waste your time with people who think that. If you are making a living, supporting the kind of lifestyle you’d like to have, doing something you love then you are making it. Anyone who tries to belittle your success is unhappy with their own. F*ck em.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This one is both true and untrue. Yes, I'm totally in that if you make a living you have made it. The truth is that all these strange artists that everybody is talking about that make a living out of some strange fan base, where are they?

I get a lot of these so called artists having internet courses about different kind of "smart" marketing tips, that other artist should buy from them. Then you have the occasional ones like Amanda Palmer who makes a lot of money on crowdfunding to get out her music and makes a living on it. The other side of that has anyone heard Amanda Palmer's music? I have read about her but never heard a song. To be honest I really don't feel like it either in some way it feels made up.
I guess some have tried listening to her, I just wonder how many go away and how many stays? What is the ratio? Also, Amanda was the first phenomena in this game of crowd funding. A lot of her story is that people told that store, not so much about the music.

I checked her stats...I know I have been talking about that numbers doesn't count. In this case, it can be interesting though. On Spotify she has under 10 million streams. She has the number of my indie success, which is kind of low compared to the publicity she got.

Facebook, here she has 390 000 followers. Okey the engagemnet is pretty ok, it's around 1000 to 2000 likes comments on her posts. Yes it very small from all of her followers. Still A good crowd that cares about her.

Youtube was just a death, her account seems to have four videos, the main one 2 million and the rest a couple of hundred thousand.

Instagram 150 000 followers. The interesting here is that what she market first is her BOOK "art of asking". 2000 in engagement on each picture is kind of low under 2%.

We can easily see that Amanda is not that good musician. She is a good facebook poster, or good on social media, old social media to be honest. Is that success? Yes, she makes a living out of it. I guess she does what she wants to do. Still, it feels like many stars today more lives out of the social media channels than their real art.

I guess that many means to "make it" is to be famous for what you really want to do. Angus Young wants to play guitar, not post pictures of cats on Facebook. He won't publish a book, he will play a guitar solo. I guess there is the success that people identify with. Today do it's fully possible to juggle this around on different platforms. Like being successful blogger and author. Right now in Sweden, there is one of the dancers from"Let's Dance" who released a single and wants to be an artist for a small while.

Then what happens to Amanda if Facebook and Instagram disappears? That never happens...I'm not too sure. the companies will remain but the can burst into other markets. We all know the story of MYSpace and in Sweden Lunarstorm. That is just 10 years ago and this will happen over and over companies and sites comes and go. So if you are stuck in a system like Amanda you can have a hard time. Angus Young, he will still keep playing guitar on the new platforms as well. He will only go under if we ban guitars, I have a harder time to see that happen then Facebook disappear.
We just have to hope that Amanda has been smart enough to also collect a lot of email addresses and phone numbers to super fans. And to tell you the truth I think she has.

So just the definition of "make it" is hard. Then you have an artist that has "made it" totally independent like Chance The Rapper. But remember he had a team of 60 employees to help him. To get to that is not easy, but doable, also nothing new. We have seen an artist before go independent and start labels like Epitaph records that were founded by Brett Gurewitz to give out his band Bad Religon.

I guess the goal here is up to you. I remember when I spoke to Johnny Ramone short after Joey Ramone died. Johnny couldn't get how much attention Joeys death was causing. He didn't realize how big The Ramones actually was without ever having a solid chart hit. At the same time, they were more than the one hit wonder. It's all in the eye of the beholder. I guess the goal is to do what you like the most. That is what I'm doing. I guess they will never do a Wikipedia page about my work. I hope though that many of the artists I work with get a lot of pages and change peoples life.

Friday, August 4, 2017

This is how you do to get real fans.

4) Your Follower Numbers Don’t Matter As Much As Your Real Life Numbers

Oh really, you have 100,000 Instagram followers? Cool. Oh, you can’t pay your monthly bills? Not so cool. Everyone knows followers AND engagement can be bought. Follower numbers aren’t as impressive as CONVERSION numbers. How many people are actually backing your crowdfunding campaigns, showing up to your shows, buying your merch? Just because you got bots to Like (and comment) on your shit means nothing. Well, it means you’re desperate and have no desire to make a living with your music. Bots don’t come to shows. Bots don’t buy your merch. Bots don’t back your crowdfunding campaigns. Bots don’t support you in any way financially. Bots don’t help you become a full-time musician.

We are now living in a post-follower count reality.

Don’t tell me how many followers you have. All I care about are how many fans you have who are willing to support your career.

The red part is from an article in Digital music news, here is a link to the whole article.

This has passed on to the pros in the music industry. Still, 90% of the business thinks these numbers counts, so this is not just a misunderstanding by the artists, most of the industry is equality dumb. Just a couple of months I was at a meeting called "Off the record" arranged by IFPI of Sweden. They presented a new company that was built on that they would take artists out of the streaming numbers and social media numbers. I was baffled. This we tried 2010 now it was 2017. I mean the majors tried this five years ago with Spinnup and failed heavily. I just wanted to stand up and just scream how stupid and behind they are. I just left straight after with no network. It's a big reason I don't want Swedish music industry on my panels when I talk (i choose the good ones, there are starts in the darkness), sorry to say in this field they are so damn after. Even worse was that this company also ripped the artist off of different incomes.

We will be in this mess at least in five to ten years more. I meet people all the time that talks that about numbers like it would matter. 2015 we stopped this after we saw the results of Major Lazers - Lean on. They got million of streams but when they played in Stockholm they only could sell 900 tickets in a venue with 1500 capacity. In reality, they should have sold out in an arena with 50 000 people if the numbers were correct.

Like the text says, the numbers don't show how many who really care. Like AC/DC fill out that arena three times in a week and they are not even on Spotify. But yes people care about AC/DC. To be honest no one knew about Major Lazer it took them until now and several hits to be close to where they should have been in 2015.

We took the decision to build an artist from scratch the old way that year. Don't care so much to have the biggest numbers. More to have the real numbers with people that care. Sure it's not easy and with the stupidity, you get overruled many times with talentless artists that have used bots to take your space. Our strategy was to build up a live show that was easy to take around and get people an experience. We looked quite much on the EDM scene that was fading and realized that people were tired of a guy standing behind a computer waving a hand. They just started to add explosions and stuff then but the audience was still lost.

Of course, we got critic from the artist that often felt that their numbers were too low. Still, we wanted to reflect what we did. Instead, we pinpointed places to go over and over again to build up a crowd and build a base to stand on just locally. The new thing was to spread these bases over the world at once. in the old days, you started with your own country, we started abroad.

Yes, it's really tempting to boost your numbers. But it will come back and bite you in the ass. We are back in the 50:s where you broke and artist by showing them to people. When you reach a certain massive point it will work by it self. The good part is that it's more outlets than in the 50:s, the bad part is the same you are competing against the whole world.

What you have to do is stand your ground, take every chance to show off your art. The express highways are not that attempting. Yes, it takes longer than before to make it today. Pick these suoerfans one by one, the tools to keep them is here.