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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

More ways to kill your career.

Just got this in my feed. Another good list of don't.

Read it, I will go through it later I'm still on the other list. But since it's a don't list I will tell you what to do.

This is the hardest to learn as an artist

3) Your Branding and Story Is More Important Than Your Music 

This is a hard pill to swallow for every artist. But the ones who not only accept this reality, but approach it head on are the ones who jump leaps and bounds past their counterparts. People judge you based on your aesthetic, story and image long before they hit play on one of your songs – if they even make it that far. Your branding (which includes your image, your story (!!), and really your overall aesthetic) are what non-musicians (bloggers) talk about. They ain’t talking about your drum tones, syncopated rhythms, plugins or mix techniques.

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

I was lecturing one time and was talking about brand your self and of course, some of the artists in the class took that to be a "sellout" or like they said being "commercial". First of all, you are commercial if you try to sell something and I guess you want to get paid for doing your shows and you like the money that comes from the PRO:s and Spotify. So starting to state that if you require money you are commercial, even if it is money you need to pay your bills etc.

When you are commercial then you are a brand. If I go to a Bruce Springsteen concert I would be kind of disappointed if he just played cheesy country songs. If the poster and the commercial around the event told me that it would be only cheesy country songs it's different. If it was market as a normal Bruce concert I would have been really mad.

Why? Well, Bruce brand is that he will play rock songs and including in that should "Dancing in the dark", "Born in the USA" and "Hungry Heart" be on there.

The artist started to understand, then one guy raised his hand and said,
- Do you need to be successful? Are you not allowed to write songs that no one wants to hear?

It was funny, but there is a point in it. I started to see artists that are a bit of afraid to be professional and take the big leap, actually doing songs that are really hard for an audience to get and in that way, they can always blame that people are not smart enough to understand their music. In reality is more a fear of making a great song and then get refused.

This is not actually new. It has been done for the past 30 years to get an artist into media. Right now it becomes more of it though because of the bloggers and small media outlets. The story has to be more clear and kind of straight forward, the band has to be understood in just a couple of seconds.

I also get a lot of artists almost getting angry at bloggers and media not asking about how they recorded or the drum loops and mix techniques. I even have seen them rehearse the smart answers they would tell when they get these questions. A big part of my job is to actually clean out all that mambo jambo from the bios they send in. It's not unusual they write in the names of the person who mixed and master it, and in severe cases, they even name dropped name of equipment. Of course, for a normal reader, it's damn boring to read about. A little light in the tunnel is though there are special magazines where these type of questions are held, it will take you a long journey until you get there.

Look on it today. I actually had heard more about Ed Sheeran in writing and about his personal life before I heard a song from him. The story that took me was when he got all 12 songs on the top chart. Then I had to get into and listen to one of them, and I was like...okay not that blown away. Right now though I have been exposed to "Shape of your body" so many times that I really like it. Still, I have known about Ed Sheeran in over five years.

Everybody has a story just pick the one up and stick to it.

When we have worked with The Magnettes we have applied this quite much. They have a couple of stories that they use depends on the situation. The three biggest are these ones.

Coming from an exotic place! The Magnettes is from Pajala a small village above the arctic circle. On the summer is daylight the whole day. And in the winter just an hour of sunshine. they also have their small minority language. To have grown up there and still have that is their headquarters is a great story and appeal to a lot of people that have been brought up in small villages all over the world.

The music is fuck pop! What the hell is fuck pop? That is the point, the expression was actually invented by Jay Frank head of their record label. People would read it and say - what the hell is fuck pop and listen to the songs. And if you look around you will see that a lot of the press use the term and do spins on it, for example, Metro Uk wrote like this
- In taking a message that once upon a time was more synonymous with alternative and emo bands like My Chemical Romance and placing it in a pop application as anti-heroes of pop music, The Magnettes are doing pretty f*cking well.

Earmilk wrote - Each song on "Ugly Youth" is well thought out and meant for lovers of pop.
Fuck-pop group The Magnettes release "Ugly Youth" album

The fuck pop term works well since the band curses quite much in their songs.

The last one is the feminist approach. This is the broadest so it's not that unique still it opens certain doors. The members in interviews give their view how women of today are portrayed, the song Bones is even about that theme.Look at this picture from a photo session and see the tattoo on the finger.

Like you write your songs about certain things you decide the branding. We get it that you are more complex than just these topics. Still to be complex in a tweet will be almost impossible. And that what the media looks like today, short texts and pictures. But yes you are a brand but you decide what that brand is about.

And here is some fuck pop from Pajala.

Mind the gap!

Today has just been crazy. You can really see the gaps in the industry. I was sitting with a deal on over 100 000 dollars and got bugged by some new amateur "manager" who was calculating the dimes on a Spotify bill for his artist trying to get more money out from the distribution. The funny part is that saw that it's probably fake numbers that the artist used a bot to get. I'm not sure that Spotify will pay out from bot numbers. I know a thing or two that they actually do around things like that. The problem is that people like this can't get it at the same time I really don't have time for the monkey business.

Then I got an older record boss calling me about a PR plan straight out from the 90:s. What concerned him the most was that he couldn't get his artist biographies up on Spotify. I mean just take a look at only the bigger artists has their bios up, it won't people listen more to the songs. Even worse then his artist called me on the same matter.

This is the same story repeat itself. It was the same thing when Itunes was in its heyday. I tried to explain that Itunes sales were bogus and no one cared about those numbers and in a few years streaming would take over. All these small people just laughed and kept on nagging.

We are back again, these small people think that Spotify matters, no it stopped matter 6 months ago even a year. Why can I tell, just precisely that amateurs mind the shit and think that these numbers matters. Also, that bigger companies are looking for other stuff also tells a pretty good story.

Unforntuanly it will be for me to explain these idiots whats going on for the next three years. That what it took to get rid of the idiots that just cared about Itunes.

In the end, the gap between the professionals and all the crap is getting bigger and bigger. More and more artists are consumed into this world that actually nothing is working. Too many of these people have no clue what so ever what to take an artist to the big audience and the ones that will be fooled are the artists. It's like if you have two apples, they look the same on the outside. Just that one is heavily poisoned with pesticides and is rotten from within. The other one is fresh and good. You really can't tell so when the salesman tries to get rid of the bad one he lowers the price with 10 cents and the artist goes for the bad without knowing.

The artist can't pick right. The only way you will have that knowledge is to know the whole growing process. Only the people with real insight can do that.

Later, of course, they see it. I just got an email from an artist doing that mistake and now to a bite in the apple with a maggot inside. Now coming back trying to get back to where we started. But I with the good apple has taken that further away, now it's in a store where this artist even can get access to it. A costly experience.

Just another day seeing where we are heading.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The big advances time is far.

Today is number two in the list.

2) You’re Not Going To Jump Out of a Day Job into a Million Dollar Advance

The days of the big break are pretty much over. Labels don’t sign unproven acts with nothing going on. Labels want a sure thing that already has built it on their own. Oh and labels don’t offer million dollar (or six figure) advances anymore to new acts. If you’re waiting around to be discovered and aren’t taking your career in your own hands, you will be waiting till you’re dead.

This problem I really see a lot. The artist that thinks that it will be a big advance (especially if you sign with a major). It was a long time ago I saw these advances. Then someone always tells you about someone that got a huge offering, but always its something behind it. Like Joel Adams that took his song single handed to 200 million streams on Spotify, yes he got really big upfronts thrown after him. Like it says he had done the bigger part himself.

This is also reflected quite much other stuff that artists think is going on. For example, that bigger artist gets really big sums for playing on festivals, yes Justin Bieber does, but a midsize rock band is not. I get so many artists thinking that a showcase festival should pay them to get there. Duh, it's showcasing you are showing off products. If you think that companies get paid to put their stuff on fairs think again.

So what happened to the big advances. To explain it during the 80:s in the USA it was easy to write off an advance on the tax money. But not paying so much taxes they instead just signed bands and like a lottery sometimes one of these bands actually took off, still many didn't.
I don't know if the rules changed but today this is not the case. Today you have the time to wait until the act is finished and then do the move to grab it. Today it's more like to be a bidding war around a good band.

Yes, you have to do a lot of stuff yourself. Luckily there are some new companies (Musichelp is one of them) who invest time and resources to develop artist to the level where it becomes interesting. It's  Do it yourself or try to build the team with experienced people that have large networks. Sometimes these people are called managers. I would change that term a manager is more to like to work with a really established act. These are more to be called developers. It's really in its infancy but this will be the hot part of the music industry in a couple of years, much like the songwriting teams.

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It will be crazy as usual.

I guess I never learn that you can't put in too much on the schedule. Still, in June everything was empty nothing was sure so I just put hooks out. Now it turns into the most exciting schedule that I have seen.

Like always we start with one week with madness on Live at Heart last week in August in Örebro that we get two small satellites in Stockholm and Trosa as well.

In middle of September, I have my own panel with Ömer and Tommy on Future Music Forum in Barcelona, Spain. Then go home and bounce out to Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, Germany.

Then we take a stroll over to NYC, USA for some touring in beginning of October. Get back and then go to Tokyo to get on TIMM. Get straight back to Hultsfred to be on Rookie.

Then start of November UK tour with The Magnettes.

Well, December is empty if someone has something to throw in.

11 Things Millennial Musicians Just Don’t Get, streams and fans.

I got this article in my feed and it's brilliant. As an artist (not just millennial) you have to read it to start to understand that some of the features are no longer there.

Here is the whole article

I will discuss the 11 things what to do about them and how you should think. So we start with number one.

1) Spotify Plays Don’t Equal Fans

I can’t tell you how many artists I see on Spotify with hundreds of thousands or millions of streams, but can’t get even 100 out to their local (or any) shows. Or get anyone to back their crowdfunding campaign. Or support them in any way whatsoever. These listeners are not fans of the artists, they are fans of the playlist these songs got included on. You must understand this new world of streaming we are in. 10 million plays ain’t impressive anymore. Know what is impressive? Bottom lines.

The number crunching is really over. Sure we will have stupid people doing the number crunching for at least ten years more. The serious players though has just left that game. I wrote about this in the blog post "We don't care about your social media numbers"

The smart part of the industry knows you can manipulate any numbers and it's kind of easy to check so it gives no guarantee. You have to build real fans that are the only way. Still, right now it's easier than ever to actually do that. There are hundreds of different tools to use to keep in touch with the people who like the stuff you do. So staring yourself blind that you don't have that many Spotify streams is not getting you anywhere. When you get real fans and the word is spreading anyway it will come by the fault. So start doing what you should do, take every opportunity to perform your art in all possible ways. That is the secret trick. No, you can't just sit home and think you can do it behind your computer.

So when you bump into a stupid booker that only book bands that have over 50 000 followers on Facebook. Whatever this person is booking for it will go down fast. It won't be in your interest to be there anyway. In reality, many times they use that as an argument to not book you since you are not good enough. When you hit that value they won't care if you just have 10 followers on facebook.

Monday, July 31, 2017

It’s never perfect, so don’t say no.

It’s when an artist says no to opportunities you start to wonder as an A&R. I just spoke to my friend who books a showcase festival in the UK. He had a band that he wanted to give more gigs during the festival but said they didn’t want to perform more than one time a night. After that, he tried to give that empty premium slot to another band but they did want to get to the festival one day earlier to take the extra show.

When you see that as an A&R you know this band will not go anywhere. You never know who would be on that show they just said no to. It could be an investor, a festival booker, a super fan or some completely another offering.

When you start to say no just because of comfort you, in reality, says no to an audience. And in the end, you will say no to so much audience that it will be no audience left for you.

One of the worst shows I ever had was with You Say France & I Whistle in NYC. It was an extra show in an evening on kind of unknown place, not really in the center of the festival either. Later the same evening we had a rooftop gig with one of our sponsors. A really cool gig with a lot of good people. The group HAIM was actually opening up for You Say France & I Whistle, still they were unknown back then, actually their first NYC gig.

Still, they were professional and did this first gig. They had a TV team following them doing a program about their experience in NYC. We had some discussion to just say no to it and just bring the team to the rooftop party which will be so much cooler. Still, you take your chances.

The gig was the worst. The sound at that place sucked bad time, and the sound engineer was not the best and over feeding the sound. The guitarist broke a string, and worst it was only six people showing up. Not that good to be filmed. But the band did the show.

Then they did the rooftop and it was marvelous. The TV team got their picture there.

In the end though. The rooftop actually never gave anything more. Sure it was a great gig. The people that were there were already fans of the band, that gig didn’t make it any more than we already got.
The disaster gig then? Well, all these six people were very important and gave back very much. If we have canceled that gig almost 50% of our chances that was brought to us would have been wiped out.

That is that you know if you start to say no to things because of your comfort or disbelief or not perfect then you know that artist will never make it. And yes we actually test that with new bands that we sign. And yes it happens that they fail and get kicked since we know they will not make it.

Friday, July 28, 2017

EP is not a good format.

I just had a discussion with one of my artists around an EP and felt I have this conversation so many times that I should write about it.

So my artist has recorded three new songs and wanted to release it at the beginning of the autumn. Of course, recording of three songs has to do with limited time and resources. She doesn't have time to record a whole album and when she is in the studio is not worth it to record one song it’s more efficient to do three or four.

Back in the 80:s and 90:s this was the common reason for the EP. Mainly it was a budget thing. An album was too much but the artist had time and money to stay in the studio for a weekend and record a couple of songs.

In the 80:s you already had the single with two sides and also the bit longer format where you could put in 2 songs each side. So the EP was born as a marketing tool as we know it. Sometimes these EP:s was treated like real releases between albums so they could be stand alone sometimes. (to be clear sure it's EP:s before this, but they way we maket changed inthe 80:s)

In the 90:s they tried to experiment with it. There were several different packaging to support it. Still, a CD is 74 minutes so the format was not really that good, you left a lot of space on the format itself. The recording cost and time weight it up and you also saw that they loved to put in sing-along versions and remixes on to this ep:s. Making the EP many times five to six songs long even if it just where one original song there.

So the Ep format is still in the artist mind. It should have died in the 90:s but is still going on. And I see a lot of artist doing the ep format (not with remixes and stuff) on the distribution. But like I said to my artist the format sucks in the digital world.

Spotify doesn’t know albums is something that is told over and over again. And yes the digital era is really single driven. It’s not unusual to see an artist with 3 million streams on one song and the rest is under a hundred thousand. It’s THE song who gets the attention.

This affects the marketing. If you market an EP then it’s three up to six songs. Still the systems today are done so it will only listen to the first of these songs. Radio only takes one song and many of the blogs won’t review anything if it isn’t a whole album. So in practice even if you release five songs you actually only market one and the other four will be treated like nonexistent. You are wasting these songs. Also the marketing in the 80:s and 90:s where fast and was done over one week. Today’s marketing can be several months long for just one song.

The solution is to release all songs as singles. This makes the marketing can go for a longer period of time. Also, each song gets the shining it actually deserves. Then if a song fails you can easily get in with a new one faster. You can make them all go together by using similar artwork and videos to the songs so people see that they come from the same session. At the same time, you have more to write about on social media and keeping your brand alive. And with the consumer behavior, we see the singles are much better than an EP. The consumers look on one song but won’t explore the rest of the songs.

The Ep is really not any good it’s a format that should have been lost years ago. Only Time would be if you doing a vinyl in an ep format. Well, I'm not that keen on Vinyl but that is another story.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Never apologize

Yes we are in the demo week in the blog. Taking out issues that we see from the demos we got in. Since I had several friends over drinking beer listening on demos I also got the most comments on what they thought failed in the presentation or music.

You just look strange when someone is writing: This is not our best song we have better ones.
Why the hell don’t you send the better ones? I guess the answer would be that they are not recorded Fun fact is that all artist whenever you talk to then yesterday’s song they wrote was the best one in the world and the song you are promoting that was written six months ago is really not that good any longer, even though it was the best song in the world back then.

Back to the point, never apologize for what you send in or the presentation. In most cases we overlook that if you don’t point it out, but when you point at it with your whole hand we lose interest in the whole thing.

At the same time when we are talking about apologizing. The other way around is not good either. We got this message in one of the demos around the artist:

All about me we can take in an interview, I believe in my music and it speaks for itself.

That was all that was written. That just get you to off on the artist.
Don’t apologize and don’t be too cocky and don’t send it ibn if you are not satisfied with the work.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Who did you played with?

Yes we are in the demo week in the blog. Taking out issues that we see from the demos we got in. Since I had several friends over drinking beer listening on demos I also got the most comments on what they thought failed in the presentation or music.

This you get a lot, bands they artist has played with. This is kind irrelevant information. I mean The Magnettes played on Summerfest, but I want write about all the other bands that played on the festival. Like The Magnettes shared stage with Bob Dylan, The Chainsmokers and Wille Nelson. Sure they played there too but have no effect. Even that Red Hot Chili Peppers came down and saw them would make it to the bio. It’s good for social media but not in the bio.
Here is The Magnettes hanging out with Chad from Red Hot Chili Peppers and David from Summerfest

It’s even worse when the band start to point out bands that you really don’t know who it is. Yes most of you would know Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bob Dylan. These are household names. But even if you think that this band from your hometown is kind of big it’s not big enough. Even the artist that came number five in idol is not good enough or if they have been in eurovison. So only household names.

This also counts for if you were back singer to bigger artists or hired musician for a bigger artist. This won’t affect your career or make you a better musician. Rather that you look upon it that maybe this is your normal occupation and your own career comes in second place. This counts also saying taht you have been study on some musical school, it's good but not any good info for us.

The only time it’s relevant is if you are supporting big name on a big tour. That can be a good thing. Still watch out for it since that would direct lead the A&R:s looking on your Facebook and Instagram band check your numbers. Sayings like: Well they support Iron Maiden on this tour and only have 5000 followers’ ion Facebook that is not that good.

Let the past be the past and tell us what you are planning to do, that is much more interesting.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Don’t send released tracks.

Yes we are in the demo week in the blog. Taking out issues that we see from the demos we got in. Since I had several friends over drinking beer listening on demos I also got the most comments on what they thought failed in the presentation or music.

This was the thing that really got a lot of the A&R: s angry. Out of 50 demos actually 49 of them sent released tracks. Only one had a hidden track.

A released track is a released track; we really can’t work with it. Of course it’s not the end of the world if the track is released, but many possibilities’ has just gone out the window. We got four letters where they planned to release the track two weeks later. Of course we read this one month lat4er and we could go out and see where their track has gone. Usually nowhere!

So what is the hurry? This mistake is just pissing on your own music and don’t let it get a chance. Even with you releasing the music it takes much longer than two weeks to do marketing and other stuff. All this si that you want to get your latest stuff out to your buddy’s, we know. Still you can do it in so many cooler ways then post the shit straight up on Spotify.

One of the A&R:s played me a unreleased song of a kind of famous artist that would be released in November.  Of course it was more fun hearing it now then him sending me a link with the track on release in November. I felt special to hear the song before everybody else. And this is what you should do with your friends as well. Let them hear the new song on a secret link on soundcloud, I actually think that is more effective then be able to say the song is on Spotify. No one really care about that one.

So what happened to the release tracks? Soon the A&R: s heard the name of the band they went straight to Spotify and checked the numbers. I know it’s stupid to do that but that is what they do. And they direct discovered that nothing really had passed 10 000 streams. Witch meant that no one had put any marketing behind it, so why should they put marketing behind it.

Yes by sending a unreleased track they don’t know they outcome. Then they have a bigger chance to say yes, now we got a bigger chance to say no. So always send tracks that are unreleased, never release a track before six month has passed.

Monday, July 24, 2017

I don’t care what you old bass players name is.

Yes we are in the demo week in the blog. Taking out issues that we see from the demos we got in. Since I had several friends over drinking beer listening on demos I also got the most comments on what they thought failed in the presentation or music.

One thing that we really saw when we listened to demos the other day is the big of non-information that artists sends with their mail.

Several of them contain stories like: John, Peter and Tomas meet and formed the band 2010. Then In 2012 Johan left and was replaced by Anna. They released an Ep and then Anna left and were replaced by Camilla. Now we recording a new song and looking for a drummer to join us.

This information is really not relevant for us. We don’t care if you changed members and who it was. It better to just write the band started 2010. The part that you look for a drummer is also very common but not information that we want to know. Actually it’s pretty bad information to give out. We are more looking on that you are not in your full swing and actually search for a component to make the setting whole. This means that we really can’t work full with it. It’s actually better to jot talk about it at all.

We also noted that many never wrote what they wanted? They mainly just sent off an email with their past bio and some links to songs. Don’t tell us anything about what they were expecting from us if we went to work with them. This is a huge mistake; it’s like showing up on a working place asking for employment and say that you can do anything. Sure in some case where you want to start from the real bottom, but even then it’s not that smart. It better walking in say, hey you want someone to do this and then explain what you can contribute with.

Don’t try to invent styles. We just laugh. Usue your imagination on the songs not about describing it with words like: This is like Evlis has a baby with Amphex Twins and then sold it to a cousin in Mumfords and Sons.

And also don’t promise it’s the best voice or guitar in the world. Out of 50 demos we got 22 best of something. Just that makes them not best. Actually in these cases they were far from the best.

So what do want to read about. Well the future, upcoming gigs, things you want to do taht we should be a part of.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Demo listning

Tonight I invited the A&R on Rehn Music Group to go through demos, and drink beer. I guess if your demo comes up a bit later it might get more attention. You never know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CD or streaming services

I just read a post around the thing of releasing you music on CD and don’t be on the streaming services. Of course this discussion is on a blog for independent artists in USA. I see the same discussion ten years ago in Sweden. And the answer is, forget about the CD it is a dead format. Sure you could get out so much more money out of a CD. It was totally overpriced and the audience went for the piracy as a revolt against that. The streaming services were a savior back then.

The interesting part of the whole thing is that we now are discussion how the different streaming services and attention networks work against each other. Latest one is the death of radio where smaller number of people is actually listening and it won’t effect people to dig into more of an artist. I saw this already ten years ago, where the radio would play a song but it actually didn’t affect the numbers of sales. With the new technology we can really see how little radio makes an impact.
I guess we are talking about old formats and like to stick to them. Radio was a good format in the 70:s and 80:s, CD:s was good in the 90:s but from 2000 the digital ways took over and here is where it’s done.

So is it just Spotify? You know what? Hell no we just got proof that Spotify is as little as radio on the path to make impact to people. We are just starting to look on the digital world in a totally new sense and the answer is that is not just on channel it’s a big mix of different things that will make the effect.

Monday, July 17, 2017

It’s a difference to be a superstar then an indie band.

When I discuss PR plans and strategy’s with artists this always comes up. The artists want the same benefits and stuff as a superstar, but make the same effort as an indie band.

What they seems to miss is that is totally different paths to get to different goals. You really have to be clear where you want to go. No you really can’t mix the paths.

What people don’t really get is that they believe that the road is to be an indie band and then move up to be a superstar. Sure it happens, but in most cases the paths never cross. The marketing are really different so you have to be really clear what the goal is and how to get there.

The worst is when they start to mix the paths, thinking that you can get the results of a superstar of the budget of an indie release. Thinking they get the same freedom as an indie artist as a superstar.
Both paths has their really great moments but you have to be clear witch to take.

Friday, July 14, 2017

You can't make gold out of cowshit!

I’m a member on a channel where you post music industry related jobs on Facebook. Time to time you get these really strange things where a musician by mistake gets in. Usually, the problem with these people is that they really don’t know how it really works and their efforts become kind of desperate since in the most cases the lack of info could be replaced by talent but not the opposite around. This came in today… everything in red is my comment on it.

Right now I'm searching for my band ********,

I checked the band. The numbers are okay. 7000 facebook followers (well every post only get around 2 to 3 likes so the engagement is really really low). Youtube has around 20 000 spins on the video. Well, these numbers are easy to buy so I checked Soundcloud. Around 100 plays on Soundcloud, yes here you can easily see the real figures. Then they have released some stuff on Spotify. All songs around 28 000 streams, the worst is the latest single where the songs has 17447 and 17473 streams. Never that a b-side the same amount of stream as that the a side. Here you have clear evidence that this band streams themselves and boost other figures. So I started a song, and yes here is the real problem. No real talent sounds like billions of other bands that want to be Foo Fighters. So when you read the rest of the letter have in mind that it’s impossible to do what they ask.

someone who can act as a "manager" on a project basis.

This is like trying to have a drummer as a project and still want the drummer to be full time. A manager is very close to the band and has to plan things years ahead. To have it on a project basis is just plain stupid. Okay I can understand that no one wants to work for free on this band they are too unknown to make any money

We have been working since 2014 on our Debut album, which has now been recorded, mixed and mastered with own money.

This is not what you want to hear. As an industry professional you want to be part of the process to minimize errors done by amateurs. They released an Ep 2013…it took them 4 years to get to something new. , es they have released some live ep and then a single 2014 and 2016. But that’s it. Especially in times where you have to be release stuff almost on a week’s basis.

We have previously released our first EP and some singles and videos via my own company, ****.

Okay so you have opened up your own company. Well stick to that. What should this manger do?

What we need is now "shopping around" the album to A&Rs, companies, booking agents, the media, etc. to build a team and collaborate for the expansion of the band through, for example, licensing from the album, buyons and dyes.

STOOOOP! You are talking different ways. Either you shop with A&R:s, but my suggestion is not to have recorded the stuff just doing demos. But then you should not do the other stuff. Booking agents, they can’t be “shopped”, when you make enough money on each show, they contact you. Before that they are pretty useless. Sure there are mangers that takes in bands as favors, but that is much bigger names and also that they have something to go on. The media, well this you only go on if you going to release the stuff yourself.  So make a decision go by your own company or seek out a company? Doing both at the same time is very contra productive. License the album, for god sake this mainly is done if the band has a track record. You would be lucky just to get anyone interested in this.

I therefore seek a hungry and committed individual or team who is or is good at getting contacts, writing sales texts, and having good communication skills to track leads over the phone and to book meetings to help me build my team and create good teamwork .

Getting contacts? Well today there is no problem to reach anyone. There are things like facebook, linked in, twitter, Skype, WhatsApp, email and even their phones are online. I will tell you why you don’t get an answer (since I think you have tried but not got one thinking it was the wrong way), your band haven’t got to the level where someone would make money on it and then they just don’t replay. But having someone collect these contacts just to collect them is plain stupid.
Write good sales texts, also here if the band is good enough and the story is good, you can just write, a really short mail telling the highlights give the links and it will work. No sales text in the world can cover up that the music actually sucks.
Track leads? What leads, you really think that if someone answer you that then you can book a meeting like a sales person and meet the label and try to sell in the band. It never happens that way. That is just annoying and most people will never take meetings just because it is annoying. Meeting is when you have something that you will do together and there is an interest. Teams are not built in this way stop acting like it is a sales book from the 80:s. Even the commercials for toothpaste has stop doing this.

What I offer is my own knowledge with my own contact network, my own commitment and drive, and of course payment on a monthly or project basis.

Your knowledge, hmm I guess the value of zero is zero. Your contacts, well you just seek someone to give you contacts so I guess you don’t have any. Your commitment, yes you are committed but in the totally wrong way. Start with getting a better band, better songs and stop faking numbers and get back when that is done. Use that salary to get on some courses to learn the basics.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

In the music industry all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

I have been around in several other businesses but never seen so many hypocrites like it is in the music industry.

Most artists like to be leftwing. They did article that where more to the right on the political scale in USA and it was very few, one of the few examples was Johnny Ramone. Most of the artists liked to be left wing.

At the same time most artists are small business owners, so in reality they should actually be more right in their political view, at least in Sweden. Okay many of them really don’t understand that they are a small company, or they make so much money that they just don’t care about politics at all laughing to the bank.

But I guess it’s part of the whole thing of being Mr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the music industry. They write songs for the public, so they want to identify with them. Still they aim for being richer then Kardashian.

I bumped into a festival once that claimed that they were almost non profit, cared about the small people. Had lectures about how we could do a better society and so on.

That same festival is famous for using new kids in the business for free and then fire them. They had put money on the side so when they went bankrupt they just got the losses to the vendors and companies around them, just to make another festival with the money that they really owned to others. To be quite honest they were really the worst scum there is. Still they thought they were almost better then Jesus to be good to people. I guess the expression from John Steinbecks Animal farm comes good here. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Another festival took money from the local government for years to make their festival that never really went around. In reality the government paid these people to run a festival (yes I know this only happens in Sweden). Then they wanted to be really left wing and feminists so they went out and criticize the government in some smaller thing. Of course the politicians then withdraw the money. In the end they saved the festival so the politicians gave them money for one more year. What do they do? Well they book only friends and boyfriends to the ones that are in the board, giving the money to them having a festival for their friends. Still claiming that they do a great job for the community. Yes the mantra is still there All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

We have a left wing artist in Sweden that is in the board for how the money should be distributed to artists. Guess witch band got a big shunk of money, of course her own band.

I’m not that surprised, the thing that annoys me is that many of these artists are so equal and for the people until the money comes to the table. Then they become more greedy then Uncle Scrooge.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Don’t chew too much.

I just helped a band to get into a showcase festival. The festival was not that keen on having them since they are pretty new and really don’t have the status or knowledge to be part of it. Still I have seen them live and know they are good enough for a small stage. So I nagged a bit with the booker and got them on.

You think that the band would be grateful? Well yes but also they want more. I just got an e-mail asking me (which has nothing to do with this, I just talked to this person to get them on) if they could play on Saturday instead of Thursday, and not only that on a better time in the evening.
They really don’t see that they are only in on a slim thread. In fact they should not be there at all. So start demanding stuff is really not a good idea. Especially not this.

Still it’s a phenomenon I’m very familiar with. When I have booked speakers it’s the same problem. The ones that you just barely get on are the ones that have a lot of demands. The big ones where you really could go along with hard demands is usually very calm and easy to work with.

My friend who runs a label was on the same idea the other day. He was firing a couple of artists but before he had the chance to do it one of them called up and complained about “nothing happens” “ are you right for me” and so on. My friend just said:

- Well we can just tear the contract; I don’t have a problem with that.

The artist went silent. You can just hear that the artist wanted him to fight around it. The truth was that the artist was in the low level, not a level to make demands.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Do the nagging in the right way.

I should say that a nagging artist is really the first you kick in a scenario of taking off bands. Still nagging is needed to get things done. People are busy and sometimes a reminder is great. The art of nagging is really something to be learned.

Don’t do it too often. I just had an idiot writing about an error on a site. Since it was the weekend no one is there to fix it. We answered in the weekend that we should look into it. So sending a message 11:30 am with the message “whats happening?” is just unprofessional. Make no sense what so ever to write that message. Yes its 48 hours since you wrote the first one but during a weekend you should be glad to just get an answer.

Then I got a message from another client that just asked about when we should do a send out. Totally right, we haven’t done anything for a while so I just put that in my calendar. That was a right way of nagging.

The ones who do it wrong is the one that think that we will drop everything just for your problem, small as big. And think that if I nag enough it will get things done. It might but at the same time you lose so much goodwill it’s not worth it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

End of my touring

I write this on the plane from USA to Sweden. Almost two weeks of Pr touring with The Magnettes and a small off tour to Taiwan and GMA has been done.

It has been very successful. Alot of updates with contacts also many new ones. The cool part is the excitement over the industry that is ongoing.

Now we are heading back and will continue to promote and play with The Magnettes in Sweden and Europe. I guess I will have short vacation this summer. If none.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

We don't care about your socialmedia numbers

Then he said it! We don't care about your socialmedia numbers. With a right campaign they will be fixed you don't need to have them beforehand.

I was on a panel where a guy from the most powerful and most frontrunning company in the world was talking.

I have been waiting for this to happen. We have for awhile seen that the numbers is not telling so much of the status just about the past. And just a portion of the past.

For example one of my bands has over 7 millions streams on Spotify. That is really good. If you trust the numbers they should be a safe horse to bet on. Well the case is that these numbers are from when they toured and had hired a special company to work towards to get streams. Also back then it was easier to get to Spotify visit them and then get on playlists. In reality these numbers just shows the past. The future is not given away with these numbers.

I have seen companies going on with this in the past five years thinking that the numbers will spill to other parts, or you can predict the next big band from the numbers (well you can, but then you are too late when the numbers is going perfect on all channels they don't need you, you are to late). All of these companies has fail miserably.

So when a person just looks on your socialmedia numbers and judge only on that (it's very easy to do, trust me) they are really not good on things.

I can take a example. I friend of mine is developing a band with almost no social numbers. It has its explanation. The band has just released a single by the self. Not well promoted or we'll done, but you have to start to learn.
But the single did one thing. Got the attention of my friend. Now for the next single she will put in her knowledge. She is really good so the expectations is higher. Yesterday day she told me that she got the band on a opening slot on a big concert that is TV broadcasted.

This band with the lousy numbers will do better than my band with good ones. These opportunities will provide that the numbers goes up, maybe very fast.
It's the opportunities around that are interesting and that is never in the numbers. The numbers shows the past.

Then you say that the companies that are watching the numbers now will find my friends band. Yes they might. Still to keep the figures going it depends if my friend can pull off some more stunts to get them good opportunities (I know she will, she is awesome but not all are that so it's nothing that the numbers can say).
Also even if the see the numbers go up what say that this band will get these number readers any rights to their music. They might trust their manager doing it. No number crunching will never be a business.

In the future like in the old days, the knowledge of what is coming is the key to read it. But so far we really can't read the future through the numbers, they just shows the past.

Friday, June 30, 2017

You know it's perfect when old people say you can't do it.

I was listening on a speech from a very famous old label guy from Japan the other day. He was very pessimistic about where the musicindustry where going. The sales where down. The digital in Japan didn't work and the live side had trouble.

I had heard that story before. It was told in Sweden to many times just when Spotify was making its appearance. And it was told by old farts. And we all know the crisis was solved by Spotify in Sweden later on.

Same here in Japan. The guy said that the sales where down but the digital streaming was staying at the same small rate. The thing is what he is saying is that people stopped listening to music. That is a fact that never is true. People listen to more music then ever. The error here is that the old fart really don't understand where they ate listening or where they find new music.

So I asked where kids where hanging online. I had a hard time seeing that kids in Japan not using Internet.

Fast, he answered that kids loved to be on YouTube and see videos.

Voila, bingo there you have it. The streaming is up but they haven't checked the right sources. Yes Japanese kids won't use Spotify and stuff like that. No they are on YouTube and watch videos,witch is also streaming and you can earn money on.

What I knew that he didn't was a that I had meet some younger Japanese people that explained how the new generation behaved. And they had number of exploding of use of streams.

It's never the case that people stop listening to music. But it's always what you hear from some old farts in the industry. How influencial they might have been they are out. And that is good news for you. When this happens there is niche to get into and pick shares. The golden age is when to old fart whine.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not such a great idea

One of the worst things I know is when you get pitches from companies that really don't have thought their plan through.

Usually they have identified a problem in the music industry that in reality is not a problem or even worse already solved but they haven't done their research.

My favorite hate one is a company that had invented an app where you can humm a tune that come up your head. The app records it and store it your phone.
I asked, can't you that with the voice recorder? Yes you can but with this one you can share it.

Okey if someone really want to hear my humming embryos of songs to be I can upload that to a soundcloud account.

So the solution is there if you really have that need. The question is how often do we have that need?

Also many of these is connector companies. In a way a unnecessary middle man. I don't know how many shit companies I meet that "connect" you with your fans. In reality you connect with the fans on the channels they use. It's just contra productive to use a new channel and prusade people to get there. It's hard enough to get them in the channels they already know.

The rule with a connector is that it can work with very few. I would say that you can do a good job with 10 clients. But in most cases their business idea is to have thousands of clients. You just and up as a ant in a anthill.

Here you have all that doing the bands to brands, placements and so on. In reality do you don't think a brand can't seek up an artist? Of course they can, and it usually works fine. What they don't want is millions of artists they don't want. And these companies can't select what they want and not want.

Then you have the companies that are thinking that the fans should be the accelerator to your career. Yes they are by buying or consuming your art. But do you really want them in production?
Many of these has solutions for the fans to be part in your career. These companies has not thought of all the artist that over the years has complained about how the recordlabels interfered with their careers. Think also that a recordlabel is a professional hub and has knowledge. Here you just have a bunch of opinions from random strangers. Yes these strangers will buy you products but you need to be good enough to surprise or just satisfie them everytime without having hundreds of fans in your process.

These ideas that never is really thought through is very common. And they almost always do it backwards. It's always you bringing your fans to their solution. It's very few of them that has the audience and invite you.