Friday, January 19, 2018

Let's extinct the dinosaurs

I see the shift very close now. Specially on this high profile event. The smaller events this will never happen.

I bumped into an old guy. One I before really looked upon, a bit like a hero. I always thought he was a key to be able to break artists. Over the years I have seen thou that the names he has is more of pure luck. He is famous for old work. In reality of today he stands the same chance as an intern at our place to break something.

I always speak with me, but I guess still see me as a small player. The players he looks into are the dinosaur era.

But he try to get info from me. So he asked for a event also done by dinosaurs. In his eyes cool. Usually I would be saying nice things just to keep him happy. But you know what? It's time to extinct the dinosaurs. So told him what really was going on.

He became very pale. You could see that he relized once more he was not in the winning team. And it feels great to put these old farts on the retirement home where they belong.

An hour later a really new innovative festival came up and gave me very much credit for my work with the new development. I got a receipt that I'm totally part of the new stuff.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Here is how you get all Spotify:s playlists

I would guess this is the most popular question I get. How do I get into Spotifys playlists? It seems so hard!

It's really not that hard. On average 80% of my releases get placed the first week by Spotify staff. They are really supportive of new music. So if you present it in the right way and with something interesting facts you have a pretty good chance. No I won't go into how that is done, and it doesn't matter, not in the long run.

In reality Spotify is build to lit up when fans are passionate and listening to a song. Getting on their own human created playlists like new music friday is more to get the song tested and that can be dangerous. The people that are on these lists maybe is not the audience that would support this track. In reality these tests only will give you around 10 000 streams and you take quite a risk to get bad rating.

Yes to understand Spotify you have to get that they measure everything. They take notes how people are reacting and if it's positive they present the song to more people. This however is done by algorithms so there is no one to call up and ask for the favour.

The best way is to get real people to listen to the song and like it and listen some more.

It's actually the same with radio back in the days. Their problem was that they can't measure the audience reaction. Yes of course if 100 people start to call the station asking for one song because it's so good they would know. Radio is more built on what the person build the playlist thinks.

Also back in the days people asked to be on rotation on all radiostations at once. Then thy would have a massive hit. That is very rare. If not possible. The stations have different audience called formats. So if one station would play a song, that would indicate to another station not to play that song. A crossover hit on all stations is kind of utopian.

Same when you think of Spotify. Their lists are generated on the listeners choice of the moment. A listener would choose on list for the jogging and another for the romantic dinner. You song won't fit on both. In Spotifys case it's very fine line between the lists so the chances are slimmer to get on everyone.

Of course both radio and Spotify will test out things that has worked before. A new U2 song will be tested on more places since they have a large audience that likes them. So more fame will affect.

Still what they really seek is things that people like. If a radio station would get hundreds of people asking to hear one song, yes they will put it on. Same on Spotify if they see that people reacts good on a song they put it on lists.

What you have to do is getting people to like your song. Get them to put it in their own playlists and listen to it much and talk about it. The promotion should be aimed and done that way. No, its not easy, but clearly the best way.

Of course it would be wonderful if Spotify put your song into 100 playlists so people can hear it. The problem is that it would come in so much music that people would stop listening since the majority of the music wouldn't attract them. Spotify is there for the audience in the first line.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Traveling.

I'm out again traveling. Now I'm on a train from Amsterdam to Groningen in the Neatherlands. With my job you travel all the time and I'm amazed that everything really works out.

I know people that has travel fever for weeks before a trip. Even if it is with a travel company in a group. The one thing there they transport you around like cattle and won't let you do any mistakes. Still they need to know everything. Small things that in the end will solve by it self. For example how to find the bus from the airport. Sometimes it's so severe that they really want a map for just that.

It's a bit the same when you develop artists. First time you send them to a gig abroad they need to know everything. Of course this is the first time and you are nervous.

This time I'm out with the Magnettes. And they are really experienced. They know most things will be solved and they know how to solve an issue.

There are people that always has that travel fear and never evolves. The ones that loves the stage but hate the travel.

Right now I find the travel and meetings really exciting. I guess I have the best job in the world.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's now, do not wait!

One of the worst things to do is to sit down and do nothing. I know that the record label doesn't want you to release things while they are preparing the next single or album. Don't hang up on that do other things. Do more gigs with your old songs.
Then if they say that you should do no gigs for some reasons (this is the silliest excuse, it is usually that they can't deliver) still you can do things like blog posts, going hard on social media, take new photos.

There are reasons why they want to wait. Some are real reasons some are just that they want to have control. But don't wait for everything there is always ways to always work your fanbase.

If you sit down through the momentum is slowed down. I know release things is the easiest way to get eyes on you. Still, you have the job before this. If a release should be successful you can't hie everything and then one day just jump out from the closet screaming it's here now. You have to work up an expectation with the audience to be able to jump out from the closet.

One warning I have to give though. You have to move all the time. It's a marathon not a 100 meters race.

In the end, it's always something to do. Sitting still and waiting is getting you nowhere.


Monday, January 15, 2018

There is no point of cheating!

When I explain all the steps you have to do to get to certain point in your career, they just stare at you. Then they say "I can't do all that it won't work out". Then they come with "Is there a quicker way, a shortcut".

No there is no shortcut. You can take off things you should do, but that only ends up that things are lacking. One of the more common believes is that money would solve the problem with the gaps in the career. That you invest more in the parts you are really doing. I had that thought as well but when I tested it never worked out. It's like you can see when a  thing is fake.

One of the more obvious things is interviews. The artist that does all the stuff in the way of a career will learn on the way to make good interviews. It's a trial and error thing. If you cheat and jump these steps you have to pay a media consultant to teach you to do interviews. But even that becomes kind of not good. There is no story!

It's like I said before it's all about the story. The cheating artist jumps in the story so it is just one topic. The artist that take all steps has a lot of things to talk about and it becomes natural to bring views up in an interview for example.

Now I can just hear people say "what is cheating". It's a lot of things. For example, you buy a lot streams from some source. Yes, your streams will be up but since they re not real people listening, in the end, it will jump up and bite you. Normally a lot of streams comes that you are entering different circles and that comes with good stories.

Another cheat is to enter a big competition like Eurovision song contest. It's not really cheating, but if you are a new artist you jump too many steps to handle it after the competition. In reality, your only story is that you have been in the competition.

Also getting a number one hit can be cheating. The thing goes to fast and in the end, it's easy to just become a one hit wonder. It's the same mechanism you jump steps that you have to take since you are in a hurry.

So should you always slow down? No, you should do everything. And to do that it will take time. Slow down is another thing that kills your career. That is tomorrows blog post.

Friday, January 12, 2018

I hate phone persons!

I was discussing the other week if mail or facebook was best to contact people. And I got some answers that older people liked mail but younger people preferred Facebook. In my case, I don't care I'm equally good on both. What I really hate is when they use this to make a phone call. They are the biggest time thieves. You get a message saying "call me". And when you call them up they have a question that they could have asked in the message. For example, "how many streams did we have last year", for me to get that answer I have to get into the statistics and check. So I have to tell the person to hang up so I can log in and find that out. Much easier just asked that question and got the answer in the message.

The phone person also then demands me to call back the answer, mainly because it is a phone person. Then comes the really annoying part. Phone people always ask the second question later. So the question would be "Oh how many of these streams are from Apple". Now I have to hang up again and take on that fact. Yes, in this case, I might have the page open, but the question is usually that I have to find the information. The worst part is that the information is actually on the same page that this person would find it. They often have a login seeing the exact same things I do.

Also, they come with the saying "oh while I speak to you, on this matter bla bla" suddenly they have other questions and the whole thing become a full damn investigation and when you call back you forget half the info they wanted.

There is also another reason why I really hate phone persons. There is no evidence. You can say to a phone person several times "the streams on Apple was 50 000". Later on, when something has fucked up and the person suddenly thinks it's 1 million streams they will claim that you have told them a million streams in the phone. This is uallay just becuse they hear what they want to hear. In a message, it's pretty clear if it says 50 000 or a million. And phone people hates when you can prove such things.

So if you really want to get me pissed, just leave a message saying "call me".

The best is actually to meet in person but that includes so much practical social etiquette that is proven that meetings are not getting things done.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

My good working artists.

So much work right now I don't have time to make another Vlog. I hope to make it up in the next weeks. At least I got out a blog post.

Right now we are doing so many things and have a release each Friday until the middle of February. And all our hard-working artists are getting in new stuff at a fast speed that we can't really keep up with all news that is going out.

A luxury problem for sure. But glad that my team of artists right now is doing very well and we have reached some kind of job feed where everything goes smooth.

I guess my tip today is to write about that it takes time before you get a good working flow with a new artist. It's always kind of rocky road when you bring in a new artist. It takes around three releases until you really know what to expect and knows everybody's different job tasks.

I think the mistake both parties do is that you have to high expectations and you assume that the other part is doing things or you wait for them to do things and in that miscommunication, you split ways. Most artists we lose is usually quite early. Sometimes we are not the right team, but I think it often has to do that it's more the communication or expectation that fails. Someone you have worked a long time with you has a bigger understanding when they don't do some things. It's you have a bigger excuse value to hold on to.





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The circles are to small

Right now it seems like everything are in small circles. Social media is feeding you from a very narrow audience and also let you just reach a narrow audience. And it's not easy to get into the new circles.

I just saw some nominations for awards in Sweden and you can see this affects the nominations. Some manage to reach out in many circles, the impact though varies. But most are just in one circle. In this case, you have the circle with indie people in Stockholm. All nominations are on bands in their own circle. There are so much bigger acts that have done so much more but they re not in these people circles and with social media they really not getting any new stuff getting their way. I got nominations for some of my really small releases, but these are the kind that really fits into their circle.

It's not just to be reaching the circle it's reaching it several times on different levels. Here these nominated bands are getting around in this circle several times, but not with my help, by there own social media.Still, they are so small and will never breakout outside the circle.

So to make it bigger you have to be in many circles and for that, you have to use so many people. It's like hiring five pr agencies that reach different circles all the time to get your message out.
Then if you manage to do that you will be quite established and have no worries to reach all the circles.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

See it my way

Yes, this blog is really from the view of the record company and it's for artists or interested people to see why and what is going on. Also, it's because there are millions of blogs around how it is to be a struggling artist. With that, the blog becomes really polarized.

So when I will write about this topic of seeing it one way, have that in mind. I really know that what the industry says are equal offending and hurting and many times should see it the artist way.

Don't insult the people that you work with, or buy services. I had a huge laugh with one of my A&R friends. He called me up after an artist had been in contact and wanted a meeting about future plans. It's not strange that the artist wants that and totally understandable. Still, there are so many times they insult you in this process.

Of course, this record label has just done a great job for this artist and got her on top charts and millions of streams. Now she wanted to know what the future plans were. My friend asked back what kind of plans do you wanna know we are not finished working on this hit single yet.
Of course, the artist was tired of this single it has been out for two months. It still breaks new audiences so the label has been still focussing on it. She wanted a new release where they should do the really big stuff.

My friend was laughing "big stuff" what is the "big stuff". Have I not done "the big" stuff with this single. What she is saying is that we just did a small job on this single and now we are taking forward the big sledgehammer and just push it out. Why shouldn't I have done that with my first releases?

Of course the single has not hit all channels there is, you never do that. I have been in a conversation where the record has been number one on the selling chart and the artist still thinks that radio should have it in a top rotation, or they should have more big interviews on TV.

That is really a way insulting us probably know it. It's like my friend didn't have to present the stuff for TV and magazines and just focused on selling. In reality, he had nagged these people to death to expand the success. In reality, we started that even before the selling picked up speed. These people would have taken it up if they were interested. Nagging again would be just contra productive.

But releasing a  new single could be even more contra productive and kill the first one. This is a thing that the label takes decisions around, not the artist.

We know the artist I just concerned about its career and want it as fast as they can get it. But going into a locker room and yell at the team that just won a match and gave all they got, that it was not good enough you wanted more goals can be very contra productive.



 

Monday, January 8, 2018

The first festival for the year, Folk at Heart

I was on the first festival of the year this weekend. It's called Folk at Heart (not connected with Live at Heart accept some people work on both) in Örebro. It's a bit like Folk Alliance, a folk festival in the USA. It's like small hotel rooms that bands can play and people walk around and see many bands in one night.

It primarily for folk music. But I really see the need of festivals like this. More pop bands were doing down scaled acoustic sessions in the rooms that were really cool. And I think the concept is also very good that you get more bands playing in small capacity venues (hotel room in this case). Then it's easier to get get the room filled, and you have to be creative to get things to work. I was impressed with many acts of the creativity fo using such a small space and doing a hell of a show. We need more of this for sure.


Here is Osten af and Dimpker Brothers who combined acoustic stuff with Hip Hop, amazing.

Friday, January 5, 2018

I'm not that important, neither is you.

When Joey Ramone died I spoke briefly with Johnny and he couldn't grasp how many articles and people around the world who was giving tribute to The Ramones and their legacy. he said that they were never that big and never had anything on the charts so he was amazed at how many people that it really concerned.

I guess Johnny never realized how big The Ramones really was. And that is really hard also to understand how big the storm is when you are in the center of it. At the same time is equally hard to understand how small a storm is when you are in the center of it. I was in a discussion with some colleagues and one was supporting a small party in Sweden, but he thought they were bigger. In the last vote in Sweden in his social media, that party was everywhere and he was sure that they would get over 4% of the votes which is the figure to get into the parliament of Sweden when he saw it they would get about 8 to 10 % of the votes. When the vote was over, this party had 3,5% and never got in.

This is the backside of social media. The storm is around you so you might think it's bigger than it is. Before this, it was the opposite around. Then your fame could be out there but you didn't know it in full scales, like The Ramones. They never got a hit but were big anyway. Ther positive side is that today its kind of easy to find out around social media where people are talking around you. The negative side is that you can easily kill the dream that you are big in Japan by checking it out fast.

The problem I see now is that people think that they should get treated like there were big just because they have created a small storm. In the old days the storm had to be in that size to be bigger but yes the storm has to be so much bigger today to count to the same degree.

You are not important just because you work on Universals PR department in Denmark. Just because Universal creates a lot of big artists every year, you still just a small part of a big machinery. even that one of the songs even got number one in Denmark is actually your work it could be the waves of someones work in the USA.

Just because they rotated your song on 25 college radio stations makes your music in the position that every radio station should play that song.

Just because you where in the biggest TV program in Sweden, not everyone in Sweden knows about you. In reality, pretty few know about you.

I can relate to this. When you work on a label you are the worst storm builder there is. With the smallest success and you build up that everyone in this region should know about my latest release. How the fuck hasn't they never heard about the band that had the 10th most played song on Swedish national radio this year, I think? Of course, all people in your social media network (around 2500 people) knows about it. They are probably tired of you telling about it. But since the world is much bigger just Sweden 10 millions of people they don't know about it. I meet a lady that is middle age but live in the countryside and haven't heard about the metoo hashtag. So your release is kind of unknown.

Right now I really don't know how big storm you have to create. More important how to create it. Also if I know when it's created? Is still that I can't really check on social media where I have some traction. Can I still be big in Japan since they re using other systems to listen to music? I guess one of my hopes is there.

And that hope sometimes gives people the urge to think that you should celebrate someone that really haven't achieved much and that is bothering me right now. There are too many false prophets out there.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

The perfect list!


My A&R friend Tommy posted this. And this is what i'm talking about the whole year. This is what you need to do to get somehwere. It's boiled down to a single list of 12 points, so no it's not like go here and do this and everything will work out. If you stop spending time of looking for that and do this list you will get somewhere.

All the errors we encounter every day is here. Is just that I disect it in the blog and goes in to every little detail. Some one wrote I was rude against artist in my blog. Well since they fuck up these simple 12 rules ALL THE TIME and ask what is wrong, you get what you ask for in many cases.

People think they really have checked all in this list, no you have not. Neither have I in many cases.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

This is how you get a big fan base!

If you have this your career will go to the next level and you can make a living out of your music.

Yes, I have done this before. Writing a sassy headliner and it will attract musicians like flies to a cowshit. Last time the headline was Here is the secret homepage that makes your career! and I got A LOT of clicks on that one.

I guess it's natural you want that secret little inside tip that can take you to make a living off your music. The problem is that you want THE tip, just one perfect one. It's the same I see artists looking for the perfect person to work with inside the industry. Usually, they always think that person sits in an office somewhere on a big label waiting for them to appear.

The funny part is that statistics show that most of the right persons will just be smaller people working really hard. Thos people they usually just jump over.

The whole thing is that you are working with dreams and perspectives. People build up this fantasy inside their head what it should be like. This is what keeps their dream alive. Many times my job is to break down this myth that is built up in your head and try to replace it with a closer to reality, without breaking your dreams into thousand pieces.

I just figured out that this is the hardest part. Of course, if you release a new single, that single is the best in the world. You have so much confidence in that song and with the right exposure, it would be played on every radio station in the world.

To be honest, I have the same dreams when I release some of my new singles, so the artist is not alone. There is a reality though. The chances that you would get the song to all radio stations and they will play it is not a realistic goal. Actually just that a couple of stations will play it is not realistic. And it has nothing how good your song is or how good your marketing is. It just won't fit in all stations. 

When reality sets in, and you don't get a single radio station to play it you just feel like the world is shitting on you. Believe me, I'm there with you! The game you have to play is to fast pick up the pieces and do it again, and again. And in that process, it will happen. Never thought through one person or one homepage or one tip-off.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018

So here we are 2018. I'm a little behind schedule since I got some bigger obstacles during the holidays. I guess a new year is a period when you start new things. You decide all the stuff that you should do over the year and thinks it's a lot of time.

Or you decide to start something fresh since it's a new year?

I really do the same and fall into the trap every year. The past days I have been thinking of just do this, or do that.  In the end, I know I will change the whole thing when someone calls me up with a cool proposition and all my plans goes out the window.

I should change it this year and really stick to my plans, will I do it, hell no. So should I not give any new years resolutions? I guess I will but I also know that everything can be changed in a heartbeat. Like I wrote a couple of days ago, it's better to do something than nothing at all.