Thursday, April 19, 2018

You have to invest or take the slow road.

There is just two choices and none of them are easy. But I time from time bump into bands that can't see the logic in this, instead try to cut out shortcuts.

If you think you are good enough, or actually excellent enough to break it big so you start making money showcasing is the thing. Today there is guaranteed a showcase a week somewhere in the world. The good part to be on showcases is that they bring in people from the music industry and that playing on these festivals adds on your story, and as I written before the story is everything today, forget about numbers or cool gadgets, the story is number one. Also, you have a chance to meet new media

On the backside, the showcase never pays for you. Of course, that is the same in the whole business world. If you have a platform where someone can show off their product you don't pay for them to be there. Logically if you pay for bands then you are a festival and then you get the big names and small bands really never has a chance. Also here you are up against other really good new bands.

See the whole thing of it is an investment. Yes, you have to pay to get there and live there but it adds to your story and you can broaden your network.

If you want to take the slow road is that it won't cost that much. You start taking gigs in your home area. Then after 20 gigs, you take the cities next to that area and so on. The good side is that you build up a solid audience that sees you very often and might be superfans in the beginning. and the investment is low, just gas and you are in the same area all the time.

The backside, of course, this takes a long time to bring out the audience and it tends to be the same people. The risk is that your are nagging out the same places. Also is that you re not reaching any bigger stuff in your story.

Trying to do both is totally useless. That is where many think they can do it. If a smaller showcase festival they try to make them pay for the band or just ignore that festival. Instead, they try to get into the biggest festivals and pay heavily for that. Of course, you need the smaller ones to even make an impact on the big ones. Then they try to just take smaller gigs around that. This is never working and I see so many bands gets into that trap. Instead of just going and keep things rolling they put all on one gig on a big one.

In reality, they are on the myth that someone should just stumble in and see the band and start to invest in it. In the real world, they are checking the story and if the band is going somewhere they might invest in it. But the gap from where they start to invest today from twenty years ago is huge. Where bands broke before is today the threshold to start looking into an act.

So the big investment has to be done by the artist. And yes you can take the slow road but it can lead that you won't get forward fast enough to make it. The fast road and then you have to be really good and invest a lot of money and take every chance you get. But never try something in the middle that leads to nowhere.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The PR is ignored and that is the elephant in the room.

When you have meetings with artists they can spend hours talking about a certain sound or how they want the audience to connect with them. Also the look on photos and videos, that can take hours to discuss. Most are just small shitty details that have no relevant info on it.

They never talk about how to get this to the audience? In most cases that just happens in their world. Also, all these things around what it should look like and sound like must fit with the PR is never discussed. In many cases, they just leave that to the label or just ignore the problem.

Ignoring the problem, of course, leads to nowhere. And then you are like yesterdays post that releasing is not taking you anywhere. Leaving it to the label could be very dangerous. They might use their own PR people inside the company and those could be overloaded by other stuff. Or they hire just low budget people or just do a send out to media and call that PR. In the worst case, the material doesn't fit them and they will just ignore doing some special PR for it.

That is why I don't get it why the Pr discussion is never a topic? To really get these ideas the artist is burning for to an audience that is the key. Instead, it's just counted how many blog posts they get (never how many that actually read those blog posts) or if it gets Spotify streams (never what kind of streams it is, empty or someone really listening). Or most important, like I wrote if the material they make actually fit the campaign. There is no use of printing T-shirts if you are not touring. There is no use of a big fat video if you are not having PR in countries where it could be shown on TV or you have the marketing budget to get it big on Youtube.

We have quite many releases right now and I did a little test. When the songs came in and I looked at the schedule I gave 3 dates to choose from. All working fine. Of course, all of them took the closest date. Some not even asking if it would work for the PR, some actually did ask if it worked with the PR. But the critical question what kind of PR was never asked.
In reality, the more time gives the PR things to do more properly, so choosing the closest is not that smart. Sure we can do the basic in the shorter time, but these extras are usually not done in the shorter things. The most critical question of them all, no one informed me about what kind of PR things the artist would do. In the end, I mainly think they are doing a blog post and if I'm lucky they will bost that post on facebook.

The PR is ignored and that is the elephant in the room. It's not getting easier that people talks about "my music are not a product" shit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Releasing music won't get you forward.

Releasing music is not like a lottery. The more you release is not getting you closer to get an audience, buying more lottery tickets might get you a bigger chance to win, even though it's already is small but releasing music is not in that way.

Okay, I can understand that after the latest single that didn't take off it must be tempting to go on to the next one. And it could if you did your PR homework. Unfortunately, most artist just focuses on the release. The PR work will contain the same as last release, and that didn't go that well so hoping that the music is good you need to change on the PR side.

No don't change PR team, that is not what I'm talking about. The error usually lies closer to home. If you really did all that stuff that is needed for a release I doubt you are that keen doing it again two weeks after release. It's the same as when you spent a week in the studio, you are not so keen to go back two days later to do the whole thing again with the same songs!

PR work done right is exhausting, and done right it takes at least two months to follow up and do it right with videos, lyric videos, tags and all other stuff that is to be done.

In the end, don't treat the release as a facebook post. It's the PR work that is taking you forward not the release of music.

Monday, April 16, 2018

More and more that DIY can't be done.

I'm getting more and more from that DIY can be done. Sure DIY with a team works. But totally DIY with the artist is impossible.

The reason is quite simple. The artist can't get enough information to make the right decisions. Then you think, give them that information? It can't be done, you need to have skills to understand and use this information and that would take them away from the music. In reality, you can't do both at the same time.

To make an example. If you are a professional soccer player at the same time you want to be the president of a country. The training and games will make it impossible to get to all meetings and duty a president has. You can't do both things. 

Both also take time to put yourself in the position and know the different rules and get good at it.
Just last week I watched two DIY just crashed their career by doing big mistakes and making assholes out of themselves. The sad part is that they don't even get that they made their career harder, lost opportunities and lost information. In practice, they should stop giving out music that is pestering the online services today.

I would guess we need a new Spotify where you only find music from professionals. Okay, I know Spotify is already doing that in a way. Keeping these off the playlists in different ways. Yes, the last part is the knowledge that the DIY seldom has a clue about.

It's the same with live shows there are systems to keep the DIY off the stages. Usually kind of simple systems, but like I wrote in the beginning that is why we can totally leave the artist DIY, it will never work.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Panel day on Westway Lab

I'm speaking on Westway Lab in Portugal today 16:30 How to place in playlists.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are you doing it a 100%?

I'm fascinated by people that really don't see that what they are doing is contra what they saying.

You have a friend that tells you that he wants to take a fishing trip with you. Going to this great lake and fish and sleep in teent for a weekend. He is really nagging about it.

Then a weekend arise to be empty a month ahead. So you call him up telling that weekend we could do it. Suddenly it change, he is doing laundry that weekend. At least he planned that. You more or less tell him to move the laundry duty to another day.

Then he can't get off work early on Friday from work with short notice (well a month is not short, but hey on some places it is) so then he can only fish for two days and it's a bit short. And if he looks on the weather forecast it could be rain.

Here you see that he is not into go fishing. The only way is to nagg him down and if it would work it has to be perfect.

In reality he is not that interested and when you notice he get off early from work just to play golf in pouring rain, then you know what he is ticking for.

If you really going for something you only see the possibilitys. When you don't you just see the obstacles.

When I work with people in the music industry it's the same. So many says they going into this to a 100% but then can't even have a Skype meeting on a Sunday evening since it's not a work day. Or they won't take a chance since it's not a 100% perfect. In the end all comes around and begg for that fishing tripp that would be nice.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The loose cannons

Yes I work in a creative industry and many weirdos are drawn to it. I guess we are all someway crazy that works here, but there are the really crazy people.

And I would guess they are more than in a normal industry like dentists or doctors even though I heard they have other craziness in their line.

The problem though with the loose cannons is that they take up time and space. And in average it's one out of 100.

In the beginning you really can't see the difference between the loose cannon to the creative exenctric. The act the same but has a hughe difference the loose cannon thinks they are artistic and gives something to the world. While the exenctric actually gives something artistic in value. The loose cannon is just annoying and have little artistic value. The ratio is though that it goes 100 loose cannons on 1 excentric.

After awhile you get really good to spot them. They crash many things and always blame some secret person or organization in the music industry for their failure. It's amazing how many conspiracy theories they come up with.

It always why you are coutiouss when you meet new people. If they are "too on" it might be a loose cannon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Nothing is perfect!

You get it time form time from artists. Well, it's not perfect to do like that. It can be that they should record in a less good studio. Doing a scaled down show or just a show without any good lightning.

It's like me writing, it's not perfect. In fact, I can do it a hell lot better. That would take me time so much time that I would post once a month. That would effect that people would be less interested to read it. Sure better text but overall not very interesting.

It's better to do something than nothing at all one of my musicians said. And that is try. Because it's never perfect. Yes, it will be when you are the size of Lady Gaga and a 200 people big production. Light, sound everything will be perfect. Until then don't even try to make it perfect. And instead of waiting for that perfect cool studio, record in the small one just to get something out there.

I think the most killing thing is when an artist just wait. that is when it slows down and in the end, dies. Because even if the perfect thing comes along you are not up to speed to take advantage of it. These things come to people who do a thing.

We are still believers of the doers.

Monday, April 9, 2018

What you need is someone who cares about your music!

Right now I'm a bit upset. I was going through a list of companies that we had speed meetings with on a festival. I was one of the people you could meet. I didn't have time to say hello to all the others now I looked through the list just to see what they were offering.

None of them cared about artists. The majority of them was offering distribution in one way taking rights and the business model was easy to see that to gain on this they had to have several thousands of artists. That will not benefit any of these thousands of artists. They don't care you are just a number. What these people were doing was just trying to collect as many artists as possible.

The other was, in the same way, they were offering connections with big brands. Well if you are JayZ it will work but as a smaller act they can't do anything or won't care about anything either.

Overall these meetings were nothing. Sure they might get you something if you already making it. But if you do that you don't need them.

What you need is someone that cares about you and your music. Any of these multinational labels, publishers or lawyers whatever won't care or do anything special. You will be better if you have a someone unknown that really cares about you. That person will do a much better job than any of these fancy stuff. Still, it's sad to see that many leaves their real people when their career is starting to go good, just to fail that the new company didn't care.

And I think this is the way things will change. There is to many of these companies out there. I went through my business connections and estimated that only 10% out of 2000 connections really cared about artists.

I would know I built several of these companies between 2000 to 2010. But I stopped 10 years ago since it didn't lead anywhere. We are down to care about the artist.

So as an artist what you looking for is someone that really cares about you and your music. Nothing else.

Friday, April 6, 2018

MeToo, some reflections.

Now when it has gone a couple of months from MeToo. I'm going back and see some reflections on it on the music side. First of all, it was a MUST that it happened, and it really changed in many good ways. At the same time when revolutions happen, it also brings up a lot of people that are just grabbing a piece of the pie.

In Sweden, they are opening a festival for only women. It's called Statement. I think it's not such a smart idea to exclude anyone, so I never liked the idea. What is next? No people with blue eyes? It is a dangerous road. Still, it's an interesting experiment, it is interesting to see what happens.

Of course, there will be stupid men that try to destroy the festival, just because they can. Which is not the way to go and is even worse than the idea of excluding. Then you have other obstacles like are you allowed to exclude a gender from a public event? You are not allowed to it on religion or other things in Sweden. Also, male musicians are allowed. But how about security can that be male or just female, vendors and such? And in the end are the public really interested in this solution at all?

The sad side is that they are not taking music seriously. The music is just a weapon in the fight. Many claims it is only a manifesto to show they can do it. And of course, Statement claims they doing it for the music. I would like to see them having this festival in seven years in a row to be able to claim they are doing it for the music. Also getting an audience coming for seven years. The first year is kind of easy then many just what to show sympathy for the thing. Right now they are mainly using music as a weapon. And it becomes clearer when the girl who started the whole festivals is going to Tallinn Music Week to talk. That is good that she is doing that, but with the words "We are talking in a panel and then we will drink beer, I take with me the economy lady on the festival, she needs some fun".

Doesn't sound like she is taking this festival that serious, more like an excuse to get drunk in Tallinn. Not a single word about seeing bands, listen to music, no drinking beer is the priority.

At the same time, I wonder if she will get such a good time. I have been speaking about Statement in several panels around the world. The reaction has been that female music industry persons are getting really angry around the whole project, thinking that Sweden has gone too far. The male has just listened and said nothing. Then I have asked why not? The most answer is that it's not the answer to sexual harassment and it will not make a favor for the hard-working women in the business.

The last one I also have heard a lot of. Many of the panelist we ask to Live at Heart ask if we choose them for their gender or their knowledge. Of course, we choose for their knowledge, still like Ulrika on Musichelp our CEO won't speak on festivals right now, because of this. The hard-working serious ones are afraid to be mixed with people just doing it to make a statement.

Then there is another thing that has struck me. So during MeToo, there were several secret groups on social media where the persons that were doing things was discussed. Some of that went into public and several record labels were exposed to have male employees figure in the discussions. Also on the labels, many of the artist with the biggest stories were given out.

If you find out that your boss is the worst kind of creep, would you not look for another job if you can't get him fired? I was expecting some female artists leave those teams. So far I haven't seen any changes. In fact, even male artists should be leaving these teams. And I haven't seen that either. In some bigger organizations some were replaced but on the whole, nothing changed. I even see some of the bigger whistleblowers now even make business with these teams. It was like of these chairs doesn't really have any power let just take a woman and put her on it for the sake of it. No real change was done. The power chairs are still men. The thing that change is the overall attitude against harassment which is very good.

At the same time, one of the more influential female lawyers in Sweden now has been exposed to more or less using Metoo to getting more jobs and money and treat the staff like shit.  It's so sad that a thing like Metoo is used by several people just for personal gain. Today I just bumped into another one, she has gotten a chair from a guy, but she won't work with the things she got to help other women, she mainly just sits there.  I hope though that it leads to some good things down the road, or I know it will. You just have to take off the Maximilien de Robespierres of every revolution.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

This is how you should post on social media!

I get a lot that artists don't know how to use their social media and post right. Most feeds for new bands is really boring. Pictures from recording sessions and rehearsals. There are many sites that have taken this up before about the percentage you should post around.

I'm really not good on it myself so I will try to fill my blog in the system just to show that it can be done (actually that is a reason why this blog is here, to show some artist that you can do a blog about almost nothing and still get readers and nurse them).

So 10 % should be self-promotion. So, in this case, it would be me telling people to read my blog. And yes I do that every Monday to Friday by just posting one of my posts on my social media. And with a good headline, I lure people in and rad it. Actually around 200 people every day. What I shouldn't do is to promote the same post over and over again even though I'm very pleased how it turned out. Here is a difference between you and me, you might just have one song out to promote. Still, you have to be smart around it. Make posts that should be in the 70 %, It's down in the text.

20% of the post should be shared from and or for other artists. I suck on this. Sure I share funny pictures and sometimes someone's post. I should be sending more out of articles I read. Yes, let's do that. Also, one thing I'm a real sucker on is promoting my own bands. I should do some of the bands I like as well.

70% Should build your brand. In my case should build my story. I guess I do that but can be better on it. The people that follow me on Facebook and Instagram know how I post pictures from the view of the hotel room. The one that has been with me longer also know the reason. I should actually do things like that more so people can follow more and make a person behind the stories.
I guess posting new stories is actually in the 70%. I don't ask people to read them. I rather take up a subject that they will hook on. My problem is that people read them, but won't comment on them so it is more like a news channel. In fact, over these three years and over 600 posts I only got around five comments.

Of course, this comes from another cool blog check it out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Can you this without a budget?

"Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?"

Yes, you recognize the words from the start on Eminem:s "Lose Yourself". The problem right now is that people won't capture the moment, they would let it slip. A career is like a rocket and you just ride it. When you start to say no to things you reached your hight and the rocked stops and starts go down again.

Right now I see so many record labels, managers, artists do this mistake, saying no to opportunities thinking they getting bigger ones in the future. The reality is that the rocket starts to stop already with the first no.

Most of the time they blame that they don't have the money to take the chance. That is also bullshit. If you really going for it you find the money.

I watched one band that has done pretty well but have been very picky and said no to many things. In the end, they got a really nice deal. The problem is that since they have said no to many opportunities many won't take in them and also they have taken the chances to develop to make an impact good enough.

The deal got them on one of the bigger showcases in Europe. A chance they had waited for. The problem was just that since they haven't been around on the smaller ones, they got a really bad timeslot on the big festival. In reality, it was just a bought spot it was not that they were good in any way.

I was down on that showcase, and there was really no bigger industry people there. And with a smaller audience, they really couldn't do a good show. After that, they said that showcasing was not a good thing, cost too much.

In reality, they paid more money for this chance and didn't use its capacity.

At the same festival, one of my bands had one of the gold spots. Of course, since the festival knew that this band has done several small festivals and famous for their good live show. Packed room, TV, radio, and journalists were there. Opened doors to four new festivals.

Sure these four new festivals will cost us money, but it gives fuel to the rocket and open more doors. The other band I have a hard time to see that they are getting anywhere fast. They are still waiting for a bigger opportunity as an opening slot for a bigger band. the problem is that it will cost even more and they are definitely not ready for it. The waiting game cost you more then take a chance. The best things I have ever done was to let bands showcase on small festivals, there are the real opportunities. So would you capture it or let it slip?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Here is the best song in the world!

"We have really great songs and a really great performance". I have written it before that I would be rich as Mark Zuckerberg if I got a dollar for every time I have heard that.

Sometimes people just say stuff like that and deep inside they know it's not true, but it's a way to sell in things. The hard part is when they truly believe that they actually are that good. It usually takes a bit of the conversation before you can judge which one you are talking too.

If it that they really think that they have a product that can fight in the top of the market, but in reality, barley won't be a local hero it's really tough to give some answers why this artist is not moving forward and what to do.

If the songs are not good enough be on a showcase won't make a difference. Neither would it to get in front of "the right people". The dilemma is to explain this to the person. Not that I can't just tell them "it sucks". The problem is that they will only think I don't know my stuff and is just a person in the row that don't understand the greatness of their work. So it's no point of just saying "it sucks".

And in some cases even though it sucks now, with the right training and work it can be great. I have seen several cases around that as well.

The difference here is that someone has just taken their hands and then start working on them to prove that they could do better. In most of the cases, they have taken that info and developed.

I really don't know how to tackle this problem. I usually just give some random advice to change, usually knowing that these things don't matter since you don't have the product. And I have been there several times myself. When I got The Magnettes the developing company was sure they would be a big hit and make some noise. They where right since The Magnettes has done just that, but also a long, long development of different things have also been done. At the same time if they haven't believed so much in the band they wouldn't have been anything.

And that is why this is so hard. This person maybe is right they just need to meet the right persons. And maybe they can do that on a showcase, I mean The Magnettes did that. Still, if they showcase and don' t do their work since they think the songs are good, it will go nowhere.

To show how far it is between stuff. The first clip is my first time seeing The Magnettes it was on New Music Seminar in NYC.

That song and another one was the only song I really liked. And both were never released. But it was enough to take them further and meet some other persons, me included, that changed the whole thing. And here is the latest show on SXSW three years later. It's an amazing development. Mainly done by the band with right people pushing in the right directions.

I wish I could see this in the bands that say they have the best songs and performance. Still it's hard.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A new recap

Yes, we have finally released our 2017 recap. They become bigger and bigger a year. Even though I cut out things. It was a crazy 2017 I literally went around the globe with my artists. So many fun things and successes.