In recent times digital distribution has brought a new light to the distribution of music in the world at large making record labels a strong bedrock and foundation to distribute the songs of young talented individuals.
Creating your own record label today is not a very difficult task when you are able to get your hands on good music and a loyal group of people willing to share and distribute your songs on all their social media platform, we usually call this group a fan base.
You don’t necessarily need to have a bank filled with funds before you could kick off, all you need is a passion for music and few friends who are willing to partner with you.
The first thing to be done is getting a Brand Name (a name for your new label).
Draft a goal you want to accomplish. this step is quite easy as you already know what you want the label to be like, kind of artist you need to join you and a person to manage you.
After drafting your goal, create a plan to accomplish those goals.
Get a budget. This is one of the most crucial part of starting a label, like I said before you don’t have to break the bank. Just draft what you can afford for artists recording and promotional purposes for profit generation.
Hire A P.R. – A P.R is someone who links your brand with the public, He drafts all the promotional strategy of making your brand heard, interacts with fans etc. A P.R is one of the most important part of your brand and should be someone who has passion in music distribution.
Record song and send to your hired PR for physical and online distribution.
Lastly don’t be too greedy with members of your team, share reasonable profits with them to encourage hard work on other follow up songs
NOTE: The music industry is a big house abhorring so many talented individuals specialized in different genres of music available in the world today, do not sit back and wait for a big or already established record label to come get you a mouth watery deal and make you an overnight star, if you apply this principles carefully you can break the bounds and become a star by your own efforts and also save other young talented artiste you know around as this will make the music industry a nice and more competitive zone for good music.
We, as musicians, have literally made bounding leaps of progress in technology, and many leaps in the concept of reaching out to people. It used to be that only the major record labels had access to the “right” connections. Or access to the people who know more people, people who have influence. Some of those people were like a man dangling a spider over a fire, and it was up to them if you should be dropped or continued.
The good thing is now you don’t have to become famous to become wealthy with your music. Another good thing is we have access to all the tools we need, very similar to the tools that the major labels have used to help create countless success stories of major artists who have made it to the top. As man has evolved these tools have become faster, more reliable, more efficient, and easily accessible to anyone with a computer and internet.
Do you want to make money doing what you love to do? Of course you do. I think it is important to begin by creating both long-term and short-term goals. Goals will show us the direction in which to face. Next, ask yourself “why?; why do I want to be successful in the music industry?” When I asked myself this question, these were the answers I got:
Popularity – It’s a comforting thought; it feels good to feel validated, but I can dig deeper. We are deeper creatures than that.
Wealth – Money is not the only motive, if you work hard enough, money will come to you regardless of what you do.
Self Expression – An artist often has a fire burning within to create, and music is an excellent outlet.
“Well, Amber”, I asked myself, “what else is there?” We, as human beings, have a desire, a true innate desire to make the world better place to live. A lot of musicians write music in order to connect with humanity, to share experiences in love, joy, hate, sorrow, invalidity. Maybe the sounds that your heart and soul create are meant for others who have had similar life experiences. If you can reach out to these people, maybe they won’t feel alone in regard to these circumstances. You want to connect with them, and you want them to connect with you on a level far deeper than a normal conversation. If more people communicated in this manner, this world might be a better place.
So now what? When you resonate with the feelings that are inside you, when you find your truth and motive, you can begin your steps. You begin to know which direction to take. The next step is: which genre of music do you want to communicate in? It doesn’t really matter which style of music you choose. There are multitudes of human beings out there who are looking for your particular music, your particular experiences. And if you reach them, there will be a solid connection.
Once you decide on your genre, let your creative juices flow. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Keep a notebook handy for lyric ideas. Invest in a small hand-held recorder for music ideas. Most cel phones have some type of voice recorder app built-in; these are great for recording musical bits and pieces. There are very affordable home recording programs available, and these can be an invaluable tool for song creation. If you need inspiration, choose an artist who has a similar style, and study his or her technique. Listen to their first release, and then their most recent, paying close attention to the evolution of their writing.
Record all of your ideas and get feedback from anyone and everyone. Don’t just seek validation from your friends; they are not going to be objective. If you can, get advice from people in the music business, and be prepared for honest responses; don’t let your feelings get hurt.
Once you have a tangible product (be it a complete CD, or only one song), put it on your Facebook page (if you don’t have a Facebook page, where the heck have you been for the last ten years?). Post it and re-post it once a week. Look into other music sites like Reverbnation or CD Baby. The more exposure your music has, the closer you get to acquiring “Superfans”.
What’s a Superfan? A Superfan is someone who really likes what you have to offer, and often times will feel a kindred connection to your music. A Superfan will support your career regardless of what critics may say. If you decide to pursue a major label contract, a showcase in a room full of your Superfans will really tip the scales in your favor. Keep in mind that once you sign a contract with a major, they basically own you.
If you should launch a funding campaign, for example on gofundme.com or kickstarter.com, a Superfan might contribute way more than the minimum requirement, which is definitely going to help you achieve your goal. Let’s do some math: if one Superfan contributes $100 a year, and you have 1000 Superfans, that’s $100,000 a year! Does that sound like a plan for comfortable living? You tell me.
The most important step is to have a solid strategy, and stick to it. Don’t listen to the “nay-sayers”. If you are part of a band, make sure all members share the same vision. A band dragging the “dead weight” of a reluctant partner will go nowhere. The best advice I can give you is never stop chasing YOUR dream. In the immortal words of The Doors: “Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel”.
In this article we will look at working on a cruise ship and the type of preparation needed to land the job.
Please note, if you don’t like or can’t play some jazz don’t apply.
OK, now you’ve been playing in bands for a number of years and you might have graduated with a degree from one of the excellent music academies around the various countries. You have decided that you want to have a career as a professional musician, so what is your next step.
Well, one of the options you might consider is a musician on a cruise ship. Large cruise ship companies operate all year long and are always very popular with tourists and travelers. There is still something enchanting about sailing across the ocean to stop in exotic ports, explore ancient cities and soak up the atmosphere of busy seaside restaurants. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?I I am sure you want to sign up right now and set sail.
Well, before you do there are a few things you might want to know.
First, there is a lot of competition out there, cruise lines hold auditions on Skype, so they can recruit from a global talent pool. Speaking English might give you a slight edge but it’s the music that counts in the end.
Second, there are two types of musicians required, the orchestra musician is the main work horse, his role is to play as part of the main show and also accompany guest musicians or singers that might be brought in for special events. They can also be entertaining guests during daytime sessions as part of a smaller unit or more traditional four price band.
The other act is the solo musician which will certainly entail being able to sing and play your instrument.
Third, contracts can be for a limited period especially if you are new to the job, your first contract might only be for 3 – 4 months. The typical contract is for 6 months. So remember you are not set for life once you pass the audition.
Finally, you will have to pass a medical, as well as being a musician you will be expected to be part of the crew so you must be in good physical health. So ease up on the pizza and drinking yourself under the table every night.
Before you worry about any of the above check out if you suffer from seasickness!
OK, you have your sea legs now let’s find a job. Well, that part is fairly easy, just Google music jobs on a cruise ship and you will find plenty. Some companies like Carnival cruise line advertise directly, others use talent agencies. Application is straight forward, if you are applying as a solo act you will be asked to supply a recorded video of you performing, if you are applying for orchestra it’s not as important but it’s always a good idea to have something recorded that demonstrates what you can do. Remember, this is a cruise ship so no point recording your best Yngwie Malmsteen licks. Try some smooth jazz or top 40 hits with a blues feel to it.
Now, this is the point where the two jobs differ. As a solo artist you will need to have a large repertoire of music to perform across a substantial number of genres. You need to be able to cover 50’s music right through to current top 40 hits. Because you will be probably entertaining a group of passengers for 5 – 10 days you will need to have at least 80 – 90 songs ready to perform.
For the orchestra player you have a different challenge, your sight reading must be proficient enough to read a chart quickly and also be able to improvise smoothly and with confidence.
I would recommend learning as many jazz standards as possible and study your chord changes and inversion. A guest singer at the last minute might decide to add a song to his/her set and you have to be capable of playing it.
It does take time to get prepared but it is worth the hard work.
If you are invited for an audition the company will set up a time and date. They will contact you normally 10 – 15 minutes before your audition to give you your song charts allowing you the same amount of time to review as you would have on a ship.
Once they call you back then it’s down to you.
If you are successful, then the company will make all the arrangements including medical and contracts and flights to get you aboard ship.
If you would like to see a sample of an audition sheet, send me an email and I will send you a copy of my original sheet.
Just another point to note, if you are employed through an agent then commission will be deducted from your salary. The good side of working for an agent is that once you are on their books, they will probably keep you in work for as long as you want to work on the ships.
I hope this helps anyone looking for a career on the cruise ships.
Success in the multi-billion-dollar hip hop music industry doesn’t work like in the movies. Oftentimes, independent artists post their music online hoping for overnight success. While this can happen, it takes often years of hard work, plenty of organization, planning, and some luck. You don’t even need a major label to achieve success today. But for independent hip hop artists to achieve success in the industry, here are some laws to observe.
Research What It Takes to Win
While formulating your plan for success, make sure that you have all sorts of trackable things that you can market. Major record labels aren’t in the business of promoting musicians that don’t have these sorts of solid numbers. These include online download numbers, independent record or song sales, online presence on popular industry websites and blogs, YouTube views, tours, etc.
Any endorsement from established artists is especially important. All these things not only work for you if you want to get signed, but these numbers work well for you as an independent artist, too.
Using Your Resources Strategically
One of the most important things to keep in mind while you’re seeking success in music is to make sure you have another source of income to stay fed, have a roof over your head, and keep your bills paid. Having no money at all leads to stress that can interfere with your creativity. Not every artist has a benefactor to cover most or all of their expenses.
You need to learn to manage your resources, no matter how limited they may seem to you right now. In fact, the less you have to work with, the better you will learn to manage and make the best of what you have. It will teach you how to strategize how to turn each small bit into something bigger, a skill that will only work for you more as you gather more resources later on.
Keep Your Creative Drive and Vision
Your individual creativity is the ability that can set you apart as an aspiring unsigned hip hop artist. Find what sets you apart from everyone else and focus on that. There will be many moments where things will look to stall, so you need to keep that drive to prevent doubt from letting you become lazy and/or eventually give up.
Clearly defining your vision as an artist is how to keep that drive going. Overnight success is a myth. Be realistic and understand that trial and error is just a part of the game. By persistently finding what works best for you, you’ll eventually find yourself develop into the artist you were always meant to become.
Make the Best Music You Can
Remember that industry success always begins with the music. You have to connect with your audience, or you aren’t going to find any success in the music industry. Obviously, song promotion becomes a lot easier when the music is actually good. It’s actually most important to study how strangers react to your music. Your friends and family will often say whatever they think will help, not necessarily what actually will. It’s not easy, or everyone would be doing it. Attaining success can be such a thankless job, but eventually, you could be one of the lucky few that make it to the top of the hip hop music ladder.
Become a Master of Multitasking
Independent or not, at the end of the day, your success lies with you. Learning how to become a multitasking master or a great delegator of responsibilities is a major component of gaining success. Whether you look to sign or not, be persistent in your networking and find people that understand your brand as an artist. By having people on your team that are all on the same page, you can get a lot done, even with only having a handful of people. Promoting a music artist is hard work, but having your own team do it can make sure your vision and your product’s message stays consistent.
While there are the rare few who find quick success by signing with a major label, remaining an unsigned artist and being independent is quite valuable. Nothing against labels, but when you sign with a label, you become immediately subject to their rules and whims. Staying independent as long as you can actually work in your favor. The more established you and your brand are, the more you will have control over long-term.
Develop Your Identity and Your Team
There is no one perfect recipe for success for independent recording artists. But one thing that always works is developing your identity as an artist and building your brand. Bringing together a professional team to build and develop your brand can eventually create music that can sell itself.
Work Hard and Be Humble and Realistic
Every success comes with a little bit of luck, and it’s no different for unsigned musicians. Have a strong head on your shoulders and be humble and realistic. Don’t give into trends or just mimic everyone else. Most of all, don’t get an inflated ego. Work harder with your actions, not just with your words. And, of course, don’t be a spammer when pushing your brand and music.
Balance Online Presence with Physical Presence
Having an online presence, both on websites and social media, is important. But nothing beats good old-fashioned networking and performances. Balancing the two successfully is how you create a loyal fan base. You can’t just spam the Internet with links and hope people come see and listen to you.
Know the Business
Just because you wrote, performed, and produced a song doesn’t mean that anyone owes you anything at all. You need to know how to sell tickets or some other product. Otherwise what venue or sponsors will want to have you? Music promotion as an independent artist can actually be done on a limited budget. But you still need to learn how to invest that money properly to build your music business. If you’re not investing in your business, then your music is just a hobby.
If you’re looking for a major record deal, it will take an investment of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars into your business. You need that kind of investment to bring in the returns that labels are looking for when signing artists. Therefore, investing in your own indie music business is smarter since you can still make a significant income with less money invested. This way you get to collect everything you invested.
Be Visible and Consistent
The most important thing when selling any product, especially music, is to stay visible. Even if you have to play some free shows to get publicity, you should. Even if it’s only in front of family and friends, consistently performing is the only way you’ll master your craft. Once you have your songs down, get them recorded. Should you make them into videos and upload them to YouTube?
Yes, and not just because some sensations have come out of it. Yes, this means you’re essentially giving your music away, but it’s worth it. You have to have something to link to that’s easily available, especially when it comes to sharing your product on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You have to keep up with the competition and get your word out there. Once people get into your music, they’ll help spread the word for you.
While the daily grind of the music industry is quite challenging, learning how to deal with the ups and downs will shape your eventual success as an independent hip hop artist.
Find out more about breaking into the music industry by visiting
Music is a big part of civilization. Centuries had passed but music survived and even grew to greater heights every single decade. As a matter of fact, the demand of music has been rising very steadily in the past 10 years and it will continue that way in the foreseeable future. It comes along with the big amount of revenue the music industry is currently getting year after year. It is an unstoppable force as people always look up for the next great artist around the corner, thus continuing the cycle and the relevance of music. The demand of music content is at an all time high. The global music revenue since the turn of the century has been steady. The currency is measured in billions.
As the technology grew, music got more technical, complex and in demand. Others take credit for using music they don’t own. Nowadays, independent musicians are well aware of protecting their work for legal purposes. Through music licensing, you can be ensured of your asset/work being protected legally.
What is music licensing? Music licensing is the licensed used for copyrighted music. This allows the owner of the music to maintain the copyright of their original work. It also ensures the owner of the musical work to be compensated if their music is being used by others. The music licensing companies has limited rights to use the work without separate agreements. In music licensing, you could get your work licensed in the form of music, composition and songwriting.
During the music licensing process, there are terms that would be discussed by the groups involved. If you are an independent musician, you would be the licensor. You are the one responsible of the music created, thus you are the copyright owner of the licensed work. A licensee would be the music licensing company as they would be the one who will distribute your work to other industries. They will also collect the royalty fees as distribute them back to you if your music is included in live performances, TV shows, ads, campaigns, video games, etc.
There are also two kinds of contracts in music licensing, namely exclusive contract and non-exclusive contract. Exclusive contract means having your work licensed exclusively to a single music licensing company. Only a single company has the authority to distribute and market your work. If you signed an exclusive contract to your song or album, you cannot use the same music contents and get it signed by other music licensing companies. The agreement is exclusive and confidential to the licensor and the licensee.
Non-exclusive contract allows a second party to distribute your work and it doesn’t prohibit the licensor to sell their music to other music licensing companies or licensees. An independent musician can sign a non-exclusive contract to multiple companies using the same music content. Non-exclusive contracts are generally used to prevent an individual from being locked into a restrictive contract before their work gains popularity. This type of contract is designed to protect music artists from being taken advantage of in the early stages of their respective careers while on the process of getting their music out to larger audiences.
There are also cases which involves direct payment for used music content. This is called Sync Fees. Sync fee is a license granted by a holder of a copyrighted music to allow a licensee to synchronize music with visual media such as ads, films, TV shows, movie trailers, video games, etc. For example, a video producer is in dire need of music content for a certain project and is in a limited time of finding one.
In these cases, the artist and the music licensing company will be contacted directly for the possible use of the original work and negotiate the upfront payment involved. Sync fees can range from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars or up to thousands. The payment usually depends on how big and established a company is. If it is a well known company, there is a probability that the sync fee will spike up in value.
We need to understand that businesses nowadays are paying premium for music at an all time high. The influx and revenue generated on different industries are worth billions of dollars and the music artists who got their music licensed will get a big share of that money. The content of music is very important. Every single company need visual and audio content. You can’t do ads, shows and movies without having any music content.
Music licensing brings compensation for assets used. This is called royalty fees. A royalty fee is the payment collected by one party from another for the ongoing use of a copyrighted asset. You can get compensated if your work is featured on live public performances. For every live use of your music, you get compensated as you own the copyright of your work.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has collected over $941 million dollars in licensing fees and distributed $827.7 million dollars in royalties to its members back in 2014. BMI on the other hand, collected more than $1.013 billion dollars in license fees and distributed over $877 million dollars in royalties to its members during the year 2015.
Music licensing is the modern way of earning through music. In the past few years, the physical sales had gone down. Streaming music has taken over because it’s more convenient and practical with the help of the World Wide Web. With the rise of streaming sales, the figures that could be collected as royalty fees could spike up in the years coming. In fact, as stated in an Australian financial review website, streaming generated $2.5 billion dollars in US music sales last year, overtaking digital downloads as the industry’s biggest source of music revenue. As stated in the picture below, the global streaming of music is projected to reach greater heights in terms of revenue in the upcoming years.
The internet contributed greatly for the rise of music licensing and streaming. 20 years ago, the distribution of music hasn’t been exactly this big. Television shows and filmmakers are the top two industries that need music content. Today, there are more and more TV shows, films, commercials, movies, ads and tons of video games that need music content. It is safe to say that the internet opened the public eye about the opportunities involved behind it.
One of the most visited sites on earth is YouTube. People use, duplicate, rework, copy, revise and perform music from different artists around the world. It also has an influx of ads which contains music content. To track all these data, YouTube has a Content ID System. If your music is licensed, you can contact this site and they will take a look at their data and see if your work is being used by other parties. As the licensor, you have the authority to take actions such as mute the audio which matches your music, block a whole video from being viewed, track the video’s viewership statistics or monetize the video by running ads against it. Every country has different rules about it. But YouTube runs a lot of ads and monetizing work from this site is very probable.
If you are an independent musician, you must improve and instill professionalism in your craft to get your chances up of being signed by a music licensing company. With billions of dollars of revenue involved today, you want at least a slice of the pie. Monetizing your passion is never easy but taking the necessary steps to make it work is a must to reach success.
I can teach you more information about music licensing and the secrets behind it. Visit my site, http://silverscreenmusician.com and I guarantee that you will be a step ahead from others with all the information I will share to you. See you there!