Tuesday 16th January 2018
Music industry Seminar & showcase ‘Making it rain’
So I went from Westside to Southside.
I met my classmates Fran, Jeffery, Neha, Noisy, Mylo and Miutu at the Red Bull Studios, SE1.
We were lucky enough to get tickets to this seminar courtesy of NHAM and it was well worth going to!
Urban Development is a talent development company located in Stratford that work with a pyramid of opportunities and partnerships such as helping artists get there music on Spotify in collaboration with services such as DITTO.
Urban Development have put this event on working in conjunction with Red Bull and CMU, who are a service provider to the industry to report on the latest news and in the chair of the seminar Chris’s words “Digest and Disect whats been happening.”
The seminar got underway with Chris from CMU speaking about ‘The Industry Takeover Manual’ which aims to help its readers build businesses around music.
Streaming has been topic of conversation near enough everywhere I go and this seminar was no exception. From a show of hands, the majority of people in the room use Spotify to listen to music, although half of the hands pay for the service whilst others don’t.
Apple Music and Youtube had 2 users in the room and Tidal had 1… Which was quite a good little insight into todays music market.
So how do we ‘Make it rain’ for us in the music industry?
I’ve listed some useful points below;
- You need a team to build your business and be successful, no one does it on their own and its very important to know that.
- Every time a person writes a song, they are also creating a copyright which means the writer naturally owns the song and its copyright.
- Who owns the ‘Master Recording’? The person that organises the studio/recording session. This has been a bit of a grey area and there is a little flaw in the law based on the terminology used. The law states that the person who organises the recording owns that copyright, but typically in the industry it is the person that pays for the recording session that will own the copyright or ‘Master Recording.’
So… Where’s the money at?
• Live performance – shows, tickets, ticket commission, ticket resale mark ups, food and drink, cloakroom & parking services.
• Your brand – copyright is automatic, to protect your brand name you have to buy the trademark. Really work and perfect your brand, down to colours, logos, names etc… has to be really well thought out and relatable.
• Merchandise – What can your brand provide? A product or a service? The example we were given was Beyonce – The Queen Bee makes most of her money from her perfume, more than anything else.
• Fan Relationship – This was described as the newest part of the industry, fan bases were always there for artists but because of the digital age, technology and social media it is now easier than ever to connect with your fans, why waste that advantage? Stay present and active and find out what they like.
• If you can’t get shows or gigs – put one on yourself or seek out a booking agent. Start your event low key with friends and family as they will always show you the most support and create good vibes to help you get bookings.
• If you do want to do live performances, make sure it is done properly although the costs can be a bit crazy.
Kate Bond gave us a good example that she wanted to start gigging but it became harder when starting a family so she started an event were musicians could come and gig and are valued. “Flying the flag of musical freedom.”
Sometimes you have blag your way through or wing it, but what is reasonable to blag?
• Often, bars on a Monday or a Tuesday can be quite empty so you could blag a free night and offer to bring 20 members of your squad that will buy drinks.
• You have to barter your costs smartly, don’t start getting all cocky asking for ridiculous discounts/cuts/percentages.
Lloyd who is an A&R at Relentless Records, described the job role as “Your job is to bring in talent, constantly scouting and signing artists, responsible for organising recording sessions, putting your artist in contact with producers and PR companies. It’s about the artist and pushing that artists vision, marketing is very important!”
Some tips Lloyd gave us from his A&R point of view were;
• Don’t be a lazy A&R. You can find artists everywhere, make sure you hear the artist live before you bring them to the label you work for – Some artists sound great on a recording but not necessarily live.
• If your music doesn’t catch on, look at the marketing routes you are taking and the channels you are using. Does your branding need to be looked at and redone?
• The bigger your network, the bigger opportunities you will get.
• Make sure all your social media is branded and marketed effectively.
There was a networking session after the seminar and I got to speak with a very well informed lady called Elaine, a former A&R at EMI. Elaine highlighted that a lot of music that is getting played on radio is just sounding the same at the moment, and I agree. I also met a young rapper called Northie, she’s from ends and has bright pink hair, she was so lovely bless her, while I was writing my notes I dropped my phone and she got off her chair and picked it up for me. BABE.