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Friday, 04 March 2011 12:00

Do It Yourself: Music Management

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Learn what managers do by doing management for yourself.

Self management is always a valid option in the developing stages of establishing your career as a musician. Much can be learned by taking on the jobs of securing gigs, getting some publicity, planning tours, dealing with personal issues that arise within the band, and schmoozing with A&R Reps and various other label and publishing personnel.

However, there comes a time, usually when the daily tasks of doing the business of being a band takes up too much time, and it is at this time that the services of a good manager can be very useful. I have always felt that if any musician or band has worked hard to establish their career, and achieved a modicum of success, they will have a better chance to ‘attract’ the services of a professional, well-connected and respected manager.

Today, finding a Manager is very difficult. Managers who do this job for a living can only take on clients that generate income. Making money as a personal manager is no easy task, and many upcoming artists forget that if any moneys are to be generated from their music, it can takes years for the flow of that income to be reliably there. So, as a band develops self-management, or gets help from intern/student managers, the road that heads toward professional management may open up.

Over the years I have heard several horror stories about 'managers’ that approach upcoming acts and say that for X amount of dollars, they can do such and such for the artist. No, this is not the way legit personal manager’s work. Well-connected and respected personal managers get paid a negotiated fee for their services (get it in writing) for any and all business transactions they are responsible for (15%-25%) over a particular contract period. No musicians should ever pay a fee to a so-called ‘manager’ who will not do any work UNLESS they are paid up front. Flim Flam men and women still abound in this business... be forewarned.

One of the most important jobs of a manager is to secure recording and publishing contracts for their clients, this is why it is so essential to choose well connected and well respected managers. The music business is a ‘relationship’ business. Who knows whom, and who can get to the gatekeepers, and who did what successfully, is what this management game is all about. Choose carefully the people who will be representing you in any business dealings.

Source: Music Biz Academy

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Monday, 07 March 2011 10:34

Who's Werking?

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For Immediate Release
Toya Elise Brown


Who Werked in STUDIO 9000?

R&B soul singer and songwriter, K. Michelle, who is often compared to R&B singer Keyshia Cole, recently released her debut album entitled Pain Medicine. With two hit singles "Fallin" and "I Just Cant Do This" and another one called "How Many Times", Pain Medicine was one of the top anticipated albums of 2011. K Michelle has worked with many artists such as R. Kelly, Trina, Gucci FAME, and many others. K. Michelle was recently having songs mixed at PatchWerk studios by Leslie Brathwaite, assisted by PatchWerk engineer Muzzy Solis.
Rapper/singer/record producer B.o.B. was recently nominated for 5 Grammys at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year for his hit single "Nothing on You" ft. Bruno Mars. Though Bobby did not walk away with any awards, it has not stopped him from getting back into the studio to record more hits. Most recently B.oB. was in PatchWerk studios working with PatchWerk engineer Dee Brown.
Other sessions in 9000 included those for Pastor Troy (D. Brown), Audio (D. Brown), Mo Pain (S. Firkins / L. Banks), Gucci Mane (K. Anders), Keshelle (M. Wilson), Cribs (Stikuhbush/L. Banks), Young Jeezy (L. Brathwaite), Money Man (L. Brathwaite) Matty B (N. Jenkins)

Who Werked in STUDIO 995?

East Atlanta's very own Gucci Mane is back and ready to release his new mixtape The Return of Mr. Zone 6. The mixtape will be a collaboration effort between Gucci Mane and producer Drumma Boy. Gucci Mane has also revealed that his album The State Vs. Radric Davis was only the first installment of a three-part series of albums. The third and final album will be titled The Final Verdict. Gucci was in PatchWerk Studios for almost the entire month of February having several songs recorded and mixed for the album by PatchWerk engineer Kori Anders.
Rapper, Tity Boi's latest project Codeine Cowboy, was released February 21, 2011.The mixtape,which is hosted by DJ Teknikz is already receiving many positive reviews . Recently Tity Boi was in PatchWerk studios working alongside PatchWerk engineer Dee
Other sessions in 995 included those for Denali (M. Wilson), El Dorado Red (K. Anders), Audio (M. Wilson), Big Champ (M. Wilson), Curtiz (D. Brown), SouthWest Click (Flip Gucci/M. Carter), Joe Beast (M. Wilson), Triggah (M. Wilson), Phil Will (M. Wilson), Parsitra (D. Brown), Divine Law (M. Wilson), Hollywood (M. Carter), YC (M. Carter), Julian Herrera (M. Wilson), Palb (R. Seay/ D. Brown), Chubby Baby (C. Hammond), Zy White (D. Brown),

Who's Werking in STUDIO 1019?
Regina Belle is a singer-songwriter who first surfaced in the late 1980s. She is notable for her Grammy award winning duet with Peabo Bryson, "A Whole New World". Other hit singles of hers include "Baby Come to Me", "Make it Like it Was", and "If I Could". This past February Regina Belle stopped by PatchWerk Studios to work with PatchWerk engineer Luther Banks.
Other sessions in 1019 included those for DJ Holiday (D. Brown), Magail Moore (M. Wilson), J Wezz (M. Wilson), Boom (M. Carter), Nicole (M. Carter), Skee (D. Brown), Hollywood (N. Jenkins), J Bean (D. Brown), Yelawolf (M. Wilson), Crook Brown (Khalifani), Mo Pain (L. Banks), Ready Writerz (M. Carter), Jim Jones (L. Banks), Ms Chris (L. Banks), Just Us (L. Banks), Netta (L. Banks), Quinn D (M. Carter), Keshelle (D. Brown), Boy Stop (B. Friesen), Jody Breeze (D. Brown), Sho (D. Brown)

Who's Werking in the MASTERING Suite?
Sessions in the mastering suite included those for Trai'D, Trick Trick, J Rich, 2win, Shevy, Nakiia Rosa, El Dorado Red, Gina, Juvenile, Got Cheeze, Da Boi Boi, Lil Walker Boiz, Triggah, Divine Law, 2 Chainz, Chad & Rah Rah. All sessions in the mastering suite were engineered by Kenny Mixx.
PatchWerk Recording Studios (www.patchwerk.com) is a world-class recording facility that has catered to the national entertainment industry since opening in 1995. The company, which is centrally located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, has earned a reputation for its excellent sound quality and superb customer service. PatchWerk features Georgia's only SSL 48-channel Duality Console as well as Georgia's only SSL 9000 J Series Console. The larger of the two studio rooms, Studio 9000, features design by industry leader Russ Berger (RBDG). PatchWerk has continuously serviced the top record labels from around the world and has accomodated an endless array of world-renowned talent, including TLC, Beyonce Knowles, Outkast, Usher, Ludacris, the Neptunes, Rodney Darkchild Jerkins and Bow Wow.

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Friday, 11 March 2011 10:00

Video: Steve Rifkind Set On An Odd Future

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Steve Rifkind has done plenty in the music business spanning two decades. Loud Records and SRC Records brought us Wu Tang Clan as well as Mobb Deep and Big Pun. In this interview with Al Lindstrom he talks about the industry issues and makes note of wanting to sign Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.

Source: Al Lindstrom

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Friday, 11 March 2011 12:00

Digital Times: iCrates iPhone App 1.1

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Are you ready for what is being billed as the ultimate search tool for record collectors and crate diggers?

The iCrates app gives you instant access to the biggest music database and marketplaces such as Discogs, eBay, Amazon, and iTunes. It allows you to search for artist , releases and labels on the go. You can listen to audio and samples, watch videos and share findings with friends on Twitter, Facebook, and by email.

Check out the demo video below and visit the iCrates for more info.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011 12:00

History Lesson: KRS ONE Breaks Down The Beginning

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You love to hear the story, again and again. In this video, KRS ONE speaks on "Emcee Etiquette" and the truth behind the battle with MC Shan. It is very important to know the history behind hip hop and some of the early battles.

<a href="http://www.joost.com/3cc1xsn0">TNC - KRS ONE Interview</a>

Good look on the video ELJAY. Check out The New Content for more exclusive interviews.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011 14:00

Foursquare Updates Features For Music Fans

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Foursquare, the location "check-in" service that launched two years ago at SXSW, last night updated its service with a range of new features just in time to show them off at the same show again this year.

They include :

-- An "Explore" tab -- a discovery feature that provides recommendations on where to go nearby based on users' past check ins and that of their friends and other users.

-- A new points system and leader board designed to encourage users to check in to new and different locations

-- Loyalty features that include deals participating merchants can offer users who are repeat customers. Venues can reward large groups of customers who check-in at once, regulars, first-time customers. And the app will display nearby places offering these specials as well.

Taken together, the goal of the updated service is to get back to its gaming roots.

Foursquare was a pioneer in the "gamification" of life that is becoming a hot trend among new entertainment services and apps. But ironically, Foursquare in the two years since launch has become more of a tool than a game. The company is taking these steps to return to its gaming form.

But more importantly for the music industry, the changes are designed to drive people to new places where they can spend time and money. To date, there's not been a whole lot of interaction between Foursquare and the music industry. That's because too much time has been spent worrying about how artists and labels can use Foursquare. The low-hanging fruit are venue owners -- think small clubs, and yes… even record stores.

In addition to the new features, Foursquare struck a deal with American Express through which Foursquare users can link their AMEX account to the app, allowing merchants to provide the specials mentioned above to cardholders. Merchants will be able to send push notifications on new deals as well.

Check out all the new merchant features on the Foursquare blog.

The company now claims 7.5 million users (from 5,000 after the 2009 SXSW launch) and more than 50 employees (from 12 last year). In 2010 alone, the service registered more than 500 million check ins. Over a quarter of a million businesses use Foursquare to reach these users today.

The music business can't afford to wait for Foursquare to develop some kind of special app or feature just for them. It's up to the businesses in this industry to take the ball and run with it.

Source: Billboard.biz

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 12:00

Convert Your Fans From Offline to Online

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Saying "Check out my website," is equilvant to saying Hello and Goodbye in the same sentence. It is time to reinvent the way you connect to your fans. Below is five effective methods to bring real time fans to your virtual world.

1. QR Codes

With smartphone adoption increasing rapidly, QR codes are becoming a great novelty way to create a scannable link to your website – the novelty is certainly still there and if you incentivise fans to use the code with exclusive content then it can be a very effective way to drive traffic.

2. Stickers

I am a firm believer in using branded stickers for promoting bands as they tick all the boxes – they’re a cool gift for fans, they’re cheap, they sustain a long period of time and have the potential to be seen by a large number of people depending on where they’re stuck. These days you can get a fair amount of stickers from Vistaprint.com for under a tenner, so there really is no excuse.

Including a web address on your sticker is a must, as branding is only worthwhile if it leads on to an opportunity for people to convert and become an advocate of your music. Leading them on to your website is an excellent way to do just that.

3. Mention Your Website on Stage

When you’re on stage you have a great opportunity to drive people to your website – all you need to do is mention the URL of your website and give them a good enough reason to go there. In my experience, one of the most compelling things to offer at a live gig are the photos or videos of the audience, as everyone enjoys trying to spot themselves in the crowd!

4. Word of Mouth Campaigns

What do you do when you hear a rumour about a band? Chances are you head straight to Google or the bands official website to confirm the rumour and find out more. By doing interesting things and deliberately creating rumours you will intrigue fans enough to naturally want to visit your website. This is why Lady Gaga’s outfits are always a hit – as people start asking “did you see Lady Gaga’s meat / hair / nun dress?”, which is so out of the ordinary that it intrigues and encourages you to find out more.

5. Business Cards

Similarly to stickers, business cards are another effective way to market your self relatively cheaply. If you regularly attend music industry conferences (which you should be) then these are a must. You can even use a service such as DropCards to give people a free download code on your business card, so that they also get to download a free MP3 of your music.

Source: KnowTheMusic.biz

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 14:00

Dj Tips: Make Eye Contact

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 Some of the best DJs in the world are known for their ability to read a crowd and give them what they want. It should be no surprise that the secret to their crowd reading success is that they never take their eyes off their crowd!

According to Ezine @rticles.com, “Researchers who study relationships have discovered that a big difference between those people who make new friends easily, and those who don’t, is that socially successful people tend to make eye contact with their conversation partners much more frequently than those who are less successful socially.”

That’s a big problem I see with a lot of club DJs in my city: they never give their audience the time of day. Their eyes are glued to the equipment in front of them and they are in their own world.

To build a healthy dance floor requires trust between the DJ and this crowd. From the information above, we can clearly see that there’s actually a connection between eye contact and people dancing to your music. In a way, you are building temporary relationships with your audience. Making eye contact with a person in the club and smiling at them tells that person, “I’m glad to see you here and I want you to trust me, so I can take you where you want to be taken.”

Eye contact is especially important for digital DJs who use a laptop, and not so much for DJs who use traditional media (CDJs and turntables), because the laptop can create a barrier between the DJ and the crowd. Laptop DJs can also fall victim to the “checking email” syndrome and get lost in their screen. I combat this barrier by actually placing my laptop at an angle to the right or the left, depending on the booth I’m playing in. Either way, you should step away from the laptop every so often and let the crowd see yo grill.

You can win the crowd over simply by paying attention to them! You can also build your following while you mix because all this technique requires is looking at your audience. Lack of eye contact is probably the reason why the DJs who never look at their crowds put on the poorest performances.

For more dj tips check out www.djtechtools.com

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Friday, 08 April 2011 07:25

Unpaid Internships: Do They Make Sense Anymore?

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 You know the drill: fetch some coffee, answer the phones, kiss some butt, and hope it all goes somewhere.  It's the unpaid internship, a well-worn rite of passage in the music industry.  But does this make sense anymore, especially with so many established companies struggling and cutting back?  And remember: there's less guarantee than ever that you'll get a gig, so can you afford that risk?
That was a huge question over the weekend at a conference held by the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA) in Los Angeles, one heavily attended by soon-to-be-graduating college students.

Naturally, the question came up, and most executives supported the free internship as a perfect and often necessary shoe-in.  In fact, most felt it was critical.  Keith Hatschek, currently director of Music Management at University of the Pacific, said internships easily gave candidates a clear edge - and oftentimes made the hands-down difference.  "And if you have a letter of recommendation, then you're way ahead of the competition," Hatschek relayed.  "I was an employer for 23 years, and I never hired someone because they had a 4.0 grade point."

Others successfully climbed from the intern ranks themselves, and strongly backed the idea.  "I took an internship with ASCAP after I graduated, for no credit and no money," relayed Alisha Davis, currently Associate Membership Representative for Film & TV at the company.  "I was an outstanding intern, and they did everything they could to get me a job and get me hired.  So I moved out [to LA] on Sunday, and started working on Monday."

Sounds like an easy formula, but it is really that simple anymore?  For example, is your target company hiring when you need them to be hiring?  Will they still be around in a few years?  Or, can you parlay the internship into a real gig somewhere else when it matters, especially in a shrinking industry?

Maybe these questions are easier in California, where employers are required by law to either pay an employee or give college credit.  So there's less downside, but others face more difficult questions related to their financial situations and opportunity costs.  Yet even in situations where there's no money, no credit, and difficult prospects, most interns can still walk away with some experience, a recommendation or two, and a better working knowledge of the business.  But remember: this is still a heavy investment of time and money that assumes future rewards, and a decision worth weighing carefully.

Source: Digital Music News

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Monday, 25 April 2011 17:52

Who Wants to Invest in Music These Days?

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If you have read newspapers and blogs in the last few years, you know there's no money to be made in music. So why are billions being invested in music companies? Is there really that much dumb money going into the wrong industry instead of following the smart money elsewhere?

The record industry is a sinking ship, yet Warner Music Group attracted numerous bidders and EMI is likely to see similar interest. The publishing industry also faces uncertainty, but publishing assets are constantly bought and sold. Years have passed since the record label was supposed to have died, but new labels are sprouting up every week. There's a reason for this difference between popular sentiment and reality: the music business is not a monolithic entity.

Recorded music is just one segment of the industry. Live events, merchandise and publishing are also major parts of the industry. Beyond the more traditional areas of the business are artist services companies like Sonicbids, mobile app developers like Mobile Roadie, ticketing companies like Eventbrite and a slew of information-based startups like the Echo Nest that are helping build the next generation of music companies.

The truth is the music business is still a place where entrepreneurs and investors are willing to take risks. In fact, investment opportunities exist because some investors mistakenly believe all music companies face the same types of disruption. As Brad Svrluga of High Peaks Venture Partners concedes in a post at Forbes.com, music startups that require licenses to sell downloads or stream music definitely face some tough challenges. But he saw opportunity in Pump Audio, which helped transform music licensing and was sold to Getty Images less than 18 months after High Peaks invested in the company. "If we had let the broader challenges of consumer distribution of music obscure the opportunity inherent in providing a better solution for soundtrack music to an explosion of video content for rapidly proliferating cable networks and web video businesses, we would've missed a real winner," he writes.

Like licensing, ticketing is another area ripe for disruption. High Peaks took part in the fall 2009 first-round funding of ticketing startup Ticketfly. The company announced $12 million in second-round funding last week, and other ticketing startups have received tens of millions in venture capital over the last three years. "Their plan for this year forecasts greater than 100% growth over last year," writes Svrluga. "I'll be damned if they didn't beat their Q1 number by 25%."

Investors are not even dissuaded from the traditional record industry. Warner Music Group has received three bids of $3 billion or more. The company has also received a number of bids for just one of its two divisions. Live Nation is reported to have bid on Warner's recorded music division just over a year after its merger with Ticketmaster typified the upside seen in event-oriented business models. The key to investing in a record and publishing company is to not overpay.

You see, corporate valuation is both art and science. The science is the easier part. Put numbers in a spreadsheet and arrive at a number. The art is accurately estimating the future value of a company in an era of tremendous upheaval. The art is in knowing which assumptions to build into that spreadsheet. If you guess wrong, if you overestimate the cash flows to be generated by intangible assets in the next ten or 20 years, or if you're too optimistic about the positive impact the merger will have on revenues and expenses, you can pay too much and get bogged down in debt. This was the case of the 2007 acquisition of EMI. Terra Firma simply overpaid at a time when the credit markets made possible such a leveraged buyout. So Warner's bidders need to make sure they don't overpay. Warner is definitely a good investment at $1 billion. Even $2 billion. A $3 billion price tag offers less room for downside. But even at $3 billion, there are still a handful of bidders willing to buck conventional wisdom and risk money on a traditional music company.

By Glenn Peoples (@billboardglenn), Nashville

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