A successful recording artist has to record music by definition. Without recording, you are just an artist and probably not a very successful one. Recording the songs that you have spent months or years crafting and trying to do them the ultimate justice in days or maybe weeks can be daunting. Being pragmatic in the early stages can make process and result so much more satisfying. Read more
Mastering is the final step in the process, when your music bridges that gap from the studio to the public domain, it’s a magical feeling. To get your masters back and hear how it’s made all the difference in the world and at the same time seemingly little, it’s an invigorating time for any artist. You must be careful when you send your tracks off to be mastered that you don’t make the mistakes that have spoiled so many peoples hard work in the past. Remember these few key things before sending your tracks away to be mastered. Read more
As an emerging musician with ambition you will have researched, read and asked around about how it happened for other people. This means you will be familiar with the need of artists to have managers. This bond can take many different shapes, almost essentially so. Just as every marriage and friendship is different, so is the artist-manager bond as well. But how does somebody become your manager? You just ask the local bar owner, he gets you to sign a napkin and now he owns your caravan? No.
Make sure that when you are on the look out for a manager you actually need one. Looking for one too early could be vanity or procrastination or just not knowing, but get on with the first part of your career yourself and don’t rush anything. At the very beginning what is there that a manager can really do? You can manage writing your songs and posting on Facebook by yourself.
You make music – congratulations you are now intimately connected with and a part of the world that lawyers call ‘Intellectual Property’! Didn’t realise that? Well you are. And that is a good thing. Allow us to explain.
What is intellectual property? According to no less authority than the World Intellectual Property Organization:
“Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.”
“How should I treat my fans?” is a wonderful question to have to ask yourself. Fans are what make you possible as an artist. The label, producer, manager or tour bus driver, all they do is help you and your fans access each other. So how do you get fans? When you have them how do you keep them?
In this short guide we are going to ignore solutions as simple as ‘Be awesome at music’ and for the sake of argument are going to presume that you are. In fact we’re sure you are. No the key to building a fanbase comes down to one word, and that word is ‘Engagement’.
Social media has changed the way that artists promote themselves – in today’s world you can build a fanbase in your bedroom wearing nothing but your pants. In the past there were never the same opportunities for connecting with fans whereas now, when used correctly, social media can be very powerful in helping to spread the word about your music. It is an essential tool for all artists, from the very newest to the biggest and most famous in the world, so here’s what to bear in mind when establishing your social media strategy.
The most famous and attractive part of signing a publishing deal is getting an advance then buying cake, shoes and a new house for your Mum. However, a publishing deal means far more than just the advance. Allow us to explain.
Your songs legally become yours the moment you record them to any device or write them down, essentially the moment there is proof that the song came out of your brain (or brains) first. This is how easy it is to copyright your songs. And if more than one person wrote the song then the copyright is split between everyone who was involved in the writing, and it’s up to those involved to agree what the split should be.
Playing live is bread and butter for musicians’. It informs what you are and is bedrock that everything is based around. It is when you, your band (if you are a band) and your fans communicate on your most visceral level. Sadly though it isn’t as easy as just starting to gig, people need to book you, or you need the fans to fill the venue that you booked yourself.
Long gone are the days when the only way an artist could break was to spend years nose at the grindstone, asking radio pluggers and A&R men to come to shows. Nowadays you have your own voice, your own platform to tell the world exactly who it is that you are and exactly what it is that you want to do. It’s so very important as an artist to recognise the tools you have at your disposal and utilise them intelligently.
The most important thing to do to begin your online campaign for success is to know how to take advantage of social media. Put yourself wherever you can, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube. Make sure that all these separate pages look clean, professional and have similar artwork and photography. You will need them all to be linked together, ie. links to your Twitter and YouTube on your Facebook page. People should be able to journey through your music and information by jumping from page to page. This gives people every chance to enjoy you.
Every young artist wants to sign a record deal, but do you know the details of what one actually is? Calling something a ‘Record deal’ is as vague as calling something a ‘fruit’, there are many many different shapes and sizes.
At the most basic and important level, a record deal, or recording contract, is a legally binding agreement between artist and label. Generally speaking the label pays for making, distributing and marketing the recordings and agrees to pay the artist an agreed share of money from sales of the recordings – this is what is known as the royalty rate. Royalties are accrued through the money earned by music in any way – downloads, streams, CDs, vinyl, licenses for music in TV programmes or films, compilations, soundtracks or even MiniDisc sales should you be going back to the 1990s to release your album.