and welcome to Issue #005 of Songmaker!Xpress.
Table of contents!
1-For all our subscribers, Two FREE!( Download) E-booklets , worth $40.
2-Article of this month: A)Starting Your Own Label!Mission Impossible?
B) Initial Thoughts of "Starting Your Own Label" and 10 more reasons to do this By Ty Cohen
3- Useful Resources
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2) StartingYour own Record label! Mission Impossible?
A few month ago I was busy with putting together a list of record labels of all types of music. What struck me, where two things.
First one: the fact that many of those so called record labels where out of business, or have been set up a free web site some where( like free geocities)..broken links..ect.
Second, You could see on the type of record label, what kind of web site you would find and see. A country label was looking different from as a country label, Hip Hop or a Dance record label.On the end, If I saw the record label site , I could almost tell in advance,what kind of music they where into .
Just to say ,that I spend a lot of time searching for record labels of all types of music....and so I saw a lot of them ...
The point is this. Those web sites of Indie record labels, have been started and are run by people just like you and me: Humans. They all had a dream and they all wanted to accomplish that dream. Nothing more ,nothing less.
Finally, With the arrival of the Internet Internet , many have got the perfect solution to make that dream comes true.
Thought, not everybody who has started a record label has survived the competition. Fact is that many has failed too, as there is in any business, I suppose.
But as they say "the cream arise always at the top",and on the end the best prepared will win .
So... Before start anything into the music business.
( like starting your own
indie record label) You need to build up a solid base.
You need to have some support to build a solid foundation.
If possible, try to collaborated ( as usual) with other music passionated people. People who just like you ,want to achieve their dream . You can Try to find out the things that bind you, and if any collaboration is possible , then you can give it a try.
Teaming up with some one , always need to be sealed with a water proof contract,signed by all parties, this only to avoid future problems. Both parties could be close friends,members of the same band,relatives. But also It could be some one totally stranger, with the same passion as you. Then, Learn to know each other, if you want to team up ( by telephone, email, letters). But one thing above all, it must be someone trustworthy, some one who would do his part of the job that has to be done.
Is this just a wild thought of me? I believe not. I really believe that people who sharing the same dream, can work together, better than one person on his own can do. Does this make sens, Or Doesn't it ? Let me know.
How can you find people who also thinking about to starting an Indie record label of their own.
Well, there are the band,and music business forums ,artists forums, musicians and songwriters forums..., where you can try to get in touch with people who have the same ideas and dreams as you have.
3)Starting Your Own Record Label
Initial Thoughts of "Starting Your Own Label" and 10 more reasons to do this
By Ty Cohen ( Ty Cohen is an expert of music business affairs of all kinds)
People do it all the time. You have seen or read about successful
artists or bands who finally just got tired of the rat race and
made the big jump ? they started their own record label. If you go
back just a few years ago, the frequency of people or bands
starting their own record label was not that common.
All of us go through frustrations with the trials and tribulations
of dealing with the large corporate record labels. We usually just
write it off to 'paying your dues' and 'learning the ropes'. But way
in the back of your mind, there is that question. Gee maybe I
should start my own record label, and that's where The Ultimate
Record Label course comes into play, our goal is to teach you
step-by-step how to start and grow your own successful, profitable
label and avoid the common pitfalls that most would endure.
Start Your Own Record Label.com
It seems like a daunting challenge and you have to have good
reasons. There is no question, taking on the job of building a
record label that becomes your business which will take you into
every facet of the record industry, every facet of running a
business and every detail of what goes on can be a little scary.
But there are a couple of reasons to take heart if you are
genuinely giving the idea some serious consideration.
* It's not impossible. As we already mentioned, it's done
all the time. Unlike when the big corporate giants ruled the
recording industry, we are in the age of the 'Indie'. So the path
has been paved for you. You just have to find the right people and
resources to get that help and one of those resources is The
Ultimate Record Label course.
* It's similar to starting a small business. Sure, there
are quirks and nuances to the fact that your small business is a
record label but the steps to getting a small business off the
ground are very well known. Every state and city has a chapter of
the Small Business Association who can give you outlines, booklets,
classes and sample business plans to help you start organizing your
* People who have made it starting their own record labels
love to talk about it. They say that 'networking' is the key to
success in a job hunt. Well the best people to find out about
starting your own record label are those who have done so
successfully. Don't be shy, just do some research and pick up the
phone and call them. You will be amazed how much they want to help
you get your start.
Start Your Own Record Label.com
10 More Reasons To Start Your own Indie Record label!
1. It's Good to be King.
That phrase "Its good to be king" has become a popular catch phrase to emphasize the privilege and the joy of being the top dog, and telling others what to do. A bit of trivia is that the phrase itself is actually a punch line used in a movie by the great Mel Brooks called The History of the World Part I. Of course, the movie and Mel Brooks are very funny but the catch phrase brings us another of the great business reasons for owning your own record label. As we spoke of in the last section, when you are under contract to a record label, you are at best an employee, at worst, their property. But when you own the label, you are the 'King', because all decisions flow through you. From the color of carpet in your offices to the t-shirt design to what acts to sign and support to the details of money management and legal help, you have control and keep control and that eliminates so many problems as we will discuss in this section.
2. Book em Danno.
If I could only get signed. Isn't that the woeful complaint we all have struggled with for so long. When you are first starting out, you don't feel like a professional musician, you feel like a bunch of guys with instruments trying to look and sound right so maybe you can get some notice. At the local level, the competition to get gigs and get some attention is intense. But that competition only intensifies when it comes to getting the attention of the major record labels and catching that-lucrative record deal? that will surely make you a star and a rich one at that. This is where the record labels have the community of music artists at a disadvantage. Because they know how 'hungry' Artists are, they can exploit them and cut unfavorable deals that hurt the artists down the road.
But that landscape is changing. Now that Indie record labels are not only becoming more common but also starting to dominate, you can take control of the entire signing problem. You not only assure your own bookings but you can reinvent the rules of behavior for bands to be signed to your label. And your rules will serve the creative process, the artist and the integrity of the music itself in ways the corporate giants could never really do.
3. Come on Feel the Noise
While you initial reasons for starting your own record label may revolve around personal reasons for creative control and to extend the creative process into the administrative and distribution level, make no mistake, there is a very good chance that your label will not go unnoticed. As you sign hot new acts, even if they are your friends and neighbors, you will be at the center of the next great scene, of musical creativity. We all know of the Seattle Scene, and more recently the "Brooklyn Scene" or the "Omaha Scene". But.. somebody was there when those musical hothouses began to generate some serious creative direction. Your record label will be that somebody.
Then as your artists start to get the buzz and make some noise in the industry. Larger record labels, agents and promoters will come to you, the controlling label for those acts, and you will be the one in the drivers seat making some key decisions on the direction your artists and your label will take. There is a word for that kind of power, that kind of recognition and that kind of sway you hold in how things really get done. And that word is 'clout'.
4. Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours.
As you developed as an artist or a player in the local music scene, you developed a lot of relationships. In the clubs, record stores, radio stations and bars where musicians gather to swap stories and discuss what is going on in the local scene, friendships and creative partnerships are formed and you have your share of them. It's a natural, organic thing and in that setting, you learn whom you can trust and whom you cannot. And you learn who can get things done for you and who will drop the ball on important arrangements for your next gig, practice or recording.
When you put the first pieces in place for your new record label, that network of trusted peers, fellow artists and trusted music industry professionals becomes the pool that you draw on to build your business network to run your label. You know who will follow through when you need to say to someone, Scratch my back and I, ll scratch yours. And those professionals have come to know that you can be counted on to follow through, get the job done, and get their backs scratched.
By using this network of trusted allies in your network of music professionals, you are way ahead of the game on building a record label that has quality people to contribute to the effort. That trust will build a strong label and one that will succeed because you know whom you are dealing with. Rather than dealing with distant strangers who may not have your best interests at hearts. You are dealing with your people. This network goes a long way to reduce the anxiety of starting your record label and it goes a long way to assure that your new record label will be a big success.
5. It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To.
Maybe you have had the experience or heard about it when an artist invests his life work in creative compositions, artistic development and his inventory and sweat equity to make a project go well working with a major record label. And so often we hear of the project using up so much resource, maybe getting all the way to press and then the label pulls the plug. They might just cancel the project and all that work goes nowhere. But then at least the artist can go elsewhere. Worse is when they decide to put on the shelf. The tour or the release and your creative heart and soul goes into limbo, maybe never to be released but locked up in legal no man's land.
Well, those worries are behind you when you start and run your own record label. When you make the investment both in terms of funds and time but in your hard work and creative talents to bring a project from the idea stage to a fully developed product, no record industry accountant is going to pull the plug and bring the party to a halt. It's your party and you will see to it that it turns out the way YOU want it to. And you can make sure your artists have that same sense of trust that if they invest themselves in your record label, their creative 'children' will be well taken care of and not neglected.
6. Work, Work, Work, Work, Work!
For a creative person, such as yourself, there is no greater form of torture than idea of 'working' in a cubicle somewhere sweating out eight hours so you can pay the electric bill. The "rat race" as they call it is that soulless world of business where you just punch a clock and do some task for a boss rather than pursuing your dream. By starting your own record label, you tell that "rat race" to dry up and blow away and now you are back to the world you love, the music industry but now you are redefining 'work' as building a record label that truly succeeds at nurturing music, musicians and artists. In many ways 'work' stops being work, and becomes 'play', and when that happens, you never tire of it and are always amazed that not only are you making money at it, you are making lots of it.
7. The Root of All Evil
From a business prospective, a solid business focuses on its customers first, its market second and its product third. Too often big business focus on the needs of the business first and that's when things start to go wrong. When building a music entity like a record label, we must never look away from the fact that the music industry is about music first. When you do that, the money will be there and plenty of it as we all have witnessed.
Because you are in control of your record label, it makes good business sense to not think like a business. You can focus on the artists, the music itself, and the quality of product you and your label and your community of musicians are providing to that all important population, your audience and fans.
8. My Way or the Highway.
When you first start out in building your record label, there is a bit of a sense of intimidation or uneasiness about whether you will be able to handle all the decisions and little business issues that come up with a new business. But there are lots of others who have done it before who can help and a mountain of information both in the form of courses, books, e-books and web pages to help you get your legs about handling your own business.
So have courage because while you may not love the process of setting up your accounting, dealing with contracts and lawyers and finding someone to clean the bathrooms, at least when it is all is said and done, you are the one who made all those decisions and you know they were done right. And if there are mistakes or inefficient relationships, you don't have to just put up with them. You can change who works for you and get a crew that goes the line the way you want. You can let them know that when working for your record label, it's your way or the highway.
9. Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee
They say that small business is the backbone of the economy. We hear more about the big businesses but yes, when you drive around, there are so many small businesses and there is a good reason for that. A small business is more flexible, it is usually closer to the founder's vision and it can adapt to the change of the market faster than a huge corporate entity.
That is an advantage you will enjoy when you start your record label. You will be able to change things, change business direction or even do changes to how the business is organized financially or what they call the 'infrastructure'. If you want to bring in a new vice president, you can do that or if you want to streamline the label, you have a lot of flexibility to quickly adapt, try new things, keep what is good and dump what doesn't work to make your label a powerful force in the music business.
10. Doomed as Doomed Can Be.
We talked earlier about the frustrations of working on a project and seeing it shelved by a big corporate record label. Just as frustrating is to see the merchandising and distribution of your product mishandled and so your release does not reach the level of success you know it deserves. The world of distribution and promotion is a strange one to most of us. Like the details of starting a record label, the good news is there is ample literature and courses to help you learn the ropes.
We have all seen how a good solid record, maybe a great recording can flounder if the record label doesn't handle the distribution and marketing correctly. It takes some finesse to coordinate the release with your tour, with interviews or other events designed to put a spotlight on your record. If you have seen the process happen a few times or several times and you know what works and what doesn't, starting your own record label can give you the opportunity to succeed where others fail in this important but confusing part of the music industry.
And while we do not often think of distribution and promotion as part of the creative process, in many ways it is because it is a direct way of influencing how many of your audience will enjoy your work, learn of more of it and buy it sustaining you and your band financially. In the same way, by making sure the artists you sign in your record label are handled well in this stage of their release, you in a small way become part of the creative work they are doing and that can be very gratifying, not to mention financially rewarding. Then you know the hard work you and your artists put in will get a good shot at success and not be doomed by a poorly designed distribution and marketing plan.
So far the wise words of Music Business judge, TY Cohen. CEO of Platimum Millennium.
4) useful Resources!
The Music Contracts!
The best advice that I can give you is this.
Never ever start a business relationchip with-out a contract is been signed ! Period..
The Ultimate Recordlabel!
Starting your own record label never has been easier! Read the story and see for yourself...
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So, we've come to the end of this month Issue.
Up to our next one, I should say.
Thank you <> for sharing your time with us.
Comments! Ideas! Feedback about the subject!
Let me have it, right between the eyes!
I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think.
(c) 2007 Paul Fevrier.