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ever try to help a client get a record deal?
Old 14th January 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

ever try to help a client get a record deal?

I have recently completed recording a 7 song EP for an 18 year old singer/song writer. She is VERY talented and I would like to help her push for some success in the music business.

I have some very limited contacts in the music publishing world & have forwarded her recordings & bio along to them.

Any suggestions on what else can be done to help her out?

Anyone else ever been in this kind of situation?

I'm happy to email her recordings & bio sheet along if anyone is interested in checking out her work just PM me here or send me an email: [email protected]

Thanks in advance for your insight!
Old 14th January 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

also, mods, if this post is in the wrong forum please feel free to move it.
Old 14th January 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Before you get too far into this, you may want to look into what a "record deal" really is these days.
Old 14th January 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Before you get too far into this, you may want to look into what a "record deal" really is these days.
Indeed!

She's looking to try to further her music career & has the talent & looks (I doubt you can even say that in today's world!). I think she could really do something... what that means, I have no idea!

I'm sure there are plenty of avenues out there if you have the talent & connections.

I really don't have anything invested in her success, but she's a nice girl with a great voice & gift for poetry/lyrics & I think her songs deserve to be heard on a bigger scale.

@ themiracle , thanks for dropping me a line!
Old 14th January 2019
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyDemonic View Post
Indeed!

She's looking to try to further her music career & has the talent & looks (I doubt you can even say that in today's world!).
Well, back when you could say that, and back when people bought records, I think it was Joni Mitchell who observed that the record companies were no longer looking for talent; they were signing anyone "with a certain look and a willingness to cooperate."
Old 14th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Does she play live? Playing live a lot is still the best way to build a fan base IMO, and certainly the first thing I would tell someone who was looking to make this a “career”.
Old 14th January 2019
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thank you all for your feedback!

I am encouraging her to get herself out there on the social media platforms & have also told her that the best way to build a following is to get in the van... We'll see if she can make a real go at this thing. I know her heart is in it & she definitely understands that nothing is going to just drop in her lap. Writing amazing songs & having an amazing singing talent is only a small portion of the work you've got to put in.
Old 15th January 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Brent is absolutely right: coveting a deal with a label is very, very yesterday. The wonderful thing about the new musical paradigm is the fact that sans "gate keepers" we have a wide open market driven shot at developing a career in musical performance. If indeed you have in front of your mic a real 5 tool performer she will have an opportunity to advance through a very congested field of less talented acts on the inter-net U-Tube/Vimeo video world. I have two recommendations; Copyright all decent original Lyrics: & also capture her best original song with a video from a live performance to be viewed via the world wide internet.

The 5 tools:
1. Great original lyric
2. Vocal skill to sell it
3. Interesting, attractive appearance
4. A personality and communication skill to connect with an audience
5. A genuine love of performing for a live audience

When a personal profile is packed with this amount of promise a professional A/V production team should and probably will provide only the embellishment necessary to help her sell the Lyric. It is not about electronic bells and whistles, all it really needs is a clean, transparent, uncluttered look at the performers skill.
Hugh
Old 15th January 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
+1 to the people that said about playing live.

To that end, though, I'd recommend she has her own vocal mic and a decent pickup/mic for whatever instrument(s) she plays.
Having her own sound engineer for the high-profile gigs wouldn't hurt, either. You might be able to help with that.

After that, multi-track record a decent gig with some room mics, capture the atmosphere, etc etc. Live/unplugged stuff seems to go over well at the moment - a good contrast with the over-produced sludge that a lot of radio stations play.

Chris
Old 15th January 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

YouTube videos and a healthy instagram following. Do the other things listed above to get that following. But it’s 2019. You need social media numbers.
Old 15th January 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
The meanings of "talent" and "great songs" are subjective and ever changing. Someone, even a seasoned music business pro, might think that an artist has the "talent and looks" thing all wrapped up, and the public yawns. Next artist... They can't see a thing, yet an army of devoted followers emerges.

The thing that never changes is an artist's ability to grow that army of followers, for whatever reasons. But never underestimate the powers of a gifted manager... the Shep Gordon, Anthony Saleh, Andrew Loog Oldham, etc... a person who knows how to generate buzz and create mass media event. There are hordes of talented and attractive artists floundering for lack of skill at breaking through the ocean of background noise.
Old 15th January 2019
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Brent is absolutely right: coveting a deal with a label is very, very yesterday. The wonderful thing about the new musical paradigm is the fact that sans "gate keepers" we have a wide open market driven shot at developing a career in musical performance. If indeed you have in front of your mic a real 5 tool performer she will have an opportunity to advance through a very congested field of less talented acts on the inter-net U-Tube/Vimeo video world. I have two recommendations; Copyright all decent original Lyrics: & also capture her best original song with a video from a live performance to be viewed via the world wide internet.

The 5 tools:
1. Great original lyric
2. Vocal skill to sell it
3. Interesting, attractive appearance
4. A personality and communication skill to connect with an audience
5. A genuine love of performing for a live audience

When a personal profile is packed with this amount of promise a professional A/V production team should and probably will provide only the embellishment necessary to help her sell the Lyric. It is not about electronic bells and whistles, all it really needs is a clean, transparent, uncluttered look at the performers skill.
Hugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
+1 to the people that said about playing live.

To that end, though, I'd recommend she has her own vocal mic and a decent pickup/mic for whatever instrument(s) she plays.
Having her own sound engineer for the high-profile gigs wouldn't hurt, either. You might be able to help with that.

After that, multi-track record a decent gig with some room mics, capture the atmosphere, etc etc. Live/unplugged stuff seems to go over well at the moment - a good contrast with the over-produced sludge that a lot of radio stations play.

Chris
Lots of great advice and observations in this thread in addition to the two quotes above.

I'm on the same page as Brent and Hugh. A label contract is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. (And never has been.)


But especially in today's fluid music biz scene and the new opportunities for a a self-guided/managed career, I would strongly urge looking three times (or more) before jumping into any contracts that might tie up the artist -- OR HER MATERIAL -- for years at a time. If one does jump, he or she should make sure they're not just getting money but that the contractee has the resources to back up any promises they make. Because in this biz, people make a LOT of promises. Even today. One should get it in writing -- and have a lawyer who specializes in music biz contracts to go over it carefully with the talent.

And, for heaven's sake, check out the management company or labels to see how they've treated artists in the past. Don't just go on one 'success' -- even bad management companies sometimes have stuff fall in their lap. Look at their overall record and especially check thoroughly for 'artist horror stories.'

To the artist: It's your artistic life. Way too many people in the past got sidelined by onerous contracts. And in this biz, if you get sidelined when you could have been taking advantage of the big breaks that sometimes come, you may find that the next big break is a lot farther off down the road. Be prepared. Don't tie your hands contractually unless you have really explored that contractual arrangement with an attorney. So many sharks, so few legit opportunities offered by music biz types.

That's why so many people these days have learned from the lessons of the past and kept control of their own careers and works.
Old 15th January 2019
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
A label contract is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. (And never has been.)
But at least the old deals generally weren't 360 deals, where the label gets a piece of everything music-related that you do. That's the norm now.

And if that isn't bad enough, some friends of mine were recently courted ardently by a bigtime label with a bigtime producer attached, only the deal would have included a taste of their income from all sources. These folks run a successful and growing day-job business that affords them the luxury of doing music on their own terms, and the label wanted a chunk of that, too. Meaning they'd have to gig more and travel further just to maintain their current income. But they'd be famous. Or at least a little less not-famous.
Old 15th January 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
But at least the old deals generally weren't 360 deals, where the label gets a piece of everything music-related that you do. That's the norm now.

And if that isn't bad enough, some friends of mine were recently courted ardently by a bigtime label with a bigtime producer attached, only the deal would have included a taste of their income from all sources. These folks run a successful and growing day-job business that affords them the luxury of doing music on their own terms, and the label wanted a chunk of that, too. Meaning they'd have to gig more and travel further just to maintain their current income. But they'd be famous. Or at least a little less not-famous.
The more things change... the more they stay the same. With a vengeance?
Old 16th January 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
These folks run a successful and growing day-job business that affords them the luxury of doing music on their own terms, and the label wanted a chunk of that, too.
A label wanting a piece of an artist's income unrelated to that artist's music pursuits is insane. Forget it.
Old 16th January 2019
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
A label wanting a piece of an artist's income unrelated to that artist's music pursuits is insane. Forget it.
Yeah, well, being here I've run into several wealthy bucket-list types who would probably jump at it. But they all suck.
Old 16th January 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
A label wanting a piece of an artist's income unrelated to that artist's music pursuits is insane. Forget it.
Seems like it should be illegal. And I ain't normally one to stand in between those who want to shake hands and make and agreement.
Old 16th January 2019
  #18
If you've already got an initial recording ready to release, you don't really need a "record deal". You might want a "licensing deal" - where the artist keeps the ownership of the masters and just licences them to the label. And does so on much better terms than if the label were making the record.

But all the above advice is good. You need social media following, decent streaming figures, good gig turnout to even be looked at by a major these days.

The good thing is that that's all feasible for someone to achieve on their own.
Old 17th February 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
There are a lot of micro-labels out there that don't really do much other than release your album and do a little online distribution. A 'deal' may be pretty similar to one-time self-publication. Maybe they'll distribute some cassettes for you (yes, cassettes). The upside is they'll list you in their catalog alongside similar acts, so there's at least a modicum of cross-promotion. That element alone makes it more likely to get at least a little more attention than self-publication, which most likely will yield zero exposure.

Your client could scour these micro-labels until she finds one that'll release her EP. She should look for one that has similar acts. If she sells a few copies, they may let her do it again. Really not a bad way to go, as she's financing the production herself. Don't expect more than a fewest of dollars out of it, and it could be more than adequate for her purposes. When she's done that several times and has an audience, it may open up something bigger.

Last edited by kafka; 17th February 2019 at 11:47 PM..
Old 18th February 2019
  #20
I don't even think you need a record deal anymore, you did in the year 2000, it's common to see advice that worked 15-20 years ago that no longer works now going into the 2020's.
Old 18th February 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyDemonic View Post
I have recently completed recording a 7 song EP for an 18 year old singer/song writer. She is VERY talented and I would like to help her push for some success in the music business.

I have some very limited contacts in the music publishing world & have forwarded her recordings & bio along to them.

Any suggestions on what else can be done to help her out?

Anyone else ever been in this kind of situation?

I'm happy to email her recordings & bio sheet along if anyone is interested in checking out her work just PM me here or send me an email: [email protected]

Thanks in advance for your insight!
Get an entertainment lawyer.
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