Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Why isn't there a Grammy for best PR team?

You always get that the artist is the genius around the whole thing. Still, in most cases, they would have been nothing if it wasn't for that perfect PR team.

I hear it all the time, artists coming up to me saying they have done the best song ever and it's produced by some dude you never heard of in your life. Okay, it could be a really good song. But I know so many good songs even brilliant songs that never reach the big audience. No to build that perfect storm that a good song needs to become a classical song, that is down to your PR team.

That is why I'm so surprised that there is no award for the PR team. We can give titles to so many people that really don't mean that much. In many cases that producer Grammy, well without that team it wouldn't go anywhere. And you give to mastering and mixing and even background singers and worst of all so many small genres that don't really count. Yes like my five Grammys on children's music. No, I don't have them on display.

I guess this is the reason why the artist is putting so much money into the recording and not realizing that it doesn't matter if you make the nest recording if no one is able to hear it. “If I only had two dollars left I would spend one dollar on PR." is a famous quote from Bill Gates. For the artist, it seems the motto is if I have two dollars left I pay three to make a recording.

Yes, many times the bragging is that they recorded in Abby Roads Studios. Yes, it is a nice studio and can do great things. Still, If you bring in Eilert Pilarm to record there it doesn't matter.

Before you say something. This guy actually was the artist of the year in UK 1999. He was the most booked artist in Sweden in 2001. He is probably more famous than most of the songs that come out from Abby Road. Yes PR is the killing name in this business. It's not enough to have a fancy studio a good song and a famous producer. It doesn't mean a thing. You will be beaten by a mediocre song badly recorded but a very good and smart PR team.

I usllay ask for the PR team when people present stuff for me. 99% of the time I get a big question mark in the presenter's face.

It's strange that the best PR teams are quite anonymous. Most artists have a lot to thank these teams. In many cases, the artist has no clue who they are and what they have done. I usllay ask them when we bump into them on the Grammy Award, few know the answer.

The new industry that is ongoing I guess Bill Gates will quote "If I had two dollars left, I would spend 1,90 dollars on PR". A lot because in the PR game you get what you pay for.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dropped because of laziness.

One of the showcases I went to, I meet a friend who is doing management in the same style as me. I have helped him in some cases with a specific artist so of course, I asked how it was going around that?

I dropped that artist he explained. I was busting my ass off to get them opportunities and get things going. Still, it felt like they very just in for the ride. and when we got eight on the chart and they didn't even post something around it on facebook I just dropped them.

This is very common. In most cases when I start talking to a manager I have seen for a while I ask if they still have the artist they used to work with. In many cases, they just grew tired of all the work they put down and then they are treated like shit.

Here in our office, we call it "sitting in the sofa method". The artist has no longer any go, they just rely on what you are doing and whatever you are doing they just complain. More or less sit on the sofa like a teenager playing mobile phone games and complain about everything.

But it's not your teenager so after a while you just grow tired and throw them out.

This is the reason I don't trust artists when they tell me that their latest company didn't do anything. In most of the cases, they didn't but the reason for them not to do anything was that the artist was sitting on their asses and did nothing themselves.

And in today's industry, the companies can wait, they don't need to develop the artist, just wait until the right time is there and then take 50% of the share. So an artist that just sits there not even updating the social media or the homepage or nothing, well they get dropped.

And they get dropped in many ways and fashions.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

It's your birthday!

Oh well, it's my birthday. Yaaay so how will I celebrate it?

I will get on a plane and travel for over 16 hours to Taiwan to visit a showcase and conference. What did you think that I would have a party? You know what I actually spent my last four birthdays either alone on a hotel room on this conference or on a plane to it or back from it. Just by myself.

I should point out though that my business friend has always been nice to me and got me out on a dinner. The crew at the conference brought me presents. Also, the hotel always sends up a slice of cake which is nice. Last year I even got my own little bottle of champagne from KLM when I was in the air.

But, no I haven't had a birthday party in years. To the extent that my friends only remember that it is my birthday on facebook. Which means since I'm abroad I need to turn off my roaming since there are too many people I don't know who they are, that says congratulations on social media and clogs the system for me. I usually spend an hour on the hotel taking off messages.

Am I bitter?

No way. This is my choice. I love what I'm doing. It's part of my job. And I take my career seriously. The conference is one of the most important ones. My birthday has to come second. And that is not a problem. I can easily have a party later on this summer when I'm home and invite my friends. I really don't need any birthday presents. And I can have cake if I want to.

This is where you see if artists lose their game. Can they sacrifice such a simple thing as a birthday to do something important for their career? The family vacation? Can they sacrifice their best friends wedding? Their kids birth? Can they go over everything to get to the point they want?

Yes, it's really not hard to be away on your birthday or even Christmas or new years eve if you compare. But I had artist crushing their own career for just their own birthday and the will to be home and celebrate with their friends saying no to an opportunity taking the celebration before the duty. That is the first sign to think about dropping an artist.

In the end, it's not that hard this year. For the first time, my girlfriend is going with me, so I will have someone beside me on this flight. I won't be alone, even if I don't mind.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy Midsummer

It's Midsummer here in Sweden and that means that we will dance around the upside down penis with silly songs. It's called culture you should google it ;-)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Come on booking agents you not in game any longer!

I'm shit tired to explain how showcasing works for booking agents that send me totally useless bands that have no value whatsoever and still think I would pay more than our headliners. We really really need new educations around the live scene if this is gonna work out.

If the booking agents don't get their shit together ( which they don't) yes I will build my own network (which I did). You really need to learn what is sellable what is drawing attention and what is going on in the world.

Right now I book more from managers then I booking agencies because of the lack of knowledge in the new business. and that actually scares me. We need to install much more good or we will loose the good momentum we are building up.

So rule one. No, I won't book an unknown band because they have good music or are good live. I will ask how you did your promotion in the territory that you enter. And if see you just booking shit places in my territory don't expect me to jump on.

Rule two. Get in your brain that your act is not worth that much money, especially not in the niche countries.

Rule three, be prepared to work some PR to get somewhere that includes some free shows, you really need to invest in the market.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Making favours. Or really don't do it.

I had a friend that runs a music company. It's not a record label it's more a company that takes care of recordings and stuff. But we meet during a festival and he was speaking of a band that had used his services and he really liked them. Laso he wanted to get them into a festival in Sweden. I said that our booking team would take a listen to it if he sent it over.

So he did and our team listened and, yes it was pretty good. Not so were dancing in the ceiling but ok to get a small spot on the festival. I got back to my friend and told him that yes the band could get a spot at the festival. He then looped me in with the band telling the great news.

The band just said, OK we want 3000 euro to be there!

Well, you are not the main act, you are on a small spot and your friend just went through quite much to get you in the position. The band still was just that they needed as much paid as the main act on the festival to get there.

The thing is that they are not worth that kind of money. Second, there is more than we let go of a small spot just because we thought their friend was nice.

This is why I don't do favors for bands even though they many times says: If you find something you can book that for us. This is why I need papers on the bands I'm working with. The risk that they burn contacts that I have worked up are too risky.

This band really put my friend in a shit spot. Well, I just told him not to do favors for these pricks again and I guess he learned and would never help a band like that.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Nope good music is not enough!

I get from time to time artists that think their music is enough. They always answer the music should speak for it self. It's a nice thought but with the new media, the story is soon more important than the music.
Even if your music is the best since sliced bread you ave somehow get people to hear it for the first time. People doesn't find you automatically, there has to be a way for people to hear it and start talking about it. So you need to get that story anyway.

So being a smart ass is not getting you anywhere. Yes, you will be so tired of telling your story over and over. But it's part of your job. To tell it good is a must.

We are back to that artists sometimes don't understand that they are a product. Lets say i have a Restaurant. I think I cook the best food in the world and I think my food should speak for itself. If you have even seen  Gordon Ramseys kitchen nightmare you have seen so many bad chefs saying just that. And in many of the cases where artists say that their music speaks for itself, they are in the same position.

Ok, let's say I really do the best food in the country. But I treat my customers like shit. I don't have a menu, I don't give them the food they ordered, just because I think so. Then it will not matter if my food is the best, it still just makes people talk shit around my restaurant.

in this business, you are in the hands of the audience and you need to please them and surprise them to make things happen. Just good music is not enough.

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