Friday, June 30, 2017

You know it's perfect when old people say you can't do it.

I was listening on a speech from a very famous old label guy from Japan the other day. He was very pessimistic about where the musicindustry where going. The sales where down. The digital in Japan didn't work and the live side had trouble.

I had heard that story before. It was told in Sweden to many times just when Spotify was making its appearance. And it was told by old farts. And we all know the crisis was solved by Spotify in Sweden later on.

Same here in Japan. The guy said that the sales where down but the digital streaming was staying at the same small rate. The thing is what he is saying is that people stopped listening to music. That is a fact that never is true. People listen to more music then ever. The error here is that the old fart really don't understand where they ate listening or where they find new music.

So I asked where kids where hanging online. I had a hard time seeing that kids in Japan not using Internet.

Fast, he answered that kids loved to be on YouTube and see videos.

Voila, bingo there you have it. The streaming is up but they haven't checked the right sources. Yes Japanese kids won't use Spotify and stuff like that. No they are on YouTube and watch videos,witch is also streaming and you can earn money on.

What I knew that he didn't was a that I had meet some younger Japanese people that explained how the new generation behaved. And they had number of exploding of use of streams.

It's never the case that people stop listening to music. But it's always what you hear from some old farts in the industry. How influencial they might have been they are out. And that is good news for you. When this happens there is niche to get into and pick shares. The golden age is when to old fart whine.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not such a great idea

One of the worst things I know is when you get pitches from companies that really don't have thought their plan through.

Usually they have identified a problem in the music industry that in reality is not a problem or even worse already solved but they haven't done their research.

My favorite hate one is a company that had invented an app where you can humm a tune that come up your head. The app records it and store it your phone.
I asked, can't you that with the voice recorder? Yes you can but with this one you can share it.

Okey if someone really want to hear my humming embryos of songs to be I can upload that to a soundcloud account.

So the solution is there if you really have that need. The question is how often do we have that need?

Also many of these is connector companies. In a way a unnecessary middle man. I don't know how many shit companies I meet that "connect" you with your fans. In reality you connect with the fans on the channels they use. It's just contra productive to use a new channel and prusade people to get there. It's hard enough to get them in the channels they already know.

The rule with a connector is that it can work with very few. I would say that you can do a good job with 10 clients. But in most cases their business idea is to have thousands of clients. You just and up as a ant in a anthill.

Here you have all that doing the bands to brands, placements and so on. In reality do you don't think a brand can't seek up an artist? Of course they can, and it usually works fine. What they don't want is millions of artists they don't want. And these companies can't select what they want and not want.

Then you have the companies that are thinking that the fans should be the accelerator to your career. Yes they are by buying or consuming your art. But do you really want them in production?
Many of these has solutions for the fans to be part in your career. These companies has not thought of all the artist that over the years has complained about how the recordlabels interfered with their careers. Think also that a recordlabel is a professional hub and has knowledge. Here you just have a bunch of opinions from random strangers. Yes these strangers will buy you products but you need to be good enough to surprise or just satisfie them everytime without having hundreds of fans in your process.

These ideas that never is really thought through is very common. And they almost always do it backwards. It's always you bringing your fans to their solution. It's very few of them that has the audience and invite you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blind leading blind

Aren't we all failed musicians? I guess everyone that is in the musicindustry is failed musician in some way.

I usually say I'm not a failed musician and that is my strength. It's not totally true. I was in a band rehersing (never made a show) when I got into studio work where I stayed and then went to the business side.

It's worse with the people that really tried to make it and then failed and now gonna fulfill their dreams through someone else.

If you look at it on a business side they didn't have their business plan correct. The sad part is that they transfer this malfunction business plan to a new artist.

Also they are not focused. I just was on a party with a manager like that. He had been an artist. Blamed he failure on lack of opportunities when he was an artist. Now he was working for a new record label that he started with a friend (also faild musician that turned producer). He was happy like a kid in a candy shop when he managed to get into this party.

Of course he didn't have the shit together here. First he was acting like a musician when he was networking, in this case not networking at all. I felt sorry and introduced him to a good contact. Then he started talking about his own failed career and his new label. A contact like that don't care about how setup a label like that is the hardest thing in the world (it's not, the hard part is to achieve something).
The biggest mistake, not a single word about the artist he manage.
Instead he started talking about how his label had got a contract with a distributor (that everyone knows as shit and really you can get a contract with online) like it was the best thing after sliced bread.

My contact later asked me what that guy was doing. It made no sense what he was talking about.

I guess the history will repeat it self. In the end I was talking to him how it all went. It was of course marvelous to have been there. But he couldn't say what he had achieved.
I guess he achieved nothing since the business plan was not ready. His mindset was still faild musician not a artist developer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I was on a industry event a couple of weeks ago. The event was really good in itself but it was full of sharks.

It all comes from the song (Rock) Superstar with Cypress Hill. In the intro he tells how the industry is like sharks swimming around and wants to take a bite of you.

And it's a kind of truth to it. It's a lot of people that really don't care about you or your music. They also talk a lot and promise much but never achieve much.

I have become rather good to spot these sharks nowadays. I have been trapped several times with them and know their modus operandi.

First they talk about "big" artists, producers you never heard of. These are big but mainly in a country, local stars. In reality there numbers are good but since it is local numbers they can be faked.

Then they also talk about things that was in the past. Trends that are dying. This is a bit harder to see if you are not around on showcase festivals and hear the latest. But some sharks are that old they still talk about physical products. Also they talk 360 deals.

In many cases they are old. Their claim to fame is artists in the 90:s in really bad cases even in the 80:s. They still keep coming that they worked with Vanilla Ice and think it should impress you.

They want money. Sure we all do, but there are limits. If someone fix a gig in their town taking no cost I do the same. Here is more you fix a free gig and when they return the favor they want payment as a middle hand. It's like budget airlines, nothing is for free and to tune up it will in the end cost you more then a first class ticket on a normal airline. If you stick to the budget one it will be a bumpy ride.

Major labels, they always talk about their connections to the major labels and how good it is and they can be the gateway. It's never that good. Actually in this case a shark came up and talked how good and tight he was with Universal. I replied with a fake smile and a pretend to be impressed wondering if he had good connections to Universals streaming division. And of course he had but none of the names he mentioned worked there. How did I know, well I had meeting a couple of hours before with the streaming department and know them all. This trick I work with alot. Usually if they know the right names and you know the same people they are legit. Many times the people the shark talk about work as the coffee maker on the company.

Of course when you are new it's harder to read the sharks. You will probably end up doing with one of them and learn the lession.

Monday, June 26, 2017

It's about connections and favours.

The Magnettes did a show at Sofar Los Angeles yesterday. For that we needed special equipment. Usually on the tours we have drumpads and tracks but on Sofar it's semi acoustic.

So we got a problem, we needed a Cajón  and a acoustic guitar. Yes you can easy rent that, it's just for one show. But we had the show late evening and have to leave super early next morning there was no room for take any rented equipment back.

Here comes the coincidences that if you have a large network will happen and you as a manager are dependent on.

I was standing in a bar in Austin two years ago and a friend of mine introduced me to Jesse. Not long ago Jesse sent one of his bands Klez to Sweden and wanted some help to get the artist into the market. For that he connected me with his boss Roger at Soundx3. It showed that Roger was connected to some gigplaces in LA so we helped each other out. I got he's band some stuff in Europe and he got me some stuff in USA.
So now when we was in LA on a showcase Roger fixed with his bands and mine. I talked to Roger about the guitar. And sure enough he had the nicest guitar that we could borrow.

We needed the Cajón. A guitar is lying around is possible but a Cajón?

Now we have to go back several years. I meet Fiona Bloom in NYC I don't remember where and when, but she is very connected in the industry. I invited her to Live at Heart to speak at my conference a year ago. She then hooked me up with Jeremy Hulsh who has Tune in Telaviv in Israel to get him to Sweden. Jeremy spoke on Live at Heart and he invited me to Tel Aviv to see his conference.

On Tune in Telaviv I was on the hunt to book a band to Live at Heart 2017. And on a small gig I found this amazing band named Trubdr Adam Road. And I booked them on the spot.

Now it so happens that Adam is in LA at the same dates so I invite him to our showcase. During the showcase I was talking about my trouble with the Cajón. Adam then says, my manger has a Cajón! And it turns out that she is there with him. He introduce me to Yael Kempe and sure enough she has a Cajón that we can borrow.

It's things like this that are the music industry. It's people around the world helping out with things. It's about connections and favours.

So The Magnettes did a great show thanks to people I meet on totally different places years ago. The best part with it I got some really good new people that I will help achieve things in my network.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Label services are not the way to go.

Okay we put down our label services 2010 for a good reason,  it doesn't work (we had it 2002 to 2010). So I'm quite annoyed that they are still out there. What's even more annoying is that they are lower in quality than when we put it down 2010 and it's 8 years later.

Why is not label services work? First, if you are gonna give something out by yourself, learn the trade. It's like if I want to be a cab driver, what would I do? Get the cab license a car and network so people can book me. The wrong thing would be to go out and hire a person to drive my cab and pay that person a higher salary than the income.

Second, these label services are built for masses so actually, they don't fit the purpose. In reality, they mainly serve lazy artists that just want to give out stuff and don't want to put the effort in. So they can't provide the actual tools for success just tools that you can get for free or much cheaper price if you look around a bit.

The idea looks good and would be nice if it worked. Still, the reality is that it never works if you are just an ant in an ant hill.

So if you shouldn't use label services what should you use? Right now we see more and more artist development companies which are like management but wider. Or you just do it yourself and learn the trade by going on music industry fairs listen to panels and learn the trade and get a network.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's a lifestyle

Breakfast in the patio behind our airbnb in West Hollywood. It will be a couple of hours before we have a important dinner with a recordlabel so it's quite nice to relax in the shadow of a the vegetation.

I guess this is the part that people see in my job. Going around the world to exotic places and do funny things.

I can easy tell that it's far from the truth. It's weekend when I write this and I have already been on several business meetings both Saturday and Sunday and has to work from my phone. Also I have at least three showcases that I have do plan and be prepared for the unexpected and try to get the right people down to see the band.

Yes it's more work here then being home at the office. Still it's another kind of work. The part I like is that you meet new people all the time.

So looking at to be on your regular trip to Thailand and just throw in a gig you really don't see what's going on.

Many just say, ohh employ me and I can come around. Yes you would see alot but not the things you think you would see. There is few moments to see tourist attractions or go to the beach. It's more work, work and try to solve things even if you can't acess all your tools. On top of that you don't have the security that many expect today. Vacation does not exist, if you go to a place there will be someone to meet. When you get back home you have three times the work to catch up. And only you to bring it back on track. You will miss all holidays, on this trip I miss midsummer eve and my own birthday. Now I consider that not much to miss, but some people think it's very important.

Still I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love it. My guess though that people would generally love it the first two trips. After that become quite annoyed. This is not a job it's a lifestyle.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Placements is not that hot any longer

I'm going on a brunch soon. I've just arrived to Los Angeles and of course they are hyping this up with having some Supervisors at the brunch. After all its a music industry event and home for the TV and movie industry.

Don't get me wrong. It's good to be placed in a TV serie, movie or commercial but it's not as it used to be.

When I started to place very much 10 years ago it was a different game. The prices was 10 times higher and it was considered to be a "sell out" so we where a bit alone in the field witch made it easy since the the Supervisors was easier to reach and talk to, and not so snotty that some of them can be today. And over these 10 years I have my songs on superbowl 3 times and worked with the biggest brands in the world. It has been great.

Still right now I feel the change. Today if not placed you are not that good. So the stamp on "sell out" is gone. Thanks for that. The backside is that thousands of people try to sell so much shit music that the Supervisors have hidden themselves behind various walls.
Also this have made the Supervisors to belive they are superstars and the only gateway to break an artist. Witch has made some of them more divas then the artists.

The reality right now is more that since it's so many pitching that the prices are down and they will be lower. Why? Well I can do a whole post around that, so we just say it's down to minimum.

The big thing is though that the power of commercials and TV series is much much smaller now. The new technology is providing that you can choose your target. A commercial that before went on everyone and with that forced the music into the brain of many people now goes to a selected group and mainly just once or twice. Good for companies to get direct to a target group. For the music not so good since a very few get to hear the music. So the effects of a placement is very limited as it is today.

There is also so many more channels. The odds that you see the same shows as your friends is kind of small. Before it was more likely that you did. In this case the music even get smaller and the chances that you discuss the music even smaller.

So the price is down and gets to a smaller audience. And for that, Supervisors and supervision is not the hot topic any longer.

Another factor is also that the digital channels is not spilling over to each other. Everything stays in its own channel.

I just feel that this era is over. They Supervisors got a few years in the limelight I guess it will be back to be a bit obscure and some of there jobs will be on the technology side.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What kind of career? Sean Banan?

This is something I really had thought about for a long time. And I really don’t have an answer to it. At least not an easy answer. It is a difference of a career and a career. I meet an artist that really is no household name, but have gotten her a big name in china. Or well she has been in front of magazines. And she has played some really big shows. But when I asked some chinse industry pros they didn’t know the name.

That doesn’t mean anything. I know a hell of a lot of industry people here in Sweden that doesn’t know Arash who is a big star in the Middle East. But both is not household names in either china, Sweden or middle east.

They have a career, they have lived out of their music, done things many artists just can dream about. Still we really don’t consider them to have made it? You can just tell that they are not the ones that are in the gang.

At the same time you would say that Sean Banan ( Swedish stupid artist, see video)

Has a career. At least in Sweden. But these other two artist has done more, but they would never be counted next to this joke to artist.

And when it comes to real artists it’s even harder to say why people think Danny Saucedo (another really bad Swedish artist) has more of a career then these other two? I mean Danny really failed to leave Sweden and make a career abroad. These two has really done it. But in peoples mind they haven’t.

I would guess it has to do if you are a household name. Why a career is real and not real. If you have made it or not made it. Yes in Sweden we know Danny Saucedo and Sean Banan they are household names that never will leave the borders of Sweden. Still many would think they are bigger then Millencolin that has toured the whole world and done all that Danny failed to do? Since Millencolin is not a household name, more a name in certain genre.

Right now I work with projects that really have both sides and I can see it clearly. But I can’t explain what is doing it. I can also see that the more famous artist is really not as good as the unknown artist in many cases, and I wonder why we are so blinded by the mainstream of peoples mind.

In the end though it is that house hold name thing. And that is easier to do in one country. I would guess that every country has their own Sean Banan that never leaves their borders. To be a household name then in several countries, now we talking doing a really heavy task. You just have to admire bands like ABBA and Cardigans.

At the same time, no you don't have a career until you are a house hold name.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

You can’t afford to be an asshole.

It seems like some people are just out to be assholes. If something goes wrong and people try to fix it, don’t just try to put in salt in the wounds. Yes it went wrong and that how it is. But if you are being an asshole around it well, people will not do things for you down later.

I saw a artist seeking a thing that we will be on this summer and just that artist has been an asshole like that. Once a thing went wrong when we put something up digitally. It happen ( and to be clear the artist was not right on the things either). Of course we fix it and went right. Still he put in email telling that ohh this was so bad even after it was corrected. He was making himself a suffering victim.
These things happen all the time, so it’s really nothing to be upset about. Last week a site missed a premiere, well things happens not the end of the world, and you make the best out of it.

Then you have this artist that make fuzz around it, the assholes. So now when we got the list for this summer event I saw this artist’s name. Since I know his history I just took it off. He will never know. Still being an asshole can be very costly for an artist. So never be an asshole….ever.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Taiwan here I come.

Yes I’m going back to Taiwan and Taipei for GMA (Golden Melody Awards) in end of June. It will be fantastic. I had blast last year and meet so many good people over there.
This will really be the jumping for some of our acts in to the Asian market. Now I can follow up some of the leads we got last time and it looks better than ever before.
I have some more festivals going on that I will speak on. It will be a hectic summer and early autumn. Well let’s do the adventure while you still can do it. Don’t wait do it right away. I guess that is one of the driving forces in my life. I want to do it now, not later.

Monday, June 12, 2017


I have been sitting the whole weekend updating my business cards with the latest releases. I just counted that I have over3000 cards from different showcases I have been to. And every half year I go through then and try to send a personal mail to each of them just keep in touch.

I guess this is what really get the artists something. It’s over 3000 important industry people that get their music in front of them from a person that they really have meet.  That is a very high value. At the same time I don’t think anyone really thinks about it. That this is my biggest asset and the best tool to work with.

I guess many just take it for granted that the management/label/publisher should have a tool like this handy. I will tell you most of them don’t have it, but it’s expected.

And yes it takes a week to get through them all. And also follow up if they have changed position and get then new person on the position.

Still it also brings back a lot of memories and I’m blessed to meet so many great persons around the world every year.

Friday, June 2, 2017

I just love those days.

I have been waiting a week for several things to go through. You really get frustrated. And then it happens and because of that you get several other things going on and in the end you have so much crazy good things on your hand that you just smile the whole time.

I have been waiting for Swedish Television to start broadcast Min Squad where Rebecka and Sanna from the Magnettes are participating. And today out of the blue the first episodes came on. Same time the first things around Summerfest went out and Pollstar had put The Magnettes as support act to Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Then I got a mail around another artist and a deal in the UK. Can write so much about that one but that was really great.

It was just piling up, and then the big thing came. It was this message that you just don’t believe that you just saw. Of course it has to be secret for now but it’s really, really great if it turns out as we want.
Well I have a lot of work to do in front to go to Youbloom in Dublin tomorrow shit early in the morning. Still I will smile the whole way.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why do you want advice?

One thing that really is annoying is people that seeks you up for advices and then do the things they should not do anyway.

So just an example (it’s an example of course not true). You seek me up asking what kind of shirt would be best on a show to get people listening. I give you the advice that wearing a blue shirt would make the audience not listening to your music and there are researches that back this up. A red shirt is good, but a yellow shirt is really the best option.

This person then just goes and play in a blue shirt anyway. Because they like blue shirts. That is fine, but why ask for the advice? If you already has decided what you should wear, just stick to that and don’t waste peoples time.

The worst ones is the ones that ask around until they find someone that will tell them that the blue is okay. Or even worse nag you with different theory’s that the blue shirt will work.
If you have that idea go for it, still don’t blame us later when that blue shirt never got you anywhere