Friday, June 22, 2018

What is a showcase festival!

I'm surprised that people doesn't understand what the purpose of a showcase festival is. I thought it was pretty clear, but with last times conversations I'm not that sure anylonger that people get it. To many think the show is the most important part.

You are not on a showcase festival to do a show. Actually the show is very secondary. If you take a showcase just to do a show you will be utterly disappointed. I guess this is the main error people do.

A showcase should be treated like a fair. On a fair you show off your stuff you are selling. The whole thing is to get people to your stand.

It's the same here. You want different people down to your show. So your primarily goal is to network as much as possible beforehand. Seek out the best people you want down to see your show to get your career going.

The best showcases I have done has just been several people. In fact I did a showcase in Canada with just five people. But the most important five people.

Here is where many go wrong, they think that the more people or excited crowed the better. In reality it's usually not.

On SXSW this year we did a showcase gig for four people. That gig was more important then all the other eight gigs we did for full houses.

And it was all down to network and get the right person there.

So what you have to do is research before who you want to meet. Then hang on and do your homework and be on the seminars and find even more people you want to see the show. Then try to get them down to your show.

So a normal show a bigger crowd is better. These are the ticket buyers and your potential fans. On a showcase you want the right people that will get your career going. A showcase can be successful if there is just one person, if it is the right person.

Happy Midsummer. Actually I'm pretty glad to miss the cow bingo. Yes in our corner of the world is the joy to see a cow take a dump.

This Friday is release of Elinda - Dance with me. Check it out on YouTube.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

What risk have you taken lately?

There is always a risk to make a deal. Sometimes when you work with artists you can feel how they try so hard to minimize the risk it's not worth proceed working with them.

A couple of years ago I was in  negotiations with an artist that was afraid of everything. The contract was scrutinized in every little detail. Nothing wrong with that, it's just you don't want to do it three times and still get the same sceptical questions.
In the end the artist thought that we could work on six month trial period and then we could decide.
Not a good move. The artist would be the same sceptical then and just keep another six months. And six months is to short to prove anything and I see alot of trouble working for free in six months and introduce the artist in networks and don't have any safe things.
In the end we dropped the deal. The artist is still in the thinking that we are negotiate but the lack of risk taking just said that we really couldn't get anywhere.
So in all you must be willing to take some risk to get somewhere.

Just been on the opening vip party at GMA. Meeting great people as usual. I feel this round will be very productive. Im getting good feedback on the ideas I have. I like it also when the conference is in good size. Many tend to be too big, this is very good in size. Also that Live at Heart is presented in the same speak as Sxsw, the great escape, Reeperbahn, Co/Pop and Primavera sound. We are all here.

I hope I have the time to do cool surprise for my artists this summer. Time is short but I hope to get it right.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The mistake

I had a meeting with a friend some weeks ago. He has an artist he has tried to get through for two years now. The artist is pretty good. Yes, there are some flaws it's not perfect but overall good and with the right training a star. The problem is that the artist is not getting anywhere since it won't take directions. My friend has given him so many opportunities and gets him the right spots at the right time. All with just that the artist didn't think it was cool enough.

And my friend has done the most of it. Now when we meet he told me that the artist had signed with a major label. Okay, he still had so-called management deal on to him. Still, the major deal was done by the artist, one day he walked into the office and just told him that he signed a deal.

Okay, my friend won't do any more favors for this artist. I know that. But the funny thing is that the major signed they guy since they saw him getting many oppertunitys and wanted the artist to keep that up. 

The problem he just pissed at the guy who took up all opportunities that the artist then pissed on. Now the artist came back and was begging him to get him on an opportunity they turned down six months ago.

I never have seen my friend so upset. The thing here is just that the artist now got feedback of what my friend did was right. At the same time, the artist blew all chances by getting a major to tell him that.

Reached my destination and started to buissness in the cab from the airport. It seems to be more hectic schedule then before. The GMA festival seems also be growing. 

Tomorrow The Magnettes plays their first showcase in Asia. at Golden Melody Festival in Taipei in Taiwan, it will be so cool to show them off for the Asian music industry.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Change players

Have you ever seen someone take a soccer team from they were 18 years old and win the champions league with the whole same team?

Not really so why should that be possible in the music industry? It seems like changing players is so much harder in the music industry then it in the sports world. In reality, it's not. The Beatles changed drummer before becoming big. AC/DC switch singer and Rolling Stone even dropped the guy creating the band.

Most bands think they are a gang and they will hold together and so on. But the reality is that most bands change people right before they hit off. It is like the soccer games they take out the best team just when it's a game.

I guess in many cases the downfall is that you keep a person a bit too long. I will gladly say that on our side also keep bands that will never go anywhere for long. Yes, the team switching is not easy but has to be done from time to time and nothing is holy.

I hope to be able to update my adventures in Taiwan here. if i'm not this text will still be here.

Today I will actually go back in time with the music. One of the album I'm most proud to be part of "Escapism" with Spiral motion. I just went back and saw an old poster and brought back the album and yes it's a masterpiece that never got the light that it deserved. I guess it  came in a time where it was to turbulent in the industry to get things done. To much new and to much old that wanted to much space. Still this album is so amzing. Get my favorite track "Vacuum" from Spotify.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Do the struggle

If someone would offer you that you could go around the world on free flight tickets, free hotel and play a show in each city. Why is the answer from many artists like this:

Yes, I can do that if you upgrade me to first class in both hotels and flights. The shows must though be paid even since I don't have an audience there. And they should at least hold a crowd on 700 people dedicated to my music.

The myth of the struggling artist has so many cracks in it it's really a myth. A struggling person would have jumped on the first offer. In so many cases the struggle is just a myth to hold on to. Yes, there are artists busting their asses off I know. But for those doing that hustle, there is at least a thousand thinking that they are doing the struggle. It's a bit different to struggle then just doing things like releasing music or doing Instagram posts.

The answer is not uncommon, really not. But usually in a  different way, but the context is the same. This is also the reason why many fail even with good music. If you don't do the struggle you won't even make it with the best songs.

Time to travel again. Going to Taiwan and GMA and I'm really excited as I wrote in an earlier post. I just got several VIP invitations and have meetings with great people. Still, it's a bit calmer with traveling this summer. I'm on my way into Stockholm for a last meeting before I leave with a new interesting person from Estonia

In negotation right now and it feels great. I hope everything become clear and we can get some new thing inside. Elin K released a new song last Friday here it is on Spotify.

Friday, June 15, 2018

This is how you raise your Spotify numbers!

This is how you raise your Spotify numbers! STOP LOOKING AT THEM.
The whole week has been with people sad not getting numbers, some happy having very big numbers, questions how to raise the listenings on Spotify etc.

So I will give my advice that I have given all week and sound like a parrot. Get real fans and it will all be fine. It's not Spotify as service that breaks artists. It's just an outlet where people can listen to music. And with the new rumors that Youtube and Google play launching next week who knows in two years, Spotify can have the same importance that Itunes has now. Yes, five years ago we had the same situation with Itunes. People asked how they could sell more, how to get people to buy etc. Today it's all over. and you know what, Spotify will go the same way. The company has never been in profit, Warner sold 85% of their shares directly. The stock market seems very bumpy for them. I can see more and more festivals taken off the usual Spotify talks. Everything looks that it will deflate. But like always the artists is the last to know. Sometimes I still think that some artist is using My Space still.

And this will happens over and over again that different outlets will go under and disappears. We won't get back eras like the vinyl, cd, and cassette that hold on for years. The digital cycle is much shorter. If you don't, believe me, I just say Periscope. The only way to still be active is to have fans that follow the outlet. Yes if Spotify crash Ariana Grande's fans will pick up the new field to listen to her music. She can easily migrate to different platforms because she has real fans.

So don't look to push people into a certain platform. Try to grab people in several ways and most important that they like your music and nurture that. Get people a reason to head to any platform and listen to your creations, that is what matters.

Wow, I just saw who I'm in the same panel as on GMA in Taiwan next week. I'm in the panel with Lihui Shen the CEO of Modern Sky. The biggest festival in China. I have met him before he is very good. Keum-San Hwang the manager of the content division on Mnet witch is Koreas leading cable music channel. And all moderated by Elaine Wang from Cros Music.
All done in mandarin with translators.

It's in these moments I realize how far I've gone. I'm getting on the other side of the globe speaking at a conference with very talented people. Yes, it took a while and many different crossroads. I would never have wanted it undone.

Just got in The Mommyheads new album. Sneak premiere on Brooklyn Vegan 20 of June. This will be great.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ready to give up?

My language is not perfect in the blog. I know that. And people correct me with the errors which I'm really grateful for.  Thank you all for doing it. That is really great.

A friend of mine thought that I should put down the blog since my message could be misinterpreted, switch to Swedish since I know that much better. Or just write slowly so I could correct things not just using different spelling programs. No, then I don't learn anything.
I write like I speak and that can be hard to read (and yes I speak too much as well). Sometimes I need to rethink what I have to say to be readable. But I rather put out a message that is misinterpreted then saying nothing at all. I can at least explain. and it's not really easier when you do it on a small mobile phone.

I bump into this when I work with artists, they want to be perfect. They sit on things until it's too late just to get everything perfect. Sure if you do a really big masterpiece you might do that. I don't know how many years Da Vinci did Mona Lisa but it was a quite many as I understood. In this case, I think I win more on to get things out fast. And if you do that it will not always be perfect it is still content.

And yes your first song will not be perfect, and your latest video could be worked on more. Does the audience really care? If they mind then they are not your audience anyway. When you are talented enough they come back. In the meantime don't give up, people accept more errors then you think.

I was in a negotiation of a new contract. I'm really thrilled I really like this new band. But there is, of course, a backside. This artist is a bit bigger and is more demanding. I like the challenge and it would be really fun. The work will take its toll and if it all goes through we have to drop some of our smaller acts. I guess it's part of the process still it's never fun to ditch things.

We got The Magnettes into a TV-serie, probably by mistake but hey, we have to solve that one out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Don't plan too much ahead!

It's good to have dreams but don't let those dreams take over your decisions. Yes, it's good that you plan your outfit the first time you plan on a big arena gig. But don't stubborn to change that outfit when it really happens.

Actually, I thought this never was a problem until you come a bit up witan artist. Suddenly you realize that another path is must in their career. The artist is still in on the old path and thinks you are crazy to change that.

To give out the product physically is one of these things. Older artists look really forward to have the vinyl in their hands even though I know this is really waste of money so if you don't have something extra touring it's useless to do physical product. But for the artist that can be the milestone that they have been planning for.

And here comes if you go one direction or just blow the whole thing. You have to be open to change your mind of doing these physical until they are right. Changing plans is part of a career. Taking an unknown path is really part of a career. Planning is good but be able to change plans quick is better.

I promised a thing this Monday.  I should market my blog a bit more. So now I started to put in pictures on Instagram let see if it affect people to get into my blog. It's a bit harder since you can't link. Or maybe you can and I'm just too old to get the thing.

I'm really happy that my three artists did really great on Youbloom. They are so good at networking and take care of social media. I'm blown away how good they are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Don't take out your winning beforehand.

I see many take out their winning beforehand. It's more like yes this song is a hit so now we are safe. A hit is never a hit until many people start listening to it. And today that seems kind of hard to tell when that is really happening. Until then this hit is just a good song that you are satisfied with. No going taking out the presale and go out and party. Also since it's a good song think that you should no go the extra mile to get it to an audience, in fact when it is a good song you should take that extra mile.

I made an interview with another student essay last Friday. I really like to do these essay questions. You get time to talk about a subject that they have chosen. I guess if they then later transcript the whole thing you can find me contradict my self a hundred times. I'm always afraid that I just go out too far from the subject and it all just comes down to nothing.

This Friday we released Adées - If You Jump. A really nice song. And then we released The Parade. The funny thing with The Parade that contains almost the same members like the old band Jeremiah, so it's like going back and work with them again. Okay, it's more of a hobby project, still, they do great music.

Monday, June 11, 2018

You have to go back to the reasons why you do it.

Today I was really fed up on the blog. I feel like I just whine about the same stories and same artist mistakes over and over.

I know I still want to write when things pass me in my daily work. Still, I feel like this could be my last post.

Then I had to go back to why I started the blog. It was to prove to my artist that if you keep up a thing you pick up fans. I mean there are 200 people reading my whining every day. Better than many of my artist's channels.

So what to do? Well, make it interesting again! Change things in the blog! Make new sections! But of all do another sort of marketing and put up a new goal.

In fact, I have never marked the blog. So let's do that! Let's put in new sections. I love to tell the story's from on the road in real life. Here I have to hide them. Here is mainly thoughts. I should tell the stories of the band I work with. I'm lucky to work with such fantastic people. So I will do that! New section tour memories! Not just memories it will be things we are working on and how we do it.
Let's do this and here comes the new blog. Or it will be like it is but with new sections.

And I'm excited again. A more personal blog.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Kill them with kindness.

Be nice treat people like humans. The words were from our last panel on Youbloom. Mayla who said it has a long career as a live artist around the world. She added it's funny that really have to say that. A bit of nice treatment can take you far.

I agree. The climate has changed. Luckily many artists are really nice and good people. But there are more and more that lick upwards and kick downwards and really don't understand you do this to the same person.

Many people don't know that I read all conversations we have on our distribution side. That side and the booking of the showcase festival is one of the few we still deal with amateur musicians. And in many cases, I jump in and answer when the team has much to do.

And in several cases, I can meet artists behaving like assholes just because they don't know who is behind the screen. For small reasons (many times caused by themselves or by their ignorance) they act like spoiled stubborn 5-year-old kids.

Then a couple of days later I will meet the same artist but this time seeking a gig on the festival. Suddenly they are very friendly with the booking team.

Of course, karma is the shit. If they behave like that on one place I really don't want them on a festival where they lick the booker's ass and then act like shit on the sound technician.
And it can the other way. There was an artist behaving really unprofessional to our booking team. Suddenly at a conference earlier this month, they sought me up since they wanted to be on our label. And not getting it they were very friendly towards the same person they spoke too two weeks before since they thought I still was the A&R on the label (I'm now A&R on the management). And same here Karma came up and bit them, twice since I also talked to a booker on another festival about their ways.
Then I had a really nice artist coming up to me asking for advice about how to get into our festival. She didn't know that I worked on the festival, she just had heard I had band played there. So I played along gave some advice at the same time telling the booking team to take an extra look at her application.
Or the guy talking on the distribution. He had made an error. But was very friendly and nice. Normally we can't fix this error that easy. Though he was very polite and nice, not screaming and shouting. I after the chat went and tried to fix the error with my very sensitive extra ways that are only used in emergencies. He got that because he was nice.

Kill them with kindness my friend Åsa always told me. It's hard sometimes, but I have become better over the years on it. And it takes you further.

For me, it's interesting to see both sides.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Would you catch it or would you let it slip?

If I gave you an opportunity to play your song in front of a couple of million people on television. Guarantee you a gold record in sales or even more and get a decent income on your live shows. Would you say no?

Most will answer hell no I would easily do it. But then if I told you it was in the wrong format. You will be in a boyband/girlband not with what you want to express, yes your songs but not the production you like? Still wanna do it?

I guess many would still say yes, but some will jump off.

Then we add to the twist, if you jump off you will lose your team. You have to start all over again, finding new musicians, producers, bookers, agents you name it. Back to the bottom. Would you still jump off?

I guess many choose to stay, it's not that horrible and you lose more to jump off. You know what? Most actually jumps off. Why? I don't know but every time it becomes quite real not just a dream people start to slip. They start to question everything and want to stop the speeding train that they are on.

I know at least 50 artist careers that have gone to a standstill because of one lousy decision when the train was moving. 50 artists that now can't live out of their music and goes to a sucky 9 to 5 job. Many of them later start to take up the pieces when they are over 40 years old thinking that it's time then and they are better prepared. But it is lost forever, after the standstill you really can't jump on the rail and try with hand power to get the train going again. You just let the opportunity slip.

I most of the time talking about a rocket that just goes into the sky. When you start to say no to opportunities the rocket stops and that is your peak.

So why do they say no? Usually, because they are scared. The dream becomes a reality, sometimes the dream is better as just a dream. Or a vision that has no reality to it. A vision that just jumps from one place to another. One day you are fighting hard on the small stage and then in a magical twist, you are on the big stage playing headliner. That never happens to the ones saying no and stops the rocket. The ones that make it take the chances and keep going forward. There is no "right" decision, no next step. It's all just go on the next opportunity and take as much advantage on it as possible. The rest is just bullshit.

The only time you can choose is when you have several opportunities. But then try to combine them to get the most. Still most of the time there is not two opportunities at the same time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Don't overthink things.

Stop lying in bed and think of small details that you think could change things. Yes, we always talk about details that make things better. In reality, it doesn't matter. It's the big picture that matters.

If your song is not up for the task it's not. No perfect press release or great album cover will change that. And a great song can be released on a wrong day with the wrong picture and still make it. Yes, the small details can make the process shorter. So yes you should do them but not hang up on them.

So stop worrying. What happens will happen. In most cases, this worrying won't do any good.

Also, don't build a rock-solid plan in your head. I quite many times get artist angry with after the first momentum change their rock-solid plan. A lot is to have things ready to throw in, not have them executed on a certain date.

Be open to changes. No plan that was a success in the music industry was solid from the beginning. It's mainly to follow what happens and be fast and ready to gain the opportunities.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

No one is hopeless, but..

No one is hopeless. You can practice things so they work. You can buy songs if you not a good writer. You can get your live show great also with professional help. There is no real hopeless case.

The problem is to be stubborn about things. Keep on writing your own songs just because you want to, but they are not up to date. Think that you can do a perfect show without help. Think that your taste for artwork is better than a pro.

This is the thing that people fail from. Sure if you are really talented all things will go faster. But being stubborn about a solution can break your career.

The bigger you get the more of your artistic career will be scrutinized. And yes some advice is wrong, but many are right. It's an art form to know when to be stubborn and when to just hang on. And it is hard to select in the armada of criticism.

And also rethink things is important. See it in a new light. That is the hard part of an artist career.

Monday, June 4, 2018

How to find the right person.

Santa Claus must be a popular and very real person among artists! In their questions, they always ask for a person that is magical as Santa.

We need to find the right person! Can you present us to someone?

To be totally clear this person doesn't exist. Sure a person with a good network is needed but even with the best network, they are limited. In reality, not even the biggest boss on the biggest label can guarantee a success. No even money won't help here.

It's down to a network and how the artist could adapt to that network. So it, not one person, rather a hundred. Since they all have their unique skill and their agenda you have to be flexible and patience to get things done.

Unlike Santa, this person can't get you big or take to "the next step" fast. Just the first steps will take six months. And usually, these people asking this question is need of a quick fix.

The right person, right gig, right moment. Is as real as Santa's raindeers and elves. I don't know when we should start to learn the artists it's a chain reaction that propelled them into a momentum.

Another bad side effect of this is that some also change people when they fast realize that the "magic" is not there. First, they think the person is holy when they see through that they start looking again after the next one. In the end, they just get a bad reputation of not be trustworthy.

And here is the right person with a buttplug.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Who can you trust? The PR firm that f**ks up your track.

I can get annoyed that artists are going through processes and not trusting anything. They act like they live in former eastern Europe and a spooked by everything.

Last week I spoke to a friend that was hiring two PR firms. These PR firms are one of the more famous ones and have a long row of famous artists that use them. My friend had been in long discussions with and had made a plan for his new release.

I meet him at a convention and he asked what I thought about these two PR agencies. I told him that they are famous ones and seems to do a good job. My friend then explained their PR plan and each step they will do, and it was full of mistakes. Not just mistakes rookie mistakes that a PR company should know guide their artist not to do.

First, they released the track in the middle of the week? Saying it was less competition. Yes, it's a reason for that. Friday is the official day in the world to release music. Most lists, programs, and other things updates on Friday. To release on another day then that is getting a guarantee that the track doesn't get any attention at the streaming services like Spotify, Deezer or Apple. Have less chance to get rotation on radio and less chance to be written about on blogs. Simply since you mess up the process of publishing things for these tastemakers

I asked if they were not doing any PR against the streaming services. The answer he got was that Spotify is not that important. If the track goes well somewhere else it will gain traction.
That is just bullshit! You get a much tougher job if you don't present the music to them. And most sources like press and radio usually don't affect the listeners on Spotify. So it's a must that you do these steps to even have the slightest chance to get anything out of this single. I guess they tell stuff like that since they don't know how to market to these sites.

I asked if he had gotten the codes from the distributor to send to the streaming services? The PR agencies had never asked for any codes, which means they couldn't have been promoting him to the most important streaming services. In reality, they haven't even tried.

Not just that they asked him to release in the middle of the week. They asked him to release it and then they would send out to radio and media since they needed the Spotify link and could only get that after a release.

I was baffled, you can get that link beforehand. More baffled that they were totally crashing my friend's release. Not even a rookie trying to do PR would have done a worse job, and these claimed to be top of the line. Working with the biggest stars in Sweden and all, still, they had very little know how to make PR in the new digital landscape.

I'm not that surprised though. I got an artist I work with myself, hiring a famous PR firm that claimed to be the best. They were expensive and got a few things for him. In a test, I told the artist that if he gave me half of the budget I will try to get a better result. He did and my in-house PR team with minimal effort got three times more result then this PR firm. Especially on streaming services, but also much more on international blogs.

So I apologize all artists, you have all rights to be suspicious. When the most renowned firms fuck things up like this, who can you really trust?