Thursday, November 15, 2018

The answers you really don't say

I don't know but people so many times don't get what they give away when they answer things. How the answer just gives away that this we shouldn't use.

Today it was an artist asking about that they need to seek out our festival through submit system. The argument was that the subsystem cost money to be on. The truth is that it dosen't, yes you need to start a subscription but the first month is free so you can start the subscription and the cancel it and you will have a totally free application.
So the artist thought it cost money, okey the cost is like 15 dollar or 15 euro for a whole year. Still the artist thought that was too much money for a indie artist.

Wait, so 15 euro is much money? If you want to apply to our festival, you still have to pay for the travel accommodation and food. I guess if you are from the south of Europe that sum will be so much larger then 15 euro. So if 15 euro is too much I can't see how on earth you are gonna manage to get to the festival if you were chosen?

The artist just gave away that yes they are really not want to invest any money in their career. Just that is a good reason not to take them into a showcase festival, they are not serious enough.

This year we also have this question:
We would like to know how you plan to tackle the music conference. Showcase festivals attracts music industry investors from across the globe, and, if selected, you will be in competition with the other selected showcasing artists who will also be trying to get the attention of the same industry reps. Our experience tells us that artists who make the most of the conference are the artists securing deals at the festival. So please tell us in a few words how you plan to make the most of the conference to ensure that you engage with and promote yourself direct to the industry reps, and ensure that you entice the industry along to your showcase?

Not an easy question but good to see what people answer. Some give really good answers to this question. Full plans and strategies and stuff, and those really impress me. then you have the ones that give it away in the answer. Look on these ones:

1. Quality!

2. We will play a great gig.

3. The power of our live show seeps through the audience in one intense blast.

4. We take the band and us very serious and have a business plan for the next 3 years.

5. Look awesome and play great music!

What I can read here is that they probably also believe in Santa Claus. If it was only depending on that you are good it wouldn't be that hard, all top chart would be topped by the philharmonic orchestra from any major city. These people are highly trained and really good. If it was just skilled to play. 
And if was just looks, hey Brad Pitt could have a great career as a guitarist. If it was just looks.

Now it's so much more. These are actually not even good components. It's all about hard work and that hard work gives the right skills (not just playing music) and a suitable image ( it's not all looking good). It's about meetings and taking opportunities.

The funny part is most of the artists that write like this is usually not even have a good live show to compete with or a good song. And the fault is that they believe that they are already there when the truth is that they are far away from what they think they are.

I also love that a serious band has a business plan, I wonder how that should help if your songs are not good enough?

Quilty, says who?

I wonder how they will do an intense blast if there is no audience, you still have to attract an audience, they are not just magically there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

You create the perfect storm it doesn't just happen!

- Then you just release the single without telling anyone, Beyonce did that and got a lot of attention.

After that quote of a PR agent on a panel on a showcase festival a couple weeks ago, I just stopped listening. Yes, you can release things by just put them out there if you are Beyonce. Since your fanbase is so big the single itself will get promoted by your superfans. Still, I haven't seen that single, and I doubt that Beyonce would go for that tactic if it was an important album she has to release. I guess that was some kind of b-side where she didn't want to spend that much PR money and with her position in the music world she can do that.

Since you are not Beyonce (if you are, send me a note I have some good collaborations for you) that advice is the most crappy ever given (thank god my friend that was on the panel said just that). Still, this is how many actually behave. They wait for the perfect moment to release a song or an album. You know what? That moment never exists, so if you want for that you will never release it and in the end, it will be released in the wrong moment anyway.

You will always read about people that in the biography released everything in the perfect way and created the perfect storm. Never happened, what they did was working things up so the perfect storm happened. And that is so many things that they really can't put it in a book. One reason is that they are so many but also that they really don't know them all.

Think of everything like a staircase, if you just stand there waiting to take a step you won't get up to the top. Yes sometimes you run back and forward on the same step and that is okay as long you, in the end, get one step ahead. Most of the time when that step happens it starts to get more and more steps to get on and in the end, you are running until you stop on a step and look on the staircase again.

Back to release something, yes you need to build it up. Not just make a Facebook post the same day as you release. Here must be so much more material and it has to start at least ten weeks before the release. And you have to be smart it can't be like an x-mas calender where you every day tells people that its' 8 days left until release then 7 days until release. You have to work on many different ways to remind people that are coming. Also, remind different people in different ways. In the end, you get the perfect storm, you build it, not step into it.

A picture with me and Matthew Knowles, well he did the perfect storm at some places.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Putting makeup on a pig!

I really got a writer's block for a couple of days. The topics that have come up has already been written about. And the topics have really not been at the grassroots level either.

So I took over the uploading section on our artist site. Yes, we also have a distribution system where we let DIY artists upload to get distribution. Mainly because most distributions really don't do a good job for the artists. In fact, many of them do a terrible job. At the same time, our staff is really tired of an artist thinking that they are so important when they upload something and can be quite rude against them.

Just for inspiration and also to help out I uploaded from the queue line that had piled up since yesterday. And yes self-roaming artists have no clue what so ever what they are doing sometimes.

I got this guy that in the subject line (we have a line where you can add something around the release) wrote like three times that the song has to be under his artist name on Spotify. Also, he wrote that someone from the staff already told him that if he used the same name the song will go under the same account. So what's the point of making that out?

In the end, it's actually Spotifys system that makes that decision, not us. If it goes wrong (you never know) it's something around Spotify, can be that easy that just that day they changed something and all new songs got a new account, it has happened. In this case, I'm 99% sure it will go under the same account since the name is very special. But if you use a name that several artists have, it can mess up.

So it was very important what it looked on Spotify. The artist is always vain, very vain, and vain not for their own good either. The funny part here is that the Spotify thing is very important. that he had uploaded the song without an ISRC code, with the wrong format on the picture, put the writer's name in the wrong format. That the release date was on a sunday and was uploaded a day before release. That he only choose some sites instead of all just to be chaep. Well, that doesn't seem to count.

In swedish we have an expression that says "It's like putting makeup on a pig", I guess English has around the same if you see my picture down below. In reality, it dosne't matter if you get under the same Spotify profile. And our team is making miracles that you are even getting out there. If people started to listen to the song your rights will be all over the place. I looked on the earlier songs on the profile, and they hadn't been over a 1000 listings so I guess in reality we are uploading stuff that actually would get more attention as a facebook post.

So here is the stupid error that I corrected. Still, when I correct them it won't be totally correct, I just fix it so it works, not that it looks good.

The picture was to small, that is a normal problem. Here though it was in totally wrong format, so I made the picture bigger and with that more pixilated. Also, need to change the size so now all are a bit distorted by that.

ISRC code, I put in my code. I guess it will end up in the pockets of IFPI, hope they can get extra champagne on their Grammy award for it.

The writer's name I just kept, well they won't find that on PRS so that money I don't know where it ends up.

Release date on a Sunday. All releases go on Fridays, that is the official day to release stuff. Sure you can release on a Sunday, but you will miss out all marketing you could have done.

Having just 24 hours for upload is also just making that you can't promote the song in the right way.

So what's the point of nagging that you should be on the same artist profile when you do mistakes like this? In reality, a pig can upload a song to Spotify (and probably do it better). This artist is just vain, cheap and stupid. The problem today is that these artists clog the system with their shit.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fake numbers

I have been talking about numbers and that they really don't mean anything. Well here is a proof of both sides. I got this from a friend (no it has to do with ticket sales not that metal sucks).

In this case, people probably think of the clubs that they lose money, at the same time I'm more baffled that the booking person on the clubs really can't read numbers. Second that they care about numbers at all. It's a fact they went on numbers and never checked them.

On the same hand, this is nothing really new and the club people should know better. The numbers can be blown up, and most times are. When I worked around Major Lazer that was an issue. They were at the time the most streamed band in the world. And yet they could only sell 800 tickets in Stockholm ( this is at least 6 months after Lean On). Major Lazer though didn't lie about it, but I heard many bookers in a panic that they had guessed the band should sell out an arena for 16 000 people at least.

The next thing like that is Chainsmokers. Same here the organizers thought they would draw around 10 000 people, in reality, they just draw around 1000. A band that has 5 266 882969 streams and with a 3306 3633 monthly listeners on Spotify alone should do better. Of course, they cheat, or the record label does.

Let's make a comparison with Rammstein who plays in Stockholm next summer and sold out Stockholm stadium in one day 32 000 people in capacity. 441 882070 they have 33 10267 monthly listeners. That is 30 million less than Chainsmokers.
But when it comes to the real ticket sales Rammstein sold 31 000 more live tickets then Chainsmokers in Stockholm, and they sold out, Chainsmokers couldn't even do that.

The bigger booking agents I speak to have stopped looking into these numbers. Most record labels look at numbers but also understand how to read them (except for old people on certain labels that still think that the numbers count).
And yes when I get back from people that a certain artist doesn't have the numbers I usually just blacklist that person for being an idiot.

The real idiots here are the clubs, the artist yes but he has just used some of the stupid tactics that the industry in general use, but then did it a bit too big. Still, the clubs should have done their homework and just asked if the numbers could be even real. And second just check if these pre-sales are real. A good alarm clock would be 43 monthly listeners and most of the songs under a 1000 listings on an album released last year on Spotify should make you think twice. I guess greed is what it is.

I guess though that Threatin has their fifteen minutes of fame. The story is like a wildfire and people will check out his music. So in PR standpoint "All PR is good PR". I can tell that yesterday he had 43 monthly listeners on Spotify, today he has 1846 and the first song has jumped a thousand listings. And if the algorithms on Spotify is correct they will start to add him to playlists since the name is mention online so many times.

I was in meetings yesterday and numbers were discussed but in very broad forms. Right now is welcome to the digital side number two, leave the internet.

You will never break with numbers and don't ever try to boost them in a fake way.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Work hard is just not enough!

We work really hard! I get that from artists quite often, especially when they seek us out to work with us. Here is the same rule as in the numbers game it all depends on what you do as well as what kind of numbers you got.

Working hard seems for many artists be to rehearsal quite much. That is the number one answer when I ask back what are you working hard with. And yes rehearsal is good also writing songs which is usually the second answer. Still, if you write just mediocre songs and then rehearsal them a lot won't really take you any forward. I ask if they are actively seeking out other writers or go to writing camps or write songs for other artists? I can't remember if I ever got a yes on that follow up question.

Then they work hard on the style. That is also a trap, that style doesn't mean anything if you don't have the gigs. And when I ask how hard they work on gigs the answer usually is: It's hard to get gigs you know.
Yes that is why you need to work hard to get them and when you get them you need to prove that you are so good they want you back, and there comes the rehearsal in again and we are back if the songs are good.

Then it comes to social media where they don't treat social media as social it's just screaming come and listen to my new song or today we had a rehearsal.

In the end yes you can work hard but as long as you work hard on the wrong things it won't matter. And I would say that quite many are just doing that. They work hard on the things they things is fun to do when you should work on the things that actually is kind of boring and struggling.

I know that is hard, I too usually just jump the shit and goes for the fun ones, still, I start to think to get things going as well and keep things rolling.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Is this the right opportunity or just a hype?

One of the bigger annoying things is the questioning of the value of an opportunity. I saw a band the other day that is very hyped. So hyped they already have got and put in diva manners to their roster.
They played on a bigger showcase earlier this year and I heard from the organizer they had been complaining about everything and being real divas thinking that they were the biggest act. Which of course was not true. Yes, they are semi-big in their home country. Now this country is pretty small and even as the biggest artist you are pretty small when you get out on the international festivals. Still, they were quite hyped.

Then my booking team wanted the band. I explained the situation, they still wanted to invite them. They did and got the answer that the band didn't believe in showcasing since it dosen't gave anything and they had stopped doing those shows.

Now suddenly I happen to see them on a normal little festival that was at the same time as a bigger showcase festival.

And as usual with the hyped bands. It was just a hype. The show was barely good. The songs mediocre. Sure I can see that they are local heroes in their country but far away from the things they thought they where.
And here is opportunity gone. By deselecting the showcases they will not evolve and will be placed on the crap pile of local hype bands.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The two diffrent industri people.

There are two types of music industry people. The ones that care about a particular artist and the ones that see the artist like a kettle.

They are both kinds of disgusting. The one that just cares about the particular artist could be pretty annoying for all the other artists that they just neglect. Of course, they are great if you are the artist they care about. The kettle person is just annoying since they just see big projects where The artist is just a brick in the wall.

I tend to see older people in the kettle category and younger in the care for a special artist.
And the ones that say they just care for all artists are the really crooked ones, they are usually the biggest liers and they work on the agenda of in secret jus care for some special artists.

So do where I belong? Totally in the category of people caring for a special artist.

It is a horribel business.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Had a great time here on Nouvelle Prague. Now I face the reality for next week.

How much I work on the phone when I'm out its never enough. Some things I can only fix from the home computer and yes they pile up after a long period of traveling.

So it will be to work this week from when I go up until I go to bed. And I guess I still won't recoupe to get to the status quo.

I really need a month where do The catch-up. And I need to get the time to through off the time killers that eat unnecessary time.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Don't let the artist choose single

The worst person to choose next single is the artist. They constantly wrong on what is good and what works.

How can I say that? The artist is the closest to the songs?

Yes and that is the reason. There is an expression called "kill your darlings". It comes from the movie industry. Here you can see many times that the final decision of a movie is done by the producer, not the director as should be closest to the actual making of the movie.
The reason for this is that the closest person has too many scenes or parts that are close to them, that it clouds their judgment of the whole picture. So to get a classic movie you kill some of the director's darlings. If you ever want to make a comparison they sometimes on DVD releases do directors cut where the darlings are there.
So why are the producers better to choose this? Mainly since they know how and where the movie will be market. One trick they use is to test screen it to a test audience. Out of the reaction of that audience, they make decisions.

In fact, the best persons to choose the single is the PR team. The hard part of that is they might be many of them. Still, they are the people who are gonna sell the song. If they feel its wrong or they know there is a better one out there, they won't do their best. They will do what is needed they won't go that extra mile. That extra mile is what makes a hit.

I meet on daily basis artists that throw away opportunities around the topic that they think they know best. Still like when you are a teenager in most cases later on in life you really get that your old folks were right. Not in all but in most of the picture.

Another proof that the artist is wrong is that they always think that the latest they did is the best and the direction they should go. The acts that live out of an old hit is just a proof how wrong they are. Just say the word Smokie.

This is a celebration to the people who got a stubborn artist to change their mind.

Rod Stewart thought "do ya think I'm sexy" wasn't a hit. He also rejected "Sailing" in the beginning.

Def Leppard never thought "pour some sugar" was a hit.

Depeche Mode tried to hide off "just can't get enough" later in their career.

Kiss still think they write hits.

The list can be very long...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The damager/shark mold into the grey mass.

They are like a hybrid between a shark (read more about them here and here) and a damager (here is the episode on that). I wonder what I should put a name on this hybrid that I see a lot now.

A shark is more the people that sell unrealistic things to artists. These do that, but only to certain extent, usually Pr stuff that is legit, or producer stuff that is also legit, but they forget to tell the artist that their story is not strong enough to pull it off. In the producer case that the artist doesn't really have the talent or that the producing is up to date (well the person think themselves it is)
They are acting like a Damager (read about Damager here and here) but they are not the damager on paper, they just act like a damager anyway.

So what I encounter is generally older people that used to be something in the industry that now is more or less laid off. Suddenly they get in the business again and apply all old rules they know on the industry today.

Of course, it doesn't work and they get very confused why their strategy doesn't work. Or that what they are doing is really not the latest trend. Then they come to me and nagging that I should get them opportunities since they are something to count on.

I don't have the heart to explain that their time is over, so they can be quite annoying.
In contrast to the shark and the damager these people can provide small things in the whole equation. Still, it's like having an old Volvo 240 and think you can race against the latest Ferrari.

Also, the lack of knowledge is really annoying. They tend to think that a record deal is the highest price to win. Radio is still they way get somewhere. You have a hit if get 50 000 streams on Spotify.
They are constantly name-dropping people that worked in radio thirty years ago or producers that actually was the middle age when they recorded Fleetwood Mac and thinks that this would impress you. 

Worst of all is their clients are beyond help, mainly since they fall for the shit talk, second that they are not good enough from the beginning.

Then when you explain how it really works they become mad that the whole industry has changed and it's so darn hard to do things (well duh it has always been that way). Then you think they got the point but one week later they call you up that they dug up the producer to Prince and might get their client to record with the producer. Now they just need a record deal.
Well I guess this one will have the name grey mass. They are like the dust under your bed. They are there but annoying when they get out.