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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Monday, June 17, 2019

What is best?

If I told you that you can get a gig where 40 of the most influential festivals will see you. But that gig is on the same day as you have a gig in the local venue. The local venue is paid, not much but paid. The other gig would cost you 10 euro to play. Also, it's not booked before like you are stuck in a contract. What would you choose?

Yes, a paid gig is good, pays the rent and so on. But probably won't get you forward since you have played there before. Sure you have an audience on that gig that already likes you but the other gig could present you to a much bigger crowd.

For me, it's kind of easy to take the gig with the festivals. You take the opportunity.
I see so many artists doing this mistake by not attending the whole showcase festival. Instead, they take one day and play fast and then hurry home to take other gigs. Promise that will never work. You are probably just losing money on both events. You lost money by not doing the commitment fully out.

I see many bands with full schedules but it's in the same venues all the time. they are not moving forward and just keep doing the same they have been doing. And telling them to take a chance that would cost them they never dare to do. And that keeps them on the same place until they just quit.

Sometimes a paid gig is not better than taking an opportunity. Not always but think about it if you want that opportunity really bad.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Closing doors

Don't close doors just because you are on your way to open a new one. In the new music industry, you rely on many teams doing things at the same time.

I get the feeling though that many artists want to start from scratch when they start a new project. Suddenly they close as many doors as possible to just put all things on the newly open door.

Yes, I have written on the phenomena before here in the blog. And also written about how a bigger team is necessary.
I guess people mind is much time built up to just focus on one thing. With several teams, you need to stay focus. In short, by shutting them down you take an easy way out.

But it is a big risk. I see too many try to open those doors again when the chosen one just leads to an empty room. Going back and try to open those closed doors can be really painful and many times impossible to open again.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

You need to know the cycles

Never fails, in June you get all the artist that ask how to get a festival gig this summer.
A lot of the failure by the artists is that they more or less do things on the spot there is not planning for the future. This summers gig was probably booked between October to April or sometimes the lineup is almost ready by January. Right now you can't really do anything. Sure there might be a gig coming up because an artist is canceling but there is really no point of sending stuff to festivals which are in turmoil to get their things going next week.

I just saw my own festival last week when we stopped the intake. The last 48 hours got more result than the whole of March and April. In reality, we already booked most of the acts earlier this spring, so you got a very slim chance to get on if you send in the last 48 hours. In fact now a week later I get emails from people missing the deadline and still wants in.

I guess a good tip-off is to be in time and plan ahead. So many timers when I send out in October to the artists to seek out festivals they merely don't do it. They think it's a long time before the festivals so they have time. Then they forget and in the end, they try to squeeze in everything. Just by stop doing this and know the cycle of everything in the industry. Like when do you apply for grants, when is the application period, when is it best to talk to people, would get your chances to rise with 50%.

Okay so right now is not a good place to try to book an autumn tour, yes I know it's June. No, they are in booking for February and March. So instead of getting down to the beach start to approach the things you need at the beginning of next year.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It's about fans not look.

I got the 100 emails about how do you get your video on Spotify. Or how you make your account official on Instagram or how you get a small blue blip on Twitter.

The answer is pretty easy: GET A F*CKING FANBASE!

All this is premium stuff for people with a fanbase. The problem is that the artist is starring them blind to have these small gadgets since then they seem to be bigger. But it doesn't work. You get that when you reach that level and the only way to reach that level is to get real fans.

So stop doing things that are just putting up makeup on a pig. Start to do the things that matter. Collect the people that actually like your music and wants to hear it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Stop doing this live!

Stop saying from the stage that you can find your music on all sites! Yes, we are not stupid. We actually calculate that we will find your music online on Spotify, Deezer and Youtube. Only amateurs do this. I never saw artists in arena shows explain for the audience where you find their music, so stop insult the audience intelligence.

Stop listen to poorly educated stage developers. You can easily see when the artist has been through their stage programs. I guess there is ABC they follow.

Like that you should present the band. Nice thing but sooo boring. If you need to that do it in a very smart way. Don't just let the song rolling and you present each member and they do some fills on their instrument just take down a couple of notches of the whole show. Sure you like your band but I really don't care what your bass player is called.

No, don't ask the audience if they are ok, If they feel alright, or something similar. That is probably the first page in that ABC book we need to burn.

My new thing is that I will scream "I won't do what you tell me" next artist that tells me to clap along. I will do that if I like to do that. This though can be done in a nice discrete way. But most amateurs actually ask the audience to clap along. The audience then does it just for the sake of it.

There are millions of better ways to present songs or do a live show. Try to be unique and try new ways. I promise you will be more remembered then you do the ABC book form the self-proclaimed stagecoaches. Get a professional stagecoach that can work miracles they always come up with more unique things, that is why they are professional.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Overpricing from the beginning

Would you pay 100 Euro for a meal at Mc Donalds? Or do you think its cheap prices on food at airports? My guess is that many artists actually think that. My guess now is that you don't agree.

Its that time of year again when you hold conversations with totally unknown artists that think they can get overpaid to play on a festival when they in reality just should be lucky to even get an offer to play.
Yes, art should cost, the problem here is that this art is too common and has no market value at this point. First, you need to have value to the audience. Artists need to stop listen that they can get paid for everything. It all comes down how many people you can draw.

The organizers need to get people down to the show. I direct actually do marketing your brand. If your brand is strong it will be easy there for the organizer can pay you. If your brand is new it's much harder to do anything. In fact, you are asking the promoter to both pay you and strengthen your brand.

You really need to think of how many people can you get to attend the event before you think you can ask for the same amount as the headliner. Don't overprice yourself already from the start.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Don't ponder to much!

Most careers are abruptly ended by very poor decisions. When your ball is rolling you just keep on going. 
I guess during touring you get to much time to think. I know my self I spend a lot of time in waiting halls of airports. Suddenly your mind wonders off and you start thinking of what if you just quit it all and just got a nine to five job and lived a normal life. Or why are you doing this, should be nice just do something else. Or if you skipped the artists and just worked the long tail instead? So much easier!
Suddenly you are off focus and start to make bad decisions. Start all over when you are this far would be really stupid. Just hang in and half of the career is won.

But yes it's tempting I would admit.

Still these changes if they are to often will kill your career. It's like when Dee Dee Ramone suddenly should be a rapper. Too much thinking in the wrong direction. The distraction made him lose quite much valuable time to do the right thing.

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Be prepared!

Be prepared. Shit will happen! Just got a call from one of the bands. Their gear is stuck in Amsterdam where they changed the flight. Really nothing you can do about it. The first show is this afternoon and my guess is that the next flight will be in the evening. 

Here you have to be prepared. Get to the organizer and see if you can borrow some equipment from some other band and then do as best you can do.

You need to have rehearsal a smaller set. Yes, you need to be able to adopt. The most impressive is when bands solve these situations. Like when Dave Grohl fall of the stage in Gothenburg broke his leg. Let them treat him on stage complete the show sitting down. No, it's not optional but you solve the problem.

To many times artist hide behind that, they need this or that. That is just an excuse the real artist will be: the show must go on, and adapt to the situation. That is what separates a real artist from the just wannabe.

Unfortunately, I think not many actually think to reherse worst case scenario. You should be able to upscale and downscale to be successful. Also, be able to take chances that just spontaneously arise.

So my band. Yes, they went and in the end borrowed some stuff. But had to use tree branches as drumsticks. But they did the show and got a story and reputation to keep on going.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Oh the irony!

I had a meeting with a social media strategist, that didn't print her email in the presentation so you couldn't reach her.

So I tried to add her on facebook, couldn't do it. Instagram, not my thing. I just sent her an invite on Linkin but guess she won't answer that. the homepage didn't have any relevant info. Not joking this person that is an expert is really not visible.

On the other side if a social media strategist really doesn't use quite simple and logic social media I really doubt that I will have any use for her services.

Sometimes people just outdo themselves.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Technology the new A&R?

A couple a years ago I saw this quite often, tomorrow's music industry using technology. Still, some people that are not that involved in the future of the music industry still think that AI and technology will rule what you are listening on. Sorry, we still haven't got a decent algorithm that can predict what I like, just guessing on what I have played.

And right now we can really see how the industry is taking a big leap from the tech side. Suddenly Spotify playlists are insecure. You can't get anything good out of the data. And what we see is a bunch of computer nerd sweating since their business angels are hunting them and they can't seel their companies like they used to do.

No, the computer geeks will end up on the waste bin like the supervisor did when the industry changes once more. Suddenly things outside the digital world become very important. Live entertainment, the experience is the new lead word and that is where the industry is heading.

So I'm a bit jaded walking around on Midem with very tired publishers and record labels that really isn't up to date. In fact, they are as hot as Mc Hammers pants.

The future is already here but it's decided on a totally different playfield. And a bunch of few people is invited. The computer geeks are not.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

The errors you do on showcase festivals!

Here are the most common errors I see artists do when they get to a showcase festival.

Taking it as a gig. The artist just shows up and play their gig. Then leave for the hotel and then head out. This is probably the best way to not get anything done on a showcase festival. The odds that someone will come to the show and see the show and then take the time to contact that artist by looking them up online and trace them. It's a bigger chance to win the lottery, actually 200% more chance to win the lottery. Most artist thinks it is a gig and thinks that they only have to take care of soundcheck and the gig nothing is more wrong.

At least work the room after the show. This is the next mistake. Very few artists work the room after the show. Many of them just go backstage and drink beer and talk to each other. I can at least tell of a hundred band that missed the opportunity I had for them by not showing up the first ten minutes after the show when I wanted to speak to them and book them. Later on, they were forgotten and the spot went to someone else.

Go to the seminars and network. At least 70% never do that. They think it's boring and they rather drink some beer, go out and see some tourist stuff, hang on the beach, sleeping in. You paid serious money to go on the showcase by missing the conference you more or less are paying for an expensive vacation. The vacation part you can do if you are working hard and get booked again to the same city as a normal gig.  In reality, this is not the vacation you network to 3 in the morning get up at 8 and keep on networking. Do that for three to four days. Yes, I had many of many artists complaining that it's hard. You know what I have this tempo almost every week and I'm middle age. Here we have artists in their 20's not coping up what an old man like me is doing.

Your gig is not that important. To many of the artist thinks everything on the showcase is that they do the perfect show on the set. You got that all wrong. It's all about who you have been talking to networking with beforehand. Many of these probably will never show up to the show, still, if they liked you as a person they can imagine what the show was like and that is probably better then your real show. Usually, when they come down to the show they already have made up their mind and it's a formality. Of course, if you do the worst performance that can change their minds, so yes have a good show. Still a lot of shows I attend I already have seen the artist and more or less supporting a business friend.

Hang around and be a nice person. You don't know who you are talking to. many industry people hide behind various titles. So be nice to people, talk to them and try to find the things you might have in common and try to be genuinely friendly and nice. That is the best way to get something, not try to hard sell things.

Thinking that others will do your job. Too many times I just meet the manager, not the artist. Then, later on, I meet the artist with the manager and the artist have no clue who I'm and what I do so they more or less act snotty. Here is the secret for not doing that mistake. Hang on with your manager on the networks. He or she will do the talk, you listen and say hello and just be nice. Then you learn who is who and are not likely to be snotty against a very important person. Yes, you need to be present in this part of the job as well. The manager is try ing to sell a product and if tehy product is there and shine, well that makes the job so much easier. This is only done by a few percentages.

Be prepared. A lot of exposure and chances just happens during the showcase. Suddenly there is a radio person going around doing interviews. And your chance is just there. Or an extra gig suddenly appears. On this big mingle they ask an artist to play a song acoustically in front of the VIP:s. You need to be prepared to just jump in on this. There is no, I don't have my guitar, or even worse you are in the hotel room sleeping or walking on the beach eating ice cream. To get this you need to be down at the conference and just take all the things that are thrown at you. I remember one gig Royal Prospect took on Canadian Music Week. Suddenly the organizer had an outdoor stage and asked them to play. They took it straight away. The gig was not optional. Outdoor without drumkit and semi-acoustic and the wind was blowing. Still, they did it and I managed to get the biggest booker down to the set and he was impressed how they cope with the bad surroundings and just say, If they can do this great here they must be amazing on a real stage. Next month Royal Prospect plays on the biggest festival in the world on the most highlighted stage for newcomers. Just because they said yes to a shit gig and where flexible.

And that leads to being flexible. No everything is not gonna be perfect and that doesn't matter. We look at how you handle crises as well. If you go up and are moody just because it didn't go your way. Then your career could be over. Like the Swedish band, Kent who throws away an international career just to play on small local stages in Sweden just because they fucked up by not being flexible.

Now someone says, well Kent played at Stockholm stadium, that is big. Yes, Stockholm stadium takes 33000 people. Royal Prospect plays on Summerfest, It's a million already here they have beaten Kent by far. No there is no big stages in Sweden. And here comes another error. Don't be afraid to take the chances. Don't say no just because you think you can't make it. Go ahead take the chance that is given to you. I see too many bands telling me when I offer a spot on my festival that they calculate not having the money ( why the hell are they showcasing in the first hand). Or they already have a small gig booked the same week. Try to work that out and just take the bigger opportunity. And no even do someone might say oh let's do it next year. You know what usually they just think that artist is not up for it and the opportunity is actually not coming back.

That leads to stay the whole festival. So many bands are calling is up and say oh we can only play on Wednesday not the weekend since we have a paid gig in our hometown. Of course, the festival agrees on that. Still you are missing out all the networking and get a worse timeslot and in reality, there is no point doing a showcase festival if you can't stay the whole time and squeeze the most out of it. And saying no, well you read below here what happens then.

Yes, this is hard work and I think the most artist is not ready for this kind of work. The ones that are will have a career.

This is the gig that broke Royal Prospect to the big stages. Totally improvised. Look on the drummer using a guitar case as a base drum. A small crowd, but with the right people. This is where the magic happens.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Know what people do! It can be crucial.

I was talking to a colleague around that artist problem we both had. We were working on the same project and the artist wanted more out things that could be really done. The biggest mistake was that the artist had skipped several good people and went after people that the artist thought where higher up. In reality, it was the opposite around. The persons the artist was going for were hot in the business year ago and now more considered done in the business. So, of course, the results were pretty mediocre, nothing we could really do, in this project the artist could choose themselves.

I guess it's a normal problem that artist have. They don't really know what people are doing and not doing. I got a call from another artist about their problems and in the conversation, we got down to that much of the stuff that was lacking was mainly done by the artist's former label. The artist fired the label because they thought the label wasn't doing anything. In reality, they did exactly what they should, maybe didn't do the extra stuff, but did quite much work and also had a lot of knowledge that now the artist had to figure out.

Suddenly the artist thought that I should help them with all this information. I explained if I should do that I need a contract with them and then after a while, they probably would grow tired of me. The problem was that they didn't understand what these different people were doing. Also how their network that they had built up where structured. A lot of the things that was lacking was done by the network. Then the artist got the brilliant idea to then build their own network. I guess they can do that but it will take years to get what they need and they need that in less than three months.

You really need to understand what people are doing and not doing.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

RIP Ralph Murphy

Today I wasn't supposed to write something. It's a bank holiday in Sweden. But yesterday was a sad day, I got the news that Ralph Murphy died. One of those people you meet at almost every festival. Suddenly they are not there any longer. I had some great conversations with Ralph over the years in several places. Great guy and a great songwriter. RIP.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Please tell me i'm good, the feeback game that now is economy.

"Here is a couple of new songs, please send feedback after you listened to them."

This line I quite often get in demos sent to us, or in other cases as well. I will tell why you don't get so much feedback. And why you are asking quite much. You might think that it's an easy thing and get you something since you have taken the time to send stuff to this company.

I get the feeling that many times this feedback stuff is mainly just for the artist to get someone to say it's a great song, probably the best since sliced bread. Unfortunately, in 99,9% it's never that good. If it was that good I would come back and want to have more or talk about giving that song out. The silence is usllay from the industry that the song is ok, but just ok. Before people actually wrote the bad things they found or gave bad reviews. Today no one really dares to do that. In the blog system, it's more like you get a review that is positive if they like it. If they don't you won't hear anything back.

Why don't we dare? I can just tell how many times I got yelled at after giving some real critics. I have also heard stories from my journalist friend how artist behaves like assholes just because they wrote a negative review on their last single

The second thing and probably the biggest issue of not giving feedback is that I'm very busy. All the tasks that give me money fill out my work day and more. I literally work already from eight in the morning until nine in the evening without any breaks. Then to demand that I should drop that work listens to a song I didn't ask for and write some critic around it. Yes, that is at least 20 minutes out of my work time I won't get any money from. Right now people have set in the system to get money for this feedback. Like Submithub and Music Xray where you pay a small amount to get some feedback from the people, you send to. Fair yes, but the feedback is mainly totally useless. It's just what some random dude that likes kind of strange music says. In one way asking for my feedback is kind of the same. I'm also a strange dude with some weird music taste.

It's another story if it is an artist signed to us. Then it's my job to get feedback. I also know the artist and know what to say or not. if it comes from a random person I really don't feel good giving the hardest stuff to them. Also when you do it, like saying, the recording is not that good, you get answers back around that and suddenly you are in a conversation helping this person to produce a record. And that I really don't have time to answer on

I don't mind listening to the song while I'm doing some repetitive work. Not just give a line back like a receipt that I have listened ( yes we listen to all things that come in, you don't want to miss that 0,1 % good music). But I guess 99% of the answer would be...Cool an ok song.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Excuse me for being successful.

I was in a panel to judge songs the other day. I was judging the songs from a commercial perspective. Of course, since my thinking is that you want to do the song as accessible as possible for an audience. My thought is hat you want as many as possible to listen to your music? Of course not to infringement to much on your artistic vision.

This I a balance. Still, I heard myself excuse me for being commercial when some other judges were more arty farty and saying that it's okay to do a five-minute long epos about how you by mistake tramped on a flower. It was like being commercial is evil.

I don't think it is that evil. What you are doing is adopting your song to fit a larger audience. Yes, feel free to do deliberate noise but don't expect more than 100 people in the world like what you do. In my mind, I thought people wanted to spread their art. In the same way, I want to spread my blog. Yes, I want everyone on the planet to read it and like it. Then to do that I probably can't be so niche to just write about the music industry. Comparing that to infringe on my artist vision, I like to write about the music industry I limit the blog on purpose. But I changed from Swedish to English to reach a larger audience, a way to make it more accessible, more commercial.

Still, I'm tired to try to give feedback to polish a turd. Excuse me for trying to be successful. Still yes you can do arty farty songs but don't expect to have a large audience it's very hard to get the audience to adapt to you then the opposite.

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Don't brag on false things that can be checked!

I released my new single that was really appreciated on Spotify. The artist bragged on his CV on it. First, I'm not that interested in Spotify playlist since that is a sign of amateurism. Anyway, I was checking and on two months the single has 1015 streams. I wonder witch playlists it had been on. well, that Spotify playlist has 56 followers. And the rest of the lists had fewer and was mainly done by the artist.

I have a lot of good things going on, the artist kept saying in the promo letter. The problem here is that the artist never told what these good things where? He had some small plays in smaller gig places in Sweden but that was before. As usual, this is the problem when the artist tells this, if there is no proof then there is nothing happening. Even I try to avoid that kind of things when I work with my professional bands. I'm not telling that things are ongoing, instead, I wait until they are out and you have proof.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

You remember the artist with work ethic!

I have been on quite many festivals the past month and I meet so many artists and The one you remember the most is the one with a really good work ethic.

They send you emails inviting you to the show. They approach you. They hang with you. They are hustling so hard to get somewhere. And you really remember those. Even if they were not the best on stage or had the best songs. The hustler is remembered.

You also want to help them. They are nice and friendly and that in itself makes you want to help them with their tasks. Much easier to make a positive decision around a hard-working artist.
The strange part is that so few do it. On an average festival, I usually count two to three doing it and that is in the competition of a hundred artists. Many just show up to play their gig and then get the hell out of there.

I guess the method of hard hustling could be used on not just showcase festivals but even normal festivals. I had an artist that on festivals always shouted at the end of the show that you could meet them on the side of the stage. Not like the other that go backstage and drink beer, no straight down to meet the fans. There they talked to the fans, wrote autographs but mainly checked if the audience had suggestions about the show. If they had they very often implemented that in the next show. In the end they where a hell of a good live act.

What I heard and read that was how Metallica also got their good fanbase and developed over the years. Yes just perform is not enough you need to the extra mile in this business.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

More wrong equality in the Swedish industry!

After yesterdays post a friend contacted me and told me that it's even worse with the gender thing inside the Swedish industry.

He had been working on a music company for eight years. Suddenly everyone was taken off their positions. The whole company should be replaced. Since he was only hired as a contractor he had just to accept to quit his job.

When his job came on the market the job description said that they wanted a woman. He knew he couldn't complete so he even didn't bother to apply.

A couple of months later the company was still on hiring and through some old office colleagues, he heard they hadn't found a woman that hold the qualifications for the job. This job is very specific you really need special knowledge to get it done. He then just wrote that he could think to have his old job back to the company.

The company was relieved that he volunteered. And they went into negotiation. They still needed a woman just for the look so they suggested that he could split his job to 50% with a woman that was not really qualified. In reality, they wanted him to teach the new woman so she could do his job.
Money was tight and he really liked this but what could he do, he needed the job so he took it. Already from the start, it was trouble. First, the woman was not informed that her job had been split with someone else and was quite pissed about that. Second, she scheduled a personal vacation the two first very crucial months when they had to start up the work again.

My friend just had to do 100% with just 50% payment. Working for two people and get the whole thing running again. Then when she finally arrived it showed quickly that she was very under qualified for the job. In practical, my friend did 90% of the work. She did only smaller easy tasks.

After half a year there were complaints that they couldn't get out the salary since to company was low on cash. During the paperwork, he got a hold of a salary list and found out that the woman actually got 100% paid. In practice, she got more paid, did very little and still was underqualified and now he wasn't even paid because the company was losing so much. And of course, they did they paid 150% in salary for one person to do all the job.

He went to the boss and just asked how this could be. The money situation would be easily solved if they just took the woman off her 100% salary. She was also still in test mode (a Swedish thing) so they could just let her go if they did it directly. She didn't really contribute with anything that important either and the boss knew it. No, was the answer. They needed a woman on the spot so the company looked equal. Instead, they got several providers to wait for their payment.

Then the woman took some time off to do other projects. Now my friend though since he was already doing 90% he could easily take the rest and raise his salary to 100%. No, he should just get 50% and they were seeking another person to take over the task and it needed to be a woman. Since last time he knew they wouldn't find anyone suitable. Also, witch part of his job should he hand over to the new woman that only would be there for a couple of months?

It was quite a horror story. This is not equality. This is just a show for the gallery. The sad part is this, not the only story I got knowledge of. The past year I have counted three to four equal bad situation in the Swedish music industry. They mainly just use women to protect themselves, not letting them in.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Equality in the wrong way!

I was talking to a Swedish festival of booking an artist. They showed very much interest in a band that is very successful right now. Suddenly the called me up and asked after a much smaller and not as ready artist.

The new artist was already booked on these dates so I asked if the artist they where first interested of could do it. No, they are men they answered.

Suddenly their gender was against them. The festival even agreed that the male artist was a better choice. Still, they were not booked because of their gender. We need women on the festival the organizer excused. I was checking the schedule and it was more women than men already booked to the festival. Yes, they answered but the headliner is male so we need even more women they told me. Who was the headliner? It is a male artist convicted of sexual harassment. I guess to smooth things over they want a female artist in front of that mistake. I'm not so sure the female artist would like that argument.

They stop an artist career of their gender. This never happened before. Sure it was more men on the stages but if there was a popular female band we never stopped them because of their gender. And I stumble on this behavior quite often. I was not even surprised to hear the conversation. It was after I though over how bizarre this new system is.

I was talking to the artist label about the problem. Their new single is playing on major radio stations around Europe but not in Sweden.

They have the wrong gender was the answer from the label. Swedish radio only plays female artists, especially if they have a foreign background. This is men from a midsized city, impossible to place in so we won't even bother to send it in.

I'm angry but in the way you probably think. Yes, this discrimination is going on all the time. But I have another approach to it. This discrimination doesn't work well works in favor of the female people working in the industry. The artist we can always go to territories where the music that is best is counting not what you between your legs.

No, the error comes in another step. I bump into several women that working professionally and feel ashamed of what is going on. Also, they become limited to work with less good acts that are female. And that stops them when they get out on the international market. Their products are not good enough in the competition. But they get the opportunities. In the end, it will be the best music that wins when you are in the big market.
I'm very before equality, but this is not equality this is even worse at it has been. It's not counted what you produce, it's your gender, skin color, and sexual orientation that determined what is heard in Sweden.

This is not helping anyone. Especially not women in music, this just makes things harder to get the industry equal.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Think of what song to play!

I'm gonna play my latest single. Yes, you have heard it so many Times during showcase festivals. Not the best choice in The showcase situation.

Why? Kind of easy. It's not all singles that actually works. Usually, if an artist release 10 singles just two get a good receiving. If it is a new single you are still testing it against the market. And during a showcase festival, your set time is limited. Not a place to test things go on safe cards.

Choose something that you really sure works. If you had a smaller hit with three singles ago choose that one to play on the showcase. Another reason is also the recognition factor. The new single is new, much more likely that the industry people you want to reach has listened on the songs that are most popular since these are mainly suggested on the sites. And its easier to pick up something if you have heard it before.

Yes, I know that all artists think that their latest song is the best since sliced bread. Still, the statistics are against that it is. So be on the safe side if you need to choose a song.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Short post

Back after have done both Focus Wales and New Skool Rules, so a long week and just got in the office Monday evening.

I like these two festivals, similar size, and good industry people. And Yes the result will come in the Vlog as usual.

It's fun though during the panels I learned that schools in Spain are using some of the blog posts as discussion material for their course.

And yes the domain is changing so right now is not working we hope to fix that tomorrow. You can always use or follow my facebook page for the latest posts. Or put your email under the picture and get all updates on email.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Why i'm going on showcase festivals

I'm going to write this post on the road. Usually, I write on my phone, but then correct it in my computer talking off the worst mistakes. Not this time or the Monday post. This has to go straight online I won't be reaching my computer until Tuesday.

I'm doing two festivals on the same weekend. First Focus Wales where The Magnettes is playing. Then New Skool Rules where Adée and Tale the Rapper is playing.
Yes, it is a hectic time right now. Many festivals are in May and they all collide.

Some people ask why I'm doing so many festivals. I guess we can reveal now why. Three years ago I decided to build a network all over the world so I have the contact myself to evaluate different offers and situations. In the end, I want to have such a vast network that I can just with this break an artist on a global scale. I guess right now I'm pretty close. They have been joking around me in meetings always answer, well I know someone that can provide that if they asked a specific knowledge or service in a certain area.

The industry seems to have seen this going on and now we getting more and more projects that are based on this network. The artist community has not, they still think that a bigger network is out there. And maybe there is but most of the artists we work closely with have realized that this network is pretty self-sustainable.

Still, a lot of work has to be done. Especially to maintain the whole thing. I guess I have to wait and see when enough is enough.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Yes you will be burned doing everything yourself.

I see it too many times. A young artist doing everything by themselves and running around like headless chickens. You usually see them for around two to three years then they disappear. Then they come in your social media feed complaining about how hard the industry is. How burned out they are. It's like they want it all and wants it now like Quen sang.

Theis mentality is taking quite many victims. Problem is actually that you try to run a whole business by yourself. An artist like U2 is employing several hundred people to do the thing they do. If you think you can that job your self you are crazy.

Even in small scale like you are when you start it's crazy to think that you can do everything.

So you need to choose your battles. The problem is that they choose the wrong ones. Goes all in for the fun stuff and forget the bring grinding that is needed. Or having an urge to control everything in minute detail and spending more time on checking then being productive. 

So keep calm. What is about going into a spin over trivial things outside your control.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I just wanted to destroy the environment because it was so bad.

Lately, I have seen many artists with a strong belief in something that will definitely stop their careers.

One had a political view. The problem was it was so strong that every damn song was about the same matter. Remember Running Wild with their main singer Rocke 'n Rolf? Well, it was a German hard rock band only signing about pirates. In my home town, we had Kenneth and The Knutters who only sang about motorbikes. Funny for two songs then you are done. Sure you can be passionate about something but it has to be variety in the songs.

Then I had the artist that couldn't fly because of the environment. They needed to take the bus to the gig. Problem was that all the time it took with the bus to get to gigs would eat their normal working days so they couldn't afford to go.

Even worse was the band that had the same climate anxiety that took the bus. But felt that everything they were bringing was to heavy and sent it with the rest of their flying crew.

I saw another band the other day ranting about all the plastic in the sea, and sea turtles dying. Their message: don't throw plastic in nature. Come on, no one in that room wanted to kill the environment. I don't see anyone just go out with plastic and throw them in nature.

In the end, what the band did was to make a very important message lame. When they ranted on obvious things and then started to play bad music I felt a strong urge to throw my plastic cup with the beer that paid their rent in the river on my way home.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I was right, here comes the future.

Every ten years has been big changes in the music industry for me. Almost like a new chapter has opened up. 1999 it was Napster and the whole change to digital opened so many new opportunities that it launched my new company Musichelp. It was rewriting the whole game and over ten years.

2009 was the streaming. Launch of Spotify and the start of the showcase era. The changes were massive and opportunities plentiful. And also rewrote the game quite much.

In both cases, just before the big change, I felt it was all over. The industry was not changing and many things had been streamlined. Then a minor meeting opens up a whole new world. The opportunities were back, suddenly everything was great again. You got like a blueprint of where you were heading and a receipt that you were doing the right things. In both older cases, I can pinpoint that meeting that changed everything. And now I know when the feeling is right.

This The Great Escape held just those meetings. That it happened here was more a coincidence. It happened to be the right time and place this time. I had three meetings that could change the future of my career, change the game completely. I would just be glad for one. But with three I'm pretty sure we are going a very bright future ahead.

And I can touch the changes right now. Sadly I cant reveal more maybe in a year or two I can reveal the stories.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

There is no lucky break.

I read a post from my friend Alonzo Sosa on facebook there are no lucky breaks. It's down to hard work and countless criticism and development. And I can't agree more. The ones that work for it get the break if you just sit around.

And like I have been written the past days. It's actually not just the artist that needs to work it's the whole team against the same goal. Too many times its just one person that works in the whole team and that won't change so many things.

And you need to work on the right things. I just spent a good hour talking to an artist that was just perusing Spotify playlists. He was pretty sure if he reached a certain number it will break him. I told him what number he needed around 50 million and he was not happy. Still, he had forgotten the other sites and also the live side in his pursuing after Spotify plays.

Many times also people are afraid of critics. But if everyone says that you should stop doing ballads it's a good sign you should stop doing that. You have the knowledge to know when to listen and when not to listen. It's not easy but that will stop you from work on the wrong things as well. If you don't know what is working and what is not.

Taking the easy way is also very damaging. Just thinking that streaming will break you is an easy way. If it broke you well then you probably have to play live and since you have been avoiding that then you have the numbers but a very very lousy live show. Then you can just go digitally not playing live. Then you really can't get that lucky break. This will only be a 25% break, not a full break.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Peter goes to Enea Spring Break

Yes another VLog and here is Enea Springbreak, too much Ugly Soda and Peter get starstruck.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The single that went nowhere!

You need to get all your team members to work in the same direction. That is like the movie director, their job is to get all in the team into the same vision. And yes there are two ways, either by being nice or by fear.

If you don't get the team in the same vision they will start losing interest in the whole thing. If you just tell them bad things and scream at them they won't like your vision. If you are too nice you might lose power and they will suddenly bring in their own vision. So yes it's a balance.

In the end, you have to have a sense of when and where you say stuff. I was working on a single release last year. The artist, as usual, was not that good on providing the assets I needed so I had to improvise to just make things happen. The assets were simple stuff, like the metadata to the song, a simple English bio, and a new press picture. Not really the hard stuff.

In the end, I had to write my own bio and had to find a picture online to have something to send to the press. It's hard to just send a damn link with the song saying, this is a great song (yes we get those emails a lot from aspiring artists in the demo section). So I put out the first things and was really feeling I could get some results from it.

The suddenly the artist wrote a mess. The bio had a spelling error and a small info part was not correct. The picture was kind of old, he had a new hair color now!

And you just lost the feeling for this project. Nothing about, thank you for writing a whole bio from nothing and even have to find the information online. No, I got something wrong, a small thing which was not even important. Since the lazy artist didn't provide a picture, of course, we will just take one. If you need the right picture, then for f*ck sake give the right info to us.

No, it was not fun to work with this single. The work I had done of course needed follow-up. But the taste in my mouth was not good. Suddenly it all felt boring and there was no joy of working with it. I just gave up and actually didn't put any more job into it.

Of course, the release was as usual. I don't think the artist ever knew that I just stopped. Of course, I did the basic stuff, like upload and send the press release that is needed. But to be honest that is just the basic. When a single really hits off it's because you go that extra mile. In fact, you need the whole team to go that extra mile. The artist killed my feeling to go that extra mile. I stopped doing the extra emails that are personal to friends in good positions that can make a difference. I stopped coming up with smart things around the release. In the end, the single went nowhere. Like it said many times the doors in this business is closing very silent.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

You must understand you are the boss.

We have all had the boss that no one really likes, that comes into your room and scream at you. Whatever you do it's not good enough. Yes, we all have had that boss.

Revealing, many artists are that boss. In fact, you are the boss, sure it doesn't feel that way when you sit in the record label room or in the other situations. Still, it's your music that is promoted and the people that work with this promotion is, in fact, your employees.

Sure you can look at it like you are a customer. Same here we all have worked in a job when they had customers that is just ugly, ignorant and you just want to tell them to fuck off, but since this is a business you can't just do that.

And yes many artists are that boss or that customer. In my daily life as a manager, my job is to get the artist away from the decision makers to keep them from looking like assholes. Most of the time because they are acting just like the person we all hate.

Right now I got a call from one of the PR firms. The picture the artist gave us wasn't good enough. Like I didn't know that! I told the artist from the beginning. The photographer is a friend of the band and is artsy fartsy. The picture doesn't really look that appealing. No, they are the standard shit indie picture you find in most bands. This PR agent is working in the higher field so they need the best. I know if this got to the artist they would have been angry, they think the picture is the best since sliced bread. What they don't get is that in the level the PR agent work that is not good enough. The press won't accept bad indie pictures and that will get the PR agent in a bad situation and not a good result. Yes, I have to work this situation out.

It's like the classical moment when your boss comes in the room with this idea that the boss thinks is brilliant. You know that the customers will hate this new idea or product. Mainly because you are working out there and knows the requests from them. Still, the boss needs to have it there way and you will end up by getting screamed at from the boss and the customers. All you want to do is just take the customers in the room to the boss and they can scream at each other. At the same time, that is how the business goes down and you don't have any work

The, of course, you can just take the decision to not work with jerks. Well, that is not a decision. The boss doesn't know they are idiots and if you tell them they might listen but in many cases not and do you have the "f*ck you" capital, the money you need to tell people to fuck off? Not always.

In all ways, you always hear if the artists is a good boss or not. The artist that is nice working with is preferred before the nasty ones. Even if the good ones are not quite as hip or cool or selling, in the end, you want to work with the nice ones. So are you a good boss or a bad one?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The topic is back, better then before, supervisors.

Sometimes your wish comes true. Not long ago I wrote how I was tired of panels like meet the supervisors. Those panels where they mainly talk in broad things or you just switch cards. I was very tired of that because it seldom leads to anything. The supervisors take from their trusted sources and are not that keen to take from randomly given cd.

Then now they open up Europe in Sync where you instead if the useless way has a chance to be in a day workshop to become this trusted source. Suddenly the topic placement becomes interesting again.

Sometimes you just get these new ways that open doors.