Tag Archives: music

BECOMING YOUR OWN MUSIC MANAGER BY QUITE GREAT

The Quite Great Music marketing team at www.quitegreatmusicmarketinguk.com spend a great deal of time gaining insights into the world of unsigned and developing artists from across the globe , we are lucky to speak to around two or three bands and artists a day so we gain a real feel for the problems they face plus the opportunities they open for themselves through hard work and we are so pleased when they take time out and tell us in their own words about the way they develop as it is useful to all other acts in a similar position . The following information from the brilliant Japanese Fighting Fish is both eloquent and very informative and is a must read for anyone trying to manage their own music career from the bottom up.

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk

https://soundcloud.com/japanese-fighting-fish

https://twitter.com/jffuk

https://www.youtube.com/user/JFFish

As a self-releasing or self-managed band, the road to getting heard by a larger audience is fraught with challenges and not for the faint of heart, but with a lot of work, passion, and the right combination of band members is well worth taking on not to mention hooking up with the kind of guys at Quite Great music marketing who we are set to release our second single through. This of course assumes that the band have something truly unique to offer, however there are countless examples where the lack of originality has not prevented success, dispelling the myth that all it takes is the right song in a fleeting moment. That moment is made through perseverance and the culmination of multiple efforts at the same time, built on a foundation of a supportive lifestyle.

Firstly, the decision to even be a self-releasing band should be a conscious one, not to be taken lightly, but in an ever self-sufficient world of digital releases, the alternative is not always a viable option at entry level. It’s worth acknowledging that self-releasing comes in many different forms, and the extent to which it is executed largely depends on how well-informed the band is on the various options and how honest and realistic the members are in relation to their desired goals before setting out to achieve them.

In the early stages of a band’s development, creating a clear sense of what the band stands for will go a long way to defining how other people relate to the band going forward. Understanding each band member’s strengths and delegating duties fairly is as important at this stage as ever. Maybe one person has a good telephone manner and someone else has a flair for chatting to the local stage manager in person. Working to strengths and dividing duties evenly does wonders to nail that gig slot or land that studio time at a discount rate. Funding these efforts with a stable income is as important as time management and being organised, neither of which are attributes usually associated with aspiring musicians unfortunately. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Networking with the right studio engineers, photographers and ultimately booking agents goes a long way in bringing a relatively new band to big heights. Some bands are lucky to catch fire early owing to a combination of coolness, raw talent and luck, but it can be very damaging to expect opportunity to arrive on a silver plate. It can take a significant amount of time and research to have the right people in your circle of activity but once all the gears are moving in unison the energy of the band can be contagious to fans and influential individuals at all levels.

Decisions along the way may be tough, and it’s no secret that band members don’t decide on everything unanimously. Having the right attitude by putting the needs of the band before the preferences of the individual is important, both in writing songs and group decisions. A band agreement is highly useful in clearing up ambiguity and acts as great protection from uncertainty or misunderstanding.

Knowing where you need help and having the right tools at your disposal to seek that help out at the right cost is often half the battle. For example, using a digital distributor such as CD Baby can alleviate the pressure of deciding on the best retail strategy, allowing the band to use their limited resources elsewhere to promote their release. Again, promotion is something a band will need help with sooner or later, and knowing when and how the realm of the band meets the realm of the people working with the band will allow things to work in unison.

In an ideal world the right people will approach the band and offer great services at little or no cost and everyone is a winner. The reality is that this may happen perhaps in one or two realms to varying degrees of risk which is why access to the facts from the outset can mitigate time and money wasted.

There are now more than ever a whole host of things that bands can take on themselves with a myriad of online resources and pro tips. Entrusting the right people both inside and outside the band with the right tasks is a prerequisite for success, but ultimately getting out there and getting people excited about what you do is the best way to strike up a working partnership that can bear fruit in ways that are often hard to predict.

Matt // JFF

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk

https://soundcloud.com/japanese-fighting-fish

https://twitter.com/jffuk

https://www.youtube.com/user/JFFish

TOP LEGAL ADVICE FOR MUSICIANS – CROWFUNDING

We urge all musicians to check out this invaluable advice from Sheridans. It can be tough making headway as an emerging artist in the music industry and Crowdfunding is a great tool to help launch your music. However, it is essential that you’re fully aware of your rights when signing up to such platforms. Take 5 minutes to absorb this legal goodness and look out for your fellow musicians and hit share! This information has been kindly passed onto us by our ‘go to’ lawyer and the man we highly recommend, Stephen Luckman.

Crowdfunding in Music

Launching a music career is incredibly expensive and, unless you have the deep pockets of a record label to rely on, it can be very difficult for newly established artists to get a footing in the highly competitive music industry. A large amount of upfront cash is required to start a music career to fund things like studio time, equipment, distribution, venue hire, transport, marketing and advertising. Emerging artists are unlikely to be able to obtain this funding via traditional methods of investment due to the high risk nature of the music business. Consequently, artists who have been unable to obtain a record deal are increasingly turning to alternative methods to raise funds to kick-start their musical careers.

One such method is the use of a crowdfunding campaign and a wide variety of artists have used crowdfunded investments to record and launch albums and provide support to go on tour. Crowdfunding is now an established and well documented form of obtaining investment in the music industry and it is not just up and coming artists who have taken advantage of this direct-to-fan form of marketing as established acts looking to distance themselves from record labels have come to realise that the best investors are their fans.

There are a huge number of crowdfunding platforms available. The most well-known and established ones include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub and Crowdcube, while there are a number of crowdfunding sites aimed solely at musicians such as PledgeMusic, ArtisteConnect, SellaBand and TuneFund. A successful campaign run through these sites can help artists raise significant amounts of money and reach out to their fans. Kickstarter alone has raised nearly $2 billion for projects since its launch six years ago, with $136 million of that being used to fund music projects. One notable example of a successful crowdfunding campaign by a musician is Amanda Palmer, the unofficial “queen” of Kickstarter, who managed to raise $1.2 million to fund her new album, which was slightly more than her goal of $100,000.

So, what exactly is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is simply raising money directly from a large number of people who all typically put in relatively small amounts of cash. This is often done through online platforms and social media to reach thousands, if not millions, of potential investors.

There are three main types of crowdfunding:

Debt crowdfunding

  • Investors loan money directly to an individual and (hopefully) receive their money back with interest. Also called peer-to-peer (p2p) lending, it allows for the lending of money while bypassing traditional banks. Returns are financial, but investors also have the benefit of having contributed to the success of an idea they believe in. Examples of debt crowdfunding platforms include SoMoLend and Lending Club. 

Equity crowdfunding

  • Investors buy shares in a company and become part owners. They make a return on their investment either by being paid a dividend or by selling their shares at a later date, when the company value has (hopefully) increased. It is up to the board of the company to decide whether to declare a dividend and how much, and if and when to sell the business, so equity crowdfunding tends to carry a higher risk for investors (but potentially the highest returns). Examples of equity crowdfunding platforms include Crowdcube, Seedrs, EarlyShares and Fundable. 

Donation crowdfunding

  • People pay money to an artist simply because they believe in the cause and/or are fans of the music. Rewards/perks are often offered to the investor (and such rewards tend to be better the more money has been given). Examples of rewards can be: the actual item the project has been set up to fund (i.e a copy of the album), tickets to gigs, regular news updates, free gifts, credits in the project and so on.This is the most popular form of crowdfunding for musicians as the idea is to tap into the generosity of your fans. Often, this type of crowdfunding can be simply seen as a way of pre-selling albums or singles before they are even recorded. Examples of donation crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, Indiegogo and RocketHub.

Crowdfunding Tips

The crowdfunding market is extremely competitive as can be seen by the fact that Kickstarter has had over 40,000 music projects. There are also a number of legal issues that should be considered before trying to raise money through a crowdfunding platform. I have, therefore, set out below some tips that artists should consider to ensure that their crowdfunding campaign is both legal and successful: 

  • Think carefully about which crowdfunding platform is most suitable to your project. The crowdfunding platform you choose will not only have an impact on your chances of success but also the fees you pay.
  • Make sure any crowdfunding proposal complies with financial promotion legislation.
  • Try and think out of the box when it comes to offering rewards/perks. Tokyo-based garage metal band Electric Eel Shock gave fans the opportunity to secure “guest list for life” status. The package cost £100 and the band raised £10,000 by selling 100 such packages.
  • Conversely, it is important that you don’t give away too much to fans. Artists should always be wary of offering a share of the intellectual property rights in songs to fans as this could prevent the artist from being able to sign a publishing or record deal in the future.
  • Don’t overestimate the cost of recording an album and dishonestly solicit more money than you need. Artists should be as transparent as possible with crowdfunding campaigns as it is important to bear in mind that the fans are now investing their hard earned cash in you.
  • Consider whether you even need a crowdfunding campaign. Do you really need that rare Moog synthesizer when a plug-in will do or a luxury tour bus when the Transit is still working? Also, there are plenty of artists who continue to self-fund their careers. It is now easier than ever to record a successful album on a tablet or laptop and the costs of digital distribution and marketing via social media are minimal.

Stephen Luckman Partner

William Smith Trainee

Sheridans, London

sluckman@sheridans.co.uk

wsmith@sheridans.co.uk

Music Industry Loses Jazz Legend Joe Sample

Joe Sample performing at the Montreux Jazz festival in 2011.

Very sad news of the death of the legendary jazz musician, Joe Sample aged 75.

The late Sample wrote a wealth of classic hits, some of his greatest work includes 70’s hit “Streetlife” and “One Day I’ll Fly”.

Tributes to the star have flooded social media over the past couple of days as fans grieve the loss of a legend.

British musician, Kirk Degiorgio, paid homage to the star on Twitter saying, “RIP Joe Sample – one of the most iconic sessionists of the West Coast scene. So many classic riffs, hooks and accompaniment…”

Gilles Peterson paid tribute to the late Sample on Instagram, sharing a picture of the ‘’Freedom Sound” LP from The Jazz Crusaders, captioned ‘RIP Joe Sample’. See the tribute here:

http://instagram.com/p/s7XfKeo4kr/?modal=true

Fellow jazz musician Brain Culbertson paid tribute the jazz legend on Twitter with simple message saying, “Thank you Joe for inspiring us to ‘groove’ harder”.

For those wishing to pay their respects to the legend, this was posted onto the Joe Sample FaceBook pager yesterday.

“Services for Joe Sample: Friday, September 19, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, wake and viewing open to the general public, My Mother of Mercy Church, 4000 Sumpter St., Houston, TX, 77020. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, etc., the family asks to make donations to the Joe Sample Youth Organization, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Contributions can be made via paypal/credit card using the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QV5AUC3H6AGQL or via check to the following address: Joe Sample Youth Organization, P.O. Box 590254, Houston, TX 77259.”

My greatest memory of Sample is of his iconic work with The Crusaders. He was a fantastic writer and truly a legendary musician.

Quite Great with Candi Staton at The Jazz Cafe Camden for her special duet with Pixie Lott

candi pixie 2

Soul legend Candi Staton and Brit superstar Pixie Lott put on a very special, one-off, performance last night at the infamous London music venue, The Jazz Cafe, Camden.

The creative PR team at Quite Great love nothing more than (music PR, and) witnessing music legends do their thing, so the opportunity to be part of this unique occasion was a treasured treat. After having a blast with Candi at Besitval this weekend the Quite Great team can’t get enough of her. The team were on hand at The Jazz Cafe last night taking care of Candi’s PR and of course basking in the fantastic show Candi and Pixie put on.

The intimate space of The Jazz Cafe was brought to life last night as Candi and Pixie took to the stage together.

Candi showcased some of her new songs to the lucky few that managed to get tickets to the sell-out event. The new material sounded like old classics already, with everyone singing the words back immediately.

The set was utterly phenomenal, even before the closing tracks. To finish the set Candi and Pixie joined forces to perform a very special duet of ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and finally the house was brought down with Candi’s original classic  ‘You’ve got the love’.

Pixie Lott tweeted last night saying ‘’Tonight I got to sing with one of my favourite singers ever’’.

It’s sure to say that nobody was disappointed and everybody was left with a certain afterglow following the special evening.

Quite Great at Bestival with Candi Staton

The Quite Great team  were treated to an unforgettable performance by the Soul Icon Candi Staton at Bestival 2014 , whilst also arranging a great deal of fantastic pr at the festival in between Candi’s amazing live show which really thrilled the public and media alike. The album promotion at radio and press is going really well and Bestival was such a great starting point.

There have been a host of articles raving about Staton’s electric performance at Bestival, including The Daily Telegraph who said Staton, ‘’prowled the stage like a woman half her age’’. The Quite Great Team spent the weekend working hard arranging Candi Staton’s pr whilst also having time to check out a great performance by Foals

Bestival tweeted a video of Staton working the crowd, saying, ‘’The whole site was buzzing’’, and we must admit, so were we.

You can catch videos of Staton performing at Bestival here:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/62eb96c7-3401-4afa-bcbe-6792be660a2c

https://amp.twimg.com/v/ba009c5d-5273-4cd2-b7d3-95b046ea0cf9

Here are some cheeky snaps of Staton having a ball back stage with the Quite Great girls.

photo (4)

photo (2)

Bestival was incredible and is a truly one of the must go to events on the  British festival scene . We can’t wait to see what they put on next year…it’ll take something spectacular to top this year’s enchanting ensemble.