Not to worry, I’m not retiring!
But today I received such a wonderful letter that I just had to share it. So I asked her if she’d mind, and she said to go ahead….. THIS is why I do what I do, right here:
I’m one of your new biggest fans – here’s why….
After doing a lot of research, I came across your site and started reading all of your article which made me instantly realize that you build from the ground up with verified techniques that repeatedly have worked over and over, so I bought “The Knowledge To Succeed”. Read that, and absolutely loved it. It cleared up a lot of things I had been questioning as to how I should be approaching the marketplace with my music. There has been so much talk about posting music- you shouldn’t because giving it away is free…but at the same time, how are you going to get seen now? If you don’t make a noise, no one’s going to hear it. So, I’ve been keeping a majority of my music under wraps.
I like that you don’t bullshit, you give an accurate take on the scene from a business perspective. My dad, way back in the day, rejected a record deal [a major label] had offered his rock band and as a kid, I couldn’t understand why he passed on something like that-after reading your book, I have a better idea as to why he passed and now I get it. I’ve had some producers approach me to join their labels, and I did collaborate; however, I never signed with them because it all came down to exactly what you mention in your book about how anyone can print up business cards and call themselves a label, but they neither have the funds for marketing or a plan in place. I’ve also been approached by labels who had their team consisting of a relative or their homeboys, none of which knew even a sliver of what the music business entails-they had good intentions, which was to make music, but without the business side being in place-it’s not really a label, is it? Also, one label liked to call me one of their artists, but there was never any signed agreements or anything which made me feel really uneasy and made me very hesitant to go back and collaborate. Once again, after reading your book, it just confirms that hesitating on going back to that studio and that being leery into accepting any type of agreement without an entertainment lawyer and manager by my side, was a good idea.
While your book primarily addresses the music business, a lot of what you say is also applicable to acting and modeling as well. On the acting side, a lot of these production companies offer work-for-hire type of contracts, which when I was starting out, had zero credits to my name and no guidance on such things, I signed. These film companies are doing the EXACT same things record labels are doing and they want to take the money for the sales/marketing as well as what you SHOULD be receiving for the actual creation of the product even though they never invested the money or resources into the creation of that product. So, your book makes me realize that you can get fucked over every which way by record labels, film companies and more…unless, of course, one reads your book, assembles a top notch team of trustworthy people who not only have the passion for the music but the business acumen as well.
I LOVE the asshole tax. 🙂 Another singer I worked with used to tell me, cause she booked her own gigs, if someone called her for a gig and she thought they were assholes, she would throw out a ridiculously high number that way: A. if the rejected the rate she was asking for, she wouldn’t have to do their stupid gig or B. if they accepted the rate, she’d do the gig and at least be compensated for putting up with their bullshit. 🙂
I’m getting wordy, but you’ve got me all riled up about the way people have been taking advantage of artists having experienced/or been close to experiencing some of those things first hand. Anyway, I think you’re super fabulous for sharing the knowledge you have with the world and really laying out the reality of it all. So many people try to cloud the truth – it’s good to hear a clear version for once. 😉 …and you have a 5lb chihuahua named Gangster-that’s the depths of fresh! 🙂
With that said, I’m off to work on some tracks, and I definitely look forward to your next book release! Have a great day 🙂 🙂