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Ten (10) Steps To Take Before You Set Up A Record Label – SHOWBIZ EDUCATION with Kwamina Basty ( WEEK-5 )

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Thinking of starting a label? Here are 10 things to consider when setting up a Record Label.

1. Choose The Music

Choosing the music you are going to sell is a pretty fundamental decision. It’s often better for new labels to have a relatively narrow focus in what genres they are intending to sell. This also corresponds to the format/s, take some time and really think about whether you are going to sell physical or just be a download label. Be realistic about physical products, they cost a lot to produce and you don’t want to be left with rooms full of CD’s and Vinyl’s that you’re struggling to sell especially in Ghana. Seek advice from your friends and people around you.

2. Choose The Name

Create an identity for your record label. Research into your competitors and how they are branded. Creating the right kind of identity for your label is incredibly important, given that in the international digital age this will be your shop window. Put together a list of names and test them out with friends, remember to listen and not get to caught up one idea. If you want a website then it will make sense to include your record label in it, so register your chosen name and make sure it’s available.

3. Establish A Brand Look

Similar to the importance of your record label name, you will also need to produce logo’s and a brand identity. Keep it simple and easy to read, even at small sizes because the likely hood is that your logo will change in size to fit in banners and website posts. Take some time over your logo, there is nothing stopping you doing this yourself, but I would recommend getting someone professional to help with the design. You need to remember this is the first thing people will see, and if you want to be taken seriously, your brand needs to look professional.

4. Build A Website/Register The Name

With the growing popularity of social media, especially Facebook Twitter Instagram etc, also Websites give you a base for your customers to go and find out everything they need to know about you, your releases, gigs, videos, and most importantly a shop to sell your music. You can always set up social media pages and have links through to them on your website. Now, you have a couple of options when it comes to building a website.

5. Get Your Tracks Sounding Good/Mastered

This is the product you’re going to be selling so it is important to get your tracks sounding professional. There are two things that can let down a track, one being the arrangement and the other being the mix. Now try to Compare your tracks against your competitors on different speakers and listening back devices. Ask your friends how they feel or think but remember, Friends will tend to like anything you do, so try and get some constructive criticism out of them, you don’t want your label to be known as an outlet for poorly mixed tracks.

Mastering – nowadays a lot of bedroom producers aren’t getting their tracks mastered properly, do you want your record label to be seen this way? Mastering can cost money but will always be worth it, want to look professional, you need to sound professional. Forget using your mate with a cracked copy of Logic and mastering plug-ins that crash their computer every hour. Invest some money and get your tracks mastered to a professional standard, this is especially important if you are thinking of pressing to vinyl.

6. Promotion

Now it’s time to get some interest building around your new tracks, logo and website. Advertising is expensive but you can do loads of self publicity online, and there are even artists that now use social media for the majority of their marketing. Create Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, Twitter and even Myspace accounts, and try and be active on them. Don’t swamp your audience with pointless information, like how much you hate your competitors but keep it fairly personal, you don’t want to come across to corporate and lifeless online and try and reply to everyone that messages, personal touches go a long way.

7. Know The Contract

Now you’ve done alots of hard work, its time to start making some money off your artists. If your label is releasing music made by other artists then make sure your agreement with them is fair and binding. And this doesn’t mean bringing in high powered lawyers. So long as the terms you have agreed are clearly set out in a document, printed and signed by you and the artist in question, then you’re up and running. It’s up to you to negotiate the terms and agreements and remember everything is better in writing, so if something were to happen you have a legally binding letter to fall back on.

8. Get Your Artists Playing Live

Although record sales are starting to steadily increase, the amount that we go out and watch our favourite artists has shot right up. Playing live is the most effective form of publicity and will lead to direct to selling units. Be sure to plug your site and even get a mate to set up a stall with your merchandise, CD’s, T-Shirts etc. This is a great way of getting your brand out there.

9. Collect Royalties

Collecting royalties takes time, and there is often a time lag of at least 6 months, so you need to consider this when planning releases. Sign up with collecting organization, in Ghana we have GHAMRO ( Ghana Music Right Organization ) go to them and ask of how they register tracks and collecting publishing money.

10. Accounts/Income Tax

When the money starts rolling in, and your tracks are going platinum you’ll need to pay a percentage to the Revenue as Income Tax. That’s the law, so be sure you have every pound and penny accounted for. Set up a spreadsheet with income and expenditure columns, as expenses which relate to the running of your business can be claimed back against tax, for example you don’t pay tax on business phone calls, driving artist to gigs, running the website etc. If your label is releasing other peoples music , you’ll also need to pay them, this ofcourse is subject to your agreement.

Keep on top of this, it’s important, you do not want a visit from the tax man.

Credit goes to “Loop masters”

NEXT ARTICLE: How To Build A Fanbase As An Artist

( AUTHOR )
Nelson Nana Agyeman, popularly known as Kwamina Basty. A SONG-WRITER, BLOGGER, PUBLICIST, BROADCAST JOURNALIST ( Media Personality ).

FOLLOW:
Facebook: Kwamina Basty / Kobby Gossips
Twitter: @kwaminabasty
Whatsapp: +23354961666
Kobby: +233557204784
Youtube: Kobby Gossips Tv

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Showbiz Education

Top 20 Famous And Inspirational Quotes About Music.

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Looking for the best music quotes? We’ve compiled a list of some top 20 famous and inspirational quotes by legends Artists or Musicians.

1. “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

2. “Music has a poetry of its own, and that poetry is called melody.” – Joshua Logan

3. “Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God.” – Martin Luther

4. “The cool thing about music is no one can take music away from you, writing wise.” – Darren Criss

5. “Music’s always been really cathartic. It’s the best drug for me to get away from the everyday pressures just for a second via a good song.” – Ville Valo

6. “Music is the emotional life of most people.” – Leonard Cohen

7. “Sometimes I feel like rap music is almost the key to stopping racism.” – Eminem

8. “Old music is the same as new music – it’s just a different way of delivering it.” – Jeff Lynne

9. “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” – Alphonse de Lamartine

10. “Music is all about training in harmony, training to understand and use musical energy for our greater pleasure by attuning to the natural laws of the universe.” – Jane Siberry

11. “It’s almost charity work, what people have done, turning other people on to my music.” – John Mayer

12. “Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” – Leonard Bernstein

13. “Music is a very big participant in everything I do, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed.” – Zoe Saldana

14. “My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.” – Bob Marley

15.”Music is love in search of a word.” – Sidney Lanier

16. “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.” – Adele

17. ” I’ve always felt music is the only way to give an instantaneous moment the feel of slow motion. To romanticise it and glorify it and give it a soundtrack and a rhythm.” – Taylor Swift

18. “I wanted to prove the sustaining power of music.” – David Bowie

19. “Music is the tool to express life – and all that makes a difference.” – Herbie Hancock

20. “Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family.” – Eric Clapton

( AUTHOR )Nelson Nana Agyemag popularly known as Kwamina Basty. A SONG-WRITER, BLOGGER, PUBLICIST, BROADCAST JOURNALIST ( Media Personality ).FOLLOW:Facebook: Kwamina Basty / Kobby GossipsTwitter: @kwaminabastyWhatsapp: +23354961666Kobby: +233557204784Youtube: Kobby Gossips Tv

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Showbiz Education

What makes a record contract bad? SHOWBIZ EDUCATION

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There’s a few ways to answer this question…

Allow me to get philosophical for a moment: Any contractual terms that unduly benefit one side of a record contract more than the other will cause bitterness and resentment in the future.

Any contractual terms that unduly benefit one side of a record contract more than the other will cause bitterness and resentment in the future.

Those feelings will end up poisoning the relationship between an artist and record company when they both really need to work with each other in order to succeed.

What most good lawyers try to do when negotiating a record contract on behalf of an artist is make sure that the contract’s terms give each side what they need.

In any commercial venture where creativity is important, the most prudent way to proceed is to create a relationship where both sides are happy and are willing to work with each other. In most cases with a major label that relationship can last for 5 to 7 years or longer.

If the relationship is a failure it can often mean the ruin of an artistic career. So be careful.

Here are some examples of specific deal points to avoid depending on your situation. There are entire books on this but I will just provide three off the top of my head:

A recording commitment that is too long, where so many records are required to fulfill the contract that it takes too many years to complete.

Loss of creative control. The terms of the contract allow too much interference from the record company that might dilute the artist’s vision for their music. That drives artists crazy and they start looking for ways to get out of the deal.

Contractual terms that permit the record company to make too many deductions for packaging, foreign territory sales and free goods when calculating the artist’s royalties.

There’s tons more to consider when avoiding a bad contract. But for the sake of this discussion, these three points are worth keeping in mind.
What makes a record contract good are terms that enable each party to benefit from the deal.

What makes a record contract good are deal terms that enable each party to benefit from the deal.

Both sides have to benefit or else the relationship is going to bottom out and become unproductive.

Particular contract terms will depend on the bargaining power of the artist. Which is why it’s important to monitor and track your own stats and bring them to the table as part of a contract negotiation.

A new artist with no real history of earnings will not get the same terms as a artist with a proven record of strong earnings.
TO BE CONTINUE…

Note: The contents of this article are not to be taken as legal advice. Always seek the counsel of an experienced entertainment attorney when signing contracts or otherwise working in the music industry

CREDIT: Mark Quail

( AUTHOR )
Nelson Nana Agyeman, popularly known as Kwamina Basty. A SONG-WRITER, BLOGGER, PUBLICIST, BROADCAST JOURNALIST ( Media Personality ).

FOLLOW:
Facebook: Kwamina Basty / Kobby Gossips
Twitter: @kwaminabasty/@kobby gossips
Whatsapp: +23354961666
Kobby: +233557204784
Youtube: Kobby Gossips Tv

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Showbiz Education

Terms You Need To Understand Before You Sign To Any Record Label. SHOWBIZ EDUCATION with Kwamina Basty ( WEEK-11 )

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Terms You need to understand before you sign to any Record Label.

These terms include:

Royalty Rates.

The number of singles to be delivered.

Whether the record company will pay for a video.

The amount of money the record company will spend on social media campaigns.

Whether the record company will also participate in the moneys earned from music publishing, merchandising and live performances

From a technical, legal standpoint a contract that is well written and contains clear and unambiguous deal terms can also be considered a good contract.

Poorly written contracts create more questions than they provide in answers. More questions means more money spent on lawyers which may mean going to court to argue the matter before a judge.

What are the benefits of long-term record contracts?

In all honesty, I do not think there are any benefits for artists in a long-term contract that requires more than three albums to be delivered.

All record contracts are structured as a series of options that are completely at the discretion of the record company. While an artist might think they have a guaranteed distributor for their music for a long period of time, in actual fact they could be dropped at any point by the record company.

A short-term contract allows artists to move to another record company upon fulfillment of the first record if they want to. Circumstances can change quickly and it’s good to keep your options open.

Circumstances can change quickly and it’s good to keep your options open.

The best case scenario is a situation where the artist builds their popularity in the marketplace over a period of two or three albums, completes the first contract and is then in a position to do another record deal while their career is on the upswing and while they have much better negotiating leverage.

What is a 360° Record contract?

As the name suggests, 360° contracts aim to cover all parts of artist income and label services.

There are generally four sources of income that an artist has:

Income from sound recordings

Income from songs that the artist composes

Income from sales of merchandise (T-shirts etc.)

Live performance income

360° contracts encompass all or most of these four elements.

A 360° contract seeks to allow the record company to receive monies from all four streams of income listed above, and ideally provides services to artists in order to maximize the monies from each of these areas of revenue.

Are 360° record contracts good for artists?

Some artists will need a large injection of money into their careers in order to get to the next level. If that’s the case, they may have no other choice but to permit an investor like a record company a more secure way, like a 360° contract, to recover that investment.

With sales of records declining and with streaming income being very small at this point in time, a record company needs better ways to secure their investment.

With sales of records declining and with streaming income being very small at this point in time, a record company needs better ways to secure their investment.

Getting a piece of the other income streams like merch and touring is one way to do it. This is why record companies seek these types of deals.

If an artist cannot get funding or the marketing muscle they need without the help of a record label, then having to deal with the terms in a 360° record contract may simply be the business proposition the artist will have to decide on.

Note: The contents of this article are not to be taken as legal advice. Always seek the counsel of an experienced entertainment attorney when signing contracts or otherwise working in the music industry

CREDIT: Mark Quail

( AUTHOR )
Nelson Nana Agyeman, popularly known as Kwamina Basty. A SONG-WRITER, BLOGGER, PUBLICIST, BROADCAST JOURNALIST ( Media Personality ).

FOLLOW:
Facebook: Kwamina Basty / Kobby Gossips
Twitter: @kwaminabasty / @kobbygossips
Whatsapp: +23354961666
Kobby: +233557204784
Youtube: Kobby Gossips Tv

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