Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What is the Music Business Like and why do you need a "fundraiser?"

Is the latest question from FanBridge. At first I got a bit on the defensive side, but as I read the question over and over, and talked with a friend of mine. She pointed out that not everyone understands how things work.  She never knew until she met me.  This is what inspired this blog.

I have learned a lot.  1. don't ever take things personally, you can't.  If you did, you would never survive the criticisms that come, and believe me people can hit below the belt.  2.  Always be gracious, but don't let anyone run you over.  You can get run over doing what I do.  Its best you don't let anyone do that.  You can be the best ever, but you can also be clever at not losing your cool.

Hokay so, if Will Ackerman believes in me, why doesn't he help out with the album?  He is helping out, by me hiring him to be my producer.  He is no longer the head of Windham Hill Records. He doesn't sign people to labels, that is not what he does now.  He offers his unique perspective that he has gleaned over the years and you pay for that.  Oh and he doesn't just magically appear. You have to email him and ask him. He then listens to your music, THEN he chooses to work with you or not.

The music industry is in a flux of change.  Its not the same like it used to be.  Say for instance, if you are George Winston during the late 70's signed to the Windham Hill Records Label, the label paid for the recording costs, ie: producing, musicians, studio time, engineering; which included mixing/mastering, manufacturing. They told you how you were release the music, and tour.  Touring is another whole can of worms.  Let me just focus on the production.  Producing an album can vary in costs.  It can cost from $5k to $100k or more.  "Trillium" was staggering. It cost me... yes ME $80k.  THAT includes production, recording, mixing/mastering, musicians, encoding, manufacturing,  a publicist, radio promotion team no tv.  If you want advertising on TV, that will cost you more.  To be really rounded out to market something you need the marketing web. Which includes mailing, emailing, internet, online radio, radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, reviews, interviews. Oh and I had Ed Bonk working with me to promote "Trillium". He and I were a team together. He didn't do all the mailing of the albums, I did. He did all the phone calls to all the radio stations which includes internet radio/organic radio.   All of those things MUST be put in place because none of this stuff is easy to tell people about it all.  If you look at a commercial nowadays, you will see these commercials repeated during a tv show or during a radio broadcast or even a podcast.  We are all creatures of repetition.  We have to be told several times before things sink in.

So now, I need funding. Since I am an independent musician, I don't have the financial backing of a major label like Universal, Sony, EMI or any of those companies. Have I submitted my music? Sure I have. Since I was rejected, I chose to do this on my own. Would I like to be on a label? I did that with an Independent Record Label and got burned financially by them.  The conditions have to be favorable  for me to consider a label. I am still submitting, so who knows?!!

In order to produce a really good album worthy of Windham Hill of the past, which is my goal, I want/need a few things in place. Will Ackerman is part of that, then his studio and engineer is another part of the puzzle, I want great mastering, so that is another cost. All of these things are money driven. Which is true for most things in the Arts. I decided to change up the album I am working on, to do a solo piano project.  Simply because, making another album like "Trillium" is expensive. VERY expensive. I had funding for that.  This time, that funding is not there.  I am looking to people to pledge $1, $30, or more dollars if you can spare that. I am not looking for thousands of dollars from one person.  Wait, didn't "Trillium" sell? Sure, but  I have not recovered my costs for that. Not even close. Then why do I do what I do? Because I am not in this to make money. I am in it because this is something I love to do.  LOVE it, BREATHE it... its what motivates me to get up in the morning and "Carpe Diem"!!!!  I am certainly not poor, but I don't have that kind of capital and that is why I am using to help me with this.

That is why I am coming to you to ask for help, which is not easy for this prideful chick to doIf I could do this on my own I would and never ask, but here I am asking because I feel that its worthy of my time and yours.

I hope you join me and pledge today!

Peace in Music,

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