You were born to create works of art. As far back as you can recall you have possessed a talent, a gift, to create music. There is a freedom that comes from creating. You want the world to hear, see, feel, and experience your gift. In your giving there are five things that you don't know or don't do that risk your career. There are five things that can block your gifts and silence your musical voice.
Risk 1: Not conducting yourself as a CEO and entrepreneur.
Study the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs. What are the things that they have in common? What traits and characteristics do they possess? What drives and motivates them? How did they become successful? Who makes up their inner circle? What good habits do they possess?
If this is just your hobby then great, be casual with it. But if this is your career then you need to think, act, and conduct yourself as the CEO of your company--whether you have one or not. If you have a nonchalant approach to your career then your career will pay you and treat you accordingly. People will treat you the same way that you carry yourself. Be about your business and you will be rewarded handsomely.
Risk 2: Not creating a healthy space to create, breathe, and explore your talents.
It is nearly impossible to create great and meaningful works in a toxic environment. How can you dig deep and bring out your best when your mind is cluttered with the chaos of other's drama? How can you be free when you're feeling trapped and suffocated?
Find the space to create. It doesn't matter how big or how small the space is, as long as it helps your creative "juices" to flow, embrace it. Make sure that you rid your space of negative energy and negative people. It is important for not only your professional journey but for your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Risk 3: Not surrounding yourself with people who enhance your creativity, support your work, constructively critique you, and bring added value.
Not everyone you "come up with" is meant to continue the journey with you. Just like any other small business startup you need to assess your inner circle and those who want to be a part of it. Not everyone will bring added value to a relationship with you. If the people who you spend time with aren't enhancing your creativity, sharing ideas for your creative growth, helping you to save money, reducing the negativity around you, and giving more than taking in your relationship--it is best to limit your contact with them.
You need to be mindful of those you call "friends" and you need to establish boundaries with family members and friends who may knowingly or unknowingly attempt to hitch a ride on your coattail.
Your path is yours and it is through your hard work, sacrifice, dedication, determination, and skills that you are making progress along that path. Any person who isn't aiding in your growth needs to be placed in a special section in your life that does not distract or detract from your mission and goals.
Risk 4: Not being disciplined enough professionally and personally
No one is expecting perfection, but discipline is necessary in order to succeed, be competitive, and thrive. If you're a procrastinator then you need to seek out assistance from others who can help you to devise a system to keep you on time, ahead of deadlines, and focused. Create a work schedule and try to stick with it. It doesn't matter if it's early morning or late night. Find time to set aside and focus on your craft. Outline your professional and personal goals, and track your progress throughout the year.
You need to also be disciplined in your personal life. One thing that "stars" find out fast and hard is that once the wave of success hits you either need to have a sense of structure and stability in your personal life to sustain the pressures and demands, or you will find yourself drowning in the sea of rehearsals, travel, performances, appearances, etc. Additionally, your personal discipline is necessary when handling personal and financial obligations. You need to be well-trained both professionally and personally. And where you are weakest you need to request the assistance of someone who is stronger in those areas to help fill in those gaps. If you fear certain temptations tied to sex, alcohol, drugs, or any other vice then you need to position yourself now with a support team that can steer you away from the trappings that are easily accessible in this industry.
Be the man/woman that you claim you are, that you claim that you want to be one day. Be a professional. Arrive to appointments early. If you say that you're going to do something then do it. If you realize that you can't do it then speak up with advanced warning so that there is ample time to come up with a backup plan. Let your actions speak for you. Your brand is not built on what you claim, but what you do. One thing that is difficult to salvage is a bad reputation. Establishing a strong discipline will help keep you laser-focused on your mission, goals, and dreams.
If this is merely a hobby then fine, be lackadaisical--you have nothing to lose. However, if this is your career then take it seriously--because you can risk losing it all.
Risk 5: Not knowing the business of the music business
As a creative it is easy to convince yourself that you don't need to be concerned with the business side of the music business, but that is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. Don't leave it to the "suits" in the offices and definitely don't leave it to your manager, lawyer, and accountant. They work for you. So you should know as much if not more about your business and your role within this industry, and you should clearly understand the practices, terminology, and nuances of this industry. Do your research. Read books, search online, connect with seasoned professionals who can assist you. Ask plenty of questions--you can never ask enough.
It's your career, it's your livelihood, and you deserve to know the ins and outs of the industry you're working in and the companies (and individuals) that you are affiliated with. You need to know about publishing, distribution, marketing, PR, touring, licensing, the various ways you can make money, and the many ways that you can lose money.
If you don't know the business then you aren't in business, and you will never truly be free to navigate throughout this business, because you will be a slave to an industry that isn't for the weak. The music industry has a revolving door of wannabes, has-beens, one-hit-wonders, and it has no problem kicking you out on the curb.
There should never be a time in your career that you don't know the details of your contracts, the inflow and outflow of your bank accounts, and what everyone on your team is working on to help your career. If you don't know the business then how can you possibly be the "boss" and have a clear mind to create?
Mark Hogan a Senior Staff Writer for Pitchfork wrote an article that shed light on how producers and songwriters are beginning to tailor tracks to align with the ever-growing music delivery system called streaming, and in many ways specifically, digital music service provider, Spotify. Hogan points out what most music creatives and industry insiders know--the format of music helps to shape what we hear. The length of a single was first conceived of during the era of 45 RPM 7 inch records. If the song was longer than what a 45 could hold, then....
As the technology advances so must the mind of the creative who uses the technology to publish their art. Streaming music is a technological form that has made competition amongst creatives very intense. With thousands of songs available to listeners it is harder to get your music pushed to the forefront, even with the algorithms and curated content. Some would think, "all I have to do is get my music on a streaming service and I will be a star," when the reality is that the only way for a stream to count towards chart tallies and the payout of royalties, the song has to play for at least 30 seconds. So producers are having to tailor the start of songs to factor in grabbing and keeping the attention of the listener long enough that they continue listening beyond this time frame.
Hogan highlights several songs by well-known producers and performers where you can hear how they mastered this process. He also shares about the reverse-engineering of songs and how creating a track with the first 30 seconds of a well-known sampled song that catches the attention of the listener (because the track is familiar to them), like Katy Perry's single "Swish Swish" featuring Nicki Minaj, that starts with a sample from Fatboy Slim that targets British house music lovers as well as Minaj fans who recall her "Truffle Butter" track.
Digital marketing firms have stepped up to help managers navigate this unknown sea and the growing reality that creatives now have a farther and more intimate global reach than in the past. Streaming allows consumers of music to gain access to content sooner and easier than ever before, which also removes many of the restrictions of the past that kept great artists from being heard.
Hogan's article continues as he digs deeper into the world of Spotify and how they are serving as a huge driver for hitmakers. Read Mark Hogan's full article by clicking the link below.
According to Reuters, Disney's disappointing quarterly results and obvious struggles with their television business needed some positive overshadowing, and it seems that the promise of a new Star Wars trilogy was just enough to raise the company's shares by 1 percent on Thursday---when they announced that director Rian Johnson (director of the upcoming film "Star Wars: The Last Jedi") has agreed to create a new trilogy in the series.
Disney has been working hard to hold on to viewers as consumers have been bailing on cable networks and opting for online platforms such as Netflix. Disney is launching a streaming service to compete with Netflix, and it is their hope that a "Star Wars" TV series will help to capture online audiences.
Disney definitely needs a slam dunk very soon since ESPN has lost a lot of subscribers and revenue to online sports broadcasters.The company is focused on developing its streaming service and has placed it as its top priority this year. Next year they are planning to launch their sports-focused service "ESPN Plus" and then by 2019 all new Disney content would go directly to Disney's streaming service and not Netflix, and they claim that their service will cost substantially less than Netflix because they will have less content.
One could argue that by pricing their service much lower than Netflix, Disney has actually positioned the consumer with an "either-and" proposition not an "either-or" one. Netflix is already priced around $9.99 per month which is extremely affordable especially in comparison to cable providers. So if Disney prices their service at less than $5 per month, it still would be an affordable price point for a consumer to subscribe to both service providers, rather than abandoning Netflix altogether just to be limited to Disney-produced programming. No different than those of us who subscribe to both Netflix and Hulu to gain greater access to more content. Or those of us who subscribe to Pandora and either Spotify or Apple Music (or both).
Basically if the price point is low enough the consumer can afford to bear the minimal cost. What moves us to abandon one service over the other is greater access to resources, ease of delivery and viewing/listening, cost, content, and how intrusive the provider's site is when it pertains to sponsored advertising by third parties. Disney will soon find out if it has what it takes to go up against Netflix. It will also learn if it can regroup from some other hard hits it has taken.
Read the entire Reuter's article by clicking the link below.
Spotlite App: The First FREE App to Monetize the Performance Where the Songwriter AND the Performer Get Paid
Spotlite app continues to gain momentum jumping into the top 10 two weeks ago and holding firmly on the #10 spot on the iTunes Top Free Music App Chart, announced on November 7th.
Boasting more than 30,000 downloads per week, Spotlite has already won support from investors such as Sequoia Capital and BlueRun Ventures, as well as the major music publishers including Sony/ATV, Universal Music Group, Warner/Chappell, BMG, and EMI.
The sing app is the first FREE app to monetize the performance where the songwriter AND the performer get paid. Easy to use, participants can sing their original music, or choose from a large catalogue of songs to sing, then record or live-stream while earning money for their performance. Spotlite users can record any number of songs from the catalog for free! Spotlite users can also share their performances on all platforms across social media.
For more information please visit
ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, will bring its pioneering "I Create Music" EXPO back to Los Angeles in 2018 for three days of workshops, master classes, one-on-one sessions and networking events with the industry's hottest hitmakers.
On November 8th registration opened for the 13th annual EXPO, to be held Monday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 9 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles:
Since its inception, ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO has attracted many of music's biggest names and most successful industry players. Previous keynote speakers include Justin Timberlake, Tom Petty, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Quincy Jones, Ludacris, Carly Simon, Sara Bareilles, Lindsey Buckingham, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), Diplo, Big Sean, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Bill Withers, Aloe Blacc, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Jeff Lynne.
All ASCAP EXPO registrants get free access to nearly 60 hours of streaming video of the EXPO they attended. Non-attendees can purchase EXPO Video Access for $99. For more information visit:
Musicians On Call, a groundbreaking nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals across the country, has announced it will officially launch its first programs in New Orleans in 2018.
These visits add a dose of joy to life in healthcare facilities ranging from children's hospitals to adult facilities, VA hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Since 1999, Musicians On Call has performed for over 600,000 patients, families and caregivers in 14 major markets across the country.
MOC supporters over the years include Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Reba, Gavin DeGraw, Darius Rucker, Pharrell, Amos Lee, Nick Jonas, Rachel Platten and many more. For more information, visit www.musiciansoncall.org.
Musicians On Call is currently seeking support from community partners in the New Orleans area. If you can help, tell them how by visiting www.musiciansoncall.org/champion.
Bugbear Entertainment is searching for bands to submit music for their latest racing game: Wreckfest, and are currently accepting applications.
Bugbear Entertainment is a game studio specializing in action driving. They have been making car games for sixteen years, starting with Rally Trophy (2001, PC). With over a decade of development under its belt, Bugbear Entertainment has successfully redefined the genre of action racing. They are best known for the critically acclaimed demolition racing series FlatOut (2004-2007, PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360) and street racing title Ridge Racer Unbounded (2013, PC, PS3, Xbox 360).
Bugbear has a contest with a top prize of $3,500 and nine runner-up prizes of $1,000 per track. They are looking to attract bands and musicians who are interested in reaching hundreds and thousands of new fans by having their music featured on a major title release on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Other bands featured in the previous Bugbear releases have included upcoming indie bands and household names like Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Fall Out Boy, Audioslave and Skrillex.
Bands can apply at
For some gameplay footage of Wreckfest, and more information on its release, check out
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced yesterday the first 10 recipients of its Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions. The $8 million commissioning initiative is the largest of its kind in the United States.
Ten local nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area will receive grants of $150,000 each to commission major new musical compositions from world-class artists in genres including chamber, electronic, jazz, opera, and hip hop.
Complete descriptions of the commissioned projects are available at:
The Marginalization of Women in Country Music: A Look at The Future Now That Our Present is Demanding Immediate Change in All Industries
Two years ago, June 2015 to be exact, Noah Berlatsky a writer for The Atlantic and New Republic wrote an article "The Marginalization of Women in Mainstream Country Music" where he highlighted the mindset of the powers-that-be in the music industry in general, and in Country music specifically, that has always seemed to support the thinking that country music is primarily meant for men to create and sing, and for women to stand pretty and be gawked at by those men. There have been several breakout female stars but Mr. Berlatsky stands to say, "not enough" and "when will men stop marginalizing women?"
The rough and tumble of country music has been a story told mostly by men, but does that mean that those rural and stark towns of the south that these men sing about don't also include women who can tell their own story? Apparently not.
The CMAs were last week and even if you didn't watch it you can do an online search to find the nominees and awardees. Some people are concerned that in the categories of "Entertainer of the Year" and "Musician of the Year" there weren't any female nominees. There also was only one female nominee for "New Artist of the Year", Lauren Alaina, and for "Vocal Duo of the Year"--Maddie & Tae. The acceptance and presence of women in country music still is up for debate.
Over the past two years, and especially the past two months women across the country and around the world have been speaking out against sexual harassment and the predatory practices of powerful men in the entertainment industry (to include music, film, and tv), sports, media, and other industries. The past three weeks have been an unraveling of the reputations of powerful men who have wielded their power over women who lacked their own voice and power--until now.
With experts outlining what constitutes sexual harassment, hostile work environments, and other related concepts, will there be a greater push for more inclusion of women in mainstream country music? Will there be a greater interest and appreciation in the stories that women can provide through song in a way that only they can tell it? Will this segment of the industry stop marginalizing women? Only time can tell.
Women are sick and tired of being sidelined, overlooked, unappreciated, and devalued. It would be interesting to see what Mr. Berlatsky thinks about this topic now, two years later--in the wake of this #MeToo "We're not taking it anymore" era.
Alex Anthopoulos has been named as the Atlanta Braves' executive vice president and general manager. Mr. Anthopoulos signed a four-year contract that will run through the 2021 season and he will report directly to the Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk. Anthopoulos becomes the 12th Braves general manager since the franchise moved to Atlanta in 1966.
Former general manager John Coppolella was forced to resign on Oct. 2 and President of Baseball Operations, John Hart has now been transitioned to the new role of senior advisor to the Atlanta Braves, effective Monday, November 13.
Read more here