SONG WRITERS / ARTISTS MARV & CASH SPEND 5 DAYS AND 5 NIGHTS RECORDING AT THE ZONE RECORDING STUDIOS WITHOUT SLEEPING. IMPRESSED BY SUCH AN EXTREME WORK ETHIC, BILLY HUME DOCUMENTS THE EVENT FOR VIEWERS TO WATCH.
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Everyday I receive an email from Bob Lefsetz discussing the music industry's changes, mistakes, and etc. Today the email i got from him spoke on the book "Tribes" by Seth Godin. I haven't purchased the book as of yet, but I am aware of it. From my understanding it gives an example of building your own tribe of followers. The procedures are said to be the exact method of expanding a fan base. Bob goes on to explain how artist should not only create fans but a relationship with them as well. An example of that is singer / songwriter Cory Smith. In one of the previous blogs I discussed with you how there are some artist who never made it to radio but are just as successful as those who are in regular rotation. Cory Smith is one of those artist. He has accomplished this by building his fan base one fan at a time. Billy Hume said to me that Cory communicates with his fans through email and actually gives to them free music if they ask for it. To some this unheard of...WHAT!! FREE MUSIC!!...But it actually makes perfect sense. He gives a fan a few free downloads of his music. In exchange they pay $10 bucks to come see him perform, not including the $10 bucks spent by the friend that came with them to the performance . After the show they buy a $10 T-shirt before they leave. When they wake up the next morning they go to itunes and buy the three tracks they heard him perform. So in the end he gives away 3 downloads that may have cost what $3 bucks in total, but profit at least $20 something bucks. Now if his show is a sold out event, which it usually is, image about 1 or 2 thousand people doing this. How is it done? By not just building fans, but relationships with your fans. Okay story time. I met with Jim Jones in Houston at club Dipset once. He also recorded at this studio I use to have in Norfolk, Va. On both occasions the guy was real down to earth. Cool guy. To be honest, he probably wouldn't remember me from a can of paint and that's cool. Now I'm not the biggest fan of his music, but would I support it? HELL YES!!! Why? Because he was a real stand up guy on both times we met. Cool as shit. Now its another guy, I won't mention his name. But he had a big hit, huge hit that made him successful actually, he was also sign to Rocafella at the time and I had the chance of meeting him in California at the BET music awards. I said to him "from one artist to another I want to thank you for making the song --------- hip hop really needed that." He looks at me and says "whatever man." Do I like his music? LOVE IT!! Do I support his music? HELL NO!!! The point in the two stories is that people want to feel like friends and not fans. Fans are people that buy your music and if they don't hear from you then after a while they forget about you. Friends look for you when they don't hear from. They ask other people "hey have you heard from so and so." How do you make friends, by building relationships. You have to communicate with your audience. One thing Bob mentioned in his email was giving your audience everything they don't want. Forcing down their throats music they don't want to hear. Instead of sending free music to your fan base why not try a different approach. Why not send a mass email out saying "hey I just worked on a new song I would love you guys to hear and tell me what you think. Is it cool to email you the mp3? Email me back once you get this." May work may not, but the point is making your fans feel as if your giving them what they ask for. Another thing is the distance. In the Recording Academy meeting I attended, a question about reaching fans overseas was asked. A speaker on the panel from SESAC responded by saying "if you get a fan base in Japan, how are you going to get there?" Most of us don't have the income to travel overseas on a regular basis. You should concentrate on everything within a 2 hour drive from you. That's your area, your region. Every city, hood, club, radio station, college, mom and pop store, within a 2 hour drive of where you are. This way when you build that relationship with your fans you can say to them personally "hey I'm performing at club ---- make sure you come to the event". You need to be able to reach your fans and they need to reach you. Its just like being with a girl. Most long distance relationships don't work. Most females want QT, and you can't give that if your a coast away ya dig. Aight, I'm sick of typing and I gotta get back to working on these songs. That's it, hope you got something out of this blog. Holla back!!
-CASH- WWW.MYSPACE.COM/MARVANDCASH WWW.MARVANDCASH.BLOGSPOT.COM YOUTUBE: MARV AND CASH GOOGLE SEARCH: MARV AND CASH
Today's topic I want to try and keep a little short. Today we are going to talk about getting your music out there. This blog is for not only artist but indie lables as well. So lets begin why don't we. While in the Academy Meeting there had been a discussion about getting your music out. The question ask was "how do you get your music to radio when you have the big wigs paying for airtime?". It was a great question and the answer was something I had been saying for a while now....*uck radio! Yes, having your song played on the radio is a great thing. Yes, it does promote to your consumers. Now the question is, how many of your consumers actually listen to the radio? When is the last time you spent over 15 minutes listening to the radio? Exactly! Now its so many people who pay the radio disc jockey to spin their music, to me its wasted money. Your playing a song that isn't register through sound scan which mean you aren't getting paid for it spinning. Its not going to be in rotation so how much promotion did you really get? Its worthless. I don't want to say *uck radio, but *uck paying the DJs to spin your music. The reason I say that is simple. The DJ has no control of what gets regular rotation at that station. No matter how much you pay them, they could never give you an exact number of how long or how many spins you will get. That's controled by the Program Director. Even then, you have to break it down further. This is how the radio operates. Their profit is made off of advertisement. Therefore they advertise a product during the times that most of the listeners are tuned in to that station, this is refered to as peak hours. Those peak hours are created by giving the listeners what they would rather hear, and that determines what songs go in rotation. Those songs are used to drive traffic which creates peak hours which determines how much an advertiser pays for their commerical to be played during that time. The question is, how much traffic would your song create? From the radio's perspective, what sense would it make to put your song in rotation if it has no fan base behind it? For example, how much profit would you make from a club performance that you haven't promoted for? My point exactly. Instead of spending your money on radio, invest into club DJs and your core audience. Spend money in the clubs your listeners go to. That should be your radio. Its not the radio personality that determines what plays on the radio station, nor is it the program director to be honest. You know who it is? Its that female who leaves from the bar to the dance floor when your song is playing yelling "girl that's my shit right there!" That's who determines what gets played on the radio station. Those are the radio's customers. The radio has to give their customers the music they want. Its a cycle. The club owner wants his club packed so he picks the best DJ to do such. The Dj knows the club owner is depending on him to keep people moving so he has to play what packs the floor. Therefore you should be providing the DJ with what song he should play. Once your hot in the streets and the club, the radio is forced to put you in rotation because your song is what their customers want. Invest your money and time into creating a fan base, radio will come. Its people who sell out venues that don't have anything playing on the radio. This is not the 80's people. Its a new time and a new day. Be smart about where your money goes. Stop trying to make albums....breath...and come up with one hot song. Get it mix and mastered then hit the street one person at a time. Collect email addresses, myspace pages, facebook accounts, and start pushing that one song. Go to the hottest strip clubs find the hottest dancers in there and make their performance tapes for them with all the songs they loves to dance to and include your single on their individual show tape. Throw each dancer a few extra bucks for dancing to your song, then buy the DJ a bottle and get his contact info so he can spin your same song for you at every club he's at. Put your track on itunes and wait for radio to catch on. Now if you still thinks its in your best interest to pay radio then do it this way. Don't pay the morning show DJ or the afternoon rush hour DJ to play your song. Here's a better idea. Pay for a commerical to run during peak hours. On that commerical have a snippet of your song playing. At the end of this snippet provide your myspace page address or whatever website that your consumers can purchase your song. This way you know exactly how long and how many times your consumers will be hearing your song and its being promoted properly. Aight, this acutally ended up being a little longer than I expected so I'll stop it right there. As always feel free to comment the page or whatever. Get at you later. Oh and again, if I mispelled something....so what, my spell check is jacked up. Forget about it!
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I know its been a while but I'm back. I saw Cash was keeping you guys educated on the music industry. With that said I took it upon myself to have my top 5 of this week something interesting. Something that will keep my readers in tune. So this week's top will be "The Top 5 People Of The Week That Can Kiss My Ass!"
-5. The first K.M.A. goes to youtube's number one idiot, The Aids / Trashman. For those who don't know this guy, let me tell you who he is. He's some dude who claims to have attentionly infected over 1200 females with H.I.V. He then proceeded to read several of their names out on a youtube video. He was recently arrested for making a youtube video that stated he and other employees of Gerber had posioned thousands of jars of baby food. Hopefully they will put him in a cell with the crazy 450 lb brother of one of the female names he called out. So to The Aids / Trashman....KISS MY ASS!!!
-4) The second K.M.A. goes to blogger Sandra Rose. I mean this chick is just stupid. To me she spends to much time trashing Obama. She's a black republican, which I have no problem with. Its just she will see a photo of Obama shaking a female's hand then scream that he's cheating. She's an idiot. I mean, its the first black president beotch!! So to Sandra Rose....KISS MY ASS!!!
-3). The third K.M.A. goes to everyone who has nothing to do with but wants to a part of the whole Chris and Rhianna thing. Now look, if Chris beat homegirl then yes its a problem and he wrong for that. Its no excuse for it period! Now the people that are pissing me off are those who are using this situation to bring traffic to their lame ass websites, ratings for their TV show and etc. I mean how many of you have offered Rhianna anything other than putting her personal business in the public? So you bastards can......KISS MY ASS!!!
-2). The next K.M.A. goes to Bill O' Riley. Why? Well just because. I don't like dude that much and I know if given the chance he would tell me to kiss his ass. So why not beat him to the punch. Hey Bill.....KISS MY ASS!!
-1) AND THE LAST K.M.A. GOES TO NONE OTHER THAN..... A.I.G. FOR WANTING TO TAKE HARD EARN TAX PAYERS MONEY AND PAY $165 MILLION IN BONUSES!!! How you gonna use the bailout money to not take care of the situation but to help the big wigs sit on their ass all day. Their reason for paying out the bonuses was to keep the staff they have. They feared that they may leave the company. Look man, who doesn't ask for a bonus at a job and say "if they don't give it to me I'm quiting." You selfish bastards. So yeah. to A.I.G. .....KISS MY NATURAL BROWN ASS!!!!
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Okay where did we leave off? I think it was telling the consumers your story right? Well that's the most important thing you can do at this point. That goes for artist as well as labels who manage the direction of their artist. The consumers of music no longer purchase the music for its quailty, but for the interest of the artist. What is it that you knew about 50 cent before he became mainstream? You knew the exact amount of times he was shot. What was it that you knew about Eminem before he became mainstream? You knew how much he hated his mom. What was it that you knew about DMX before he became mainstream? He did and still does have serious problems with the law and a dramatic past. Soljah Boy? His internet success was his story. The point that I'm making is that the story sold them. You must have a story. It may not be interesting to you but the public may love it. Nas once said, and I quote "they love to hear the story how the thugs live and worry..." and he was oh so true. This is where the infamous 360 deals take place. The topic had been brought up during the Chapter meeting of the Recording Academy. I for one felt as if this was the worse deal that an artist could possibly take, till it was broken down for me. Again, I have stressed how important it is to build, expose, and sell your story. This has now become the priority of the label, management, and even the producer in some cases. Now lets go off course for a moment. This is what a 360 deal does. This recording contract basically allows the lable to take a portion of all your commisions. Your tour money, merchandise profits, masters, copyrights, all play a part in paying back the lable. For an artist this deal can be a bad or good thing. For example, if a producer works with an artist on spect ( which means no up front money) they have agreed to manage the course of the artist. The sound, the image, and etc. Being that the artist has not given the producer money up front in all fairness they should be allowed a larger percentage of the masters and copyrights to compensate for their work. This is what the label's obligation is if you have been signed to a 360 deal. The reason for it is because labels have mainly depended on album sales to compensate their expenses. If they have invested thousands or millions into a project then the profit of album sales will not cover the expense made. Album sales are horrible right now. As I stated in the previous blog, albums have become nothing more than a marketing tool instead of revenue. So in all fairness a 360 deal makes perfect sense....if its done by the book. Now this is where that same deal gets bad. Since the birth of successful indie lables, the majors have somewhat grown lazy. Its been great for them. All they have to do is provide additional promotion to a regional artist or lable. This allows them to take that same level of sucess from regional to worldwide. The problem comes in when the majors choose to not hold up their end of the deal but want to enjoy the sucess of the situation. Meaning "you do all the work and I will sit back. When the profit comes back, I want a percentage of everything you work for." That my friend is when it make no sense to sign a 360 deal. Everyone must play their part in order for the machine to work properly. Now that's one reason a 360 deal can be bad. If done right, then it makes sense for an upcoming artist to sign a 360 deal. Now when it comes to an establish artist, it make no sense. The purpose is to sell your story. To make the public so interested in you that your name becomes a brand. For example, I can buy a shirt from Target for 12 bucks right? Now if put on the tag of that same shirt Sean John, the retail value tripples. Why? Because of the branded name attached to it. Now if a name is already that powerful, what brand is the lable attempting to build? How much more of a story does 50 Cent, Snoop, Jay-Z, U2, Aerosmith, or The Rolling Stones need? My point exactly. It doesn't make sense for them to sign a 360 deal. They would be better off going independent and supplying their fanbase through the internet. The majors didn't deserve a portion of their outside profits then so they don't deserve it now. Sometimes this may not be the best choice for indie labels either. If you have the ablility to slowly build your fanbase one person at a time then do that. This process may take much longer, but it can be done. You may sell less and your venues may be smaller than that of an established artist, but you keep all your profits. Your advance may be smaller, but so what. Now if you don't have the means or income to maintain shows or promotions then a 360 deal may be best. Just look at like this. Lets say we work together as door to door salesmen. Now you had nothing but the ablility to talk a good game and get our product sold. So I tell you "look I'm going to buy you some suits to make you look more professional. I'm also going to allow you to sell in the neighborhoods I normally sell in since I can't go there as much as I would like to. I'm going to pick you up everyday for work. And last I'm going to put your name on my business cards as an alternate contact to get you more clientel. Now because I'm doing this I want 20% of every sale you make and 20% of every sale made by anyone you bring in." Good old fair deal. Now lets say it the same secnario. Only this time I say "the only thing I'm going to do is explain the product to you and how it works, that's it nothing more. I also want you to sell in the neighborhoods I normally sell at, as well as new neighborhoods you may find. Along with that I want 20% of everything you sell and 20% of every sell made by those you bring in." Fucked up deal right. Aight man, I'll school you on somethings next week from my daily ASCAP email. Feel free to comment the blog. Meet me here next week for the "What You Need To Know About The Music Industry" Series. And oh yeah, I'm sure its a thousand and one mispelled words but my spell check is doing something stupid. It is what it is. Get at me.
-Cash- WWW.MYSPACE.COM/MARVANDCASH WWW.MARVANDCASH.BLOGSPOT.COM YOUTUBE: MARV AND CASH GOOGLE SEARCH: MARV AND CASH
Today is what I like to call an informative blog. This blog is for anyone in the music profession. I recently done a blog that was pertaining to New School Hip Hop VS Old School Hip Hop, which I received several comments on from various online communities and blogsites. Those responses have led me to the blog I bring you now. Today I attended the Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter seminar as an invited guest with producer / songwriter Billy Hume. It was various topics that were discuss but the two that struck the most interest and attention were 360 deals and the current direction of music as a whole. First of all I was surprised to know the amount of sold units that are required to reach billboard’s top 200. At one point in time the amount was an estimated 10,000 units. With record sales being as low as they are the required amount is now 2500 units. That should give you an idea of where music is at this point. The question is not what do we do to improve it, but what do we do as professionals in this industry to maintain our careers? To me this is a one of the defining moments of the music industry. It is a change in what we all are use to. My former manager said to me once “there is nothing new under the sun,” and he’s right. Music has been here before, in the eyes of change. For example, New York artist single handedly control the hip hop industry for years. No disrespect to New York, but during this time it was nearly impossible for southern hop hop artist to be heard or given recording deals. So they begin to distribute their own albums from the trunk of their cars, to the local neighborhoods, local disc jockeys, and clubs. That determination and grind was the birth of independent artist and label deals. These guys changed how the music industry had been accustom to doing business for years. Here is another example. At one point albums were recorded and distributed on cassette tapes. Later on came the compact disc that we are all accustom to. It was a change. This change caused an uproar. It was a matter of not knowing the estimated amount of tapes or compact disc to manufacture. The expenses could effect both the label and distributor if not executed properly. In the end it served to be a large profit margin for old recordings. Labels were now able to double the money per unit. They had sold thousands of cassettes, but consumers were now using CD players in their homes and cars making cassette players a thing of the past. This allowed them to re-release albums dated as far back as 30 years and now sell the units double the price. Horrible for the consumer, but a plus for the music industry. It was a change. A change that effect the industry, but worked out for the best. What we are going through now is a change, but again “there is nothing new under the sun.” From what was discuss at the Recording Academy chapter meeting, the majors are buying into the story of the artist. They want to see the work, the accomplishments, the numbers. They also stated that with album sales being as low as they are an album has become nothing more than a marketing tool. To break it down more for you, its extra money!! The artist has to do more than make good music. The money is now in touring, endorsements, song placement, and other new media. This gives everyone work to do. Everyone involved has to play their part in order for the machine to work properly. As an artist you need viral videos, a page on every online community, blogs, your own social network and etc. You need to be on a one on one bases with your fans by emailing them personally giving them a way to contact you, keeping them informed. You need those fans at your shows and the goal is to have them bring at least two friends to your next show. You get what I’m saying? Two examples I give to you are Paris Hilton and Soljah Boy Tell Em. I’m not the biggest fan of either. However they both fit the point that is made. Lets start with Soljah Boy. He’s the king of the internet. All I can say is whatever he is doing is working and is the model we all should be following whether you enjoy his music or not. Paris Hilton,…let me ask you…what does she do? I mean we all know who she is, but what does she do as a profession? My point exactly. You know her. And the fact that she has become so interesting to the public it allows her the ability to sell purses, clothing, perfume, and MTV sitcoms to those who show an interest in her. I’m not telling you that you need money from a hotel franchise, a sex tape, or a dance. I’m telling you that you need to use the internet to your advantage and use it to grow interest in you or your artist. Allow your fans in. Allow them to know who you are. Give them your day to day struggles and success. Okay….now I’m getting tired. I been up since 8am and its now 3am the next morning. If you are up here from face book then you know how little I sleep. So lets end the blog here, and I will give you my thoughts on the 360 deals tomorrow. Deal?
Today top 5 came to after a conversation with some random female that I met at the studio yesterday. She begged me not to blog about it but....its me Marv...you know I don't give a fiduck!!! So here it is, my top 5 of the week. These are the top 5 things a female could do that is a complete f-ing turn off!!!!
5) A MAJOR TURN OFF IS...females that hawk and spit cold (mucus). That is the most unlady like disgusting ish!!
4) A MAJOR TURN OFF IS...a female who farts. But....it depends. A fart can mean a lot. If you can fart around your companion, then it truly shows how close the two of you are. But that comes with time. Now if you fart on the first date then you just a nasty motherfu*ker!!
3) A MAJOR TURN OFF IS...a female that doesn't shave her arm pits. I mean....pit hairs...its....man that's just nasty. Bottom line!!
2) A MAJOR TURN OFF IS...a female with a bush. If your cuda snacks have not been shaved or at least had a trim, and been growing the same pubic hairs since you were thirteen!! That's ridiculous baby. You need either a razor, a barber, or a damn weed whacker!!!
1) A MAJOR TURN OFF IS...any female that just finish reading this blog and didn't find a problem with the Top 5. That would make you A NASTY MOTHERFU*KER!!!
This week news comes from a clip I came across on Youtube. Now Bill O'Reily....this guy is an A-hole. He stays screaming how messed up other people are, or how we have no respect. Well check him out on this clip I found. If my boss or anybody talked to me in this manner I would .....we all know what I would do. But in the end it is funny to see Good O'Reily flip out like a the lil beotch he is...lol.
I mean when does it end. At what point do we say "okay the cops are taking shit to far". Below is a link to a very disturbing video that some of you may have or have not seen. Its a video of two male police officers beating a 15 year old female: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl67FmVRjYs
She kicked her shoe at the police, and they proceeded to bang her head into the wall and beat her down as if she was a 30 yr old 250 lb grown man carrying a pistol. Now yes, she was wrong for kicking the shoe and needs to either learn or know to respect the law enforcement and the authority they have. However, beating it into her is not the answer. And again, what will happen? The city, will as always, wait for this to die down from the media and give these two officers a desk job for a few months and maybe lower their pay by 50 bucks. Wow!!! What a punishment!! I mean, its some people out here that actually got fed up with the police and reacted by doing something as small as using profanity and maybe slightly pushing the officers hand out the way. All those people got as a punishment was a traditional ass whipping by about 4 or 5 cops at once, charged with assault to a police officer, spent years of their life in prison and was tortured each day they were in their by the police. Luckily they weren't punished as bad as the officers who practice police brutality. I mean, how could a person continue to live if their punishment was a good paying desk job, and a spank on the hand. Like I said....WOW!!!....WHAT A FUCKING PUNISHMENT!!!!