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Interview: Mario Christiani – CEO/Owner of Music2Deal

Professional Update 2019 & Additional Member Benefits Coming Soon!
Interviewed by Peter Fosso – Head of U.S. Operations, Music2Deal


peter fosso & me (2)
(Peter Fosso, Mario Christiani)

PF: Hi, Mario. So I hear that there will be a Music2Deal update happening in January 2019. What types of benefits can we expect?

MC: Well, we’ve noticed that there are many members who still are not benefiting as much as they can from our system so we’re helping them in this new update. For example, many members haven’t uploaded a Music (Song) Offer even though it´s free with a Basic Membership. Or sometimes they post their music in the wrong section. Although we tried with former updates to optimized the usability, members often don´t know the right steps to do on Music2Deal.

So the idea of Music2Deal is great and a lot of people are already doing good business on Music2Deal. But to be honest, sometimes it´s just a matter of having the right knowledge. For example, someone who is working in the music business should know about the differences between the song copyrights and the performance protection rights, so that they know in which section they should post their music offer. When I look at these sections I sometimes see members who don´t have this knowledge. But sometimes, it´s also a question of how the website supports his members in the way of using the website. And in this case, we see a lot of potential to make things better, which we wish to accomplish with this coming update.

You know…when I talk with people at those conferences, like MIDEM, they see the advantages of using the Music2Deal platform, that it makes sense to stay in contact with their business friends about music opportunities and that LinkedIn, Facebook & Co can’t really offer this. It´s like using Excel to do your accounting and not using an accounting program.


PF: Can you tell us more about how to solve those problems? Maybe give us an example?

MC: With this update, so that we can improve the user experience for each of our members, we are implementing better user communication and usability. For example, if you are a Publisher and your registration was accepted, upon first login you’ll see a short “1st-LogIn-Tour”. Currently, after completing your profile, you’ll see a page to post a Music Offer, choosing from 4 sections. These 4 choices are too much at the 1st time login on Music2Deal and then continuing with a further page. And a Publisher would unlikely need to post a Vocalist Offer. So, we assume that they’d prefer to post a Song Offer. In the case of an Artist, they would post mostly post an Artist Offer, and so forth. If you’re an Artist, who hasn’t yet posted a Music Offer, we’ll suggest it to you.

Or if you’re A&R, to post an Artists Want, etc. We simply want to see our members get the most so that they don´t miss business opportunities. We will also inform a member if they have enough credits for a free upgrade. We’re also adding guided tours and a new “how it works” page for a better understanding of how to use Music2Deal in the best way for their business.


PF: There was already an update announced in 2018. What happened?

MC: Once we started really getting to know the needs of our members we realized there was much more to do to incorporate their ideas – now further improvement that can be enjoyed by our community of music professionals.


PF: Is this the reason why this update is called “The Professional Update 2019?

MC: Yes, that´s right. Just two features, as an example. Now a member will be able to send a new song first to just their friend circle, getting initial feedback prior to deciding whether to publish the song. Additionally, you’ll be able to filter the members who can contact you. For example, it makes no sense if you are a Booking Agent and a Songwriter contacts you that is not a live performer. These mismatches are time-consuming and, of course, most music professionals would like to avoid this. Therefore, we’ll be providing this feature.


PF: Will you announce all features of the Professional Update 2019?

MC: Yes, we’ll be announcing the update’s features here on the blog as well as in our news section on Music2Deal.


PF: And finally… When will the update happen?

MC: Good question :-) Look for the update to happen in the beginning of 2019.

Music2Deal Interview – Braverick

Marcus Behrens – is an independent A&R Consultant and a member of The Recording Academy/GRAMMY Pro. He has been working for Sony and Warner, with placements and productions including Meek Mill, J. Cole, Sabrina Washington, Jadakiss, Frank Lars, The StoneWolf Band and more. He is currently managing singer/songwriter Nya Crea who has worked with Tony Mo (Destiny’s Child, Keisha Cole) and was one of the support acts of Enrique Iglesias and Florence and The Machine.


Since there are still a lot of people in the music industry, whether it ́s an artist, songwriter, producer or even a record label who don’t see the importance of YouTube, Marcus founded Braverick to offer services like YouTube MCN, YouTube channel optimization, as well as music distribution and Spotify promotion.

Music2Deal: What exactly is an MCN?
Marcus Behrens: An MCN (Multi-Channel-Network) is a way for YouTube creators to access useful resources to grow their channels, as well as copyright protection, ad revenue, and YouTube partnership.

MCNs deal with monetization, advertising, and copyright law, to help the creators focus on their creative content. You don’t necessarily need an MCN to produce monetized content, but partnering with an MCN offers benefits that make it easier. These benefits include assistance with search engine optimization (SEO), access to video production facilities, funding for costly projects, and seamless access to other platforms besides YouTube.MCNs make money off the “revenue share”. This is shared money earned from monetizing your videos and advertising with the MCN’s ad partners. You also get a share of these same profits. The percentage that the MCN takes varies – as high as 40% if you are small and don’t have a lot of weight to throw around, or as low as 10% if you are a big, viral channel.

To think that an MCN just greedily scoops up your money then goes away, is not the best way to look at it. In return for being able to share your profits, your network will provide you with access to tools that will help grow your channel and make it more popular. They want your channel to grow, because the more money it makes, the more they make. They are in your corner.

Music2Deal: Do I need a YouTube MCN?
Marcus Behrens: Some channels, in particular, music and gaming channels, don’t need to partner with YouTube networks to monetize their content, as long as they stay away from copyrighted music/copyright infringement and follow the rules. If you are astute at making and spreading your YouTube channel, you could definitely get by without an MCN.

However, some MCNs may offer features that even the savviest creator needs, one of those being sponsorships. Collaborations are important, and going through an MCN to find collaborative sponsorships with other content creators, can be extremely valuable. Sponsorships are hard to make happen on your own and are very much facilitated by using an MCN. In sum, you want to focus on content creation. The more you can handoff the duties of day to day business stuff to an MCN the more you can concentrate on making great content – the whole reason for a YouTube MCN in the first place.


Music2Deal: What is YouTube optimization?
Marcus Behrens: It encompasses all the little tricks and strategies that are employed to make your videos come up in searches, and get noticed in general. We have a team of YouTube certified employees, who know the ins and outs of YouTube and are aware of things you can do to make your videos get more views. You can use their specialized knowledge for yourself.

This may sound simple and inconsequential, but actually, people in your corner who are knowledgeable of YouTube and proven strategies to get videos noticed can be huge and a game changer.

Music2Deal: Would I have to be locked into a contract for a long time?
Marcus Behrens: No. In regards to the YouTube MCN as well as the digital distribution, you can opt out every month.

However, we do make long-term agreements in the field of YouTube and digital distribution with people and companies we invest in.

Music2Deal: Why should I work with Braverick?
Marcus Behrens: We’ve Got Your Back!
That moment when you start to realize that the songs you write or the videos you make have turned into a business, things can get a little overwhelming. Maybe you have signed a contract with somebody, but it turns out that things are not going the way you had expected.

But let’s face it, in order to be great and famous you need to work on your brand, promote yourself and well, get into business so you can make it. And yes, that includes annoying emails, dealing with rude people, unreturned phone calls and more.

But you are the creative genius, the talent, the artist! You can’t be bothered with the technicalities; you need some space and peace of mind so you can work on your craft. And most importantly, you need people around you who get you, instead of suited up dudes that never return your calls or understand what you need.

Well, this is where we come in. We’ve been dealing with people in the music industry our whole lives, and we know how it all works.

From channel optimization and YouTube MCN to distribution, we will take care of everything so we can help you develop your business all while letting you create brand new content and focus on your art.

And the best part? We work for you and your craft – that’s all we care about. So whatever you need, we are there already taking care of it, listening to your problems and answering all your questions in simple English and German – no business talk!

To us you are not just another number in a spreadsheet, you are a talented individual that deserves the best, a part of our family.



Gary Numan interview Part 2

Music2deal’s Richard Rogers interviewed electronic legend Gary Numan a couple of months back in Oberhausen, Germany before a sold out gig. The successful European tour followed Numan’s UK number 2 album ‘Savage’ released last September on BMG Records that included the huge single ‘My Name Is Ruin’. ‘Savage’ is Numan’s biggest charting album for 36 years.

Gary has just contributed the Foreword to Richard’s forthcoming new book ‘Depeche Mode – Violator: The Ultimate A&R Guide’ due out through Glamour Puss Publishing very soon.

In the second of a three part interview Gary discusses the orchestral tour in November that will see the light as a new DVD and live album. Plus the Old Grey Whistle Test, lost songs, tour support groups and Hohokam.



Richard Rogers: So from what you were saying earlier the Orchestral Tour is going to be massive and will take in songs from Savage and selected pieces from the earlier work in your back catalogue. Was there anything you didn’t like that you put out previously.

Gary Numan: The one I didn’t like was ‘Machine And Soul’ which I hate with a passion. Dreadful album.

RR: The demo b-sides on the CD singles to that album were really good.

GN: Were they? (Laughs) I don’t remember those at all. There will be a live album from this tour and we may record it and film it at the Royal Albert Hall but they want an outrageous amount of money to do that so we might end up doing it at Bridgewater in Manchester. We are going to go up and tour in Scandinavia again as we did really well there which is surprising, however on the recent tour we had 3 gigs that sold out immediately and the other sold out on the night. I haven’t done much promo either. I did a Q and A session in Copenhagen in some library and that was packed and I didn’t expect any of that. It’s all been a big surprise and the promoter is very happy so we are going back there. We also seem to be doing really well in Belgium as all the shows on the recent European tour were the first to sell out.

RR: Do you think it is anything to do with that one off gig you did in Brussels years ago?

GN: Well I did really well in Belgium to begin with and then it fell away a little bit and then the whole of Europe vanished which was disappointing, largely my fault I suspect but disappointing all the same. I don’t know if it’s all to do with the previous album Splinter or the new one Savage but it’s all picking up again and i’m not trying to make any big claims. But from where I was to where I am now is extremely positive and seems to be on the up. I’d like to see the same thing happen in Germany as it appears to be on the up.

RR: The Savage album did actually make the lower reaches on the German chart.

GN: Cool. We went to Luxembourg for the first time yesterday as i’d never been there before and we went to France and the show was great. The last show i’d done in France was years ago and was horrendous but this time there were 3 or 4 more times the amount of people and everyone knew the words which really shocked me. It’s noticeably better than it was before whether that’s the new album or not I don’t know.

RR: Well as an A&R man I don’t say this lightly, it is a superb album.

GN: Well we did the Old Grey Whistle Test a special one off, a couple of weeks back and we were given two options in the rehearsals. We could do one new song, one old song live in the studio or they said you can come in for a chat and we play some of the videos. I went for the chat to save all the problems getting all the gear in for the band as I assumed they meant they’d play one new video and one old video. I thought it would be great as we started with our first ever show on the programme in the late 70’s and the whole thing would have come full circle. There would be a talking point as my daughter Persia who was on the last single and video for My Name Is Ruin would also have her first TV appearance on the same show. They then told me they will only show old songs if I come in for an interview so I changed my mind and we had a right old messy day sorting out the band and equipment for the show. But we did it. Persia was there and we played a heavy version of Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and My Name Is Ruin. Then we had a little chat but I didn’t say much. Joan Armratrading and Dave Stewart were there on the sofa and they did all the talking.

I love Dave Stewart, he doesn’t live that far away from me in Los Angeles. He is very clever and funny. The two of them took a bit of a ‘bashing the industry’ kind of stance which a lot was true but I don’t want to go on TV and keep moaning because I wanted to be a bit more positive than that because it’s not all bad, it’s just different. Album sales are not so great but ‘sync’ income and live income is flourishing so you’ve just got to adapt to it and accept it.

RR: But do you not think it is much much harder for a new band particularly to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder? Gary, Because you have a name and reputation and acts like yourself and OMD can go out and play live and you know people are going to turn up and you can make at least a fair living out of it whereas it is OK if you’re Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber but if you’re not one of those names and new on the scene you’re fucked really.

GN: I don’t know really because it’s hard to get a true grasp on it now and i’m not in that position but I remember when I started off to get gigs. I remember one guy at a particular venue who would only give you a gig if you had sex with him. You know there was so much weird skullduggery and taking advantage of little young pretty boys in bands and there was a whole load of shit going on. So it wasn’t fucking brilliant back then and nobody would give you any money for gigging. It was really difficult and the record company deal at the end of it seemed like a lifeline. I got my record deal with Beggars Banquet Records and there was no money and I was still on the dole, legally of course for ages. It was difficult back then, I didn’t have a car so borrowed my Dads. Personally I don’t see it being more difficult now than it was back then. When I play live I bring onto the tour (as support acts) bands that I genuinely like. They don’t pay to be on the tour, in fact they all get paid to be on it, not a fortune but they get paid.  The band that were with us in America got $500 a gig and I never mess anyone about with soundchecks, they all get one and I don’t fuck anyone about. I try to make it as friendly and as nice an experience as possible. They all get a dressing room and a rider that I pay for. You try and do as much as you can to help out new bands. The last 4 or 5 bands have been female fronted artists such as Me Not You in America, I speak Machine etc. It’s trying to do what you can to help out if you see any injustice or a difficulty and not do it by charging a grand a night to new acts just because they’re utilising my audience. That to me just seemed greedy.

RR: But that was the record companies fault, they charged bands an extortionate amount of money to go on tour to line their own coffers. I remember in the early days you taking on tour bands such as Simple Minds and OMD to support you and I think you didn’t charge any of them.

GN: OMD supported me in 1979 and I never charged them in fact I put all their gear in my truck and carried their gear around for them and they travelled on our tour bus with us. I found out they didn’t have any money so I just helped them out. We’re all in this together. I’ve had so many people support me who have gone on to be much bigger than i’ve ever been. You don’t want to fuck people over because firstly it’s just not nice and secondly it’ll come back to haunt you.

RR: I must ask is this what happened to the band Hohokam? On the back of one of the singles it says ‘From the Forthcoming album Seven Deadly Sins’ on Numa Records your record company at the time. However the album never came out.

GN: They fucking imploded. They were nasty to each other, they were rotten to me, they were very unusually, a self destructive group of people.

RR: That was such a shame as they had some really decent songs.

GN: Yeah, I thought they were good.

RR: One of them is dead now.

GN: Yeh although I don’t know what happened to him. One of the guys was all right actually. But they would come in and you would be the one they got at because although i’d signed them they hadn’t become rock stars in the first ten minutes. It was a mixture of ignorance, naievityand ingratitude. There was a lot of back stabbing amongst themselves and I thought I don’t want anything to do with this.

RR: One question I will ask you is the last time I interviewed was in 1983 and the question was ‘You’ve got this B-side out on the single ‘Sister Surprise’ and it’s called ‘Letters’ and yet it’s the same track as ‘Face To Face’ the B-side to your top 40 hit ‘Love Needs No Disguise’ with Dramatis. Is it the same track’. Your reply was ‘ask me next time you interview me’ so 35 years later I’ll ask you again.

GN: My memory of it is they are different tracks and they mastered the wrong one by accident and that’s as much as I can remember. I think there was a mistake and it shouldn’t have been the same bit of music. As far as i’m aware they were two different songs and I don’t think that one has ever seen the light of day. Beggars Banquet have put out so many things that they seem to have discovered which I swear blind is more than I ever wrote. (laughs). However I am surprised it hasn’t come out with all these releases they’ve been putting out.


Part 3 of the interview will be available on music2deal shortly.


Link: Music2Deal







MIDEM 2018 Impressions

MIDEM took place from June 5th-8th, where Peter Fosso (Music2Deal USA), Paul Iannuzzelli (Music2Deal Australia) and I, joined this great event. Although the weather was not as good as last year, MIDEM was again really worth attending.

I know many people who complained about the date in summer but I prefer the June date than the date at the end of January as MIDEM used to be for many years. It´s definitely better and more relaxed to talk with people at the MIDEM beach, outside at Café Roma or at one of the Balconies of the Palais with a nice view at the harbour. I remember those MIDEM days when I went into the Palais Floor 0 and spent all day long in a typical exhibition hall with all those booths and no natural light…that was awful. MIDEM is now much better in the summertime. And yes, though there are still fewer in attendance during the summer, my impression from a lot of people is that the quality of the meetings is better. More relaxed and more focus to make business happen.

One highlight was, of course, the VIP MIDEM Networking event by Music2Deal presents and its wonderful ambassador, Allen Johnston. This year nearly 40 interesting music professionals attended this event and I personally know that a lot of good connections were made and I am sure that they will lead to good business relationships.

This year I had more than 50 meetings. Last year, the interest about Music2Deal was really good and this year it was even better. People seem to realise more and more that LinkedIn & Co may be a good contact database but has nothing to do with the music business and that will they need something that will keep them up-to-date about their music opportunities and with the many people they meet at MIDEM or other events. Staying in contact about music opportunities is so important for making deals.


Enjoy the pictures

Mario Christiani
Founder CEO – Music2Deal


midem 2018 entranceMIDEM entrance


midem 2018 inside palais 2Inside the Palais


midem 2018 inside palais 1… again inside the Palais


midem 2018 inside palais 3
The Brazilian stand


SA standRenneth Tshisikule (IMEXSA) in a talk with me at the South African stand


midem 2018 beach at dayMIDEM beach at the day


midem beach logo


midem beach show1Concert at the MIDEM beach at night


midem beach show2


midem beach nightVIP section of the MIDEM beach


midem network dinnerMIDEM networking dinner presented by Allen Johnston and Music2Deal with 40 very interesting music professionals


miderm bad wheater palaisBad weather :-(


miderm bad wheater view from the palaisView from the Palais…..  but still bad weather :-(


midem party with peter fossoOne of the MIDEM private parties with our US representative Peter Fosso (right in the picture)


Allen johnston show caseDaily great showcases at the Cotton Club managed by our fantastic Ambassador Allen Johnston







Gary Numan interview – part 1

Music2deal’s Richard Rogers interviewed electronic legend Gary Numan last month in Oberhausen, Germany before a sold out gig. The successful European tour followed Numan’s UK number 2 album ‘Savage’ released last September on BMG Records that included the huge single ‘My Name Is Ruin’. ‘Savage’ is Numan’s biggest charting album for 36 years.

Gary has just contributed the Foreword to Richard’s new book ‘Depeche Mode – Violator: The Ultimate A&R Guide’ due out in June through Glamour Puss Publishing.

In the first of a three part interview Gary discusses the current tour and a forthcoming UK tour in November with a full orchestra behind him that will see the light as a new DVD and live album.



Richard Rogers: Hi Gary, welcome to Music2deal. Music2deal is a platform to help everyone connect with professional music industry people in all areas of the music business whether as an artist looking for a manager or vice versa, songwriters looking for publishers, managers hunting for songwriters, agents, labels or publishers looking for songs etc.

Gary Numan: Hi. Music2deal is German based yeh but international.?

RR: Yes that’s right, it’s based in Hamburg. There are over 30 platforms internationally.

GN: It’s a great idea, I didn’t know there was anything like it.

RR: Firstly, let’s talk about the new album from last year ‘Savage’.

GN: That came out in September but I was doing promo for it from August so that’s been my entire life for quite a while. The current European tour finished March 29th but we’re halfway through so by the time we are all done by the end of November there will have been about 120 shows for the album. We’re about 60 odd shows into the tour. So there’s a big American tour to do and then a small UK tour with an orchestra. Then there will be a European tour but the tour with the orchestra should be pretty cool. It’s been a bit of a headache setting that up but I think it’s worth the aggro.

RR: Will there be a live album culled from that? The reason I ask is that OMD did some shows with an orchestra a couple of years back and they went down a storm and it came out as a DVD.

GN: Yeah I think so, probably a live album and DVD. The orchestra that are going to work with me are called the Skaparis Collective and they are based in Manchester and they’ve done one song already. It’s kind of like a demo to see if the idea worked and to see if their idea of what I was after worked and it was proper tingles up the spine stuff. The difficult part has been the cost of it, it costs a fortune to cart an orchestra around so i’ve been trimming it back with the orchestra people. How small can we make this before it stops being as powerful as it’s meant to be. We’re there now but it’s shocking the expense of everything for this.

RR: I can understand this entirely. I did a World Cup Football album one year for a record company and we did everything with the Lubjana Symphony Orchestra just to get costs down.

GN: Actually it was suggested to me by a friend that I could use an orchestra in Prague. One of the biggest costs is the accommodation for the hotels and the travel for the flights and from the airport onward costs and so on. It was kind of financially spiralling and going round and round. There were two ways really to get everything down to a price more affordable and you could make the fans pay for it by whacking up the ticket prices but that didn’t seem fair or secondly you cut down the number of people you are using so it gets to the point where it becomes more manageable. I think we started off with 54 people and that doesn’t even include my band and now we are down to just over 20 odd not including my band. So we will end up with over 30 people on stage which is quite a bit isn’t it.

RR: It’s a hell of a lot of people! I think I remember seeing Duran Duran play with a string section once at the London Dominion but that was only three or four extra persons.

GN: Well I was watching Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries the other day (she recently died) and they did a tour with an orchestra so I think i’m the last person to do it! I think some music lends itself to the orchestra idea more than others and I believe because there is more of a filmic sense to some of the stuff that I’ve done in the very beginning and more so with my recent music that it fits well with my music. If the demo song they sent me is a guide to the rest of the material then it really is fantastic, I love it. It is going to be a lot of tracks from the new album, a lot of that and then selected songs from further back in my career.

RR: Another new album or from the ‘Savage’ album?

GN: From ‘Savage’. It can be awkward. To be as artistically cool as you wanna be. ‘Savage’ comes from a book i’ve been writing so what i’d like to do next is finish that book and get that done. However it’s a long long way from being finished and will take a long time and all the time i’m sitting at home not earning any money and that is the problem as it were as i’m still working hand to  mouth. I’m not sitting there with millions stuck in the bank that I can live on so I need to keep working and don’t have the luxury of sitting for six months or a year where I can lose myself in writing a book which would be nice to do from a creative point of view but is totally unworkable. So really I do need to get on and work on a new album whenever I decide to do that and somehow I need to squeeze all these things in. There is another big project, which i’m not allowed to talk about at the present but it’s massive for me and a huge opportunity and huge fucking pressure and possibly that’s happening this year as well. It is busy but i’ve just got to keep on earning money. It’s kind of a difficult thing to juggle around in keeping on wanting to do the things you want to do creatively and doing the paid things that keep you living really while you are doing these other things. Let’s face it, it could be worse as things are getting much better. It’s been a really good year this one. Last year was a good year.

RR: I should think so with your biggest charting album for over 35 year in ‘Savage’ charting at number 2 in the UK and only kept off the top by the new Foo Fighters album. Who of course are fans of yours and covered one of your tracks.

GN: Yeh, it’s been an amazing year so far even better than last year and it looks as though it’s going to carry on pretty well. So it all looks like it’s building pretty good with the album and on the live front.

RR: Well I saw you twice last year at the Standon Festival near Stansted in the UK and playing a decent sized venue in Cologne at the Essigfabrik and the new material went down a treat. I think Chris Payne turned up for that show (ex Numan band, the group Dramatis and writer of the Visage hit Fade To Grey).

GN: Yeh he was actually.

RR: I worked a tiny bit with Chris as a non paid roadie back in the very early 80’s when he had this band called Kalenda Maya. We used to hump all this equipment to a place in Henfield after playing venues like the Bridge in Shoreham or Worthing or Angmering in Sussex. The band and he would give me a lift back to Burgess Hill. I bought this cassette tape off him (I can even remember the song ‘Fine Art’) and on the inlay card it said ‘Kalenda Maya – You’ll never get anywhere with a name like that’ and they didn’t.

GN: Oh brilliant. Laughs.

RR: Actually Chris and I were possibly looking to do some work a while back when I had a studio in a tower in Malta with the embryonic idea of doing some music industry lectures together. It didn’t get off the ground unfortunately as I had two strokes and open heart surgery and was out of the scene for two years and he’s probably wondering why I never got back in touch.

GN: Oh fuck! Really?

RR: Such is life. I must get onto Chris. So what gigs do have in the UK for November with the orchestra?

GN: Cardiff St. David’s Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Newcastle City Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. I think we may may record the live album and DVD in Manchester. The one that you really want is the Royal Albert Hall in London and we’ve got that venue. It’s expensive but a top venue. We’ll have to talk to BMG about that one. Then there is the European tour which is mainly Scandinavia. They seem to really like my stuff in Scandinavia which is surprising as I haven’t been there forever. I’d never done any promo there but this tour with 3 or 4 shows up there sold out before we got there and the other sold out on the night. The promoter up there is very happy and wants us to go back and it was a lovely surprise and we did various promo things in Copenhagen and that went down well so we’ll go over and do more shows in bigger and better places.

Part 2 of the interview will be available on music2deal shortly.


Link: Music2Deal

DJ XTEE Music2Deal Interview

Kagiso Mokgari aka DJ Xtee is a very outgoing, outspoken and friendly musician that loves to interact with young people. He uses his motivational skills to help them alter their way of thinking so that they can build a positive future for themselves. Music is the only language that he understands clearly – it brings people of different cultures together.

Restrictions do not exist in this sought-after DJ/ Producer.  House Music is the specific genre he loves producing, even more specifically Deep, Tribal, Soulful, Dance, Electronic and Jazz House. The only exception being Classical/ Soulful Hip Hop (Conscious Hip Hop).

DJ Xtee is part of a global movement called Ancestral Voices that focuses on African spirituality. He’s part of the music team for a very successful documentary titled Spirit is Eternal that’s currently being selected for an award and screening at the Pan-African Film Festival (PAFF) in California L.A

His anticipated album entitled Africa Elements Vol. 1 which features the likes of Dumarokar, Lims and Nubia Soul has been released under ARON PRINCE ENTERTAINMENT from the grounds of New York. African Elements Vol.1 was recently featured on several international compilations such as:

Smooth and Groovy Vol.8

Cut in deeper vol.1,

Deep house to the club,

My Soulful Sunday vol.3 and



His work has propelled him forward exposing him to more influential musicians around the world gaining international access to radios, print media and getting to music remix for top record labels and artists in USA


kagiso DJX

When did your relationship with music start?

It started to show back in 2004 when I was still in school. Whenever there was an event, I always excelled. Back then and even today still, drama; choir; poetry and music are my favourites. Art is my gift from The Most High.

From way back then, I was learning the basics of production, with production software being the very first thing I learnt. After a few years I went onto learning to play various music instruments from two pastors, both very good in various instruments. Pastor Mpuru taught me music theory and gave me some advanced lessons on Piano. Pastor Malatji continued teaching me Piano and more several keys on it. In later stages he started teaching me how to play lead guitar. I was very lucky to meet David Moore the CEO of Paratebrain Records, a very good producer from USA, who helped me with mixing and mastering. Also how to work with vocals when doing remixes, especially time stretching.

Aron Prince from Aron Entertainment in USA also came into the picture when he signed my album. Teaching me important business aspects, also giving me serious access to serious platforms I needed to be independent.

Today after 10 years of experience in the industry, I have managed to push my production to the next level. I have managed to do remixes for top house artists, all seven songs in my album were features in international compilations released by top Record labels across the world. Many producers and deejays are currently pushing my music in major clubs globally. Most music from my album and that from my Record Label have being playlisted in various radios in USA, UK, CHINA, Italy and Ukraine. So far by one button click, you can get Djxtee’s music on every major platform online.


Who have you worked with in the industry?

I have worked with various artists – both local and international – such as Lemogang Mahlangu (Lims), Palesa Moatshe, Dumisane Nkosi (Dumarokar), Nubia Soul and many more.

On the international platform I have worked with Anthony Delpiano from Italy, DJ Vibes from the UK and Ferry Terry from Italy.

My production also got the thumbs up from some of South Africa’s Music’s Pioneers especially House Music  – the likes of DJ Clive Bean, DJ Qt, DJ Kanunu and Thulane The Warrior.  This includes the mixes like “it’s time to think about it” which I did for Piratebrain Records and Audiobites Records. The artists under such labels are Mr V, David Moore, and Roland Clark and many more.


Tell us about some of the work you have released so far?

I released 4 “Deep House promo tracks” with international artists in 2014 which got 6700 Downloads under various music websites. I did a lot of remixes for David Moore and Aron Prince. I have produced a lot of music from my records label for the following artists: Tizurs Blaze I produced both his hip hop songs. I produced a beautiful song that is dedicated to Africa featuring most deepfam records artists. I did 4 beautiful afro house songs with Dumarokar and Nubia Soul, including Dumarokar’s his new single “The Rhythm”. I have produced two songs on Nubia Soul’s album, and also did several remixes for her.


What is coming?

I am working on some music featuring local upcoming artists and producers across Mzansi. This year will be releasing a lot of music from my label including all its sub labels. I will also be dropping another album independently from my label, featuring talented from Nigeria, South Africa and USA. A lot of music videos, Documentaries and short films will be released featuring Djxtee.


What type of music do you produce?

Any feeling that I can translate into a beat, I simply do it.


What else do you do besides making music?

I studied IT Internet Engineering/Network management and a short course in business management and entrepreneurship. I currently co-own a call centre and marketing facility company in Pretoria. I am now the owner of my own record label DEEPFAM RECORDS. Music is the heart and soul of my life.


What do you look for in someone you want to collaborate with?

I look for a spiritual artist, someone that takes music as a healer of all wounds. Someone that can create timeless music that will continue build and inspire others that follow his or her music. Some that was born for music, not individuals that take changes because they have access the next thing they have disappeared with one song released. I’m looking for conscious writers with serious lyrical content. People that write music about our everyday challenges in life. Musicians that story tell by the means of Poetry and music. The ones that respect the most High’s created healing power that ease one’s soul.


What do you look for in an artist before you sign them?

Normally we prefer artists that suit our repertoire, Deepfam Records is a conscious movement that focuses on story telling music and conscious lyrical content.


What do you think are some mistakes young up & coming artists who want to be signed are making?

Their biggest downfall is that they want to be signed! Not even understanding the meaning of this words “Record Deal” and how things work. Many young artists don’t even know what are performance rights or even an ISRC code. What is it that the publishing company do; they don’t even know the types of contracts they sign every day. They mast know and understand the business side of this industry, if not they going to crash easily. Take advice from the best in this game, I didn’t make CEO by night fall. I have learned from the best with respect and patience by following instruction. Young upcoming artists need to know the industry they are dealing with. You can’t be in an industry and not understand a thing – it’s a disaster. It’s like trying to cross a highway with your eyes closed.


What are some of the difficulties in starting up a small record label?

Every business need something called “Capital” in business terms. Without proper funding and resources, everything will be a challenge. A record label has to have a backup of Public Relations personals, Video teams, band members, road managers, and sound engineers you name them. All of this doesn’t come cheap. Sometimes I often see promising record label that lack talent. But have a lot of people claiming to be artists. When it’s time to put in the work and implement, people disappear.


Why did you decide to become an ambassador of music2deal?

Three words I LOVE IT, I have never seen such a big online platform that’s only dedicated to music. And to make things more interesting is that they don’t ask you money. While you can access artists globally and collaborate, maybe sign your next major deal. It’s a cool platform I think every artist should just jump in and access endless information about music related business and information they always need.


Music2Deal Profile: Kagiso Mokgari aka DJ Xtee




Interview with Sixtus Gerald (CEO of MYMUSICNIGERIA-MEDIA)



Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am Sixtus Gerald a music marketer and manager.
Owner of MYMUSICNIGERIA-MEDIA based in Nigeria and have partners in USA, SOUTH AFRICA ,GHANA ,AUSTRIA..,…… basically covers Africa and globally

Have you licensed your music / signed your artists internationally? Which country do you think is the best to license music to? Why?

Yup licensed some songs ,

But just inter- African ,working closely with marketers in USA and UK  TO GIVE MY ARTIST NOT JUST AFRICAN FAM BUT GLOBAL RECOGNITION,  I think USA OR UK IS BEST ,why?? They got the standard ,got the market and influential globally

If you were to partner with someone to license his music / sign up his artists for your region, what sort of music are you looking out for? Why?

Hip hop,soul,jazz,pop ,afro pop …….. All type of song
Music is universal,
Just basically good music  genre .
All I want is a standard song that is 100% marketable


Any award or special recognition yet ?


My second major award so far

I have been recognize by the ENUGU state as the marketer of the year 2017.


Notable projects you have completed  

As a marketing and management company we handle marketing almost dally from different artists

Divine icon music talent hunt (national music talent hunt in all Nigeria states) etc

We market events, regional and international eg (SOUTH EAST TALENT HUNT), Handel artist tours, shows booking ,organizing shows and event …….we are basically a marketing and management company



Upcoming projects / tours?

– Miss tourism enugu on 28th Feb  .

– South east music fiesta (proudly sponsored by my media firm) 28TH JULY


ALOT  COMING UP….. all in 2018

(Looking for hard working, project driven Persons globally we can collaborate on lots of projects globally)


What do you think is the single largest problem faced by the music industry today? How do you think it can be resolved?

Artists finding new and effective ways to earn money from their music.

My marketing company is committed in reaching out globally to all music lovers ,
Sales of songs on iTunes, apple music , Amazon and co.

Will get the artist or label instant earning and royalty after 3 month or 6 months
(Contact us for more details)


Your plans for 2018?

2018 is the rave

2018 is not just like any other year is the year to dominant the music industry globally

Currently my company have partners in USA, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRIA, GHANA AND CANADA ******



A good word on


the message system is just the best,
If am OFFline
I can easily get a mail notification when a message is sent to me.
Totally the best platform👍





Meet Sheridan Rupert – SA Representative to Music2Deal – a music professional obsessed with people development and systems

Sheridan Rupert is in the music business in South Africa and has always had an inherent interest in the development of people. But she hasn’t always been in the music business. She started playing piano at the age of 5 and studied through Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College throughout primary school. She attended the Johannesburg School of the Arts from 1985 to 1989 where music was her speciality and majored in piano and organ (through Unisa).

After school she completed her performer’s diploma through Trinity College and tutored beginners in her spare time. This creative also dropped out of law school – the signs were always there that a creative environment is where she belonged.

After nearly 2 decades in corporate, she ventured into the music industry in 2015, volunteering her services so that she could learn.

During her time in corporate she was always in an HR/ Training & Development Role and particularly in the last 6 years of those, strongly focused on career development (succession planning) and database development (she designed a learner management system).

These have always been her natural tendencies, which is why she naturally landed up doing that in the music industry.

The last 2 years she spent as an artist manager, mostly in a voluntary capacity, to understand the music industry and gain experience under her company, Slight Edge Events, which was registered in 2017.

She is currently on the Kumisa Artist Management Programme (2017) which covers music law, contracts and other areas of the music industry essential for any artist manager to be an expert in. KUMISA, the KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association, is a non-profit, regional music industry organisation that aims to serve and represent the interests of the music industry in KZN, nationally and internationally.




What were the main difficulties you experienced getting into the industry?

The main difficulties are getting access into an existing eco-system, where people don’t’ know you and don’t’ know if they can trust you. It’s also difficult coming into a system where it seems as though there isn’t enough work for everyone. Any newcomer is not exactly welcomed, you become a bit of a threat. To get into the system, I did volunteer work of any kind I could find. People are not eager to teach. So I learned by doing. I think this is how everyone starts and you can believe it when I tell you I had egg on my face on far too many occasions. It wasn’t easy, but it was probably the best years of my life.


How has the artist management programme changed things for you?

I will forever be grateful to Kumisa for granting me the opportunity to learn as I would not have been able to afford this one-year programme. If you are an artist manager or a professional in this business, you know how much there is to know. This course has changed my life in every possible way.

When you are new in an industry, it seems that everyone around you knows more than you do, and you kind of get sucked into a system where people appear to know what they are talking about, but don’t really know.

It frightens me that musicians don’t’ know about royalties and copyright and if I had my wish about the difference I make in the industry, it would be in that area, making sure musicians are educated.

Having studied now and learning everyday has changed my confidence. It has changed how I work and who I work with.  I have also come to value my work.

After managing people for 2 years, I also know that I would not like to manage people full time. I don’t’ have the right personality. I would far rather be involved in designing the career plan and milestones for an artist. Ensuring that they develop holistically, be psychologically prepared for what’s coming and how to cope in the industry. Selecting strategic festivals and people to meet. And then make sure they each teach one 😊


If we gave you a magic wand, what would you create?

A music centre in Durban. A gigantic building with many spaces for a few recording studios, rooms for photoshoots and video shoots, skype calls, coaching rooms, lecture rooms, boardrooms, administration offices, individual computer terminals. A one-stop shop to get your music business set up. A building that would have musicians coming in and out all day, providing services which don’t cost an arm and a leg. More professional education available on a more regular basis. I believe that the whole game changes when certain information and services become available to EVERYONE and not the select few. Like the change that happened in the world when the internet came into being. All of sudden the information hoarders were not so powerful. You could find anything you want by simply googling it. We still have far too many musicians who don’t know what they don’t know. I want that to change and I will work to change it.


You still have the magic wand. What would you have done differently if you had to do the last 2 years over?

I would have gone to Kumisa earlier – I would have banged down their door until they put me on a programme. Nothing else. As much my lessons were painful ones and I lost a lot of money, the experience is priceless.


You’ve been using Music2Deal for 6 months now – can you describe your experience.

I volunteered to market the system because I could bring my passion for connecting with people  together with my passion for marketing. Your network is your currency and it is not possible to get anything done in this industry if you don’t know who are the right people to speak to. This system made that happen for me. However, it wasn’t really until my 3rd month that I started to realise it’s power. When the realisation hit me of what was possible, it’s like a new energy came about in marketing it – that new energy is because I was selling my experience now and not a system. I would honestly not continue to market something which doesn’t work for me. Music2Deal is one of the best things to happen to me which is why I work on it every day.


What else does Slight Edge Events do?

I have one artist manager working with me – she is managing one artist. My focus has changed to quality over quantity. I mean at one point there were 22 artists and my little car – I really did have my head in the clouds for a while and I won’t ever forget those times or the poor musicians sardined in my car with the blaring music.

I currently offer an administrative service to musicians in terms of music registration and online music platforms, which include online stores. I also assist them in writing biographies and basically consult on getting the basics in place like social media presence etc.

I do event support in terms of promotion, photography and videography. Although I am not a qualified photographer and videographer, I do these for artists who could never afford to get anyone to do it for them. My job is to get a clear performance which shows the artist’s stage presence. I leave the fancy stuff for the video gurus.

I spend the rest of my waking moments updating my database of blogs, media and radio and get an absolute thrill every time I use my database.


Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook personal

Facebook personal:

Facebook Company Page:




Music2Deal Interview with Anca Lupes – one of the most experienced professionals in Romanian music business.

Anca Lupes – is one of the most experienced professionals in Romanian music business. One of her main advantages is that during her career in the music business she activates in almost all the areas of this industry –media (press, radio, TV), concert promoting, record companies, management and booking agencies. Due to her extensive experience, in 2006 she starts teaching Music Business. In 2009 she becomes the first Romanian music business professional to graduate the Master in Music Business Program at Berkelee College of Music. The same year she becomes part of an international music business consultants network – Musiconsult. Currently she is partner in Star Management, a 360o company specialised in business services for artists and the music industry that she established in 2004. In 2016, she founds Mastering The Music Business – a DIY conference for independent artists & music business professionals.



What exactly is the Mastering The Music Business and how did it come into existence?

Mastering The Music Business is the first music business conference ever organised in Romania.
After years of teaching music business and consulting in this field, I realised it was time for Romania to have a music business conference, where independent artists and music business professionals could meet their peers, learn from each other and start new projects together, also meet music business professionals from more developed markets and professionals from related industries such as advertising, video games and movie production.


Why Romania?

As a live music market, Romania has thrived in the last years, especially since we were included in the European Union in 2007. Tenths of festivals of all genres are happening all over the country, with new ones emerging every year. Compared to its neighboring countries, Romania is a much bigger market – with a population of approx. 20mil inhabitants, vs Bulgaria (7,3 mil people) or Hungary (10 mil people) also with the biggest economic growth in Europe lately. On the other hand, it’s time for the very talented Romanian musicians to start being more mobile outside our boders and of course we are welcoming any live artists interested to make their debut in Romania. Last but not least, we want to give Romanian music business professionals the opportunity to meet specialists from all around the world.


What are the plans for the next coming Mastering The Music Business event, what can we expect?

As usual, there will be panels discussing current topics of the music industry, presenting success stories, key professionals giving lectures and holding workshops. Evenings will be reserved to showcases so we will have everything for everyone: learning, networking and entertainment opportunities. Although with a focus on independent artists, MMB is opened to everybody in the music industry so our delegates are managers, booking agents, labels, media people, promoters, collecting societies, business consultants etc.


Why is it an absolute must for every music professional to attend the event?

Because this is the place to find out about new trends, technologies and all opportunities currently available to independent artists and their teams, to meet other professionals, open new markets, to exchange ideas and start new collaborations. For people from abroad, this is the place that gathers all relevant artists and music business professionals in Romania.


How do you want the Mastering The Music Business event to develop? What are your future plans? How could the event look like in 2020?

By 2020 MMB will grow to be an effervescent meeting place for all kind of people from the local and international music industry, all of them with the same eagerness to be informed, up to date, connected and at the best of their abbilities.




Romanian Music Industry Facts & Figures

During communism years that ended in 1989, Romania had one radio station, one TV station and one record company, all state owned. Hard to call that ‘music industry’. :)

We have all agreed here that Romanian music industry was officially born in 1996, with the passing of the copyright law. It was also the green light for all international majors to find local companies to license – BMG, Sony, Warner, EMI, Polygram … everybody was suddenly here.

21 years later, the Romanian music industry has come a long way and trying hard to close many gaps that are separating us from other European markets.

Bucharest is the capital city of Romania (over 2mil people living here), enjoying an effervescent nightlife with many live music clubs, of all genres from EDM to metal.

Around the country there are many live music clubs, in all big cities. There are also lots of theaters and other small & medium venues with capacities ranging between 300 – 4000 places and big sports venues with capacities ranging between 1500 to 11000.

All three major record companies are represented here –Sony and Warner have local licensees and Universal has its own office. There are also some relevant independent labels (Hahaha Production, Global Records, DeMoga) and the alternative/indie movement is powerful and thriving.

There are over 20 major radio stations/networks, mainly CHR (3 in Top 5) and 5 music TV stations (local).



Music2Deal interviews; ‘Alex Cortiz’ (Aad de Mooy) Music Producer/Label Owner Netherlands EU

Alex keyboard

Web & platforms 

Apple Music  Vibin Grooves (Official website)

Discogs  Soundcloud 

Spotify  Beatport

Deezer  Reverbnation

Music2Deal  Linkedin

Welcome once again dear reader, another artist interview and I must tell you that I’m very pleased to have this opportunity to dig into the background of Aad de Mooy aka Alex Cortiz as I’ll admit I’m a big fan of this producers work so this interview was also an honour for this music-lover!

As an early aside folks, I’m always grateful that such direct contacts are now more easily made per the web, communication & the technology tools available to all of us in the age we live in.

So, this interview is another of those such encounters along my musical road so many thanks to Aad de Mooy for his time, myself & the Music2Deal team appreciate.

Let’s lead into our conversation via a tale of my own first encounter with the work of Alex Cortiz which began when I stumbled across ‘Bar Fly’ on a compilation album purchased on the spur of the moment whilst crate digging in London’s west end. I immediately loved the lazy lounge feel and vibe to the track but also, I found the name of the artist quite distinctive for some quirky reason although I didn’t dig much deeper at the time. A couple of years later a good friend in my music-land Guido van der Meulen** mentioned Alex Cortiz as we discussed life as well as one of his mix’s during an early morning Skype call and then, Guido mentioned the name ‘Aad’.  I dug deeper and it transpired that he already knew the producer behind the Alex Cortiz brand & persona as their paths had crossed via music and social media etc, a common tale in music-land I’m sure.

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As an aside, I myself dig the work of Alex Cortiz as I admire how his work moves effortlessly between up-tempo, dark & moody deep house through to down-tempo but still with a good use of beats & fine atmospheres. Aad drops in effects and sounds that really work with the overall ‘tone’ and vibe of the track. This is an aspect I seriously dig about this artists work.  With that said, let’s now discover more about the man & producer behind the Alex Cortiz brand and various other production personas.

DP Hi Aad, a warm welcome to the Music2Deal platform and thank you very much for making time for this interview. Let’s first begin with some background from yourself as a solid brand and producer, can you fill us in?

AAM Sure, well I have produced music professionally since 1990 with brands/personas such as D-Shake, Paradise 3001 and Flygang to name just a few and of course, as Alex Cortiz. I started off with D-Shake, a one-man artist & band known for the worldwide techno club hits ‘Yaaah’ and ‘Technotrance’.  These days though, I’m predominantly working under the Alex Cortiz banner capturing downtempo, nu jazz, dub and deep house. My latest project is planned for release via the Groove Gecko persona (album title ‘Slo-Fi Cuisine’) which captures musical elements including dark jazz, dub and future downtempo.

DP mm, sounds like a delicious mix of vibes straight away Aad, I look forward to listening to that new work (blatant fan comment :))

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DP Can you tell us some more about how your career in music began & developed?

AAM Well in 1983, 84 I started playing guitar in several new-wave bands based in Amsterdam and from there, I jumped into my first 4 track recorder & several other electronic dance devices, such as the Roland TR606, TR707 and the Korg MS10.

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DP In-terms of the current operating environment for a producer & specifically the mixture of music, self-brand building and social-media, how relevant do you feel record-labels are in achieving a level of success & a viable income in today’s music industry?

AAM If the record-label can bring a relevant & viable database of music partners to the table & has licensing partners, promotion channels as well as a depth of experience in distribution and promotion then yes, I think a record-label can be valuable still.

DP Have you licensed your music/signed your artists internationally?

AAM Yes, many times, all over the world.

DP Which country have you found the ‘best’ to licence music & for what reasons?

AAM The Netherlands; because of trustworthy business partners, as other countries within the European Union. It’s better as business is straightforward overall, payment is made per the terms of the contract in-hand. But of course, other parts of the world are or can be potentially bigger markets (e.g. the united states) but even in America, things are already more complicated from a legal viewpoint. Payments are harder to enforce as PRO’s work differently and there are, of course, many different agreements regarding music in that region.

Alex studio

DP Can you tell us about some of the notable projects you’ve completed historically?

AAM D-Shake (techno /multiple 12” singles and one album), Paradise 3001 (ambient dub techno / multiple 12” singles and albums), Timewarp (Leftfield techno/multiple 12” singles), Flygang (disco/album Disco Machine), Hallucination Generation (techno/multiple 12” singles and an album), Cat Scanner (techno/various 12” singles), Alex Cortiz (13 albums). This is to name just a few as there are much more. *

DP *On that point, I thought it would be useful for our readers to get a flavour of this artists book of work to-date under just one of his production personas, Alex Cortiz. The list is both substantial & each album consistently contains good tracks, a rare feat in my world of music.

Volume 1 (1998)    Moodfood (2000)

Make Believe (2001)     Mesmerising (2002)

Magnifico! (2004)     Phoenix (2005)

Lo Tek (2007)    Camera 707 (2011)

See Me Flowin (2012)   Magnifico! Vol.2 (2014)

New Works Vol.1 (2014)     Deep Deluxe (2015)

Oddities (2016)       Zooming In (2017)

DP So if for example, you were to partner with another party to license their music or indeed even sign artists for your label & region, what sort of music would you be seeking and why?

AAM I would look for progressive downtempo and quality house music because this is where my interests lie and I think there is still much to win there if you have the time, money and insights to create a solid base & brand for that niche in music.

DP I understand that there is new work in your production pipeline, are you able to give us a flavour of your next project Aad?

AAM Alex Cortiz (2 new albums pending release early & late 2018 respectively)

Groove Gecko (1 new album released Sept.’17)

D-Shake (4 new techno 12”s are pending release this year)

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DP What would you say is the biggest single problem faced by the music industry today and how can it be resolved?

AAM How to generate a decent and fair income/royalties from downloads and streams. This goes for both record labels as well as private artists/producers.

DP At what point did you observe that you could make this a reality for yourself and indeed, make a living from your production work?

AAM When the 2nd D-Shake release ‘Yaaah’ became a worldwide club hit.

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DP With regard to creativity vs, the business aspects of the Music business, what are your views on this important area? **

AAM They are both as important and in the end, you will see it takes 50/50 of your time. If you neglect the business aspect (marketing/promotion / good contracts / solid administration) you will not be able to live off it.

**Asked as yours truly has met artists with an (IMHO) unrealistic mindset reflecting the following attitude; ‘I don’t do the business side, I’m the creative one’. I just find this unrealistic as the two areas go together and even more so in an age when a manager is arguably not even required to achieve a level of standing.

DP What have been your best & worst experiences in music Aad?

AAM Best; being in several hit charts worldwide. Worst; several bankruptcies of record labels and licensing partners, meaning I ended up not getting paid the royalties/income that was due to me.

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DP with regards to social media, how do you project yourself as well as share your work?

AAM I try to share work at regular intervals on social media and I consider how old or new a piece of work is as well as which as the time of year & which social media platforms to post on.

DP Do you ever see yourself playing outside of a studio?

AAM  Hmm, although I think it can be very useful, I’m fortunate in that I manage to produce sufficient income without live work.

DP Can you give us a flavour of the background to the creation of your forthcoming Alex Cortiz album?

AAM The next Alex Cortiz album will take off where Deep Deluxe ended. (a response which btw prompted a big grin from myself dear reader, as I really dig the Deep Deluxe album, dope)

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DP Per your now 27-year career on the underground-scene, it seems that this is a big album as it will take your music to a wider ‘general’ audience, how does that make you feel?

AAM Well it’s not a big album in the way you’ve described it as frankly, I keep it simple & always hope the next album (under any guise) will take me to a wider audience. Therefore I try out several new ideas for every album. For instance, my last album’ Zoomin In’ is quite different from its predecessor ‘Oddities’. I use glitches and bass sounds not everybody will like. Also, I added more vocal touches than usual.


DP Clearly you have established a fine reputation on the underground down-tempo scene & in other genres also Aad so what are your current ambitions for the future?

AAM To buy a yacht! Ha-ha! J but seriously, it’s my plan to try to develop myself as a DJ. I’m hoping to create some mixes that matter. I’m curious to see if I will be able to add new music samples & use the music of others in a fresh & even daring way.

DP A very interesting last response above and most intriguing to me too, must listen out for that new work-string from Aad, variety is life after all and the same applies in music-land.

For now, at the top are relevant web links to Aad’s book of work to-date as well as direct album links below. I highly recommend a listen and do feel free to add thoughts & comments below post listening dear reader, I’ll be reading all with interest.


Volume 1


Make Believe



Magnifico! (bonus tracks)


Lo Tek

Camera 707

See Me Flowin

Magnifico! Vol.2

Magnifico! Vol.2 bonus tracks

New Works Vol.1


Deep Deluxe

Zooming In

Get it on itunes-square_bd8a97e

Volume 1


Make Believe



Magnifico! (bonus tracks)


Lo Tek

Camera 707


DP Ok, I’ll conclude this interview with a big shout out and much appreciation to Aad de Mooy for his time & on-going musical offerings, I’m always glad we crossed paths Mr Cortiz, my ears tell me so! 😊

AAM I would like to thank Darren for his interest in my music and to the pointed questions. I think M2D can be a valuable platform where musicians, producers, record labels and managers from the music industry can interact with each other with the prospect of good deals for everyone.

Thank you Aad and peace & music dear reader, forever!

Darren Pearson, Music2Deal UK

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Reference: Guido van der Meulen, DJ & web broadcaster and the man behind ‘Guido’s Lounge Café’, a global & highly popular downtempo weekly show & musical brand.  Listen and more here;
Mixcloud   Soundcloud   Twitter   Website  YouTube  Goggle+  Guido’s Lounge Cafe on Facebook



Music2Deal interviews: ‘Afterlife’ aka Steve Miller; Music Producer/Label Owner United Kingdom

DP Steve, hello & a warm welcome to Music2Deal & indeed, to our blog. Both I & Mario are very pleased to have you onboard the Music2Deal platform per your background so today, let’s focus on yourself and your career in music specifically. Can you tell us something of yourself to begin and perhaps give our readers a deeper insight into your background & motivations please Steve?

SM Hi Darren, well I’ve been writing and producing electronic music for commercial release for the last 20 years. Before that, I toured with a reggae band and worked occasionally with K-Klass on some of their remixes. As a child, I was classically trained at the piano. As a teenager striking out in the world, I once found myself in a testing situation when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life vs. my parent’s expectations of the path I should take.

DP So clearly you have a life-long background in music?

SM Yes, although a photography professor once told my parents that I should go to art college as my photography was also excellent although my parents wanted me to be a lawyer. So many parents want their children to be an improved update of themselves rather than recognise the fact that their children are each individual spirit’s and have very different ideas about what they themselves want to do whilst they are on this planet.

DP Thanks for that candid background to your motivations Steve. Now, before we dive deeper into the man behind the producer, can you tell us, which are your own top 3 tracks that you’ve produced as Afterlife to-date?

SM The following tracks in no particular order;

 ‘The Way to San Jose’ – from the album ‘On Being’ (released July ‘17)  San Jose is one of my favourite villages in Ibiza and a place we have driven through a lot travelling from Ibiza Town to the San Antonio Bay area so I decided to create a soundtrack to match.

‘Speck of Gold’ lyrics & vocals by Cathy Battistessa** (released June 2004) From the album of the same name, this was my reaction to the events of 9/11 and this track took over 2 years to get right.

‘Guitarra G – Banda Sonora’ (Afterlife Mix) (released Feb.’09) When Defected initially sent me the parts to this track, they included a LOT of guitar takes by a very talented guitarist from South America (name unknown). The takes were not really used much in the club mix so that’s why i started with a long ambient intro to allow the guitar to shine through.


SM My first professional work was as keyboard player & writer for 9-piece reggae band ‘Bassdance’, led by Basil Gabbidon, ex-guitarist from Steel Pulse. We toured for 6 years nationally between 1984 -1990 then I left the band and headed to Los Angeles to learn digital music production. I returned to the UK 3 years later and consequently sessioned all keyboards on Karl Pitterson’s** own album. Karl incidentally was the sound engineer on Bob Marley’s legendary ‘Exodus’ album and produced the Handsworth Revolution album by Steel Pulse.

Karl taught me about engineering and I then worked with Nigel Luby** who taught me a lot more about engineering & electronic music production generally. Then I worked with K-Klass for about a year on remixes, then the Afterlife project commenced in 1993.

DP In-terms of output can you fill us in on the projects you’ve completed?

SM See the discography below;

“Another Chance” – Roger Sanchez – Defected records and UK Number 1 (Silver disc awarded for UK sales, see shot below*)

“At Night” Remix – Shakedown – Defected

“Visions” – Jakatta – Rulin Records/MOS (Gold disc awarded for UK sales)

“Pjanoo” (remix)– Eric Prydz – MOS

“Mad World” (remix) – Tears for Fears – Universal

“The Best Things in Life are Free” (Janet Jackson & Luther Vandross (K-Klass mix) A&M Records

“National Anthem” (remix) – Lana Del Rey – Polydor

“Guide me God” (remix) – Sinead O’Connor – Rasa Records

“American Dream” (remix) – Jakatta – MOS

“Sandcastles” (remix) – Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer – Defected

“Balearic Unplugged” – Lovely Laura & Tyrell – Album (production, arrangement, mix and additional instrumentation) – Hed Kandi

“The Sun Goes Down” (Pete Gooding remix) – Level 42 (production, arrangement, mix and additional instrumentation) – Universal Music

“It’s You” (No Logo Sunset Mix) – Shapeshifters – Defected – (production, arrangement, remix and additional instrumentation)

Discogs Recent additions to this platform include my new album ‘On Being’ as well as a new album from ‘The Normalites’ (me and Chris Coco).

Lovely Laura* & Tyrrell ‎– Hed Kandi: Balearica Unplugged Final production & additional instruments.

me and roger*With Roger Sanchez at Cafe Mambo Ibiza after a hot sultry evening & just before we both went to do the ‘night shift’ at Pacha.

DP Have you licensed your music/signed your artists internationally Steve?

SM Yes, I’ve licensed my own tracks to over a thousand compilations, I’ve also licensed my own albums to Hed Kandi & Defected records in the past but now run my own label, Subatomic UK.

DP Which country do you find is the best to license music to and why?

SM I don’t think there’s any best country to license to as all labels release worldwide, irrespective of their country of origin & if they are serious about what they do.

DP What are your current artists/projects/goals with the Afterlife brand and ‘journey’?

SM I’m really pleased with the reaction the Micko Roche album ‘Bleu’**is receiving. It was released in May of this year and has received a lot of DJ and radio support across Europe. The nicest email I got was from Danny Rampling who absolutely loved it. Micko is a very talented musician & songwriter as well as a real pleasure to work with. I have signed a couple of tracks from Micko’s daughter Jesse who has a fine voice and writes good songs. It will take a couple of years of careful work but I see an album there. She’s working on a live performance but that will take time getting the right players together to replicate the recordings.

DP Whilst in the area of vocalists  Steve, what advice would you offer to newcomers seeking a vocal career in music?

SM Find a vocal coach that teaches you the basics of correct breathing and pitch, no more than that, the rest is up to you.

DP Would you advise vocalists to seek out a manager and what attributes should they look for if so?

SM You will only get a good manager when you are worth managing and when that happens they will find you. The PRS has great guidelines about the sort of manager you should hire, for me a good legal knowledge of the business is essential.

DP Indeed, although per the age we’re in, do you feel that artists even require a manager per the variety of widely available self-promotional tools, platforms and human connections e.g. Music2deal as well as social media?

SM Only when they are successful enough to be worth managing properly, then it’s a must so the artist has the time to concentrate on their art.

DP  Ok so is a track-record of live performances a must-have for any vocalist that you would consider collaborating with? e.g. Cathy Battistessa** & Melanie Williams (Sub Sub)

SM Yes, there’s not much point being a singer if you don’t do live gigs, it’s part of the job.

DP What’s your view on live performances Steve? i.e. can you describe for us your ideal environment and setting?

SM An audience of people NOT videoing the performance with smartphones, rather simply living in the moment is a good start. Secondly, outdoors in the sunshine with a great sound system and engineer.

DP Ok thanks & moving on to the bigger pictures in wider music-industry terms, what do you feel is the biggest single problem faced by the industry today and how do you think it can be resolved?

SM Streaming. Artists do not receive anything like the correct share of streaming income, streaming sites cater to the lowest common denominator of pop music, the algorithms used are incredibly “narrow-minded” and do not represent the enormous range of new exciting music being made around the world. It’s the McDonalds of the music business and without a decent income, we will see more part-time artists and less professionalism. That’s not good for anybody. It’s a fact that only 20% of Full PRS members make their living solely from music. 20 years ago, the figure was 80%.



A ‘Breather’, an interlude.

At this point, I thought we’d take a step back from the main interview & dig into one Afterlife track in particular. It’s a highly popular track in the Lounge downtempo arena and unsurprisingly so as the vocal performance from Rachel Lloyd fully complements the audio experience created by Steve so, let’s dive in for more;

‘Breather’ (track 8, album ‘Simplicity 2000’) – the origins of the initial version;

Nb. Play me while you read me!

DP  3 random comments via YouTube

“15 years later it’s still sooooo sooooothing……..

“OMG this song takes me back 17 years, I can’t even describe how it makes me feel, such a beautiful nectar-like timeless warm mysterious summer night”

“This brought a fresh air of holidays and images of an island to me. when it ends I’ll realize the quiet of my room. and then I’ll travel somewhere else with another song ..”

SM Breather was the first track I made with Rachel Lloyd. Rachel was a vocalist who came to the studio with a couple of DJ’s who wanted her to sing on a house track (which never took off incidentally). When the session was over, I asked Rachel what she thought of the backing track to Breather and she indicated that she would like to try a vocal so, I hit record and away she went. Her vocals are just a stream of consciousness really, I liked the take so I said I would edit and arrange it later into a song which I then did.  It formed part of the original Simplicity album (released late ’99 by Hed Kandi) and it consequently sold out in a week. Then, Mark Doyle (founder/owner Hed Kandi) deleted the release and suggested we commissioned remixes so, we then re-released a double album with quality artwork the following year. Rachel came to the studio several times during the making of the track and I always remember that her way of working was to never hear the track before she started recording her vocals so it really was as I mentioned, a stream of vocal consciousness which seemed to work and which Rachel was happy for me to edit the takes into a song format.

‘Breather 2000’ was, of course, the remix of the original:

SM The brainchild behind it was Eric Walkoff** who was a Norwegian national broadcaster on NRK Radio**, essentially Norway’s equivalent of the BBC.

SM Erik called me one day saying he had an idea to make a Latin remix with a brilliant guitarist who (at the time) was the best in Norway and did a lot of sessions for TV. It was completely Eric’s idea to remix the track in a Bossa Nova style, he commissioned the players, the studio and he then went on to be the mix engineerHe also remixed a house track I’d made (‘Sunrise’) which became the main release of that song which was then remixed by Roger Sanchez (both tracks can be found on the Speck of Gold album). Eric was a recording genius and he loved to do live mobile recordings. You can hear one of his recordings here which he did at Roskilde of Groove Armada live. It was (I believe) GA’s first live performance and Eric took the NRK mobile studio to the gig specifically for Groove Armada. He then recorded the live set then mixed it back in the main studio at NRK to create this mix;  Balearic classics Vol.6

I consequently visited Erik’s home in Oslo and he came over to the UK many times and we became good friends.

DP I always enjoy such insights to a tracks creation so yes, I did indulge myself completely with that last question peeps (blatantly some may say as it is a fave!).  Let’s now continue with our discussion and interview itself. I put this next question(s) to Steve specifically as he’s a known industry collaborator with a good ear for a fine vocalist and has worked with many in his production career personally based on what I’ve seen & heard so, well, there it is and on we go.

DP So tell me Steve, when you collaborate with another party to license their music or indeed sign artists to you your label, what sort of music are you looking for and why?

SM I tend to work with artists who can play at least one instrument very well and have some fresh ideas but need help with the production side. Musically it can be very diverse so it’s more about what grabs me on an emotional level.

DP Creativity vs, the business aspects of the music industry, what are your views on this (just as) important area?

SM I think that a lot of artists are too involved daily with social media and spend less time in the creative zone. Only last week I saw someone post that they had started a record label but didn’t realise how much hard work went into it, they had no idea whether they should be a PRS member or PPL member and were asking people on Facebook for their opinion…you might as well go down the pub and ask a bunch of strangers how you should run your business…


DP Do you have a view with regards to social media, how do you project yourself as well as share your work in both music & art?

SM Facebook and Twitter work for me. I don’t have time to share photos on all the rest.

DP Can you fill us in on the background to the creation of the recent Afterlife album?

SM It’s simply a snapshot of the last 12 months of my life, I think that’s all an album can ever be.

Listen to the album preview

View platform availability

DP Can you give us a flavour of Afterlife’s plans for 2018?

SM I’m concentrating on my next album and my monthly radio show Subatomic Radio. The latest Afterlife album was released July 7th this year ‘On Being’ which includes two tracks that I co-wrote with Rood Chakra who were Holly Chand, Naked Nick, Matt Black and Jonathan Moore (Coldcut). Later in the year, there will be an E.P. from No Logo (Pete Gooding and I).

DP as an aspiring writer of lyrics myself, can I ask whether songwriting is an area that you’re very comfortable with Steve? and would you perhaps even describe your own ‘process’ of writing lyrics & songwriting (that’s a purely ‘just for me’ question peeps, it’s a wordsmith thing  )

SM Well, I don’t write lyrics at all but I DO really enjoy editing a stream of consciousness & vocal takes into a song arrangement so, I’m very comfortable writing music, it’s the space that feels the most real. The process usually begins with a melody or bassline and groove in my head and I must then drop everything & get into the studio quickly to get the bare bones down before I lose it, (or write down the dots on paper). Sometimes though with tracks such as ‘Blue Bar’, it was simply because I had been asked to write a piece of music for a specific album – in the case of this track, Jose Padilla phoned me and asked me if I could write something for Cafe del Mar Vol 3.

DP After building a solid reputation on the underground down-tempo scene what are your ambitions for the future?

SM To make even better records.

DP What’s been your experience of using the Music2Deal platform so far?

SM I think it’s a great way to bring like-minded people together.

DP Overall what have been your best & worst experiences in music?

SM Best: Listening to the Protection album by Massive Attack for the first time, I played it repeatedly. Worst: Listening to anything by David Guetta!  (DP chuckles loudly!)

Like that last response! :D  ok, that’s a wrap, always leave em’ laughing right dear reader.!  Seriously,  I trust that you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I did during my scribing & conversations with Afterlife over various mediums. A big thank you to Steve Miller for his time & insights. Myself, Mario  & the M2D team appreciate & are pleased that you’re on board Music2Deal for the future!

SM It’s been a pleasure, thanks for putting together Music2Deal, anything that helps unite music makers has to be a good thing.

Subatomic label

Afterlife artist page

DP Finally, and just for yourself dear reader, my last words are simply these; Go listen, get inspired then go create!  Why?  Because that mantra works for this sometime scriber & always sound lover

Peace & music, forever

Darren E. Pearson – UK Country Partner

Join my business network on Music2Deal

Join my business network on LinkedIn


Erick Walkoff, background.

NRK Radio on Wikipedia 

Cathy Battistessa (Official website)

Cathy Battistessa – Wikipedia

bleu   Miko Roche ‘Bleu’ album mini-mix

Micko Roche on Facebook


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