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Artist and Musician Essentials – Reasons To be Cheerful Part 2 

Written by Richard Rogers (Music2Deal UK representative)

What do you look for when attempting to break into the music industry? What are the essential ingredients that help you on your way? Where can you find information that propels you on to the next level as you choose a career in the mind boggling labyrinth that is the business of music?

Here, in an occasional series, our A&R man and Music2deal music expert Richard Rogers guides you through various tools printed or otherwise that Richard thinks are still worth shelling out for in 2019 to keep you ahead of the competition. The must haves for any musician, artist or songwriter. Basically the essentials needed with the information that you require with one or two not quite so essentials thrown in for comparison for good measure.

 

Music Socket Music Industry Directory 2019

This came as an absolutely lovely surprise from a company called Music Socket who i have to be honest and say i’d never heard of. Music Socket is run by a guy called J. Paul Dyson and they have a website that you can peruse at www.musicsocket.com. They work in both the music world and the book writing world. The directory is 202 pages long, contains absolutely no adverts and is choc-a-bloc full of engaging and wonderful information.

 

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On the first page is a section on protecting your copyright under the Berne Convention that for someone like myself with too many years in the music business to count was a real eye opener. Having worked on the EC Directive for Copyright Legislation back in the 90s I was unaware that the Intellectual Property Rights Office have a registration service.

The book then extends into US labels for 30 odd pages before dedicating itself with a lengthy foray into UK labels providing all the information you’ll need. This is followed by smaller sections on Canadian and Australian record labels only which is a teeny weeny bit bizarre but informative nonetheless.

Then there is a real gem, a record labels index by genre which is worth it’s weight in gold and you wonder why other directories never offer that and again it provides the country each label is represented within. This is great news for example if you are a UK indie act looking for an American indie label as all the information is on one page. Same if you are a jazz act, metal band or house artist looking for a listing of labels in each specific genre then it is all here.

There are bulky US and UK manager sections and weirdly a tiny section of 3 Canadian managers which seems a little pointless although no Australian managers are listed whatsoever. Then another good idea, a managers index by genre, again this is a genius move to save a rock act looking through all the classical or rap managers.

Peculiarly there is nothing here on publishing whatsoever but I loved this book just for the two indexes on record labels and managers that other directories do not provide. From what I understand it is not released in print every year so check with Music Socket. For me a great book to have on the shelf alongside the Music Week Directory as they work in tandem with each other.

If you purchase the directory then you have free access to the entire www.musicsocket.com website which includes thousands of listings. I have to say the website is a bit old fashioned in design (think 2005) but if you are simply after information on managers and record labels then it’s all here and it is updated with changed addresses, contact details etc on a monthly basis.

 

Writers’ Handbook 2019

There is an accompanying book from the same people titled Writers’ Handbook 2019 which is similar to the Music Industry Directory and is edited by J. Paul Dyson (who also edited the music directory) and is produced in much the same way. There are magazine titles featured that are split into US, UK, Canadian and Australian sections although funnily enough there is also an Irish section here too and they are cleverly divided down into a subject index for each title. So you have an arts section, drama, fiction etc.

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Further into the book are a listing of literary agents and a listing of publishers by territory and of course the all singing all dancing subject indexes that are simply priceless.

There is a separate website for this at www.firstwriter.com and again the book is presented with bags of information if a little obliquely.

I would recommend both the Music Industry Directory and the Writers’ Handbook. Great reference manuals for the music industry and book fields.

 

The MusicSocket directory costs £9.99 in print and £7.99 as an ebook. As far as i’m concerned this is as cheap as chips and well worth purchasing if you can’t afford the Music Week Directory.

The Writers’ Handbook costs £11.99 in print and £7.65 as an ebook. Again I feel this is money well spent,

Each book comes with a code that can be used for a £5 discount when subscribing to the associated website, the normal prices for which are:

 

MusicSocket:

Monthly: £2.65

Quarterly: £6.65

Annual: £19.99

Life: £64.99

 

firstwriter.com

Monthly: £2.99

Quarterly: £7.49

Annual: £22.99

Life: £64.99

 

 

www.musicsocket.com

www.firstwriter.com

Contact:  paul.dyson@musicsocket.com

 

Richard wasn’t paid by any company for the inclusion of any of the items here and this article is a personal opinion of someone with over 30 years professional experience in the Music industry. Richard has been employed in many sectors both full time and freelance for companies including Music2deal, BBC, Warner/Chappell Music, PRS, IMN, International Masters Publishers, Silverscope Records, Malta Music Export and Evershare Digital and written books on A&R, Eurovision and Depeche Mode.

Contact Richard on Music2Deal or at silverscope@btconnect.com or on +49 (0) 1578 1053121.

A&R Topics – What format do you give an A&R man your music these days?

Written by Richard Rogers (Music2Deal UK representative)

richard

 

Whilst I was over in MIDEM this year I received as an A&R man a number of different packages from artists as always. However, it is 2019 not 1999 and things have changed drastically in the last few years let alone 20 years. I remember once going to MIDEM and received so many CD’s that I had to buy extra luggage just to get them back to the UK! Those were the days and from an A&R perspective i’m personally glad they are gone. But what about the artist, should they be making special packages just for A&R or is that outdated?

 

My personal thoughts are that if you want to stand out from the crowd and get your music heard then you need to think out of the box and do things a little differently.

 

At this MIDEM I received a lot of flyers and cards saying login to this or sign in to that to hear our music and call me old fashioned but they went straight to the bottom of the pile of artists music to undertake to listen too. Why? I hear you ask. Well in truth I find it a bit lazy from the artists point of view. If they value their product (horrible word for music – apologies) then they need to show it off from a lofty height and show off their hard worked music. Take care of your packaging so in other words take care of the format you send to A&R. After all, if the artist has taken the bold and financially high risk of getting themselves over to Cannes with flights, accommodation and MIDEM entry then it shows they are serious about their music so why not come up with something better than a flyer.

 

Some people did use their initiative. Gary Whyte at Music Sync Tank who is one of our Music2deal members came along with memory sticks with a whole shebang of different tracks and was the perfect selling mechanism and it fits perfectly into your back pocket too. One gripe, there was no contact information on the stick at all apart from a semi faded logo saying ‘music sync tank’. All it needed was a mobile number, email address or website address and people could get in contact with Gary. Make it easy for people to find you. It might sound silly but it is so important to get the small details sorted out otherwise how can you get hold of Gary’s excellent music?

 

Meanwhile American singer Kim Cameron also bought along an MP3 stick but in the shape of a credit card which was quite ingenious and made me want to play the whole album.

 

Spanish act A Permanent Shadow turned up with CDs for their new album Songs of Loss which is a cracking little album in places but again another major problem, no information on the CD in regards website address, email or mobile numbers! Instead there is contact info for their legal team which I found frankly a bit weird and off putting.

 

Same with the Canadian artist, the lovely Monte Madder who presented me with a Skydive CD but it had no contact information on it whatsoever. Was it a promo CD or a fully fledged 6 track EP as the styles of the music were so different? It confuses people! It certainly makes you think, do these artists actually want to be signed up? Even more annoying is when I saw her live she was very good too.

 

Over the four days of MIDEM, I received about 15 CDs, 2 memory sticks, 2 MP3 cards (same thing really), 3 vinyls and about 60 to 70 flyers or cards sending me links to the artists tracks on their website, on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon etc.

 

By the way, the vinyls were from two French and one Portuguese artist and one of the French 7 inch singles was on beautiful coloured vinyl. Mind you the song was nothing to write home about but that’s not the point. The point is, of these 90 to 100 artists who got played first? Yup the most visually pleasing followed by those that thought out of the box a little.

 

What do you think? Should it matter what format the A&R gets to hear the music? Do you have any unusual or novel ways to send or sell your music? What is the best format you have ever seen another artist sell themselves through?

 

I’m looking forward to your views and thoughts so please reply on the A&R Topics group on Music2Deal.

 

Richard Rogers

 

Links:

Richard Rogers on Music2Deal

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Interview with Luciana Pegorer, the new representative for Music2Deal Brazil and CEO of Music Trends Brazil

Interview with Luciana Pegorer, the new representative for Music2Deal Brazil and CEO of Music Trends Brazil by Mario Christiani (CEO, Music2Deal)

Mario: Luciana, you are the new exclusive representative of Music2Deal Brazil. Please tell us more about your background in the music business and why represent Music2Deal in Brazil?

Luciana: I’ve been working in the music industry in Brazil for over 20 years now. Since my graduation year I’ve experienced many areas of this industry, from being a musician (flute player), to producer, label manager at a major record company, label owner at Delira Musica, trade association leader, etc. Today I focus on building capacity to the Brazilian music ecosystem through Music Trends Brasil International Conference, a get together to discuss, learn, and network event that I organize and curate. MTB takes place in Rio de Janeiro every October. Brazil is one of the most musical countries in the world, top 10 global market, home of amazing and numerous musicians and music professionals from all areas. I’m joining Music2Deal because I see the lack of an effective online network to be able to connect and increase the opportunities for musicians, composers, artists, producers and the likes within our music industry and from our industry to the worldwide environment. I see Music2Deal as a complement of the mission I already fulfil with the conference and will make efforts to attract Brazilian members to the platform and make our country represented in this amazing worldwide network that connects the music industry.

2Luciana Pegorer 2019

 

Mario: Sounds really great. As you mentioned MTB, what exactly is the MTB and how did it come into existence?

Luciana: MTB is a conference that gathers 700+ professionals from the most different areas of the music business. From musicians and performers to DSPs and PROs, distributers, publishers, producers and record companies. It takes place in the historical downtown Rio, in an amazing 18th Century building. The main room is fully dedicated to high level discussions of the status and future of our business. CEOs, artists, authors and other executives from Brazilian and foreign companies discuss their best achievements and plans, with focus on developing the market in the best way possible. One other room is dedicated to workshops. New comers, artists, producers, receive the best training from top quality teachers. For those already in the market the workshops mean an important recycling of knowledge and new skills. For new comers it’s education, new skills and network implementation. We encourage foreign companies to come. They will learn a lot about this thriving market, top 10 in the world. It’s the perfect market place to interact and do business with the local companies. There is also the fun part. Party every night during the happy-hour, full of Brazilian Music, beer, homages and joy.

 

Mario: What are the plans for the next coming MTB in October and what can we expect?

Luciana: The next MTB will happen from Oct 23-25. Major and indie companies are confirmed, as well as most of the PROs and DSPs such as Deezer, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many others. We’ll have an extensive program with the most up to date discussions on the most important issues of our business. Artists will be trained on DSP’s and marketing tools, copyright and much more. It will probably be the best edition ever.

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Mario: You said, that Music2Deal is a complement of your mission. Do you have already some plans to integrate MTB & Music2Deal Brazil?

Luciana: We will open a MTB Group on Music2Deal and every delegate will be able to interact online with the other delegates and speakers. Also, we will grant the participants with a free premium trial until the end of this year. We will collect testimonials after that and will start to build the network from there.

 

Mario:  Why is it an absolute must for every professional to attend this event?

Luciana: There is no other conference in Brazil that places people face to face to the most influential and decision makers executive in the business. The network and the learning in this event is outstanding. Some statements from foreign people that attended in previous editions:

“Sessions I went to were of a really really high level, very good, kind of business to business, type of conversations and I actually got a lot out of this, a lot to learn about, specially on the Brazilian market, that I had no idea about before. So very informative”. Joel High (music supervisor Los Angeles)

“For people coming from overseas, give us a unique opportunity to actually get to know the     Brazilian market, make contacts and some good business. Highly recommend it”. Goran Anderson (Swedish executive)

“The whole market has become global and that means it’s more important than before to know what is happening  in all the countries around the world.  Brazil is especially important, it’s size, the rate that it’s growing, particularly it’s digital growth means it’s incredibly important for us to be here to understand the market”. Steve Mayall (Music Ally UK)

 

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Mario: Last question… How do you want MTB & Music2Deal Brazil to develop and are there already any specific plans for MTB 2025?

Luciana: MTB & M2D are complementary together. They both aim to connect people and help them develop their businesses. I expect MTB and M2D to keep fulfilling their intents until the end of times.

 

Links:

Luciana Pegorer on Music2Deal

Music2Deal Brazil

Music Trends Brazil

 

 

MIDEM 2019 Impressions

MIDEM took place from June 4th-7th, where Richard Rogers (Music2Deal UK),  Peter Fosso (Music2Deal USA), Kathy Hahn (Music2Deal Canada) and I (Mario Christiani, CEO Music2Deal) joined this great event. The event was fantastic, very good organized, nice people and also the weather was perfect.

At MIDEM we presented the new update of Music2Deal.com and the feedback was really great. Normally I have around 50 or more meetings in those 4 days. But due to our update we got this time we had more than 200 meeting requests. Fortunately Richard Rogers completed a lot of meetings for us and we had some excellent meetings. One of our main intentions was to extend our worldwide network of representatives and I can say we achieved this. So far we have signed 5 new representative contracts in the last weeks. 3 were made from this MIDEM and 2 are signed because of my meetings last year at MIDEM. So, you see that a follow- up is always important.

Also this year the VIP MIDEM Networking event presented by Music2Deal and its wonderful ambassador, Allen Johnston was a highlight at MIDEM. By the way, I heard some month ago, that a business relationship was born last year at this event and that they already made a deal.

I am also sure that more deals happened in the Cotton Club, where every night Allen Johnston presented a showcase of a diverse range of artists.

So, I am looking forward to MIDEM 2020, which will be happen from June 2nd – 5th.

Enjoy the pictures

 

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Entrance to the Palais

 

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inside the Palais

 

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inside

 

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At the British stand incl. the MIDEM cafe

 

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At the french stand

 

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Nice working at the terraces

 

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View from the Frech stand to the MIDEM beach

 

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MIDEM beach. Meeting point at the daytime and concerts at night.

 

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MIDEM beach

 

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MIDEM beach in front of the Palais

 

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Event at the MIDEM beach

 

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Peter Fosso and I with a selfie from the party :-)

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Peter, Richard and me with guests

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Kathy Hahn (Music2Deal Canada) and Richard

 

Peter, Richard and I

Peter, Mario and Richard

 

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With Richard and Gary White (Music Sync Tank)

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Richard with David Stark (Songlink)

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The hotspot for meetings outside of the Palais: Caffé Roma

 

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People meet also in the Majestic oposite the Palais

 

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or in the Carlton

 

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Relaxing after meetings :-)

 

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Speak from ambassador Allen Johnston at VIP MIDEM Networking event

 

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One of those many concerts in the nights during MIDEM

 

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Concert at the showcase from Allen Johnston at the Cotton Club

 

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Last walk out of the Palais

 

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ByeBye with Lilly (nicest restaurant in Cannes), Olli, Richard, Peter and me

 

 

Artist and Musician Essentials – Reasons To be Cheerful Part 1

Written by Richard Rogers (Music2Deal UK representative)

What do you look for when attempting to break into the music industry? What are the essential ingredients that help you on your way? Where can you find information that propels you on to the next level as you choose a career in the mind boggling labyrinth that is the business of music? Here, in a regular series, our A&R man and Music2deal music expert Richard Rogers guides you through various tools printed or otherwise that Richard thinks are still worth shelling out for in 2019 to keep you ahead of the competition. The must haves for any musician, artist or songwriter. Basically the essentials needed with the information that you require with one or two not quite so essentials thrown in for comparison for good measure.

Music Week and the Music Week Directory

Let’s start off with a beauty. Music Week is the music trade weekly magazine that’s been with us for almost 60 years. Yup, established in 1959 it went through a barren spell in the early 2000s but with veteran Mark Sutherland at the helm as its current editor it still kicks as the ‘must have’ to rifle through to see what is happening in general within the music industry either in its weekly print copy or its online edition. These days it is published by Future Publishing, a reliable company that i’ve always found to ‘publish what they promise’ and deliver excellent readable magazines.

The Music Week print edition is glossy, has a pleasant feel about it and after all these years it’s still predominantly about the UK music industry though I always felt MW could expand into the European field in more ways than one. The editorial isn’t bad and there are some great articles, one on the Indian Music Market by Mark Sutherland himself was excellent but was far to short eating up just a single written page of the magazine. With the dynamic importance of the Indian Market it could quite easily have been expanded and deserved to have taken up three pages. Just as the feature was really getting going and I was learning something the article stopped. Opportunity lost I thought.

In addition there was no mention of an article on India on the front of the magazine which was a bit daft. Head scratchingly the front cover just references Annie Mac which is fine but eradicates all other features in the magazine for that week. In fact on page 49 they have a weekly article titled ‘That was the Music Week that was‘ that shows a previous Music Week from 15 or 25 years ago and this particular edition summoned from the archives from 2004 had in comparison 6 news stories on the cover which at least gives you a decent indicator of whats in the mag. At least let the audience know what’s in the magazine! Simple stuff really.

 

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The two copies Music Week gave me to review were consecutive copies dated 23rd March and 1st April 2019 and Lewis Capaldi was number 1 in the singles chart for both those two weeks and incredibly the photo that adorns the official singles chart analysis page is the same photo in exactly the same position for both weeks. A bit lazy on the picture editing there and to cap it all that same photo is there again on the steaming page, the same photo used 3 times in two weeks. Hmmm.

I dealt with a lady called Rachael Hampton at MW who is the Senior Marketing Executive. She was exceptionally helpful. My first review copies ended up at a very old address in Malta where I previously held a MW subscription, the second set went to a wrong town in Germany, none of this her fault I hasten to add so she sent out a third set herself that turned up on the same day as the set that went to the wrong German town. We got there in the end and she was extremely co-operative and communicative. Another person to mention whom MW still have on board after donkeys years is the great music chart analyst Alan Jones who is retained as a Chart Consultant and he along with Fred Dellar at the NME were my heroes. The official charts were compulsive reading (they still are) and Jones input was the highlight of the magazine and as a music nerd that was my lifeblood for the week.

One complaint I do have is the printed information nowadays in text on the UK singles and albums charts are so small it’s hard to read it, nigh on impossible in some cases. In the pre digital days when record stores were far more relevant and still existed in great numbers they used to have a chart singles top 75 pullout that record stores could pin up on the wall in their shops if they so wished that went across two A4 sides. Now with no pullout following the demise of the high street record shop we can only read a single A4 page in Music Week containing a list of the top 75 singles and artists, the songwriters, the publishers, the label, the catalogue number, the producer, the distributor and so the list goes on. It’s too crammed up, it’s ridiculous really.

That’s a shame as the chart area is 15 pages long although it would be good to see both the singles and albums top 75 charts spread out over 2 pages each. The charts also currently include current position, last weeks position and the number of weeks on the chart but by expanding the chart to 2 pages so the text is larger and therefore readable you could also incorporate each tracks highest position and sales figures too. Perhaps even a comparable US chart position if appropriate. Maybe i’m going too far but what about the name of the studio the song was recorded at in addition. That would bring in a decent amount of new subscribers from both the recording studios front and acts looking to see where certain songs were recorded to potentially use that particular studio and furthermore for A&R departments. You can just see it, ‘Ah Ed Sheeran has just recorded his new single ‘Jenny Was A Man’ at Big Conker Studios in Ipswich, we must take our new signings The Ride The Bandwagon Club there immediately.’

As an avid music lover who wanted to buy a copy of music week in the 1980s but couldn’t afford a years subscription as a 17 year old or find it in the high street shops (it’s a trade paper I hear you shout), I once took a train from Brighton to WH Smith in Victoria Station in London to specifically purchase a copy and return back to Brighton. That’s how valuable I felt Music Week was to both myself and the music industry as a whole. In my opinion it should be easier to locate and there should be more promotions on it to attract a far wider audience. It appears as if Music Week in the past has shot itself in the foot a little as it really has no competition on the magazine side. Personally i’d be out promoting at music schools, colleges and universities for a starter in MW’s boots.

However, MW is a far better read than it was 15 years ago although it seems layout wise to have gone a little too Smash Hits for my liking. So the million dollar question is, could Music Week be improved? The answer is a resounding yes.

There is quite a bit of advertising in the magazine so an extra 4 or even 8 pages wouldn’t go amiss as although it is not wafer thin it could be expanded. Immediately two pages for an extended UK singles and albums chart as mentioned above is an easy starter, with more features on european territories that could take up another two pages alone. More features on the people in the music industry performing duties such as copyright or accountancy or live promotion or working as a solicitor. The unsung heroes of the music industry.

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Keep the magazine vibrant and fun but educational too. Focus more on the small labels and small publishers and also on the live front. It feels as if Music Week should be integrating its clients to a far greater degree and the best way to do this is by featuring them or their competition more in the magazine. There are lots of ways it could expand its customer base from a print point of view and the digital area could quite easily be expanded in parallel. I can see many other ways that Music Week could grow its subscription service but maybe it relies on being a round peg in a round hole and the powers that be are quite happy as is and expansion is not on the agenda. Whatever the state the potential with Music Week is enormous even now after all these years.

So despite its obvious drawbacks is Music Week relevant in todays music industry climate? Yes, probably now more than ever.

Is it worth the £179 subscription cost per annum? Again this is a yes however in the price you also get the Music Week Directory.

The Music Week Directory is a 300 page plus directory listing every UK contact under the sun from record companies and publishers to digital, business services and media. The whole shebang really, no wonder it is known as the Music Industry bible. It costs £50 on its own which is still worth dishing your hard earned dough on but incorporated into the yearly £179 subscription it’s a steal.

The layout is crisp and clean cut and i’ve always been surprised there aren’t more adverts to be honest. I don’t mean the Music Week subscription advert itself either which is predominantly a full page that is initially on page 37 but then replicated on page 55, 58, 72, 90, 115, 156, 162, 168, 222, 267, 279, 287, 304 and 311. Yes, really! A whole 15 pages of the same Music Week advert which smacks a bit of sales desperation. No subliminal message from MW here and if anything I think this might put the casual observer off from taking out a subscription!

Am I being picky? Maybe, but it’s a valid statement nonetheless and to be honest the directory is still an essential tome to have. What I feel is missing is having a list of which managers manage which artists that they had at one point in the directory many moons ago and was so so useful. Also a listing of record labels that garner to a particular genre ie a listing of EDM labels, Heavy Metal labels, Jazz labels etc. There’s certainly enough room, just take out 12 pages of the Music Week subscription advert for a start! European input would be beneficial too.
So having laid out Music Week and the Music Week Directory on the table and taken them apart, it is still fundamentally worth acquiring them both. I would personally recommend the £179 print subscription with the directory included for free or the £249 print, digital and online edition again with the directory included.

In conclusion, it’s a no brainer. Music Week and its directory are an essential requirement if you are in the music industry despite there being huge scope for expansion and improvement.

Format: Printed and digital
Cost: £6 for a single printed copy. UK £179 for a years print subscription. Print, digital and online is £249 per year for the UK. Outside UK contact Rachael Hampton
Website: www.musicweek.com
Contact: rachael.hampton@futurenet.com

Richard wasn’t paid by any company for the inclusion of any of the items here and this article is a personal opinion of someone with over 30 years professional experience in the Music industry. Richard has been employed in many sectors both full time and freelance for companies including Music2deal, BBC, Warner/Chappell Music, PRS, IMN, International Masters Publishers, Silverscope Records and Evershare Digital and written books on A&R, Eurovision and Depeche Mode.

Contact Richard at silverscope@btconnect.com or on +49 (0) 1578 1053121 or on his Music2Deal profile

Interview with Alexandre Deniot, Midem Director by Mario Christiani (CEO, Music2Deal)

Alexandre-Deniot - MIDEM © Koria

Mario Christiani:  Hi Alexandre. So what exactly do you do at MIDEM?

Alexandre Deniot:  I am the director of Midem.  So, I’m in charge of this event globally. I manage all the teams from the conference team to all the partnership teams and I make sure that we provide the best service to our music community.

 

Mario Christiani:  Please tell us more about the upcoming MIDEM 2019

Alexandre Deniot:  This year’s Midem will see multiple initiatives putting artists and creation centre stage as the beating heart of the 2019 edition. These will include the opening of the Artist Hub, a brand new area dedicated to artists and talent development, the fresh addition of Midem Studio Sessions by Dynaudio, a fully-equipped studio where international artists will record live in public. Regarding our conference program, our lineup is just amazing with the heavy players of the industry like the music mogul Troy Carter, (CEO and Founder, Atom factory), Sylvia Rhone (CEO & President of Epic Records) or the Nigerian Artist Maleek Beery just to mention few of them!

 

Mario Christiani:  Is there anything else you’d like to mention that will also be a special focus at MIDEM this year?

Alexandre Deniot:  Also the competition for upcoming artists, the Midem Artist Accelerator, we celebrate this year the 5th anniversary,  the second edition of the Midem Songwriting Camp and over 30 live concerts on the Midem Beach. Midem will also welcome this year the Jamaican project Inna de Yard, celebrating the work of reggae legends, Ken Boothe, Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus. We will host the premiere of their music documentary. Midem delegates will also be treated to a live show by the Inna De Yard artists, when they light up the Midem Beach, opening their European concert tour.

 

Mario Christiani:  Hopefully the weather will be fine since there are so many artists playing at the MIDEM beach. Last time the weather was even better in Hamburg, which is not often [laughs].

Alexandre Deniot:  We´ll see. We can only pray! [laughing]

 

Mario Christiani:  Why is it an absolute must for every music professional to attend the festival?

Alexandre Deniot:  MIDEM is the leading international music event for professionals. It´s a good way for music professionals to save time and money because we have more than 80 countries, about 2,000 companies, 5,000 attendees from the global ecosystem (artist’s entrepreneurs to tech companies). It is the largest international music platform in the world – and it’s growing. And this year we’re going to add 14 new countries at Midem. We provide opportunities for business opportunities and also artistic opportunities for the professionals.

 

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Mario Christiani:  I remember those MIDEM events in January in the early 90s, a time in the music business when those types of events were so crowded. I think I prefer the events in recent years when it’s a more comfortable group of people and maybe even easier to gain the right connections. Do you think it´s just due to the change of the music industry or are there other reasons like the change of the date to summer?

Alexandre Deniot: I think mainly it´s due to the trend, for the last 10 years, of the music industry and the decrease of the people in this industry, of course.  But now it’s a turning point, as we now see a very positive trend right now and it’s a really great and exciting time. I think for the music industry, in general, and we here truly embrace it and to accompany all of the music professionals from around the world to one place.

 

Mario Christiani:  Last question… How do you want MIDEM to develop and are there already any specific plans for MIDEM 2020?

Alexandre Deniot: What we are doing right now is to extend the activity outside Cannes and that’s why we did the events in Africa, in Latin America, and will soon in Asia. We want to increase the number of opportunities for our international community. That’s why we launched these initiatives around high-potential markets. So MIDEM is going to be, more than ever, global and even more international.

 

Mario Christiani: But I hope that I can still add my holidays after MIDEM in Cannes.

Alexandre Deniot: Cannes is a great place for Midem, our International community is enjoying it for already 53 years and it’s only the beginning!

 

Mario Christiani: So, my holidays are saved and I am happy about that [smiling]. Thank you for the interesting chat and nice talking with you.

 

For more information on how to register for the conference and other related information, please follow below:

Midem registration
https://www.midem.com/visit/

 

Hotel information
https://midem.bnetwork.com//Home.aspx

 

Practical info
https://www.midem.com/practical-information/

 

The New Update of Music2Deal is Live!

We are very happy to announce the new update of Music2Deal which was launched today and we are sure that our Music2Deal members will see great benefits.

Music2Deal Update 2019

To get a better impression have a look at some of our features and improvements:

 

New Homepage

The homepage has been redesigned to better represent the quality and benefits of signing up and using Music2Deal.

 

Contact Settings

This feature allows you to reduce the amount of contacts just to the ones you need, which saves time for you!
Premium Members can choose which members, based on their type of business, can contact them via our message system or via the friendship request button.

contact settings

Only members whose “Main activity” or “Sub-activities” match with the selected criteria can send messages and/or send request for a friendship with this member. For example, a Premium Member who is a booking agent can avoid being contacted by a distribution company or a publisher.

 

Business Friend Filter

Members with a Premium Membership can now filter their list of business friends based on the type of business (A&R, Publisher, etc.). This makes it easier for members with many friends to get an overview and to more easily contact particular business friends.

business friends filter

 

Visibility of Music Offers & Wants

Premium Members can now show their music offers and/or wants exclusively to their business friends. Due to a lot of talks at MIDEM, Reeperbahn Festival and more we got the impression that members often prefer to announce a new music offer/want first to their business friends and later the rest of the public.

visible state

 

Music2Deal App

Music2Deal at your fingertipp The new Music2Deal App is now available for Android and iOS with this update.

get-it-on-google-smalldownload-on-appstore-small

 

 

Block Other Members

Each member can now block and unblock other members. If you block a member, they can no longer send you messages or send you a friendship request.

 

Member Reminders/Notifications

In addition to being notified if you have messages, certain members, like an artist without an artist offer or a publisher without a song offer, will automatically receive reminders (via email and on their dashboard) that they should post an artist/song offer. If a member has enough credits for a free upgrade (also via Dashboard message) or if a member hasn’t logged in for a very long time, they’ll also receive reminders.

 

Individualization For The 1st Login Tour

We’ve improved the way in which members are guided forward the first time they log in to Music2Deal. It has now been individualized so that, if you are an artist, for example, you’d be asked to create an artist offer when logging in for the 1st time.

 

Online Guided Tour/ How It Works page

We’re replacing the current “About” page with a much better, “How It Works” page to provide our members with a clearer understanding of the benefits and how to get the most from using Music2Deal. We’ll also implement a new and better “online guided tour”.

 

New Group features

Additional features to be added to the Groups will include be able to change the group owner, reject new group members, notify group owner about new members, delete groups and forums, etc.

 

Additional Voting Credits

The 10 Credits a member receives from voting will now be raised to 20 Credits. A user receives 4 Credits for each star (e.g. 5 stars = 20 Credits).

 

 

Have a look at the new https://Music2Deal.com

Music2deal Red Box Interview

Red Box Main man Simon Toulson-Clarke was interviewed by our music industry expert Richard Rogers and Simon had a lot to say about the new Red Box album and the way the industry works in 2019.

redbox7

 

Richard Rogers:

Hi Simon and thank you for the interview for the Music2deal website, the online worldwide music industry platform. You’ve got a new single out called ‘This Is What We Came For’. The sound is fairly poppy and musically there are snippets where it harks back to both ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘For America’. Was this intentional?

Simon Toulson-Clarke:

Not even slightly intentional! I think we have a sound and this song is a product of that…it’s our own sound and it was true of us in the 80s, too. We were perhaps atypical of what was generally going on in the 80s but I think it is the reason that although we may not have as many fans as some bands those who love us love us with a total, immersive passion.

To write ‘intentionally’ assumes a skill I don’t possess. I write to please myself and my bandmates who also happen to be my closest friends. If it emotes with us we simply hope others may feel the same. And that’s about all there is to our intent.

 

RR: The excellent video for the new single ’This Is What We Came For’ looks particularly exotic. Where is it and what made you choose that location?

STC: It is Thailand, specifically the stretch of Indian Ocean coast near Ranong on the Myanmar border, a very beautiful and undiscovered part of the country. I was there on holiday in January with my wife and daughter. When ‘This Is What We Came For’ was chosen as our first single we thought the easy-going people and the happy place fit the song perfectly.

 

RR: ‘This Is What We Came For’ is a taster to your 4th album ‘Chase The Setting Sun’. When is the album released and can we expect more of the upbeat pop of the single?

STC: We will release 2 or 3 singles before the album, a bit of old skool thinking I suppose. I think this album is very strong and I’m extremely proud of its consistency. It is probably closer in temperature and style to our first album ‘The Circle & the Square’ than anything else we have done, although I’d like to think it is a continuing evolution and that we have learned something about ourselves and about what we do along the way. That is probably because we have settled into a permanent line-up in touring, writing and recording; most definitely our best and most creative incarnation of the band. We have become very close friends over the years and I think that has helped us get better and play together better.

The new album has more uptempo songs than slow songs and I believe it is melodic, harmonic, lyrical and bouyant. So yes, it has some pop songs on it and some reflective moments, too. And again, we don’t really intellectualise the process: it is the sound we make together, pure and simple.

 

RR: It is over 8 years since the ‘Plenty’ album, why such a long gap between studio albums particularly considering that album received such a positive response from the music industry?

STC: No mystery. There are two main reasons:

Firstly, we are quite slow in going through the process of writing and self-filtering – not in recording, we record quite quickly once we commit to it – but we circle the problem for some time when we are songwriting and we are demo-ing every idea as we circle it. We have our own studio which helps and for Red Box this has been the main reason we remain hungry to create and to play. We stockpile anything between 35 and 45 songs before we decide we are ready to make a new album. And to distill this down to the essence, the best 10 or 11 songs, we will probably record all 45 of those songs to something like 80% completion. And in addition, we may well record up to 3 or 4, sometimes 5 or 6, versions of the same song – in different keys, at different speeds, maybe a guitar version, an orchestral version, a piano version….and so on. Then we sit for a long while listening to all these disparate pieces of music, looking for common threads, for meanings and a subtext that is consistent in direction or emotion. Like waiting for the needle of the compass to settle. Only then do we proceed.

I think a good Red Box song is where TWO ideas collide and that can be musically or lyrically, or even better, both. So this stage of the process is quite time hungry. But at the end of it we come out of the studio and say…”We are gonna make THIS kind of a record”. We need to feel a strong sense of direction and context at that point or we’d just end up making a random collection of 10 songs much more quickly! But I think, for Red Box, our album has to feel like each song sits with the rest, and that together they paint different colours but belong to the same body, like scales on a fish. Not sure how I ended up with a fish at the end of that explanation, but hey…

The second reason is that we live our lives. We all have families and we spend time with them, doing things that are important to our children. For instance, my daughter is a very talented young show-jumper and I travel all over the UK and sometimes Europe to be with her at competitions. We also like to travel whenever we can afford to. So although music and creating songs, touring and playing together as a band is INCREDIBLY important to us, we want it to be in proportion with our other lives and those of our loved ones, and to reflect those real experiences. This is also the reason Red Box travel on tour with a large family entourage. It makes the band less profitable but considerably more enjoyable.

redbox2

RR: You appear to have left Cherry Red Records and are now on Right Track Records. Why the breakup with Cherry Red and is Right Track your own record label?

STC: We never signed to Cherry Red, we simply granted them a license to distribute our last album ‘Plenty’. And although we will forever have fond ties with Cherry Red, we share a history after all, this time around we felt that Right Track (it is not our own label), who are distributed through Universal were better suited to the kind of record we have made. We get on very well with them, they have great individuals working press and radio and they are completely supportive of us making our own creative and musical decisions.

 

RR: Is it the same studio personnel line up you used for the ‘Plenty’ album?

STC:  Yes pretty much. Red Box is a core of 5 or 6 musicians which is relatively unchanging: STC (lead vocal and guitar) Derek Adams (drums, guitar) Dave Jenkind (bass) Sally-Jo Seery (vocals and guitar) Karin Tenggren (vocals, violin, cello and keybards) and Michal Kirmuc (percussion and guitar). When we make an album we invite one or two guest musicians to join us on certain songs, friends who have particular musical skills to join us on recordings where we feel it would be fun and musically fertile. We call this extended circle ‘Associate Members of RB’ and where possible they will join us when we play concerts: Ali Ferguson (lead guitar) Alastair Gavin (keyboards) and Ty Unwin (keyboards and strings) are all contributors in this way to our new album.

 

RR: With ‘Plenty’ you toured fairly extensively for three or four years after its release. Will you do the same for ‘Chase The Setting Sun’ and are there any tour dates on the horizon (excuse the pun)? STC: We will tour everywhere we can, anywhere that will have us! Initially we are planning a London concert, maybe two, and one of those may be an acoustic show. Then we will look at the major cities and towns in the UK. In Poland we just confirmed that we’ll headline a festival in Rzeszow in Poland on 31 August and we are discussing a concert at the Earth Hall in Poznan for 29 September. There is talk of Holland, Belgium, Germany and Sweden and Denmark too, so we are just hoping that all of this will come together. The simple answer is that we will play concerts anywhere we have some success with the new album, we need some media attention in any given country to make concerts possible. Right now we are seeing how the single goes and we will be talking to promoters about some dates around the time of the album release. So although I can’t give you many specific dates and places I would ask anyone who is interested in the band, in seeing us play live, to ‘friend’ us on Facebook Red Box – Home or check out our website Red Box | Band | Official Website for up-to-the-minute news.  RR: Lyrically are there any recurring themes on the album?

STC: There are common threads within the songs on our albums and although we are mostly unaware of what they may be when we are putting them together, it becomes very obvious when we step away from it. Listening again to our new album ‘Chase The Setting Sun’ we think it is about hope, redemption and the realisation that the precious things in life may well be closer than you think: family, acceptance, love and friendship, which for us is closely bound up with making music. We are saying “we are still here, we love what we do, we value our bond and our close families”. And that, at a time when many of us are very concerned about economics and having enough money,  hope redemption and love are free! We almost called this album ‘Insiders’…because there is another thread that runs through it. We have often discussed that we are all, each member of the band to some degree, misfits and outsiders. It may be how we found each other and why it took over 10 years to do that. We don’t conform – not in a belligerent or deliberately antagonistic way, but it’s there, we simply find ourselves outside the mainframe and I don’t mean this in the musical sense…although that may also be true. And I think that fans of the band often find themselves walking the same path. The band and its listeners are happy to take a different view. We are often happy with our own company and with our own music. Don’t get me wrong…we are FAR from antisocial and we are in good humour. But we are all definitely content on the OUTSIDE looking in…. So in a sense when the band play together – and particularly in front of our audience who know us and the music – we all become, for a moment at least, IN-siders. It’s the Temporarily Insider Club! TIC!

redbox3

RR: Both ‘’The Sign’ and ‘Hurricane’ from ‘Plenty’ did very well in Poland. Why do you think there was a special affinity with Poland.

STC:  Two reasons: Our first single ‘Chenko’ (1983) was a huge hit in Poland because it became synonymous with their emergence from Communism. It was one of the first western records to be played on radio which previously had only been permitted to broadcast classical music. So the good luck of timing, really. ‘Chenko’ is a song woven around a Native American chant and is loosely based on the story of my hero Crazy Horse; it is about seismic change. It contains the chorus lyric “It’s over!” and clearly this resonated with Poles, a proud people who were just lifting their heads to look the world in the eye in the aftermath of Glasnost. The second reason is that in Poland, as with a number of European territories for us, if you were successful in one era they are very enthusiastic to listen to what you have done recently. This is in sharp contrast to the UK, where there is a distinct pressure on you to remain what you once were – in our case a quirky 80s pop group. Here in the UK for a band who have been there and done it in a previous era it is far more difficult to get your new music heard.

 

RR: Sincerely good luck with both the single and album, is there anything else we can expect from Red Box on this campaign?

STC: We simply hope to entertain our fans, perhaps find some new ones, and entertain ourselves in the process! It’s gotta be fun. Our music comes from the heart, we are not the most prolific or quick band in the world but we mean every note. We want to find music lovers who think this may be their cup of tea and have a lasting relationship with them.

 

RR: Thank you for your time Simon. The new Red Box single ‘This Is What We Came For’ is available to stream now on the usual suspects Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Google Play.

STC: No problem, thanks for doing this piece, Richard.

 

RR: Since ‘Plenty’ eight years ago,the music industry appears to have changed beyond all recognition with physical product almost entirely out the window now. Two questions here, what is your take on the current ever evolving music industry and secondly will you be releasing any physical product such as vinyl for any of the new releases?

STC: I’m going to answer the last bit first: we’d love to release on vinyl but we will take a view of it once we see how well our record is doing. Vinyl is wonderful, a lovely addition but it is relatively expensive to manufacture these days so you need to know there is a large enough market for a particular album before you commit to it. So, basically, when it comes to releasing on vinyl we want to, we hope to.

We will manufacture physical CDs to sell on tour because fans like to have a signed memento of the evening.

Regarding the evolutions of the industry:

Artists can now make and distribute music without a major label and this is particularly true if you can connect directly with your fan-base and grow it through social media. In the early 1980s, the means of production – a master-quality studio – cost £2-3 million to set up and equip. These days, with ever-shrinking and ever-improving digital hardware, you can get a good result in a studio that cost as little as £50,000. Even if you can’t set that up for yourself, it can be hired at a fraction of the cost of Abbey Road or Air Studios. So the label’s role has changed and so has the artist’s.These days, the record companies also want a share of touring and merchandising profits because live has become the most lucrative sector of the business – it’s called a 360 degree deal. Sometimes a new artist can get favourable terms – perhaps up to a 50:50 split with a more enlightened label – and it may still make sense because they are going to need A&R help making an album and expertise and connections in marketing it. But it’s not a simple decision because the label will own the master rights forever. He who pays the piper calls the tune, that much hasn’t changed.And there have been many notable modern successes recently where a switched-on management with an artist adept at social media simply hires the distribution services of a major label.

This is how Red Box are releasing our new album – we have a following, a few supporters in radio and we are distributed worldwide by Right Track through Universal Music on far more generous terms. We all need a bit of luck in making an impact and it can come down to just one song.And a further great change has been in sales numbers. I heard there was a recent No1 with total sales of 12,000. In the mid 80s in order to stay in the top 3 on the chart our song ‘Lean On Me’ was selling 35,000 copies per day! Streaming is the future but I’d love to see a fairer distribution of that income.Because streaming is in principle a great and positive step for artists as it allows a more direct route to fans and casual listeners alike.

But the earnings are very small. I love Spotify, I just wish musicians owned it instead of the major labels. Things change outwardly and yet they don’t on the inside!The major labels remain the gatekeepers at radio and on Spotify. Is it right that the majors should continue to exert a huge influence on streaming (and, enduringly, radio) playlists and to cream off the lion’s share of the income whilst arguing that its OK because artists can, under certain circumstances, now earn money from touring? Although selling or streaming our recordings empowers touring I think it would be healthier to see both ‘recording’ and ‘touring’ as interdependent, mutually beneficial commerce, where each is profitable – or at least sustainable – in its own right. It’d be healthier artistically. And healthier art is good for business.

For example, and I just googled this… if you are on a label, for every album downloaded your record company takes approximately £4.00 and Apple keeps £2.80. Artists get 7p for each individual song downloaded on Napster and iTunes. To put that into perspective, musicians need to sell 12,399 songs a month to earn a salary equal to a McDonald’s employee. Streaming (Spotify, YouTube etc) pays even less, a song has to be extremely popular to move the needle.It took over three years to write and record our album and our we will profit by between £0.80 for a download and £5.00 for physical CDs we sell at gigs. Set against that will be many costs along the way. Whereas the T-shirt that bears the album artwork took 2 hours to self-design and will sell for £22. Go figure…If the central pillar of music creation – recording and selling your original compositions – becomes unprofitable except for the small handful of top artists on major labels, not only does this limit diversity and consumer choice but it also reduces albums and singles to the status of mere marketing tools for the tour and the T-shirt. You go from albums as flights of artistic possibility — the music of our dreams pursued with artful invention, no less – to live recordings in small clubs made with decent microphones. Not so much Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as The Beatles Play Live in a Neasden Pub…

One of the interesting evolutions within the industry is that never before has there been so much technical analysis and demographic feedback available to the producers of music and yet – at the creative edge of the art form we remain blissfully in the dark – in a very good way in my opinion! Sure, we can quantify, analyse and replicate – but that gives us formulaic music in any genre. It’s been done many times with varying degrees of success throughout history but the real pioneers, the adventurers, from Bach and Mozart to The Beatles and Bowie, from James Brown to Prince, Dylan to Eminem – there are many examples – those great artists and composers forged their own highly individual path.

There’s a crucial difference between inspiration and inferior mimicry here. I believe that both artist and listener have a duty to explore further and to aim higher, filter out the background noise, sift the sand and find those nuggets of gold. Mimicry of what is currently successful is an age-old trend and although it has never been more prevalent than today, as artists we don’t have to replicate. We can actually explore, be bolder, chase originality down and find our own voices. And as listeners we don’t have to listen to the logjam of samey, wannabee songs and recordings that some sectors of the industry push towards us via the mainstream.

 

 

Links:

Red Box – Home

Red Box | Band | Official Website

Music2Deal.com

 

 

 

Tom Beck Interview

Richard Rogers (RR): For those that might be unaware. can you give us some background information about yourself please as I know you are more famous as an actor than as a musician/singer?

Tom Beck (TB):  My background is on the music side. I’m 40 years of age, I grew up in Nurnberg and I started to play the accordion at the age of 4 or 5, they were my first musical steps and then I played the organ and keyboards and then I started to play along to songs that I heard on the radio on the piano or keyboards and then i started singing to them. Then I started my own bands, the first one at the age of 12 and then I played at random weddings and stuff and played the things that people wanted to hear. I became the popular story of the bored man that sits there at the the piano trying to entertain the whole crowd, sometimes for 6 to 8 hours, a whole evening! Then i had other bands and started studying musical theatre and through that I started to do more acting and next to the acting I decided to do my first album and recorded that in 2010 and released that in 2011 and there have have been 3 albums with the last in 2015. So it’s been 4 years! I’ll be recording my 4th album this year.

tombeck.jpg

(Richard Rogers, Tom Beck)

 

RR: On Wikipedia Deutschland it mentions you’ve released 5 albums?

TB: Yes that is correct. Three studio albums and two live albums.

 

RR: My German was obviously not good enough to understand. Enshultigung!

TB: No worries.

 

RR: So who were your influences musically?

TB: Well i grew up in a very very small village where people would listen to everything basically from early bad German folk music to Schlager but personally my influences were rock’n’roll music, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Ray Charles because of the work on the piano. Then of course The Beatles and The Stones. So all the piano hand work stuff I was influenced by the British musicians. Paulo Nutini is one of my favourite musicians and I went to about 6 or 7 of his gigs and saw him live.

 

RR: Who are you signed up to, record company wise?

TB: Well basically i’m a freelancer. I released three albums on my own label but with a distribution company. This time round I don’t know whether to go off in search of a label or whether to do it myself. I don’t know, i’m not sure. I’m not represented by a publishing company either so I collect everything through GEMA. Unfortunately they don’t play my songs on the radio but I have a loyal and true fanbase and they have been here and accompanying me for the last ten years now. Like tonight here at the Koln Luxor Club there will be over 500 people here and it is sold out and that makes me really proud as I have no single out and no album out and they don’t play me on the radio so I just have a real and true fanbase. If I had a label of course it could get bigger. But I think why should I, I just need to use my accounts more with things like Instagram, use more footage and do more advertising for myself than I actually do. Maybe I would go with a label and would they want me? I don’t know. I’m not filming at the moment so i took the time to do this short 7 show tour and afterwards to do some recording and hopefully do an album.

 

RR: And where would you do that. In Berlin?

TB: I’m not sure yet. Maybe some in Berlin and some in Cologne because I have a few producer teams that I would like to work with, also one team in Munich. I don’t know if I’m going to produce one album with one producer, I used to do that but it’s like an old school way to do it. So maybe I will split it.

 

RR: The only problem with that is from an A&R perspective when it is split up into so many different production teams you lose the basis of the sound that maybe you were aiming for in the first place.

TB: Yes you are right. That is what I am afraid of actually. I’m afraid it’s not going to be one unique whole sound. I’ve got some friends who have got in 3 producer teams and it seems to work fine and you don’t hear any difference.

 

RR: The last Lily Allen album felt from a professional angle very dissipated. It’s completely split with lots of separate producers as opposed to her first albums with one production team. For me it’s too diverse, it’s totally incoherent as a piece of work and I think a mess in part. I thought it was a poor piece of A&R to be honest. So why the tour with nothing to promote?

TB: It’s just to keep my fanbase motivated and as the last tour was 4 years ago. I didn’t know how many people would turn up. It make me happy and proud.

 

RR: Good for you if you have nothing to sell. Re-connecting to the fans is a great way to go. I passed about 45 of them lining up for the gig (it was 3 o‘clock in the afternoon in the middle of a cold February afternoon). That means you have a particularly integrated fan base, did they come initially from what you were doing in music or from your acting career?

TB: Well the music came first but I became popular to most of the people out there in Germany due to the variety of TV series that I have been doing so yeah most people will know me from the TV. They started coming to the concerts 8 or 9 years ago from when I had my first concert and they are still there! The first gigs had about 1000 to 1500 people per show and about 500 of them just came to see the guy from the TV. I would rather be appreciated as a musician rather than the guy from the TV.

 

RR: Have you released any music outside of the GAS territories – Germany, Austria, Switzerland. AKA the DOS countries.

TB: No, all the albums have only been released in those 3 territories so if any labels come in there is a back catalogue to exploit. Everything is available on Spotify. The first two albums are completely in English and the second one was actually recorded in Nashville in the USA. It has more of a country vibe. The third album was the first one recorded in German and the next one will be in German as well. I felt strangely more comfortable writing in English. The German language is harder to sing, for example there are a lot of hard consonants so it doesn’t sound to smooth. You also need to be careful what you say in the land of the poets and intellectuals, as an idea if Ed Sheeran sang in German his songs he would not be successful because the lyrics would be too cheesy! It would sound like Schlager. It takes time to find your own language in German. It sounds weird I know. In fact I needed two years to experiment and write in German to feel comfortable with the language. It was tough writing in German at the beginning but it is very challenging to find unique German language in songs. Most of the time I am co-writing and I come to the session with a theme. Sometimes we jam to get a song started.

 

RR: You’ve been married for 6 months, is it what you were expecting?

TB: Yeah definitely. We have been together for 6 years before so I knew what i was going to expect.

 

RR: So for Valentine’s Day were you on the road?

TB: Well actually I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s the only day I don’t agree with it just because some industry tells me to celebrate that day. I can do that every day if I want and I can bring flowers and we can go out and have a great time together and I can tell her how much I love her.

 

RR: Well huge congratulations and good luck with this club tour.

TB: Thank you.

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.

The-Professional-Update

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.

Marcus

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.

braverick

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.

Links:

 

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.

CS657075-01A-BIG

 

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.

garynewman+richardrogers

 

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

Sommergeschichte-3.

 

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)

 

PicsArt_02-26-09.14.55

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 ?

Yes a lot, just recently won “THE BLOGGER OF THE YEAR AWARD” @THE SOUTH EAST ACHIEVERS AWARD ON 24TH FEB 2018

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

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Upcoming projects / tours?

– Miss tourism enugu on 28th Feb  .

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

-DIGITAL  MARKETING SEMINARS (16 MAY–20 MAY)

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.

HOW TO RESOLVE IT  IS VERY SIMPLE **** DIGITAL MARKETING (ONLINE streaming PLATFORMS)
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 ******

MY PLAN FOR THE YEAR IS TO BE THE BEST WITH THE BEST SERVICES

 

A good word on Music2Deal.com

MUSIC2DEAL IS JUST THE BEST PLATFORM I EVER BECAME A PART  OF, I CAN EASILY CONNECT WITH  MY CLIENT IN UK,GERMANY WITH THE HELP OF MUSIC2DEAL

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👍

CONTACT ME FOR ALL MARKETING AND artist management

 

 

 

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.

 

Sheridan

 

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 https://www.music2deal.com/za/KUrGphv5MmvjHfcDZ067sGQkufA

Facebook personal: https://www.facebook.com/SheridanSlightEdgeEvents/

Facebook Company Page: https://www.facebook.com/SlightEdgeEvents/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQJLqneNv67z0-cGH4vKfw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sheridanrupert_slightedge/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheridanrupert/

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.

 

Afis-generalist-1

 

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).

 

Links:

www.starmanagement.ro

www.masteringthemusicbusiness.ro

Music2Deal.com

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.

AC5

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.

spotify-logo2

Volume 1 https://open.spotify.com/album/5Gp4lIYYkl42YjdgnoOY2G

Moodfood https://open.spotify.com/album/08FPGuBmFpPUFP8boHiEYM

Make Believe https://open.spotify.com/album/6sFNCJS2YYxx2Zq3UkLKkj

Mesmerising  https://open.spotify.com/album/5Bjm15yChPPrjbGKKxBCGm

Magnifico!  https://open.spotify.com/album/1Q44klEfRfkZrlK9q6TRWD

Magnifico! (bonus tracks) https://open.spotify.com/album/6Fn3id5NMMIuVPCkLDBhs1

Phoenix  https://open.spotify.com/album/4wpHHgL2PkfM7JIhTTLCI0

Lo Tek https://open.spotify.com/album/0YsGUh0XMDomEtfb1woUcG

Camera 707 https://open.spotify.com/album/2HvlSmzVyAfnIlVIls2Ygn

See Me Flowin https://open.spotify.com/album/13xpdoCJBB4bljMRQdHvEo

Magnifico! Vol.2 https://open.spotify.com/album/2FeOho9J6nQLrgNJuqHDJh

Magnifico! Vol.2 bonus tracks https://open.spotify.com/album/5t75KjlCPxwuBFpim9ITCC

New Works Vol.1 https://open.spotify.com/user/113433464/playlist/0w2nK6LSyQR6zcyJr0Wfs6

Oddities  https://open.spotify.com/album/2V64BjViZI9lQAGEcJLFFN

Deep Deluxe https://open.spotify.com/album/1osXI9PWRSem3gzAIMBdjQ

Zooming In https://open.spotify.com/album/2Lo7JPTvXj8Ri1JWUBz6r6

Get it on itunes-square_bd8a97e

Volume 1 https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/volume-1-funkin-triphop-variations/id1212992138

Moodfood  https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/moodfood/id1213511620

Make Believe https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/make-believe/id1213273339

Mesmerising   https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/mesmerising/id1213270542

Magnifico! https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/magnifico-a-selection-of-his-finest-tracks/id1213269603

Magnifico! (bonus tracks) https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/magnifico-bonus-tracks/id1213268136

Phoenix  https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/phoenix/id1213235230

Lo Tek https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/lo-tek/id1212964592

Camera 707  https://itunes.apple.com/nl/album/camera-707/id1213484223

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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
 

 

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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.

Resume

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%.

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AL1

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…

AL4

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

Music2Deal.com

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**References

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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