Monday, December 7, 2009

Do you have a website for your music?

The problem with most unknown artists is that they don’t want to invest in order to get known. It’s like they never heard the saying “it takes money, to make money.” One of the best ways to do this is to create a website to market their music. It is almost a given that companies and artists have websites that fans and more importantly A&R’s can visit. By having a professional looking website artists gain instant credibility and this credibility will get you one step closer to your goal. Here are a few elements that should be incorporated on your website. All of it can be done for as little as $500:

1) Contact Information: Make yourself easily accessible. If someone likes your music and wants to offer a way for you to make money off your music you better make sure you can be easily contacted.

2) SEO Ready: SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an organic way to make your website appear near or at the top of a search engine like Google when someone types in certain keywords. Cater to your local audience. For example if you are from Honolulu, Hawaii, make sure that you place text all over your site referring to your market. When someone searches for “Singers Honolulu” you want to be at the top.

3) Bio: Create a brief description of your brand and your music. People like to put artists in boxes (he sounds like 2Pac) put yourself in a box so others don’t have too.

4) Music: People need to hear your product.

5) Video: is very important as many people spend hours of their time watching videos online. If you have a show, create a video and display it on your site or add a pictures show your songs.

6) Links: You should link your website to your other social networking sites like twitter, Facebook and Myspace. You should also trade links with other popular websites that your target market frequents. This should increase traffic on your website and also increase your SEO.

7) Blog: A blog is a great way to keep people engaged. If you do interesting this and are always active people will follow. Once you have a “following” you will be more attractive to record labels.

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Thursday, December 3, 2009

K'Naan on the state of Hip Hop in Canada

K'Naan speaks out on the state of hip hop music in Canada. I have to admit I agree with most of what he is saying, but it is hard for Canadian artists to compete with U.S. artists. U.S. artists have bigger budgets and more opportunities. Not to mention the fact that the Canadian population is only 11% of the U.S. population.

Here are a few quotes:

“I do think there’s a little bit of an inconsistency with just how the music industry in general works with regards to urban music, especially urban music from Canada."

“We have a lot of artists in Canada who are hip-hop artists and so on, but not a lot of the young people out there who are making music are actually putting out consistent work, you know what I mean?”

Do you agree?

Read the full article here - Toronto Sun

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

How to get into Canadian Music Week Free

In order to get your music to the right people you have to be where the right people are. In Canada that place is CMW or Canadian Music Week. Usually, this conference takes place the first or second weekend every March in Toronto. Everyone who is anyone in the business is there "making moves" why shouldn't you?

Well maybe because you don't have any money. According to their website if you wanted to register and attend the conference, you need to pay:

TuneUp MUSIC Badge:
includes access to 3 days of TuneUp seminars, exhibits and festival showcases.
Register on or before March 5, 2010...........................................$250.00
Walk-Up Rate..........................................................................$300.00

This is the best value for your money but do you have $250.00 to throw around? Didn't think so. Well I've gone to the conference 4 times and I didn't pay a cent. It was FREE! How did I do it?

1) Create 3-4 high quality songs.
2) Go to www.cmw.net and apply in September to be a showcase performer.
3) Best case scenario you make it in and have to perform in front of important people who will help your career. Worst case scenario they send you complementary tune-up passes for you and your crew. That easy.

or

If you've missed the deadline you could always contact them and ask to volunteer. If you want to make it you've got to do whatever it takes to network with the right people and in Canada those people are at CMW.

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Essential items every artist should have: (Part 5 of 5) Where is your dedication?


Now that you have your demo, business cards, a team and an online brand it’s time to use these tools to network. You must make an effort to use them every day. This is your job! A lot of people use the same tools, so how do you use them to your advantage and get a step on the competition? Dedication & Persistence.

You have to keep your brand updated. Come out with new songs or projects and release them strategically. Timing is everything. Use the launch of a new album to pursue radio and print interviews. Launch your album with a show. Just remember that every opportunity you take to market and promote yourself gets you one step closer to your dream. Make sure you set achievable goals and stick to them. Without a short term goal like “release my album by June 2010,” nothing will ever get done. You don't want to be 80 years old and have nothing to show for it.

EPKFY8RMVYFR

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Essential items every artist should have: (Part 4 of 5) How is your online brand?

Ok, so now you have professional sounding music and a team to help you out. Now you need to increase your online brand. Increase your brand by creating your own website and become active on bulletin boards and social networking sites. There are a number of websites you can use to post your music. You must create a community of fans that will eventually buy your music one day. What happens when people Google you? Does your name so up at the top of the search with relevant contact information? Remember that the best statement you can say to a record label is, “I’ve sold 5,000 songs on iTunes, imagine how much I could accomplish if I had you backing me.” Here are 20 music social networking sites you can use to create your online brand:

1) www.myspace.com
2) www.facebook.com
3) www.garageband.com
4) www.soundclick.com
5) www.mp3.com
6) www.youtube.com
7) www.aimestreet.com
8) www.vimeo.com
9) www.bebo.com
10) www.buzznet.com
11) www.gogoyoko.com
12) www.imeem.com
13) www.last.fm.com
14) www.mog.com
15) www.quarterlife.com
16) www.reverbnation.com
17) www.supernova.com
18) www.flotones.com
19) www.musocity.com
20) www.midomi.com

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Essential items every artist should have: (Part 3 of 5) Where is your team?

Behind every artist that has every “made it,” there is a team of people in the background supporting that artist. It is impossible to do everything it takes to promote yourself and still make good music in a decent amount of time. If you disagree with this statement and think you can do it on your own. Good luck and I hope you send me an “I told ya so…” message some day but I doubt it. Although many of these jobs can be handled by one or two people in beginning, it is important to recognize that everybody needs help. Do not be too proud to search for it. Here is a list of some essential people you need to enlist in order to move forward in your career.

1) Manager – Handles everything from your schedule to tying your shoes.
2) Producer – If you have no music you have nothing
3) Booking Agent – You have to perform in shows.
4) Publicist - Promotes your music and tries to get you interviews in print and radio.
5) Street Team – People who hand out flyers, promote your music, website, and shows.

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Monday, November 30, 2009

Essential items every artist should have: (Part 2 of 5) Where is your business card?

Traditionally in business when two people meet for the first time they exchange business cards. Although this is changing, it is still professional to engage in this practice. This is important to note because not everyone has their demo (music business card) on them at all times. It is bulky and hard to carry around, but business cards are easier. You can keep them in your wallet and by having a business card ready shows that you are not just an artist but that you are responsible and professional. So what is in a business card?

1) Your card must look professional. Make sure that all the information is on the card free of mistakes and easily readable.

2) All relevant contact information should be clearly marked. (Full Name, phone number, email address, website address) Also, you might consider adding other sites where you or your music can be found. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Linkedin are a few good choices.

3) Always ask for the other person’s card or information. You do this so that you can follow up with a quick email note a few days later. This will remind them of who you are, where you met, and

By investing a little money, as little as $20 can get you a professional looking business card which might just cause a few doors to crack open just enough for you to bust them down later. Here is a link to purchase business cards for very cheap.

Vista Print

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Essential items every artist should have: (Part 1 of 5) Where is your demo?

The most essential item that an artist can have is a demo. A demo proves that you can create good music and if you don’t have one ready at all times, a lot of doors will remain closed. If you are in the business of selling music, then your demo is your business card. Here are a few tips for your demo:

1) Create at least 8 original songs that are well produced and mixed. Even though it is a demo is should sound as professional as possible.

2) Show these songs to at least 20 different people who will give you objective feedback on your songs. Ask them to rate the top 5 songs. After you have a pretty good idea about your top 5 songs, you now know what songs should be on your demo. Do not have over 5 songs on your demo and place the songs in order starting with the song that was rated the best. People have short attention spans. If you hand them a mixtape with 20 tracks, they will only listen to the first 2-3 songs and lose interest.

3) Make sure your CD is presentable. It should look professional and have your contact information on the CD itself and on the CD holder.

4) Always have your demo on you. You never know who you might meet.

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Friday, November 27, 2009

Find a Producer

There is one universal and vital component that every rapper and singer needs in order to create a song. They need music. Unfortunately, most artists do not know how to compose and/or create music; therefore they need someone who does a producer.

It is fine to start out using instrumentals that have already been used by other artists but all artists who have every made it have done it by creating their own sound and they had a producer to help them. Snoop had Dr. Dre, Missy had Timbaland, and Janet Jackson had Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. Who do you have?

I know what you are going to say “producers cost money.” Yes, good producers do cost money but if you have the talent something can always be worked out. Also there are plenty of unknown producers who are trying to find a talented artist just like you to feature on their music. All you need to do is find them.

Sure it’s easy to find producers online on bulletin boards or chat rooms but is much easier to build a true relationship with someone if you find a producer that lives in your city. Find someone who is excited about your talent and who will help promote you in exchange for credit on the track. A good producer will also already be working with other artists they you might be able to collaborate with you and the best producers will make you better than you already are.

So I know it’s easier to download the instrumentals from your favorite tracks and create your own songs but it’s much more rewarding to find a producer and create your own sound that you can market.


www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Monday, November 23, 2009

AMA's -Jay-Z

Classic Jay-Z and Alicia Keys Performance



www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will people buy in to Spotify?


If you haven’t heard about Spotify here is a little rundown. Spotify is a music subscription service that allows people to stream music for FREE. Ah, but there is a catch. As you listen to your music you will also listen to advertisements after every couple of songs. If you do not wish to hear the advertisements you can pay a small fee per month (10£ in the UK) to eliminate this annoying feature.

Spotify is the number #1 music subscription service in Europe but it hasn’t been released in North America yet. This is supposed to change in 2010. The question is, will people buy into this new music model?

Although this is a progressive business model for music industry it has a long way to go to beat out iTunes. People like their music portable and Spotify still has bridge that gap. I like the idea but I’m not sure it’s going to catch on as fast as everyone is predicting. What do you think?

Read more here:
Billboardbiz.com

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Go to School?

If you’re like me then you’ve probably heard that you should go to college and get a degree. It is a fact that on average university graduates earn about $20,000 dollars more per year than high school graduates.(1)


It’s easy to see how school helps if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer but what if you want to break into the music business, should you go to school? Like any other professional, school definitely opens doors but if you don’t have the drive to go through those doors you will never make it.


The entertainment industry is a very exciting industry to get into, that being said it is very competitive. Having a degree in music business helps, but not as much as making connections and using those connections to get ahead in your career. Almost every program you will take will force you to do an internship afterward to gain experience. This is the most important aspect to the program, choose your company wisely and work hard to get ahead!

Having received a Bachelor’s in History, an Audio Engineering Degree, and a Masters in Business has allowed to me to grow as a person, but education alone will not get you anywhere.

Here you will find a link to a list of schools that teach music business and audio engineering courses in USA. If you have gone to any of these schools make a comment and tell people what you think.

Here is a list of some Canadian Schools:

Name City Website
Megadance Music Group Calgary www.megadance.ca
The Academy of Production & Recording Calgary www.apra.ca
Canadian University College Lacombe www.cauc.ca
Pacific Audio Visual Institute Vancouver www.pacificav.com
Harbourside Institute Of Technology Vancouver www.harboursideit.com
Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts Winnipeg www.midoceanschool.ca
Centre for Arts and Technology Halifax www.digitalartschool.com
Trebas Institute Toronto www.trebasinstitute.com
Recording Arts Toronto www.recordingarts.com
OIART London www.oiart.org
TARA Toronto www.taratoronto.com
Trebas Institute Montreal www.trebasinstitute.com
Recording Arts Montreal www.recordingarts.com



www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"I'm not a businessman - I'm a business Man!" - Jay-Z

When I talk to artists who try to “make it” in the music business, I ask “what have you been doing so far?” 9 times out of 10, I get an answer that sounds something like this “I am coming out with a mixtape, demo, album, soon and I’m going to promote it online.”


Ok, that sounds great but what’s the plan? In order to be successful in any business you must understand how the business works and offer something that someone will want to buy.


Here are some questions that every artist needs to answers if they are serious amount making an impact:


Product: What are you offering? How is your music different from other artists? How will your music get produced?


Market: Who is your target market? A&R’s, fans? What are these markets looking for? And how will you offer them your product? By when?


Strategy: How are you going to market yourself and your music? Where are you going to market? What is the timing? Can you be contacted easily? Shows, videos, guest appearances, interviews in media (ezines, blogs, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers)?


These are just a few questions that need to be answered if you are serious about making an impact. If you want to make it in the music business you have to start thinking like a business man.


------------------------
www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Google Me Baby!

Do you have an online brand? and if so, can people easily find it?

Try this: Google your artist, band, or real name into Google. How many hits are there? How many of them are actually related to you? Can people find you and contact you easily? Is your name so common that it gets lost in the hundreds of links found on Google? If this is the case, you need to focus on creating your unique online brand. Even if you don't create music, EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE AN ONLINE BRAND.

Tips:

Choose a unique name:
How many people have an artist name that begins with "lil"? A LOT. It is important to create a unique online brand for yourself and your music. You must treat yourself and your brand like a company would. It is also not enough to just have a unique name, now you must create a unique brand which includes everything from, your sound, style, and language. Once you do this, you must convey this message to your audience.

Create an online presence: These days everyone has the basics Myspace, Facebook, & Twitter but what about the hundreds of other sites. Do your homework and sign up for as many as possible. What about www.yourname.com? Do you have your own website? Its not that hard to get one made with little or no money. A personal professional looking website creates credibility, which will serve you well in the future.

Keep in Touch: Once you create you online presence, make sure you stay connected so people can reach you. Don't just set up a fan page, blog, or twitter account and leave it there collecting dust. Update it! but don't annoy people. There is a fine line between informing and destroying your fan base or reputation.

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Money!!! for music

Did you know that you can get free money to create or promote your music? I have applied and won a number of grants from the Canadian government for myself and other artists. Why shouldn't you?

Here are a few tips for getting free money?

The 3 P's:

Purpose: In order to convince someone to give you free money to help you create and promote your music, you must first be able to answer one fundamental question? "Why should anyone give me money for my music for free?" You must understand that the government only gives money to artists who they believe will use the money wisely! You must have a convincing argument as to why they should give the money to you.

Planning:
These grants usually have several deadlines a year. It may seem like you have a lot of time to get all your materials together before the deadline but you need a lot of different materials in order to submit a complete grant application. An incomplete application is worse that not applying at all. GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME. (Start at least a month in advance!)

Persistence: It took me 7 tries before I received my first grant. I'm pretty sure most people probably quit after one or two tries. Why did it take so long? Through the years my music became better which certainly helped but more importantly, after each rejection I learned a little bit more about what they were looking for in an application. I learned, adapted, and reaped the benefits. I also had the privilege of acting as a judge for F.A.C.T.O.R. which gave me an inside guide to what judges were looking for when they awarded money. Get involved!

Today, I consult artists who want to apply for grants. Its free money, why aren't you applying?

Note: There is no guarantee that by applying for the grants below, you will receive money, but isn't it worth a shot?

Links to visit:
www.factor.ca/
www.canadacouncil.ca/music/
www.videofact.ca/
www.starmaker.ca/


www.yourprosound.com

1 Artist 1 Beat

Buying Music on Myspace

Myspace Music who would pay for it? Every artist who wants to "make it" knows that they should put their music on myspace.com. This is a good promotion tool but who will buy your music?

Many artists have a lot a of fans on their myspace but out of your 1,456 friends who would actually pay money to get your money on their ipod? I wouldn't think there would be that many.

Myspace thinks it can get people to pay for music off of their site, what do you think? Will people pay to download unknown artist's music?

Read more here

www.yourprosound.com
1 Artist 1 Beat

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Release - Powered by YourProSound.com

Stop dreaming about creating music and download beats and create your sound now!

New Video Release - Megan Fox (Obsessed) by Menoza

Do you have music? Can you get on the internet? You can be a star.

Who says you can't make it in the music industry. All you need is a unique sound and internet marketing.

Create your music and then make a plan on how to market it.

I came across a good article that proves my point. Here are some quotes, read the full article with the link below.

"Anyone can record a CD on a laptop, and if they can figure out a way to market it, they can bypass traditional gatekeepers."

"Social media sites like Facebook and MySpace can play a huge role, too, with word-of-mouth marketing. A new film or recording can get an instant boost on Facebook, just 10 minutes after its release and well ahead of what media critics will say about it, he noted."

Read the full article here:
Tech change is music to his ears