Dec. 28th, 2017
3 Easy Music Theory Tips to Improve Your Music
We’ve all heard that you have to know the rules before you can break them. So why not learn a little something that can make you a better artist? There’s a definite science/math to creating music. There’s a reason some songs stick to your brain and why you can hum a tune years after it’s faded into memory. Rappers, singers, producers, songwriters, and engineers can all benefit from knowing a little more about the science that birthed their creative fields. Scales There are 12 major and 24 minor scales. Scales are important because they arrange the 12 notes of music into groups of notes that “go together”. For the uninitiated, a scale is an octave, or eight notes. While it’s h
Dec. 9th, 2017
5 Steps to Start a Record Label
Starting your own record label is not easy. Far from it. A record label is a business entity and the music market is more competitive than ever. Here’s how to get started. Anyone can start a label. Labels aren’t like restaurants or cosmetic lines; by simply saying “this is my label” you’ve essentially started your business. But getting your label off the ground and running is going to be a lot more complex than that. Any one of these steps could be their own article. I could go on all year about how to execute each move to give yourself the best chance of success. But to give you at least an idea of what you need, we’ll start small. (Feel free to ask questions though.) This artic
Dec. 1st, 2017
Become a Producer: Getting Started
Becoming a producer isn’t easy and music technology has made the industry more competitive than ever. The record producer is the music world’s equivalent of a film director. – Phil Ramone Becoming a producer is a creative endeavor, and because of that there is no guarantee you’ll find success. The average salary for a producer can range from $25,000 to $1 million (the average salary is $49,000). The work is hard and the competition is crazy. This isn’t the type of job where you know you’ll take home a check at the end of every week. You’ll need to get out there and hustle for every project you get, and keep hustling to secure the next one (and the next one after that).
Nov. 22nd, 2017
How Many Streams Does It Take To Pay Your Rent?
On a recent episode of Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden asked hip-hop producer and It’s a Wonderful World Music Group executive, 9th Wonder, “How do you get to the money in the streaming era?” “You can’t depend on streaming. You have to depend on other ways—or avenues—or other revenue streams to do other things,” he replied. “That can’t be true,” many up-and-coming artists and producers will moan. A recent Digital Music News headline read: I’ve Got 1.2 Million Plays on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and TIDAL. Want to See My Royalties? They weren’t pretty. DMN describes the anonymous subject of the article as a “successful indie artist” who owns 100% of
Nov. 22nd, 2017
Super Producers Don’t Know How to Feel About Tags Either
From left to right: Bryan Michael-Cox, FKi 1st, Honorable CNOTE, Bangladesh, Sonny Digital at A3C 2017 At this year’s A3C Music Conference, a panel of super producers—including Bryan-Michael Cox, FKi 1st, Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Bangladesh, and Sonny Digital—quickly fell into a discussion of producer tags. Good? Bad? Necessary? Overused? “People don’t care about producers anymore unfortunately because they don’t read credits. And here’s the thing; where can I read credits?” – Joe Budden, The Joe Budden Podcast 🖤 A post shared by 1st (@fki1st) on Nov 4, 2017 at 12:47pm PDT There’s a lot of contention in the field of tags or “drops” by producers. Like
Nov. 21st, 2017
Are Beefs Good For Business?
A Ma-Minaj Case Study Celebrities move in the public eye and not all of those moves are authentic. “For the cameras” relationships and fake fights are nothing new. So it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. After French Montana (and a lot of sources around the internet) claimed the Drake/Meek Mill beef was fake, it was harder for people to believe in the Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj feud. Especially after years of almost-collaborations and supportive words between the two. We’ll probably never know for sure whether these beefs are fake or simply overblown, but we can look at the numbers and evaluate whether artists are profiting from them. Remy Ma vs Nick Minaj has been the m
Nov. 20th, 2017
How to Build a Loyal Fan Base
What do Taylor Swift, BTS, and XXXTentacion have in common? A completely devoted fanbase unafraid to show support—no matter what. Here’s how to build your own. Last week, XXXTentacion was set to perform in Tampa, FL. Fans eagerly waited outside the venue, shouting “We want X”. Fire officials stopped the show before it could start when the rowdy crowd passed 3,000 in size (the venue capacity: 750). Police had a hard time holding back some unruly fans who showed up to support the Freshman breakout artist. #xxxtentacion show shut down when thousands of fans flood the streets A post shared by VladTV (@vladtv) on Sep 3, 2017 at 7:13am PDT Many artists struggle to attract a crowd
Sep. 25th, 2017
A Musician’s Guide to Social Media
Why Social Media Is Important Today, if an artist is making music, they’re on social media. Social media is a pretty necessary platform to promote your brand and gain fans. Plenty of young artists try to argue this fact by pointing out a big-name artist who’re social media silent—like Taylor Swift and Tyler, the Creator were for a time. Yet notice how both artists returned to social media when it was time to promote new projects. So we’ve established the necessity of social media. But you can’t just create an account and expect to gain a following. Social media is social. Fandoms do so well on these platforms because they are essentially about connecting with experiences that appea
Sep. 20th, 2017
SoundCloud Down, But Not Out Yet
A $170 million investment has saved SoundCloud from a Q4 bankruptcy and has “[ensured] a strong, independent future”… for now. When the news broke in July that the music-streaming service had laid off 40 percent of its staff, SoundCloud users panicked. Reports by TechCrunch painted a desperate picture for the company, with offices in London and San Francisco shutting down. Employees described the office as a “shitshow” as founder and (former) CEO Alex Ljung partied—seemingly unaware of the sinking ship that SoundCloud had become. In 2009 Myspace bought the music and video streaming service, imeem and its 16 million users. Yet the service still fell off, resulting in the loss of a
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