Diary of a Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B Fan/Relentless Hustler…continuation…
What They Won't Tell You...
By Steve Clenor, BA, MSMS
As an up-and-comer in the music game, it is hard to navigate through what is real and what is not. Let this not come of as if I am all negative about the entire music industry, but I owe the public the truth as I write these blogs on a weekly-basis on this website (www.relentlesshustler.com). The love of music definitely does not guarantee anything. It is through experience, research, and trial & error that one learn some of the tricks of the trade of the music industry. Most so-called industry personnel may present themselves to you as lovers of music when you first meet them, but if you do your research or give them enough time to show their true colors, most often than not, they will prove to be greedy, and useless to you. At the end of the day, good music alone does not guarantee success as an artist. Great music gets ignored all the time because of lack of big budget. As industry hopefu, these are some of what they won't tell you. What does that say to me?
Clearly, the industry is at the point where they would rather pick bad music with big budget over great music with small budget. Don't want to sound like I'm whining about the facts of the previous statement, however, it is a little irritating and frustrating. You realize the industry is all about costs. For example, as an artist, you come up with a great concept for a song and next thing you do is get it recorded the right way. By that I mean going to a recording studio and paying good money to get your song recorded, mixed, and mastered. During this process, you hoping the person (engineer) you've entrusted with your song actually know and is good at what they are doing. Now, let's say you get your song back and it sounds great to you, this does not mean that it sounds good to anyone else, but at this juncture, you cannot allow for self-doubt or lack of belief in your music. Thank god, you're now done with the recording costs of that specific song.
So, you've decided to put this song out, what happens next? Well, now you're really about to find out the real cost of being a musician. Let me introduce you to 1) Manufacturing costs: includes replicating recorded material and packaging. The costs depend on the number to be manufactured. 2) Royalty costs: mechanical royalties which needs to be paid to producers, composers and publishers. 3) Promotional costs: if you want anyone to hear your music or even know whom you are to look for your music, you must spend to promote yourself. 4) Distribution costs: you cannot hand deliver your music to anyone, so be it digital distribution or sending your music to be printed out by manufactures like best buy, you're going to pay. Glad you're getting the idea, the word "cost" plays a major role in music. By the way, this is all before you've made one penny from your song. Although this has been delivered in a negative tone, it's not meant to deter you from the lofty goal that you've set for yourself. In reality, it has not done that to me at all. In fact, I use it as a form of motivation to one day surpass all that b.s. and just be focused on putting out good music. This industry is not for the weak of heart or mind, tighten your belt and get ready for the ride!!!
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