Understanding the Music industry is the second Part to the very popular "Reality check for the Irish Artist" and a deeper look into the Music Industry.
The first post were observations and experiences from working in Bars and Venues for over 30 years. I was delighted to get such positive feedback and thank you all very much for your Kind Words. It was meant to be a practical Guide for all artists in Ireland and indeed anywhere really. The same rules apply anywhere in the world.
My second post here is on my observations and experiences since I first began my campaign to help the Irish Artist over ten years ago.
It has being a very difficult campaign with many lessons learned in those years. I had little knowledge about the Music scene and no Computer experience so I had a very difficult task ahead. I invested all my time and resources for those ten years and It became a bit of an obsession for me. After creating competitions, Events, building websites, talking with some of the best in the business and meeting many 100s of artists from Ireland and abroad, I began to understand the business a little more and identified many things that the Irish artist could improve on to have a more successful Music Launch.
The Music Industry has been in transition for many years now and the Major Music companies have taken measures to secure their futures during this transition. These measures have had a very negative impact on Music throughout the entire world. Small and medium sized Labels have more or less become Management companies. Everything has changed .
The independent Artist have had a very difficult time during this transition with many careers seriously compromised by these changes. Although Artists today are fighting back with all the digital and social media tools at their disposal, there are still a serious lack of support systems in place to ensure their success. Many have attempted and are attempting to put these support systems in place today but with so many barriers in place, this is proving to be a very difficult task.
My attempts and failures over the past 10 years have helped me to see some possible solutions and the participation of the Independent Artist is critical to these solutions. I have learned that many independent Artists do not know how to build a fanbase. They have no idea how to build a presence online and do not understand what a real fan is.. They are of the opinion that a facebook or twitter fans is classed as a fan . This is a gross misunderstanding in my opinion.
I have spoken about the email marketing but it doesn't seem to sink in for Artists today and I have no idea why ? I don't know whether its laziness on their part or a mass denial of its effectiveness. To this day I still can't figure this out? .It is an essential part of marketing and MUST be taken seriously if an Artist is to succeed but they won't listen . What can I do only write this blog? Maybe somebody will see that this.
I will attempt to explain why email marketing is critical for artists in the best way i can . Imagine having a pub in the middle of a busy town . There are lots of people passing by and its is situated in the idea place. It will have some locals but it doesn't rely on them as it has many people coming in from the street . Now go to a pub on the outskirts where there is not too many people . People go there because it is the closest or the local bar . The publican looks after his customers very well as he appreciates them and needs them to keep the business Going . Every single customer that comes into him is critical and he makes sure that that customer comes back. If he doesn't he will never build his business . He needs a loyal customer base.
Well the artist is the publican that is based on the outside. Every fan is critical and must be treated like gold dust. If they dont they will lose that fan. The relationship begins with the Music and performance. Depending on this a relationship can be formed . The artists has no way of building his relationship like the publican has but he build this relationship by getting an email address. Facebook , twitter are useless for building relationships . They have become more and more clickbait and have left people with very little timespans .
Email is more one to one relationship and is the only positive tool an artist has . Once an email is given to the artist, it is up to the artist to contact the fans and keep the fan interested in them or they will be irrelevant very quickly . The artists does this by updating their fans , sending them some free tracks , tickets and inviting them to their gigs .This is a must . Forget about the random post of facebook . People are sick at looking at these posts as they are not directed at anyone . Your fans needs to know that they are special and that you have emailed them personally . That's what makes the difference . If you can't see that then you are in the wrong business and wasting your time .
This is a topic that I have being guilty off many times and its a big no no . No matter who has annoyed you or what happened , Don't blab it on your social media. Remember you are a business and businesses are suppose to be professional. This business is full of drama and the temptation to speak out is very tempting . Like i said I have dragged myself in many a situations I regret now . Always keep your business to yourself and let people know that you are well and doing well . You will burn many bridges if you post all your opinions and dramas on social media .
Burning Bridges is a very easy thing to do but rebuilding them is nearly impossible . Try and keep positive and deal with everyone in an honest and pleasant manner . You never know when you will need someone you might not realise so always be careful what you say and to who . Everyone is connected to someone in some way so speak well of everyone and there will be no problems .
To give you an example I had an artists about 6 years ago severely abuse me on facebook because I wasn't able to give him the information he required . As my services are free I took huge offence this artists would be so rude . He informed me that he was the next best thing to come out of Ireland and that I was fake ? . I unfriended him and blocked him at that time .
About 6 months ago i was contacted on linkedin by the same chap asking for advice on Gigs etc . He obviously didn't remember who I was but I remembered him very well. He got no answer from me and never will . I remember telling him 6 years ago that he broke one of the golden rules and that was burning bridges by being very rude to people . He laughed at the time . I wonder is he laughing now ?
Always thank people for any success you have . Being thankful is your greatest tool . Thanks the venue , Thanks the people who came , Thanks your family , Thanks the people who supported you from day one . Thanks the weather etc. This may seem unimportant but you watch anyone successful . They are in constant gratitude and leave no one out . It is a combination of many people and circumstances that have you where you are . Always remember that .
This is a bit of a confusing one . It is very good to connect with other artists but make sure they are as positive as you . Make sure they have a professional attitude . The clique I am talking about is the negative one . Ireland is full of them . Im sure its everywhere all over the world. Stay clear of cliques who are highly critical of people and other artists . They will be very judgmental and in constant drama . They will also come out of the woodwork when they see you doing well and will want to involve themselves with you in some way . Always be on your guard and share your success with people that appreciate you and care about you . Keep your circle of friends and artists small with everyone on the same page .
So I want to do a little recap on the important things from the two post ' Reality check for the Irish Artist " and this " Understanding the Music Industry"
So that's another post done Guys. I hope it's helpful to you and that you can see the process clearly . If you can follow these steps , it won't be very long before you are on a much bigger stage and taking all your fans from their support. Remember it's all about the fans and making fantastic music ..
It was in 2005 that I became interested in helping the Irish Artist with their marketing and promoting. At the time, I Spent many years booking various artists but knew very little about the inner workings of the processes needed for a successful Music Campaign .
I was from the older Generation and knew nothing about working with computers and had no knowledge of Social Media at the time. To have any impact in helping the Irish Artist then all of those tools would be necessary for me to move forward. During that time i thought that my prior knowledge in booking bands at venues would be enough but i was only scraping the barrel of this industry. I needed to start somewhere so i thought a website would be a good place to begin this journey.
The website " Livemicsworld " was built out of my idea that a solid base was necessary to all artists who wanted a career in the Music Industry. A place where all artists could join and share their own knowledge and have the ability to network with one another. I have to start somewhere so I started sharing from a venue's perspective and what they would like to see from an artist that was looking to secure a gig.
I was a very Ides and where the Artist could begin to understand what was required from them. I had lots of interest in those times as many artists were struggling to any impact with their Music.
I was shocked to realise that most artists had no real idea in how to promote themselves effectively. MySpace was the platform in those days and artists were basically post up on that platform. That was about it. No real idea of what do after that. To be honest i had no idea how to help them at that time but in knew that had to something more.
I decided to have a Music competition within the new website to get Artists motivated and have something to work towards. To be more active and be part of an annual event that they could include in their yearly self promotion. This was very popular and attracted many seasoned Acts that were trying everything to get themselves out there. So i knew that i had activated something that was obviously needed.
I was uncomfortable about the term "Competition" and it implied one artist competing against another. This was not my intent so I changed it to an award based event and would be based on Various aspect in the artist's career.
Around this time you had all these international Talent coming out and the Awards Initiative died very quickly. Another factor was, we are entering a recession and no one was going to live performances. Venue and Bars were closing by the dozen every week . it was a very difficult time for everyone and many artists were struggling.
It became very clear to me that if I was to benefit the irish Artist, I would have to fully investigate the workings of the old and the new ways within the Music Industry.
In 2009 while looking for information in Music / Band management, I stumbled across a website called " The Holodigm ". It was a very impressive looking website with an introduction from the site creator " Professor John Hartmann ".
Delving further into The Holodigm, I came across some Recorded classroom lectures. These Classrooms were full of information from some top professionals in the Music business You had Jerry Berkley from the Band " America ", Ben Bernstine " Music Agent ", Jerry Boylan " Record Producer", Harlan Goodman " VP of Music ". Cree clover Miller " Attorney ", Ron Stone " Manager " and Howard wolf " Promoter ". Look them up Guys. These individuals are some top people in the music business in the US.
I couldn't believe what i had stumbled onto. It took me a few days to get through all the information from the the classrooms as there was so much information to take on board from decades of experience. This John Hartmann Guy must have being very well respected by all of them and he himself, I thought, needed further investigation .
John Hartmann began his professional career in the famous mailroom of the William Morris Agency. He later served as the Morris office liaison to Colonel Tom Parker the legendary manager of Elvis Presley the king of rock n' roll.
A veteran music agent, personal manager and record executive, John has provided career direction for such luminaries as Chad & Jeremy, Sonny & Cher, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Canned Heat, Eagles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, America, Poco, and many others.
Hartmann is a result oriented operational leader with more than fifty years experience in the entertainment industry. His proven expertise in creating and executing career strategies is evidenced by the quantity and quality of great artists he has been honored to serve Quoted from the Holodigm Website
As you can read , John Is an incredible Knowledgeable man who had dedicated his later years, teaching in Marymount University, California . I was lucky enough to be in constant contact with him from 2009 to 2014 and he was very generous with anything I needed to know. We shared plenty of Music from both sides of the water and on a couple of occasions he took some interest in a couple of acts from Ireland. He really liked the Band "Red Empire" and another Irish Band " Friends of Emmet ". He even went as far as passing this acts onto his long time friend "Ron Stone" who is a legend in the business.
After that he seemed to go offline about his new project " The Holodigm ". It hasn't moved forward since I first came across the website but it still has incredible and useful information from anyone who is looking to gain more knowledge about the Music Business.
He had a dream to assist the Artist from anywhere in the world. He wanted to teach all artists about the processes and what it takes to succeed. He wanted to have an academy where Artists and Managers could train about the business and be assisted by him and others on his vast contact list. He wanted the Artist to become independent and have all the tools available to them with his help. He knew that the Industry was in transition and that artists were being left behind as the major labels were adjusting to the new Digital Music Paradigm . Artists needed to adjust with this shift and the Independent route could be possible if the proper platforms were in place ..
It was an ambitious project with Huge financial backing required to cover all areas required for a successful campaign.. Perhaps he couldn't get that backing and this is why he went offline, who knows? From the five years that I was fortunate enough to know him , I learned a great deal and knew that so much more needed to be done . Maybe he will continue on where he left off and we can converse again.
I truly hope so !! He wanted me to be his representative in Ireland and spread his new paradigm when it was ready. I was excited about working with such a man and being in a position to help so many artists that needed it. All I can do for now is continue and build from what I have learned so far. .
I couldn't leave this man out with the new musibiz website. He was so influential to me and is one of the reasons why I continue with my music project. There is so much information on his old website and there was a free ebook available there too . That seems to unavailable on the website now which is a pity.
He wrote this book while in hospital after an road accident. Before it was published he shared it with me and and asked me what i thought about it.. I loved what he had written and asked him if I could share it with all the Irish artists in Ireland. He gave me full permission to share to anyone who i thought needed it. I have shared it a few times in the past and I will leave a link to it below for anyone interested in learning more.. It is a vital Read in my opinion and we are very fortunate to have this available to us. Free Ebook
One of my last conversations with John was when I asked him ” What is the best advice you can give an Artist today”?
John’s Answer: ” If you can’t make it in your own backYard, you’re not gonna make it anywhere ” !!
This question was based on a conversation we were having about a Acts starting out and also about an established act looking to break into another country. The same applied in both cases. Starting out you must establish yourself in your own area first before moving on to the next stage. In regards to the established artist. Establish yourself first in your own country before thinking of Moving into another..If you keep this in Mind, you will know where you are and what you need to do, to get to where you need to go..
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I have been waiting over 20 years for a decent Rock act to come out of Ireland and I think, I have found them In Elevation falls. Those were the days when we had the likes of Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy and the legend Garry Moore, blaring out on the radio, on a daily basis but I haven't heard anything that resembles those legends, for what seems a lifetime now.
I came across this Act a few years ago and I could see back then, that there may be potential. I've seen a few Acts with the same ability and felt that they were just another Band, who would eventually wither away, with the lack of exposure for original Rock Music in Ireland. Don't get me wrong, there is a huge Demand for this Music and especially in Ireland, but Venues and Bars don't book them as much as they should. Unfortunately, it is the younger generation that has missed out on the excitement of going to live, Original Rock Band. I encourage the newer Generation to go and see a Proper Original Rock Band, like Elevation Falls.
I feel an excitement about Elevations Falls. Their Set is very well put together with a mix of their own Tracks, along with their own twist on Thin Lizzy, Guns and Roses, Alter Bridge and believe or not, "Hozier".
Hazel Jade Rodgers ( What a cool Name ) is a stunning looking, 21 Year old, Rock Goddess, who commands the Stage with her Hypnotic stage presence and powerful vocal range. Offstage, she is a little sweetheart, who has no problem chatting with everyone but as soon as she hits that stage, her stage persona goes into overdrive. Good God, this girl can sing !!
None of this would be achieved but for the Backbone of the rest of the Band, You can clearly see that they are all extremely close, the way a good band should be.
Chris and Darragh are the two lead Guitarists and Boy can they play. Each player has their own unique Style and both lads encouraging one another for greatness for the entire night. They are a joy to watch and I can see them both, coming up with some amazing tracks together in the future.
Finally and most importantly, This Band would not have existed but for Belinda Rodgers, Mother, Manager, Promoter, Driver, Marketer and driving force behind elevation falls. You don't see too many people doing what she does anymore. The Passion, the energy, The motivation, she has for this Band, is extraordinary. This type of unique individual is the reason behind most successful Artists and they rarely get a mention. Bands exist because of these people. Bands stay together because of the patience and an understanding Manager. They are the center of everything and every problem imaginable that lands at their feet. Do not underestimate the job of the Band manager. I mention this because I have seen how the band interact with Belinda. Every one of them have the highest respect and follow her instruction to the letter. I also mention this because I know this Band is going to make it because of her. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever. She has this Band like a well-oiled Machine and they all know this. When you see this in a Band, you know that it is only a matter of time and it will not take long. They are approaching a European tour and believe me, the rest of Europe will embrace this Band with open arms. I wish I was there, to witness it myself.
So there it is guys. Go and see this band. There is so much going on at this show, both in new music and showmanship. It is one of the best nights you will ever have. These guys know more about the old rock legends than I do and at such a young age too. It's fantastic to see new bands being so influenced by artists that are long gone and unknown to so many of the new generation. I feel revitalized and confident that this Band will bring us forward to a brand new Rock era in Ireland and carry with them, some of those great influences from the Irish rock legends that graced the stage before them.
The Writing is on the wall for Elevation Falls