to Avoid the Sharks
Fraizer - source
artists and songwriters dream, some will do whatever it takes
to make it real, no matter what the cost.
day our office receives calls and letters from artists and songwriters
who have made career moves which have proven to be detrimental,
costing them precious time and money. Often, they are discouraged.
That burning desire for fame and fortune is all but extinguished.
If you are planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, either to
strike out on your own or in response to a magazine or newspaper
ad...be careful. It is simply not as easy as some make it sound.
Before committing to any agreement or contract, read, re-read,
and then read the fine print once again. Dont let your
aspirations cloud your common sense!
misconceptions about the cost of producing a demo run rampant.
While its true that all major labels are constantly seeking
new talent, getting in to present your demo package to label
execs, booking agents, publicists and managers requires persistence
and patience. There are no guarantees of getting a record deal.
In fact, if any organization promises you a hot recording deal,
there is probably something hidden in the small print that you
will come to regret later. My advice? Run! No one can offer
you a major recording deal except a major record label. Even
then you have no guarantees that you will ever have a hit record.
Think for a moment. You are desperate to gain credibility within
the recording industry. You need to be in the loop.
To get there you have spent considerable time and money putting
together the best presentation possible. Its been a lot of work
and not something you entered into lightly. So delicate is the
process in fact, that Karaoke Singer Magazine has presented,
over the past year, an entire series dedicated to helping singers
design a presentation package which should increase their chances.
If you followed
that series of articles, you know that a proper presentation
package includes a professionally recorded demonstration recording,
high quality photographs and your biography. Often, artists
want to obtain million-dollar deals on a dime-store budget by
sacrificing quality for quantity in their demos. This is ludicrous
from an industry standpoint. On the other hand, know exactly
what the record label is really going to do for you.
recording companies make big promises with no intent to deliver.
Their sole purpose is to make money off of the uneducated artist.
Basement tapes are just that. It costs money to record a demo.
However, it does not cost the thousands of dollars some unscrupulous
companies will try to get from you. Remember...you are only
as professional as your presentation.
is help! People hire investment brokers to help with managing
their financial assets because investing is risky. One bad move
can cause a loss of thousands of dollars. The same holds true
in the recording industry. Youre the talent. Just because
you can sing doesnt mean you automatically know how to
manage your recording career. Artist development agencies are
in the business of keeping you clear of sharks while helping
you launch your career.
the contacts and knowledge to help you attain your goals and
objectives, and charge accordingly. It is wise to interview
several of these agencies before deciding on one. Choosing a
development agency can go a long way in protecting your limited
finances and fragile ego. Each agency you interview should be
able to show you samples of their work and provide company references.
You are entitled to this information, especially since you are
paying for the production deal out of your pocket.
agencies will ask you to sign a production agreement. This is
not a management contract. It is a document designed to protect
you, the artist, from getting a poor quality recording package.
Again... be cautious!
until you have had all questions and details explained completely.
Even then it is advisable to consult with an entertainment attorney
when you are dealing with agreements or contracts that you may
seems obvious, its important to keep your interests primary.
There are decisions that you are very much in control of. If
you consider all your options and make each decision carefully
you may very well be on your way to success. The music business
is not easy. Getting your first deal is not where the work ends,
but where it all begins.
in the loop
Dont confuse signing with an artist development agency
with landing a record deal. The ADAs charge is to guide
you toward getting a record deal. Artist development agencies
have the contacts essential in getting hooked up with a record
label. They are, in fact, your way into the loop. They can get
your project heard by the appropriate industry professionals.
Finding songs, hiring musicians, making telephone calls and
shopping your product to the major labels is a time consuming
endeavor. A good development agency should be able to open doors
you could never open on your own.
There is a continuing debate in the industry as to whether or
not you need to be in Nashville fulltime to work this business.
Some artists trying to break into the music business think it
is necessary to move to the Music City in order
to pursue music as a career. This is not necessarily true.
you have transportation to get there when the need arises, you
will probably be better off staying where you are and continuing
life as you know it. Many artist development clients perform
regularly in their home towns and surrounding areas. Giving
this up to migrate to Nashville could be a huge mistake. Many
desire to become demo artists for publishers and songwriters.
They think that moving to Nashville will give them an immediate
edge in the industry. Not so. This is a town where demo singing
is as competitive as getting a major recording deal.
is full of starving artists waiting to make it big.
It doesnt make sense to walk away from your regular paying
gigs to chase a dream that may take years to realize. Stay where
you are and let your development agency be your voice in Nashville.
Thats what they do. Act cautiously and keep pressing on
along your road to fame.
and husband Jim are professional recording artists who own an
artist development agency in Nashville, TN. They also host a
monthly call-in radio talk show designed to help new artists.
can reach at (615) 834- 8576.
with the kind permission of Singer