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Common questions and answers

  • Demo
    • Do you accept everyone or are you selective? And if so, how do you choose?
      • We’re promoting this service only during 2014 to a limited number of people – limited by the available time slots. So, because I only have “so many” hours in a week, I can thus only develop “so many” artists. If the demand exceeds what I can supply, I will have to prioritize, basing on principles I can live with. I may sometimes have audition artists before deciding whom to book first. Generally, though, the principle will be: first come, first served.
    • Can the demo turn out “so-so” or “average” and thus not good enough for pitching record companies?
      • The prime objective is not to pitch record companies but rather to develop the best possible demo of the artist’s ability and potential as it stands today.
      • Having achieved that objective, the next goal is to expose the demo to listeners who will give us feedback on it. They can be “ordinary” people within the target demographic or record industry specialists. Depending on our final assessment of how the demo came out and what “the product” looks like, we will decide whether it’s a good idea to go straight to our contacts with it or whether first try to woo some listeners and turn them into fans. Either way is positive. Typically we do the latter. See why, next:
      • Record companies typically do NOT look at even the best demos until the artist can show some prior “traction”. Modern A&R men and women (people who decide which artists to sign to their labels or which songs to use) like to play it safe these days. Even if they think a song “rocks”, they might FIRST want to see social proof that it does, before deciding anything. On RARE occasions, however, the “product” may be so extremely promising that we might decide to keep it a “secret” and NOT showcase it publicly without first pitching it.
      • Finally, to answer the question – It is true that (subjectively) some songs may be “better” than others, for a whole variety of reasons which usually come down to things that are very difficult to quantify. The “magic” in the voice, the “something” in the arrangement, the “hook” in that chorus, the “sound” of that intro, and so on. I can guarantee that on the TECHNICAL side, the “product” will be as professional and good as you can reasonably expect. As for the rest – we will judge it once it’s produced and once we’ve received initial feedback from our inner circles.
    • Is this demo project just a fun project or can it be more than that?
      • It is definitely going to be a fun project for you. But SERIOUS FUN. And the most promising artists would be advised to continue their development on a regular basis.
      • Once you cut your demo, you can decide to stop there – or you can decide to BUILD from there. Which path you ultimately choose will be entirely up to you, up to your circumstances, your family support, your ambition, etc.
      • No matter whether you treat your demo project with a “try it and see” attitude or a “this is all I want” approach – you’ll have our full support and guidance, to help you make the best decisions for what may or may not happen next.
  • Payments
    • Demo studios we’ve approached range from as little as €100 per day to as much as a thousand or more. Why? And why are your rates so low?
      • Studios charge basing on a wide number of factors ranging from the kind of equipment and facilities they have to the kind of reputation they have in the business. Also, depending on their market and on what they believe is the “right” price point. With the advent of cheap home production tools, only the most experienced studios can still count on some business, and in all cases their pricing will reflect that fact.
      • My standard studio rate has been €100 per hour (€800 per studio day), but that was back in the day. Since then I’ve had a break of a few years as we turned to radio productions and later to marketing and it’s only now that I’ve decided to finally reactivate the music production studio. The ball got rolling again for me because a certain well-established artist asked me to produce his latest album, which I’m now working on. But I decided also decided that it’s time to get back to my roots and restart artist development in earnest, knowing that I can contribute more now than I ever could in the past and it will be of great value to the right people. I also decided to slash my prices right down to the core – frankly – to get the studio filled quickly, but also to be as helpful as possible to those talented artists whose means may be more limited.
      • So to recap: the idea behind this offer is to provide a world-class service which would cost you €3-5000 per track in a “normal” London studio of a similar quality with similar level of experience and expertise, for a mere fraction of that sum. My objective is not “money” but rather, quite simply, the “mission” – new talent development – with the price being as accessible as I could make it.
    • How big should my project be? Should I shoot for a simple 1-song demo or an album? And how will this decision affect the price?
      • Depending on your talent and predisposition for this business, the present demo project will be either a “professional endeavor” for you – or just something you’ll do just for the fun of it.
      • An artist who wants to test his potential (i.e. showcase to fans and labels) should start with no less than a 3-4 song demo, where at least one song is an “original cover” or a stunningly-well-sung “straight cover”, the rest being original, very well-written tunes with clear hit potential.
      • Signing up for a one-song demo, except in cases where the artist simply cannot afford more, or is really on the fence about the whole thing, is an option as well. You can simply look at a 1-song demo as a way to test the water! In those cases a simple cover demo might be all you’ll need to know how to proceed.
      • As for a full album development project – this can be decided once the recommended demo is completed.
      • Larger projects, or projects booked after 2014 will be subject to different deals.
      • All payments are done in advance or partly up-front and partly upon delivery of the master – your choice.
  • Career
    • What will you do for me/my son/my daughter once you have a completed demo?
      • The basic service which I provide in 2014 is focused on creating the best possible music demo for you. You will sound like a pro.
      • It also includes, however, basic help in setting up your online presence, helping you with any standard registrations and links, teaching you what and how to do. We’ll also include entry-level photography and can help you with a “webcam style” video which we’ll also help you upload and interconnect as well as tag correctly. An extended version of this service is optional – and we can do it well.
      • We MAY also – at our discretion – help you present the demo to music industry insiders, either just to get their feedback or even as a kind of an informal “pitch”. We will also, at our discretion, be able to submit certain songs to various licensing and song-placement opportunities. If you’re a writer or co-writer on such a song, you’ll be able to benefit monetarily, if the song is accepted.
      • As an optional service we can do all of the above on a much more comprehensive and organized level, where we can even hire specialists to take care of each of the multitude of functions that a well-run music project must fulfill. So, we can build a site for you and even go as far as guaranteeing a certain minimum amount of exposure it will get (including even an estimate of fans that you’ll see signing up to your mailing list), and much more. As an option, we can also guarantee a specified amount of industry exposure, both through our existing contacts as well as new contacts we can make especially for your project.
    • How old do I have to be to think of all this as a potential “career”? What about my school/education?
      • If your target market is, broadly understood “mainstream”, i.e. the market which tunes into your typical top-40 radio or watches shows like X-Factor, your “release age” should ideally be somewhere between 12-14 on the low end, and probably no more than 20-21 on the high end. The younger you are – the bigger your edge if you’re “great”. In some (less commercial) music styles age matters less. Your “image”, personality, “look”, eloquence, etc, will also play into all this. Your mindset must be positive, professional, dedicated and flexible-but-unyielding.
      • The common dilemma for all talented artists targeting the mainstream market is that there’s a clear conflict between a “music career” and preparation for “life”, i.e. your education, etc. This dilemma is partially solved by the understanding that if you want to achieve SPECIAL things, you must put in SPECIAL effort. If you’re ambitious, you have to be prepared to work harder than your peers. It would be rather irresponsible of you to put all your eggs in just one basket, or to disregard both these pillars of your future fulfillment in life. Education is KEY. You may or may not have a career in music, it may or may not happen while you’re still in school. But you would be foolish to put off your education for a DREAM. This said, your “window of opportunity” in this business is… NOW – if you’re in the above mentioned age bracket and have the talent and mindset to go with it.
      • This said, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice with consequences lasting a lifetime if you didn’t grab the opportunities in life by the horns, as they appear. If you’re “right” for this business, you need to do a little soul-searching and decide whether you’re psychologically ready to not merely have “two jobs” (your school AND your music development), but also to excel in them both. Also, an opportunity like this one, to record TOP quality production demos for very low amounts of money is exceedingly rare, and won’t last very long.
      • Developing your music with us will teach you hopefully only the best and most valuable lessons in how to professionally approach not just music but also your life and how to begin to make your dreams come true. This said, you must also be a realist. No matter how talented, how well prepared or how “plugged in” you are – your chances of mainstream success (as a signed or even as an independent artist) are… not great. We will go to great lengths to give you the kind of preparation that you’ll need to succeed on multiple levels – this way even if you never become “a star”, it will matter little when considering all the other things you will have learned and achieved with our help and guidance.
    • Will you provide management for me? Can you guarantee a “career” for me? Can I “count on” any kind of incomes from my music?
      • Generally, we do not plan on providing a management service for our artists. We do, however, know and have worked with a number of world-class managers. If your project reaches the VERY HIGH level where we feel you’re going to need a professional music manager, we’ll do our very best to hook you up with someone you can trust.
      • There are three general career paths you can take. The first one is “independent”, the second one which is closely related is “unsigned” and the third one – “signed” – is looking for a record deal.
        • An “unsigned” artist is the kind of “independent” who doesn’t have an organization (think of it as his or her own “music company” or business) and is essentially only working towards being “discovered”. Or just for kicks.
        • An “independent” artist is one who has set him- or herself up in such a way that there’s a chance of making money from their music, be it online, offline or both. He/she has an organization, e.g. a possibly even a small indie label or modest management behind him/her.
        • A “signed” artist is one who winds up signing a contract with a record label (it can be an independent label or even a “major” label). Typically only successful “independents” get signed these days.
      • Each of the above mindsets and career goals have their advantages and pitfalls, but the one which we recommend the most is aiming for an “independent” career. This is because you simply can NOT get “signed” (with a professional outfit) if you don’t have proof of concept (and that is achieved through a well executed music business plan!), and if you’re merely another “unsigned” act – you’re up against MILLIONS just like you – no plan, no organization and, basically, little if any realistic hope.
      • You don’t have to become a star to make money within the music business. Many people don’t realize that music business – like ANY business – has a huge “middle level” of people doing fulfilling music-related work which is essential for the music market as a whole. You can earn money in music not only when you’re a hyper-successful “star” signed to a major label, but also as a more modest musician or performer, as a session singer or instrumentalist, as a music marketer, as a songwriter, arranger or producer, as part of a music publishing, management or distribution company, as a music entrepreneur, as a teacher or coach, as a product support specialist, as… and the list goes on.