Thursday, August 22, 2013

 Why you should Never Stop Learning More, if You want to Be in The World of Electronic Dance Music and Culture.

It is quite interesting motivating all the while at times being disheartening, to be up on the cultural and business sides of Electronic Dance Music(EDM) and Electronic Dance Culture(EDC). I read a lot of articles and subscribe to newsletters like Paper.Li Edm clothes and News. Some articles paint such a beautiful picture for aspiring artists, others tell tales of EDM horror stories, and some just don’t know how to feel based on the insecurities that “Baby boomers” feel about investing in what many of them feel may be a fad. I will discuss some recent goings on in EDM but first, listen to me. In the music business if you don’t know what you are doing ,what to ask for when collaborating and how to structure your agreements in general, you will get hosed. In the words of the Legendary Immortal KRS-ONE, you must Learn!

This past year all in all, electronic music’s 12 top earners pulled in $268 million over the past year—more than the combined gross domestic product of island nations Kiribati and Tuvalu(Forbes,2013). Yet, some Electronic dance music singers artist and producers who have experienced world wide smash hits ,regional hits and club hits have not been paid for writing lead melody and chorus’ for hit songs. Really? I mean really? How can that be if Tiesto earned $32 million over the past 12 months, second place on this year’s Electronic Cash Kings list ON FORBES.com—the top spot goes to Calvin Harris who pulled in $46 million. Like Tiësto, he played well over 100 shows and picked up nightly fees in excess of $200,000, but ranks No. 1 thanks to hits penned for the likes of Rihanna and LMFAO, as well as a hefty publishing advance. Harris and Tiësto have plenty of company. David Guetta ranks third at $30 million, boosted both by live shows and collaborations with the likes of The Black-Eyed Peas and Usher. Even at age 45, he shows little signs of slowing, playing more than 120 shows over the past year(Forbes, 2013). These are the big guys but so many of the DJ’s traveling and making crazy bucks don’t have to be that big to make great money.

An example of singers who have suffered this fate is Antonia Lucas after decades of feeling devalued and disrespected by club music producers and labels, decided to set up the Vocalist Songwriters Alliance (VSA). This group now has over 300 members who have all suffered similar fates. CoCo Star (real name Susan Brice). Released I Need a Miracle with Greenlight Recordings in the US and became a club hit. It was then re-recorded and released on EMI's Positiva imprint in the UK a year later. In 1999, a British DJ mashed up her vocals from the song with German act Fragma's track Toca Me. The mash-up was released without Brice's permission on a bootleg white label for which she was never paid. This started a buzz in the clubs, and Fragma released their own version of the bootleg, Toca's Miracle, on Tiger Records in Germany and Positiva in the UK in 2000. It went to No 1 in 14 countries worldwide. She has never made a dime from any of this! Other singers have collected her royalties for her vocals when lip-synching or just playing imposters on live performances or radio play. Wow. Some say that "The producers are not all necessarily choosing to be rogues, unfair and dishonest, Some are just ignorant regarding how the industry works.(Lindvall,The Guardian.com,2013) I don’t agree because a record producers job is to know this, otherwise your are a novice and not a producer and you become a liability to anyone who engages in business with you. You see, these collaborators engaging in business with you will not just vicariously infringe on others rights, but literally be named in the lawsuits. Unless of course, you have no money to hire a lawyer to protect your rights, which is generally what happens to these singers and project contributors at the bottom of the barrel contributing to EDM’s history and success. Lucas has commented on the present day situation by saying that "Some of the biggest DJs out there are doing it [to their featured vocalist/co-writers]," she says. "They're making the most money, yet they expect to pay the least. They believe they're superior to us – but without us, what would the fans be singing?" (Lindvall,The Guardian.com,2013).

As dance music makes a comeback as EDM and EDC, huge businesses are gearing up to make IPO’s (Initial public Offerings of their companies ,stock on the stock markets) on companies rooted in, geared towards and concentrating in Electronic music. Robert F.X. Sillerman's newly re-formed SFX Entertainment  is weeks away from taking the EDM incarnation of SFX to the public markets in a $175 million initial public offering, Wall Street is about to provide some tough answers. In a few weeks the industry will know how investors really feel about the burgeoning EDM movement, and more specifically their opinion of Sillerman's latest roll-up of companies under his umbrella. This 65 year old has recently SFX picked up several additional companies in the intervening year, including significant gets like digital download site Beatport and Dutch event producer ID&T. SFX expects to raise 175 Million from the offering, but with so much controversy over people being paid their share of the pot when creating hits, it seems like no one is paying attention until they get hit with a lawsuit. 

As the Electronic music’s many incarnations, abbreviations and buzzwords become more and more aligned with profitable brands and viable merchandising, tours, films and IPO’s, knowing contracts, law, standard entertainment business practices and how to protect yourself from swindlers, greedy musical collaborators and unscrupulous “Janky” promoters becomes more and more important to the so called beat makers, producers, DJs performers and songwriters fueling this brightly burning EDM fire. My take on this and advice to aspiring singers songwriters et cetera, is to educate yourself. Chamillionaire, the platinum selling rapper stated he reads all he can about the music business whenever he can, he recommended a book that I keep in my arsenal, at least start with this book it’s easy to read and in-depth classic about the industry you may want to make your living from. The Author is Donald S. Passman, and The book is titled, “All You Need To Know About The Music Business” this is just a start but it is a step in the right direction for any one who is contemplating or already involved in this business.









Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chopping it up with Dempsey Jones, the Host of SXSWfm's EDJ show Highlighting Electronic Dance Music!

 Buy The Escape Velocity Electro Hip-Hop EDM album  here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tapia

I recently had the opportunity to be invited to a Full Sail Green Room session as a distinguished member of the Full Sail Student Body.This exclusive opportunity was with two of SXSW's(South by South west Conferences and Festivals) very own distinguished panelists and Directors, Dempsey Jones and Gene Butler The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.

                                              EDJ SPOTLIGHT HOST DEMPSEY JONES
Dempsey is an experienced event production and management professional in the Austin, Texas area. She recently received her Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from Southwestern University. As an undergrad, she worked as a University Entertainment Event Programmer and began venturing into the field of broadcasting. Dempsey has worked with various radio stations across the United States and in London, England. After two years of interning with SXSW, she began working on staff as a senior in college, and she spent her final semester coordinating Clusterfest, a music and arts festival in Georgetown, Texas. She is currently employed as the Platinum Conference Crews Volunteer Coordinator and the SXSWfm Music Coordinator at South by Southwest, LLC. 
Dempsey is also the host for SXSWfm's EDJ show.EDJ, hosted by Dempsey Jones, continues with its show on SXSWfmElectronic Dance Music has been growing exponentially over the past several years and continues to encompass more and more sub-genres with each month.She is in charge of finding new EDM acts to feature on the show after they have performed at SXSW. Thankfully, EDJ will have your garage and jungle, grime and drum 'n' bass, dubstep and trap, and everything in between along with what lies ahead. Tune in for artists such as Rusko, Caspa, A Tribe Called Red, TNGHT, Baauer, Skream, and Calvin Harris.

Check out EDJ, I had the chance to chop it up with her about how to submit to be showcased at SXSW March 7-16 2014 in Austin Texas. she told me right now is the perfect time to submit on SXSW.com  under the music tab,and apply to showcase section. There is a thirty dollar application fee and the earlier you submit the better. She is also looking for volunteers for the Platinum conference Crews to work the event they took on close to 4000 volunteers last year alone one of the perks is you get a pass to the conference (platinum passes run up to 1500 dollars if you just walk up to by them!) You will have to arrange your own accommodations but they do feed you as long as you are volunteering. You can apply at volunteer.sxsw.com  beginning the first week in November.
                                  Dempsey kicking it with some Full Sailors in the Green Room!
Dempsey made it clear that SXSW is growing exponentially and looking for EDM artists to fill the over one hundred stages they will have to showcase acts next year! So much of the entertainment business is becoming familiar with people and networking, Dempsey was so cool and open to new artists and the process for selection I decided to share her insights with you all so we can push the genre. Now apply even earlier for consideration to play our 28th annual SXSW Music Festival! Showcasing at SXSW means performing in one of Austin, TX's famous live music venues, for over 25,000 industry representatives and fellow musicians combined, plus over 3,000 media members and thousands of fans in attendance. Apply for the opportunity to play with acts from all over world. Of the 2,200 plus showcasing artists in 2013, nearly 600 international acts performed, representing 55 different countries. By opening the submission process earlier, it is our their to give even more attention to each applicant and also notify bands sooner of their status.

                                               TAPIA 7AP!A and DEMPSEY JONES
SXSW hosts acts in every stage of their development, including music legends such as Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, LL Cool Jay, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode. Join the ranks of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mumford and Sons, Florence and The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, The Strokes and so many more, by benefiting from career changing exposure and publicity provided by the amazing mix of influential participants who attend SXSW every year. If your act is selected for a SXSW 2014 showcase, domestic acts may opt to receive either cash compensation OR a SXSW Music Artist Package. International acts receive a SXSW Music Artist Package. (An Artist Package consists of ARTIST wristbands for band members ONLY with the option to purchase two discounted SXSW MUSIC FESTIVAL wristbands for managers, label representatives, crew, etc.) Artist wristbands allow admission to the SXSW Music Panels, SXSW Trade Show, Music Gear Expo, official SXSW showcases, artist lounges and more. If accepted, you will receive more details about both options in your notification email. I hope This information helps any aspiring EDM DJs or Artists and anyone interested in Volunteering for this Industry Wide event. Peace.