The 2017 Grammy Awards ushered in the future last night. Another year of music, another year of trend setters and another year of an evolving industry.
There were a few performance highlights for me this year. The Weekend showed the world that he can seriously sing! While I miss his sculpted hair, I’m glad it proved not to be his source of stardom. Ed Sheeran showed us how to perform solo but sound like a band without it feeling like karaoke. Side musicians could be in trouble? I was super impressed with Lukas Graham and Kelsea Ballerini. Lukas immediately earned space on my Spotify playlist. Guy Clark Jr and William Bell owned the night with their performance of “Born Under A Bad Sign!” It was great seeing Morris Day and The Time as they reminded everyone where Bruno Mars draws much of his musical inspiration. And speaking of Bruno Mars, he absolutely slayed the Prince tribute performance of “Purple Rain.” The Lady Gaga Metallica pairing was brilliant and added serious rockdom to the evening. But the most memorable 2017 Grammy performance moment will be when Adele stopped mid-performance, let a few explicit words fly, and re-started her George Michael tribute in the correct key. While I’m glad she found the right key, it felt somewhat like the redo I grabbed during my first piano recital at six years old. Sans the explicit lyrics of course.
The one big take away for me from this year’s Grammy Awards is that independent artists can find their way to the top of the music industry food chain. Chance The Rapper walked away with three Grammys without the backing of a record label. To top it off, his winning album Coloring Book is a streaming-only release. And that my friends signals a seismic shift in the music industry. That future we have been hearing about for the last few years just arrived.
Today is a big day for new music as RYAN CORN releases his new EP THE PRESSURE ! If you haven’t listened to Ryan’s music, you are missing out. After being added to prominent Spotify playlists around the world and his new single being played on Sirius XM The Pulse, the pop singer/songwriter’s worldwide audience is growing quickly.
THE PRESSURE was self-produced by Ryan with Ben Shive producing vocals and Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White, Elle King, The White Stripes) mixing. THE PRESSURE is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon MP3, GooglePlay and all other digital outlets where music is sold.
Marketing Music in 2017 is more attainable than ever yet more difficult than ever.
Marketing attainability is greater than ever as the playing field has been leveled. Digital music services have made it possible for any artist to release music in key worldwide retail stores including iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay and Amazon. Social networks have made it possible for anyone to market music at a very low cost.
Marketing is more difficult than ever as there are so many vehicles to choose from. Knowing where your target audience is hanging out is only the starting point. Due to accessibility of releasing music being made easy, an enormous amount of digital noise surrounding the mountains of music releases creates a crowded marketplace. Waining attention spans combined with the overcrowded marketplace makes it extremely difficult to harvest the clicks on your content.
So How Do You Market Music In 2017?
- Make incredible music!
- Spotify playlist are the holy grail. If your music isn’t featured on playlists you are invisible. Some playlists are owned by Spotify but many aren’t. Figure out how to get your music in front of playlisters. It is possible and your success depends on it
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Find your customers and spend a little money to get in front of them.
- Make videos, make more videos and make even more videos. Youtube is the current generation’s MTV. The big difference is now anyone can play in the video space. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to advertise your videos to similar successful artists. It will reap views and exposure. People can’t connect with your music if they aren’t exposed to your music.
- Spend time with young people 16-23. They know whats new, where people are hanging out and how to navigate new technology and the new frontier. Listen and learn!
Mariah Carey gave all aspiring music artists an invaluable lesson during the Dick Clark 2017 New Year’s Eve celebration with Ryan Seacrest. Performing in front of an estimated one million person audience proved to be the perfect classroom.
It’s no secret that most pop artists now incorporate some kind of backing tracks in their show. The level of track dependance varies from artist to artist but most use them at the very least as a click track and voice-over guide to cue band members on stage. Track technology has proven to be a great tool for live performance but many have become too dependent on the tracks. What happens when the tracks or in-ear monitors fail to work? Apparently, Mariah Carey didn’t have a good solution for her dilemma on New Year’s Eve.
I remember a moment when an artist we worked with was given a huge opportunity with a prime time slot at a prominent music festival. Unfortunately, his track interface failed just as he was to begin his set. The artist used 35 min of his 40 min set trying to fix the interface. I surveyed the stage and saw a band of A level musicians who could have played anything on the fly and made it sound amazing without tracks. The artist could have turned disaster into a huge win with a Plan B.
If you strive to be a professional artist and you use tracks, you are crazy to perform without a Plan B. I will guarantee you will encounter a show where the tracks won’t work or your in-ears will fail. A true professional should always have a Plan B.
- require a couple wedge monitors in your rider as a back up
- pre-pare an unplugged type set and be ready to transition at any moment.
- when issues arise, act quickly and explain to the audience that you are experiencing technical issues but will do something special for them instead of the normal show
If the artist has an ounce of talent, they should be able to pull off an unplugged set on the fly. Imagine what could have happened if Mariah Carey would have quickly transitioned to an unplugged or even an A cappella set?
More music than ever was released in 2016. Some great, some mediocre and some bad music surfaced. December is the time I browse back through music I’ve saved and maybe didn’t give a fair listen or had to step away from for a period to avoid burn out. During the process, I ask myself “Did You Miss Something Significant?”
This year three albums logged the majority of airtime on my playlists. The first was an album I missed back in 2014, Sam Hunt Montevallo. How in the world did I miss this jewel back in October 2014? Another miss was Justin Bieber Purpose which released in November 2015. I never thought I would spend time with Justin Bieber music but Purpose is a master piece and I think this record will influence future music for years. And lastly, the record that logged the most listens in my playlist is The Gray Havens Ghost of A King which released in April this year. Did you miss this significant album? If so, I’d recommend you stop what you are doing this instant, find this album and listen! I promise you will thank me. Below is a short teaser
Live In The Vineyard 2016 is in the history books. This past weekend marked the 18th Live In The Vineyard event produced by its founders and music industry veterans Claire Parr and Bobbii Hach-Jacobs. As always, the Napa, CA event delivered some pretty incredible music moments paired with amazing wine and food.
The opening reception kicked the week off with a memorable single song performance by The Head and The Heart. The lead singer made an abrupt exit from stage in protest that the crowd wasn’t being attentive. Apparently, the crowd was paying attention as their one song performance and abrupt exit created quite the initial buzz for the weekend. Attendees’ went on to show huge appreciation for the other artists who delivered an abundance of love for the audience and event.
The magic of Live In The Vineyard are the special moments created by intimate acoustic performances from the artists at the various wineries and evening concerts. Highlights included an acoustic performance by Colbie Caillat and Justin Young at St Helen’s Brasswood where they shared stories and songs in a intimate living room style atmosphere. I then had an opportunity to see Universal Republic’s new artist, Stanaj, perform a a few tunes including a jaw dropping performance of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” where he ended the song stepping away from the piano for a surprising a cappella ending. The evening concert at the Uptown Theater showcased newcomer Taylor Dukes, stellar vocalist Callum Scott, JohnnySwim, Wrabel, Phillip Phillips and O.A.R. I must say I was quite impressed with Callum Scott’s vocal performance! Phillip Phillips performed his hits and new single as an acoustic trio which included the most rock and roll cello player I have ever seen.
On Saturday, I was wow’d watching Spencer Ludwig work a small group of 50 people into a dance frenzy at Eleven Eleven winery. Ryan Corn closed out the Live In The Vineyard event with his full band set rocking the attendees into the wee hours of the morning.
I’ve had the privilege of attending three Live In The Vineyard events and this year proved to be one of the best loaded with memorable moments!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. October 7, 2016 —Curb Records releases new Ryan Corn digital single, The Pressure. Available immediately at all digital outlets including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Playand AmazonMusic, The Pressure introduces a new grittier Corn. Best known for his Billboard® charting radio single, Wonderful Things, a song that logged 4 million+ Spotify listens establishing Corn as one of Curb Records’ top streaming artists. Listeners are sure to feel The Pressure while getting a taste of what to expect fromRyan Corn’s forthcoming record.
Self-producing Ryan Corn delivers the familiar thought provoking lyric style that listeners have grown to expect from him but Corn’s new production approach reveals a grittier sound with a hint of throwback. Enlisting the mixing skills of Grammy Award® winning Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys ) and vocal producing skills of Ben Shive (Colony House, Dave Barnes) brings a new feel to the singer songwriter’s sound. Corn shares “I’ve never been more proud to put my name on a project! With the help of some amazing people (Vance Powell, Ben Shive, Richard Dodd) I’ve made the record I’ve always strived for.”
Corn is currently featured on The Gray Havens college tour where he is introducing new songs from the forthcoming record at universities across the country. He will be performing at Napa’s Live In The Vineyard event this November and currently finalizing a spring college/club tour.
Curb Records artist and Missouri native Ryan Corn is making music that hits on every level. It’s infectious, brimming with hooks and style. Corn is also a producer, so he knows how to craft songs that bend genres and eras to full effect while injecting heart undergirding the formula. It’s a reflection of the soul of an artist whose desire is not just to get a song stuck in someone’s head, but to get it stuck in their heart, too.
For further information, visit ryancornmusic.com or contact Artist Garden Entertainment.
Artist Garden Entertainment
Tampa, FL alternative hip hop artist, TAL, releases new digital single on Artist Garden Entertainment. The new single, “Meant” , produced by Matthew Parker, is now available at all digital outlets including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. TAL first debuted as an artist on Spotify in March and quickly grew from 0-10k monthly listeners in just a few months with his music featured on key playlists alongside LeCrae and Andy Mineo. While TAL’s music contains hip hop elements, it transcends the genre crossing over to alternative and pop and is being compared to the likes of twenty one pilots and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Why did Sonicbids kill Artistdata? A question I’ve been pondering since receiving the kill letter on Friday.
New internet tools for bands appear on the scene quite often. Some offer great innovative solutions while others merely clone other services. Tunecore, Bandcamp, CD Baby, ReverbNation, Fanbridge, Sonicbids and BandsInTown are among some of the elite survivors. Working as an artist manager leads me down the path of many of these services only to be disappointed and frustrated by limitations. One service I stumbled upon seven years ago, Artistdata, proved to be an incredibly useful tool. Finally, there was a service that offered one place to enter show information that would then magically appear on multiple sites. Artistdata created something pretty special for artists and the best part was that the service was free! While there were some growing pains along the way, Artistdata worked tirelessly to improve their service. As I began to dig in deeper with our artists, I discovered even more great features being offered to artists. One of my favorites is the Daysheet & Tourbook feature. Originally, those two features required a premium monthly subscription which came with a fee, but for a heavy touring band it was well worth the minimal fee. One day, the premium fee disappeared. Could this be real? That should have been a sign that something was cooking up in the back room. Indeed something was cooking as the announcement followed that Sonicbids had purchased Artistdata. Of course Sonicbids promised the purchase would only make Artistdata better.
Last week I received the disappointing letter that Sonicbids is decommissioning Artistdata.com on Oct 14 2016. Of course, the letter states that I should subscribe to Sonicbids and move all data to take advantage of Sonicbids’ great services. The only drawback is there is a substantial monthly fee and I don’t see the daysheet, tourbook and other services listed. I would imagine the founder of Artistdata, Brenden Mulligan, now has a garage full of Ferraris but right now I’m wishing I would never have been exposed to Artistdata as it is so painful to see it disappear.
If anyone has any suggestions on sites that offer the daysheet and tourbook features, please leave a comment!
So you’ve worked hard at mastering an instrument, writing a catalog of hit songs and are about to hit the road gigging all over the country. As you calculate the expenses you will incur touring, you begin to wonder how you could possibly make any money in the music business. Then you remember the article you read somewhere about artists making money from selling t-shirts and cds at their live shows. Your tour begins in a week and you frantically call merch companies to see if you could get t-shirts printed and cds pressed in time to take with you. Sound stupid?
I’m surprised how often I run into artists who claim to be serious about a music career but wait till the last minute to think about the merch they will take on tour. Merch is one of the only money making areas left in the music business. Should it really be an afterthought? Artists who understand the importance of merch and treat it as such are the ones who create sustainable careers in the music business.