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Let’s Talk: Are Record Labels Relevant Anymore?

With this question an important topic in our modern music manifesto, it seems it is a question that has been begging answers for years now.

With the work of singularity and independence coming into play in the music industry, less and less artists have had to rely on the demanding schedule and pay schemes of record labels. Whether it be independent or corporate, the feelings are mutual with record labels becoming less and less prevalent in our industry.

More so for financial support than anything else – and to merely shift the artists around on a spreadsheet to ultimately balance the books – record labels are not nearly as important for underground and bedroom music artists, who can distribute their own music themselves.

With artists fully in control of their music, their are fantastic sites out there that can allow artists to obtain 100% of all music royalties – without having to do unnecessary splits at the business table.

It is important to uncover that some record labels out there are sourced independently and the majority of them are musicians themselves. Keen, motivated and simply happy to be where they are, these more indie-sleuths of the corporate world are a far more dazzling prospect to keen up-starters and demonstrate a more creative side to the industry. Where investments, global value and profits are still important, these indie individuals like to take a back seat on such matters, and focus more so on the music.

Transgressive, Domino and Mind of a Genius Records are a few that do exactly that. But, with these still alive in our industry, many are far too hesitant with the prospect of incorporating contracts and verbal agreements into their music – when all they want to do is just play it.

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So, what’s your view? Are record labels a dying breed? Should we leave them behind as we get our music industry back on track from lockdown? Or do we need them know more than ever simply for financial stability?

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Song of the Day: “The Adults are Talking” – The Strokes

Off the back off the glossy indie bands’ return to stardom from 2013’s Comedown Machine, The Strokes are back with a bold, brash and thought-provoking approach to their songwriting work.

You can have a listen to “The Adults Are Talking” below. You can catch the single in u their eclectic album release from last year, aptly named, The New Abnormal.

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How Important is Social Media to Our Music?

More and more musicians are being told that social media is the key to success in the music industry. But how much does it get in the way of creating our music?

Does it make it any more or any less valued than simply playing the tunes? Do we as grass root level musicians have to become trendsetters over night to gain any wealth of confidence in streaming numbers?

As social media barrages us with video after video, more undoing our creativity and reducing our attention span, will social media be our downfall in it all? After all, will we get through an entire song without skipping?

It seems that anything more than 30 seconds, and we will simply skip!

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SONG OF THE DAY

The song of the day today is Black Foxxes’, Witch Mountain. An ‘airy’ magnificence which lingers that bit longer even when finished.

Like the swirling atmosphere you begin to imagine at a summit of such a place like ‘Witch Mountain’, the song has a certain sense of odd beauty, uncertainty and important spacing throughout.

Recently discovering Black Foxxes as an iconic indie collective abound with emotion and musical arching, and are certainly prevalent on any chill playlist I wish to play on a weekend afternoon. Best during those overcast kind of days.

Give it a spin – or have a blast through their catalogue so far – and let me know your thoughts on the raw and husky works of Holley and co.

This is BLACK FOXXES.

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Is it Time to QUIT Spotify?

Your Discovery: The music industry needs to reawaken from its slumber.

As we see more and more artists fight for our attention via a new single every week and a drive to their socials, music consumption becomes more competitive as the industry changes hands into the world of the unknown with new and upcoming artists.

With this comes issues. The rates of streaming Spotify take is something ludricous. The rate of 0.00003 per stream means that you have to have a least quarter of million streams to earn £1,000. To musicians, this 1,000 is slim pickings – especially if funds have been driven into social engagement, studio hire and musician hire.

We are consuming more music than ever before and yet … the music artists are not reaping the rewards off of it.

With music artists seemingly changing their perception on driving audiences to their social media as opposed to their actual music, how we consume music in the music industry needs to change. And it starts with us as consumers ourselves.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS.

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For me, I like Spotify to discover new artists, but, when I like an album, I just go buy the LP. Not only is the quality of the music better, but you have a connection with the artist, too. It’s not just me – the music creator – a lot of people my age and even younger, return to vinyl. For the sake of future musicians and providing support to the lesser known musicians … let’s hope it will be a reawakening of the music industry.
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Now, I know actually producing vinyls is a might finance feat in itself and they are not cheap like burning samples on a CD. The convenience of Spotify draws in a godly rate of subscribers – how do we get back into the absorption of music by actually purchasing for the artist?