Having reviewed my finances this morning, its clear to me that of the three main acivities in the work side of my life, at least one more of them needs to be earning me some money (being involved in stand up comedy does earn me some money – after a lengthy apprenticeship – whereas my solo music and Project X Presents dont).
I try and keep up with the changes in the way music is distributed, mostly through the excellent and informative, www.newmusicstrategies.com – a blog which I have been subscribed to for some time, and so using that knowledge I do have the option to continue as a self releasing artist indefinitely. Releasing my debut album via this site has got me off to a good start and its gratifying to see my music spread through places like Lastfm.com, but given that I dont want to devote my life to music promotion, and I do want to make some money from my music, I think for the moment at least, I need a record deal. Timely then, that via the ever useful blog of Pete Ashton, today I came across this very clear and well informed article from David Byrne writing for Wired.
The article is a great read for anyone in currently releasing music or planning to do so, setting out Byrne’s view of the current environment and setting out pros and cons for what he identifies as six different distribution models:
Equity Deal, Standard Deal, License Deal, Profit Sharing, Manufacturing and Distribution Deal and finally, Self Distribution (these being listed in order in terms of the degree of artistic control which each is likely to entail.
Its well worth considering which deal is most appropriate, but also which label. I’ve sent my album to Just Music – a label recommended to me by Mixmaster Morris – they like chilled instrumental and/or acoustic music with a meditative sort of tone and some classical influence, so hopefully ideal for me.
I’ve listened to a lot of the other artists on the label (and liked what I heard), absorbed and empathised with their ethos and made preliminary contact with them by phone to introduce myself and initiate the relationship, which I think is an important move.
This is the first time Ive sent any of my solo music to a prospective label, so Im excited and a little nervous, but I feel the time is right – Ive waited until Ive got some performance experience under my belt, a reasonable body of music and some good reviews, so I feel this is the right move and the right time. Now to wait for the guys at Just Music to get through the great piles of records they are no doubt sent on a regular basis and see if they come back and offer me something to consider. Wish me luck!