Category Archives: Jo-Na Williams

What’s With All The Excitement?

A few weeks ago I was browsing the DIY Blog at CD Baby and noticed that A gleeful Christopher Robley was going on and on about the launch of Apple’s New Streaming System, the differences between this and their very well funded iTunes and how Beats fits in, etc. OK Fine, Yada! But then the gentleman had the nerve to ask his readership (90+% Indie Musicians, I’m sure) if they were “Excited” about Apple’s launch. I couldn’t help myself!        I had to Comment.

Below is what I wrote verbatim (in bold) although surprisingly, the gatekeepers DID Approve its posting!

Before You Read, Take a Moment to Answer These Questions:

How Much Serious Money Have You Made from iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal or Amazon as an EntreMusician? (I’ve Never Seen So Many Zeros follow a decimal point!)

How Much Serious Money have the aforementioned companies made off the back of Songwriters & Artists? (How Many Zeros are there in Seven Billion?)

Do You Think We Should Continue Down The Path of Poverty Just to Tell Our Fans They Can Find Us on Spotify Instead of Asking them to purchase directly from Us?

What Suggestions Do You Propose To Get Us Out of This Mess?

Seriously, the concept of any Artist being “excited” about Apple, Spotify, Pandora or even CD Baby making millions of dollars a year – on the very backs – of these same Musicians to whom they pay less than peanuts to is a clear Offensive Mockery to the Art of Music.

The Time is long past where all Serious EntreMusicians should concentrate on their own Fan Base (no matter how small) and Create their own Subscription Models through their Websites and Micro Payment Accounts through Pay Pal and begin this doggone thing again! The ability to interact directly with your own tribe, via Internet is old school and completely limited by your imagination.

The notion that ANY Indie Musician is going to get rich, be discovered and have access to millions of eyes and ears is pure fallacy. Do Your Thing! Don’t Be A Sucker! The Time and Money You Spend Rehearsing, Recording, Performing and Building Your Brand will be Rewarded if You Are Smart, Creative and Willing to Work Your Posterior Regions Off!

Call The Crap for What It Is and Don’t Believe the Blinking Hype! If You Only have 500 fans who give you $50 a year because you have brilliantly created Music & Merch they LOVE, You have Earned $25k. So Grow those 500 to 1000+ and Keep Moving. The Whole World doesn’t have to Know Your Name as Long as You are Making Music that Touches the Hearts and Minds of YOUR Fans. They WILL Support Your Artistry! Ultimately, It’s Our Responsibility – Without a Major Label, Distribution or “Connects” – Network with Other Likeminded Musicians and Make a Plan & Make Your Mark!

Excited About Apple? Please!

P.S. Derek Sivers started a great company. I believed and supported his original philosophy that actually helped make our music accessible on a global basis and we made $$. I started calling him (and still refer to him as ‘Uncle Derek.’ This subsequent “push” to ‘Make Sure Your Music is Here or Here or Here’ has long proven a bad decision. Jay Z Can’t Save Us – iTunes didn’t and Apple Won’t.

I Would Really Love To Hear Your Comments Here. Seriously, Lemme Know.

I was listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Future2Future” as I prepared this Blog.

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The Opportunity in the Obstacle

Obstacles are a Regular Diet of Every EntreMusician’s Life. They are Unavoidable, often Unpredictable and always present hidden Opportunities. Along with the stress that comes with Each Obstacle are Moments to Choose whether to Freak Out, Give Up or Turn Bitter in the process, instead of Zeroing In on the Possible Benefits this Obstacle offers.
I Must Admit that I have done All of These. 

Call it Age, but lately I’ve forced myself to stop and answer the question “What Does This Mean?” right at the crest of every perceived Obstacle. Whether it’s Lack of Resources for a Certain Project to downright Opposition while Carrying out a Goal, if we can Quell our Emotions, have a Team pow wow, or do Personal Introspection to Ask Ourselves the Meaning Behind the Obstacle, we create a Clarity that Allows Us to Better Focus on Acheiving Our Accomplishments. 

In Fact, What I Am Learning Most about My Most Recent Obstacles is that they were more about ME than the Thing, Person or Situation that presented itself. If I Did Not Plan or Execute Properly, I Invited the Obstacle. If I Do Not Adequately State My Goals or Explain to My Team Expected Intentions & Results, I Should Expect Obstacles. 

But What if I Did Do All of the Above? What if My All of My Ducks are in the Provrbial Row? I Immediately Stop Asking ‘How’ this Happened and ask ‘Why’ Questions- which are More Personal and Less Technical. Obviously, a Personal Lesson is Attached and I Need to Open Eyes & Ears and Learn The Lesson.

I Have Not Been Able to Overcome Every Obstacle. Often, I’ve had to work Underneath, Beside & Through the Obstacle. But the Perspective I’ve gained from being “Up Close & Personal” with the Adversity has drawn out a greater degree of Creativity, Perseverance & Wisdom that I would not have gained otherwise. Additionally, Some Obstacles have brought Absolute & Generous Blessings to My Family & I – Opportunities I Would Have Never Walked Into had I just stood there and cursed the blasted thing! 

Many of Our Greatest Opportunities Are Disguised as Obstacles. This Thought does not Minimize the real pain each can bring us, but the Hurt doesn’t have to Harm if we look the Issue dead in the eye, analyze it for what it is and formulate an appropriated response, all the while gritting your teeth and buckling up for the interesting journey ahead.

I’ve been Very Intentional to not discuss specific experiences here, as there are More than Many and I’d be here till Next Thursday trying to explain a few! Like any other EM, I’ve Blundered & Blown It, but Because I Am an EM,     I Learn and I Move On…

Keep Your Head Up!

I wasn’t listening to any music while wrting this, but Jon Thomas & I just collaborated on a track called “Maranatha” that I’m gonna finish tweaking as soon as I post this!

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The Art of the Interview

Inevitably, all EntreMusicians will need to interact with Multimedia to Promote an Event or Project. I have been blessed to be able to have access to Radio, TV & Print in my region due to my involvement as a former Radio Producer for the legendary, late Dan Ryan Talk Show on WKBN’s 570AM. Although this has been decades ago, the Tips & Tricks I picked up by being on “both sides of the glass” have been invaluable in helping me spread my message. Here are a few things I have learned:

1) Have a Voice. 

Be Able to Stylize a Tone, Sense of Enunciation and a Presence that whether People are Able to See You or Not, they are Sure that You are You! I will Never Forget the Excitement that My Brother-in-Law, Phil The Beat & I felt as Teenagers when we heard our hero, Roger Troutman being interviewed on Cleveland’s Power 108, WDMT. And, he had his Talk Box with him on the Radio! This left an Indelible Impression on Us and We Could Not Wait to get his New Album and go to the show. Listening to Bootsy Collins was More Exciting than hearing Frankie Beverly interview, although Both of their Music remains as some of the Most Enduring of the Soul era.

Also, Intelligence Does Not supercede Style On the Air – if this is in line with Your Overall Imagery. Some Artists prefer to appear Downright Stupid, ala Favor Flav, because their image is what Moves the Sales. The important thing is to Know Your Voice and Always employ it while Branding Your Art.

I developed a “Radio Voice” before going to work on the Dan Ryan Show, as I was previously an On Air Gospel DJ at WGFT 1500-AM. When I am being interviewed on Radio, I often, ‘go there’ by default – but it sounds trite on Stage and on TV, so I’m more comfortable in my natural voice.

2) Possess a Look

Tape (Hard Drives) & Cameras are most unforgiving. Ditto everything I said above, but apply it to the Visual. Have Your Concept DOWN and make sure you get plenty of opinions and a consensus if you can’t afford a fashion designer. Not all Colors, Blends and Fabric are You – again, unless Your Act is Stark, Shocking or downright Disgusting. Making Absolutely Sure that You are Captivating on TV is far different than Your Stage Persona (unless you’ll be performing live on TV!) often EMs dress according to the Artisry, just keep in mind that People will be Looking a Lot Closer to You on their Big Screen, Deciphering Everything about You – a mole, crooked teeth, earrings, etc., because these features/flaws either bring Your Fans closer to you or alienate them. 

I recall how crazy I looked going on TV once to Interview with Sunglasses on. I was Naive. It Was Stupid! I think I destroyed the VHS!

3) Have Fun!

Once You’ve Established Your Voice & Your Visual, it’s time to Relax, Have Fun, Be Confident and Engage Your Artist. Too Many Musicians come off as if their Guitar Chops are as Serious & Important as the next missile strike in the Middle East. They present themselves as aloof, unapproachable with devoid of a funny bone. These decisions contain poison that both the Interviewer and their Public repel. It’s Not That Serious! Your Mission is to Make a Connection, not Create a Chasm. Even Prince learned to smile.

4) Share a Story.

Personal. Profound. Transparent. Everything is Not Perfect in Your World and No One Expects it to be. Identify Your Humanity and Relate to Others. Reveal  Mistakes that have happened on Stage or in the Studio, Your Daughter’s Favorite Artist (which is definitely not you) or why your Bass Player really needed stitches right after the show are all great topics. By All Means, Share Your Dreams. I Always Do. They Compel Others to Dream With Me!

5) Ask Questions

Yep. The forgotten Secret. Every Interviewer wants to be Involved in the Process. Some will out talk their guests. Others will be straightforward and just fire away (after all there are time restraints), but Don’t be Afraid to Trade Places. Don’t Make the Interview just about You & Yours! Expressing a Genuine care in those kind enough to give You Airtime gets You repeated visits, puts all the participants at ease and provides the Audience additional insight to the program’s host.

I frequently turn tables on Interviewers, especially when I am feeling nervous. It causes me to build some confidence when I see how others handle the unexpected question. I am able to Relax.

6) Know What You Are Talking About

There’s Nothing Worse than Radio Silence or the Proverbial Deer in the Headlights look. You Avoid these discomforts by knowing Your Art, Abilities and Industry. Keep the Dialogue Limited to What You Do Know and If You Don’t Know, Do Not Pretend. Also, Do Not Avoid the Question or Play Politician, Be Honest and Say You Don’t Know, You May Not Have Heard or are Simply Uninterested in Answering that Particular Question. And Smile.

I put my Size 10 & A 1/2 in My Mouth Twice On Radio when I Pretended to Know More about the subject matter. I tried to Play Expert in a Den of Experts and the World knew (at least that one) I Was a Fraud. I Avoided Mirrors for Two Weeks. 

7) Don’t Lie

Ever. 

This includes Exaggerations. Read My Experience Above – Again. 

If You’ve Only Sold 1000 Downloads, don’t make it 2000. How Many Accurate Unique Hits do you get per week? Be Accurate. Stay Honest. Avoid Hype.
8) Get Over Yourself

At the End of the Interview, the Conversation should not be “about” YOU, albeit concerning You, Your Projects, etc. You’ll Gain More Ground and Respect by Intentionally Making Your Airtime about Your Host, Sponsors, Fans and Most Definitely other Artists You Admire and have influenced Your Career. If there is a Ministry, Charity or Cause You Champion & Support, mention them. Always Be Charitiable & Generous in Your Positive Comments of Others.

Hope This Helps. Below are a few links to Interviews I’ve done, including my Very First TV Interview.

Explaining SounDoctrine on Loose Change: http://youtu.be/zHfaHWvnEzc

Once Upon A Madonna: http://youtu.be/h7dqD3k3lGw

My First Time: http://youtu.be/B8xE7aF8-zw

Radio – Randy Allar, The Fusion Show: http://youtu.be/oK7hSbenFHo

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What is YOUR Music Worth (To You)?

A Musician I know entered our Studio a few weeks ago to obtain some advice on some software we use. While playing through the Music he had brought with him, I noticed that his Songs, though Very Well Produced, Energetic & Engaging, were Extremely Dated. His Drum Programming, Keyboard Patches, Quantization and approach to Sequencing matched his age perfectly, but not This Decade.

Knowing that his Intention was to soon release this Music to a Specific Genre, I fought (and won) the urge to give advice that had not been asked for. When he left, I began having a Conversation with Myself (you should try it sometime) on the Merits of Releasing his Music “As Is” or Redoing Everything to Make it More Contemporary. 

I Argued Both Sides of the Art VS Commerce Debate. EntreMusicians daily walk a very thin tightrope of Maintaining Each, even when One may be Sacrificed at times for the Longterm Benefit of the other. But for Some Reason, this Self Induced Discourse was Different and I admit, my own age was to blame. 

I Am a Bonafide Child of the Mid 60’s & 70’s. I remember the first Recorded Drum machines, the Robotic Stiffness of Kraftwerk and Soul Sonic Force’s “Planet Rock” to the many artists like the great Jeff Lorber (who ruined my life, ask him), Stevie, Herbie & Prince who were eagerly adept at Melting Genre & Technology because they absolutely kept the Art First. 

Not All Records Sold. 

Herbie’s “Dis is da Drum” VS “Future Shock” (which contained the monster hit ‘Rockit‘)

Stevie’s “Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants” VS “Songs in The Key of Life” (which Lori & I recently saw Live!) 

Prince’s “Around The World in a Day” VS iconic “Purple Reign

Ironically, from a Purely Musician’s Perspective, Each Work was Equally Exceptional, but only one of the two made the Artist significant moola. Various circumstances may have contributed to the Lack of Sales, including the Timing of the Release, Record Company Promotion, Management, Tour Support, Radio Politics and so forth. But for the Indie EMs who Begin Most Projects without any of these benefits, it’s critical that he/she think through the Real Possibility of Not Eating or Making Music that is Honest & Most Meaningful to Their Spirit First & Foremost, irregardless of the public’s taste (or lack thereof).

One of George Duke’s best statements before he left us was that early on he refused to make music to please the popular frontier of Radio & Record Company whims; that he was pleasing his own Soul first. B.B. King said he wouldn’t be satistfied until he heard ‘that sound’ in his head and would live his life trying to acheive it. In both of these instances, they kept searching and we kept listening.  

So after going Back & Forth and around the proverbial, I made up my own mind to ccontinue charting my own artistic course while rmaining on the tightrope. In fact, SounDoctrine has been and I’ll be releasing music which clearly shows our choices.

What side do you come down on?

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Then When?

Many EntreMusicians are Professional Perpetual Procrastinators. You may practice saying that three times fast!

The Creative Inside Explores Each & Every Rabbit Trail of our Projects. Frequently We Stop/Start/Start Again or Run to the Other Extreme and Binge on One ‘Thang’ or One Specific Aspect of A ‘Thang’ until we have Massaged the Life Out of the Doggone Thang! 

Guilty As Charged.

Deadlines Do No Good when Music is Involved. 

I Must Listen to 9,874 out of 11,023 Cowbell Samples I have. And Don’t Get Me Started on Choosing The Right Kick Drum…

I Completely Obsess Over The Mix. I become too Preoccupied with Reverb & Delay Settings and More Often than Not, I find myself stripping the Song Back to the Bare Bones Time & Again, which provided the Original Inspiration and the Compulsive debacle begins again.

You Too, Huh?

It can get to the place where seasons will fly by and You (and I) are so involved in The Work, we ignore our Ultimate Goal of The Result! Obviously, I am not suggesting we corrupt the Spirit of Excellence or Perform beneath Our Peak. I am talking about our tendency to be so Pessimistic & Critical about the minor details that our Art lacks the Joy and Blessing it was intended to become. Berry Gordy used to say that he loved to leave mistakes in Motown Music (a young Michael Jackson shouting “Just look over your shoulders, honey!” on  ‘I’ll Be There‘) or My Friend & Fellow EM, Ohio Player Billy Beck screaming in the middle of “Love Rollercoaster” and leaving it In The Mix. DJ’s would later begin the rumor that a woman was murdered during the session! Talk About Emotion that produces Gold Records!

The point is to make sure we have captured all that needs to be in a compelling, thought provoking and engaging way and move on. Besides, there is ALWAYS the Remix!

But if you don’t Release It, Ship It, Launch It, Market It or Sell It While It’s Hot, Then When Will You?

The Truth is, There will Never Be Enough Money, or The Right Time or Season or Conditions or Circumstances or _________________________________________! Make The Decision. Get It Out The Door and Begin Again!

What I’ve learned to do is place Human Buffers in my life who have the Undisputed Right to begin Interrogation Procedures if they feel my Obsessive Compusive Behavior  (Note I did not say “Disorder!) is getting the best of me! My Co-Pilot Jerry Thompson, Executive Administrator Michaela Write and/or Beautiful Wife Lori can yell STOP at anytime and listen themselves to determine if I am over the edge. And I trust their ears!

I’d Love To Know Your Tips & Tricks to Getting That Thang Done!

I’d  Also Like to Know where you might be struggling!

Hit Me Up!

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Cloudy Collaborations

I Am Not The First to Ask these Questions, but EntreMusicians Should Ask them Frequently & Loudly.

Who Owns the Cloud? 

Who Manages/Controls the Cloud? 

Most Importantly, What is Happening to My Intellectual Property when I Upload to this Cloud?

As we already (or should) know, All of Our Pictures & Posts Uploaded to Facebook and other Social Media No Longer belongs to Us once we hit “Enter” on our keyboards. The Banking Industry is slowly, gingerly getting us used to Taking Pictures of our Hard Earned Checks and Depositing them, via their apps, while having No Idea How Many Eyes Monitor Our Accounts. And Are Our Smart TVs Watching Us?

I don’t think I sound like a Completely Wacked Out Conspiracy Nut…Or Do I?

As an Avid Collaborator with various Songwriters & Musicians, I am growing wary of a trend that most Music Software Companies, including my beloved Propellerheads (Reason) are beginning to engage in. Users of these various Composition/Sequencing Tools can now Collaborate, Interact & Upload their Music Online, much like Gamers have been doing for years. 

The difference here is that these Songwriters are leaving their Intellectual Property on the Servers of the Software Companies who can now claim the Songs as their own, since the Songwriter’s activities are being created in their sphere, using their products. Remember, You, the User, only License the Rights to Use their Software, You Do Not OWN It.

My Co-Writers & I utilize Old School Methods of Sending Files to Each Other, be it Online or Snail Mail. We Construct Appropriate Agreements with Each Other regarding Shares, Publishing and File the Composition with the Copyright Office and our PRSs accordingly. We Collaborate on assuring Every Single aspect of our “baby” is Protected & Provided for according to Traditional Industry Standards, albeit We Live in a Digital World. 

If You are an EM who sees a Stronger ROI in employong Cloudbased Collaboration, feel free to chime in and let me know Your Thoughts. I do appreciate a few aspects of Open Source Initiatives and Creative Commons Licenses. I understand that there are literally Thousands of Musicians who involve themselves at this level and I Am Most Definitely Not Above being Called an Outdated “Fuddy Duddy!” 

My Primary Concern remains in what happens to the Intellectual Property I am poised to leave in my Estate to my daughters and their subsquent survivors during the life of my copyrights.

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Opt Out!

The Undisputed Absolute #1 Reason the EntreMusician Exists is Accomplishment!

Lord knows there are enough Activities on our plate which Must Be Done without including yet another Distraction on an already Overloaded Schedule. Since most EMs are Avid Readers who stay ahead of the Curve learning New Production Techiques, Marketing Strategies and Networking Nuances, we soon notice that overtime our Inbox is swamped with information we don’t need and probably will never use.

In our quest to stay abreast, we’ve subscribed to this, that and the other, not noticing it takes a full 20 minutes just to delete the unnecessary garbage to comb through what really matters. 

It’s time to Opt Out. Unsubscribe. Cancel. Dismiss & Disregard. And don’t for a minute fall for the Automated Boo-Hoos that claim they are so sorry to see you go. It’s time to cut the fat and spend our valuable time Making Music or Making Connections.

This also goes for Social Media. Who Says We Need to Maintain a Presence on Each & Everyone? If Facebook works better than Twitter for Us and Our Audiences then we shouldn’t Tweet. If LinkedIn is a better fit than Instagram then we need not complicate our lives by signing up for Pinterest! Besides, if we’re carefully building Our Tribe, They Are Going to be Where We Are and We’ll more often Increase Our Brand Loyalty because We Don’t ______________________or we Don’t have a ______________________Profile.

When you download that Free e-book providng your email address, unsubscribe as soon as the PDF is in your library. It’s already a given that the only reason they’ve provided the Freebie is so they can email you three times a week or more about another offer you can save 20% on or a conference designed to make you smarter, healthier, richer and more popular.

Always Be Respectful but its Always OK to be Ruthless when stewarding and saving Your most precious commodity by staying Out of the Inbox and Off the Platforms. One way to Maintain Discipline is to schedule Your Online Sessions as rigorously as You schedule rehearsals and recording sessions. Read emails no more than Twice a Day, and Once a Day at Your platform of Choice. Be Brutal and keep yourself at 20 minutes for each task. 

The next best self regulation is to simply Opt Out of Absolute Everything that Obstructs Creativity & Slows Flow. 

By The Way, I did NOT Mean Eliminating THIS Blog!!! 😆

I’m listening to Dave Holland Quintet’s “Critical Mass”  as I Write This

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Quit Trying!

Let’s Face It, when you ask a favor or wish to enter into a collaborative effort and the other person utters the famous “I’ll Try” your internal alarm sends a warning that you’re either in for a tumultuous season of lies and deceit or find someone else!

If You happen to be the Offending Culprit, these next three words are for you. Make A Decision! 

Accomplishment is about Absolutes. Sometimes the best answer to give is a firm and resolute NO, but telling anyone – and especially yourself – that you’ll “try” is to invite chaos and turmoil into your life, while earning you a reputation of being dishonest, difficult to work with and perhaps completely useless.

Psychologists have explained that a physiological disconnect develops within your nervous system when stress, confusion and yes, indecision enters a person’s brain. Among the variety of subjects on the topic are Cognitive Indecision, Behavioral Indecision & Ethical Indecision. The phrase “I’ll Try” finds its roots in Indecision because one hasn’t come into agreement with their true intentions concerning a matter, so the subconscious tendency to sabotage the project is initially inherent.

Dr. Lance Wallnau (lancewallnau.com) takes this conversation a step further by introducing spiritual imperatives which he says delays real advancement in the manifestation of fulfilling our dreams and purposes. 

“I’ll Try” lacks the power, focus and motivation of “I’ll Do It!!”

Dr. Wallnau overwhelming proved this during a conference of over a thousand of us, in my church last year when he had us all stand up and yell the first and then subsequent phrase. The decibels, excitement and unity in the room rose exponentially as we “high-fived” each other in anticipation of our imaginary cause most assuredly being accomplished!

This concept is nothing new, nor particularly original to any one thought leader, but it is a Primary Principle for any EntreMusician who is determined to accomplish his/her objectives without the hindrance of potential ‘tryers’ who are potentially more destructive than naysayers. We can overcome the haters, but those who lack  the capacity to agree with themselves have no place aligning with our goals!

So Quit Trying. Start Doing.

I was listening to Lalah Hathaway’s “Self Portrait” as I composed this blog.

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Who? Not What!

Days ago I gave a profound piece of advice to a very good friend of mine. Almost immediately I had to turn around and apply this same counsel to myself! My Friend is a major EntreMusician with tremendous talent who is an incredible help and has been a major thrust in the success of my projects for the past nine years. Being a confidant, we often vent our mutual struggle of navigating multiples simultaneously. This time he was up to bat and Words of Wisdom flowed out of me effortlessly as I text’d back: 

“You need to sit down and DECIDE just who You Really Are. Are You an Entrepreneur, Teacher, Studio Operator or Business Owner? Your Challenge is that You are Fantastic at All of These, but You are Not an Expert in Either of These. Until You Become an Expert at One of These, You Won’t be able to Breathe Life into Any of These! You Must Identify First WHO You Are – and Not Just What You Want to Do – and WHO You Are will determine What Needs to Be Done.

I sounded (and felt) like a Guru Prophet.

15 minutes hadn’t passed until these same words began radically challenging me (read that as a euphemism for kicking my own butt!) A Born Multitasker, I must confess a subtle pride in identifying myself as a “Follower of Christ, Husband, Father, Songwriter/Producer/Musician, Pastor, BIble Teacher & Student, Blogger and oh yeah, I’ve Acted too!” But whittle me down to the core and it’s tough to get out of bed some mornings! 

At the End of the Day, Month or Year, it all comes down to WHO I Was/AM. And at the End of My Life, it’s obvious I won’t be known for even half of these things – so I need to constantly Center my Concentration on Absolute Strengths, which are Not Rooted in Titles or To Do Lists, but in the Values, Character, Faith & Principles I espouse.

For Example, this Songwriter/Producer/Musician handle. I am a Songwriter at Heart. This is Who I Really Am.      The function of the Producer is to articulate what the Songwriter needs to convey and will often call upon the Musician to quantify the Songwriter’s expectations. While not being the best Musician, the Producer may need to utilize technology or call in better musicians to ensure the story is told exactly as the Songwriter intended. Thus, the skills of my internal Producer & Musician exist to serve the purpose of my Songwriting first and foremost. Composing Better Songs Must Remain My Continual Objective. Yes, both my Producer & Musician do get calls for outside projects, but stay with me!

Knowing WHO You Are will ALWAYS Tower far above What You Do. When faced with a myriad of possibilities and options, first consult WHO You Are and the motivation to proceed (or not) will decide autonomously.  

Your Thoughts?

I was listening to Bernie Worrell’s “Blacktronic Science” as I wrote this

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There’s Plenty of Money to be Made in Music, Except for the Musician…

Apple is buyIng Spotify for $10B. They already ate Beats for $3B. Pandora is hanging tough at $4B a year and although Jay Z is threatening Musician Equality with his new Tidal, the conversation on the “Platform VS Content” War is dead. And Buried.

Clearly the people have spoken. Again. Music should be Absolutely Free. I Should Eat all I Want for $9.99.

The Songwriters, Musicians, Producers, Singers, Artists, Performers, Engineers and other Technicians who create & cultivate the art are not worth more than the software and apps developed to stream the creativity. In fact, they have no worth at all.

I can recall as a young drummer with dreams of going Hollywood, all the hoopla the headlines created when a post-Thriller Michael Jackson resigned to Sony for $100M and the (then) highest royalty rate of any artist since the Cavemen 4. My first thought was “Who’s Name was on the bottom of the check?” Clearly THAT person was in charge! Not long after, Michael called THAT person “the devil,” whether or not his charge had merit.

Decades later, the cute balancing act of Art & Commerce has totally and completely tipped in favor of the Platform Peddlers. Well, yeah they let a few artists through the door to continue extracting subscription fees from the masses while keeping Hollywood dreams afloat, but the bottom line is the ship has sailed and unless a mutiny is declared, Musicians who receive a mere $60 bucks after their song have streamed a million times should shut up and swallow.

There may be no way to win THIS War, but there is a way to Begin Again. It will mean Every Single EntreMusician jumping the present ship and building his/her own Ark, Creating & Cultivating a tribe of fans who will subscribe to Them, on Their Own Servers, on Terms that best accommodate Their People. 

It’s Long. It’s Difficult. It’s Expensive. But it’s Entrepreneurialism and looking out at the landscape (or lack thereof) it’s the only way.

I wasn’t listening to any music as I wrote this.

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