#1
 I'm signed oi a "label" but I am starting to get some real concerns about this.

When I signed I was told I had to pay £2000+ to record an EP before they can help me with promotion. I essentially signed a "artist development" deal. I started saving up and then finally recorded the EP.

Before I signed they told me that gigging is involved and everything. And they said they had a lot of faith in my potential etc. We had a plan and schedule to release a single by the end of June 2017 but everything has been fucked up. They now told me my single won't be release until September! Even though we agreed on how things should go back in March.

Since recording this EP - they haven't called me for any face-to-face meetings, they haven't been involved with helping to spread my name across, I haven't even been mentioned in this twitter, facebook, website etc.

They haven't even bothered to help me find shows - the LEAST they could do no matter how small - instead they are asking me to do it myself. There's literally been ZERO involvement. Is this normal? 
#2
labels are basically the biggest scam in the book. on a "just starting out" scale, you can do everything they've offered to do for you, but they get you to sign over distribution rights so they can cash in on your artistry if you do blow up.

all i can say is that you need to always look over everything you signed, and possibly have a lawyer do the same, or you end up in a position like this. from what i can tell, you paid for your EP, you're getting your own gigs, and they have control of your music. basically, you're paying out of your own pocket to work for them to produce a product that you don't have the rights to.

to be fair, they aren't managers or promoters, so unless it's in the contract, it isn't their obligation to get you gigs. that being said, it's in their best interest to get you lined up with similar artists and in contact with touring managers with experience. if they aren't doing that, what that tells me is that their goal is to basically steal your first EP and whatever else you might be contractually obligated to them for.

my recommendation is to read over your contract with laser precision, and if anything's in there that isn't being fulfilled on their end, get a hold of a lawyer. if they're as homebrewed as it sounds, they'll hand over your rights immediately and you'll just have to walk away with the loss of time and energy.

i'd recommend never signing to a label until you've demonstrated that you've done everything a label can do for you. you need to have done your own releases, packaging, marketing, touring, and merchandising - then actually reputable labels will come knocking at your door, and usually with better deals. starting a band or artist off is an expensive investment in today's market, and rarely pays off, so most entry level labels prey on people who don't understand that, unfortunately, it isn't the 80s anymore and "getting signed" doesn't mean anything except, more than likely, a lot of debt and wasted time. when you have an established brand and have fulfilled everything you can do without a label, then the label has to take minimal risk and basically just takes over the books for you and hooks you up with their connects. until then, you're being sold snake oil 99% of the time
modes are a social construct
#3
From a pessimist angle, it sounds like the "label" is just a recording studio that suckers artists in to record with them under the guise of "being signed".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Anytime a label asks you for money....RUN! Did you check them out before giving them money? Do they have any successful artists on their label? Do they have mainstream distribution? Generally if a label signs you they will give you a budget upfront to record, maybe hook you up with a producer, offer you access to opening slots for their other artists gigs and and promote you on THEIR money. I think you have to assume anytime you are asked to pay, it's a scam. I don't know where you live but in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York, this is a well known scam.

I have to admit that many years ago a band I was in got scammed in a similar way. At the time there was no internet and we were too young to know anything about the music business. We actually borrowed money from our parents and gave it up to an independent producer (whose legal name just happened to be the same as another well know producer) who just flat disappeared to another state. When we tried to take legal action we were told by the local prosecutor that since the producer and his company were in another state we needed lawyers in both states to file the law suits. It would have cost more in legal fees than the money we lost on the scam and hoped to recover. Sorry, there are real bad people out there.  

This is a good thread. Hopefully many will read it.

Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 1, 2017,
#5
Rickholly74 I did do research on them and they had some artists get into blogs and major radio - but I think those artists did that themselves; the "label" didn't help them to acheive it after they recorded it.

The reason why I trusted them is because the two people that own the label used to play in a band that has toured with some major acts such as Alkaline Trio etc. But... It seems that the label they own is a big scam and/or they really don't give a fuck

I expected them, to have a lot of opportunities given their history and the fact that their band used to be signed to a major label. But now I am completely regretting this and it's clear they are a huge scam.
#6
Yes, it's tough. Try not to let it stifle your desire to continue making music. Every industry that involves creative people will have bottom feeders that will take advantage when they can. 
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#7
That really sucks dude I can see how you would have gotten excited like many others have in the past. That's crazy that these guys can go around ripping people off just hoping that they make it big.

If one were to "make it" signed with one of these deals I wonder if it would be worth fighting it or settling out of court for a "fee". If it means anything I'm glad I read this thread today.
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#8
Quote by UFC on VHS
That really sucks dude I can see how you would have gotten excited like many others have in the past. That's crazy that these guys can go around ripping people off just hoping that they make it big.

If one were to "make it" signed with one of these deals I wonder if it would be worth fighting it or settling out of court for a "fee". If it means anything I'm glad I read this thread today.


if you sign a contract, it's on you. that's why we have entertainment lawyers.

-

one band that's pretty much a role model for being able to shift from DIY to major label is Periphery. they home brewed their whole first record, had a solid product lined up, did self funded tours, and didn't seek out label support for any of that process. when they finally went with sumerian, they had full creative control, solid funding, launched straight into an album cycle, etc.

something to keep in mind as well is that they all have other jobs outside of the band. all of those jobs are music-related and mostly freelance stuff, but nonetheless, even playing huge shows and getting major endorsement deals doesn't guarantee "the big time," and because everybody in the band has production experience (because of how homebrewed their work is), they have sustainable incomes as producers/engineers/instructors.

basically, "making it big" doesn't really exist anymore outside of incredibly niche scenarios. the best thing you can do is show you're scrappy.

another person to look into is Chance the Rapper. huge name, diverse musical background, young dude, and totally independent.
modes are a social construct
#9
Quote by Hail
if you sign a contract, it's on you. that's why we have entertainment lawyers.

-

one band that's pretty much a role model for being able to shift from DIY to major label is Periphery. they home brewed their whole first record, had a solid product lined up, did self funded tours, and didn't seek out label support for any of that process. when they finally went with sumerian, they had full creative control, solid funding, launched straight into an album cycle, etc.

something to keep in mind as well is that they all have other jobs outside of the band. all of those jobs are music-related and mostly freelance stuff, but nonetheless, even playing huge shows and getting major endorsement deals doesn't guarantee "the big time," and because everybody in the band has production experience (because of how homebrewed their work is), they have sustainable incomes as producers/engineers/instructors.

basically, "making it big" doesn't really exist anymore outside of incredibly niche scenarios. the best thing you can do is show you're scrappy.

another person to look into is Chance the Rapper. huge name, diverse musical background, young dude, and totally independent.
what about if they aren't fulfilling their end of the deal? Because that's basically what's happening. I'm not in a band; I'm a solo artist and that make it difficult to book gigs, make music, work a job etc. I'm trying to do that by myself but it's really hard.
#10
Quote by Bleed Away
what about if they aren't fulfilling their end of the deal?
That's where you need to look at the details of that "artist development" deal. The piece of paper that you and they signed, and see exactly what it says, word for word. Maybe they didn't exactly promise you - in so many words, in writing (signed at the bottom) - what you think they did. Maybe there's some get out clause, some small print you missed. Some kind of conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to get them to do more for you. All the stuff they've said to you verbally means nothing. (Of course they're going to say they "have faith in your potential", that keeps you on the hook.)
This is where a lawyer may be necessary, not only to interpret the language, but to send them a scary official letter if they really are at fault.

Of course, a lawyer will cost you more money, and might still not get you anywhere. Maybe they don't really owe you anything, contractually?
Your $2000 paid for the recording, I guess - which they organised for you, the money presumably going partly to the studio partly to them. But what does "release"actually mean in practice? In what form? Does it include distribution? Was there a specified release date on the signed contract? Or some kind of phrasing which allowed them to delay it until they saw fit (for whatever reason)?

Normally a recording contract means they pay you and you use that money to record (or for anything above that you want to spend it on - fast cars, drugs, etc ). They then get that money back from sales before they pay you anything else. Even if the tracks are all your own compositions, they won't pay you any royalties until all your advance has been recouped.
(A publishing contract is separate from a recording contract, btw. Make sure you haven't signed away your rights to your songs...)
That system is where a label actually does put their money where their mouth is, proving they have faith in you (to earn them at least their money back). I.e., they take a gamble. If the record doesn't sell enough, they lose money, but you owe them nothing - you've had your advance, and got a recording out of it. But if it sells, of course, you both make money
Your label clearly weren't risking anything in signing you, they got their cash upfront, thanks very much. No gamble at all. If your potential is in fact zero, that's not their problem.

So this does sound like a scam, but it really does come down to the details of that contract. Reading it carefully may help you decide if it's worth hiring a lawyer. Even if the contract is not on actual paper - if it's some online deal - there should be enough there to assess your position and rights.
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 4, 2017,
#11
Jonriley64 has the best answer. The position you find yourself in now will be dictated by the requirements of your contract. Maybe you (or a lawyer) can find something in that contract that can separate you from this deal. As I said above it happened to me when I was young and we didn't even get a recording out of it. Our not-so-famous producer with the same name as a really famous producer, convinced us that we would be partners in the record. We put up half the recording costs and he would put up the other half and when he sold the master to the record company we would split any money and royalties. This guy even went so far as taking us to Bell Sound studios in NYC and showing us around this famous recording studio. He was a good con artist with some previous music industry connections. We had no idea how the music business worked so we believed it. Of course this was a scam and we lost our money. 

This is an excellent thread because there are hundreds if not thousands of musicians every year who get caught up in scams like this. It can happen to anyone.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#12
Quote by jonriley64
That's where you need to look at the details of that "artist development" deal. The piece of paper that you and they signed, and see exactly what it says, word for word. Maybe they didn't exactly promise you - in so many words, in writing (signed at the bottom) - what you think they did. Maybe there's some get out clause, some small print you missed. Some kind of conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to get them to do more for you. All the stuff they've said to you verbally means nothing. (Of course they're going to say they "have faith in your potential", that keeps you on the hook.)
This is where a lawyer may be necessary, not only to interpret the language, but to send them a scary official letter if they really are at fault.

Of course, a lawyer will cost you more money, and might still not get you anywhere. Maybe they don't really owe you anything, contractually?
Your $2000 paid for the recording, I guess - which they organised for you, the money presumably going partly to the studio partly to them. But what does "release"actually mean in practice? In what form? Does it include distribution? Was there a specified release date on the signed contract? Or some kind of phrasing which allowed them to delay it until they saw fit (for whatever reason)?

Normally a recording contract means they pay you and you use that money to record (or for anything above that you want to spend it on - fast cars, drugs, etc ). They then get that money back from sales before they pay you anything else. Even if the tracks are all your own compositions, they won't pay you any royalties until all your advance has been recouped.
(A publishing contract is separate from a recording contract, btw. Make sure you haven't signed away your rights to your songs...)
That system is where a label actually does put their money where their mouth is, proving they have faith in you (to earn them at least their money back). I.e., they take a gamble. If the record doesn't sell enough, they lose money, but you owe them nothing - you've had your advance, and got a recording out of it. But if it sells, of course, you both make money
Your label clearly weren't risking anything in signing you, they got their cash upfront, thanks very much. No gamble at all. If your potential is in fact zero, that's not their problem.

So this does sound like a scam, but it really does come down to the details of that contract. Reading it carefully may help you decide if it's worth hiring a lawyer. Even if the contract is not on actual paper - if it's some online deal - there should be enough there to assess your position and rights.


heres's the abridged version of the contract:

Our label services and publishing administration are initial platforms where we can develop our management clients' careers.
We don't sign bands to our label/publishing. We look for third party deals. This proposal outlines what we should do and why so that our actions support your stated aim: to one day make a living from your music and to have recording and publishing deals in place. It's about artist development: developing your musical and visual output, profile and presence and live work to a level where a grassroots buzz starts to happen. This is our focus. The point is not mass exposure, big gigs or sales. They will come as a consequence of artist development having got you the necessary deals.

Short Term Goals With systematic and sustained work over the next year, you will make the transition from being one of many hopefuls to being a contender in the radar of tastemakers and decision makers. We should be talking to proper third party labels and publishers about deals by this time next year. If third parties aren't interested, we have to accept that not everyone breaks quickly. We just have to keep the faith and soldier on. Either way, the long term goal is for your career enough income for you to feed, clothe and shelter yourselves, with us as your producers and managers, with you signed to significant third party recording and publishing deals. Timeline Q1 (the first quarter) March - May, is for developing your material. We will listen to your songs and develop them with you. We want to identify and record three singles. Q2, June - August, is the first release/gigging/marketing cycle during which we launch the first single, along with appropriate marketing, gigging and promotion actions, the purpose of which is to put you and your music in front of as many people as possible as often as possible. Q3, September - November, is the second release/gigging/marketing cycle. Q4, January - March, is the third cycle. This timeline is for guidance, on that assumption we start now. Irrespective of when we start, a similar set of coherent milestones for the year ahead and a systematic way to achieve them are just nuts and bolts. It's the stuff that follows that's harder to do and which dictates the success of this plan.
Stuff To Work Out Every successful artist ever ticks these boxes: 1) great songs, 2) great recordings of those songs, 3) great live show, 4) great image and 5) great story to tell.

We make music (producers/studio) and take it to market (label/publishing) using our infrastructure to do everything that needs to be done, while overseeing our artists' careers as their managers. Our management commission is 20% of everything you earn from your music. We offer label services deals, whereby an artist bring us a record, which they own, and we license from them, providing the distribution, marketing and promotion as mutually agreed between the artist and the label. We provide the in house cost of marketing and promoting singles. In a label services deal an artist can either pay up front for the PR/marketing services the label provides, thereby purchasing the PR services from the label, or, the label can advance the money against future sales, recoupable from artist royalties. We can do both. When a band/record is out in the marketplace generating income, we offer publishing administration deals. Publishing income pertains, mainly, to the income a songwriter gets whenever his song is performed publicly, for example, on radio, tv or at a venue. As a publishing company we are also active in pushing music towards tv shows, ads, movies and games. The publisher is responsible for any marketing and promo costs, which are recoupable from artist royalties. We pay to our artists a royalty of 75% of everything that comes in from both licensing and publishing. Our studios / producers charge £450 + VAT per day. We can't pay your recording costs, but we can support you with finance plans (lend you money on long interest free payment periods) to make the recordings affordable to you and, on the other hand, possible for us as a business. Budgeting for what you need to do is a big part of your business plan. Basic Overview Of Money Flow in Music An artist earns money from an audience who buys records, gig tickets, merchandise etc. A label, publishing company, promoter and agency helps an artist connect with their audience. They get a fee and/or a cut for services rendered and, after deducting costs, give the rest to the artist. That's gross revenue out of which an artist deducts expenses, including cost of merch, producer / recording studios, videos, cost of travel to gigs etc. Out of what's left a manager gets management commission. A manager doesn't earn until an artist does.
#13
I'm no lawyer, but that doesn't look like a contract to me. It looks like a plan, a statement of their aims as a business. As it says at the beginning, it's a "proposal". (What have you left out of this abridged version?)
There's certainly some useful dates and figures there - especially in the last paragraph - but a couple of statements stick out for me:

"This timeline is for guidance, on that assumption we start now."

1..Aside from the poor grammar of "that" (not "the"), notice the get-out phrase "for guidance" - suggesting they can change the timeline according to any circumstances that might occur. And when is "now"? Is a date specified elsewhere?

2. The timeline specifies four quarters of the year, each one for specific stages of development. But that's odd, because surely someone could sign up at any point of the year. What happens to someone signing in (say) August? Do they have to wait for March-May for "Q1"?
At no point do I see a firm commitment to releasing your single at a stated timespan from your signing. All I see are three "release/gigging/marketing" cycles.
I do see it says "we launch your first single" during the June-August cycle, which sounds like a promise. Assuming of course, everything assigned for the first cycle has taken place successfully. But I see no terms or conditions about what happens if they fail to do that. Maybe they have a good excuse for delaying until the second cycle.

As I say, I'm no lawyer, but if I was signing with these people, I'd want to see something with more specifics spelled out, and less waffling about "keep faith and soldier on". You don't want them to just "do their best" - unless you're happy to be that vague and trusting.
I'd say the form should specify that it is a "contract" (not a "proposal") between undersigned parties. (Did you omit some similar form of wording?)

Personally, if you've got a good recording out of it (of a handful of songs?) for your $2000, and the recording (master tapes, drives?) is in your possession, that's not bad if they do nothing else for you. Forget them.
Or have you signed a exclusive deal for a certain time (months, years)? Are you free to go off and sign with some other label or management/publishing company - taking your songs and recording with you - if nothing happens in the next few months?

You should certainly not give them another cent. E.g., if they explain (at some point) that the reason for delaying your release is that the recording needs re-mixing or something, and you need to pay for more studio time... that's when you really smell a rat.
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 5, 2017,
#14

We make music (producers/studio) and take it to market (label/publishing) using our infrastructure to do everything that needs to be done, while overseeing our artists' careers as their managers.


modes are a social construct
#15
1) Did you record at their studio with their engineer etc?  In other words, did you at least get  2000 pounds  worth of studio time/mixing/mastering.  If so, it would have probably costed you that much anywhere else, so not a huge loss. If not, you have a problem, especially since they aren't even promoting you on social media, which takes very little effort on their part.  Maybe they're waiting for the release to start promoting, but it seems bizarre that you're not even mentioned - they'll probably charge you for that part as well. 

2) There are countless scammy type labels out there that masquerade as labels but are in reality just selling you services - studio time, "promotion" etc.  You're a paying client rather than an artist in that relationship.  They prey on people with big dreams. If you actually got a decent EP for that price it's not like you completely got played, but the whole things sounds pretty suspect to me. 

3) How did you get in touch with these people? 


 
#16
back on topic, it sounds like you didn't get a label. it's a management group parading as a label. ignore them, make sure they have 0 rights to your music, and tell them to politely sod off while you market yourself
modes are a social construct
#17
It's hard to tell whether or not you signed an actual contract or just acknowledged the terms of their "service". Is there a term or expiration specified for this agreement? An arbitration or exit clause?

The bigger issue is that no matter what agreement of this nature you sign, how much they market you is up to them (unless you're good enough to force a concession on that). If they don't have time or opportunities for your music, well, that's their prerogative.

Importantly: have you expressed these concerns to them directly?

You should also turn this around and ask yourself questions, if you are indeed serious about getting into original music for a living. What you haven't stated is what you yourself are doing to get your music out there. It could be that these guys are totally legit, but they don't see you putting in the effort beyond recording your tunes. What are  you doing on your end to tell the world your music is awesome? or are you just waiting for the people you paid to do it for you? Chances are, they aren't going to continue investing in an artist that is just waiting for success to come upon them. You need to always be your best promoter to make it in any commercialized music. 

Now that's not to make assumptions, because maybe you're self-promotion monster and have every right to be disappointed with a lazy business partner, but your own efforts haven't yet been addressed in the discussion.

Also understand that no company wants to release an underdeveloped product. They're not going to put their money and name on your live shows if you haven't developed the live show to their satisfaction. And why would they release your single if you have no live counterpart to follow up with? And if your single is three months out and you don't have any shows on the books... what would they tweet about? Consider that all of these things could be related.

Like anything else you sign, the expectation and burden of contract fulfillment are much more on the party accepting the terms than the party offering them. 
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 6, 2017,
#18
cdgraves makes some good points. If this is legitimate are you ready today, right now, to fulfill your end of this proposal. If these guys called you right now and said we have an opening slot for you with (enter band name here) for tonight, it's about 100 miles away but it's a great opportunity to showcase yourself to a large audience. Are you capable of saying "Yes, I'll be there" ?
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#19
Quote by jonriley64
I'm no lawyer, but that doesn't look like a contract to me.  It looks like a plan, a statement of their aims as a business.  As it says at the beginning, it's a "proposal".  (What have you left out of this abridged version?)
There's certainly some useful dates and figures there - especially in the last paragraph - but a couple of statements stick out for me:

"This timeline is for guidance, on that assumption we start now."

1..Aside from the poor grammar of "that" (not "the"), notice the get-out phrase "for guidance" - suggesting they can change the timeline according to any circumstances that might occur.  And when is "now"?  Is a date specified elsewhere?

2. The timeline specifies four quarters of the year, each one for specific stages of development.  But that's odd, because surely someone could sign up at any point of the year.  What happens to someone signing in (say) August?  Do they have to wait for March-May for "Q1"?
At no point do I see a firm commitment to releasing your single at a stated timespan from your signing.  All I see are three "release/gigging/marketing" cycles.
I do see it says "we launch your first single" during the June-August cycle, which sounds like a promise.  Assuming of course, everything assigned for the first cycle has taken place successfully.  But I see no terms or conditions about what happens if they fail to do that.  Maybe they have a good excuse for delaying until the second cycle.

As I say, I'm no lawyer, but if I was signing with these people, I'd want to see something with more specifics spelled out, and less waffling about "keep faith and soldier on".  You don't want them to just "do their best" - unless you're happy to be that vague and trusting.
I'd say the form should specify that it is a "contract" (not a "proposal") between undersigned parties.  (Did you omit some similar form of wording?)

Personally, if you've got a good recording out of it (of a handful of songs?) for your $2000, and the recording (master tapes, drives?) is in your possession, that's not bad if they do nothing else for you. Forget them.
Or have you signed a exclusive deal for a certain time (months, years)?  Are you free to go off and sign with some other label or management/publishing company - taking your songs and recording with you - if nothing happens in the next few months?

You should certainly not give them another cent.  E.g., if they explain (at some point) that the reason for delaying your release is that the recording needs re-mixing or something, and you need to pay for more studio time... that's when you really smell a rat.

Sorry for taking so long to reply.

Yeah they said June-August cycle, but then I found it they changed it to September. And I have seen them take n initiative with regards to anything that doesn't have to do with money (i.e.: reminding me to pay them money - although I am ahead of schedule with regards to payment). 

I technically have a contract but they don't seem to care so I am already deciding that it's a good idea for me to leave. I don't think the recording was worth £2000 (because every song was recorded and mixed in 2-3 hours). 

They said they own the recordings unless someone buys it off of them - that might be something I might fight against. But, yes, I am free to sign with someone else whenever I like I believe.

I am DEFINITELY not recording with them again - they can forget that idea. 
#20
Quote by reverb66
1) Did you record at their studio with their engineer etc?  In other words, did you at least get  2000 pounds  worth of studio time/mixing/mastering.  If so, it would have probably costed you that much anywhere else, so not a huge loss. If not, you have a problem, especially since they aren't even promoting you on social media, which takes very little effort on their part.  Maybe they're waiting for the release to start promoting, but it seems bizarre that you're not even mentioned - they'll probably charge you for that part as well. 

2) There are countless scammy type labels out there that masquerade as labels but are in reality just selling you services - studio time, "promotion" etc.  You're a paying client rather than an artist in that relationship.  They prey on people with big dreams. If you actually got a decent EP for that price it's not like you completely got played, but the whole things sounds pretty suspect to me. 

3) How did you get in touch with these people? 


 

Yeah, I recorded with in their studio and the engineer/producer is the brother of the manager. I am very annoyed that they haven't mentioned me in anyway since I have technically been "part of the team" since March.

I think I could have gotten a good EP for a lot less somewhere else. They weren't eve able to master the songs properly - I had to seek another engineer to do that for me.

I sent them an old song of mine (via email) and they, apparently, really liked it.
#21
Quote by cdgraves
It's hard to tell whether or not you signed an actual contract or just acknowledged the terms of their "service". Is there a term or expiration specified for this agreement? An arbitration or exit clause?

The bigger issue is that no matter what agreement of this nature you sign, how much they market you is up to them (unless you're good enough to force a concession on that). If they don't have time or opportunities for your music, well, that's their prerogative.

Importantly: have you expressed these concerns to them directly?

You should also turn this around and ask yourself questions, if you are indeed serious about getting into original music for a living. What you haven't stated is what you yourself are doing to get your music out there. It could be that these guys are totally legit, but they don't see you putting in the effort beyond recording your tunes. What are  you doing on your end to tell the world your music is awesome? or are you just waiting for the people you paid to do it for you? Chances are, they aren't going to continue investing in an artist that is just waiting for success to come upon them. You need to always be your best promoter to make it in any commercialized music. 

Now that's not to make assumptions, because maybe you're self-promotion monster and have every right to be disappointed with a lazy business partner, but your own efforts haven't yet been addressed in the discussion.

Also understand that no company wants to release an underdeveloped product. They're not going to put their money and name on your live shows if you haven't developed the live show to their satisfaction. And why would they release your single if you have no live counterpart to follow up with? And if your single is three months out and you don't have any shows on the books... what would they tweet about? Consider that all of these things could be related.

Like anything else you sign, the expectation and burden of contract fulfillment are much more on the party accepting the terms than the party offering them. 

I have been emailing a lot of venues for gigs and even open mics. But open mics seem to be first come first serve and my music is backing-track based (when it comes to live performance) which isn't ideal for ad-hoc performance. But I have been contacting people. Been contacting blogs, producers, and other artists. I thought they would help to make my life a lot easier by helping to at least give me a couple of shows to help push my name as an artist and that hasn't happened. I'm really not lazy when it comes to business. I am trying my best but it's really hard- this is the only reason why I was lookign for a manager in the first place.
#22
Quote by Rickholly74
cdgraves makes some good points. If this is legitimate are you ready today, right now, to fulfill your end of this proposal. If these guys called you right now and said we have an opening slot for you with (enter band name here) for tonight, it's about 100 miles away but it's a great opportunity to showcase yourself to a large audience. Are you capable of saying "Yes, I'll be there" ?

Yes, I would - provided they have everything ready in terms of equipment set-up for me I'd be willing to travel for a show.
#23
Quote by Bleed Away
I have been emailing a lot of venues for gigs and even open mics. But open mics seem to be first come first serve and my music is backing-track based (when it comes to live performance) which isn't ideal for ad-hoc performance. But I have been contacting people. Been contacting blogs, producers, and other artists. I thought they would help to make my life a lot easier by helping to at least give me a couple of shows to help push my name as an artist and that hasn't happened. I'm really not lazy when it comes to business. I am trying my best but it's really hard- this is the only reason why I was lookign for a manager in the first place.

1) Pro tip - start small and local.  Go to shows of similar music and introduce yourself to the artists etc.  Try to get to open for someone with a similar act through networking in person.  It's not enough to send emails  - you need to introduce yourself into the local scene and things can grow organically from there.  

2) Maybe you should find members to form a  band - that would make gigging much easier as far as obtaining shows. It's a tough sell to get a show as one guy with equipment, especially for a lot of venues. 

3)  If they don't step up within a few months - end that contract.
#25
Quote by reverb66
1) Pro tip - start small and local.  Go to shows of similar music and introduce yourself to the artists etc.  Try to get to open for someone with a similar act through networking in person.  It's not enough to send emails  - you need to introduce yourself into the local scene and things can grow organically from there.  

2) Maybe you should find members to form a  band - that would make gigging much easier as far as obtaining shows. It's a tough sell to get a show as one guy with equipment, especially for a lot of venues. 

3)  If they don't step up within a few months - end that contract.

The problem is finding artist like me where I live. I'm from London and the urban scene is mainly the grime scene - and my music is not grime at all. But I am trying my best to make connections and I will try my best to go to more shows.

Yeah, the problem is that I don't make rock music and I don't have a real team around me. This is the reason why I wanted a management that could help me to find ways to overcome this problem. I have been emailing small venues to see if they could take me on but haven't had much luck. It has been a very difficult process but I am trying.

Indeed. In fact, I am looking for another management deal as we speak - one that is a lot more trust-worthy.
#26
Quote by Bleed Away
The problem is finding artist like me where I live. I'm from London and the urban scene is mainly the grime scene - and my music is not grime at all. But I am trying my best to make connections and I will try my best to go to more shows.

Yeah, the problem is that I don't make rock music and I don't have a real team around me. This is the reason why I wanted a management that could help me to find ways to overcome this problem. I have been emailing small venues to see if they could take me on but haven't had much luck. It has been a very difficult process but I am trying.

Indeed. In fact, I am looking for another management deal as we speak - one that is a lot more trust-worthy.


you live in the biggest city in your entire country. bruh
modes are a social construct
#27
Quote by Bleed Away
The problem is finding artist like me where I live. I'm from London and the urban scene is mainly the grime scene - and my music is not grime at all. But I am trying my best to make connections and I will try my best to go to more shows.

Yeah, the problem is that I don't make rock music and I don't have a real team around me. This is the reason why I wanted a management that could help me to find ways to overcome this problem. I have been emailing small venues to see if they could take me on but haven't had much luck. It has been a very difficult process but I am trying.

Indeed. In fact, I am looking for another management deal as we speak - one that is a lot more trust-worthy.
Like Hail says, you're living in the best possible place. OK, the competition is intense, but it's where you need to be.

But don't just look for management. You need to build a following. I'm sure I'm repeating advice above, but go to open mics - all the time, anywhere you can find them. London has countless ones (I know, I'm a Londoner).

Obviously if you're going to perform, you need to be able to perform your songs solo. Meaning you need to sing and play - not brilliantly, but reasonably well: competently, confidently. If your songs are good enough, they'll work with just voice and guitar. (Lose the backing tracks. Work out solo guitar arrangements, or invest in a looper. Be the next Ed Sheeran! )

Stop worrying about "management". You'll know by the response you get at these places whether your material (and/or your stage persona) is worth anything. If places ask you back (and even offer to pay you to play) then you know you've got something worth working on.

It may be that your songs are great, but you're not a great performer. That means a publishing deal is what you want to aim for - but do try and find singers (or backing musicians) who can do your songs justice, to make good demos. Open mics are for networking as well as playing.
It may be vice versa - you're a charismatic performer, but your songs are weak. (How to test that: do your own songs go down at least as well as your covers? (It's OK to sing a cover or two, if only as part of this test.) Do people come up afterwards to make a point of complimenting you on your songs? If you don't tell them you wrote the song, do they ask afterwards "who wrote that song?" Those are all good signs.)

In short, be a performer. Hone those skills. Open mics don't pay (unless you're lucky to be booked), but they're friendly enough places, and the learning is free. Check out all the performers: as good as you? better? worse? Have the better ones got deals? What are they doing about that?
The better you get at performing, the more any bona fide management will want to take you on.
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 13, 2017,
#28
I agree with jonriley. It's all about the performance. Management only makes money when the artist makes money. They have to see the financial potential in the artist and most of that comes from performing revenue not recording sales. I am fairly out of the picture these days on that level but in my younger years when a band reached a certain level of popularity through their performing and built a fan base the next step was often a "showcase". This was often done with several other bands or artists in order to share the costs. You rented a studio or professional rehearsal room and invited potential managers, agents, publishers, record company personnel, independent producers, concert promters (no fans, friends or girlfriend/boyfriends) to attend a showcase where each artist plays a short set and perform like they are playing to huge audience. Publicity material (bio, CD, pictures) of each artist was distributed. Yes, it was a lot of work but hundreds of successful artists got started that way. The first question was always "What kind of following do you have?" or "Where can I see you perform at your next gig?". Good management comes from successful managers who don't give a rats ass about what kind of music you play as long as it puts butts in the seats and is a sell able product that they can make money on. It's like applying for a bank loan. You pretty much have to prove you don't need it before they will give it to you. Mangers are much the same. You have to show them that you have done a lot of the hard work and built a following but now you need them to take you to the next level.Hey, that's my experience. 
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 13, 2017,
#29
also, find smaller bands in your vein playing nearby. little tybee played here recently, and my friend's band and a few other mathrock groups opened for them

not only were the local musicians super talented, but most of the audience were musicians. i probably made 10+ contacts just by bringing a case of beer to a house show
modes are a social construct
#30
Another option - perhaps the best - would be to enrol on one of the pop/rock music college courses. These are known for producing stars, and are the best places for networking - not only with other students, but with the pros on the staff, and other business people who visit. It's not about the qualifications, but about who you meet, and how you find your voice and position yourself with the competition.

Here's a few, in or near London:

http://www.brit.croydon.sch.uk/ - produced Adele, Amy Winehouse, the Kooks, and many more.

http://www.bimm.co.uk/london/?london_banner=true - produced James Bay. Has a Brighton campus too.

http://www.londonguitaracademy.com/london-rock-school

http://therhythmstudio.co.uk/