When it comes to the whole debate about the value of record deals and Indie vs Major – everybody has an opinion. I can rant and rave about where I stand on this topic, but I think AllHipHop.com founder, Chuck Creekmur has discussed it in more eloquent manner than what I would have ranted.
I may still discuss it in the future; because it’s a topic that has many sides to it, but also because it’s a topic that most aspiring artists need more insight on.
Briefly, let me just say, artists need to stop focusing so much on “getting a deal” and focus that energy on “achieving a goal”. One does not always equal the other.
Anyhow, here’s Chuck’s great writeup:
Although this image seems to be missing a few suspects, below is an infographic showing some of the usual suspects involved with music being leaked before release:
CEO of DuckDown Records, Dru Ha
As CEO and co-founder of DuckDown Records, Dru Ha is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in hip-hop. He’s helped influence a flood of independent record labels that continue to develop their own empires and hold weight against the majors.
I caught up with Dru recently and had a great conversation with him in which he discussed today’s music business, getting Bootcamp on Twitter, and President Barack Obama.
This is the second half of a 2-part interview with Zach Katz. To read Part 1, please click here.
Do you focus more on placing J.R Rotem’s music with artists or are you more focused on placing music with film, television and video games?
We do both, but I primarily focus on placing his music with artists.
We have an incredible publisher that helps us, Sony/ATV. That’s one of the reasons to do a publishing deal – to add more people to your team. They have a full film, television & video game department, who I provide music to on a regular basis, and their job is to go out there and to secure placements.
So I don’t do it all alone; I have people on the team who can also help.
But that income is definitely valuable, and the name of the game – especially in this shrinking market – is to capitalize and bring in as many revenue sources as possible.
One issue many upcoming producers have is knowing when to do free production for an artist and when to start charging. Also, once they do charge, how much to charge. How do you recommend they approach that issue?
Producer Manager & CEO of Beluga Height, Zach Katz
Firstly, can you introduce yourself a bit and tell us what it is that you do?
My name is Zach Katz. I am a music manager and CEO of Beluga Heights, a record label and publishing company I have with my partners Jonathan “J.R” Rotem, the producer, and his brother Tommy Rotem, who is our A&R.
My background started about 12 years ago, when I became a music attorney. This was around 1996 or so. I did that for about 3-4 years. I liked it, but never really found it to be my passion. I always wanted to be more creative.
I had an opportunity to get in on the management side, which is really what I always wanted to do. I did that for about 5-6 years; I managed a lot of artists and producers, and through that I met J.R, and he became my only client.
Going from an attorney to a manager seems like a bit of an odd jump; how did that happen?
"Who's Your A&R? A mountain climber who plays an electric guitar?" - GZA
In the video below, producer, Isaac “Ike Dirty” Hayes III, discusses the current state of A&Rs and the need for record labels to recruit A&Rs with a musical background.
I’d like to address some of the questions and comments raised regarding my Twitter Exclusive Experiment, where I premiered “Throw It Back” from Mack Maine ft. Lil Wayne on Twitter.
I know it’s been over a month, but hey – it was the holidays.
Better late than never :)
How did we get over 14,000 downloads in 48 hours?
Here’s an interesting video I found of Jimmy Iovine discussing his views on today’s music industry and his vision on the direction it’s taking. (Note: The video is about a year old)
He offers advice for new artists as well as talking about possible distribution models, what makes a great producer and the future of Interscope and the traditional record label.
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