You may not have heard of Jedward and if you haven't just watch the video. There are other videos of them live, playing the 02 which I think is the biggest arenas in the UK.
I'll leave you with that bit of information for now and move on to my main point.
Yes, it's that hoary old subject of getting paid and people paying for music, my music, our music, music that I and you, perhaps produce.
I know I covered this in my last post but I've had more time to get this right in my head and it's quite astounding. I'm not saying that I've come up with a brand new idea or that I've found a new way of marketing my music. Perhaps I should just give you, dear reader, a little info about me.
I am a singer songwriter, I've been playing guitar since I was about six, I've been writing, performing and recording these songs for the past 13 years or so. I also produce a weekly podcast full of unsigned music that other artists from all over the world send me. Just so you know where I'm coming from.
Most of the gigs I have played have paid me nothing, yup not even a drink. Most of the songs I have recorded, produced and promoted have been downloaded for nothing. The weekly podcast I compile, produce and promote I do for nothing.
Some might say that these activities are my hobby. Some have and that hurts, yes actually hurts my feelings! Crazy eh? I put a great deal of time and effort into what I do, I'm very passionate about it all and yet I just give it away.
I would love to get paid for it, I do actually value what I do BUT I also want people to hear it, that's the whole point isn't it?
There are many "bedroom players" who are content to play in their bedrooms and never let anyone hear what they do and that is fine, nothing wrong with that at all, my wife plays the piano for fun and has no desire to perform.
But I digress.
I'll let you in to a secret, a personal private secret. I think I'm really very good at playing guitar, writing songs and singing. Crazy eh? I pretty much have to think that otherwise I wouldn't do some of the things I do like play at an open mic night, play gigs miles away in front of people I don't know. I also would love to do it for a living. Just recording and playing music. Yet I still do it now for nothing. WHY?
My podcast takes about an hour to ninety minutes to actually produce. There is a lot of admin type stuff that goes with it. Emails, databases and blogs are written and added to pretty much every day. I get a real kick out of making it as I have a real passion for unsigned music. i do think it sounds better, has more soul, feeling and passion than the signed stuff. I feel a glow of pride when other podcasters ask me for a track that I have played or if I see a review of one of the tunes that I featured, knowing that the reviewer first heard the tune on my podcast. I would love to spend more time on it, develop some of the ideas I have for it, do more interviews and write more about the artists but I just don't have the time.
In an ideal world I would be able to earn money from selling my songs online and get some cash for making the podcast. Is that too much to ask?
NO it bloody isn't!
Over the last month or so I have had a bit of a revelation, a change of heart. Some of it has to do with people like Jedward (remember them?). Lovely lads I'm sure but singers they 'aint. They played the 02 and they're getting paid for doing what I want to do and I know that I do it better than them. I may feel all self righteous about it as I go and play my open mic for fuck all but I have to go to work on Tuesday!!
"Give away and then they will pay" is the mantra isn't it. I did cover this in my previous post
but just a thought. When we give stuff away on Bandcamp we DO get peoples email addresses. Yes, yes we do. When we sell things on Bandcamp we also get peoples email addresses. Now I would prefer to have a mailing list that contains email addresses of people that have paid money for my tracks rather than a list of email addresses of a group of people that just took the tracks for nothing, didn't even pay a pound for a whole album of my songs.
To be taken seriously for what I do, I /we have to charge for what I/we do. This elevates us above the people that DO just do it for a hobby or are, and I'm sorry to say this, just aren't very good. They are out there. I get sent plenty of tracks by people that just aren't very good or SHIT. They also give their tracks away and people download it.
There are also many podcasts out there, bloody thousands. Some are great and some are rubbish. They are pretty much all free. If you had to pay for a podcast you would expect it to be good eh? Of course you would. So lets charge for podcasts, micropayments say £2 a month like The Vobes Show does. That way people, the public, would know that they are getting a quality product
We can all "get our music heard" even on iTunes people can listen for free, on bandcamp and myspace people can hear for free. You van give your tracks to Amazing Radio and they will play it for free, grated they won't introduce it so that people know who you are but hey will still "get it out there".
So, in closing, if you want to posses any of my songs, the songs that I have crafted and recorded and uploaded you will have to pay because Jedward get paid and
The Vinyl Project - You may have been sent here by a link. To download the Vinyl Project click here To download 3 AM click here