#SoundOfTheWeek Indie Artist Chronicles

Indie Artist Chronicles: 20 Questions Or Almost...

Friday, December 27, 2013Ava Bella

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Being an independent artist, isn't it hard to make sense of it all? There are tons of questions. Let's start with the short list:

  • How do I get press for my music?
  • Do I need a public relations (PR) firm?
  • How do I book a gig?
  • Do I need a booking agent?
  • Where can I get CD's printed(for a reasonable price, that is)?
  • Is it really better to sell digitally?
  • Which site is better for digital sales; iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon? Or all of these
  • How can I get the best deal on merchandise? Why do I even need merch?
  • Which social media accounts do I need? Does it even really matter?
  • How do I get those barcodes on my physical CD's?
  • Is it necessary?
  • What is a performance royalty Can I even get one if I'm independent; or any royalty for that matter? If I can; how?
This is not quite 20 questions, but still, the list can go on, and on, and on, and on...
It is also a way shorter list than a new or even a seasoned artist has rolling around in their brain. It can get completely ridiculous and hard to sort it all out, right? By no means do I claim to have all the answers, heck even some of the answers. However, what I do know(ie. what I've learned the hard way), I'm willing to share. Oh, and in a follow up post I will answer each of these! Hopefully, what you're about to read will at the very least get you, the artist, on a path of at least knowing where to go to discover answers on your own. I'll also say this now, instead of waiting until the end; I am always available to you all via twitter, @AvaTheAnarchist, or you can feel free to leave a question in the comments if you're comfortable, and I will respond. I offer consulting services to a variety of artists. That's enough of that, let's get into it...

Oh! If you haven't read the previous posts in the series from the Indie Artist Chronicles, stop and go read them! The source that I am referring to in this post has a link for more info on the latest edition and the author. Okay for real this time, here we go...

In David Naggar's book, The Music Business (Explained In Plain English-third edition), he starts with the basics. After the Intro, where he discusses 1. The Bottom Line, and 2. Sources of Music Industry Profits(we'' talk about both of these points in another Chronicles post), he names who the artist's business advisor's should be. The "3 important advisors who will help you make key music business and career decisions" are:

  • Personal Manager
  • Your attorney, and 
  • Your agent.
So, Attorney Naggar says the personal manager is the "most important member of the three because if you get a good one, a record company is going to feel comfortable that there is someone keeping an eye on your music business life for you". He also lists some "critical questions you want to ask before you hire a manager":

  1. Does your potential manager really like your music?
  2. Who do they know in the music industry?
  3. How many other artists do they manage?
Let me add one to that list:

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO MANAGE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

This one should probably be moved to the number one position...

Now, the last thing that he mentions in the personal manager section in Basics For The Artist is key. He says, "surprisingly, some of the industry's top manager's do not have written contracts". He goes on, "it is not a good practice" and "the moment things turn sour, you and your personal manager are likely to have very different ideas of what the deal was" if you sealed your deal with a "good faith handshake".

In closing, it can be quite tricky to find a great manager. I think the main thing to remember is that, you the artist are employing them. Without you, they don't have anything to manage in the first place. Also, do your research, what makes them a great candidate to be a part of your success? Do they have a track record? Or is it that they are passionate about your music. Even more, are they knowledgable about the music industry, period? Understand that it's a partnership. It's about a team. It takes a well-oiled machine-like chemistry so to say to get your music to the masses. We'll chat more soon about the other players on the team that you the artist needs. Until then...


...KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING.

AvaB

Have a question you want answered? Hit us up info@avatheanarchist.com. We'll cover it in our next Indie Artist Chronicles!

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About Ava...

Leading up to the successful reception of AvaBella’s debut EP, the singer songwriter & author spent the last two years playing dates around the US alongside international acts like Morris Day & The Time, Estelle, and Luke James, Hip Hop artists like icon Masta Ace, DJ Marco Polo, The Knux, and GLC, as well as mentors @KCPL and James Christos(both of The Anarchy Movement).

When Ava, a Kansas City, Missouri native, decided it was time to start recording her second album, she found she had fallen in love again with 80’s & 90’s synthesizer sounds and added producer to her repertoire. Using only her iPhone 4 GarageBand app for production, songs like “Freekazoid”, “O-I”, and “SheNice” have created a diverse collection of Ava’s bourgeois bohemian sound for LadyGun2.0!

In her own words, she “don’t need much, just keys and a beat” and the musical energy flows!


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