I recently had three days of meetings with a very infamous entertainment attorney. This attorney has brokered deals for some of the biggest artists in the industry. I have known him for 30 years. My company Musik and Film has worked with this artist for a few years. We distribute her via Sony's The Orchard. We have done Radio and Video promotion for her. She is young, pretty, can dance and sing and is a good songwriter. You would think she would be a shoe-in for a major deal.
She has invested almost $500,000 into her career. Expensive videos with cameo appearances of stars. The best studio and producers. She did school tours and free shows. Live social media appearances almost daily. She did everything right, she showed the world she had talent. But does talent play any part to today's major labels?
My name is Stephen Wrench. I have been in this business for almost 50 years. I have worked in some capacity as management, member, co- writer, producer with groups and members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, Bad Company, Tommy Tutone, Survivor and many more. I now run a music company Musik and Film. I thought I had a pulse on talent. These people all had talent. They could write, create great music and put on a hell of a show.
If I had not known this infamous attorney for decades I would not have believed him. The fact is it's all about the numbers not your talent. It's about your spins, your fans and followers. As hard as this artist worked at creating great music and videos, it resulted in about 1 million views collectively for all of her releases and videos and about 200,000 fans and followers. The sad truth is, if you have 1 million fans and followers you can easily get a major record deal. This does not mean buy them. Because if you buy them most likely they will disappear in a few months; even if they don't the labels run algorithms and they know if they are real or bought.
There is one company I know of, and probably more, that use a team of people who find listeners with similar tastes and offer them free downloads and influence them to become fans and followers. Do you have to have talent and numbers? More numbers than talent. Talent comes secondary. But it helps in the kind of deal and advance you will get from the labels to be talented.
To obtain the numbers and put yourself on the map, promote yourself with world radio promotion. A great PR person, motivated and aggressive social media company. And find a company that can get you organic fans and followers. The stark reality is you could be Donald Duck and sing off key. But if you had enough fans and followers you would obtain a major deal. Let's get this straight: artists and great talent is not discovered anymore. Major stars are made by the numbers not by their talent.
Let's face it, streaming services pay about $800 per 1 million spins. Record labels do not sell records anymore. At $800 for a million streams, no one is getting rich off of this. But if you already have a fan base, they can market that base and turn that million spins into 20, 40, 100 million spins. Then you have some money. Plus, all deals you make with labels are 360 deals. So they will get a piece of your performance, publishing and merch money.
I liked it much better when artists were signed due to their unique talent and style. This created a variety where you would hear Jimi Hendrix on the same radio station as James Taylor. It was all just great music. Now it's all about the numbers, a shame. I wonder: will the numbers create music that defies time and lives on? Or will it just create numbers?
Nominating and Voting Member of the Grammys