The Music Business is a Gamble
Once again the bottom line is money. Business ventures are designed to make money plain and simple. I'm not trying to make you a businessman, I'm trying to show you how this Industry operates. An A&R Representative must look for new ways to make money all the time to keep their careers alive. There are producers and music supervisors out there right now searching for the perfect song for the perfect scene to make a production deadline. So the demand is always going to be there fro fresh new talent. If your music is good chances are there is an A&R Representative looking for it right now. If you have a quality product that people want to buy, or if you ahve a live performance that people will pay money for.- then you might be on to something. Putting it out there to the consumer is where the money making potential exists. Getting your “small scale” operation noticed by the right people in the industry is the key. These people have the power and resources to make it all available on a much “larger scale”. This is where the greatest money making potential exists. But like most start up businesses it is a huge risk.
The music business is a risky business venture, it is an investment of all your hard work and money, and there are no guarantees you will ever get a return. There are no guarantees a label will ever get a return. It's a gamble. We already know that getting noticed usually is a by-product of doing all the right things, when someone gets signed it's simply because they made a good impression of someone important. So what are those things? Remember what that A&R Representative said earlier? “if you got the right stuff, it’s only a matter of time before we hear about you.” It’s also safe to say that if you haven’t been contacted by an A&R after several years in the business, perhaps you’re doing something wrong. It can be said that only 1 out every 100 new band achieve financial success. Before we go any further let's quickly examine a few realities. The negative reality - this business can at times seem saturated with music - mainly because it is. The positive reality - Anyone can form a band, but not everyone can release a high quality CD or production. Not everyone has marketability, good songs, business savvy, and even the ability to develop a good working relationships.
True, luck is a factor, and networking is the key to anything you do professionally – but look at the positives: success is usually a by product of persistence and hard work. If your band has a good marketable sound, image, live presentation, and musical production with solid networking, chances are you are belong in the upper 10% of unsigned bands out there right now. That's a great place to start. If you are a writer whose music is currently being considered for film, TV, or even commercials you too have a powerful exposure medium. Since we're on the subject or A&R Representative let's shift gears and put you directly in the shoes of an A&R Representative. This will shift your mentality a bit by seeing just what a A&R Representative needs to survive.
Cyrus Rhodes is President of Seattle based label Katavi Arts Guitarist for local band Seven Against Thebes Executive Producer of Projects Drum Dynasty, Seven Against Thebes, Over the years Rhodes has been a guitarist in a touring band, A&R Representative Chicago (1998 - 2003), Seattle (2003 - Present), Talent Buyer, Band Manager, Booking Agent, and most recently a Syndicated Music Critic. His reviews have been posted on USA Today and Headline News. Rhodes is also Chief Editor and lead critic for several webzines. In 2009 he launched www.ndiemusicdigest.com. IMD is dedicated to developing hard working Independent Artists worldwide. IMD only accepts material from unsigned bands and artists.
Cyrus's Record Label Katavi Arts
Cyrus's band Seven Against Thebes Seven Against Thebes
Drum Dynasty Project Drum Dynasty
Cyrus Rhodes has written and edited reviews for the following Publications, Labels and Entertainment Agencies:
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