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June 19, 2024

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Shortchanging, Prohibited!
The Music Business Is Not An Overnight Goldmine

By: Kenny Love

This article is addressed in particular to music business wannabes who believe the music industry is an overnight goldmine. They are also people who have no knowledge of how the industry works and have never worked in any facet of it but have just enough operating capital to be considered dangerous (yes, Mr. Brown, I'm speaking of you).

They also come from all walks of life such as; accounting, legal, carpentry, electrical, and all sorts of diverse industries. They also have Internet access and feel they can come to publications such as this to learn their wares and ruin well-meaning artists' careers. One catchall phrase to them: Ya gotta live it to understand it!"

And, now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

It never ceases to amaze me, the types of unrelated careers some people in the music business have been involved with prior to jumping headlong and overnight into the music business-just to make a fast buck.

I recently consulted with no less than three independent acts that had fallen victims to they types of persons in both booking and promotion areas.

In the cases of promotion, a would-be investor promised the moon, the stars and, if memory serves me correctly, I believe threw in a planet or two.

Six months later, she still had not fulfilled her end of the bargain by getting them out of their city, even on a regional level, not to mention nationally. Her final epitaph: "I just didn't know how to market them."

In the case of booking, the best the would-be "agent" could do was to book the act at some little pizza parlor with (30) diners. That night, they were Muzak's worst nightmare.

It is these types of individuals who make it bad for any well-meaning and experienced people seriously involved in the music field. Not to pat myself on the back, but I feel fortunate in that I came up through the ranks, so to speak.

Practically always a musician, I was in the school band from 6th grade to 12th grade. Then, I attended College as a Music Education Major, followed by a 4-year stint in Uncle Sam's bands.

After my release from the Army, I began producing, co- producing, background singing, songwriting and, subsequently, produced and released my own debut recording internationally.

These accomplishments led to my authoring several how- to music references and, ultimately, to being syndicated to over (80) monthly music publications worldwide. I said all of that to say this.

If you are someone who has never worked within the music industry, but who truly desires to do so, you must understand that you owe your prospective music clients and associates a whole lot more than just the flash of currency.

You also owe them (and yourself) the awareness of how things work in this volatile and ever-changing industry, especially if you intend to manage, book, or promote someone's career.

Likewise, you also owe yourself an in-depth evaluation and self-education on your particular chosen area. Your prospects are individuals who have their hearts and souls in their vocations and dreams 24/7 and are hoping, at all costs, to make them a reality. To provide them with any less effort or interest is akin to making them jilted lovers.

Likewise, recording artists, musicians, and bands should (and need to) become more proactive in requiring prospective individuals interested in serving as representation for them, require the same degree of experience and track record before indulging in a commitment of a portion of their careers. It's just plain good business that makes for a fruitful harvest at the end of the season.

About Kenny Love: A man who admits the Power Puff girls have saved his life on, at least, 3 occasions, Kenny Love is also a National Record Promoter and Press Publicist. Promoting all genres of music, he works with "indies" on a "back-end" deal, saving them enormous up-front service fees.

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