November 28, 2008

Hello? Is it Lee you're looking for?

If you're wondering where I am, If you're wondering what I do.... I've moved to Chicago.

I'm pretty sure that's a good enough reason for the lack of blogging over the last 10 days, but I'm now settling in nicely and ready to rock once again. Things here will basically work the same - I will still share my articles over at UK Music Jobs, and I will now be blogging for sister company US Music Jobs. So, no matter which side of the Atlantic you are on, I'll be pointing you in the right direction with music job finding advice. Plus you'll get my more personal advice and views on the industry right here - I still keep my fingers in many industry pies. Although I am going to have to cut back on the British quips such as that - I received a very strange look the other day, I think they thought I was some kind of pie-dophile.

Moving swiftly on, you can look forward to more useful insights very soon, starting with some tips for maximising your record sales. If you find yourself asking "Tell me how to be a star, For I haven't got a clue", then let me start by saying... "iTunes".

Lee Jarvis.

November 17, 2008

7 reasons to go Indie!

This applies to all those thinking of becoming freelance or going alone on their music career. The word ‘Indie’ used to be applied to just record labels, often run by musicians in their spare time, but any reader of Bob Baker will know that ‘Indie’ should be a frame of mind and you can apply it to everything that you do.

1) Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day again.
Or something like that, I’m sure someone far wiser than me has said it better. Point is, I love getting up in the morning, switching on some kind of computer, and writing / recording / organising / sharing / listening. I may say that I have many jobs, as they all supplement my income, but in another way, I never feel like I’m actually working. I enjoy it, therefore it can’t be work, can it?!?

2) Doing what you love will earn you MORE money.
It’s often thought that to do what you love, you will have to give up your well-paid ‘normal’ job and make less money… Wrong! If you do what you love, then your passion shows through, and people in the music industry love to see that. Your passion makes you driven and motivated. Everyone wants to work with people like that, right? Motivation and determination make you succeed. It’s not always immediate, but if you stick to your guns... Kerrrchinggg! (I constantly learn from Gary Vaynerchuk in this department.)

3) Job security.
No, I’m serious. I feel more secure having my job, career, and income under my control as opposed to having all my eggs in someone else’s basket. Someone on a board who doesn’t know me. Somebody who is being told to cutback wherever they can because of an ‘economic downturn’. Think about it.

4) “My job allows me to be as creative as possible”.
Imagine being able to say that everyday. It’s one heck of a feeling.

5) You own everything that you create.
I’m not just talking about the dread of another label owning your songs, or another mag owning your articles. There was a recent post on the topic of ‘Who owns your friends?’, pointing out a case where an employee had created a strong network of acquaintances through online social networking. He had done this as a representative of the company he was working for, and upon leaving, thought he could take this with him. A Judge thought otherwise; as this was done on company time, and he was effectively paid to do so be the company, the company basically owned his network of peers. Ouch.

6) You can create your own luck.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I don’t believe that getting a lucky ‘break’ happens any more (if ever). You create your own luck. Sitting at your workplace waiting for a magazine to call you and ask about your band will not happen. You have to spend your time creating and fine-tuning your press kit and media relations. Again, Bob Baker has some very wise words on this.

7) Become part of the FUTURE.
By finding what you want, and acting now, you will create a great opportunity for yourself. The music industry is going crazy, as is social media and guerilla marketing. It’s an ideal time to get stuck in and make yourself part of the industry. The days of being just a consumer are over. People create, share, remix, re-hash and become a lot more involved than the music marketing strategies of old.

This may be a bit of a cross-over between freelancing ideas and ideas that you could still do in your spare time, but I believe they all come with an ‘Indie’ frame of mind. It’s certainly a determined and passionate frame of mind, and it’s definitely at the heart of what I do. Either way, I want these tips to instigate and encourage you in your music career. Feel free to comment if they do or don’t or if you want to add your own.

Lee Jarvis.

November 10, 2008

AC/DC album news – the physical revolution?

...From Guns n Roses to AC/DC! Yes, we really are keeping up with the times! It’s funny how these, ahem, ‘mature’ bands are leading the way with their music strategies.

Anywho, I thought I’d report on the Young Brothers and co, because they recently took a stand against iTunes. They believed that an album should not be able to be broken down and purchased as individual tracks. Something that Apple is very sure should be able to happen, and something that I am sitting on the fence about. If you are going to make a ‘proper’ album (and I wouldn’t do it any other way), then...

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November 05, 2008

A chance...

No prizes for guessing the (off)topic today. Where were you when a man landed on the moon? Well, I wasn't born for another 14 years, but people will be saying to me, 'Where were you when Obama won?'. Unfortunately I wasn't in Grant Park, but I had a 'source' there ;) and did enjoy watching the scenes live on the BBC (I do love the BBC).

Putting the historical nature of the first black president aside, I am excited for another reason. Also putting aside his charisma and public speaking talents (great leader qualities though they are), I am actually excited about the words this chap is coming out with. He has great vision and explains what is wrong with *healthcare/ economics/ environment/ overseas policies (*delete as appropriate), then explains what he wants to do to fix them. No matter what party you are, or what race you are, or even what country you are from, it's been a long time since a politician has done that.

This is now the chance everyone has hoped for, to move forward and create a strong future. Doing it together means we support each other's weaknesses, and rejoice in each other's strengths. It makes the journey so much sweeter.

Everyone deserves a chance to do that.


November 04, 2008

Voting, viral marketing and your new music strategy?

...Ok, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this one, but ride it out with me… Over the last couple of days I have received emails and feeds reminding me to vote in the US Election from people such as MTV, OM Records, and many, many more. In fact, MTV news headlines are dominated by election predictions and results.

What has all this got to do with the changing face of the music industry? Directly… nothing. Indirectly, the thing that has struck me, and that you should really think about too, is that the way that both the political parties and neutral organisations are using the internet and new media to encourage people to vote in incredible numbers. National Geographic...

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