Social Media Gives Away Your Knowledge

Fri Sep 25
Peter Åstedt

Since I hold a couple of gateways in various areas, I receive a lot of requests on social media. Most people are,of course, people I never have met in real life. There are fake accounts so the first thing you research is to find out if the person is actually real. If we have friends in common it is a sign that the person is real, not just one common friend but a couple.

Now these common friends also give away a hint of what level you are on in the industry. Almost like a fortune teller, I can read what you want and what will happen with your friend’s request. I have been playing with my staff here in the office to see if my theory is right and so far, I have been better than the fortune teller machine Zoltar in the movie “Big”.

One example is when an unknown artist is making a friend’s request. You can see that they are new to the industry, there are few friends and the ones they have are the usual local heroes in the area they are from. I usually say yes, and my guess is that that in the first 48 hours I will get a message with a question about sending a song for me to listen to.

If You Had An Opportunity To Sit Down With An Industry Executive What Is The One Question You Would Ask?

Fri Sep 18
Peter Åstedt

A Facebook friend of mine asked this question: Artists, if you had an opportunity to sit down with an industry executive what is the one question you would ask?

It is kind of interesting what the artist would answer. My guess is, of course, they will be aggressive and start accusing this person because they haven’t succeeded yet. Like that would be this person’s fault? Okay, in the old industry there was gatekeepers. That is long gone, everything is really open. The fact is that nowadays it’s not hard to sit down and discuss with even the biggest industry executive what the goals are and how to achieve them.

The Headless Chicken Game!

Fri Sep 11
Peter Åstedt

"Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust…"

Yes, you can hear me humming that Queen song when I bump into artists or industry professionals that play the headless chicken game. This phrase was invented by an intern many years ago around the behavior of a couple of artists that had screwed him over.

“They just run around like a headless chicken screwing everyone or screwing each other!” he screamed in frustration. And the whole office just laughed out loud. We all knew what he meant; we all knew the behavior he was trying to describe. After that, it became known as “the headless chicken game.”

So, what it is when a person just runs around and tries to use everyone they meet as a steppingstone? At the same time, they try to be friends with everyone. They don’t understand that connections in this business are all about trust, networking, loyalty and friendships. So if they try to climb the ladder on several different places, the end result will be that everything crashes down around them.

The Format Is Not Your Enemy, It’s Free To Break The Rules But You Need To Know Why

Fri Sep 04
Peter Åstedt

Many artists follow all the rules and advice that are given to them at conferences, online or in workshops, etc. One rule seems though seems hard for them to understand: format.

Format is how the general audience listens and how music presented to them. You have every artistic right and freedom to not follow these format rules. You need to be aware that you are excluding yourself from a lot of listeners. No, you cannot change people. Either you change for them or you accept a smaller range of audiences. Either way is the right way for you, it's your choice. Right now, however, we have too many people that have chosen to leave formats and then doing PR and efforts that are in a format world, and then complaining that they don’t get the same chance as other artists and that the world is too shallow.

Why Music Has Lost Its Value

Fri Aug 28
Peter Åstedt

It seems like we need to know what value things have nowadays. Salt had huge value in the middle ages. Today you can buy salt fairly cheap. Things that used to have value might lose it now in our current times.

That is how to look at recordings. Just thirty years ago recording was an expensive endeavour. You needed quite a large financial investment to do a record that required a lot of money. And then you also thought twice about what to record and chose your songs carefully.

Today, I can just go down to the local electronic store, buy a kind of cheap microphone (or take the microphone that is built in a laptop) and just record a song. And then just put it on any social media channel in seconds, and even get it out on Spotify within 24 hours.

The problem here is that many think that the value of that recording is the same as the recordings of The Beatles on Abbey Road.  It’s not. Technology has provided us to have better equipment to record than The Beatles had ever dreamt about when they recorded Abbey Road. With that though came the idea is that everyone thinks they can write a song like “Yesterday”.

The Production Capitalism Is Destroying The Artist!

Fri Aug 21
Peter Åstedt

We all know that we are consuming too much for the planet. A third of all food we produce is thrown away as waste. That is 50,000kg or 11,0231lb a second thrown away as waste in the world and as Greta Thunberg has pointed out it’s not sustainable.

In an interview not long ago Marcus Ek from Spotify told artists that they need to release more content when he was questioned about Spotify and how they paid out so little to artists.

I just feel that we are doing the same stupid mistakes in the music business as we do in our food consumption. The new streaming economy is just one click and then forget it.

Same as the food; we produce a mountain of apples so you can have just one. And we produce a mountain of songs for you to listen to just one. Of course, this will affect the quality. To be able to produce a mountain you need start by giving fertilizer to the project, and you want everything to grow faster. Yes, you will get a decent product but it is not that perfect product that you had before.

The Uncertainty of the Future in the Music Industry

Fri Aug 14
Peter Åstedt

It’s a very uncertain world we now currently find ourselves living in. On one hand, the music industry feels so far away right now. It’s now summer and no shows and more or lesser releases. At the same time, the whole machinery is going on under the surface.

Negotiations are ongoing with new clubs, festivals, and other outlets. The difference is that during the planning we don’t know if it will happen with the dates we are discussing. It will all eventually happen but when?

I guess it is all one's death and the other one's bread. I just recently got several jobs during this crisis. Probably because people that didn’t make it want to move over to another business.  I also think this will be the time where we see who will remain on the stage for a living and who are just there because they think it’s a fun hobby that they just keep up while they work in their ‘real job.’

Social Media Might Not Be The Way To Go For An Artist

Fri Aug 07
Peter Åstedt

Lately, I have seen some really smart new things that bigger artists are doing. They just quit the current social media frenzy that has been going on.  I can really see this breaking through as a lifestyle after the pandemic.

For the past ten years record labels, managers and others have told artists that they should own their fans and a lot of the success has been how many followers you have on different social media accounts. Right now it seems like all the bigger labels have a race to pick up things form TikTok. It has been this way in all parts of the music industry with the exception the live scene.

Placing A Lot Of Hope On My Musician Friends

Fri Jul 31
Peter Åstedt

I actually had the time to clean out the old shed that sits in our backyard. That is the last thing you really schedule for a cleanout. I can’t even remember if I have ever cleaned it out when we moved here thirteen years ago.

I also had time to sort out my comic book collection and put the ones of value in plastic sheets. You know when you have time to do things like this, you really have too much time on your hands. Lockdown was not fun, but right now my house looks as best as it ever did; I even had time to build my greenhouse.

But now I feel the isolation time has really gone on too long. I have my projects rolling, many though sit at a standstill because of the holidays. I finally feel kind of bored. I was thinking to myself, why do I feel bored? You have all these small projects that never end, and you are not experiencing any stress. At first, I could not pinpoint what it was. Then it hit me.

The Tik Tok Death

Fri Jul 24
Peter Åstedt

Another clickbait headline.Yes, I have been experimenting with things like that. But the whole new world that we see after COVID-19 is starting to be interesting.

I'm in a secret forum with other colleagues in the music industry and there the chatter right now is much how lower Spotify still is in their payment per stream. At the same time, Spotify just launched that you could have one account for two people to the price of one. That will not get more money into Spotify to raise the other. And as many have said the streams are going down during the crisis since people have stopped listening to music to work and from work, since they’re not commuting that much at this time.

The Mega Festivals Are Over!

Fri Jul 10
Peter Åstedt

Another message from a tech firm that promises me that I can find the next big artists by looking at different numbers on different outlets. Outlets, well they seem more just stats from social media and streaming platforms. As I have written before that is just 25% of the artist's career. It really doesn't give any accurate picture of what is really going on.

Sure, you can get some sales figures from these numbers, at least some pinpoint, but not what is coming, just the past. When the numbers start to reach critical levels someone has already discovered this artist and that is why you have you have those numbers.

If You Would Like To Have A Chance To Be Successful You Need This!

Fri Jul 03
Peter Åstedt

I sat in a meeting with quite a few indie labels. It was a crash course on a new play listing tool. Of course, some of the labels started to ask questions about how you pitch to playlists around the world. Because Sweden was not big enough. Also, they complained that it was very hard to get any results.

The labels that really did this, I actually usually receive their press releases since I also work with media and radio. I can easily say that all of their press releases are not in the standard to be brought outside Sweden. They don't contain the right info or the right assets. Of course, they don't get any attention to sending a shitty press release around the world. It doesn't really make any sense. Reality struck me  that they don't have any success in Sweden but they are still blaming the Swedish press and radio for not covering their music and releases. Going abroad will not make it any easier!

That is not what is actually failing. It's the number one fail that 99.9% of the artist do wrong. If you would like to have a chance to be successful you need this!

A good song!

Why One Manager Thinks Artists Are The Scumbags Of The Music Industry

Fri Jun 26
Peter Åstedt

I got a call from a manager that I know on messenger. We usually talk once a week and especially now in the Corona lockdown.

“He dumped me,” was the first thing she said. “After five years he just dumped me!”

I knew exactly who it was, it was her favorite artist that she had been working with for five years. She had told me that the artist had been a bit "off" lately not answering on things and didn't want to take meetings. Still, she thought it was the Corona lockdown that was making the artists depressed.

Now she told me that suddenly she was disconnected as manager from the artist Spotify account, she thought it was odd, but since they weren't releasing anything right now she didn't think much about it. Then she was thrown out as admin on the Facebook page then she knew something was up.

Then she got a short email from the artist saying that he was thinking of releasing in another way now and taking care of his own business.

The Technical Shortcuts You Should Avoid!

Fri Jun 19
Peter Åstedt

Yes, every time you see a new superstar they just appear. Or it seems like it. Most of the time they have been around for years. In the industry, you usually hear about the next star a year ahead. Before it was usually three years ahead, but things are going faster without internets no borders. Still, it never happens overnight, and it never happens as fast as you think.

Just a couple of examples. I had a meeting with Avicii:s manger at least two years before he even became big on the DJ market. After he became big there it took at least two to three years before he went on to the normal big pop market. My guess is that I knew the name at least five years before the coolest mainstream started to recognize him.

Halsey, we got from out American record label they where friends with Haley’s manager and they told us she was going somewhere. She just released Badlands and was going well. I guess the mainstream here in Sweden really does not know her yet.

Why The Industry is Not Answering

Fri Jun 12
Peter Åstedt

I read a great article on a site that sells email lists. They wrote that they get a lot of complaints that their lists don’t work. People didn’t get answers they sent to over 1000 emails and only got two answers. The site explained that you really need to check out the blog, radio station, record label, etc before you send it to them. Not just send an email. Yes, this takes time. It’s quite easy to just put emails into an email list and just send a generic e-mail. The problem is that it never fits everyone. The generic email almost never fits anyone.

You have to go into each site to see what’s it all about and adapt your email content. So instead of sending 1000 emails in one hour, you are down to be able to send maybe 30 emails a day if you are working efficiently.

Why don’t people answer? Here is a mail that came into one of the festivals we work with. On Facebook not even on the official email that goes to the bookers.

Dear,

Hope you're ok.

We contacted you before, last year, about a concert of ******** from USA, blues, bluesrock.

You Must Love the Fools

Fri Jun 05
Peter Åstedt

Right now I get up to ten friend requests on Facebook every day. No, I don't count the girls with scanty clothing that always are home alone who are looking for a male companion. Those are the ones who are just listening to bad Britney pop and have bad music taste my girlfriend tells me so I erase those. I don't want people with bad music taste in my feed. The ones that are adding me are real people. It's not that I'm popular either. I guess I'm listed somewhere.

Anyway, part of these is what I call drive-by shooters. People that just add you and then five minutes later send you a song to listen to. Just reminded me; I got one of those girls with fewer clothes playing ukelele the other day, oh well back to the subject, they send you a song but never tell you what to do with it. Okay, listen to it but what then? I have never encountered any of them that have ever been any good.

This Is Why You Really Can't Release DIY

Fri May 29
Peter Åstedt

I'm currently working with The Magnettes new single "American" and I just see all the logistics that show a DIY artist really can't release on their own. It's not even possible with them even knowing what is needed. In fact outlets most are actually out there available for free to grab. But they can't really access all these channels needed.

Sure, there are plenty of outlets for the DIY artist to reach ie Spotify and some other platforms. Why I mention Spotify is the fact that the general DIY artist just cares about Spotify and really nothing else. They think as long it's on Spotify it will somehow get discovered .

There are almost 40 000 releases uploaded to Spotify every day. So just start with that you need to have the knowledge to release on a Friday which is the official release day. Just this week I have seen at least twenty DIY artists upload and release on other days of the week. Sometimes even on holidays, like someone would take more notice on a holiday? Just that simple mistake can make the DIY release  just go wrong.

The IQ And EQ In The Music

Fri May 22
Peter Åstedt

Just to have a high IQ is not always a good thing. I was just watching a game show on TV and the contestant  was in MENSA (a club for people with high IQ) and had a high IQ. Lost on the first question on how many legs a spider has. IQ shows how good you are on logical things. It doesn’t  really say if you are smart or successful.

Also, this contestant, you really felt that she was not someone you really wanted to have a conversation with. What she was lacking was quite a lot is EQ. Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, and how to work cooperatively with them.  So, having one of these is good but you can perform badly on other things. Like you are super smart but friendly like a venomous snake. Or you get along with all people but not really see when people take advantage of you.

The Bogus Record Labels Are As Necessary As A Fish Needing A Bicycle

Fri May 15
Peter Åstedt

I just came out of a meeting for record labels. Yes, record labels have organization meetings just like all other business organizations. I have been a member for the past 25 years, so it was fun meeting people that actually do the same things like yourself and really indulge in record label nerd talks. Before the meeting, I met up with another label that used to be active in this local organization but now is in the bigger worldwide organization.

She just said “I don’t care any longer about the local chapter. It’s really too low a quality of members to be even taken seriously as working in the music business. In reality, they are worse than the artist themselves at their job. It is mainly a junkyard of people that are employed by organizations to give out music in a really bad way. My belief is that the artist would do it much better themselves then being pampered by these bogus so-called record labels."

Say No to Play for Free

Fri May 08
Peter Åstedt

You always get artists complaining that people think they should play for free on parties, pubs and other things. Usually, with the saying, it’s good for promotional for you. I have seen artists ranting long things around how stupid people are, and that they are worth being paid, etc.

At the same time, I get this all the time. Okay, I’m ranting about it right now. And the reason for that is because I had several people talking to me about this problem that are professional people in the business. Right now since there is a lockdown and releasing music seems to be the only way to get something done it just comes in double than usual.

Just as annoying as people asking for an artist to play for free. As a professional, it’s equally annoying with an artist that thinks I should do them favors for free. I just got this message:
I’m releasing a new single next week. Though if you know some good outlets that I should send it to?