Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chicago Native Takes His Music To The Main Stage

Chicago native and R&B artist Brandon James is looking to take his act to the main stage this year. Already a household name in the Chicago area, the artist has his sights set high on breaking more into the mainstream with two 2017 releases. Brandon released “The Divine Collection” on indie label EPR on May 29th 2016. The album is currently available for purchase on ITunes and Brandon's website and is available on all major streaming networks. The album is a compilation of Brandon’s two prior releases and is the first released on the EPR label.

Listen to The Divine Collection



The first of two releases this year “The Divine Collection” is the precursor to the later release currently untitled but scheduled for a September 13th release date. To promote the later record, a publicity and radio campaign has been coordinated with Brandon’s label and will accompany a regional tour in the fall.

Brandon has been described as “a dope R&B Chicago based artist that has already performed at some notable Chicago venues including House of Blues, Reggie’s Rock Club, and has even opened for Earth Wind and Fire and Bubba Sparxxx.” by Ellena Rodriguez of pursuitofdopeness.com

Brandon James was born “Brandon Foster.” He states that he “started doing music as an outlet for his depression early on in life.” Constantly challenging himself to become better at his craft, he has taken voice lessons from Bobby Wilsyn, Ars Musica and Andrew Schultze. He has played with Earth, Wind & Fire, Bubba Sparxxx and performed at some of Chicago’s most notable venues including the UIC Pavilion and the House of Blues. Brandon has also earned a degree in music performance and business from the Columbia College of Chicago. Forever seeking to share his story and testimony, Brandon seeks to inspire, touch hearts and provoke thought with his music.

Links: (click below)

Website - http://www.branddo20music.com

You Tube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK6zbeEhLhhBH1zfHJ6tqcw

Soundcloud - https://www.soundcloud.com/branddo20/an-underdogs-tale

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BrandDo20/


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers day yuck


Saturday, June 17, 2017

New Article


Monday, June 5, 2017

Sample Band Agreement

Original article by Christopher Knab 

Throughout the last two decades I have often spoken of the importance of putting together a Band Agreement when you and your fellow band-mates are serious about doing business together professionally. Below you'll find a link to a template for a Band Agreement that will help you write your own Agreement.

In my book 'Music Is Your Business' I explain some basic facts about typical band agreements. I also suggest that you and your fellow musicians should try and write up your own agreement before consulting with an entertainment law attorney.

Here's the link to the Band Agreement Template (Word Format)

There Are No "10 Steps to Success"

Original article by Christopher Knab

I have been watching, studying, and analyzing why some people ‘make it’ and others don’t for a long time, and I have given up trying to discover some magic formula that every musician can follow on the road to so-called ‘success’.

Today, more than ever, there are countless advisers like myself who offer tips to developing acts and ‘struggling musicians’, and all too often we try to inflict some step-by-step process on musicians that will help them become successful as musicians, but the truth is 
‘There are no 10 steps to success’ or even 25 or 50 steps.

So, I have been asking myself some questions about why some acts make it and others don’t.

Is there a difference between the attitude of successful, well known acts and the attitude of upcoming acts? Why do some musicians make it big, while other equally talented people songwriters and musicians never get their music heard by the masses? What specific skills and/or inherent talents do the successful artists embody that so many 'wannabees' do not?
Is it charisma? That special something that many artists seem to exude the minute they walk into a room? I think that is part of it, but many successful acts have as much charisma as a pitcher of milk, and yet do quite well for themselves.
How about a lot of money? That seems to be the one thing behind so many successful names these days. There are always major labels owned by huge multinational conglomerates behind so many superstars. They can buy their way into the hearts and minds of the public, right?

Wrong. Money can only push something out to the public for their acceptance or rejection…that’s all it can do. 
Nobody reaches into the public’s wallet and forces them to spend their hard earned money on anything unless the public sees some real value in it.

Think about it. Today there is a lot of (what some observers) call ‘shallow and immature’ music out there. But you know what? No one who bought any of that music would cop to that criticism.

No indeed, 
the people who buy the latest sounds on the pop charts buy that music because it gives them some kind of pleasure. It means something to them.

I think we should look at what sells and what is successful from this standpoint; music fulfills the needs, wants, and desires of any group of fans because they identify with it.
Basically people like a song because they can hum it in the shower.
The one thing that all successful acts have in common when they cross over to mass appeal is great songs! This is true as well for the more edgy artists who eek out a living from smaller fan-bases… they still write compelling songs that touch the hearts and minds of their fans. I think that is the reason why some musicians succeed and others don’t.

Whether or not you personally ‘like’ current popular songs has nothing to do with it. Enough ‘somebodys’ coughed up $10 each to prove your tastes may not be in-tune with what the general public likes.

But there must be something else that separates successful artists from those who don’t connect with the public. What other thing is it that successful artists and bands have that separates them from struggling artists?

My answer is business savvy. Yup…that’s it. Somebody somewhere in every successful acts history had enough business savvy people behind them to make them the stars that they are or were.

NOW…listen up! It isn’t as simple as you think. In the past having some business savvy may have been the domain of a weasel-like manager, or record label executive. It may have been the unscrupulous business practices of shady lawyers and booking agents, as well as greedy club owners, or money hungry publishers.

My point is that no matter what the behavior of a particular music business gatekeeper may have been… they got a certain part of the job done… they broke on through to the other side of the competition, and got their act’s song into the ears of the thousands of music fans. And to do that, I can assure you they had a plan.
There are no short cuts to success, and there just isn't enough room at the top for everyone who makes music to make a living from their music. But there is a balance that can be obtained in one’s life. With the tools available on the Internet, and the technology of downloadable music now an every day reality, no musician who writes great songs should have that much problem realizing modest successes with their music.

Be careful of the "10 Steps To Musical Success" and the "What Every A&R Rep Is Looking For" articles and books. I myself have written some articles with similar such titles, only because they are my means of getting the attention of an ever growing group of music star 'wannabees'. Once I get their attention, I try to give them proven tactics and strategy tips that are time-tested ways that record labels and industry professionals work.
In reality, there are no 10 steps to anything! There is the conscious involvement, and commitment to your songwriting and musicianship, and to the business of music.

Remember that the world of commercial music is a world of dollars and cents, whether you like it or not. But that does not mean that Art and Commerce cannot walk hand in hand... they must do that. It never ceases to amaze me how often history repeats itself when it comes to the question of artistic achievement and music business savvy.

Most ‘artists’ in the truest sense of the world are narrowly focused people who never take no for an answer. No matter what challenge comes their way, they have no recourse but to turn to their creative side and get lost in their music as a way of staying alive. Then, along comes a businessman or woman who either is or is not ethical, but knows the music business inside out. They hear the magic in a client’s music, and they do what it takes to get that music into the marketplace.

Today, businessmen and women are the artists themselves. They have to be. That’s just the way things work in this era.

We live in a capitalist, consumer-driven society. The successful musicians of tomorrow will be those people who either attract dedicated, knowledgeable people to do the marketing and promotion for them, or they take that responsibility on themselves and realize that no artist has to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of their music to make some money with their music. 
Just KNOW who your audience is and create a lasting ‘friendship’ with them.

However, you do have to be able to write and perform great songs, and then produce them with the ‘sound’ of your particular genre carefully understood and honored, AND you have to take the time to read trusted consultants and advisor’s articles and books and also find time to stay on top of this ever changing business by attending a few music business conferences or seminars.

But you also need to do some ‘grunt-work’… keep up on your social networking presence at Twitter and Facebook, call club bookers (over and over), read good and bad reviews, put on a great show when you're exhausted or sick, and tirelessly promote your music. This is where the 'entertainer' steps in and handles things.

The ‘entertainer’ is someone who knows that the show must go on. They know that no matter what obstacle is put in front of them, they will persevere. Looking at the work habits of most successful musicians and bands, I think they all have an ‘entertainer’ inside them. That's what allows them to succeed in all areas of the business. That is what keeps them going during the fifth press interview of the day, and all the other crap that has nothing to do with music and everything to do with the business of music marketing.

When an upcoming artist finally ‘makes it’, the pressure to keep producing sellable music is huge. So the ‘artist’ has to be healthy and ready to create on demand. You may be asked to hit the road for nine straight months, then make a world class album immediately following the grueling tour.

What it all boils down to is that professionals have to be on top of their game, both artistically and business-wise. It is essential to create a balance between music and business early on. First, make sure your psyche is in the right place. You know, screw your head on right! Be honest with yourself regarding what things you are and aren't willing to do to be successful with your music.

Then, make a plan. Map out how you will improve your skills in both business and art. Put it on paper. Try living the 50% business - 50% music lifestyle.

Make sure you honor your business commitments and always act professionally. Make sure you keep your artist side healthy and creative. Take days off, take walks in nature, take time to noodle around that new idea for a song that just popped into your head. Those types of habits will keep the artist inside you in good shape and feed the creative juices inside you too.

Being a famous musician is not a "normal" life. To survive and thrive requires a special set of skills. The good news is those skills can be learned and developed. Every little bit you learn now will benefit your career plan down the road.
Put your hands together. The one hand is the creative side of you, and the other hand is the business side of you.
Now clap your hands!.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Make Music That Doesn't Suck

Original article by Christopher Knab
Visit us at www.entirelypr.com

For my next 10 Blog Postings I will feed you a daily 'Reality Sandwich' to chew on. 

The term ‘Reality Sandwiches’ appeared in a poem by the late Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. I adopted it years ago to explain that there are certain realities about the music business that must be chewed and digested in order to rid ourselves of any na├»ve concepts and beliefs about breaking into the industry. With this in mind, the following observations should be taken as wake-up-calls about establishing your career.

First Sandwich: Make Music That Doesn’t SUCK! 

Since we do indeed live in a time when everybody and their sister can and does make their own music, that doesn’t mean that your music has what it takes to make it. A&R Reps are always saying, when asked what they are looking for, “We don’t know what we are looking for, but we’ll recognize it when we hear it.” What we can read into this comment is that your music must truly stand out in some significant, original, dynamic, and creative way. 

95% of the independent music out there contains regurgitated ideas that were ripped off from some other more gifted musicians. Don’t copy! Borrow yes, but copy no. 

Challenge yourself. What is it about your music that makes it stand out from all the rest? 

From songwriting to musicianship, music intended for the marketplace must be performed and recorded capably. Music that sucks is music that does not grab your listener. Music that sucks is music that takes only 10 seconds to dismiss because the production quality, or the vocals, or the lyrics are pedestrian at best, or mediocre for the most part. Music that sucks is music that sounds like you’ve heard it all before.

If you don’t think a lot of the music coming out today sucks, drop by your local college radio station and ask them to let you listen to some of the hundreds of new CDs they get in the mail every week. You won’t even be able to listen for more than 20 seconds to most of the independent releases that flood the market today.

Make music that doesn’t suck and you will be making music that makes the listener’s hair stand on end, or gets their feet moving uncontrollably, or singing your songs in the shower because they can’t get it out of their heads. Music that doesn’t suck is music that packs people into clubs, and gets people so excited that they are willing to spend their hard earned money to buy it. So, what does non-sucking music sound like? It sounds like all the varied records that are selling around the country, and it sounds like what the people are talking about to their friends. It sounds like all the great music you bought for your collection.