Thursday, 1 September 2011

Exciting and Important Announcement from Elena Vogt

Elena has announced some exciting updates, the first of which is being asked to sing on a track of a Rap/DJ artist in New York. So if you want to hear that song, called, “PUT IT ON REPLAY” Listen Now!  This will be marketed sometime soon, but its taking a back seat to the BIG news!
THE BIG NEWS is that Elena's latest single is ready for release!
The song is called 'BREATHE SLOW" which is a remake of a song written by one of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's writers! It charted at #3 on the UK Pop charts a few years ago and is being released by Dauman Music/Universal Music Group! This remake was produced by the Billboard Chart topping producers, ‘Klubjumpers’ . Listen Here!  We have been told that this release is going to have lots of radio plugging both in the USA and in Europe. Which of course is very exciting! 
Finally, following Elena’s successful run in the Heineken download competition with her song ‘Taste of  You’, and her recent feature with the same song on Microsoft Windows Media Guide free downloads, she has been selected as one of 50 artists in New York to have a song available for download in a competition with Pop Chips via Facebook! If she wins, this will result in a performance for the Spin Magazine event in Austin, TX.
The link is below, you need a facebook page to vote, by downloading her song ‘Taste of You’. It will really mean a lot to us if you can help her win. Also pass the link onto your friends and kids and ask them to download it as well.
Here is the link to the competition page, please download ONLY Elena's song so that she has a shot at winning! Thanks! Voting ends on September 12th!  Vote Now!
Thank you for supporting Elena!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Is There Such a Thing As a FREE Download?

There is no such thing as a free download! Even though it's true to say that a fan can download a song for free or in exchange for supplying their email address. In such cases the Artist or Label meet the cost. So how much does it cost to produce a song?

Stacey Young - singing live
 The first major problem is that no two songs are the same. A price for one created in a few minutes, will be different to another that takes a few months. Another factor than can seriously extend time and therefore cost, are the musicians and the rehearsal time they may require, before you get the sound that you're looking for. There are so many variables to consider before you can even attempt to put a price on a song. But we'll try our best.

Let's assume that a simple three and a half minute song is written, sheet music is available for the experienced session musicians and now its time to take over a studio and record. All vocals will be completed free of charge by the writer.

An estimate for a simple arrangement with a well-rehearsed group would be about six hours per song. This is loosely calculated at 1.5 hours per finished minute of music. Some people will say less and others more. There is simply no strict calculation you can use, but for our purpose it's about right.
The money side will roughly equate to £25 per hour for the studio over 6 hours, which is £150. Four session musicians at £100 each, adds another £400 and our sub total so far is £550.

After this, the tracks have to be mixed and this largely depends on the Producers or Sound Engineers and how they work. Time again is another factor that is as long as it is tall. It takes however long it takes to get it right. But more time spent in mixing usually means a better quality finish. A very vital part of the creative process to achieve the best sound is to take plenty of breaks for the eyes and ears to rest. Some will mix over two days to give themselves a clear break and come back refreshed to finish it off the following day.
Mastering for one song could take up to two hours, probably less per song when mixing an album.
So we will run with a very low price of £100 per day, as our Writer knows the Producer very well. This adds another £200, making a total of £750 from start to finish with quite a few shortcuts and favours.
As can be seen, to produce a song ready for a decent commercial level is an expensive undertaking. Which leads to the question. Why should there be free downloads at all if it costs this much money to produce? Hmm, Good Question!

'Free downloads' cost us and our Artists money to produce and record. Please help support our musicians by buying your favourite music from our website. ~ Thank you for your kind assistance.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Its Summer Festival Time! ~ How do you get onto the big stage?

There are so many bands and performers anxious to get on the summer festival scene every year, but the truth is that hardly any attach their music or documentation of their fan base on their introductory emails. Without these simple attachments, your email application is simply destined for the trash bin and they don’t have time to follow a link to your website to find whatever they want to see. You probably have only 15 seconds to capture a promoter’s attention.
Lets be clear about one thing, festivals are an ideal opportunity to get onto a stage. An unknown band will not make the main stage at Glastonbury, but there are many other side stages that may feature them. Organisers are keen to provide a wide appeal to increase their chance of a massive turnout at their event and if they want to add a new sound to their repertoire, they first of all need to know what that sound is and the number of your fans that may possibly be drawn to the festival itself. ‘Discovery’ at a festival would be an amazing coup for both you and the Festival itself.

Include a good quality recording of a live gig are imperative. Everyone in the music industry knows that a recorded sound can be manipulated to death to get the right sound for your song. What do you sound like live? Its a critical question and probably of more importance to the festival organisers. If you owned a club or festival wouldn’t you want to see ‘who’ you’re booking? Alternatively, make use of an electronic press kit but make sure your information is up to date and valid before submission.

What can you do to increase your chances of featuring at a festival, or to open for a national act at a club?
First of all, get back to basics and don’t run before you can walk. You usually need to have experience under your belt. So, if you’re a new band, start small at your local clubs and make sure the venue is right for you. Update your online profiles pages so the promoter is not misinformed. Make sure your fan numbers are plainly visible, to do this its best to use a music website platform that collects information from your other online profiles, one such as Reverbnation is quite popular. Make sure your best song is featured first, and remember that 15 seconds from paragraph one! So don’t use a long intro or instrumental (unless that is your thing).

Keep your shows updated on Myspace and other profiles. A promoter wants to see that you’re a working band! It is extremely important that promoters understand where your fans live, since they need to fill their clubs so be sure to connect them to a place that showcases your fan base. Popular festivals and conferences don’t necessarily care as much about a big fan base in their particular market because they usually have bigger artists on board to fill the venue or can rely on the aggregate of all the fans from all the artists that are playing.

Do not submit to something if they are not looking for your genre.  It is annoying to the promoter and it is a waste of your time and money. Take the time to update your online profiles and sync everything to give you the most competitive press kit.  A promoter is going to think if you took the time to do that, you’ll take the time to publicize the show you may be booked for. Always respect the promoter’s decision and don’t take it personally if they do not select you. While you may not be a good fit for their particular opportunity, it does not mean that you will not be a perfect fit for a future opening! Promoters all know each other and talk together. The last thing you want is having word travel among the promoter community that your band is unprofessional which can lead to lost future opportunities.  

The same tips work when submitting to A&R execs, labels, managers, licensing companies, award shows, etc. 

Remember, even Lady Gaga was unknown at one time!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Kashy Keegan - A musical Inspiration

Kashy Keegan is a 26 year old piano singer/songwriter from the UK. He taught himself to play keys and writes and produces all of his own material.
His songs characteristically contain strong melodies with meaningful and powerful messages. He takes inspiration from all of life, the good, the bad, the rise and the fall for he sees it all as having reason and purpose.

Kashy is a true reflection of his music. He puts every ounce of his heart and soul into his writing. He has a sensitivity for emotion that is authentically expressed throughout his many compositions.
"My mission has always been to try and write songs that can provide some form of comfort, healing or positive inspiration for people."

His songs have achieved high ranking in many songwriting competitions, including the National UK Songwriting Competition and Songwriter Universe's Best Vocalist and Best Song Of The Month competition. He also enjoyed chart success with his song 'This Is My Dream' reaching the number one position on both the Track4 Euro and Pop charts in Germany.

So should you find yourself feeling low or depressed, play some of Kashy’s music and walk to the light, don’t hide, just be yourself and let your inner light shine!

You can find Kashy's music on Reverbnation, Myspace and Facebook. Join him there.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sell Yourself to Sell Your Music and expand your Fan Base!

In today's musicians world there is a unique opportunity to succeed where others have failed! Why would you need or even want a Label? After all, the world is your Oyster.
An unfledged artist today has a variety of tools and opportunities for global distribution, unlimited promotional opportunities and so many new methods of getting their music in front of people from all over the world. So stop worrying about the music industry and just focus on what you do best, your music. Then keep in touch with your fledgling fan base. It will grow even if you just spread news about your new music or gigs. Just don't keep updating your profile every five minutes with the same message.

Social Media - the best route to expand your fan base!
Every musician is a creative being and you can find all the tools you need to make yourself successful. Let's prove it, just search for 'Fred' in Google. Follow the link and turn down the sound. Seriously, turn down the sound! I'm not going to comment on the content, but he plainly does NOT have any musical talent. But the point here is to just look at the figures. His Youtube channel has been running since October 2005, it now has over 2 million subscribers, over 110 million channel views and over 700 million upload views. That is an average of over 30,000 views or plays per day over six years. There's a lot you can learn from 'Fred'. For instance, he's started merchandising as well, you can do the maths, simple sales average of 1% based on his daily viewers.

With figures like that and if he had a few ounces of musical talent, there's no doubt that he would have been signed by a Label. Now tell me, what aspiring musician would not want to have numbers like that? In fact, that's probably a higher number of plays than some of the top names in the industry have achieved over the same period.
These figures are only taken from Youtube, when you look at the number of sites available to musicians, you can then begin to grasp the power of the tools that are out there and available for you to use.

Whatever style of music is your scene, there is a market for you. But be aware, that there are also millions of similar singer/songwriters out there too. What makes you stand out from the crowd? What is your unique selling point (USP)? Discover that and you will be hitting some serious numbers too!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Working with Justin Langston

Justin is a talented, dedicated and young Musician / Singer / Songwriter / Recording Artist from Midland, Texas. He began playing guitar at the tender age of 11 and recollects his dad showing him a few chords, but he distinctly remembers more what he said at the time, "It starts from the heart and if you ever become great it is a gift from GOD".

Playing and creating music from the heart is the main ingredient of Justin’s music and he has learned to play a vast array of instruments including lead and bass guitar, drums, keyboards and many other instruments. In 2010, he recorded his debut album at the age of 16, ‘Love in the making / Gone wrong’ and he is very proud of his first masterpiece. This self-published album taught Justin a lot about music projects in general and more are sure to follow!

The show, ‘America’s Got Talent’ has been holding recent auditions and Justin has sailed through the first two pre-auditions. He is now awaiting the result of the third before they move onto the next stage in the process. This is coming up in mid March, so we should hear the results shortly.

Not only is music running through his veins, but the desire to help others is an important aspect of Justin’s character. He has recently got involved in a campaign that AT&T is promoting, called "Don't Text and Drive" and he will be going into schools to perform and help kids become aware of this growing danger. Hopefully, the teachers will learn something too!

One thing we will say, if his energy and determination remain as focused as they are now, you will certainly be hearing a lot more from this dedicated young singer in the future.

Justin has now published his Official website, and you can also find him on Facebook, Youtube, Myspace and Reverbnation.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

How do people find new music?

We conducted an experiment with Solar-Isis, one of our bands, to set up profiles on, Ourstage and Soundcloud, to find out if any new activity was generated on a passive profile over the course of a full calendar month, beginning the week before the Christmas holidays. The short answer is nothing! Which we sort of expected.

So if you think any of these sites are going to allow a passive artist to upload their music and wait for loads of plays. Think again! There is no option but to work these profiles fully before you gain anything from them. But watch out for hidden costs!

To get involved with you have to download their ‘scrobbler’ and start listening to music. It gets you involved, but now you are wasting time listening to other music instead of promoting your own. The common concensus in their reviews ( was that after it sold out to CBS, it has not been as effective for musicians unless they buy in and pay for plays.

Lower down the internet traffic rankings is Ourstage which hosts a variety of contests for musicians. However, there are some sour comments about discrimination and some bands being unfairly blocked from the site, but in the main the feedback is positive and the site is free. We didn’t discover an unwanted upsell after we established our profile. But unless you are working the site the chance of anything happening here is still very slim.

Soundcloud charge a premium rate for artists, which is really a waste of time unless you are looking to collaborate with other musicians and refine your sounds. You will meet a lot of other musicians, which appears to be the major opportunity on this site and as for it being another outlet for your music to be discovered by the general public, forget it.

As most online musicians know, if you don’t work a profile then nothing will happen. But to be honest, we are working with Reverbnation and Facebook and have no time to work additional profiles. On Myspace, we are receiving so many messages that profiles have been deleted and the frustratingly slow speed when trying to use it, just make it impossible to be utilised as an effective promotional medium.

So our conclusion is that Facebook is the best option at the moment to virally promote your music with the co-operation of a genuine fanbase. It’s free to use and its traffic rank has been in the top 5 globally for the past few years!

This concludes the first stage of Gateway Music’s investigations into ‘How do people find new music’.