“Proper planning prevents poor performance” is 1 of the many things i used to tell my audio production high school students here in Nashville. I often that some students were always trying to “get ready” instead of already “being ready”. I actually notice the same behavior amongst some Hip-Hop and R&B artists that I find myself engineering for at times. My girlfriend reminded me that “you don’t know what you don’t know” so I extend some grace when artists don’t know the right questions to ask but sadly many of them just aren’t even looking or taking initiative. I know making beats and laying down dope lyrics in the studio is fun, cool, and sexy but you are setting yourself up for failure if you aren’t taking a few minutes here and there to educate yourself on the music BUSINESS!!! I’m not suggesting you become an entertainment lawyer or spend more time doing business than making music but at least know the basics. If you are still reading I trust that you’ve read something that challenged you or at least made you think “he sounds like he’s talking about me”. I was there before myself but I knew what I wanted to do with my life ever since the 8th grade so I began to read all the articles and books on the music business as I could. It’s even inspired me to write my own book which hopefully will be coming soon but in the bullet points below I just wanna give you some real practical and tangible things you can do to take the next step in your music career.
Create an actual business for your music (For starters, Get a free EIN number so you can open a business bank account, create an LLC or at least create a DBA (doing business as) for $20 here in TN.
Register as a writer AND publisher with a performing rights organization (ASCAP will cost you $100 total for both accounts and BMI will cost you $150-250 total for both accounts)
Learn the lingo (If you’re gonna be in music business, you gotta be knowledgeable of key biz talk). Familiarize yourself with the meaning of the following terms (this is not EVERY word that you should know but a few):
Royalties (multiple types)
Feel free to hit me up with any questions you may have and be on the lookout for my forthcoming book that will further expand and unpack the brief information I shared in this post.