Co-operative music – what Cheryl Cole should do instead of X-Factor

Cherly Cole loves Forbidden Fruit

Here in England, as the recordings industry has hemorrhaged, the biggest news on the music scene over the last ten years is that of talent shows like X-Factor. While I’m not totally opposed to this – it did give us the delights of Cheryl Cole to enjoy – out of all these shows only BBC’s fame academy actually focused on developing talent.

X-Factor and all its big ratings is just commercial dross, Simon Cowel, Cheryl n co commenting on wannabe’s doing covers of big hits that people already know. Great for the coach potato with no brain, but is that seriously what we want music to be thought of ?

Record executives will tell you they need sales to make the profit margins to fund developing artists. In reality little development takes place these days. To get a major deal you need to be working every angle already, and if the first album doesn’t cut it sales wise you’ve probably a better chance at winning the lottery than getting a second bite.

So how can artists and music distributors (label and the whole series of bodies needed to get it out there) work together in the future ?

I’m firm believer that from now on everything is really a partnership, where all parties invest to equal levels (financial and effort) and share the same risks and take the same rewards.

I think the days of the lazy musician who could write tracks and hope to make money without having all the other rounded skills are pretty limited. They still may happen, but trust me, all you musicians out there need to take a look at business and understand your music is no different – a commodity to sell. In that respect no one is going to deal with an unreliable and lazy slacker. I get alot of demos and interest from people that, contrary to the advice in our demo post, dont do things right or even show effort. In which case I just reach for delete. Time is too precious to waste on people who can’t do the basics.

I’m just back this afternoon from a meeting with a couple of guys, who are involved with some major artists and parties in the business, looking at licensing some of Forbidden Fruit Recordings tracks. We’re been discussing how it could work and what we each bring to the table along with how those rewards would be shared.  Song sales alone will never justify a deal, those days are gone. Everybody wants a part of everything in order for it to be worth while. For that to work all parties need to act fairly and deliver on promises. As it stands I have the music and these guy potentially have the connections and clout to take it into the crossover pop charts. I can’t say too much but hopefully you’ll hear the results soundtracking your summer

Something considered here at the FFR, is should artists pay labels to release their music?

A good record label can provide a significant platform and approval to artists if they are released on it. From which they get high paying gigs and dj sets. Where at the moment the sales are rarely there for the label to make enough money to operate, particularly in the niche markets and, regardless what you think, house music is a niche market albeit a larger one than most.

Would you as an artist be willing to pay a label to release your music?  And if so how much? I’m interested to hear.

In forming a partnership with a music distributor, what would you be willing to sacrifice to ensure that it achieves the success you desire? I don’t think many think of this question. As my uncle said to me, the dictionary is the only place ‘success‘ comes before ‘work‘. I know I’m willing to sacrifice everything to achieve my aim of being a world class record producer and have my music heard worldwide. I think I’m on the way to that but I’ve a hell of a lot more work to go let along skills to develop. However, I do know my music has been played in major clubs and radio shows around the world and got alot of respect, so I must be doing something right. I’m still figuring the plans for the development of that. Plans are key… I’ll more on this later.

So back to the musical partnership, I wish Cheryl Cole would use her publicity to benefit the industry more and promote some forward thinking initiatives that embrace the current music climate and empower artist and music distributors so that all parties can prosper! Being a fellow Geordie I know there’s alot of innovation in the area – electricity to steam engines all come from our part of the world.  However, if I was to pick a major artist that might push the envelope I’d have to pick Lady GaGa… let’s hope a Brit does it first though… if not them, then rest assured Iwill be flying the artist flag.

If you have any views on artist and distributor partnership add a comment or send an email, I’m keen to hear more… only through working together can we all find a satisfactory solution.

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