From The Plastic Hallway

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Three Qs (Part 2)


"I love the early process of asking questions about a story and deciding which questions matter most.” ~ Diane Sawyer

---

Valerie Peterson – Contestant Manager, The Voice

http://thevoice.com

What inspires you?

VP: A delicious meal with good wine and great company.

Where do you discover new music?

VP: Everywhere! Mostly thanks to Shazam— it’s really changed my life. Also, am I allowed to say that without sounding like dweeb?

What does the future hold for the music business?

VP: I hope that we as the audience continue to stay hungry for discovering newness: new artists, new expressions, new ways of listening, new ways of discovering.

Nate Monea – Artist, Hey Monea

http://www.heymonea.com

What inspires you?

NM: I had typed a really lengthy response to this question that hit all the major cliches about inspiration, i.e. hearing other artist, experiencing live music, and appreciating the talent of others, but in truth that felt pretty disingenuous. Most of the time, for me, inspiration comes from things that are much more mundane. The other day I got completely stuck for hours on what it would feel like to live the life of a person I talked to outside of a Chipotle in Florida. It led to a bizarre tidal wave of introspection and new perspectives that left me feeling really inspired to go out and accomplish more and do what it is that we love doing so much.

Where do you discover new music?

NM: We drive A LOT while on tour, so Spotify new music playlists account for a very large portion of our discoveries. A few years ago I used to read tons of music blogs, and album reviews, but now I can actually listen to a song or two myself in the time that it takes to read a review, so I don't feel the need. There are times when I actually listen to one independent terrestrial radio station back home, and they have great new artists all the time. When all else fails almost all of my friends are musicians as well, so word of mouth is a big factor for me.

Where do you discover new music?

NM: I hardly feel qualified to predict future trends when it comes to the music industry because I thought Spotify would eventually fail, and people would still want to own physical copies of CDs. That being said, I think things have settled a little bit in terms of what the model is going to be for the next couple of years. I don't think there is anything major on the horizon that is going to dramatically alter the landscape of the industry right now.

---

Janine Lee Papio - Director of Operations, aka studio productions

www.akastudioproductions.com

What inspires you?

JP: Drive. Passion. Originality. Authenticity. Courage. Beauty. Honesty.

Where do you discover new music?

JP: Live venues. In the passenger seat of my best friend’s car. Late nights in Brooklyn on borrowed vinyl.

What does the future hold for the music business?

JP: I’m not sure, to be honest. I’m no expert.

But my gut tells me that a new era is upon us- where money and viral video talks to mainstream radio and the possibility of immediate fame is endless thanks to today’s technologies. Niche audiences can easily access their tribes on social media- revolutionizing the “platform” for performers. A stage is not only a physical spotlight in an arena of sorts, but built by audiences and appearing on milk crates online, in the subway, in living rooms, in abandoned warehouses, on street corners, on Vine, in classrooms… Social Media has made anything possible, and music can exist anywhere at anytime due to the eyes of cell phones internationally. Taste and talent have really started speaking up, leading to the complicated question- “How does an artist make money?”

So... how exactly does one truly capitalize on their art these days? In my humble opinion, the answer is changing day to day to day.

The music business is one clever woman.

---

Jordan Rose – Touring Musician, Drummer

http://jordanrosedrums.com

What inspires you?

JR: I’m inspired by a lot of things.. motivated and passionate people, great art, great music, delicious food, beautiful scenery, family, friends, and my relationship with God are all things that inspire me on a regular basis.

Where do you discover new music?

JR: I discover new music mainly through the recommendation of friends.

What does the future hold for the music business?

JR: I think the future for the music business is bright. I think that people are figuring more so how to work in the new model of online streaming and social media. In my opinion there's a lot of lower quality music being put out in the mainstream right now but there's also a lot of good music being made these days. My hope is that the "good stuff" will get more attention in the coming years.

---

Jonathan Wax – Artist Manager, 4x4 Artist Management

http://www.4x4management.com/

What inspires you?

JW: What inspires me is the goal of getting an artist's music in front of a big audience. There is nothing more thrilling than hearing my artist on the radio or in a TV/film sync, or a live crowd singing along to their single. To elaborate further, I get inspired by the concept of building success off of success - I love the challenge of trying to build on initial momentum. Whatever that initial momentum may be, I try to feed off of that energy and build the story. Where do you discover new music?

JW: I admit I don't go to a lot of shows. The occasional festivals yes, but I probably should be at gigs more often. I'm just too focused on everything else with my company right now that I don't prioritize it. As a result, Spotify is a big outlet for me. Admittedly I shazam a ton of songs I hear in commercials/syncs (which is how I discover some of my favorite artists & bands). And last of course is word of mouth. My friends and I are always exchanging artists worth checking out.

What does the future hold for the music business?

JW: For the future of the music business, artists need to focus on singles, not albums. Perhaps it's different for the AAA / alternative market, but pop and pop/rock (which is where I'm heavily focused) is all about singles at this point - and if you find growing success with your single, release an EP. And if you find success with that, release the full length LP which incorporates all the songs from the EP. Artists need to spend more time writing/recording three undeniable songs with top production, rather than 10 promising songs that may not be home runs. Streaming will continue to be key (and hey, vinyl is crushing it too right now). Syncs of course are so important - now more than ever (I mean, look @ Aloe Blacc and M&Ms... That song is top 100 Shazam USA). I also think indie artists here in the USA get hung up on trying to break here and no where else to start. If you can get any sort've magic going in another country, you may find a label in that territory willing to give you a promising advance and promo push. And if you break over there word gets around. Lastly, remixes have become key. Look at Mike Posner, Matt Simons, etc. I'm fairly certain Andy Grammer did like twenty remixes of "Honey I'm good" to make sure they didn't miss any potential source of revenue :)

---

Eric Davis – Artist Manager, JLS Artist Manager & Label Manager, Noble Steed Music

www.jlsmgmt.com

www.noblesteedmusic.com

What inspires you?

ED: Originality. So much of today’s popular music follows cookie-cutter formulas. When I hear an artist create something truly new and unique, I’m inspired to keep pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and to take creative risks.

Where do you discover new music?

ED: Mostly from a friend, family member or colleague saying “check this out”. I am also a huge fan of the Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. I don’t know how their algorithm works, but I usually find at least a couple of songs each week that I download.

What does the future hold for the music business?

ED: A major trend in various media the past couple of years has been up-charging. For example, you download a free or $0.99 game on your phone, but “freemium” pricing encourages user to constantly spend more money for premium features. Even $60 video games up-charge for additional content that previously would have been included in the standard game. Netflix recently added the option of a more expensive subscription for higher video playback quality.

I can see streaming services doing this much more in the future. Maybe Spotify askes for $19.99/mo to hear new releases immediately and $9.99/mo users will have to wait. Streaming services could up-charge for higher audio quality, for listening to more than X number of songs monthly, to have access to premium artists, etc.

Whether songwriters are paid more or not, customers should expect to pay more than $9.99/mo for unlimited music.

 © 2017 Noble Steed Music