FMP | Proposal

For my FMP i plan to start my own independent record label for Rock and acoustic based genres. I wish to sign at least 3 – 4 artists (2 bands and 2 solo) to the label. From this if the artist wishes to release an EP/Album/Single then i will get that recorded for them and release the material through the label. Once all profits have been recouped i plan to split the profits with the artist 20/80 in their favor.

The big thing i wish to focus on is to put on a gig with the artists i sign and record all the sets to create a big live album and call it “Hot air Music Presents…”, this will most likely be a free download from the website.

I have currently written up some basic recording contracts for the label and i am getting a logo designed by a student on the art course.

Another thing i can do for the artists is manage them slightly if they require those kind of services. I will also be marketing and promoting them along with the label


Objectives for record Label –

  • Sign 3-4 artists with a mix of bands and solo acts
  • Organise and put on an end of term gig at bar 42 with all the artists
  • Record a live compilation album of the gig
  • record/release any material the artists are working on through the label

Objectives focusing on the artists –

  • Organise/Record the album/Ep of each artist and release them through the label
  • Promote and market the artists and any material they will be releasing through the label
  • Set up social network accounts and a wordpress site for the artists
  • Take press photos of the band
  • Organise/locate gigs for your artists to perform at

Over the course of the project i plan to keep records and evidence of work i have done by keeping a weekly reflection that critically analyses my progress from the last week. I will also put the gig i plan to arrange a week or two before end of term to leave evaluation time.


Areas i need to research into for this project are:

  • Other independent record labels
  • The musical landscape and local scenes within Worthing and Brighton
  • Local music blogs/magazines for marketing and promotion
  • Artists to do artwork
  • Photographers for press photographs
  • Promoters to help promote the end of term gig
  • Venues around Brighton and Worthing which i can organise gigs at for my aritsts

 

Roles i will be undertaking with this project:

    • A&R – I will be doing this in order to search for similar bands which would work well together and compliment each other live. I will also need to find session musicians to work with any solo acts i have signed
    • Marketing and Promotion – i will need to continuously market and promote the artists, the label and any material being released through my label.
    • PR – in support of the marketing and promotion i will need to look into the local music scenes and liaise with members of the public who would be interested in the artists i will be working with
    • Events management – i will need to undertake the role of an events management team for the gig i plan to put on, this will include some of the above roles and also new ones relating to events management.

 

  • Artist manager – If required by the artists i sign i will also be taking on the role of their manager. I will not require any additional charges for this service. This means that i can book session musicians, recording sessions, liaise with artists, photographers, session musicians, media etc…

 

 

FMP | Evaluation


For my final major project i set out to create an online record label and to work with artists on releasing new material and promoting them. The main focus of the project was to help me build up my marketing and promotion skills.

I feel like i began quite strong booking three gigs in April to host three of my artists at some point. Gig aspect i feel overall have gone quite well with some good gigs, some bad but ultimately i feel that i have learned more about timing, organisation and also building up bands by organizing these events.

One thing i have picked up was a technique shared to me from Mark Knowles of Bar 42. His idea for building up bands as headliners is to get a big headliner who will bring a crowd and then two local support bands who are quite well known within worthing. You put the band you with to build upon as main support or second support. This way if you get people who are coming to the gig to see the headline and maybe the second support band whilst your band are on main support they will most likely have to listen to that band. This is good as it means that you hopefully will get people who like the band you are choosing to promote and from this you do the same again with new support and headliners and the same main support band. People who attended the previous gig may think “hey, we saw that band last time, they were really good” and may want to come again. This is a long rinse and repeat process which takes time but has worked for Mark and is something i plan to put into practice with my artists for future events.

I feel another thing i have been good at in the project is the graphical side of things with posters and websites being designed for gigs and my artists. You can check out the main Hot Air Music website here, from there you will find links to artists wordpress and Facebook pages and also evaluations for each gig along with photos and the poster. Speaking of wordpress sites i have not really used the artists sites at all since creating them which is something i should have done to post stuff to then share the posts via Facebook and other social media sites to hopefully draw traffic to the main website,

One big aspect i feel i could have improved on much more was the marketing and promoting side of things. This is something i should have researched into a lot to ensure a bigger crowd to my gigs. My planning throughout the project has not been concise or frequent as well which is something i probably could have done to help me have a focus.

To summarize i feel i have definitely improved on my event management skills but i need to focus on marketing and promotion quite a lot. I also feel that maybe i need to develop Hot Air Music not as a label but more as a promotions company which can release music through and also promote artists, this is something i feel i will work on over the next few months.


 

Rock for Research [Part 2]: Sad Girls Club @ Bar 42


Last night was a better atmosphere i feel than last Tuesday, even though about the same amount of people came. I Feel that again the two main problems were promotion and date selection and they are something i need to improve on quite a lot if i want to begin making money from gigs.

Another problem i had was not listening to some of the bands maybe to put together a suitable lineup with similar music styles which work together. However despite this the bands were all really good.
Even though there were some minor issues it was a decent enough gig for a Tuesday at Bar 42, raising a nice £33 for Cancer Research totaling to £68 in total between the two events. Charity gigs are something i would definitely consider hosting again!

Lineup:


Photos by Leanne Cushnie


 

FMP | Week 5 | 9th May – 15th May


Progress Made

  • I have re planned the charity gig into two separate gigs on the same week one of which i have got Bar 42 for on Tuesday 14th June.
  • Marketed and Promoted the upcoming gig on Wednesday

Outstanding Tasks

  • Find a venue for the other charity gig i wish to put on in June
  • Follow up with Luke amor and his managers about the tracks for the press package
  • Organise one more gig for late may/early June to host Luke Amor, Joseph Bagwell in a pub type setting
  • Market and Promote the Label and artists

I feel like i have been falling behind on the main label focus of marketing and promoting the artists i sign. I still have not gotten round to creating a press package for Luke Amor however for that i am still awaiting two tracks to include with the package.

Though i would like to book another gig for late may i feel that it is best for now to focus on the two charity gigs that i am planning for June. I currently have Bar 42 booked on 14th June for one of the gigs which will be the metal night. I need to book a venue for a second gig to showcase myself, Luke amor and similar artists as well.
I think over the next week or so i will need to look into marketing and promotion more as these are the main goals for a record label when releasing artists material.


 

FMP | Week 04 | 2nd May – 8th May


Progress Made

  • Fully organised the gig on 18th may including finished all graphics/poster and a schedule. I have also written up a guest list for the gig.
  • Followed up with Katie James about a new logo
  • Recorded two scratch tracks for solo EP
  • Began putting together a press package for Luke Amor
  • Organised door personnel for 18th

Outstanding Tasks

  • Call back the Prince albert to enquire about booking for a gig in June
  • Complete Luke Amor’s press package
  • Research into more venues
  • Research music blogs/radio stations and magazines to promote Luke Amor and Label related activity

Back to normal schedule with these hopefully!

I have now pretty much fully organised the gig for 18th May minus a few small details which will be discussing getting payment for the bands and also wristbands. I need to step up my promotion game for this event which is something i will need to focus on this week. One thing i will need to do in aid of this task is researching into more music blogs/magazines and radio stations in the local area who might be interested in advertising the gig.

I still have had no luck with a venue for June, i contacted the Prince Albert in Brighton but have not heard back from them yet so i will follow up with them later today. My main concern for this gig will be finding a venue that is ideally free if not cheap like Bar 42 but one that has availability during the dates i am looking at. It may be a case of having to cut down to just one evening if i cannot find a booking for three consecutive nights. I will also look into more venues around worthing and Brighton which might be good for the gig i wish to host.
Hopefully i can put together Luke Amor’s press package soon and start marketing his own music as he is almost ready to release some material. Red Shores on the other hand are currently not ready to release anything due to undergoing a change in direction so i will keep checking up on them to see how they are doing.


 

Andy and the Echoes @ The Smugglers Return


This has probably been the most interesting gig to say the least…

We started out by going to college to grab the pa equipment required for the gig, we managed to get everything together quickly and also all the stuff to the venue in one trip with two cars. Once we had arrived at the venue we unpacked the stuff into the stage area and began setting up. Originally my sound guy had planned to get there at 7 so i was too sound check the bands and ring the system out.

We encountered our first problem when we realized the technicians had forgotten a few bits from our list which we should have checked before heading over to the venue, this unfortunately was too late to get the bits from college as the music block was closed. We got round it however by cutting certain things out of the pa such as the multi fx lexicon unit and compressor. The only effects unit we used in the end was the graphic EQ for fold back and so did not need the effects rack they lent us for the gig.

Our second problem was that the headline band Andy and the Echoes who were providing the kit for the gig were unable to arrive for 4:30 setup due to still being at work which is understandable. We got around this by setting up their kit and bass quickly and then beginning sound checks immediately. I had a problem sound checking Andy and the Echoes and The Red Smoke as i am not the best tech however had some help from student teacher Neil Allison who knew a few things about sound tech and got me through the first two. After this my sound technician turned up and sound checked Ellie and her backing band as she was first on.

As the night went on things seemed to be going smoothly, the sound technician didn’t encounter any problems he could not fix. I feel though that maybe the mix of artists wasn’t quite right for the venue though, maybe myself and Andy and the Echoes would work but Ellie’s set and The Red Smoke i feel were out of place somewhat. Also we could have either started slightly later or maybe had an extra artist as the gig ended a bit early i feel, even though we ran late with sound check.

I think the main problems i faced with this gig were a lack of promotion which is one of my biggest flaws i must work on certainly. Maybe by contacting loads of music magazines, local blogs and such within the area to get some sort of press coverage for gigs.
Despite these problems it was still an enjoyable night, all the bands were good and people did seem to enjoy the music they heard. One thing that the landlady at Smugglers suggested is that friday is not the best day to have a gig, especially one starting with covers of classic rock and heavy metal music, this is because people coming back from work won’t want to hear ace of spades as soon as they get to the pub. This is some good advice which i will take into account for future events in pub type environments.


 

FMP | Week 01 | 11th April – 17th April


Progress made this week

  • Evaluated the gig from Wednesday
  • Organised the gigs for 29th and 27th including printed posters, flyers and created event pages
  • Followed up with Katie Lisa James about label logo
  • Met with Nielsen Reaveley about him possibly signing to the label
  • Updated the wordpress websites

Outstanding Tasks

  • Promote the upcoming gigs on 27th and 29th
  • Follow up with Nielsen Reaveley about possibly signing to the label
  • Plan out 3 gigs for May
  • Discuss EP/Album possibilities with all the artists
  • Research into van hire for 29th
  • Get a full list of PA equipment needed for 29th
  • Research more venues around Brighton and Worthing

As the first week draws to a close on my FMP i sit writing this entry with a cup of tea from my Pink Floyd mug whilst listening to Pink Floyd. I have managed to catch up with Katie Lisa James about the logo i was getting her to design, she has been ill throughout most of Easter and so has not had a chance to get round to designing it which is understandable.

 

A few days ago i had an email from a student on the music technology course called Nielsen Reaveley  who sent me some of his songs from soundcloud, he was interested in possibly working with me on my label. I had a meeting with him and he has taken away both the manager/artist agreement and record contract to give them a good read and some time for him to debate whether he wishes to sign. Hopefully he will as the songs he had uploaded to soundcloud sounded really good and i hope to be working with him soon.

 

I also had my first gig this week. This went quite well although we had a few issues. One of which was i had forgotten to discuss back line and tech specs with the band so on the day of the gig none of the guitarists had amp heads for the cabs. This however was not an issue as Bar 42 had a couple of combo guitar amplifiers which worked nicely. We had a decent turn out for a Wednesday evening however i feel that we could have had a better one if i had promoted the gig more and also put Bar 42’s address on the posters/flyers. Despite these issues the gig went quite well.

I still have two more gigs this month. The first is on 27th at Bar 42. For this i remembered to discuss back line and tech specs with the bands however still forgot the address of Bar 42. Hopefully this won’t be too big an issue. The second gig is on 29th at The Smugglers Return. For this i will need to borrow a PA from the college and either find someone with a van who can transport the pa for me or hire a van which one of the sound technicians who will be working at the gig will be driving.

I intend to research this week into more venues around Brighton and Worthing which might be good for the gigs i want to put on and also plan out three more gigs for next month including a charity gig of some sorts. I also need to discuss with my current artists about ep/album material and see how things will be going between them and myself.

My other big task this week is to research into more music blogs, magazines and radio stations who would be interested in some of my current artists and also creating press packages.
Hopefully next week will be more productive!


 

FMP – Prelude Part 4


Prelude Part 4

Progress made this week

  • Signed Red Shores to the label
  • Released Red Shores “Live At Bar 42’s Pangalactic” through the label
  • Created wordpress and bandcamp for Red Shores
  • Began organising a new gig on 27th for Red Shores to play
  • Found a headline act for 29th and another support act

Outstanding Tasks

  • Market and promote the upcoming gigs on 29th, 27th and 13th
  • Sign 1 more artist
  • Create a press package for Luke Amor and for Red Shores
  • Hire a PA/Sound Engineers for the gig on the 29th
  • Talk to Leanne Cushnie about event photos for 13th

 


With the final preparation week complete i have managed to sign 2 artists to the label. The first was singer-songwriter Luke Amor. I have not made as much progress with him as i had hoped to over these past few weeks especially with creating a press package for him which has not been started. The second artist was hardcore grunge duo Red Shores who i signed on monday. We have already released a live album recorded at Bar 42’ Pangalactic which they had ready to go so i will need to market and promote that.

I am in the process of organizing two new gigs. One on the 29th which i originally wanted Stone Cold to headline. Due to their drummer being away i found another similar band called Andy and the Echoes who have agreed to headline. They have actually been very friendly as well through the process which is nice to have a good relationship with the band, from this i invited them to the gig on 13th which they said they will try and come down for. For the gig on 29th i have hired out The Smugglers Return, a pub in worthing. I am in the process of getting an engineer and PA for the event which i will need to borrow from the college. The second event i began organizing is on 27th at Bar 42. This gig will feature Red Shores as they are quite different from the music Luke and I create it is best to find them their own separate shows. So far i have two other bands agreeing to play at the gig but i have had a hard time finding a headline which i will need to focus on.

My main tasks for next week is to create press packs for Red Shores and Luke Amor which i can send out to radio stations, music blog and local magazines and hopefully start generating some buzz.


 

FMP – Prelude Part 3


Prelude Part 3

Progress made this week

  • Printed off posters and flyers for the upcoming gig on 13th
  • Organised a second gig at the Smugglers return on 29th April
  • Distributed some of the flyers and posters around the college and also to a few local business including We Have Sound in worthing.
  • Added the event to several event promotion websites
  • Organised to meet with Leanne Cushnie to arrange her to be an event photographer for 13th

Outstanding Tasks

  • Follow up with Red Shores and their managers to find out if they would definitely be interested in signing and what terms and agreements will be made
  • Market & promote the upcoming gig at Bar 42
  • Pay artist Katie Lisa James for new record label logo
  • Get press photographs taken for myself as an artist
  • Find artists for the Smuggler Return gig on 29th
  • Create an event page, posters and flyers for the smugglers gig on 29th
  • Sign 1 more artist
  • Create a press package for Luke Amor
  • Hire a PA/Sound Engineers for the gig on the 29th

After the third initial week of preparation i have started promoting the bar 42 gig on 13th and printed posters and flyers for the event, some of which were put up around college. I gave one poster to Mark at Bar 42 to put up and also a flyer to We Have Sound, a music shop in worthing. I have to sign at least two artists still. I am planning on meeting with Red Shores at some point to discuss possibly signing them to the label. I feel as though i have not made enough progress with signing artists and need to possibly look to bands outside of college.

I have also organised a second gig for 29th April at the Smugglers Return. For this i plan to open but need to find artists to play. I have contact Stone Cold however in the hopes that they can headline the gig. I need to contact Luke Amor’s managers to discuss maybe creating a press package with them. This will help me promote Luke Amor as an artist to blogs, magazines, radio stations etc…
I feel that my main focuses for the next week will be to Get artists for the second gig, promote both the first and second gigs and also look into local bands who might be willing to work with me on this project.


 

FMP – Prelude Part 2


Prelude Part 2

Progress made this week

  • Discussed a 1 year term for Luke Amor’s contract
  • Obtained contact details for Luke Amor and his managers
  • Signed a manager/label agreement with both of Luke Amor’s managers
  • Organised the first Hot Air Music gig at Bar 42 on 13th April including getting all the acts, creating a facebook event and designing graphics for the gig
  • Contacted some of the listed venues in my contact database and obtained additional needed information
  • In the process of hopefully signing a second artist to the label, Red Shores

 

Outstanding Tasks

  • Follow up with Red Shores and their managers to find out if they would definitely be interested in signing and what terms and agreements will be made
  • Market & promote the upcoming gig at Bar 42
  • Organise for an event photographer
  • Pay artist Katie Lisa James for new record label logo
  • Create physical posters and a few flyers for the gig on the 13th April
  • Contact local music blogs and magazines in worthing to promote the event

After the second week i have found it harder to locate artists interested in working with me on this project. I was contacted by Red Shores after posting in the Music at Northbrook group saying that they would be interested and after talking with them and their current managers i feel that they are interested in working with me but agreements are still yet to be made and finalized.

I got round to organising my first “Hot Air Music Presents…” gig which will be on 13th April at Bar 42. For this i have organised a line up including Luke Amor, Altamont Speedway, Mr Hyde and myself with Funkzilla headlining. The gig is to be free entry and will hopefully give all the artists and myself as a label some exposure onto Worthing’s music scene. A poster has already been designed for the gig and a facebook event page has been created. I have also submitted the gig to Worthing Live Music in the hopes that i can get some exposure through them. I will also contact a few local music blogs and magazines in hope to get exposure through there not only for the event but also as a label.
I hope to obtain an agreement with Funkzilla as they are a good band and i also have outstanding expenses from the artist management project which i would like to recoup. If however they are not interested in signing i will have to move these expenses over to the label itself and they will be recouped through any profits.