Find Out How Social Club Records Music (Hint: It may not be how you’d expect)

Social Club is one group we can’t seem to get enough of lately.  The Christian hip hop duo from Miami released their latest album, Misfits 2, earlier this year, and  they’re currently on the road spreading their music around the country.  We got a chance to catch up with Marty and Fern to find out how their sound has evolved, what they’re doing to maximize their tour, and why they’ve never recorded a track while being in the same room…

How did Social Club start? 

Social Club started in 2012 when we (Marty and Fern) ran into each other at a local radio station.  Before we knew it we were making music together, and in a week we did over 20 songs.  From there we chose the name Social Club, and our goal was simple: make real music for real people going through real things.

What are some challenges you faced early on in your musical career? 

Where to record.   It’s hard when you have two different schedules and you want to come together to work on music.  So, what we did was invest in creating our own home studios. To this day we have never recorded a Social Club song together in the same room—kinda weird, but it works for us.

How has your sound evolved from your first EP, Misfits, to your latest album, Misfits 2?

When we put out the first Misfits, we were in the process of finding our identity.  By our fifth project, Misfits 2,  we knew who we were and where we wanted to go.  Theres something liberating about knowing who you are  and it changes the way you make music.

As a Christian hip hop group, have you seen any recent trends and/or growth within the genre?

Absolutely.  For us,  the fact that we can sell out a venue or outsell other artists on larger platforms during the first week is incredible.  The genre has gone from “Christian rappers are people who can’t make it in the industry” to “rappers who are Christian and make great music.”

You’re currently on the road for the summer, how have you been getting the most out of your tour?

Merch! Merch! Merch!  Make sure you have products to sell.  Without them you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to grow your fan base and business.  Another thing that we just started doing is holding meet and greets—working with promoters to connect and hang with our fans before the show.  Imagine if you got to meet your favorite artist before a show, and they gave you a hug.  It’s all about the people.  The goal for us is to not have a concert, but to create a memory.  If all you do is sing on stage and leave right after the show, you won’t be on tour for very long.

How do you plan to keep momentum going after this tour ends? 

More music, more videos, more fun.  Artists who sleep don’t have jobs.  You have to constantly prepare for the future and think 10 steps ahead.  Always have something to talk about.  The music is really a small part of the business.  I would say social media is just as valuable as making music.  Independent artists who don’t use social media are dead fish.  People are talking, make sure you come up in the conversation.

How has TuneCore been a part of your team?

TuneCore has been incredibly valuable to our success. We are a completely independent operation, and we literally have the opportunity to reach the world through TuneCore.  TuneCore is a game changer—you no longer need a label to release music.  You have a better opportunity to reach your fans directly.  Also, we set up a pre-order which was EXTREMELY easy and honestly helped us sell more records.

What advice would you give to an indie artist who is just getting starting with his/her career? 

Be humble and work hard, if you want it enough you can have it.  The music industry has changed, it’s not the same as it was five years ago.  It’s the Wild West—anyone can make music and release it, because you don’t need a huge budget and a studio.  My question for an up-and-coming artist is: what makes you different from everyone else? Most of the time the answer is being yourself.  You were made an original, don’t die a copy.

What can fans look forward to next from Social Club?

The Misfits can look forward to more music, more videos, and more fun.  We love you.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube (@socialxclub).

New Music Tuesday – July 29, 2014

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

AzealiaBanks

Heavy Metal and Reflective
Azaelia Banks
Hip Hop/Rap

Gunnar

Standard American
Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys
Country

GoldenYouth

The Cabin
Golden Youth
Alternative

TheChimpz

California
The Chimpz
Rock

K.Sparks

Vintage Art
K.Sparks
Hip Hop/Rap

Chuwee

Pimp My Ride
Chuuwee
Hip Hop/Rap

Vyking

Reign!
Vyking
Electronic

Saylah

Notes. Ryhmes. & Melodies.
Saylah
Hip Hop/Rap

CasiJoy

Old Town Lane
Casi Joy
Country

TheWhompingWillows

1975
The Whomping Willows
Rock

TheHolyCoast

The Holy Coast 
The Holy Coast
Electronic

Meditation

Meditation Music 3
Musical Spa
Instrumental

13 Tips for Getting the Gig from Talent Buyer Christina LaRocca

Hello music makers!

My name is Christina LaRocca, Founder/CEO of L Rock Entertainment.   As a talent buyer with a decade of experience, I get somewhere between 25-100 requests A DAY from bands all over the country, asking to play the Big Apple or looking for assistance with tour booking.  How do I choose which bands are the best fit for my shows?

First impressions are everything.  Remember you are contacting a human being, so it’s best to treat them like one.  No one is going to reply to an email that says: “My band is awesome you need to book us…check it out man www.weareanawesomeband.com”

With that in mind, here are some great tips to help you get the gig:

1.  Start your email cordially.

Say Hi or Hello, if you know the talent buyer’s name, use it.  If you’re friends with a particular band you’ve seen play at this venue, mention that.  It shows you’re familiar with the scene and support the venue.  If you’ve played a venue nearby in the past, mention that as well.  Also, if you’re looking to book an acoustic show, it’s best not to email a venue that caters to metal bands, or vice versa.  Find the right venues for your band.

2.  Keep your email short but informative.

Don’t send over a huge paragraph with your most important band information tucked away in the middle somewhere.  The talent buyer is going to read the first few lines, and if intrigued, check out your links.

3.  Got press quotes? Use them.

If your band already has a few impressive gigs under your belt and press quotes from legit sources, then put them front and center.

4.  Include the date/time frame you’re interested in performing in the beginning of your email.

The fewer questions the talent buyer has to ask, the quicker your show will get booked.  If you’ve never played this venue, asking to play a Saturday night at 10PM is probably not going to happen unless you have a proven draw in that city.  Start by asking for an off night like a Tuesday or Wednesday, and you’ll probably get the gig.  It’s best to not play shows fewer than 21 days apart in the same market if you’re required to bring a good crowd.

5.  Include a music video if you have one.   If you don’t, make one.

Once you have a solid recording of what you would consider your single, the next thing your band should do is MAKE A MUSIC VIDEO.  An artistic video is great, but if you’re known for your live show, make a video that shows off your goods.  It doesn’t have to be a really expensive video, but in my opinion, a great video is the #1 way to get gigs these days.

Here’s a great example by Philly’s own Dan Orlando featuring Sons of Origin, “Need You on My Side” live in the studio.

You don’t need a lot of money to make a video, and nowadays you can make one pretty easily.  Figure out what options are best for you and run with it.  Just keep in mind a bad video can hurt your chances as well.  If a friend posts something without your permission, like a terrible iPhone video, and you aren’t happy with it, ask your friend to take it down.

6.  Don’t forget to put your social media links in the body of the email.

Make it easy for the talent buyer to click on whatever he or she is interested in.  Don’t use hyperlinks.  Although they look clean, if the person receiving the email doesn’t have the right format capabilities, those links won’t appear.

Follow this format for your social links:

Official Website: www.weareanawesomeband.com
Listen: Bandcamp or Soundcloud links are best

Facebook: www.facebook.com/weareanawesomeband
YouTube: www.youtube.com/weareanawesomeband
Twitter: @WeAreAnAwesomeBand

Instagram: @WeAreAnAwesomeBand

Here’s an example of an email I would send out to a talent buyer:

 Hello [Talent Buyer’s Name],

I am writing to book one of Albany’s finest indie-rock bands WILD ADRIATIC on [insert date here] at [insert venue name here].

WILD ADRIATIC has been featured recently in Rolling Stone, Guitar World and in 2014 will be performing at the Gathering of the Vibes (CT), Utica Music Festival (NY), Newtown Arts Festival, Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA), Blues on the Beach (Stratford), Tropical Heat Wave Fest (Tampa), Miles of Mud Festival (WI), LARAC Festival (NY), Canned Beer Festival (Coney Island), Alive @ 5 (NY).  More information about their tour schedule, music videos and links to their new LP “Suspicious” can be found below.

WILD ADRIATIC

“Flawlessly tight with infectious melodies & tons of soul.” – Relix
“Full of rocking blues, soul, and depth.” – Huffington Post
“An act to get behind.” – USAToday

http://www.wildadriatic.com/
Listen to their new album BIG SUSPICIOUS here:
https://soundcloud.com/wildadriatic/sets/big-suspicious

Official Music Video: “Lonely” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS8ZNOt3Li8

Recent feature in ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: http://rol.st/1h3kXS8

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREMIER with GUITAR WORLD: http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-album-premiere-wild-adriatic-big-suspicious

[You may want to insert a photo of the band here]

[Here you should list any notable bands you have opened for or performed with.  If you aren’t quite there yet in your career, mention the most notable venues or festivals you have played and include other press links or anything else you think they should know.]

Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to hearing from you. 

[In your signature always have your contact information and band name]

Name
Phone
Email Address 

7. Know when to reach out. 

You still get some venues that are old school and require a phone call.  These are more than likely your local brewery or bar.  The best time to catch these talent buyers by phone is generally in the morning or after 6PM.  Always be polite, be ready to chat about your band, and if it takes a couple of phone calls to get through, be ready.  If it’s a restaurant, don’t call during their busy hours.

You sent your email and got a response! Now what?

8.  It’s best to respond as soon as possible. 

Don’t wait a week to respond and expect that slot—especially if it’s on a weekend—to still be on the table.  Talent buyers try to fill their calendars within a certain time frame, and they usually aren’t waiting on your response unless they have personally invited you to the slot.  Even if you don’t know if your band is available yet, reply by thanking them and ask them to hold the slot for you and you will do your best to get back to them ASAP with an answer.  If the date doesn’t work, make sure you let them know in a timely fashion!

It’s important that whoever handles the booking for your band is good at communicating with the rest of the band.  Perhaps a group text or group email can help reach out to everyone at once.  If there’s someone in the band who is always the last one to get back to you, perhaps it’s time to talk to that bandmate about answering within 24 hours.  I’m a big fan of Google calendars—it’s a great way to keep everyone in your band on the same page, and you can access your schedule right on your phone.

9.  Ask the talent buyer to advance the show.

Upon confirming your show, the talent buyer should supply you with the following information:

Date/time
Lineup
Load-in instructions
Soundcheck times
Is the show 21+? 18+? All Ages?
Cover Price? Advance & DOS (Day of Show)?
Payment structure
Backline
Hospitality (hotel? food/drink? guest list?)
Local publication contacts to help you promote
The venue’s social media links for you to use in promotion

The talent buyer should be able to answer all these questions upon booking.  Never walk into a gig not knowing how you are supposed to get paid or what the backline situation is.  Also, read through all the information they have sent you so you aren’t asking a million questions the day before the show.  Be professional.

10.  Promote the show!

Start promoting the show as soon as it is confirmed.  Use whatever method is best for your fans.  Promoters will get annoyed if they don’t see a Facebook event made or if you did make one and only 2 people RSVP to attend.  That’s a sure sign the show is not going to do well.  Make a Facebook event and send it out during a time you think your friends are online.  Push to sell advance tickets.  This way if it rains, fans already purchased tickets, so chances are they’ll still make it  out to the show.  Ask the promoter each week for an updated count on advance ticket sales—he or she will be impressed with your eagerness to promote.

Have an Instagram account? I think Instagram is the #1 way to promote shows these days.  Link it to your Twitter and Facebook and voila!  It’s out there! Don’t forget to hash tag the venue, your band, and include any other tags you think will draw fans to your page.  There are great apps these days like BeFunky and Pic Play Post to make Instagram-sized flyers for your show.  Get creative, it will keep fans engaged and excited.

11.  Work on your craft. 

Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more.  You are only ever going to impress anyone if you practice.  Video tape or record your rehearsals, and figure out what needs improving.  Work on little things like what to say in between songs and how to avoid dead air.  Work on your outfits and have some kind of eye candy on stage, but try not to be gimmicky.  Everything you do onstage, from the time you start setting up to the time you walk off, is part of the show.  You can promote like crazy, get the gig, and do everything you need to do beforehand, but if you don’t do your absolute best when it comes to most the important part—your performance—perhaps it’s time to consider another career.

12.  Never leave a gig without getting paid.

Even if you think you didn’t make anything, always talk to the person handling the door before you leave.  Make sure you also thank the talent buyer, night manager, sound engineer and anyone else who works for the venue. Your attitude and how you treat everyone from the bartenders to the janitor is going to effect your future with that venue. Be polite, and courteous—believe me it goes a long way. Also, always check all your gear to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind.  You want to make sure you have all of your equipment for the next gig!

13.  And finally, if all went well at the show and you would like to play there again…

It’s best to email the talent buyer within 48 hours, to thank him or her for the show, and express interest in re-booking.

Thanks for reading, I hope this was informative! I’ve recently relocated to Los Angeles from NYC and I’m looking to expand my roster of artists, so shoot me an email about your band.  Good luck, and see you at the show!

-LROCK


Native Brooklynite Christina LaRocca is no stranger to setting standards. Since 2006 she has been scouting and booking talented artists around the globe. As an artist herself, her voice and talent have been heard across the states and overseas in clubs and festivals such as CMJ and SXSW. Committed and driven, Christina has created a network of musicians that she books at top clubs through her company “L Rock Entertainment.” L Rock Entertainment is a NYC based company dedicated to live performance and recorded music through musicians committed to creating art in their music. Whether onstage singing, or as a business woman, Christina continues to be an element of opportunity and possibility in today’s Music Industry.

#TCVideoFridays: July 25th, 2014

It everyone’s favorite day of the week and we’ve got you covered with our #TCVideoFridays round-up!


Alvin De La Cruz,  “Tócame”


Carrie Lane, “Found You”


The Warp Zone, “Game of Thrones Medley, Feat. Katie Wilson, Tj Smith, Lainey Lipson & Dodger”

Space Time Aces, “Unusually Ordinary”


Sculpture Music, “Beneath The Waves”


Steven Cyril, “Adicto”


Alyssa Shouse, “Human, Christina Perri Cover”


Desolate Horizon, “Sea of Insanity”


Stefan Melbourne & Chloe Leavers, ” Something Of Mine”


Venus Mars Project, “Hands of Time”

 

What You Don’t Know About Publishing May Be Costing You

[Article originally posted on SoundCtrl]

By TuneCore Publishing

If you’re a musician in the US, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the names ASCAPBMI and SESAC. You also likely know that joining one of these Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) will help you collect royalties that you’ve earned as a songwriter.

What you may not realize is that the world of rights and royalties is incredibly complex, and in this increasingly global, multi-platform world, you might not be quite as covered as you think. In this article, we take a look at the royalties PROs can and can’t collect and demonstrate how a publishing administration partner like TuneCore Publishing Administration, in conjunction with PROs, can help ensure you’re able to get your hands on all the revenue your songwriting earns.

Performance Is Just One Type of Right

The first misconception held by many songwriters is that copyright is a single thing – like a blanket – that covers your work. The reality is it’s more like a quilt, and if one piece of that quilt is missing, you may be left in the cold.

There are multiple ways compositions generate revenue for songwriters. Organizations like ASCAP and BMI cover one of them: the P in PRO, Performance. While Performance encompasses much more than an actual stand-on-the-stage-and-play situation, it by no means covers all uses of a composition. It’s these other revenue generators that, if you only work with a PRO, may represent earnings that are just sitting on the table.

MusicInk

What Is Performance?

Performance quite obviously includes live public performances, but it also includes radio play and even having your composition played as background music in a public place like a restaurant or hair salon. As a group, these are referred to as “Analog Public Performance,” and the royalties they generate are based on negotiations between your PRO and the radio station, TV network, bar, restaurant, airline, office, etc. using your composition.

Thanks to the Internet, royalties are also collected for “Digital Public Performance.” This category is then subdivided into Non-Interactive and Interactive “Streaming” Public Performance. Non-interactive services are those that don’t allow you to pick songs, create playlists or otherwise “interact” with the music. Pandora, iHeartRadio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio are examples of non-interactive platforms. Interactive service examples are YouTube and Spotify. For any of these uses, there’s no set royalty rate. Royalties are negotiated between the PRO and the other entity and are often based on a percentage of that entities’ gross revenue.

If the song you wrote is performed or broadcast publicly in one of these settings, and you’re affiliated with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, you can feel safe in knowing that they will collect on your behalf and pay you…at least in the United States.

US-Based Organizations Cover the US

Copyright regulations are laws, and as such, they are codified and enforced in each territory. Much like how the NYPD won’t be giving you a traffic ticket in Los Angeles, ASCAP isn’t collecting for you in Germany. Or France. Or Malaysia. Those countries have their own “societies” for the enforcement of copyrights and collection of royalties.

Fortunately, there is a measure of cooperation. ASCAP or BMI will work with the society in whatever country to get you paid, but again, this is just covering PERFORMANCE. So imagine you gave permission for your song to be used in the TV Show Breaking Bad. It airs in the US so your PRO collects any resulting performance royalties for you and pays you. As a result of the song being in the show, your iTunes downloads skyrocket, and again, your PRO will get you paid. But if the show airs in Germany, and as a result your song catches fire on Spotify in that country, you will only get a part of what you’ve earned – the performance royalty. You will NOT receive royalties collected as a result of the streaming mechanical or download mechanical. Instead, the society for the region will collect the money on your behalf, but because they don’t know who to pay, they’ll just sit on it. By contrast, once you’ve registered with a company for publishing administration, they will track rights and collect on your behalf worldwide.

These internationally-earned royalties can really add up, too. For example, TuneCore Songwriter Brian Crain, an ASCAP member, had distributed and even licensed his music for a few years before he learned that his PRO wasn’t collecting everything he’d actually earned. As soon as he signed up for TuneCore Publishing Administration, TuneCore was able to get $4000 in download mechanicals to him that had previously just been sitting in Canada.

royaltysign

“Performance” Covers a Lot, but Not Everything

In addition to performance, royalties and revenue are generated when your compositions are sold, streamed through interactive services, downloaded, or when they are licensed for use in something like a TV show or movie. These avenues can be incredibly lucrative. But if you’re just relying on a PRO, the money generated by them may never make it into your pocket. In these cases, a publishing administration service is essential. In the past, these services were only available to the most elite tier of songwriters. Today, in much the same way that digital has opened the door to global distribution for all, any songwriter can get a publishing administration partner.

Mechanical Royalties

If you write a composition and someone copies, prints, covers or even transforms it into something else, you’re owed a “Mechanical Royalty.”

Reproduction is one of the main ways compositions generate mechanical royalties, and these royalties are owed on every single CD, LP or other physical manifestation of that composition. As soon as that “thing” is made, the royalty has been earned. If a million CDs are burned but not a single one sells, it’s still a reproduction of a million units. Every time a sound recording is downloaded or streamed (interactively) on digital stores like iTunes, Amazon or Google, it counts as a separate reproduction, as well.

Mechanical royalties are also collected for “Derivatives” of your composition. An easy example of a derivative use would be someone doing a bossa nova rendition of your hip-hop song. While this transformation no longer counts as a reproduction, you’ve still earned royalties for the use.

According to the letter of the law, derivative works include any work based on one or more pre-existing works. This could be a translation or new musical arrangement but could also include a dramatization, fictionalization or even a movie version. A good and complicated example of this is “Born in East LA,” a movie that was derived from a Randy Newman composition that was derivative from Bruce Springsteen’s composition, “Born in the USA.” Every time the movie gets shown, Bruce earns mechanical royalties.

PROs like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC or SOCAN do not collect mechanical royalties. This means any revenue you’ve earned from streams, downloads (outside of the US & Latin America) and physical sales are not collected by ASCAP and won’t make it into your pocket. While the royalties will be collected per the law by places like digital stores that stream and sell downloads outside the US & Latin America, without publishing administration, they won’t know who to pay. The money, therefore, goes unclaimed. A publishing administrator, on the other hand, will register your information with these sources, song by song, and you’ll collect the mechanical royalties that you’ve earned.

Bon-Iver

Licensing

If we go back to the example of the bossa nova rendition of your hip-hop song, we’ve already established that mechanical royalties will be collected on your behalf, but you may not ever receive that money. What we haven’t yet discussed is the fact that you have to give permission to the band in order for them to legally do the rendition in the first place. That permission – or more accurately, the licensing of your intellectual property – is another avenue to revenue. It’s also a road the PROs can’t help you navigate.

Licensing comes into play with more end uses than just our derivative examples. Use of samples requires a license, and as we’ve seen through lawsuits against Robin Thicke, Jay-Z, Moby, Kanye West and scores of other artists, failure to obtain the correct permissions can have costly results. Also in this category are things like mobile ringtones, printed sheet music, online guitar tabs and even lyrics posted online. Legally, anyone doing these activities without the proper license is in violation of the law.

In a lot of these cases, it’s completely plausible that the violators are unaware of their crimes, but ignorance does not make them innocent. They’ve violated your rights and you could sue them. But first you’d have to find the unlicensed use, then you’d have to figure out how much it’s worth and then good luck actually collecting. ASCAP and BMI can’t help you here. A publishing administrator can.

[Closing]

We at TuneCore believe very strongly that Performing Rights Organizations are an incredibly important and necessary tool for songwriters and publishers. They are the watchdogs of the airwaves, so to speak, with the enormous task of collecting performance royalties from thousands of sources. However, we also see how this is a very different business than it was back in the days of physical media on brick-and-mortar store shelves. Now, both the media and shelf can be digital and the channel and audience can be anywhere in the world.

Every year, millions of dollars in royalties that are collected on behalf of songwriters by societies all over the world just sit, unclaimed, because the songwriter doesn’t have a publishing administrator locating and obtaining these funds. That’s why it’s crucial to have a publishing administrator in addition to your PRO, so your share of those millions of dollars makes it into your pocket.

New Music Tuesday: July 22, 2014

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

AngelDeLeon

Angelito
Angel DeLeon
Latin

Forevermore

Telos
Forevermore
Heavy Metal

ChampagneJerry

For Real, You Guys
Champagne Jerry
Hip Hop/Rap

BryanMayer

This Is Me
Bryan Mayer
Country

GerKellett

Honesty
Ger Kellett
Hip Hop/Rap

MadelineMerlo

Madeline Merlo
Madeline Merlo
Country

DanaBuoy

Preacher
Dana Buoy
Alternative

DreePaterson

A Louder Side of Me
Dree Paterson
Pop

Heartcopy
Heartcopy
Heartcopy 
Electronic