Is it a coincidencethat Mike Vick scored his first running TD of the season today vs his old team?? Don;t forget he also had a passing TD too and Philly got the win. Nothing more to say I guess lol......
Uduak“Hello (Ms. Uduak). I must say that you have helped me to know more about music- how to promote myself as an up and coming artist, how to get labels, how to get media buzz. Thanks so much. Actually, with the education I got from your newsletters on notjustok, I was able to get media buzz most especially on facebook. 90 percent of my friends are celebrities among them are- Jesse Jagz, Banky w, K-solo, Audu Maikori (Chocolate City CEO), Ty-mix, Sasha, Eldee, Kraft Music to mention but a few. I relate with them and also have their contacts. I have also created a fan page. Now, I (have) sent messages to them telling them I have good music but need a record label. I got positive replys. About three told me to send my music through e-mail. My question now is should I send my music through e-mail? Thanks in anticipation for your reply.” ~TNBT, Lagos/Nigeria
Dear TNBT, Great to hear you are implementing the tips in the articles and seeing results! If you have been explicitly asked to send your music via e-mail, then do so. To make it easy for the persons who have requested to listen to your music, send a link to your MySpace, Reverbnation or anywhere you have your music set up online. If after listening they request you send an mp3, then send the mp3s. I would send not more than three of your best samples, initially.
“Hello Ms Uduak Hope all is well with you,I just came across you now on notjustok.com site. I and my (brother) are music men. Our music name is SoulBrodaz and we are up and coming acts in the industry. We have been here for a while just that we have not had the popularity. We were in a group called D-FOUR before we left for the higher future. We have made effort and we have some track recorded and mastered by the famous Dan-Jiggy. We have been trying to get help from Record labels but you know how things works in these part of the world, na so so posting. Come today, come tomorrow. So we got tired and we decided to start our own record label ourselves. It’s called FINGA-PRINT E.N.T. We have been trying and the street love the songs and we have a lot of fanx on facebook. Yeah ma’am what Iwant to know from you now is how do we get more helping handsinto doing these business with us because we have gone a long way and the funds needed are so much for us to handle. I need to know how to get one or two connections . . . hope you get back to us.”
FINGA-BOYZ(SOUL-BRODAZ) FINGA-PRINT E.N.T
Dear Finga –Boyz, Congrats! I am glad you guys finally took your own music destiny into your own hands to make things happen. A Black American fashion designer I interviewed a long time ago once told me that the problem with black folks is not that we lack ideas. The problem is we lack the financial resources to implement our many creative ideas. It is very true and your case is a clear example. The traditional ways for funding a business has been friends and family loaning you money, banks, your own money or what is called “factoring.” Let’s just assume you guys have tried all of the above and have no success. What next? Do you call it quits? Where do you go?
Try these options: 1) Get a 9-5job. Either you, your brother or both of you need to return to a 9-5job and save up more money you need for your label. By now, you should have a clear idea of your operating costs and how much you will need for to run your business. If you don’t get a business plan in place ASAP. Figure it out and get moving on the 9-5job for the money you need. 2) License your songs to Music Labels. In the USA, Europe and especially Asia, licensing deals are very normal and welcomed. Okay you wrote and produced a song but what good is it if you can’t get it out to the world? License as in give limited permission to a record label to release your whole album on an exclusive license or under compilation. You still own the song. You are just “borrowing” the label for a bit. You make money off the license fee and hopefully when Nigeria’s music industry gets to where it needs to be, you can enjoy the royalty fee “jara” that comes from licensing. That income will be a much needed financial boost to your company. 3) License to TV/Film. License your work to folks like STV, MNET, Directors and Producers like Emem Isong, Desmond Elliot for their films and the list goes on. 4) License to Companies. Many companies are advertising on Nigeria’s Television networks. License to these companies that advertise on these networks. 5) Sell Merchandize. Sell T-shirts, caps etc with your music slangs on it to raise money. Think 9ice selling ‘Gongo Aso’ Tees or Dola Billz selling ‘Pu’ Yanga’ tees. 6) Try Venture Capital Firms. Think the popular TV show Dragon’s Den but only do this if all else fails. 7) Finally, promote heavily on line. Every major music media website should have your name on their lips. Turn it up four notches high on social media marketing and promotions, and of course sell your songs online: Itunes, Amazon, Not Just Ok, Tru Spot, the list goes on.
“Hi Ms. Uduak. I’m a young talented artist in Lagos. I saw your (articles) and I (went) through them. I truly admire your write up. Please Ma’am to get into the music industry is not easy in Nigeria especially when you don’t have the connections. Ma’am I need an assistant. If you can assist me, I would be forever grateful. My works are in reverbnation . . .(link provided but omitted). I will be very grateful to get signed up in any record label. If it’s (an) upcoming it would be better because with the talent God has given unto me I will make the label THE BEST IN NIGERIA AND THE WORLD. It’s not by words but action. If you know anyone that’s interested in starting a labels or needs a good artist, just holla at your boy. . . thanks a lot.. remain bless…” ~Isah, Lagos/Nigeria
Dear Isah, It is hard to get into the music industry anywhere in the world, even in “Yankee.” That is why you have to be VERY good. After listening to the three tracks you have posted online, I can confidently and honestly say you need some more serious work. Work on stronger lyrics and definitely work on production quality and sound. Get that together before you even think about the marketing and promotions of your work. First impression counts and right now, it is not there. When you have that down, revisit the Ask Ms. Uduak archived articles to see what it is going to take to get signed to a record label.
“Hi Miss Uduak, It’s nice hearing you words of guidance that brings relief to most people like us, thanks for doing a great job. My question is this, I am an aspiring and upcoming musician, (I) am just trying to start. I did a very nice track few days ago with my close friend. How do I really get that exposure I crave? ~Michael J./UK”
Dear Michael, Based on the facts you have presented, “did a nice track a few days ago with my close friend,” with no evidence of anything else, I would say you need to wait and develop and build as an artist. Michael, surely a nice track you made a few days ago is not enough to begin marketing and promotions of yourself as a brand and your music? It is about respect for the art and business of music and most importantly, the people who you do music for, the fans. Take the time to lay the proper foundation. To be really blunt, get it together, get it “tight” think about marketing and promotion of your work after all the basics are in place. Rome was not built in one day.
“Hello Ma’am. I’ll try to make this brief. I’m an American Citizen who lives in the U.S. My parents are Nigerians and I (l)ived in Nigeria for a few years before moving back here. Quick question, how much do you think a label would pay to sign an artist (with a) flow up to par (with) Sauce Kid’s and a persona a lil’ more edgy than Naeto C’s? Thank you Earnest I./USA”
Dear Earnest, I sent a very brief reply because I wanted to make sure everyone benefits from your question as this is the whole point of the Ask Ms. Uduak columns. But to be more specific, it boils down to the contract you sign. Typically the contract record labels, especially big ones, enter with artists are the traditional standard distribution deals. A Naija record label, under a standard distribution agreement, will provide advance fees for your recording. They will handle the manufacturing, distribution, media, advertising and promotions of your album. You get paid after they recoup all the expenses from the profits of the album sales. The expenses can be a lot and that is where understanding the contract terms so you can negotiate a favorable deal comes into play. Indeed by the time you subtract from the advance fees your manager’s cut, the recording budget, producer’s cut, studio fee, transportation and meals, video budget, overhead costs for label operations and so on, you might be left with very little.
I will get into this more when we look at actual music contract terms in the nearest future.
Alright people, go make it happen!
Ms. Uduak Oduok is the President & CEO of Ladybrille Media Group, Inc. She is also an attorney, fashion model and journalist. She has over seventeen years combined experience in the fashion and entertainment industries and will be answering your NOT JUST OK basic Business of Music Questions. Have a question for Ms. Uduak? Send an email to email@example.com with the subject heading “Not Just Ok Music Question.”
Another segment from Ms Uduak, Love her advice, lady really knows what she's talking about.
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