Archive for January 11, 2012

Music Video: Pusha T “Sweet” Freestyle

New Music: Saigon “I Am 4 Real”

Industry Tips and Advice: Writing an Effective Artist Biography

Written by Jem Bahaijoub

 Album finished? Check. Tour dates? Check. Press photos? Check. Press release? Check. Biography? Urgh!

If you’re not a spectacular storyteller or wondrous wordsmith, then the task of writing or updating your biography can seem like an arduous task. However, a biography is an essential item in any musicians marketing tool kit. It positions your brand identity, communicates your key achievements and provides background info to fans and media alike. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way…..

Interview Yourself

If you’ve not yet put pen to paper, the best thing to do is put yourself in the position of a journalist. Devise a list of questions covering your career and interview yourself. Gain ideas and angles by reading up on blog Q&As, or identify interview questions you would ask a favorite band or artist. This will make the process of gathering your bio content a lot easier. While you are interviewing yourself, write down as much info as possible. You can edit this all later.

Plan Your Structure

Your bio is not your life story. It’s a concise and well structured overview of your music career. This is why planning the format is key. Think carefully about what you want to include in each paragraph and keep the following in mind:

1. Define your key achievements. If you have performed with well-known artists or received awards or accolades, then now is the time to rave about them. List them according to their newsworthiness.

2. Your bio does not need to be chronological. In fact the first couple of paragraphs are often the most important as they’ll determine whether a journalist or fan will read on. Ensure that the beginning of your bio provides an effective summary of your sound. For example, the  conjures an image of their offering from the outset.

3. If you’re in a band, stick to writing about the band’s overall story, rather than each individual member in detail. It’s okay to dedicate some space to each member as long as the bio starts and ends with the band. Don’t kill the reader with detail – keep it focused.

 Find Your Narrative Style

If you’re not a naturally gifted writer, than discovering your “writer’s voice” is one of the most difficult tasks. But don’t panic! If you write with passion and personality, you are halfway there. If you get stuck, utilize press quotes or even quote yourself.  is a good example of this.

Alternatively ask your friends and family to provide descriptors, and get feedback from them on your writing style. If in doubt, keep it short and simple. Balance style with substance.

Create a Work In Progress

Make life easy for yourself and write a biography that is easy to update on a regular basis. Adopt a style and format that is timeless and easy to add additional information to as your career progresses. Keep your bio as concise as possible — make every word count. If you struggle fitting all relevant information into one page, create both a short and long version that can be used accordingly.

Now get cracking….it won’t write itself.

source: www.musicthinktank.com

Music News: Birdman Speaks On Drake and Common Beef.

Birdman stresses the fact that Cash Money isn’t about diss records, but says Drake has their support.

Since the feud between rappers Common and Drake began late last year members of Young Money/Cash Money have remained relatively quiet in regards to their opinions on the beef between the two artists. But during a recent interview on Los Angeles’ Power 106, Cash Money Records co-founder Birdman finally voiced his opinion on the feud.

“Drake the homie so we ride or die. Ain’t no second questions about that, but we never been a brand to make records and want to make money off of making records of other people that’s not what we about,” Birdman explained. “So to me however the young homie deal with it we behind him, we supporting him 100 percent with our life so that’s just what it is. Ain’t no other way. Drake the lil’ homie that’s blood, that’s family, and ain’t no siding with that. It’s Drake or nothing.”

Birdman went on to stress the fact that his label isn’t about diss records or the profit that comes with releasing those types of records.

“We don’t do all that. We never did that,” said Birdman. “Never was about making money off of music off of diss records. That’s not how we operate. We try to give the fans – I mean when you get caught up in that to me you forget what this about. And it’s about the people and that’s what we do. We do our music for the people. We never been a brand to diss and diss records and try to make money that’s not us. But Drake the homie and we support him fully and whatever he ‘bout we ‘bout. However that turns out that’s just what it is.”

Movie News: George Lucas Said “HollyWood Did Not Want To Fund RedTails Due To It’s Mostly Black Cast.”

In an appearance on The Daily Show last night, George Lucas said that he had trouble getting funding for his new movie, “Red Tails,” because of its black cast.

“This has been held up for release since 1942 since it was shot, I’ve been trying to get released ever since,” Lucas told Jon Stewart. “It’s because it’s an all-black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all…I showed it to all of them and they said no. We don’t know how to market a movie like this.”

“Red Tails,” which stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Terrence Howard, is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, the group of pioneering black pilots who fought in the United States’ segregated armed forces during World War II. The movie is directed by Anthony Hemingway, the rare black director getting a chance to direct a big-budget feature.

Last week, Lucas told USA Today that he was worried that if Red Tails was a failure, it could have negative repercussions for black filmmakers. “I realize that by accident I’ve now put the black film community at risk [with Red Tails, whose $58 million budget far exceeds typical all-black productions],” he said. “I’m saying, if this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll stay where you are for quite a while. It’ll be harder for you guys to break out of that [lower-budget] mold. But if I can break through with this movie, then hopefully there will be someone else out there saying let’s make a prequel and sequel, and soon you have more Tyler Perrys out there.”


Big Shout out to George Lucas on this one for following through with what he believed in.

Music News: FBI Reports On ODB and Wu-Tang Released.

The FBI records on the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard have been released and charges that the rapper was involved in a variety of illict activities as a member of the Wu Tang Clan.
Gun.io obtained the records fairly easily as a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The 90-page report outlines when ODB was robbed and shot while residing in the Kingston projects of Brooklyn, New York.
The document more thoroughly discusses the Wu Tang Clan’s alleged past in the streets.
It accuses that a number of illegal matters including “The WTC (Wu Tang Clan) is heavily involved in the sale of drugs, illegal guns, weapons possession, murder, carjacking and other types of violent crime.”
They also state that the crew had connections to murder, shootouts with the NYPD, connections to the Bloods gang and possession of illegal body armor.

Industry Tips & Advice: How Music Licensing Works by Marshall Brain Pt 5

Internationally renowned Sony Music recording artist Celine Dion is appearing in five new commercial spots for Chrysler. One spot has Dion singing Cyndi Lauper’s last Top 40 hit, 1989′s “I Drove All Night.” The song was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg.

Photo courtesy

Commercials and Film

If you want to use a song in a TV or radio commercial, you need a Master Use license from the label (unless you are re-recording the performance) and a Synchronization license (TV) and/or a Transcription license (radio) from the publisher.

According to the book “All you need to know about the music business” by Donald Passman, “The fees for synchronization licenses are really all over the board, and they vary with the usage and the importance of the song.” For example, Passman’s book mentions some fee ranges:

  • Low-end TV usage (e.g. — music is playing from a jukebox in a scene, but no one in the scene is paying any attention to the music) — free (for exposure) to $2,000 for a 5-year license. In a film, the fee would be $10,000 in perpetuity.
  • A more popular song is worth more, perhaps $3,000 for TV and $25,000 for film.
  • A song used as the theme song for a film might get $50,000 to $75,000.
  • Commercials fetch even more money: “a song can command anywhere from $25,000 to $500,000 plus per year. The typical range for a well-known song is $75,000 to $200,000 for a one year national usage in the United States, on television and radio.”

Generally you would obtain the licenses you need through some sort of clearing organization that handles licenses on a daily basis. For example, see .

With songs from Faith No More, the Violent Femmes, David Bowie and The Clash, the music licensing fees for the film “Grosse Point Blank” and its CD soundtrack were probably fairly pricey.

Image courtesy



Quote Of The Day

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.

Albert Camus


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