The death of Gatekeeper: Record Label

The death of Gatekeeper: Record Label

music-594275_1280Today we are talking about the gatekeepers in the music industry;the record label.
I told you of my story in the eighties about our experience with them. We had a good demo and approached many record labels. We were rejected by all of them, though we had good songs. The best advice we got was to let Lemmy Jackson produced us, and we will be automatically signed by EMI Records. Lemmy Jackson was the hottest producer then. He was the Don Jazzy and Ted Riley of that time. He produced all the hit songs then. Other producers were charging N800 and N500 for mastering.
But then we needed N25, 000 to pay him. That money is like 2.5 million today. If it were today,we could have paid other producers N1300 and shoot video and upload it on Youtube and we could have blown. I had fan base in my school. I was the most popular celebrity in The Polytechnic Ibadan then.
Now the record label gatekeepers are dead. You can record your song today and put it on iTunes.
Rebecca Brown song “Friday” is a case in point. Her mother paid the producer $4000 to produce her. It also included a video shoot. The finished product was put on iTunes and accompany video on Youtube. It sold 87,000 copies in the United States over its first two weeks and has gone on to sell 442,000 copies, as of December 2013.
The “Friday” music video had been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube. Forbes estimated that as of that date, Black and ARK Music had earned $60,000 from YouTube’s revenue-sharing program.
This was done without a record label.
The Voice Nigeria ended recently, and we saw a lot of raw talents. Arese won and went home with recording contracts and other gifts. If the top ten are wise, they should ride over the waves of the popularity and produced their singles, shoot videos and upload on iTunes and Youtube. Use #top10NigerianVoice as Hastags. They don’t need to wait for any record label to sign them. I am hearing you are saying it is not that easy. Yes, you are right it is not. Life is not easy but don’t wait for anything to come to you, go for it.

More interesting reading
Musicians Who’ve Found Success Without Major Labels.
9 Singers Who Were Discovered on Youtube or Vine Videos

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