As many of you may know I’ve been in the music industry for fifteen plus years. So I’d like to share some of the big changes that I have experienced through the years in the industry in no particular order.
Not too long ago, labels used to release tons of mixed CDs by notable DJ’s. There are many that come to mind like Global Underground, Techno Club Series, Ministry of Sound, Euphoria, Gatecrasher…I can go on and on. Outside of productions, lots of artists made a name for themselves releasing mixed CDs. After all, there was no iTunes, Spotify, Pandora or Soundcloud back then to make a playlist or listen to whatever song you wanted to, whenever you wanted to. Getting on one of these mixed CDs was no easy task. Once the deal was made with the label and the artist submitted the tracks that he wanted on the mix. The label would have to get the licensing for each track the artists wanted. If the label did not give licensing rights for whatever reason, it would be back to the drawing board to replace the track(s) that did not get licensed.
Come to the present time and mixed CDs are basically nonexistent. There are some mixed compilations out now but with platforms like Soundcloud which many artists can upload their radio shows, podcasts, live mixes, etc. on a weekly or monthly basis all the mixed CD’s have gone away.
I recall many tours I booked over the years for mixed CDs and albums. Albums till this day are getting some good traction for artist touring.
What were some of your favorite mixed CD’s (if you’re old enough! LOL)?
Times have definitely changed in venues having resident DJ’s. Yes, lots of venues out there have nonlocal residents but they are a lot less than years ago. While many venues still book some talent multiple times a year not many call them “residents”. While in today’s world there are a zillion more DJ’s in the industry which I’m sure makes it tougher to have residents in my opinion. I believe that the oversaturation of DJ’s has created an environment that majority of venues bring guest / international acts week in and week out which leaves little room for local talent to grow in their backyard. all these superstar artists were once local DJ’s in their hometowns.
I think I would certainly like to see more venues support residents DJ’s.
Which were your favorite local act(s) that went on to the big stage?
Nightclubs & Festivals…
No secret that club culture is going through a cycle. The mega-club era seems to be diminishing while many notable venues across the globe have shut down. I feel that the new generation is not as much as a club culture as it was in the earlier years. Not to mention that there seems to be a festival going on every other weekend. Let’s face it, all these festivals are not cheap to attend. So a lot of the people are either skipping out in the club nights or they don’t want to pay cover. I have noticed a huge increase in “no cover” events over the last couple of years. I still remember when they used to pick you to enter the nightclub! (LOL) While festivals are great for an artist for the exposure, they are not the easiest to get into as an artist. A lot of the festivals book almost the same talent it seems like, the big names that sell the tickets leaving little room for the smaller artists to break into that level. While I do love the festivals I would definitely love to see more clubs opening across the globe that want to book artists based on their talent and track record than based on their social media stats which is an unfortunate truth these days.
Which are your favorite festivals and clubs that have shut down?
The new “All In Deals”…
Over the years I have done my share of Tour Managing with many acts. Till this day I communicate with promoters that I met 10 plus years ago because we got a chance to actually sit down and have dinner and nice conversations before the madness of the gig.
Which leads to my last topic, I want to touch base on the new thing happening in some markets/promoters with the “ALL IN” offers. For those that are not familiar, it is when a promoter sends an offer for an act and the budget/offer includes everything in it. So basically the artist has to fly himself there, Uber to the hotel, Uber to venue and back. While I understand that all these things start adding up for the promoters/venues and they would like to stay within a certain budget. I find it very impersonal to have an act fly from across the country or globe and not want to take the time to meet them as a person and establish a relationship. After all, you are booking the artist because you like what they are doing as a musician right? I know there are a lot of moving parts during events etc but having yourself or one person from your team pick up the artist and take them to dinner, goes a long way. Especially if the artist has never been to that city, does not know anybody in the city. In my opinion, it’s a nice gesture.
Put yourself in the artists’ shoes. How would you feel if you got booked for a gig and had to find your way everywhere, then show up to the gig to play then leave? Wouldn’t make me too motivated or inspired for the gig if I was a DJ.
In conclusion, the industry is changing as rapidly as ever. I’d like to see where the new changes take us in the years to come.
East Coast Director