Renman Music & Business
The music industry is a crowded one where the unmotivated fail. It's not the type of business where people hand you opportunities; you've got to have an unparalleled work ethic to get anywhere. No one knows that better than Steve Rennie, AKA Renman, of Renman Music and Business. The former manager of Incubus has found the key to success isn't all about your musical talent, but about being multi-talented and having the will to keep pushing forward.
In week #5 of RenmanMB's Insider's Guide to Today's Music Business, the lesson looked at the key contracts and agreements you will likely come across if you are doing something big in the music business. Among many topics covered are the 4 key agreements: Band Agreements, Management Agreements, Recording Agreements and Music Publishing Agreements. To help teach this session of Renman U, Renman enlisted Gary Gilbert Partner and Co-Chair of Entertainment & Media for one of top entertainment and media legal firms in today's business.
Every artist can put on a great performance if there are enough lights, effects, and production, but what really makes an artist stand out is a great song to back it all up. In class 7 of Renman MB's Introduction to the Music Business, Renman explains the process of how a great song comes to life and enlists the help of Grammy award winning producer and good friend, Brendan O'Brien, to share his thoughts on how it all goes down. On this episode, we discuss everything from the elements that make a song stand out to advice on how to find a great producer.
Finding the right manager might be the most important decision an artist makes after they've picked their musical partners. But finding a great manager is not easy. In this lesson of Renman U, the Renman talks about why to hire a manager, what a manager does, what qualifications you should be looking for in a manager, what personality traits to look for, when to get a manager, how to connect with a manager, and about the artist manager relationship.
Looking for some great advice on the music business? Simple: Think like an entrepreneur and treat your career as a business. If you're serious about music as a career - not just a hobby - than you've got to think like a small start up company. Use the resources around you and be creative. Check this clip out and hear the Renman explain a bit further on how to do this.
In this Renman MB throwback clip, the Renman sits down with Jay Boberg, long time record business heavy hitter. Jay reminds us that truly good art can be good business if the art is the focus and not used solely for exploitation. Among other gems of knowledge, Jay leaves us with a great quote about today's business: "The music industry is a river, not a lake. It's moving."
Though their business has changed, Record labels are an essential part of today's music business. Even if you're still far away from landing a record deal, it's helpful to know what record labels do, their different departments, and how you can get your foot in the door with them. But what exactly does a record label do and how can it help you? Watch this video to find out!
This playlist is a group of videos arranged to get a manager's head in the right place for success. It starts off with the basics of what a manager does, from what to expect to what your actual role is. The playlist ends with a forward by Brandon Boyd, which perfectly describes the relationship of artist and manager, and gives insights on what it takes to succeed and work together over long periods of time.
No matter what you do in life, it's helpful to have a mentor that can help show you the way. This is especially true in the music industry, but having a mentor in this biz is much easier said than done! In this clip, industry analyst Bob Lefsetz tells us that the music business is of renegades and if you have a mentor, you're lucky!
In this highlight clip, Nate Ruess, lead singer of grammy award winning band Fun., talks about his career and path in the music business. Nate has a fantastic story about coming up in the business and prior to superstardom with his band Fun., he had given up all hopes of commercial success. Nate leaves us with a handful of great quotes to remember and motivate everyone trying to make a career out of their music.
Nothing is ever going to be done just for you, especially in the music business. So you need to figure it out, you need to carve the territory! In this clip, manager Jim Guerinot talks about the importance of not being a follower and making sure you can always make yourself busy. When starting out, especially if you're working at a company, don't sit around wondering what to do! Figure it out! Be a "self starter!"
Jack Conte is a musician, businessman, and creative entrepreneur. He's probably best known as one half of the band Pomplamoose, but what we didn't know was what an interesting perspective he has on today's music industry. In this clip, Jack talks about what it takes to be successful in today's music business and how the industry has changed from massive rock stars to everyday hustlers. It's the rise of the middle class musician!
If you want to be in a rock and roll band, touring is going to be your biggest asset. It's not all glitz and glam and it's definitely not for for everyone, but if you're anything like Blasko, Ozzy Bassist and manager of The Black Veil Brides, you'll enjoy the struggle and learn on the fly along the way. Check out this bit of Blasko discussing the ups and downs of the touring business and what you should expect when getting involved.
We often hear that music publishing is a lucrative side of the music business, but it's a difficult one to define. Luckily for all of us, Jody Gerson quickly breaks down the nuts-and-bolts of music publishing and tells us that it's a "pennies business, but those pennies add up." Did you know that music publishing is involved every time you hear a piece of music in the elevator, at the movies, on the internet, and on a CD? For a real life example, watch this video to find out how one artist was a smash success for Sony/ATV publishing, but a complete bust for the record company.
Everyone that's somewhere in this music industry got there somehow. Getting your foot in the door in the music industry is a tough thing to do and no matter how you get your start, it's even more difficult to get to that next level. Take a few minutes and listen to program director of KROQ, Lisa Worden, talk about how she got coffee, held table reservations, and did what it took to move up in the biz.
There isn't a bigger problem in today's business than getting your music heard. There are hundreds of thousands of releases and different places to host music like YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, traditional radio, and Pandora to name a few, so how are you going to get people to discover your music? Getting a publicist is a great start. But like most things, you can't just hire a person and expect it to be successful. You need to present your music and band with a story. Something with a catch and creative angle to promote. In this clip, publicist Lesley Zimmerman talks about what you need to do to get yourself above the other artists you compete with and how to do it.
As an artist, it's hard to make creative decisions based on money. Sure, you need cash to make a living, but when it becomes your main decision maker, you can run into trouble down the road. In this clip, musician and founder of Artist Growth, Matt Urmy, talks about these challenges and how he's learned to deal with them. In addition, Matt reminds us how an artist in today's Music Industry needs momentum and traction on the business side to supplement the music.
In the music industry, you're going to run into the word "no" more times than you will the word "yes" and if you're going to make a career in this biz, you can't take no for an answer! In this clip, record exec and A&R heavyweight Jason Flom talks about why this is important and gives great advice on NOT taking no for an answer. Jason's enjoyed a long career in the music business and most recently signed Lorde and handled the record-label business behind her new album "New Heroine".
Making a living as an indie musician is difficult, but there are ways to generate money with your music if you're smart and persistent. In this clip, A&R for Position Music Publishing, Jake Versluis, talks about the gatekeepers of the publishing industry and the best ways to get music in front of them. Jake also reminds us that personal relationships are the biggest deal makers in the publishing side of the music business.
Deciding the next step to help break your music and band can be a confusing one. You'll have people tell you what they think you should do and if you don't know any better or have an experienced person to talk to about it, packing up the van and moving to LA might seem like the very best option. But before you do that, take a listen to what industry veteran and manager Bruce Flohr thinks of that approach and his opinion on the best way to get some worthwhile attention in the music industry.
A great song has the ability to mark a time in society and capture the spirit of a generation. It takes great musicians, writers, producers, and a team to break it in the market, but before all that happens, the pieces need to come together and someone needs to help put them together. Enter the A&R department. In this clip, Neil Jacobson, the Sr. VP of A&R at Interscope Records, talks about what he looks for in a song and why it's important that it can cross over into popular music.
Seth Hurwitz is a partner at I.M.P. Productions and a longtime veteran concert promoter. As part owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, Seth has been involved in the independent promotion business for decades and his experiences in the business shaped a "realist" attitude toward the industry, to say the least. In this clip, Seth advises aspiring artists to simply: bring it. And for the aspiring business professionals, Seth says the key to success is to figure out what reality is, stick by it, and don't change your version of it because someone's trying to change your version of it. Wise words from an experienced veteran.
It's easy to understand that there wouldn't be a music industry without music, but sometimes we forget that the creation process is only the beginning. Once created, a major part of the battle is having the right people, plan, timeline, and creative ideas to get your music to an audience. In this clip Pat Magnarella, manager of Green Day, talks about marketing an album a year and a half before release and some of the pieces he used in the campaign.
Marc Geiger has a music industry resume to be admired. Among many other things, he started as a successful concert promoter, co-founded Lollapalooza, and is currently the head of Worldwide Music at William Morris Endeavor. In this clip, Marc and the Renman talk about the following age old questions:
-Do booking and talent agents actually read all those emails and listen to all those demos that you send them?
-Do you have a better shot of getting more exposure when based in a major market like LA or NYC?
Making your music is the fun part, but if you can turn it into some money that makes it even more fun! A great way to do this is to use a music publisher and a music supervisor to help place your music in TV, Film, and Advertising! Supervisors and publishers are always looking for new music and in this clip Position Music's Jake Versluis walks us through five pieces to have prepared before submitting to supervisors and publishers.