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2 Responses

  1. William Earl Green Makume says:

    Great post Luther

    I hope that this finds you well.

    I appreciate the fact that you have created a platform like this ,to encourage young and old aspiring musos to think BIG & Deep or to go home.

    However, regarding your notion of how datafile host is a career breaker than a careeer maker due to fact that it doesnt create direct revenue for the artist/producer to see their ROI immediately, I disagree.

    The truth is artists and producers are guided by a morality that superceeds any music business manual. The danger with rule books, is that they offer the illusions that music marketing is a simple undertaking, that the world exists in black and white. Enter music marketing…….welcome to the grey area of the music business.

    Manier, now renowned local and international artists/producers were previously anonymous and through creative thinking had to compromise instant Returns On Investments (music) by giving their music away for free, so that they can create or appeal to an already existing audience of their dreams.

    Drake and his producer “40” from Canada, utulized sites like like datafile host initially to penetrate a foreign US music market. Through, their consistancy in the quality of their delivery from pre to post music production they managed to catch Young Money’s CEO, Lil Wayne’s attention who later signed Drake and the rest is history. The same holds true for SA, local Hip Hop sensation Cassoer Nyovest, who bow rund his own record label and has sigbed artists….he started by giving his music away for free, initially to create hype and demand for his now reputable international brand.

    You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to walk before you can fly. Baby steps are the essentials and sole prerequisites for sucess in this very competitive music industry. We have to start encouraging new comers into the game, to look at music business as a Marathon rather than a Sprint. A Long term view is a healthy perspective for real talent because it will encourage musos to have a lot of heart, to be patient and realistic about their expectations and their achievements, in terms of time frame.

    Sometimes its still necessary to give freebees, to your fans and supporters as a token of appreciation. A good example of that again would be Lil Wayne who after all accolades, goes into a studio booth, fully equipped with Digidesign Software and hardware with a well seasoned engineer to track him and then upload only for his fans tdownload it for free.

    I am using Hip Hop as an example, but however the genre is irrelevant but the principles of utter significance. Hip Hop generates Billions of dollars annually and if house music wants to be as critically acclaimed and to always
    Stay mainstream, ita going to adapt or evolve because change is the only constant.

    In the golden era of house music, when 45′ inch vynals used to rule the street bashes and clubs, there were a lot of white labels, Luther. These were freebees, to house lovers and when tape cassettes took over vynals, mixes were shared via P2P (Peer to peer sharing). Its that passion from house music die hard fans that caused its longevity , when DJ mixes and house tunes were free……. However, nowadays, house music is Pop culture and S.A has been named the Mecca of House music but the future will seem very bleak if house musos became “profit” driven only and not also passion driven. House labels that once soothed our Souls with Candi will downsize and focus more on profit margins.

    As much as music is my business, sometimes after a good performance of a brand new cut that I just finished producing last week, demanded by my “mutual-love-and-respect” , I just can’t say, “No you can’t have it now please download it on itunes”!

    In defence of my art.

    Kind Regards

    • Sole Essential says:

      Hi William

      Thanks for your comment, and also for the compliment.

      My argument isn’t that we shouldn’t give our music away for free – in fact, my argument is this; we shouldn’t use that particular platform because the information it provides is inaccurate, and also doesn’t help us identify where we’re “building a demand”,excatly. Furthermore, we shouldn’t give money away blindly and we need to start learning about the music industry and how we can make money through a handful of core revenue streams. I don’t see why you would want to direct people to a website that’s obviously full of cracks, and is also a huge problem in our industry – I mean, what type of message are you trying to send to the listening public? That music piracy is ok?

      Look, I hear what you’re saying (about free downloads) and I totally agree, but I’m also saying that there is a number of strategies to consider – like; you can either direct people to a digital store (where they’ll be able to purchase your music) or you can direct them to your website and/or blog, especially if you’re giving away some of your music for free, because there people will be able to find other products that you’re selling and they might just consider purchasing. So, not only do you stand a better chance of converting customers, through your website, but you can also track – which is very important – and you can easily bridge the gap between you and booking agents, record labels, and other customers + clients that would like to contact you about a number of enquiries in the future.

      See, I appreciate your comment, as you made some very valid points, but you missed a few of key points in that post – and it’s all good, but I do advice against using DFH and I have explained why. Hopefully my reasons will make sense and we can both be on the same page.

      In closing though, I still maintain that we should invest our money wisely and also do some proper research about potential revenue streams, among other things – but look, in the end, it’s your money, and it’s your career so it’s you who has to decide what it is you’d like to do with your music and how you think people should access it.

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