It probably rarely occurs to a layman music-lover how many people are in fact involved in the career of their favorite artist, or any artist for that matter. I look at someone like PJ Harvey, Tom Waits or Bob Dylan and prefer to ignore any thoughts of record labels, managers, PR-people and booking agents. These artists seem like they are absolutely self-sufficient, and I like to keep that illusion. Why would they need anyone? Actually, it’s not even that active of me–the thought simply never enters my mind. I just think of them as geniuses and leave it at that.
An artist these days must be an entrepreneur who tackles many areas of his or her career. For many “middle class artists”, articles on sites like Hypebot.com (a website geared towards DIY-artists), have become daily reading material, as we study hands-on skills to tackle the challenges that the current state of the music business presents. (FYI, middle class artist doesn’t necessarily refer to the level of talent or quality of musical ideas. It simply means that you are not making the kind of money that artists in the top-tier are making.)
Nevertheless, regardless of how much us individual artists participate in and envision our careers, it is impossible to do any of this alone. I have come to realize just how big of a carousel revolves around one artist. As I prepare for the launch of my new album, I am employing these people to start with: a producer, a record-label, a band, a PR-agency with 2-3 people working on promoting my album, a booking agent, a publishing company, a photographer, a makeup artist, an art director, a graphic artist, the people at the factory that makes the CDs and packaging, and the distribution company, and on the list goes. Imagine that. Just one artist is a source of income for many people, which is another reason why we have to make sure that being an artist continues to be a sustainable profession. Without them, the carousel comes to a halt. But I digress….
It may take a very long time for an artist to acquire the right connections: people who believe in you and your music, and are willing to invest time, effort, and money into your career. To find healthy people who will collaborate to take your career into a positive direction is no small feat in this business. It requires a level of professionalism that even I have only acquired in the last couple of years.
I am already extremely grateful to those people who I am currently working with, have been working with and will be working with for this new release. I know that this phase of promotion is just beginning, but whether their existence has occurred to you or not, the people listed below have already done a great deal to help me. I do not take any of these people for granted, as I know how hard it has been to get to where I am right now. So thanks guys. Excited to get this thing on the road soon.
Blake Morgan CEO of ECR Music Group
David Cloyd Vice President of ECR Music Group
Melissa Giges Keyboard player, backing vocalist, all around good-gal
Dawn Kamerling CEO, The Press House
Tommy Merrill Booking agent, The Press House
Jonathan Ellinghaus Drummer
Eileen Hochberg The Song Pimp
Kiva Kamerling Publicist at The Press House
Charlie Harjulin Video Director
Margarita Leonore-Gobel Animator, puppetmaster, video director
Andrea Longato Guitarist
Bryan Bisordi Drummer
Justin Goldner Bass Player
Paul Jung Photographer
Roxane Zargham Art Director
Lauren Graycar Graphic Designer
Asami Atsuda Makeup Artist
Andreas Schonagel Hair Stylist
Ray Lynn Member Management, ASCAP
People at Burnside Distribution
MES, Musiikin edistämissäätiö
More coming soon…
See, the list gets long very quickly. And however independent, prolific and visionary an artist, they have lists like these. Except longer. Just sayin’.