Recession Proof Music By Khem Na'khi

Music Fans
Invest in Songvest

As a follow up to the article I posted, “Letter from the Examiner”, I wanted to keep the momentum going with how we, as a music community, can become more effective in the music industry and capitalize during this economic crisis. The role of the music fan has evolved as we journey further into the information age. No longer are music fans considered consumers. They play an integral role in the decision making process in an artist’s career or with the development of a brand. With this new trend becoming more and more relevant, music fans are now given the opportunity to share in the wealth. However, the wealth is usually distributed in the form of store credit, prizes or recognition. Where’s the money? If the music fans are taking the time to help spread the word about your art or your brand; why not give them a chance to share in the financial wealth? What if there was a platform that would allow you to share in the financial wealth as well as have partial or full ownership of a product? This idea sounds like owning stocks and bonds on Wall Street, correct? Well, take that concept and apply it to music. The result is Songvest – a musical brokerage firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina, that gives music fans the opportunity to own the rights to a portion of a song’s revenue stream. Artist who have recorded the songs offered include Aerosmith, Ringo Starr, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne and The Monkees. Given the state of the music industry with declining record sales, you’re probably wondering about the amount of income you would be receiving from this revenue stream. This is not a get rich quick solution; however, it is a way to generate some income in the mean time. Aside from the royalties generated, you will receive music memorabilia such as actual Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified gold and platinum albums and the songs handwritten and signed lyrics. During “The Great Recession”, let’s begin making decision that will generate long term effects. If you own shares in the stock market, who’s to say that those shares will have no value in the future? If you own real estate, who’s to say that the housing market will be worthless in the future? The same rules apply to music. A small investment now may be worth a fortune in the future. If you have a favorite song, why not own a share of the publishing. Invest in Songvest.

Music Artists
House Concerts

In the article, Jazzlanta: The Future of Atlanta Jazz, I briefly spoke about house concerts being the new phenomena around the country. With the lack of live performances at restaurants and clubs on a local scale, it’s becoming more of a challenge for artists who depend on shows to gain exposure, build an intimate relationship with fans and sell merchandise. With the record industry transitioning into the Digital Age and record sales declining, touring and performing live is the last outlet an artists has in sustaining a decent standard of living. If this outlet collapses, what is left for an artist to capitalize, especially in this economic recession? House concerts are proving to be an alternative for artists to regain exposure, build a loyal following, sell their CD and merchandise, as well as receive a percentage of ticket sales. At a restaurant or club, artists are usually tuned out by side talk amongst the audience and distractions at the bar, which in turn lessens the possibility of an artist connecting with their fans. When the show is over and its time to sell merchandise; who really paid attention and listened to the point where they will happily purchase anything the artist has to offer? With that being said, even if the opportunity to perform at local restaurants and clubs were to thrive and the opportunity, look at the atmosphere and experience that it produces. With home concerts, a resident would provide a space for family, friends and neighbors to enjoy an evening of music. The benefits of that would be a trusted and welcoming environment. You can exclude the distractions that you would endure at a restaurant or club because the people came to see you, so you have their attention. With that environment and the center of attention being solely on you, this increases the chances of you selling more CDs and merchandise because you can connect with the audience on an intimate level. At the end of the day, you walk away with new fans, money from selling your CD and merchandise, money from ticket sales at the door and last, but not least, you can save on hotel costs because the host will probably let you stay overnight in their guest room. As house concerts become more widespread, this could definitely redefine the live performance and how an artist can connect with their fans.

If you’re interested in hosting a concert in your home or an artist looking for homes to book gigs, log onto If you’re an artist in Atlanta, check out SOJA (Southeastern Organization for Jazz Arts Entertainment) and The Bowman House Concert Series.

Music Labels

Unconsultancy? The prefix “un” means that something is “not” or the “opposite of”. So unconsultancy means it’s “not” or the “opposite of” consultancy. However, exploring new practices that are gaining popularity such as unconferences and unconventions, the prefix “un” is used in a different sense. With unconferences, unconventions and unconsultancy they still follow the traditional sense of being what they are, however, the way these new practices are being held is what makes them uncommon. The usual way these practices would be held would be a person or persons would attend a meeting or an event to hear a lecturer or a professional speak to them about a given topic. This would be called a monologue. With the “un” crowd, the meeting or event would be more of a dialogue where everyone would engage in conversation. The person who created the concept and coined the term “unconsultancy” is Andrew Dubber, an online music consultant, co-author of the blog Music Think Tank and author of the blog New Music Strategies.  He took the “un” idea along with the couch surfing concept and created the niche. How does this work? Well, you, the musician, would call Andrew to setup an engagement in your town. Instead of booking a hotel for Andrew or Andrew booking a hotel for himself, you would provide the room and board at your place of residence. There, he would provide his services to you personally or to a group of people that you invited. This idea makes for a better turnout because Andrew can give you more sound advice because he gets a chance to know you personally in person. This idea also cuts down on the expenses involved if things were setup the old fashion way. Taking it a step further, this would be a great idea for music labels – people providing a service to the music community, to explore the world at a cheaper rate and give musicians their services. In return, musicians would get more value and sessions tailored specifically for you and your crowd. During this “Great Recession”, saving money by working together and embracing the barter system will help us to explore new possibilities and evolve.