Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Cover Songs Are Important

Why Cover Songs (And Videos) are Important

Your peers have been creating a plethora of cover tunes on YouTube. From Bon Iver to theindie_cover_songs Beach Boys, it’s been covered in a wide variety of genres and styles. But have you ever wondered… why?
Cover songs are hugely popular with fans on YouTube, especially when the performer has a great voice or a unique take on a famous song (or both). But the reason so many indie artists have been covering famous songs is because it helps them reach new fans and helps to increase their SEO.
What’s SEO? Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines. Basically it’s the process of getting to the top of a (Google, Bing, etc.) search. There are a number of ways you can increase your SEO; things like optimizing your website to include certain keywords and making sure you have a number of external links or back links to your site.
That’s where YouTube comes in.
Discovery: If you’re posting a cover song of, say, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” you’ll have a lot of “natural” traffic to that video because people will be looking for the original song and, in the process, “discover” yours.
Traffic: If you include a link to your website in the info box below your video, you’ll drive traffic to your website. This will help increase your site traffic and (hopefully) your search ranking, as well.
A few notes about copyright/licensing: this post pertains only to your rendition of a song. Additionally, recording your version of someone else’s song and posting it on YouTube, where anyone can watch it for free, is a gray area. YouTube (likely) has a blanket license from BMI and ASCAP for this purpose. But, there is a chance (if someone complains) that your video will be removed at any time.
To sell your recorded version of someone else’s song, you must purchase a mechanical license.
What do you think? Have you posted any cover songs on YouTube? Did you get a lot of traffic from it?

10 Tips For Overcoming Writer's Block

10 Tips For Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can be one of the more frustrating realities of life for a songwriter. You can’tgoal_setting_for_musicians continue to sell your music if you aren’t writing any new tunes. For songwriters stuck staring at a blank screen or page, here are some tips to help get your mojo working again, no little blue pills needed.

1. Try co-writing

Take a look at the songwriting credits for many iconic songs, from The Beatles to country music standards, and you’ll likely see more than one person’s name listed. If you’re blocked, bounce ideas off another songwriter. This is the norm in Nashville, and it may get those creative juices flowing again.

2. Pick a city

“Location, location, location” is a mantra for opening any new brick and mortar business. It can help with songwriting, too. Pick any city that rolls off the tongue well and work it into a song. Heck, pick a few cities. This is what Bob Dylan did for his song “Wanted Man,” later recorded by Johnny Cash.

3. Start with a title

Many songs start not with a great idea, but a simple title. Garth Brook’s breakout hit, “Friends in Low Places,” is a good example of a song that began as a title. Keep a small notepad with you at all times just for jotting down song title ideas.

4. Get offline and off the computer

We live in a time of digital overload, where people seem to do everything, even write songs, on the computer. If you’re the type of person who is constantly staring at illuminated screens, and still complaining about writer’s block, put the device down. Spend time with your craft in a notebook, not a computer screen.

5. There’s an app for that

The converse of getting off the computer is to dive headlong into the digital realm and download an app designed to help cure writer’s block. Writer’s Block Buster and Storyteller are just two of many to choose from.

6. Change your work location

Writer’s tend to write in the same work space each day. Becoming unblocked could be as simple as moving your work area to a different room. If you normally write songs in your home studio, try a desk in a different room, or the front porch.

7. Play a different instrument

If you normally write songs with a guitar, try sitting down at a piano instead. If you’re part of a band that can’t seem to get kick started, switch instruments for a day or two. The results could be cathartic.

8. Experiment with alternate tunings

If a guitar is your main instrument, try an alternate tuning. Playing in more complex tuning, or a simple drop D tuning, can be the equivalent of gaining a new world view when it comes to songwriting.

9. Take a break

If you’re stuck halfway through a song and can’t find a way through the bridge, do what Archimedes did. The ancient Greek mathematician simply took a bath while trying to figure out a problem, and then his Aha! moment came. Take a walk, a jog, a drive, anything to get your mind off the song for a while. Soon you may be running through the streets like Archimedes shouting “Eureka!”

10. Free Writing

Free writing is a common practice used to help unblock writers. Put your pen to the paper and begin writing whatever pops into your mind. Don’t lift the pen up and don’t stop until the page is full, even if it’s all gibberish. Try it for five minutes without worrying about making sense. This stream-of-conscious style of writing can eventually lead to a flow of ideas and, possibly, your next great song.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pause For A Commercial Break!!!!

T.I. Fires Back At Azealia Banks

''That Is What I Consider B*tch Sh*t. I'm A Man''

T.I. Fires Back At Azealia Banks
The feud between Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea took another twist today (April 23rd) with Iggy's mentor, rapper T.I. addressing Banks' previous comments directed at him. Banks criticized T.I. via Twitter for speaking on the feud before and for supporting Iggy despite the Australian femcee's controversial rhyme about being a 'runaway slave master.'
But T.I., while claiming to not be involved, made sure to let Banks know how he felt about her and the feud.
"I ain’t even know nothin’ about it. I didn’t even see it. I know they going through their thing, but the fact that she’s speaking upon me and mine, that is what I consider b*tch sh*t. I’m a man. You ain’t got no business addressing me," he said. "You and me, keep dealing with that woman. Y’all handle that. You and me, we ain’t got nowhere to go with that."

Azealia Banks' Anti-T.I. Twitter Rant

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''The Streets Already Know What Kind of Dude You Are''

Azealia Banks' Anti-T.I. Twitter RantAzealia Banks fired back at hip hop star T.I. after Tip dismissed Banks during a radio interview. Hopping on Twitter to vent her frustration, Banks went on a lengthy rant criticizing T.I. for speaking on the ongoing feud between Banks and Iggy Azalea, T.I.'s artist.
"@tip What a f-cking clown," she tweeted. "Ain't you the same dude that got photographed butt naked n a pair of sneakers and a beanie???!?!"
"It's dead... The streets already know what kind of dude you are. Stop making yourself look softer by dragging this out," she continued. "Funny how you have plenty of time to address me but nothing to say to the dudes who have been calling you a snitch forever."
"T.i .... Please shut the f-ck up about this. Like seriously quit it," Banks added, before revealing that she was deleting his music from her iTunes account.
"LMFAOO every time I delete a t.i song from my iPad I imagine him dying in some bloody horror film like being eaten by a zombie," she said. "Whatever, I shouldn't be letting T.I bait me for his artists' promo. I'm giving him what he wants. That's no good."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dr. Dre "Not Sure" About Hologram Tour

''Everybody's In Love With It Right Now''

Dr. Dre "Not Sure" About Hologram Tour
Dr. Dre has stated that the infamous 2Pac hologram could possibly hit the road for a 'tour' of sorts, but urged fans to not hold their breath. Dre said that the experts are working on refurbishing the hologram technology, however, and that nothing should be ruled out.
"I’m not sure right now, because right now, it’s a technology that’s happening where the hologram could be 360 degrees. Right now, it’s flat," he said. "It just looks like it’s three-dimensional from the front. But working on some new and different things for the future. Everybody’s in love with it right now, we’re having fun."
"Hopefully, different artists are able to bring out their favorite artists," he added. "Hopefully, we can see Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye. We’ll see what happens."

Maybach Music Could Sign Ma$e

Omarion Could Also Join Rick Ross' Label

Maybach Music Could Sign Ma$e
Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group could be adding two new veteran artists to their roster; former Bad Boy rapper Ma$e and R&B singer Omarion. With reports surfacing recently that Ma$e is working on a song with Ross, it is now being reported that things could be further along than just collaborating on a track.
A source within MMG says that, "Yes, I think its safe to say Omarion is MMG."
"I don't want to let no cats out the bag but we'll see what's good with Ma$e." the source claims. "As far as newest members Omarion and shout out to Ma$e if he wants to get down with this movement then we'll see what happens."

Suge Knight Believes That Tupac Is Alive

''It's the Truth If You Really Look At It''

Suge Knight Believes 2Pac Is Alive
Former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight has reignited claims that late rapper Tupac Shakur is still alive. During an interview with Tattoo and Cee Cee from Los Angeles’ 93.5 KDay, Suge discussed the long-standing rumors that the legendary rapper did not die in September 1996.
[Listen to Suge's Claim That 2Pac Lives HERE]
“I got a [4.5] inch bullet in my head. Into my skull by grabbing Tupac, pulling him down. That’s really what happened,” said Knight. “Second of all, people know what happened at the end of the day.”
“Maybe the question is Pac really not dead. Pac’s somewhere else,” Knight explained. “I mean it’s the truth if you really look at it…Nobody seen Tupac dead. The thing is this the person who supposedly cremated Tupac, his mother wanted it done quickly, he passed. So this guy got about three million dollars personally from me, cash. And next thing I know I never heard from the guy or seen him again.”

Tyrese Talks About "Sexy" Singing

''You've Never Had Good Sex''

Tyrese Talks About "Sexy" Singing
Tyrese is nothing if not opinionated. The R&B crooner shared his opinion on the current state of popular music in a recent interview with DEFY magazine. The singer says that no one sings with sincerity anymore and even sex songs aren't all that sexy.
"What’s lacking in music these days is the conviction. I don’t believe you. Why are you singing about sex when you don’t even know what good sex is?" Tyrese says. "You’ve never had good sex. You have to be able to sing about it and come from that real place. People think you can take some sexual lyrics and get up on the mic and have a good voice and that’s it, but there’s going to be a disconnect."
"I think people are convinced that I know about love, and I know about relationships and the challenges, and I sing about the things that are real to me," he added. "People connect to it because it’s real and that’s why it works."

Somaya Reece's Dating Tips

''You're Already In the Booty Call Zone''

Somaya Reece's Dating Tips
The voluptuous Somaya Reece offered ladies a few pointers when it comes to dating. Namely, Reece pointed out exactly how a woman can tell how a man feels about her. She says its all in the eyes, and that a woman should pay attention to how her man looks at her.
If he looks at all.
"The automatic red flag is if they're not doing any of those things and especially if they can't give you eye contact," she told SOHH. "If a man can't give you eye contact, you should know you're already in the booty call zone. He's not trying to look at you, girl. To me, not getting eye contact is always a red flag."
"If you don't have enough respect to look at me in my eyes while you speak to me, then we can't have a second date," she added. "Make some eye contact because when the lights are out, no one's looking at each other. The first thing with me is always the eye contact."

Drake Sextapes

''I Don't Have Skeletons In My Closet''

Drake Cautious About Sex Tapes
Drake may have quite the homemade sex tape stash.
Drizzy said in a recent interview that any sex tape he's ever made is still in his private collection and will not be 'leaking' anywhere any time soon. The rapper says that he's far too cautious to ever allow anything like that out in the open.
"I don't live recklessly. I don't have skeletons in my closet," he said. "It's not necessarily me covering it up or trying to be defensive, I just don't do the dumb s**t in the first place to get in trouble. "If I'm drunk, I'mma go out the back door. I ain't gonna walk out the front so you see me stumbling and dropping my keys. I'm not that guy, I'm not that dumb. "I wanna be in this position as long as I possibly can. I mean, I will be honest, any sex tape I've ever made, I own it."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Everybody Get's a Record Deal With FMG

Hi, I'm Tyrone Hodnett. I'm a record producer with my own label and I've been in the music business for over 22 years. During this time, I've had the pleasure to work with thousands of up & coming stars...some of whom I helped along the path from obscurity to International stardom..
During those years on the road, I witnessed the problems that many talented artists had in finding the right management, agent or record company. I've seen hundreds of musicians who really deserved a chance to make a living from their talents, but due to their music not being quite what the record companies were looking for at the time, they ended up trading their instrument in for a day job in a factory or office. No doubt they are there to this day, wondering if things would have been different had they invested a little more time and money in their music career, or accepted the offer they had from a small indie label.
Even worse, I've also seen some of the pitfalls that some really talented artists got into by signing long term contracts with a major label, only to find themselves trapped and going nowhere.
This prompted me to think of all the thousands of talented music artists out there today. Artists and songwriters of all ages and backgrounds, most of whom have a unique sound that should be heard by more people.
Unfortunately for most of them, the end result will still be that day job. Not because they lack talent, but because the recording industry is now even more choosy about their artists than ever. The music markets that the large record companies used to rely on to fund the promotion of an unknown artist, are being squeezed by the competition from digital downloads, music piracy, and other forms of entertainment.
Many artists are now making headway on their own through the power of the Internet. But it isn't easy. Your many hours of practice may have honed your skills as a guitarist, but you know little about recording, marketing, publishing and releasing a record for sale. Learning all this takes many years, and you don't have that time to spare, even if you were interested in all that stuff.
This is where I can help, by offering YOU a record deal now! No questions asked! ... (Well, of course, there will be questions but we'll go into that AFTER you've signed!)
If you're serious about your music career and have the utmost faith in your talents, you've probably already spent a considerable amount of time ASKING record companies for a deal, only to be fobbed off with their latest "excuse".
Even those record companies who didn't throw your demo straight in the waste paper bin because they never listen to "unsolicited" material, probably didn't listen to more than the first 10 seconds of it.
Perhaps you're sick of being told that you're "not what we are looking for right now, please try again later"
You must be fed up of having your time and money wasted by music biz execs who think they're gods, right?
Well your NEW music career can start right here!
The time has come to stop asking for a deal, and instead, DEMAND one.
Your demand of "Give Me a Record Deal" has been heard by a new kind of record company!
I have the utmost faith in you and your music. And I haven't even heard it yet!

How can I be so sure?

Well, I have the experience to KNOW how much time, effort and skill goes into writing, rehearsing, and perfecting your music

I KNOW that you wouldn't even be ASKING for a record deal unless you have complete faith in yourself and what you do

I KNOW that you already believe that there is a market for your unique "sound"

I KNOW that you've listened to dozens of other artists on the radio who are successful and still believe you can do it better

I KNOW that you've already asked the opinion of your family, friends and complete strangers, and they all tell you how wonderful you are, and that you should be making records

I KNOW that you've performed live, and had people coming up to you at the end of the gig to tell you how great your music is

I KNOW that YOU believe that if you were just given the opportunity to release a record for sale, loads of people would buy it

I WILL give you this opportunity! Because I KNOW you have the talent, enthusiasm, and commitment to make your music career work

So why would I take such a risk on something I haven't even heard yet?
It is because I CARE about music artists.
I have seen so many artists ripped off by the major labels, that I formed this new kind of record company as an alternative.
I've seen artists stuck in deals for up to 10 years where they have to make records that are used by the company only as tax write-offs and are never released.

I've seen artists who have written great songs that the record companies have "taken" for their catalogues, only to sit on a shelf for years because the record company didn't want them released as "competition" to their favoured artists.

I've heard from music fans who would like to buy all their favourite artist's old songs, but can't, because the artist's record company has deleted them from their catalogue.

I've heard from fans who don't think that their idols appreciate them, because they're not allowed to share the music they've bought with their friends.

I've heard from fans who would do anything just to get an email to their idol to say thanks...only to find that the artist has been "sheltered" by their record company "for their own good". Many signed artists have no way of communicating with their fans apart from through their record company, or when they are on stage.

I've seen artists who have spent a great deal of time and expense developing their image and music, only to find that as soon as they sign a record deal, the record company employs managers and producers to change their image and music....and the artist has no choice!

There is only one "good" thing that a major label deal will do for you. They will LEND you a very large sum of money. may never get to see it. Apart from the huge marketing and recording budget, a considerable sum may also be spent, perhaps "wastefully", on luxuries that you may not want your money spent on.

For example...

You may be paying for limos, when you can quite easily drive yourself, or get a cab

You will probably be paying for hairstyles and clothes from the most expensive boutiques. Image changes that you may not even have wanted

It is very likely that you will be paying for the same producer on your next record, even though you thought he made a complete mess of the first one!

On tour, your money probably bought meals for the whole crew, even though they went out and bought takeaways!

You will be paying for promotional records to be sent for free to every cheap club DJ who may not even play it. Yet if YOU want a copy of your own record, you will probably have to go out and BUY it!

All this money will, of course, have to be paid back to the record company out of the small percentage (usually around 6%) that the record company allocates to you from each sale. It is therefore no wonder that most artists don't see a penny from the sales of their first 5 or 6 top 10 singles.
It is easy to see why the major labels feel that anything less than a million-seller is a FAILURE!

So how is my record company different?
Huge advertising budgets aside... Let's compare my services to you with those of a major record company....

If you sign with a major record company, they will control your music. You have no choice.
I can give you a recording contract that gives YOU the freedom to choose how much control you retain over your own music.
If you sign with a major record company, they will pay you a large advance to cover recording and marketing costs (Like those mentioned above). This seems great until you realize that it is only a loan, and you will not receive any royalties from your record sales until it is all repaid!
I wont give you an advance. This is how I can afford to sign artists of a much higher risk. This means that when you DO start selling records, there is nothing to repay. You will receive royalties from the first record sold! ... AND at up to 6 times the percentage that a major label will pay you!
If you sign with a major record company, you will spend many days, weeks or months in a studio recording the songs THEY want you to record, but it is unlikely that you would be invited to hear the mix!
I will produce and record your music to industry standards and with commercial flair, but you will be given mixes on approval and have the final say in what goes into the mix.
If you sign with a major record company, the only way you can get a copy of your record, is if you go into a record shop and buy it!
I will give you an MP3 of the master, prior to its release that you can freely use to further your music career.
If you sign with a major record company you will get a contract that can be over a hundred pages long, and full of terms that mean nothing to you.
I will give you a contract that explains all your options in clear English without you having to resort to a lawyer to decipher the legal jargon!
If you sign with a major record company, they will turn your music into a clone of their last successful artist, or something they want to sell to 8-16 year-olds. In fact, they won't even sign you unless you already sound something like that!
I appreciate that somewhere in the World there is a market (however small) for the music YOU like to create, and will help you find it!
If you sign with a major record company, you are effectively working for THEM for a period of 3-10 years. They will tell you what to wear, how to look, where to go and when, what songs to play and when to play them, and even how to play them. You will be expected to be available for meetings and promotional appearances at any time. You wont get any holidays and will have to work when they say, unless you are on your deathbed.....and you're not even allowed to resign until your contract expires. This could be 10 years away!
I will give you a contract that does not tie you exclusively to my label, so you have nothing to resign from! You are free to shop my recordings and your songs to any other publisher, record company or agent at any time. You make the final decisions on what songs to record and how you want them to sound. You wear what you like, and play concerts if and when you feel like it. You can take a holiday whenever it suits you. If you're sick, I'll even send you a "get well soon" email!

I am going to take a big risk and sign you to my label - and I haven't even heard you yet!
How can I do this?
Unlike many record companies, I have all the personnel, skills, equipment & facilities at hand to record your music and release it for sale as a digital download. By dealing in digital products, I can release records faster and without the overhead costs of transport, materials, shipping or breakages.
Unlike other record companies, I respect that many artists are multi-talented, skilful and confident individuals who want to be in control of their art and their music career.
I don't feel it is right for a record company to treat its artists and songwriters as mere products. Therefore, all my artists are respected clients and business partners. As my business partner, I understand that you would want to retain a certain amount of control and invest in your own career. Therefore, I don't feel it is right for me to question your talents.
I believe that...
You want to work hard to make your music career work.
You are prepared to risk your time and money to make your music career work.
You are prepared to take whatever help and advice is necessary for you to earn a living from your music.

Not only can I guarantee that you'll get your first real record release, it will also help to bring you the prestige necessary to get you a deal with a major label at a later stage, should you so wish it.
If you are a non-performing songwriter, the release can help you to present your songs more professionally to publishers and music libraries.
And remember....! This Record Deal is NON-EXCLUSIVE - so you can leave us at any time.

If you truly want a record deal ... A NEW kind of record deal...

Have faith in me... and I'll have faith in your future music career!
Don't hesitate!
We are expecting to sign plenty of new artists in a very short space of time. Then this website will disappear!
Don't miss this opportunity!
You can earn more money from 100,000 sales through my label, than you could on 600,000 sales from the average record deal.
But the most important thing about this deal is that you are free to leave us at any time!

This is the only record company with whom you can sign a deal without sacrificing your independence!

I will give you a link to the 1st artist signed to Free Musik Group. He goes by the name of Cin A Matik. Download his new cd entitled "A Minor Setback For A Major Comeback". It's sure to be a classic!

Tyrone Hodnett
Free Musik Group
Sonic Simplicity Mastering Studio
757 392 6102
347 857 9916
Confidentiality Notice: The information contained in and transmitted with this communication is strictly confidential, is intended only for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use of the information contained in or transmitted with the communication or dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately return this communication to the sender and delete the original message and any copy of it in your possession.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012