The Queen of The Night

I am extremely excited about the upcoming release of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Live Performances on CD, DVD, Amazon, and iTunes! Known to the world as “The Voice”, Whitney Houston has a world-wide fan base that has been longing for something satisfying like this since the very unexpected death of the songstress.

Relatively, an experience here at Berklee Valencia has allowed me focus on this upcoming release.  Using my personal RIVE (Key Resources, Internal Activities, Value Proposition, and External Activities) model, I had to create an innovative business model relative to something going on in the world today.  What better way to engage Whitney’s worldwide audience/ fan base than to accompany this live performance release with a hologram tour.  She is one of my favorite singers ever so my passion and interest in innovation combined to create this.  Check out the promo for the Whitney Houston hologram tour:

“In the heat of the hype about the upcoming release of Whitney Houston’s greatest performances live on CD and DVD on Monday, November 10, 2014, our business model will focus on one of the most important aspects of the music industry. The music industry is broken down into recording, publishing, and touring. Craftily, an accompanying tour to the album release is relevant. “Queen of the Night” hologram United States tour will commence in January 2015, spending one night in New York, LA and Houston. With pre-order opportunities on both Amazon Music and iTunes, the anticipation is building while the fans are impatiently waiting for the release of the seven-time Grammy Award winner’s greatest career moments on CD/DVD.”

The Tyranny of Choice

Have you ever noticed the immense amount of music that technology allows us to listen to? There are so many choices that it would be impossible to listen to every track out there in one lifetime. This is what a fellow blogger likes to call “The Tyranny of Choice”.  In his blog, he points out simple facts – making relevant points regarding the future of music.

There is a noticeable imbalance in the music industry. There a numerous music services world wide. These music services are focusing on a small percentage of consumers as opposed to targeting a much larger market share. Streaming plays an important rule in the music industry and it has caused cd and download sales to decline. By targeting that small percentage of consumers, music streaming services are simply taking the downloading money and converting it into streaming money. This means the consumers are switching but not spending more. Larger target market is not necessarily being considered meaning there is just revenue transition rather than revenue growth in the music industry.

According to fellow blogger, there are three things to focus on that are predicted to shape the future of digital music – (1) Consumer Behaviour (2) Tech Companies Strategies (3) Income Distribution. Consumer behavior of the next music generation listeners and not the generation transitioning from downloads or cd’s will be the ones music services need to pay attention to. By understanding the next generation, the music services will be able to properly grow and evolve. Technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google control digital music in one way or another. For this same reason, others such as labels and producers can focus specifically on the music while these companies strategize to focus on their own established goals which mostly involve product/service sales. It is a win-win. Finally, artists and songwriters have begun to pay more attention to income distribution. Although it may not happen overnight, the pressure to more evenly distribute this income is an important movement.

Music listeners may not be expected to spend money on downloads or cd’s in the future, however they are expected to listen to the numerous music choices available to them more than ever before. The Tyranny of choice will influence the way we all listen to music. This provides artists and labels with new opportunities though. Because of “the tyranny of choice” technology has created and will continue to create in the future, artists and labels must come together to create partnerships that will allow them to sell an experience – an unique music experience that they can both sell to the next generation listeners. To provide unique music experiences to listeners is what music has always been about so to focus on this same principle in the future despite how technology continues to change our lives is truly a beautiful thing.

To read the blog post and see charts that served as inspiration for this blog post, follow this link –

“China Doesn’t Need Any Body In Their Music Industry”

 China in 2013 revenues were estimated at US$81 million in the music industry. China has a population of 1.39 million, the Gross Domestic Product is US$13.000, Internet population 613 million users until Dec 2013. So now some of you is going to ask why so many numbers? OK, this is one of the main reasons why the music industry is so big in China, the most interesting fact that I found is that one of the biggest business in music are the ringtones,The mobil market is so big that gives the biggest revenues with the 27 % from just ringtones. In China there is a 613 million of internet population and the 75% of the complete population access to music online. This large country has for twice more internet users than the United States, but digital revenues here are about 1% than in the U.S.They have passed a big controversy with the Baidu deal ( they had a infringing Odeep links service) that helped changing things in the Chinese music Industry.

Sunny Chang, the president of Music Group International Greater China, Universal , said: “The Baidu deal was a trigger that led to other internet companies changing their approach and becoming licensed. We believe that in three to five years the market will be open and China could be one of the top markets in the world.”.

So there is a small summary why the title.

Yes Jackie Chan is a singer.

For the Berklee People a link from a Chinese band that visited Boston yesterday:

Libanon and kind of music industry!

The earliest evidence of civilisation in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years. But just a few comparing to the music industry.  The Lebanese music industry is benefiting from the availability of performers basically but it is really difficult to start the career and to have a “stable” music performance more than other countries, one of the problems is piracy because of the un-effective copyright laws, they still sell pirate cd’s and cassettes  so in the record sells you do not win, on the other hand is also the problem that it is difficult to approach the people because of recourses( streaming business). Musicians have to get out of their own countries to get known some gigs and most of the time just with their own money with no chance to find some sponsors, Music is the less important thing to care about in the city like they say in the video. Lebanese economic crisis also has affected to the music industry in a negatively way for example by banning a music CD because it was produced inIsrael.The music industry has  attracted many Arab owners that preferred to invest in it by providing loans. but this has not been enough to increase the music Industry. Lets see if in the next years this starts to change.

 I post here a video that is kind of old but is the only one I found like from any artist that don’t makes traditional music.

Africa and Music

Do you know any artist from Africa?

Music industry in Africa has evolved in the last years, like the complete continent. Nigeria and South Africa are the places were the most music production is happening, it is so rich in musical aspects because it covers a folk format but at the same time is embellished  with contemporary western music influences. Digital technology has been one of the biggest problems but this has been changing the past years and now it  is allowing the recording industry to effectively reach mass numbers of consumers across Africa for the first time. Across the continent, international record companies are working to establish innovative services and invest in A&R.

                       “The forecasts for smartphone growth in Africa over the next few years are staggering.”

Sean Watson, Sony Music Entertainment Africa

  Did you know that Africa has sold more than 550 albums of different kinds of music annually and record sales have more than tripled in the past five years? According to Obi Asika, the CEO of Storm Records which is a leading record label company in Nigeria, said that in 2011 mobile operators generated 150 million dollars selling ringtones and other music related services. There is one big example form a band it is called Die Antwoord they have developed a professional reputation on an international scale.

Codfish is not a fish – El Bakalao no es un pescado

As I said in my previous post, i will talk here about the Ruta del Bacalao. For those interested in Electronic Dance Music I think it will be interesting.

In Spain electronic dance music had its first moment in the late seventies at about the same time as it did in Great Britain. One of their bases was at Ibiza discotheques. But Ibiza, for spanish youth was seen as a tourist spot for hippy movement and for luxury european foreigners. These years were marked by the recent arrival of democracy and the “new” sounds that reach Spain  (post-punk, new wave…) mostly from London that was considered the city of modernity.

‘What happened in Valencia in the eighties was a democratization of the nightlife.Until then it had been the exclusive preserve of the bourgeoisie.’

Vicente Pizcueta, promoter and nightlife consultant

The period from the late seventies to the early nineties saw an acceleration in Spanish popular culture. In the second half of the 1980s, some of the discotheques in the Valencia outskirts (Chocolate, Spook, Factory, Barraca) stirred up the commercial youth stage by introducing an electronic and synthetic sounds of synth-pop. Young spanish people started arriving in Valencia, attracted by weekend-long parries.

The media called the phenomenon la Ruta del Bakalao.

Bacalao literally means “cod” or “stockfish” and is the local name given to an association of electronic dance music played together with pop and rock tunes. the musical sources of Bakalao music can be traced to the music of groups such as Depeche Mode, Front 242, DAF, Kraftwerk, New Order, thug it also includes elements of alternative rock from the eighties.

This phenomenon progressively spread to other areas in the mediterranean, mixing different musical and culture styles. The ‘Valencia sound’, was a widespread artistic and social experiment that anticipated the explosion of raves in England.

The establishment in Barcelona of a festival devoted to electronic music Sónar (created in 1994) was an important moment in what the media described as the conversion of a trend into a vanguard cultural movement.

Some people proudly claim that this period was most avant‐garde of popular music in Spain.

Finding an artist to develop their career “by the face*”

*idiomatic expression (literally “by the face”),

doesn’t exist in English and it means “for free”.

When I was asked to find an artist or music band based in Valencia to manage for free, I leapt into my FB searching for information.

Before then, I had never thought about the number/amount of bands that I could have added to my account, and certainly it would have been very useful to have a tool to order all by location and genre. (This is a call to all you App Developers!!)

The fact is, that after a thorough analysis of almost all my contacts and likes regarding music bands from Valencia, I had a total number of around 30 bands (including solo artists). This, in addition to the fact that -I am an organizing junkie and I don’t like to mix football and politics-, I have two FB accounts, one professional and one private, it’s been a big challenge to conclude this investigation.

So, from my personal view, most local bands play indie or rock; you can also find a growing number of punk, experimental and new wave bands, and let’s not forget electronic music: Valencia in the nineties was for a few years the most important place for electronic music in Europe.(If you haven’t heard about the legendary Ruta del Bacalao – the techno movement of the 90s – just wait for my next post!)

Going on with my research, I realized that finding an artist with talent, knowledge of the industry and willingness to take advice and work with a team of Music Business students was not as hard as I could have imagined. Or maybe we were just lucky! We talked with 8 different artists and all of them were really keen on collaborating. The hardest part of this story was to choose one of them.

From this experience I could know better the local music scene and the compelling need of almost all artists that play music in this city, that no matter if they are interested in making a career in music or just want to play for fun, to have:

more exposure

promotion and

a press kit

And I guess, this experience can be extrapolated to other cities, since LOCAL is the new GLOBAL.

Turning talented people into professional artists

I present to you, one very unique and incredibly talented valencian girl! I’ve been working as her manager and we are committed to make some serious progress.

During my participation in this blog I’ll be updating the steps my artist and I are going to make in the local music industry. We’ll use self produced videos and some other posting formats. My goal through sharing this experience is to make you fall in love with this singer and to generate knowledge on how to build an artistic career from scratch.
I hope you feel as excited as I am and subscribe to my Youtube channel and posts in this blog. Constructive feedback is very important so feel free to give us your opinion and advice.

Thank you for your support!

The Management Behind a Leading Leader in Jazz

In this blog I will be talking about managers for some of my favorite musicians, many of whom are jazz artists. If you check in every week of so, hopefully I can give you some insight as to why some artists are more or less successful than you might expect. Additionally, you will be exposed some great music that you may not have checked out yet.

This week I will be starting with David Sholemson at Ted Kurland Associates. I had the privilege of working with these guys at an internship recently, so I have something of an insider’s perspective.

TKA is a booking agency in Boston, MA. They represent a dynamic array of extremely talented musicians including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Cecile Mclorin Salvant, Red Baraat (check these guys out if you haven’t already), Meshell Ndegeocello (her too!), and Sonny Rollins (though he has unofficially retired).

Ted Kurland, the founder of the company got started at an agency while still in college. Before even graduating, he told me, he was already booking more shows than anyone else at the firm. It was at this point he realized it was time to leave. He then made a name for himself at a startup agency called All American Talent booking blues legends such as Muddy Waters. When the company split, he shifted his focus to jazz and started Ted Kurland Associates. This firm really took off when he signed Gary Burton, whom he had contacted years before to seek guidance regarding a career in booking.

Gary Burton’s ties to Pat Metheny soon led to him being signed with TKA as well. This was long before he was the superstar he is today. Pat wanted to focus entirely on making music so he needed a manager, and asked Ted if he could do management in addition to booking. He was far too busy himself, but asked one of his agents, David Sholemson if he thought he was up for the job.

David has since been Pat’s manager. Having never managed an artist before, he learned his job by being thrown into the fire. Some things the hard way. For example, early on he was Metheny’s touring manager as well as his manager and booking agent. He made the mistake of booking too many consecutive shows without a night off. While on the road, the time consuming duties of the job left little to no time for sleep. At one point David was so tired he began to hallucinate.

David has managed other artists in the past including Brian Blade, but Pat Metheny has become so prolific, that his management alone is all that David can handle. When I asked him about the day to day aspects of his job he had a hard time answering. Managing someone like Pat Metheny, there is far too much variation in day to day work. He does this work intuitively and relies on his experience rather than any sort of comprehensive organizational system.

He is an approachable guy with a sense of humor and some interesting stories about Pat. For starters: Pat doesn’t eat during the day. He wont eat more than a candy bar until after a show, and then he eats a huge dinner. I’m not sure how this is humanly possible, which feeds into my theory that he is a superhuman. As you might imagine, Pat takes his work very seriously and has never had any problem with drugs. He did at one time have a problem with Pepsi, but has recovered.

David has done great things as Pat Metheny’s manager, helping him turn into one of the most famous guitarists in the world even outside of the jazz community. (After all he already was one of the best.) Unfortunately we may not get to see David make this kind of progress with other artists from now on. In his own words, “Working with [Metheny] alone has become my full time job and I’ve decided to stop worrying about managing other artists. My plan is to ride off into the sunset with Pat career wise. I will have to retire at some point and I would be surprised if Pat isn’t still doing all this in his 80’s.”