Obsessive 音楽 part #1

Japan,the second largest music market in the world, mixing tradition and modernism, different point of views of the music industry, those are some characteristics that Japanese music industry has.

It is ILLEGAL to sell a CD for less than $25, CD market is still the biggest making up over 85% in the market, a country were the illegal download revolution never happen. Steve McClure he was born in the United States, he has been leaving in Japan more than 17 years and this days he is Formerly Billboard magazine’s Asia Bureau Chief. In the next video he talk a fast and very interesting summary of the music Industry in Japan:

As Steve said they have made their own industry. When somebody talks about J-pop (Japanese pop) first name that comes to your head is the name AKB48, is the biggest group of Japan with more than 40 members, all girls, they had record sales of over $226 million. Yasushi Akimoto the chief producer of the group made a big business with this.

“I just want to make super stars from ordinary girls”

here an Interview:


Finland in Three Parts #2a

Opera has also been a genre that has influenced the music in Finland, so now let me talk about the last big genre of Finland. Popular music in Finland is very varied, it all started with Georg Malmstenstarted in the 1930s. There were also artists like Olavi Virta or Tapio Rautavaara, who were the most popular male singing stars in Finland and Toivo Karki, one of the most popular songwriter.

I don’t understand a single word of what he is singing, but this makes me move. Back to what I was talking about earlier, best hits are called “Iskelmä.” Other of the great singers is Katri Helena, who has been performing since the 1960’s.

The biggest influence that Finland has after the Rock Era is Metal. Finland is one of the biggest influence of Symphonic Metal around the world. In the ’90s, Apocalyptica was founded, whom started making Metallica covers with a chelo quartet.

Other famous groups are Stratovarius, Nightwish and Children of Bodom. This last group, Children of Bodom, made a cover of Britney Spears’ song “Oops I did it again.”

Now that we have some background about the music in Finland, let’s talk about the music industry these days. In Finland there is IFPI, which is the national trade association representing 23 record companies in this country.

“IFPI Finland´s goal is to ensure favourable operational environment for the recording industry in Finland”.

IFPI’s Digital Music Report illustrates that the global music business offers consumers a more diverse range of licensed music services. For the first time, revenues from streaming and subscription services rise 51.3% globally, crossing a threshold of US$1 billion.

As you can see in this chart, since 2005 there is a significant increase of money in the digital music streams.

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Finland in three parts

Folk is the first part that I want to write about music in Finland. The traditional folk music is called Sami music, Sami People sing Joik that is basically  spiritual songs, Like you can hear in the video.

Then a big influence was Classic  music, in the 18th century  Turku and Erik Tulindberg wrote six very important string quartet here you can hear one of them:

Karloo Bergboom founder of the Finish National Opera made also a big impact in the music in 1873, in their fist six years Bergbom’s opera company had given 450 performances of a total of 26 operas. The first wave of post-classical music in Finland came about in the 1920s with  Aarre Merikanto.

To be continued…

New Zealand #2

36 weeks in the US Billboard’s Hot 100, Top 10 in Portugal and Israel, #1 in Canada, Australia Ireland, South Africa,Austria and of course in New Zealand. The band  OMC  released in December 1995 single “How Bizarre” with the song with the same name and made a big “boom” in the music industry of their Country.


That’s a small history with the big impact that this country had in the music, of course there are much more but this ones interested me the most. An other thing is that they also have their own Music Award since 1965, this award show is presented by Record New Zealand is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and artists recording who sell music in New Zealand. (http://www.nzmusicawards.co.nz/).

There is also a big campaign that started in 2001  called About New Zealand music Month this showcased on radio and television and in live performances, this happens each may. This has helped music on commercial radio stations to increased dramatically from around 10% in 2000 to nearly 23% in 2005. The amount of New Zealand music sold had also grown, from 5.45% of the total market in 2000 to over 10% by 2004. Us you can read NZ has a big industry and they make it happen. Here is a link so you can find 31 one different stories about NZ music.



“The Vision of the Music Commission is a successful music industry in New Zealand.”

Music Commission

New Zealand #1

Traditional/folk Maori music is micro-tonal and when there participate more singers, it is unison, then appeared the  Kapa Haka this is the fusion of Maori music with the new european harmony and instruments like the guitar, this was one of the big steps to make pop. Yessss, First pop song written in the 1940s by Ruru Karatiana and recorded 9 years later by Pixie Williams, this is how pop music started in this amazing country.

Television in the 60’s was a very important resource for the increase of music knowledge and popularity, this helped Pixie seal more than 50,000 copies. In the 70’s we can hear Phil Judd and the Finn brothers, Neil Finn is the primary songwriter and creative director of Crowded House, he made this band with the drummer when he moved to Australia.

too be contined…

“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.

Is there music Business in Ecuador?

Ecuador is a 13-millon inhabitants country in South America. Its neighbouring countries are Colombia and Peru. Ecuador has four different climatic regions with a lot of different cultures. Why is this important? It is one of the reasons why there are many different kinds of music. In the last 20 years, there has been a huge increase of  musicians because there are different music schools and there is an increasing amount of places to show their talent.

Now, this rapid increase has caused some more questions to answer. Are these new musicians interested to make money out of their talent? Do they want to live from the music? Of course they do, and here we start with problems because there are so many cultural factors that people have to change. For example, there are artists that they don’t get paid. Also, there are organisations that make festivals which never take place and then artists do not get paid. How do we have Colombia so near but comparing to the music industry so far?

Mr. Architect it would be a pleasure to own a house that you designs but is it ok if I pay you the first half in 3 months? and the other half with some product like an exchange?

Sounds funny or not? This sort of deals seem unrealistic but this is happening to the musicians in every single show that they make. The music is also a product, it takes a lot of time and effort to make a show, record a disc. etc. We the musicians have to change this, we are the only ones that can teach people that we are also working and deserve to get paid in a just way. I know it is difficult but if all the artists make this, say no when we don’t get paid for our product or sign a contract, or be offered to get paid at least the 50% after a concert, and say no to that, then things are going to start changing. I thing artists can also work altogether and make their own shows or festivals to win money an also teach the inexperienced bands to think in this way. It all starts in one point and this could be one of them.

My recommendation: always sign a contract the moment that you shake hands with the organiser and write all the  clauses like how to get paid and when, all what you need to perform, transportation, etc. In Ecuador, the music Industry it is still in diapers but there are people that are trying to be smarter with musicians because they think they have the power, they own a place or organise a big event. They are nothing if we don’t perform, be smart and sign a contract with them and make this happen!!