education, Education, EDUCATION

Education is the key to a more transparent, fair and sustainable music industry. Always taking these words at heart, I’ve had the privilege over the past few months to do guest lectures at the Haarlem Conservatory, part of INHolland, and at the Herman Brood Academycovering topics such as record label and release management, digital distribution and finance. A leap forward these studies exist nowadays, as in my college days these were not available to students at all in the Netherlands. Pretty odd considering dance music is Hollands #1 creative export product for almost two decades now.

If you’re an artist, accounts, legal/business affairs and rights management are usually the last part of your professional existence you want to be bothered with, until things take a turn for the worse, sometimes even causing irreversible damage and people losing serious money and rights positions. With a few simple tips and highlighting do’s and don’ts this can easily be avoided with the emphasis on creating awareness that every self-employed musician, producer, DJ, artist manager is also an actual entrepreneur.

I graduated from the school of hard knocks, with a master in spotting fine print/addendum deception, businesses’ cooking the books, silver lining pitches, agent/managers lingo, artist ignorance and egos and slacking societies; something you’ll never learn from the books or syllabus’s. Working in one of the most dynamic and forward thinking businesses is very challenging, as you have to stay on top of new technical, web and app developments, big data, new legislation and monitoring traditional businesses often failing to provide adequate services, payment and transparency. In the end everybody is craving the same piece of the same pie, which makes it such a competitive, tough and sometimes dirty business. I’m still learning every day servicing my clients, attending conferences, reading court rulings, attending festivals and concerts and simply by putting my ear to the ground hoping my experience and guest lectures will somehow help shape tomorrow’s artists, DJ’s, producers, label bosses’, artist managers and booking agents.

I consider this a true privilege!

Must reads:
Margriet Koedooder – Artiest & Recht
Donald S Passman – All You Need To Know About The Music Business
Peter Hook – The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club
Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business

Bas Jansen – Get Real! Management