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STREAMING VS. BUYING RECORDS

I remember going out to multiple record stores on Saturdays it was my hang-time with friends; we all were looking for that “find” for the day.  Those days are few and far between with record stores barely surviving now days and the Music Business is at a new place that it’s never been before; retail is all but gone in the “Big Box Chains” and like I said record stores are almost gone with the exception of the cool, hip, small vinyl stores popping up around the country.  There are the rare unique stores like McKays Books & Music in Tennessee that carry everything from music in cd’s, cassettes, vinyl, even 8-tracks! To books, musical instruments, stereos, video games, movies, etc.  But for the most part the stores like Tower Records, Sam Goody, Camelot Music, CD Warehouse, Musicland, & Hastings are a thing of the past.  With vinyl records sales over 13 million in 2016 and is projected to grow again by the end of 2017 it seems that the resurgence is not a fluke or fad it’s here to stay.  For how long who knows but music lovers like myself are loving it!  Compact Discs sales or CD’s are down to 104 million units sold in 2016.  The good news is that physical sales were actually up from over a decade ago in the total share of album sales than the previous year.  But the big elephant in the room is Streaming a format that’s been around since 2008 or at least that’s when it truly became a way to get music through an app on your phone.  We all know Napster started the sharing-file system but streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Unlimited have become the main source for people all around the world to listen to music.  Music Streaming has taken over now and is the largest share of the Music Business;  there are over 400 million subscribers and counting!  It doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon; so, what do we do as consumers of music? What is our best option? Do we continue to purchase music in physical form or do we sucumb to the inevitable and get a streaming service for our music collections?  I for one, will always buy music physically because I love to read the liner notes of who produced, wrote the songs, what musicians played on it, etc.   But I’m going to make a decision soon on a streaming app to go forward with so that I can save some cash instead of spending thousands of dollars per year on music when I can put it on other things.  I’ll still buy my favorite bands and maybe some new bands if I like them enough to give them the nod on a physical purchase.  I still take my ipods everywhere for now, but I have a feeling that will end in the coming years.  I just wanted to give you an overview where we are in the Music Business right now and where we are going; the choice is yours keep buying music physically or join the millions of Music Streaming listeners. Or do like myself use them all and see where the road takes you.

JAPHIA LIFE “WELCOME TO HEARTSVILLE” IS OUT NOW!!

SONGWRITING 101: CREATING AN ARRANGEMENT

Nashville, TN-Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Jason Hollis owner of Life-Line Worldwide wanted to share his take on “Creating An Arrangement” this can be written in many ways some musicians/producers do it all after the song is written and piece each part together or some do it as the song is being written.  “I wanted to let you all know that when I’m writing I’m usually thinking of the entire wide-screen picture of how I want the song to look, sound, and feel to the listener.  In the past I would write the chorus and then build the song around that but recently, I’ve been creating the intro to the song and writing from the first verse on; I hear in my head the guitars, keys, drums, strings, etc. all the way how to begin with a hook on the instrumental before a note is sung.  I work in increments from the intro, the verse, pre-chorus, chorus, if there’s a bridge, instrumental after the bridge or back to the chorus to the ending either fading out or a true ending arrangement.  At the same time, I’m thinking about the vocal arrangements on harmonies or stacking vocals on the melody of the song. I want the Country, Rock, R&B, Gospel, Jazz, or Southern Gospel that I’m recording to have that live sound like you’re in the room with me. I’ve listened to thousands of recordings and there was just a certain sound of how everything was recorded back then from The Beatles, The Rolling Sones, Led Zeppelin, Motown, The Staple Singers, Johnny Cash, The Eagles, and the list goes on and on. Now, on the Hip Hop, Electronic/Dance, or Pop I may be stacking tracks full of drum tracks, synths, samples, or vocals because that’s usually what I hear in my head; on occasion I utilize real instruments like bass, guitars, horns, or other instruments that I feel the song calls for.  As a songwriter, I literally have hundreds of unfinished songs, snippets of ideas, guitar riffs, and piano ideas galore maybe one day I’ll finish them all? I hope so but for now if something hits me I’m finishing the entire song and then moving on to the next one.  I am truly addicted to music it soothes my soul, it touches every emotion in me, it inspires me, and I hope it touches people in every walk of their lives and every situation that they are going through.  Ultimately, for me I pray that God speaks through the songs that I create to people everywhere and lives are effected” exclaims Jason Hollis.

COPYRIGHT 101: NEVER STOP LEARNING!

Nashville, TN-Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Jason Hollis wanted to talk about something that he’s learning more about almost on a daily basis, Copyrighting your songs.  “I grew up in the 80’s and in the 90’s when I recorded music and toured for a living full-time and I had no idea what publishing, copyrighting, muchless how to read a contract.  Well, I’ve learned a lot since then and I wanted to share my findings” says Jason Hollis.  First, when copyrighting your songs go to the Library Of Congress website: www.loc.gov from there click on US Copyright Office which will take you to www.copyright.gov.  Next, click on Register a copyright and then click on Performing Arts Music, Lyrics, Sound Recordings, Scripts, and Stage Plays.  Once on this page it gives you a list of catagories that generally are used under Performing Arts.  Recently, Jason and his songwriting partner went to go  copyright ten new songs; after calling and researching on the website; they found that the  first step to take is to copyright the songs themselves by choosing the option of Works of Performing Arts or PA as most industry folks like to call it.  Secondly, if you are recording a project or album to put out as a physical or digital format you’ll need to go back in to protect the copyright of the “Sound Recording.” “This was news to me! I had never fully understood this portion of the copyright laws.  As soon as I learned about this portion of the business as a songwriter I knew that I had to share my newfound knowledge with others.  I just really want to share my findings along the way so that others behind me can learn. I’m sure that there’s a lot more that I’ll learn going forward and I want to caution you all; I’ve been in the music industry most of my life and I’m still learning new things all the time!  So never stop learning and I hope this sheds some light on Copyrighting songs.  God bless you all.” said Jason Holls.