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Christian Hip Hop

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.

HELLER RIDGE RECORDING NEW ALBUM FOR RELEASE LATE 2017

Nashville, TN-Singer-Songwriters Kevin Herrick and Jason Hollis known as the Duo-Country group, Heller Ridge are beginning the process of recording their new album which will have a projected release date in late 2017.  Over the last two years they have been writing and recording demos for the ten new songs for this album.  “They all have our signiture sound of catchy melodies and harmonies; and uptempo songs and ballads.  There is a wide range of subjects like Love songs, overcoming adversity, relationships gone bad, and finding your way back home.  It’s truly a body of work that we are proud of” says Jason Hollis.  The sound is described as Country music with a Rock edge to it with rich harmonies.  “My background is in Southern Gospel and Traditional Country where Jason comes from the Rock N Roll world of writing.  It’s a sound all it’s own for the most part because harmonies are not prevalent in todays Country marketplace” says Kevin Herrick.  “We will be recording at different studios for this album because of who we are working with on this project, the acoustics, and the vibe, it’s all going to work well together; We are going to begin next month in July to kick things off” said Jason Hollis.  As songwriters they hope to pitch the songs to other artists as well because they want the world to hear these stories through song.

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.

SONGWRITING 101: SETTING UP YOUR BRAND

Presentation1 (2)The music business is a crazy ride that I’ve had the pleasure or heartache in some cases that I’ve been a part of most of my life since I was a teenager.  It’s a game filled with ups and downs but for the most part I’ve enjoyed it; a lot of it I had to learn the hard way through trial and error because no one showed me certain aspects of it.  After hundreds of albums I’ve had the opportunity to work on in A&R, Distribution, Marketing, Radio Promotions, Music Videos, as a Musician/Vocalist, etc. I’ve learned that most artists don’t take the time to learn the business side of the music business as much as they work on their craft creating music.  I just wanted to share with you how an artist can set-up their brand in this day and age of the Music and Entertainment business in a brief article.