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Music Business

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.

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.

LIFE-LINE WORLDWIDE MUSIC PUBLISHING: SONGWRITING 101

Presentation1 (2)Nashville, TN-Jason Hollis the owner of Life-Line Worldwide Music Publishing through BMI has been hard at work on a new batch of songs in a wide-range of genres from Country, Pop, Rock, R&B, and Praise & Worship.  “My new approach is starting to work; I usually demo out my songs on guitar or keyboard and record them on a digital recording device.  Then, head to Red Room Studios to record a basic acoustic track to check the song structure from top to bottom mainly to make adjustments of exactly what I’m hearing in my head.  I usually take a bit of time to listen over and over to the song to make sure that I like the lyrics, hook, the story-line, and is it a “hit” in my mind?”  I also make sure to listen to everything that’s current out there if it’s Indie or Top 40 not to compare but to make sure that my music isn’t dated-sounding.   For instance, when I’m working on an R&B or a Pop song I usually create a rough beat to play to so I get the groove that’s in my head and it makes it a lot easier  to create.  I had a good friend tell me that if you’re not writing everyday in some form or fashion then you’re not a real songwriter.  I took that to heart and now have begun to really push harder and hone my creative process to go farther than I ever have before.

I.C.E. WORKSHOP IN NASHVILLE FRIDAY OCTOBER 11TH 2013!!

ICENashville, TN-Friday October 11th the I.C.E. Workshop will be held for upcoming independent artists and labels wanting to learn the basics about the music business.  The one-day course will cover many different catagories from distribution, marketing your album, social media marketing, how important it is to have a website, music production which includes mixing and mastering, touring, publishing, key award organizations, and much more.  This is one  jam-packed eight hour class that will begin to prepare artists and labels for the ever-changing music business.  The I.C.E. Workshop will feature hosts Jason Hollis of Life-Line Worldwide and Rick Greene of Infinity Music Distribution plus guest speakers Kene “Ghost” Bell of Ghostown Productions and  John Vanus of Vanus Creations.  “Everyone involved in this workshop are music business veterans who have each contributed to many different areas in the music business and I’m so glad that we can provide a service to musicians and business men and women to have what we never had; and that is the knowledge of how it all works.  I’m also excited because this isn’t just about the business side of things there is also a spiritual connection to doing business like Jesus did and we’ll be going over that as well” says Jason Hollis owner of Life-Line Worldwide.  This all kicks off the weekend before the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards on October 11th and the address is: