Goodnight Kiss Music
Mar 23- Mar 31, 1999

TODAY'S TOPIC: Major Versus Indy. (Ok, I know I posted this last week. But it's an important issue, and I am just starting to get back your responses. I'm going to leave this here another few days, then we'll move on.) Here's something we need to discuss. I need your feedback, no kidding around. I would like to have permission to use your responses (in bits) in our current newsletter. If you would rather I didn't circulate your response, fine, but I'd like to know how YOU feel, regardless, okay?

In the "old days", you couldn't get me to touch an Indy project unless it was merely for the fun of it. Why? Because I had spent years working on Indy projects, my own included, that never made a dime for the writer. Most of the "new artists" who press an outside writer's song on their Indy CD don't bother paying the mechanical royalties due upon that production. Most sell their CDs at local gigs, or through the mail, which means you rarely, (if ever) see an airplay royalty from Film, TV, or Radio. Sooner or later a writer is approached about putting a song on a CD for $XXX.00 (normally a compilation) with a promise of the "label's distribution power" (often your mailing list of fans.) Normally these CDs have one or two good songs or artists, but twelve to eighteen others that are awful! Just by association, the good ones get lost. Once in a blue moon, an Indy comes along that has some hook (as well as quality) that pushes it through, partly by chance. If you look at the odds of making a living that way, I hope you don't like luxuries like food. Can it happen? Yes. Does it? Less than Rarely.

As a songwriter, I have always sought movies that were definitely going to TV because we don't get paid royalties for our songs in moviehouses here. Thanks, Hollywood. I didn't really need any of that 3 billion dollars of Titanic (this is a per se reference, since it contained Song of the Year, etc) money for my song airs in theatres... I'll never miss that... (RIGHT) and always sought Major Acts to cover my own songs and the songs in my Publishing Catalogues. Why? Because that is where the real Industry is, and that is where the survival money is. Megahits are rare. If you can work steadily, you can live on regular every day cuts, if you can find them and maintain them.... or you could. But that is getting harder also. More pop and rb and always rap, country and jazz artists write their own material now... it's not so much song, as act. (I think that is changing, by the way, as is the whole style of music, but that's another topic.) In Film and TV, it seems the demands are higher now (commercially released product by Majors) and the budgets are lower (because the Majors give usages of new acts they are breaking to use for free, for one thing, and big movies want well known hits, for the most part, and because that writer sitting right beside you is willing to give his stuff away for nothing but screen credit.)

Also, the Internet is a huge frontier that we all get to pioneer. Soon, I believe, the internet will be your cable tv, tied in with a million other things in your life (I know, another topic) but we have proven areas it IS NOT viable in. If you are an artist without the right songs, sound, tools, fan following, or without any apparent reason that the visitor should buy your tape you put on your web site to sell, you are poisoning the ground for yourself and others to come. However, there ARE a dozen ways I seeing it being a legitimate path to a living connected to your music career, not that far in the future.

Poll Choices: 1. NO Indy Projects for me!! 2. Indy Projects are ok, as long as the Majors still get pitched afterwards. . 3.Indy Projects are my favorites, because they are not as demanding. 4.I don't care where I get cut, just get me cut! 5.Depends on the Indy Project 6.Other (be specific with a response.)

Ok. What is your take? I put an opinion poll in the newsletter for you to answer (sign up, if you haven't, no spam) about this issue, or send me an email. janet




1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Goodnight Kiss Music, Janet Fisher