As well as writing a new record I am brainstorming ways of how to save independent musicians from the poverty that awaits them if streaming services take over as the primary way in which people consume music. Because check this out:
Last year Spotify released data that states niche indie artists currently make $3300 (550 000 plays) on the site per month which doesn’t really sound so bad. BUT - this isn’t like 1 month forever, this is probably the month that your record comes out, the month that you would usually sell the most records and when people are thinking about you and talking about you the most. So in actuality its probably $3300 the first month, $2500 the next month, and then in one year roughly $300 a month if your lucky that you have to split with your label.
Whereas if 275 people buy your record for $12 you make the same amount of money in in the first month. If 25 000 people buy your record in one year, you make $300 000 (to split with your label). Now THAT is something you can live off (of course taking into account marketing costs, video costs, recording costs, touring costs, its easy to see 25,000 records are really hard to sell and not even that many in the long run)
I know its redundant to be like “FUCK SPOTIFY BUY RECORDS” and this is why I’m trying to formulate a new way for people to hear music thats better for everyone and doesn’t give some stupid corporate middle man money when you could just go to piratebay.com and download the songs for free anyways, which I am actually more ok with. Piracy is way better than corporate controlled fake artist support.
To end this note, a quote from Koussevitzky about composers needing a source for viable income at the turn of the century. ie - this isn’t new:
"The appeal for the composer must embrace the whole musical world, reach the musician in every field, the music lover and sponsor, far and wide. It will be a timely and major step forward.
In this great country alone there are many thousands of performing musicians. A small annual donation of $1 each will bring in a substantial permanent income and, with the joint co-operation and contributions of other groups and organizations, will go a long way toward establishing a composers’ fund… Whatever action we take now will lay the groundwork for the impelling and just cause of the composer. Embracing that cause, we shall ascend to new heights, we shall gain in confidence, in self-esteem and in fortitude.”
I’m DJing as KETSUP tomorrow in Berlin and later this month in Brooklyn. Two vry special shows. Come say hi and dance !
TOUR IS SO FUN SO FAR!
HERE IS A PIC FROM VIDA COURTESY OF @pablalunachao
Yesterday we arrived in Barcelona to play a festival. We were picked up from the airport by two lovely men who bellowed and bragged about how lovely our hotel was going to be, how it was seconds from the beach and very glamourous. Upon arriving at this glamorous hotel we waltzed by the five stars on the wall feeling satisfied and vindicated for all our years of hard-assed work and sat ourselves down on the plush, leather sofas in the lobby. Our excellent tour manager left to retrieve our room keys and returned 15 minutes later with some news that was unexpected but not entirely impossible to believe: this hotel was not ours. We called the transport who apologized profusely claiming they didn’t realize there was more than one hotel for the bands playing the festival, and took us on a 15 minute ride to a different town, on a different road for which glamorous might be the least-appropriate description. He laughed as we pulled up to a crooked hostel and dumped our 17 pieces of luggage on to the street.
Needless to say, we had hit a slump. Our egos had been overflowed with resort amenities and was now being rapidly deflated by bleach, rat poo and mould. It does get better, though.
We ended up in the town of Vilanova. We enjoyed a huge Spanish feast at a local spot for 8 euros and then tread to another beach, coming upon a blank face carved into a piece of stone on the way down. By the water the sound of smooth techno drew us forth to a sheltered cabana serving wine and tiki lights right on the sand and seconds from the waves. I took off my shoes and wet my toes in the dark waves and felt the sand disappear from underneath my feet each time they pulled back. It was quiet, and it was cheap. And so, I decided that 5 star hotels feel nice, but then you have to pay for a 5 star meal, sit beside a 5 star busy pool deck (while the ocean is steps away), co-exist with people who can actually afford to pay for a 5 star room (!!!), and usually you have to pay for internet. So fuck 5 star accommodations. You shouldn’t have to pay a fortune to enjoy a place as magical as Barcelona, and in fact it’s probably a lot more fun if you don’t.
The video was directed by artist Zeesy Powers (www.zeesypowers.com) and was performed and choreographed by Emily Law, loosely referencing waacking and house dance styles.
Emily and Zeesy are both old friends, it was really good to work with them on this project. Before I started performing my own music live I used to make soundtracks for Zeesy’s performance art pieces like this one:
She actually was the one who forced me to start playing live at all. Thanks Zeesy!