Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Give Everything To Music.
Simply put... a goal, a sacrifice, a reward... a LIFESTYLE.
Jacob Skelly is the founder and owner of the GETM Brand. Tackling a task like balancing life between publishing music, books, and other media; to creating music; aside raising 3 kids... Things can get hectic. That is when it is most important to look within oneself. The bigger picture isn't always some grandeur destination, or some award, for quite many, it may come as quite cumbersome.
Significant effort seems subjective, that is, until you cross the threshold of what it means to treat music as a "profession". Somberly, one then finds out, there actually is a structured and relevant guage at which to tell the effort of a perspective artist.
We all have to admit, at one point or another, that word has crushed us, and got us so hyped up it was unreal. Value is power. How does a musician, a producer, an artist, etc... build "value". Easy.
Just find a record label offering 360 deals and jump at the first set of knuckles reaching over a contract. (Joking)
Seriously though, how can a creator of something so blatantly taken for granted, as music, create value?
To begin, I don't care where you are, what your situation is, or what your cognitive errors may be. As a man who came from abuse, into a life of dealing with music, or music related business as means to survive; I think I'm qualified to say... Use me as your case study, the odds, astronomically stacked against me. The adversity, sometimes pushing me to the deepest depths of HELL AND DISPARITY.
I KEPT SIGHT OF THE BIGGER PICTURE.
You see, it isn't enjoying extravagant meals in every city, while sleeping on a posturepedic mattress. All the while playing guitar overseeing the skylines of every city you stop at.
In reality, it is sleepless nights, to this day. I am almost a decade deep in this, I license my music on every royalty claiming outlet. However, it is so sad to me, seeing people attempt to live off of a dream to be famous. Putting out amazing music is important. When music is created with the sole-motive being fame, wealth, or status, it is garbage. People forget something, or they suppress the thought. The influences that they had, whom wrote those songs about those elegant flights and opulence, they were writing music WITH THE INTENT TO HAVE FUN. Not to obtain those things, but to bask in them and celebrate a successful climb on the mountain of work it is to be a star.
I have toured the united states, I have seen both oceans, and wouldn't you know it, they both kind of look and sound the same, but the impact they give with the sound... PSHHHH! *silence* PSHHH!....
Their impacts are just that, impactful. That is the beauty of nature, it acts with one intent, be. True being. Doing whatever it is you are truly meant to do. If you are writing songs about druggin, drinking, and having meaningless encounters with others, what is the value in that? What are you even saying? Why should anyone care how careless and unhinged you are?
The ocean intends to adjust the value of land, because that is what the universe and wind is telling it to do. We must stop being so gracious with our words. I myself am guilty of trying to build a persons ego, with high hopes of it being non-destructive, and every time, those ones are a ticking time bomb.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. BOOM.
It doesn't bring me down much anymore, because I don't give the opportunity for that to unfold. But as an industry, we must start recognizing the importance of genuine intent. I intend, to leave this earth better than I found it. If the universe told me to do that in any other way, I would. Instead it told me to do this. So I worked and worked. Slowly discovered the truth....
Soundcloud, though great, and a commendable platform, is not enough. Youtube is not enough. Indie music sites are NOT ENOUGH.
Those who have been here are probably smiling right about now.
DISTRIBUTORS! Usually the thing an artist is gonna play "hop n' jump" with. Well don't. Because when you click that final button, and that page pops up saying "submitted" you've just entered the realm of artists and musicians who say "available now on all platforms". So stand tall champ. The belt is on your waist. Lift those arms up and shout your new goal to the world. No, seriously... Like, tell everyone. Link everybody. Make it simple. You'll learn early on (if you're lucky) that really, when you haven't already established a presence of some-kind, just pitching your music quickly to your closest friends first, then working your way to strangers. Works best.
Okay, so here we are, you have been steadily recording and uploading music, and posting to your friends about the new releases. And your career is looking like it's gonna fully go as hoped, you'll be drinking top shelf champagnes on jets, flying from stage to stage, giving love to your adoring fans every free moment..... Until you check your bank account. Yup. You got your friends and family, and a few strangers to run your numbers up, lets say, to 20,000 streams on spotify.
So you log into your distributor (hopefully of which is not a horrible one) and it says "You have a pending deposit". YES! Here it comes bay-beeeheeeheeheee! Not really.
That's when you either take a journey, give up, or read this before the bad juju.
The importance of organizations like SOUNDEXCHANGE, like BMI/ASCAP/SESAC, like The MLC, and availability of databases like Nielson Soundscan. I for example, have BMI as my Performance Rights Organization, meaning, if I have my song registered with them, and it is performed, regardless if it is by me, or a cover, I GET PAID. Now, it's not an astronomical amount, but, if you are in music for the right reasons, you know this game is small, microscopic, aggregate successes that one day could equate up to an impactful tale.
You see, with the waves' intent, most will fail to notice those grains of sand washing away, only seeing a beach. Only seeing the simplest form of what something truly is. Misinterpreting it's value. It's impact.
Are you acting like a pro?
Hire help, or study. But don't create sounds just to do it because you see the implications of being an artist involving reward, praise, and fulfillment. In reality, it is a constantly evolving reward you only get close to when creating, if you are truly meant for it.
In summary: BE SERIOUS. CREATE VALUE. ACT WITH A WORTHY INTENT.
Or lay on the beach. But some of us are trying to change Our Mother Earth. Much love,