I was listening to Good Life by Kanye West ft. T-Pain this morning as my morning musical inspiration and realized that I wasn’t just listening to the song in leisure, but I was dissecting the drum pattern and really analyzing the arrangement on the record.
I do this a lot when I am listening to music and I found that I apply some of the same elements to my music. I am a student of not only the music business, but of music itself. It has been times where I pull up the hottest song out at the time and listen to those elements like the way the the drum pattern is constructed or just the over all “pulse” of the song to attempt to capture that same energy.
I picked up this habit from a Grammy award winning producer. We would be in the studio and the first thing he would do is go to the DJ turntables and play some vinyl. He wouldn’t always sample the song, but he would capture the “pulse” of the record; the energy and then start producing a new record based on that “pulse.”
I thought that sharing this would hopefully inspire you to seek out those same “pulses” and energies and maybe capture them in your music. You might be surprised at what you come up with.
After careful consideration, I am resurrecting my blog. I have a lot to share with the world and I feel that this is the best place to do it. I will be sharing my music, my thoughts and things worthwhile. Hopefully, I will be able to share other music besides my own that needs to be shared with the masses. So, I hope that you will stay tuned for what is in store. This is something different….these are my Private Thoughts!
Everyone keeps asking did I see the BET awards and the answer is always the same…NO! It is nothing personal against BET, but I haven’t watched the BET awards in 4 years. I always go back and watch either the rebroadcast or portions of notable performances.
I don’t watch the Golden Globes, Emmy’s, MTV music and video awards or the Country Music awards either. I rarely catch the American Music awards and I don’t think I have ever watched the Soul Train Music Awards or Dove Awards all the way thru. Award shows are not my thing. Even if I was a nominee or honoree, some one would have to be there to accept my award on my behalf.
On another note, I never miss the Grammy’s and happens to be because I am a voting member. I guess I am just to focused on earning the award than watch others receive it for the work they have already done. It only reminds me that I could be gaining ground to get where they are instead of standing still watching them receive the fruits of their labor.
Last week I woke up everyday with the intention to make a blog post. And every time I thought I would have an opportunity; the opportunity escaped me. Today is the first day since Tuesday of last week that I had the opportunity to sit down and actually take the time to put together a meaning full post.
So, I thought it would be good for me to recap the week. My latest business venture took up a large majority of the week. Wednesday and Thursday were hijacked by coffee. Yeah, I said coffee. I spent the entire day talking about, delivering, meeting about and etc about coffee. A very productive 2 days spent on building and expanding the coffee business.
Friday morning was spent in the studio and the afternoon was mostly music and more coffee business. Friday night and Saturday was dedicated to family time in some form of fashion.
I don’t usually work at all on Sunday’s, but I decided to take care of some formal business on all my businesses, so I have been updating website, responding to emails and mapping out this week’s schedule. I still have a few more things on my agenda and I hope to get some much needed studio work done later tonight.
I am looking forward to this week, closing some much needed deals on all business fronts and getting as much as possible done so I can take some sort of break during the upcoming holidays (not likely).
I will make some time to blog about some upcoming projects. I will definitely make a post with an exert from the upcoming book and will also make a post about an artist I am working with that I am excited to introduce you to.
I wasn’ t sure what today’s blog was gonna be about. I contemplated posting an exert from the book and then I thought about posting some info about the new album and its progress. So, today’s blog is not about anything particular.
I am in the process of writing my new book which has been become untitled de to the turn it took in topic. Originally it was specifically about the business of music, but has taken a very nontraditional turn and not only about the business of music, but about the music culture and lifestyle. Yes, the music industry does have a lifestyle and it’s bigger than just what you see on TV. It’s bigger than money and fancy cars or jewelry. It’s what happens behind the scene. The stuff that happens in between deals and recording sessions. The stuff that keeps people like me awake at night thinking. That is what this book is about.
I am also working on the commercial release of Private Thoughts. This is smooth jazz album. I am very happy with the progress and look forward to sharing it with you. I have released 2 singles that are available for FREE download on reverberation http://www.reverbnation.com/kasinobrown. Download and leave your comments about the music.
I am resurrecting my blog. After months of trying to avoid bring back my blog, I have decided that there is just so much to share. So, I am going to be posting any and everything! This should prove fun experience. I can’t guarantee how long this will last this time. I have a lot to say and a lot that I probably shouldn’t say, but I am going to put it out there this time. Also, I will be posting some exclusive material that will be featured in my upcoming book. Yeah, I said book! Of course, I will be letting you know what the deal is on the music front. I have a ton of ventures in the works. Kasino Brown Music is still my main focus, but I am also working with some talented artists that I want to share and tell you about. Unlike my Facebook, Myspace and YouTube; the material here will be uncut. You are going to get a very potent version of Kasino Brown. Let’s go!
I have finally decided to share my finally release. I had been working on it under the name Dark Night since 2008. I have decided to release it next year titled More than Music.
This project will be my parting gift to those that have supported my during my music career. Those that have signed up on my mailing list will receive the project for FREE! Interested parties have until 12/31/09 to enter their email address on the list to qualify.
Check out my previous project on http://ping.fm/tZMoZ to get a taste of what is in store. You won’t be disappointed.
I have been reading a few books and articles about the music industry and they all have a long list of do’s and don’ts. The common theme is the work involved. All of these articles and books lead up to the work that is necessary to be successful in the music industry. And they are right! There is a lot of work involved especially for artists.
The first step for an artist in preparation for the work is responsibility. Taking responsibility for the good and the bad is a necessity. You have to realize that it is your dream and while the dreams of others may coincide with your dream, the things you want are different from the things others want for you. In other words, an artist wants to record an album, gain major exposure and ultimately become a star. The artist’s manager wants the artist wants to record an album, gain major exposure and ultimately become a star so he can collect his percentage and become an A list manager. This is something the artist must understand. Unfortunately, this is why a lot of up and coming artists feel jaded when things don’t go right. The key to staying on track for an artist is to continue to drive even when you have people in place that take on responsibilities involving your career. This type of responsibility is one of cures for our currently diseased industry.
I receive email and twitter messages daily asking about how to get a record deal or will I sign this person. The answer is always the same “NO.” You would think that as a label owner I would welcome artists asking to be signed, but contrary to popular belief; most artists asking have not done the necessary work that leads to landing a deal. The best way to get is deal or get the attention of a label is to not need a deal or a label. The days of sending in demo tapes and talking about “what could be” are over. Labels want artists that have done the leg work, built a following, made professional recordings and already doing shows. As a label CEO, I am looking for an artist that has taken it as far as they can so that my label can take them further.
More to come…
For the last few weeks I have really pondered about the state of the music industry. Last year I posted a blog about it with the hope that we would be bounce back. Unfortunately, the music industry has continued its downward spiral just as the economy has. http://ping.fm/FTa9L
I have looked at every aspect of the industry from the execs and tastemakers, to the producers, the artists, the DJs, the radio stations…I have analyzed it all and came to the conclusion that the industry is diseased. The industry is suffering from convulution; an illness that is caused by an overdose of yes-men, favors and dissolution.
I am thoroughly convinced that we need to get back to basics and that is making music…real music; classic music. Music has followed fashio and become trendy. It is no longer about be creative and innovative…it is about giving the world what is in. What happened?
Now one would argue that music and fashion go hand-in-hand. I wouldn’t completely agree, but I can understand the argument. Music has ties to fashion, music should not be treated or chosen on same basis or criteria as fashion.
Music should judged on creativity, innovation, quality and message. A lot of great music is overlooked because it is does not fit the trend and it is very unfortunate.
Stay tuned for more…part to coming soon!
I realized today that I never posted a blog about President Obama and today I really want talk about our President and what he has done thus far.
First off, I praise President Obama for attempt to tackle the problems facing America. I truly believe that he has America’s best interests at heart. I don’t think the American people really understand what type of whole the country has dug itself into. The financial problems that America faces are severe. Far more severe than we want to accept. Our President has attempted to fix this problem while at the same time facing the adversity from split houses. It was our own greed that caused these financial problems; buying with money we don’t have. Credit has ruined the economy.
Regarding healthcare, I have no idea who is right. I know that healthcare is expensive and most people can’t afford it or have no healthcare coverage. Only time will tell what will work.
I think the only thing right now that America needs is to support its President. We should all unite to tackle these problems. I think that President Obama is truly a brave soul to care enough to take the burden of our country on his shoulders.
I encourage us to pray for our President and our country.
Disclaimer: I know there are far more issues that could have been discussed in the blog. I only wanted to touch a few. This blog is intended to enlist support for our President and the healing of our country.
As a music professional, I am posed tough questions about the industry, the business, artists etc. I was recently asked this question. The following is my response.
Can R. Kelly make a comeback?
First off, did he really leave? We all know and are familiar with R. Kelly and his legal/moral troubles. The man stood trial and was found not guilty. And although most of us have saw the tape and have made our own assumptions, the laws of the land have spoken.
Did he get away with it? I don’t know. Did OJ do it? I don’t know. But this blog is not about whether or not R. Kelly did it. This blog is about R. Kelly the artist/songwriter/producer. We all know he is genius on the mic. His talent is undeniable.
So the question is, do we choose the music we like based on the artist’s personal life? I honestly feel that the artist’s personal life has nothing to do with the quality of music they put out. Does that mean I support their lifestyle? No! It means I like their music.
Many recording artist’s are plagued with skeletons that include but not limited to drug abuse/addiction, sexual immorality and all kinds of weird behavior. Some of those skeletons are the reasons they are putting out music.
Most of my musical influences were drug users; doesn’t mean I like their music any less. Now, I don’t use drugs myself and I don’t encourage others in drug use. Nor does it mean that I condone the use drugs. That is a personal issue that the artist has to deal with.
As a music lover, my only job is to love music. While I may have my opinion, I am not a judge. Each of us has our demons. Each of us has to face those demons. And all of us will answer and pay for our deeds one day. Last time I checked, I wasn’t elected to committee in charge of handing out punishment.
Every time I hear someone condemn another, I can only think about what I have done. Not saying I am a bad person, but I truly take that in consideration. And I think we all should. In the immortal words of my grandmother, “people who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.”
R. Kelly will continue to make music. He will continue to have fans and people that support he. So will Chris Brown and other celebrities that have made mistakes. We have all made mistakes in our lives whether we are a celebrity or not. And I know that is some of those mistakes and trespasses where brought to light; we all would be eligible for crucifixion.
Hey! I woke up this morning and wanna tell yall a story. This is a true story about music. Check it out.
About 3 months ago, I had a friend of mine tell me about this incredible artist they had met. I, of course checked out the artist and sure enough…they were dope! I became a fan of their work. They were highly respected in my eyes as a musician.
Well, later that friend came to me and told me that we might have the opportunity of working with this artist. I was elated.
So, the day comes and we finally meet at my studio to discuss the artist and their project. I gave the artist the opportunity to tell their story and plans. The artist tells me how they are trying to get a project done and no one seems to be cooperating or willing to help. In particular, they tell me and my friend how this one producer will not return any of the artist’s calls.
My friend and I decided to take the project and began planning and calling in the “troops” to get things done. We booked studio time, tracked down musicians, and even went after the producer that wouldn’t return the artist’s calls for FREE!
Things were going well. Then all of a sudden, the artist was not return ours calls. Everything seems to be going well and then all of sudden, we were shut out!
I tried to figure this out. Couldn’t understand what could have happened.
My friend later told me that he received a text message from the artist apologizing for not getting back with us and wanting our support in their future efforts.
I found it really ironic that this artist would do us this way after they came to me and my friend almost in tears because they were getting any help. My friend and I did all we could do to help this artist and they burned us and then had the audacity to come back and ask for our support.
We NEVER asked for anything. We didn’t want anything. We were enjoying helping. We have a real passion for music and was willing to offer our services and time PRO BONO.
The sad part of all this is that the artist came to us and told us about a producer that would not return their calls and we went after this producer like he was a bad guy or something and the artist turned around and did the same thing to us.
The lesson of the story is be careful! Don’t turn into the thing that you have a problem with.
I hope we all got something from this. Tune in next time when our subject will be: Talking Out the Side of Your Neck: Good Song or the Language of the Music Business?
I just heard the new PSA by Cathy Hughes of Radio One about the how Black Radio played a major role in the success of Michael Jackson (RIP) and in a sense she is right, but lets tell the whole truth.
The period that she referred to is when Michael Jackson and his brothers were signed to Motown. Motown was an independent record label at that time. DJs broke records during this time and DJs were excited about the new music they would receive and strive to be the first to play it on the air.
Today, Motown is part of the major label Universal Music Group; just one of its many labels. Radio stations are either owned by Radio One (Cathy’s company) or Clear Channel; there are very few independently owned radio stations. Radio DJs are no longer breaking records (thanks JD for bringing this to light). Radio airplay is dictated by Radio Programmers.
So, I have a major problem with this PSA. The time to which she was referring to was when radio supported independent labels and its music. I rarely hear new music from independent artists on radio these days.
So to Cathy Hughes I say, if you want us to support Black Radio; Black Radio needs to go back to supporting independent music. When you think about it, there are only 4 major labels. There are hundreds of independent labels. She should want the support of the masses.
Until there is change in radio…support HR848!
I don’t write these types of blogs too often, but I felt that someone needed to hear this today.
On many occasion, I get the opportunity to talk to different people about different subjects other than music and I listen closely at their views. Now, I grew up in the Midwest and moved Texas in my teens and the mindset that I control my own destiny was instilled in me as a child and has held true into my adult years.
I have heard time and time again people blaming “the system” or “the man” for the reason they can not get ahead and then I look at the situation. After a good hard glance, the only problem that I see is them. They are getting in their own way. And while others may say that the black man has been setback due to 400 years of slavery; I say “bullsh*t!” Slavery is well over and while racism is still prevalent, it is still not so prevalent that we can overcome its obstacles.
Recently, I received a phone call from someone that wanted to tell me that growing up without a father furthers the chances of a person going to prison or getting involved with the wrong crowds. Again I say “bullsh*t!”
I grew up without a father. I didn’t meet my father until I was 26 years old. I didn’t go to prison or fall in the wrong crowds. My mother was not a serious watch dog either. I made decisions! I decided that I didn’t want to do the things others were doing. I decided to stay in school and excel in my studies. I decided to go to college. I remember sitting at the kitchen table looking at college applications trying to figure out what to do. No one was there helping me fill them I out. I chose to fill them out.
So honestly, I don’t want to hear about you being the victim. If your life is messed up; its your fault! Take some responsibility. If you got bad credit; that is your fault! You ran up the bills and didn’t pay them. If you a criminal; that is your fault! No one told you to rob a liquor store and if someone did tell you to and you did it; then you are a fool for listening to them.
You call the shots in your life. Stop looking for someone or something to blame. Stop making foolish decisions and then saying “no one told me.” Ignorance is not an excuse. Not being told is not an excuse. Momma and daddy are not an excuse. You are not a victim!
I have been promising since January that I would get better about my blogs and I just can’t seem to keep these updates coming on the regular. I a way, it just means I have been mad busy.
We have been really promoting our artists. I have been talking to radio music directors on the daily in many markets. We just had our artist showcase at D&B and it was a hit. Thanks to all those artists that performed.
Also, I spoke at the Desoto Hip-Hop Summit on Saturday and it was great. It was nice to meet all the artists. Special thanks to The City of Desoto, Smooth D and Emortul Entertainment, Big Bink of 97.9 The Beat, Attorney Tangerla Williams and all the artists and people involved in the event.
J Gist’s debut album R&B Gangster is making headway daily. Thanks to all the radio stations and DJs spinning the record.
K Jazz has completed her album and we are staging for her release. Right now we are really focused on shows and appearances.
I will be posting footage from the Desoto Hip-Hop Summit soon. Be sure to check out http://www.kasinobrownmusic.com for more information about K Jazz and J Gist and coming projects.
Have you ever submitted some work and then you get an email, a phone call or an in person critique that was not warranted? Well, this has happened countless times not just to you, but to me as well.
Now, don’t take this wrong and please keep in mind that I have nothing against constructive criticism. But asking questions like: “did you do that on purpose,” or “what is supposed to be like that” is down right offensive.
What I really don’t get is that most of the time these criticism come from those that have no authority on the matter. They are usually a peer or some one who just happen to come across what you did.
Now in the application of music, we have to stop criticizing each others work and give each other the opportunity to explore our creativity. And I know someone is going to give the “man, we gotta keep it real.”
Well, for the record let me say that it is difference in keeping it real and stomping on someone’s dream or hard work. There are those of us that are working hard toward a goal. I realize that as much ground as I have covered in my career; I have a ways to go and each time around I get better. It all goes back to being humble and working hard.
I get a lot music and I have a lot people that send me music that value my opinion. I only give a critique if it asked for. I make sure that I give them something they can use to grow.
Keep it real by learning some compassion and leading by example. It doesn’t make you better by belittling what someone else has done. Let’s change the game.