- Artist Manager & Record Label Owner with chart success; A&R; Artist Development
22 years music industry experience as a manager, publisher and record label owner with a successful track record of developing talent. The central philosophy is to develop artists and build careers by putting the talent first and enabling them to concentrate on their work while teaching them what they need to know to have a successful and prosperous career. Recent success - 4 recordings playlisted on national radio in South Africa in last 6 months including Dance chart number 1, via own label and managed artists who I have worked with for a number of years. I managed a UK MC to Top 10 UK success and 32 million streams, 500,000 sales of a single; I currently manage 6 artists and general manager for another management firm. Over the years I have signed, developed and worked with million selling artists with UK number 1 and Top 10 singles, and electronic artists with small sales who have maximised their talent and income to have successful professional careers.
- a&r, artist management, record labels, emerging artists, music publishing, arrangement, music licensing / syncing, music composition, djing, artist development
- hip-hop, electronic, edm, music, dnb, drum & bass, garage, dance, house, beats, bass, bass music, deep house, film, techno, culture, progressive house, tv
Hey Mike, Thanks for sending It's OK, solid. My only thing might be to look at some of the transitions as certain sections lose a little energy / are a bit repetitive. Would be good to get some movement in there. Might also be a mix and master thing too (some of the crashes are are a little low in the mix - it's very vocal upfront, everything else low). Do you have an outside proper mastering engineer or are you doing it yourself? I checked out your Spotify following and it seems to be building nicely so really it is about working that audience and the ones on Apple (as they pay double the money) I'd also make sure you have mastered instrumentals and then send both vox and instrumental versions to sync agents Do you own 100% rights on the recording and publishing?
Hey Dwight, I hope you're good Track is OK but the biggest issue is your arrangement which does not work Please see the screenprint here: https://we.tl/t-c0Ve6ReS1y You have one 24 bar section of vocals, then later a 16 bar section of vocals, then later a 12 bar section of vocals (all the yellow sections). These should be equal, and ideally 16 bars only. You have a random section (light green) And then later it all goes a bit all over the place The sounds themselves are good, the rap strong, but you have got to get the rest to work properly Fix the arrangement into a more traditional verse chorus style set up and it will work properly And no. just because you are making dubstep influenced rap it does not mean proper structures for tracks go out of the window. 90% of the parts you need are already in this track, you just need to fix them. Also, only one breakdown should be in there. Do it more than once and you lessen the impact. Once that is all sorted please send again In addition you should do an instrumental. And definitely then pitch for sync uses in the USA especially if you need any more info please feel free to hit me back; I'm looking forward to hearing a fixed version! As a very rough guide I put an arrangement together in Logic: https://we.tl/t-RBwR19BhYf This is obviously not definitive, more an example of what I mean. You will want to use the lyrics and builds properly as opposed to my hatchet job!
Hey Anthony, I hope you're well. This is good. Who does the production? Is it 100% you or did you work with someone else / buy the beat? Arrangement is good (chorus could poss do with a little more distinction from rest of track) but overall it's a good vibe I've forwarded to a couple of producers I work with to see if your style works with them too From a making the most of it point of view, the instrumental could work for syncs subject to you owning recording and pub 100%, hence the first question.
Hey Tony, This has some good ideas but the arrangement is all over the place. You have 4 bars of what I think is chorus, followed by 4 bars of a different vocal (that never reappears) but trying to be part of a chorus. It then drops into 8 bars of a verse which repeats lyrics at least twice. It the goes back in to the same 4 bars from bar 5 to bar 9 but this time it is used twice (the bars 9 - 13 have gone). After these 8 bars (a second verse?) the track just then stops musically but has another new section lyrically where a chorus should be, and then it ends This means you have parts in the wrong place and a track that it is less than 2 mins long. You need to go back and put this into a verse chorus structure: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus, chorus, end. You need to work out what your chorus is actually supposed to be You need to sort out the transitions between the various parts as there is no signposting or flagging what is coming next. The music stays on a level all the way through and it needs peaks and troughs; I know you do a breakdown part which is fine (which would be a middle 8) but that is in the wrong place and the rest of the tracks stays level. The little percussion and instrumental changes make all the difference. I know you say it is coming out on Friday but I would strongly suggest looking at the above and maybe pulling the release until these bits are fixed. Then you'll hopefully have more chance of pushing to radio, etc. Trust that helps Best, Tim
Hey Dex, First up please send my love to Dawn! I signed her 10-15 years ago for publishing, wonderful person and an amazing voice (he says stating something you already know!) Interesting to see Eric Kupper producing too. Track wise, I think this version should be pushed to sync agents for use on TV, Film, etc. You may need to do an even more stripped back version for use with picture, so bare that in mind. My only issue with the track is about where it fits in with the dreaded "market" and which of the streaming services gets behind it. You may need to do some remixes with the up and coming "kids" to give it a bigger chance to get into these playlists (yes I know, it's a pain). And also look at a more dancefloor friendly remix too I don't want to be "that guy" but we all have to keep an eye on making sure tracks are available in formats that will be used. Other than that I can't criticise the track's arrangement as it has everything where it is supposed to be. It'll be interesting to hear the forthcoming EP too. Good luck and definitely push the sync angles.
Hey Nick, This is good, has potential. I think your arrangement can be a lot better though. I've done a quick fix in Logic which you can check here: https://we.tl/t-XeDabQFyvJ My version isn't right as primarily the breakdown needs sorting - it needs to be doube lin length. That doesn't mean no beats for the whole thing, it means the breakdown section needs to be longer. Bar 65 you can pull the vocal / put it lower in the mix so the first time the vocal comes in it is still the most powerful. Bar 81 the breakdown starts but you only have a very short breakdown compared to what is needed. This needs to be extended - lose the vocal as it isn't needed especially at the beginning - the darker music works well here but is then gone as soon as it comes in so you could maybe look at that more. I really like the end stabs (very Carl Craig in places) but I couldn't get them work anywhere else This track needs to work as an instrumental too for other use, and that will also be a good test of the arrangement The intro is too long - it's great, but not sure it works for a longer track. I may be being picky, not sure. Note: Spotify hates intros like that. If you don't care about Spotify all good. Ads will love the string section on it's own. Just remember, peaks & troughs, light & dark. No vocal in one part means the impact is greater when it does come in. All in all great ideas on this one. Would def be interested in hearing this with a fixed arrangement. Tim
Hey Josh, Thanks for sending From point of view this track is well put together, the video is OK (ie does what it is supposed to do, little story, etc - nothing massively different to everything else out there so not a must see, but not bad) I can't really fault the structure etc as you have made a proper pop song Part of your vocal is very Craig David which is not a bad thing. The only issue I think is that it sounds a little like everything else in the genre and it could probably do with a bit of edge. For syncs I would look at a version that is more stripped back and acoustic as that will be more useable. I would also maybe look at a more afrobeat / house version too especially for UK Overall, it's good but it needs to be great. If you sound like Craig you have to be better than Craig otherwise you're not getting a look in. But yes good, strong. The US TV network shows start in August so you should make sure it is with the supervisors for that. Hope that helps and I'll check out the other material too Tim
Hey guys, Sounds good. Can't make any comments so much on the arrangement as that sounds good. Musically it's fine, who produced / mixed / mastered? You might need a little help on these just to get a sharper sheen (especially with some of the other tracks which sound a little dull in places) Vocals sound great and cut through, a bit St Etienne or Cardigans in places My biggest point is I looked for social media accounts, followings etc and there is hardly any? Nothing on Spotify? What is happening with all of these? You need to get all of this together as there is no reason you can't be working this especially as Norway is at the forefront of streaming Facebook / Insta ads campaigns, Spotify ads, etc - all stuff you can do yourself and stuff you need to do yourself I like what I hear don't get me wrong, you have something But you also need to work it too. Are you pushing this to ad & sync people in USA? Please let me know re all of the above Thanks Tim
Hey guys, Thanks for sending the track I like it, it especially reminds me of some of the bands I know in South Africa (and of course Vampire Weekend who took the South African sound wholesale!) My only comments would be production wise as it sounds to me a little disjointed in places. I appreciate that might be what you are going for but I also think that it is too much sometimes and detracts and doesn't allow the track to breathe and therefore doesn't work as well as it could. I would like to hear a version slightly stripped back and possibly a little faster; the melody is great and the overall track could do really well. I just think you may need to sort it our to make it cleaner and clearer (while not losing it's personality) From a commercial point of view it is asking to be remixed too. It is growing on me though on repeat listens; did you get an outside mix and master done? I was going to ask / suggest PR angles but I saw you are already doing that; don't forget to get the album and this track to sync supervisors around the world too. On another listen I would def look for an outside producer / mixer and get another version done with a mix / master too. Is the release entirely self funded? Tim
Another good pop song. Structure is good, hook strong. I've looked at the blogs and the YouTube and can't see anything listed under Chel. Nothing on Hype Machine for instance. I can see the Facebook likes are going up (I think) which I hope is real But I would look at prioritizing blogs and targetting more profile but in a way that gets the music out there more Also be careful on the videos as you still need to get their level up more. At the moment it is still lower quality than it is needs to be. Think about the video content - it's not at the level of a "did you see that video" and you need to have that to push it out there. You also need to work the native videos on Facebook a lot and invest there. Aim to work the socials, instagram, snapchat and get the native fan base up. Get the mailing list levels up so you can sell direct. The tunes are good but you have to get them out there in front of people. It's also good to know the first track wasn't a one off.
OK - arrangement is sound, once past the opening 4 bars. Good verse chorus structure Lyrics get better on repeat listens Yes, as you point out, there are mix issues! But more importantly you need to put pick ups in the track and make the music work as an instrumental. Take the vocal off and there isn't much there. The breakdowns before the chorus are good, the one rizer is good, but you need more You need some sub bass (more sub bass?) in the track especially in the chorus to give the track more depth and more oomph. I've put together a little mix which should show what I mean. It's the example of the effect on the arrangement and not the actual sounds used that is the important thing. The sound choice is obviously yours but you need to add more in your track. https://we.tl/Aim3PT9xEt This track has potential once you get it right too so it'll be interesting to hear it at the next stage.
Hey Chel, This is good. Proper pop song, very USA radio. Very radio friendly for other territories. There might be a few little production tweeks to give it even more peak and trough and maybe increase the volume of the chorus by 1db just to make it stand out even more. As for plans moving forward, I wish there was an easy thing to suggest! On the videos I would probably try and push the quality levels up a little more because you have got to compete with the majors. But you're obviously pushing to the Gay community which is a good look I think This song also works for the Katy Perry crowd and really she should be a role model and you know how many times she was turned down before she was signed. Or indeed Kelly Clarkson. And I mean role model as in how they worked it not musically (unless you want to follow that too) But chase the blogs for Hype Machine and look at remixes on the single too to see if you can move it into different markets. Interesting how the video has 25,000 views and you only have 400 Twitter followers, 180 subscribers, etc. Facebook isn't working btw - and you should look at pushing advertising campaigns via Facebook as it works and is very organic (short 30 sec - 1 min video uploaded onto Facebook. No YouTube links!) Is the follow up ready to go? You need to keep momentum up so the next one needs to be ready in 6 weeks and you need to bare in mind OnAirOnSale too (track released then worked) That's about it. Would be interested to see how this goes so keep me in the loop Thanks! Tim
Hey Tanner, I like this track. the vocal is great (is that Enza who auditioned for the Voice?) Is this an original vocal? I've played around with the arrangement a little and you can check it out here: https://we.tl/ReA0urbbk4 The chorus is very strong but it's in so little that you need to bring it to the fore a little more You also don't need some of the little filler sections Work around a verse chorus structure ie verse chorus verse chorus breakdown / middle 8 chorus chorus end as that works best for radio The downside is that it might be a little dated now and the sounds probably need sharpening up now too (it's very Zedd 2014) which means the track may suffer because of that What's your plan release wise? Do you have a label? etc etc What's your plan? I look forward to hearing more
hey Elliott, HP OK I've gone through the track and broken down the arrangement You have a section at 25-33 that you only use once. you have verse 9-17 & 17-25, then this pre-chorus, then chorus after the chorus at 33-41 you have 41-49 & 49-57 as verse but then no pre-chorus where is the pre-chorus? after the chorus you have a 2.5 bar breakdown (?) then 67.5 to 75.5 build (random length and starting points) into 4 choruses and then it finishes So there are some arrangement issues to be sorted (especially the random 8 bars that is seen once and then never again) track wise i would also lose the female vox in the intro in the first 8 bars The only other thing I would maybe look at it is giving the track a little more variation Take things out as well as throw them in for variation and for highlighting the next sections coming in Try 25-33 section in at 57-65 (may need a slight amendment at end) And maybe also after the breakdown section before the 4 choruses at end (you really need to fix the breakdown section and make it longer) The track should work a little better from then Personally, I am not a fan of the dubstep bass in chorus bit. it also feels a little dated to me. The disco influenced start of the verses I like and that maybe something to look at on other tunes (don't rip this one apart as it won't work) That's about it - hope it helps
It's cool and fun. very stage. from a promotions point of view you obviously need a video to go with it to go after youtube hits etc you really want to be pushing this track to people for ads, tv etc for next year from june / july onwards possibly to tv now for productions for next year too as long as the song has no infringements / is cleared for use then that will be good. if it isn't then look to do it asap again for next year it's too late to be pushing for this year 2 weeks away from christmas day i would also look outside the US to european, asian and australia etc markets. so speak to proper sync agents in the various countries
Just to confirm that this performance is 5 years old and is a style you're no longer doing? The live version is good - musicians, vocals, all good My only point on the track is that is very one level - just one long stream of consciousness. I appreciate the Jesus Please (I think?) line is used as a chorus but the structure is all over the place. It would be better if it did have a better structure. The track reminds me a little of The Roots "Water" and that would have been a good template for this track. The biggest single thing that needs to be sorted on most tracks is the arrangement. And that includes pick ups, breakdowns, signposting of different parts of the track, etc If you listen to Water then you will hear where the chorus is signposted (beats drop, things change just before the next section, etc). So at end of chorus it drops to cutting, before the chorus there is a drop again, half way through the verse there is a pick up, etc And your track will benefit from the same thing Trust that helps Tim
Hey guys, So I note this track has won awards But you're confusing awards with them meaning anything to the industry at large Yes it is a good tune but: Is the sample cleared? If it is, you can pitch it for syncs & TV. If it isn't, you can't. So nobody can sign it and release it as without cleared samples there is nothing to sign and use. And doing that is down to you guys. Also speaking from an A&R perspective, no new or current A&R is going to sign a track from 2010 when it has been out there since 2015. Why would they when the pressure on record labels is to sign the next new big thing rather than old tracks that have had their time? So if you seriously want people to notice it, remove any reference to it being old This isn't to be a bitch about the track btw, just the reality of the record industry. So what you need to do is work it and build it yourself and not push old material thinking that the industry, that is about the new, is going to change and for the first time ever care about something old. This is a good strong tune. But without cleared samples it's unworkable (it is not going to be sync'd by anybody that actually is worth working with). So either try and clear it, remake it with sample packs, or move on to a new track that can be pushed. Don't forget that I am also talking from an industry perspective - if you don't care about the industry then you have a certain freedom to do it yourself. All that matters is that you build your own fanbase and sell to that and there are many ways - pledge, bandcamp, etc - that allow you to do that. I would ignore the industry initially in any case - work YouTube, build your following, etc. Work the blogs, come with proper PR sheets (the only thing stopping you doing these things is laziness), push to the guys who like the old school sounds. Look at releasing yourself. Btw your press releases are awful. There is nothing there that is of any interest to any blog - and I am sure you know that blogs basically cut and paste your Press Release and publish that instead of writing for themselves. So your PR sheet should have quotes, almost be in the form of an interview (who you are, who inspires you, influences, aims), should have quotes from well known artists about you so you have instant credibility, etc You can't just whack out a boring list of competitions (not relevant) and a couple of names and expect people to care You have MC Lyte as a collaborator on one of your tunes so work the angles - build from your 1000 soundcloud and 2700 facebook fans and get your mailing list up etc. 500 paying fans will do you well and they will build to 1000, 1500, etc But it will take time and more importantly effort. You say you want this track out there but nobody is going to notice and care if you don't play the game and also make it so it can be used (the sample point again) And radio - chase proper radio and not just in America but across the world. The USA is but one country and the internet is worldwide
There are some really good ideas in this. The arrangement needs some work as does some of the progression of ideas. I have put together a very rough arrangement which you can get here: http://we.tl/rSV9zEDXuD I have extended the chorus, in the intro I have changed it so the 13-17 section is different and just adds a beat (no need for the whole bass in there as it is rushed) I've them tried to make the sections more identifiable. You need to be able to tell what the chorus and what the verses are. So signpost, use pick ups with percussion half way through the sections etc. The background vocal in the intro is only used there and it could also be used in the chorus to add to the feel and separation with what has gone before. Obviously it is easier for you to the above than it is for me as you have the whole project but think in terms of having a MC / vocalist on board so that is clear to them what part they are working on And finish the tracks - it's just a nice idea at 2 mins long but it isn't a finished track and you need to finish it properly.
Hey guys, Just had a few listens and loaded it into Logic It's cool. Can see the Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear etc influences BUT The arrangement is wrong. You need to work on the transitions. You have 4 bar intro, then an instrumental 4 bars. Then vocal 4, instrumental 4 (same as the 4 bars before so no separation at all), then vocal 4, then instrumental 4. Then chorus 8, then same again (vox 4, inst 4, vox 4, inst 4) into 8 chorus BUT when you go to breakdown you have instrumental 8 and then straight into another chorus after which it ends So you need another 8 and a double chorus at least at the end So you need to change the first musical instrumental section so it isn't the same as the instrumental section that is in the verse. I think you can look at changing it so your verse is basically instrumental for first half, vocal for second half (so the breakdown works) You need to another 8 at the end of the breakdown (reuse lyrics or new lyrics - up to you - i reused lyrics) I think the 2 x vocal 8s into the chorus works nicely (esp with the one where you drop the drums out pre the chorus) I can see what you are doing with the instrumental to vox sections so that can work BUT you need to differentiate the sections as mentioned and also need to do pick ups in the drums every 4 bars and drop the drums out in all the sections before the choruses Not sure why you do it for one vocal and not the other And yes fix the breakdown and the ending needs a double chorus it's too abrupt and it will also reinforce the hook I do have a rough version (it's very rough and not quite in time!) but it gives an idea of what i mean There are some good ideas in there don't get me wrong - and your version may well work better for the verses but the breakdown and last chorus do need to be sorted. Here's a link to what i put together: http://we.tl/9cinSPoOng As I said...VERY (excrutiatingly in places!) rough But you'll get an idea of what i am getting at at least (in case the above isn't clear) I had a quick listen to the other tracks on soundcloud too - just remember that you need to make the ideas you have fit into standard arrangements (yes you can do what you like but no you won't fit in for radio and therefore you are hindering your chances of breaking through and getting used on syncs too) Get all this right though...could do well. Very well. It's a very USA sound (which also means you have to make sure you're up to their level on production quality too) Hope that helps / let me know if you want to chat further
OK this is very much a different sound to my usual sound However, same things apply The arrangement is a little all over the place. It doesn't matter the music genre, you still need to think in terms of cycles. So 4 / 8 / 16 or whatever sections of bars. You have 6 repetetive sections after the initial 4 bar intro (so from when the drums come in) But they then go on for an odd number 6 times and drop into a 2 section breakdown "I want to get...." vocal goes into this bit So what might be bars 42 to 65 is a very strange section The point is that if this was symmetrical it would work but it just makes everything messy Metal isn't supposed to be messy - it still relies on punch from a proper arrangement 65-97 is another weird section starts with a breakdown (although you could argue this is the end of the last section) but then it runs into a weird almost polite bit. Which doesn't have enough definition and separation If this is supposed to be a middle 8 part then you should drop all the heavy elements and let it breath Give the track overall some peaks and trough which also reinforces the heaviness when it comes back in You should still have noticeable sections - so heavy guitar x3, then breakdown. heavy guitar x 3 then breakdown, middle 8 / musical bit no drums just vox and strings then breakdown (or in this case heavy guitars back in) then last section of everything and resolution of song The last section on this track just sort of ends the problem with all of this is that the track becomes boring - you need light and dark and definition to really crystalise your ideas watch the tuning on the vocals it slips recording in general is too muddy i hear the stitch lyric as some sort of hook but it isn't really used as a hook in a true sense. may be something to look at. i've worked with a couple of bands who can really do this sound well and they nail the verse chorus structure as it helps make an impact. You should probably look at that as a template to help maximise the ideas you have Trust that helps