Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM and CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.
Cliff talks with Iconic Media Producer Spencer Proffer about working with Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and projects that have earned, Grammy, Academy and Clive Davis.
Spencer Proffer is considered a leader in entertainment, pioneering media integrations before it was fashionable. For example, he produced the Tina Turner Acid Queen album in conjunction with The Who’s movie Tommy, this allowed Tina to become one of the first successful R&B artists to jump genres with a rock album.
Long before music and visual marriages became as prevalent as they are today (not counting, of course, music videos, Broadway, etc.), he developed an early computer-animated laser show that played countrywide in planetariums that was centered around “Children Of The Sun,” a song he co-wrote and produced with pop-rocker Billy Thorpe.
Proffer continued amassing an impressive list of musical credits all while still in his 20s. He went on to serve as a producer or executive or co-executive producer on many films and TV movies such as Gods And Monsters, Shake Rattle & Roll, Robbie Robertson: Going Home and a dozen other titles. He introduced the world to Quiet Riot, and supervised and produced music for over 100 productions, many of which earned Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards.
By Cliff Dumas
CMA, ACM & CCMA Winning Broadcaster
If your reason for wanting a career in music is fame and fortune, you should rethink your strategy.
Instead ask, “Do I love making music, and is it my passion?” If your sole purpose for following a career in music is money, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The first rule of successful entrepreneurship is to do what you love and success will follow. I know it’s easy to say but more challenging to implement especially when you have bills to pay. Here is a powerful and insightful Facebook post by Canadian Country artist Aaron Pritchett about why he makes music.
I want to make a public statement that is truly coming from the heart.
I don’t make music to be rich. I don’t make music to be famous, popular or put on a pedestal.
I make music for two reasons:
1.) Because I LOVE making music!
2.) In hopes that fans, friends and family love what I (and my team) have created.
Even back when albums, records or whatever you want to call them, sold millions and made artists, record labels, agents, managers and everyone else in the music industry many MORE millions of dollars, I truly believe that the massive majority of those artists did it because of the same two reasons above. If not the second reason then for SURE the first.
I don’t sit and write songs, spent (and still spend) sometimes endless hours in studio recording, take 2 hours out of my life for a gig and play on a stage exerting all that energy, stress about the success (or lack of success sometimes) about a single or album, deal with all facets of the industry that may frustrate me and emotionally beat the shit out of me BECAUSE I HAVE TO! I do all of that because I LOVE to make music and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to entertain. It’s in my blood, folks. It really, honestly is. I can remember to when I was a very young boy, possibly around 3 or 4 and all I wanted to do was to make people laugh… make them feel good and happy. It’s my duty in life to do that. Music was my avenue to have people feel that way and it makes me feel good that I can help humans feel that. Fans, industry colleagues, family, anyone anywhere. It’s because I LOVE making music and making people happy.
It’s true, the industry is not what it once was when those aforementioned artists, record labels, agents, managers, industry types would all make a great amount of money off the success of a single and record. Nowadays, we get by with about 60% to 70% less income from the sale of music but in no way can I complain about that, though. It doesn’t matter. I’m truly happy and sincerely honoured to be able to say that people do download my music, some still buy CD’s (thankfully!) at places like HMV, etc. and have it make them happy. I’m truly happy for that.
That being said…. if you’d like to download my new song “Dirt Road In ‘Em” because you like it and it makes you feel good n’ happy then I would be much, much appreciative. Here’s the link.
Please help support other artists in Canada too! Such as…George Canyon, Brett Kissel, Madeline Merlo, Emerson Drive, Tim Hicks, Dean Brody, Paul Brandt, JoJo Mason, Cory Marquardt, Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, Jordan Macintosh, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Cold Creek County, Bobby Wills and so many more!!!
A great supporter of Canadian Country artists that has great current charts and lots of info on all the artists is topcountry.ca. Check them out!!
Thank you for reading and THANK YOU for the support over the years!
The take away?
Approach your music career with the right attitude, commitment and discipline needed to continually polish your skills and attain the success you are hoping for. The music industry isn’t easy; there is no magic template for success. The only constant is the time and energy you put into advancing your career through learned and practised skills. Explore resources, reach out to people you admire, make connections and most important make the music you love!
Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM and CCMA Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.
Cliff talks to MDM Recordings President Mike Denney about what artist need to know to score a record deal?
Mike is President of MDM Recordings Inc., an independent recording company located in Toronto. Mike is a 25 year veteran of the music industry, he believes that being passionate and success-driven about music (or anything that you do) supersedes wanting a large pay check and material advances. “I have always been very driven to succeed. Years ago it was material things, now, it’s a passion for what I do.”
MDM Recordings was founded in 2008 and has evolved from one man’s passionate vision, to an award winning, global operation with presence in North America and Australia. A Toronto based Canadian country music label, distributor and artist management company; MDM offers independent artists the resources required for successful professional development in all aspects of their respective careers. MDM is proudly distributed through Universal Music Canada.
We’re proud to have Mike as part of our Advisory Board!
By Cliff Dumas
CMA, ACM & CCMA Winning Broadcaster
Today’s technology allows artist to produce music videos at a fraction of the cost of even a few years ago. Everything from simple solo acoustic performances to full productions can now be done using an iPhone and simple software. A recent episode of the hit TV show Modern Family was shot completely on an iPhone 6! You can produce and release your own music, build a following and learn to monetize that audience.
Consider producing a lyric video, here’s why, according to Mike Baldo senior account manager of video services at The Orchard.
As YouTube carves out a larger space in the music community, the way music videos are being made and consumed is changing. With millions of artists and creators collaborating constantly, stunning music videos have been made that sometimes challenge typical production conventions. Along with YouTube’s Music Key, there are now multiple forms a music video can take. This combined with a lower barrier to entry has given rise to excellent alternatives you can consider when deciding how to publish your music on an evolving video streaming platform.
Building off of YouTube Art Tracks
With the launch of YouTube Music Key, you’ve probably started to see an influx of Art Tracks in the system (here’s one if you haven’t seen them yet). These simple videos are a great way to get your full catalogue out to viewers and improve your chances for discovery. They expand your presence and give viewers more of your content to listen to. But you can do better.
Though a great addition to YouTube’s massive collection, Art Track videos provide a more passive viewing experience. Because the only visual is a static image, typical viewers press play, then move onto something else as they listen to the video in the background. This is still good because you’ve got them listening, but it cuts down on engagement and your potential to draw the viewer closer.
A creative, yet simple lyric video could give you that extra hook to keep the viewer around your video longer. These typically incorporate animated text synched with audio to guide the viewer through each song. There are some amazing, intricate lyric videos out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go that far with yours. A clean and punchy lyric video with nothing but colorful moving text could be all you need to get your fans following along. This sets your video aside from other Art Tracks and gives you more of a unique viewing experience for your fans.
Alternatives to the MTV-style music video
For better or worse, the days of tuning into awesome, cinematic music videos on MTV have been swallowed whole by reality TV marathons (RIP). These music videos still exist in part on YouTube and VEVO, but they’re being consumed and advertised against differently than in the old days, making the ROI of a huge video production more questionable. This is both good and bad news depending on how you look at it.
Producing and shooting a classic MTV-style music video costs tens of thousands of dollars. When MTV was the only way to watch music videos, this was a painful but necessary struggle. Though these types of videos are still being made, they’re no longer the unshakable standard. Since YouTube broke down the barriers of entry for publishing videos to the world, indie artists and major labels alike have found better ways to create videos for their music.
By embracing a more open community of viewers and creators, many artists have turned to lyric videos as a fast and cost-effective alternative to full video production. Because lyric videos don’t necessarily require a live shoot, location, scheduling, and casting can be removed from the process. With less of a logistical headache, these videos are often faster to create and publish, which is huge if tight deadlines are imminent.
Though a great animator could still run up your production costs, you at least have options and some room to work with. By keeping your ideas simple, a good animator can get you an excellent lyric video relatively quickly and for much cheaper than a traditional music video shoot. Make no mistake though, lyric videos aren’t just a cheap hack for indie artists on a budget. Huge pop acts like One Direction and Ariana Grande have used lyric videos to premiere Top 40 singles, generating millions of views.
If you have the budget to hire a crew and shoot an amazing music video, by all means do it. These are clearly the heavy-hitters of the music video world, but not always in the best way. Conversely, not having that budget doesn’t mean you’re limited to just Art Tracks. If you can create something in the middle with a clever, catchy lyric video, you’ve set yourself apart.
Mike Baldo is the Senior Account Manager of Video Services at The Orchard a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets.
We’ve just finished an update on our login & registration services for the site.
Due to the way we store usernames and passwords, you’ll need to reset your password before your next login to the website.
Simply head on over to the login page, and click the Lost your password? link & follow the instructions. Dismiss