#PassTheAux: A workshop on navigating the business of music whilst maintaining the integrity of your art.

Breaking into the music industry as a new artist has been said to be one of the most challenging career choices of our time. While the expansion of media has led to multiple avenues for exposure, it has also led to an overwhelming saturation of the musical marketplace. Everyone wants to be the next big thing, but how does one get their foot into the proverbial door?  That’s where self-proclaimed Taste Creator and gatekeeper, Chase N. Cashe, along with an esteemed panel of experts come in to share their wealth of knowledge regarding copyrights, networking, publishing, presentation, collaboration, and overall keys to the industry.

“If God had an iPod, (Louisiana) would be on His playlist” -Cyhi the Prince, So Appalled

I arrived at DLF Connectz, a specialty shoe store, just before 6pm. Brands ranging from The Loyalty Club straight out of New Orleans to items from Detroit’s Rick Owens line the walls.  I walk inside and immediately spot Chase N. Cashe and Mark Caesar sitting in VIP.   There were 20 artists from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans, and the surrounding areas who had RSVP’d to have their work critiqued. In addition to expert advice, a free music video directed by Jade DelValle (with a complimentary Rolls Royce for good measure) and a free Chase N. Cashe beat were up for grabs.

@wadebechillin + @jadeDeValle 📸: @viewsfromsace

Shortly after the venue explodes into cheers as a result of a Cowboys touchdown, Chase N. Cashe makes his way to the side of a fellow panelist, DJ Chris Major.  After introducing himself and the remaining panel of judges, he immediately gets into business Q&A.

Class had officially started.

Because the review board consisted of DJs, writers, artists, and producers, the answers given were multifaceted. #PassTheAux is an experience that one MUST be present for to receive the full breadth of game that these seasoned entrepreneurs have to offer.

“It is very hard to make money in this industry. I repeat: it is VERY hard to make music in this industry."

“It is very hard to make money in this industry. I repeat: it is VERY hard to make music in this industry.”

Here are some of the undoubtedly major keys:

LEGITIMIZE YOURSELF IN THE SHUFFLE/ STREAM ERA OF MUSIC

  • Get your music on TuneCore, which assists with getting music onto streaming platforms like TIDAL and Spotify.
  • Use the visibility of social media and fan interactions to legitimize your brand.
  • Put your music on a platform where you can monetize your efforts. While avenues such as WorldStar + YouTube generate views, unless you have proper licensing, an artist is likely to generate more attention than dividends.
  • Become knowledgeable of basic terms such as royalties vs. publishing

LICENSE YOUR MUSIC

  • Getting your music onto commercials, video games, etc… is a sure way to monetize music as an artist. Chase uses the popular video game Grand Theft Auto as an example. Every time an artist’s song is played and the player is on the internet, the artist gets paid (SESAC)
  • Inform yourself of who ASCAP/BMI/SESAC are and what they do.
    • Register with BMI Awards and network for potential jobs
  • Get a lawyer or have access to one by means of pro-bono offices or local universities so that you may CYA* in regards to royalties.

USE THE INTERNET TO NETWORK AND GET PAID FOR CONTENT

  • Sponsorship. Sponsorship. Sponsorships. An artist with a strong social media following can often be paid for promoting products and services.
  • Talk to those who are in the field that you are in! Speak with DJs about how to get your music on to certain platforms (such as radio) and encourage them to invite you to their venues.
  • COLLABORATE. Many of your greatest resources are only a tweet or email away, waiting for you to reach out to them. Reach for the stars, but also collaborate with artists who are in and around your area. Made Groceries, three of the event’s panelists, seized the opportunity to request a collaboration with an artist who submitted music for review in the midst of the event! 

Why You Should Attend the Next Event

The feedback of the artist’s music was honest— no holds barred, whether speaking of unrefined mixing or lack of rhythm on beats. Panelists spoke directly to each artist, not only about the quality of sound but also about their personal stories.  One artist, a 18-year-old, spoke of his experience with petty jobs that led to raising enough money to live comfortably and to pursue his love of music.  Another spoke of his inexperience regarding marketing presentations and was immediately coached on how to improve.  Several artists were told to get better mixing; to present themselves with the same polish as those whom they admire who are based in the markets of California and Atlanta. Several walked away with business cards, contact information, and CDs from those who were advising AND being advised.

Missed #PassTheAux? Don’t fret! Chase N. Cashe, along with @KCDAPRODUCER and @BlackMetaphor have partnered with iStandardProducers to judge “The Road To The Beast Of The Beast XI”, a production showcase, on December 14th at The Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans, LA.  Click here for more details on how to submit for an amazing critique and prize package.

Follow @ChaseNCashe, @DJShaadSmooth, @wadebechillin, @TheRadioShaq, @MadeGROCERIES, @DJCHRISMAJOR,  @DLF_Connectz, and #PassTheAux for more information on the artists, panelists, industry keys and music featured at this event.

 

*cover your ass. 🔑