The New Music Business with Ari Herstand
The New Music Business with Ari Herstand
Ari's Take
Ari Herstand is the best-selling author of How To Make It in the New Music Business. Forbes calls him “The poster child of DIY music.” In this show, he deconstructs the brightest minds in the music industry, digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and strategies that listeners can use to run successful careers of their own. Ari offers straight talk with no fluff and doesn’t let his guests off easy. If there is a way, Ari will find it.
Audrey Nuna's Path to a Major Label Deal with Her Manager/Producer Anwar Sawyer
Today's guest is Anwar Sawyer. He started as (and still is) a songwriter and producer. He's based in New York and is a classically trained pianist. He studied classical piano and composition at Westminster Choir College and New York Institute of Technology. He's signed to Roc Nation Publishing and has now started a management company, SMG Entertainment, where his breakout artist is Audrey Nuna. She's currently signed to Sony Arista Records. Anwar and I talk about being a producer/songwriter and writing thousands of songs and even how he got his publishing deal. We also talk about developing this young artist and what the process is behind that. She has millions and millions of streams and has collaborated with DJ Snake and Jack Harlow. And by the time you're listening to this episode, she might be taking over the world because she's a pop star on the rise.  This was a live podcast in front of Ari's Take Academy students. They were able to ask questions at the end. We included a few of their questions at the end, and I know you're not going to want to miss them. If you want to check out Ari's Take Academy head over to the website: -- Quick links: 3:35 - About Anwar Sawyer 8:35 - How Anwar landed his Roc Nation Publishing deal 17:44 - What's it like being a songwriter/producer signed to a publishing deal? 19:25 - How Anwar and Audrey Nuna started working together 24:00 - How do you promote an artist with 0 fans? What's the release strategy look like? 28:33 - Once Audrey's following and stream counts begin growing, what were your next steps? 33:18 - When "Soufflé" was released, where was Audrey Nuna at in her career? What were her numbers like? 35:22 - A simple compliment can be your 'in' with a music professional 41:42 - What made Anwar and Audrey Nuna sign with Sony Arista Records over other labels?  45:53 - Ari's Take Academy student questions 52:31 - What it means to Anwar Sawyer to 'make it' in the New Music Business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Anwar Sawyer: Website: Instagram: Facebook: 
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Oct 28
54 min
Nu Deco Ensemble Orchestra is Changing the Classical World
Today's guests are Sam Hyken and Jacomo Bairos of the Nu Deco Ensemble based in Miami, Florida. This episode is for all of you orchestra nerds out there. I'm guilty of that. I played in an orchestra for most of my life. For those of you who don't know, I'm a trumpet player. I love going to the LA Phil and love orchestra music.  The Nu Deco Ensemble does something quite different. They were formed in 2015 and are an eclectic orchestra with members from all over the country. They're known for doing collaborations with pretty big artists like Ben Folds, Jacob Collier, Wyclef Jean, and Emily King to name a few. Their upcoming season starts October 29th, 2020, and this year is going to be quite different due to COVID-19. They're going to be livestreaming all of their performances. Nu Deco Ensemble's manager is Andrew Leib from Red Light Management. He was on a previous episode of the show: -- Quick links:  4:10 - About Nu Deco Ensemble & how they uniquely collaborate with artists 8:30 - Every instrument is mic'd in the Nu Deco Ensemble 10:10 - The drummer's pocket is so deep; building a good repertoire with ensemble members 13:55 - Have all of the members been with the ensemble since the beginning?  17:20 - How far in advance does Nu Deco Ensemble prepare before they collaborate with a guest?  25:04 - What other things does Sam factor into his arrangement of a piece?  28:33 - What is the identity for Nu Deco Ensemble? 31:07 - Why Miami?  37:16 - How do you go about starting an orchestra in Miami?  45:05 - What is the future of Nu Deco Ensemble? Have they always featured artists?  51:10 - How much of Miami's cultural influence is integrated within the Nu Deco Ensemble arrangements?  1:00:07 - Nu Deco Ensemble's community involvement 1:06:40 - What it means to Sam and Jacamo to make it in the new music business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Nu Deco Ensemble: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Spotify: 
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Oct 21
1 hr 9 min
How to Livestream for Musicians with the #1 Musician on Periscope - Clare Means
Today's guest is Clare Means. She's a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. She got her start performing on the Santa Monica Pier. Now she's known for her success on the livestreaming platforms, specifically Twitch, Facebook, YouTube Live, and Periscope. She's actually one of the most watched musicians on Periscope. Since quarantine started, she went all in on livestreaming.  Clare talks all about her journey livestreaming, how she built up to be the most successful livestreamer on Periscope, and what it's looked like since she started livestreaming on all of the other platforms. She breaks each of them down and explains how you can make money on them. She makes her full living exclusively livestreaming.  I've been so intrigued by her journey livestreaming, which is why I asked her to be an instructor for an Ari's Take Academy course to teach it. Use code NMB for 10% off: -- Quick links:  2:55 - About Clare Means and her setup 7:14 - Clare's livestreaming story and how she got started 11:23 - Stories from Clare street performing 17:07 - How Clare got people to stop and listen to her street performing 22:25 - What about street performing has made Clare a better livestreamer?  27:20 - The platforms Clare livestreams to and why 31:24 - Monetization possibilities on each livestreaming platform 39:07 - Which platform Clare makes the most money on and where her engagement is the best 47:58 - Clare's advice to musicians who want to get started livestreaming 55:12 - What it means to Clare Means to 'make it' in the new music business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Clare Means: Website: Spotify: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Periscope: Twitch: YouTube: 
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Oct 14
56 min
Paradigm Fired Them So They Started a New Booking Agency With an Impressive Roster
Today on the show is Marshall Betts. He is an agent formerly of Paradigm, but after Paradigm dissolved its entire music division and laid off hundreds of employees Marshall Betts along with a few of his co-workers at Paradigm launched a new agency... TBA Agency. Get it? They got a lot of press when they came out of the gates, but they launched on September 1st of 2020. They took their roster with them, and it currently includes Courtney Barnett, CHVRCHES, Madame Gandhi (who was previously on the show), The War On Drugs, Hot Chip, and many more. Marshall and I talk about everything in the live concert market, from when he thinks it's going to come back in the traditional sense to everything that's happening right now and what agents' jobs are. He talks about ticketed livestreams and drive-in concerts. He also talks about what he looks for when he's signing artists, and I was encouraged to hear what he said when he signs new artists. -- Oprah’s Drummer Madame Gandhi on Feminism, Activism, Music Video Budgets as an Indie Artist: -- Quick links: 5:10 - Is New York still a music industry hub? 7:44 - Shifting out of Paradigm and starting TBA 18:38 - How many people work at TBA? Is it expanding? How are you funding TBA? 22:58 - How are ticketing livestreams working for TBA's artists?  24:50 - What are some of the deals for the ticketed livestreams? Is there a favorite platform? 27:20 - What are the production costs for the livestreams? How big are the crews? 29:32 - How do you keep the livestreams interesting and fun? What are the interesting tactics artists are doing to justify the ticket price? 32:33 - What is the range for ticket prices? What are the attendance numbers? Can you anticipate the livestream attendees based on the tickets they sell when performing live?  37:25 - How is the livestreaming space evolving? Is it going to go away? 39:25 - Has TBA done any drive-in concerts? 42:48 - What's TBA's day to day look like now? 45:45 - Recommendations on what artists can do while they wait for live music to return 49:15 - What does Marshall look for when signing a new artist? 55:38 - What it means to Marshall to make it in the new music business --  Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Marshall Betts: Website: Twitter: Instagram: 
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Oct 7
1 hr
Former Major Label Executive is Creating a New Investment Model
Today's guest is Nick Gatfield. He has been in the music industry for decades. He was a major label executive for 25 years, most recently Sony Music UK, which he left in 2014. He's worked at various majors over the years, including Universal and EMI. He was there when they signed Radiohead and was also part of Amy Winehouse's team.  But now he's out of the major label game and runs an investment company called Twin Music. They invest in artists, recordings, and various artists' assets. I will let Nick explain how it all works because he is so knowledgeable on this due to his decades worth of experience in the industry. It's clear that he cares about artists and this new model. One of the first artists he signed to this new deal was Allie X, who was on the show about a month ago. I encourage you to check out her episode to learn how this deal works from an artist's perspective. -- Allie X on Creating Her Artist Package, Breaking Into LA and Staying Independent: -- Quick links: 3:53 - How London is doing amidst the pandemic and how the industry is shifting 10:55 - What is Twin Music and what's the business model?  22:22 - What does the exit strategy look like for Twin Music / the artist?  25:03 - Does Twin Music just put up the money or is there a team that helps the artists?  27:18 - Who are Twin Music's distribution and publishing partners?  29:54 - Is Nick's business model scalable or is it just a wave that will eventually pass? 35:42 - Will major labels always have their place in being the driving force behind popular culture or is the industry shifting away from them?  37:50 - What percentage of artists that Nick signed when working at the major labels made their advance back on their first album? 46:38 - What does an investment look like? How does someone invest in an artist?  53:42 - What can an artist expect from an investment deal? Does it work like an advance? 56:25 - What does it mean to Nick to make it in the new music business?  -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Nick Gatfield: Website: Twitter: 
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Sep 30
57 min
Victoria Canal on Releasing Music During COVID and Staying Inspired
My guest today is a my good friend Victoria Canal. She is a 22-year-old artist, singer, songwriter, and now producer based all over the world. She was based in Los Angeles, but when the coronavirus shutdown hit, she moved to Amsterdam where her parents live. Victoria and I discuss how she's been handling the last six months. This was supposed to be her breakout year. She had two massive tours scheduled. She had just finished one supporting the band Tall Heights. Then she leveled up to an even bigger tour supporting Leslie Odom Jr. She also just came out with her EP, 'Victoria,' and as you can imagine, the release strategy changed quite a bit. So we talked about that.  I had Victoria's manager, Andrew Leib, on the show a few months back. You can get the other side of Victoria's career. He talks about why he wanted to sign Victoria and what it has been like working her so far. Listen to Andrew's episode here: -- Victoria's interview on The Third Story Podcast with Leo Sidran: -- Quick links:  3:23 - About Victoria and what it's like living in Amsterdam during the pandemic 8:40 - Victoria's manager discovering her and her journey as an evolving artist 15:28 - What was it like working with a different producer than the one that helped write the songs? 23:05 - Learning production and potentially producing for other artists 24:38 - Victoria's daily routine 26:30 - Victoria's creative and songwriting phases and mental health 31:30 - How Victoria is handling not being able to perform and having her life shut off 39:35 - What's it like releasing a body of work during this time? What are the expectations?  49:41 - Do find yourself being more pressured to create and release content? 52:32 - The relationship between artist/fans/humans is important 55:50 - What it means to Victoria to make it in the new music business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Victoria Canal: Website: Instagram: Facebook: YouTube: Spotify: 
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Sep 23
57 min
How California Musicians Got F'd (and Now Relief) Under AB5
I don't have a guest today, but I'm going to talk about the new law that was signed, AB2257, in California that amended AB5. AB5 is a California law but has implications all over the states. If you haven't heard about AB5 I'm going to talk all about it.  -- Referenced articles:  California's Music Economy is About to Crash: I Met with AB5 Author Assemblywoman Gonzalez. Here's How It Went: I Met with Senate Majority Leader of CA About AB5. Here's How It Went: Finally, The California Music Industry Gets Relief Under AB5: -- Quick links: 1:30 - What are AB5 and AB2257? 7:49 - What was AB5's purpose? 9:20 - AB5 is very pro-union 11:42 - Implications of AB5 and meeting with Lorena Gonzalez for "clean up" bill language 18:42 - Putting public pressure on lawmakers 23:55 - Coming to an agreement with language with AFM for Assemblywoman Gonzalez  -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: 
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Sep 16
35 min
Platinum Selling Producer / Songwriter for Drake, Travis Scott, Halsey, Khalid - Rogét Chahayed
Today's episode was a live podcast episode for Ari's Take Academy students with guests Rogét Chahayed and his manager Greg Katz. Rogét is a Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter whose songs have sold over 30 million copies. He's worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Halsey, Travis Scott, Drake, Miguel, G-Eazy, Ke$ha, Calvin Harris, Carly Rae Jepsen, and more. We got into both the production and business sides. We discussed producer points, splits, songwriter credits, publishing, and how to get a publishing deal. Rogét also gives great advice to aspiring songwriters and producers on how to get started. This podcast was live for Ari's Take Academy students. At the end of the conversation, they were able to ask Rogét and Greg questions. -- Quick links: 2:45 - How Rogét went from studying classical music to working with Dr Dre 8:04 - About Rogét's first production 11:00 - How Greg started managing Rogét 13:45 - Being under credited and what that was like 16:35 - Advice to artists and producers on how to protect themselves from being under credited and screwed 21:25 - What's the difference between a songwriter and producer?  24:04 - When do you discuss splits? 27:50 - Breaking down the producer point system 30:08 - Is it more common to get an upfront producer fee or a backend royalty at Rogét's level?  35:20 - Breaking down Rogét's publishing deal with Kobalt 40:11 - Pointers to songwriters when looking for a publisher/publishing deal 44:30 - Student questions 58:28 - What it means to Rogét and Greg to make it in the new music business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Rogét Chahayed: Twitter: Instagram: 
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Sep 9
1 hr 2 min
#1 Malaysian Artist Yuna and Her Managers on Being Independent Again
Today my guests are Malaysian singer Yuna, Ben Willis, and Carlo Fox, the founders of indie-pop!, a management company based out of Los Angeles. This is the first time I've had a conversation with three people at once for the show. Yuna was coming to us from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Ben and Carlo tuned in from Los Angeles. Yuna is an incredibly talented artist. She's done collaborations with Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell, Usher, G-Eazy, and the list goes on. We dig into how she got her start on Myspace to now being an independent artist in 2020, what it looks like, release strategy, and who the new gatekeepers are. Ben and Carlo have been in the industry for decades, and they talk about what radio looked like and what it looks like now. Yuna was signed to a major label and now she's independent. We also discuss how they approach music videos, playlist promotion, and who handles what. -- Quick links: 2:50 - Being in Malaysia during quarantine and what it's like 10:25 - How Ben and Carlo connected and discovered Yuna 15:25 - indie-pop!'s first client Dev and The Cataracs 18:30 - What was the focus when setting up songwriting sessions and getting a label deal? 21:02 - Transitioning away from the Verve Records label and working with Tyler, the Creator and G-Eazy 27:53 - Setting up writing sessions when Yuna first moved to Los Angeles 32:05 - What Yuna thought of the writing sessions when she first moved to Los Angeles 34:36 - Who's handling what the label typically handles (promotion, release strategy, etc) now that Yuna's independent?  44:20 - How important is radio nowadays? 44:25 - What does the release strategy look like in 2020?  54:00 - Who are the gatekeepers in 2020? 59:40 - When you're releasing a new single, what are the conversations about the story like? How do you tell the story?  1:00:41 - The story behind "Stay Where You Are" 1:05:45 - What does it mean to make it in the new music business?  -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Yuna:  Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Spotify: Apple Music: Connect with indie-pop!:  Website: Instagram: 
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Sep 2
1 hr 9 min
Emily Kinney on the Art and Business of Acting and Music
Today my guest is the multi-talented Emily Kinney. Most people know her as an actress. She starred in The Walking Dead from 2011-2015. She's also been on Masters of Sex, The Flash, Arrow, Law & Order: SVU, and many others. She was also in Spring Awakening on Broadway. She just launched a podcast of her own called My Caffeine Withdrawal where she interviews musicians, actors, and other friends like Josh Radnor, Local Natives, K.Flay, and many others. She's also a very talented musician. We go in a different direction than other episodes. We touch on the business, but we straddle the line on how acting relates to music and how music relates to acting. We talk about the differences in both and the learning curves in both. She has a lot of releases under her name, so she has experience in the business of music and movies. -- Quick links:  3:15 - Emily's podcast, how she's recording them, and what inspired her to launch it 8:45 - Enjoying music vs. listening music for a purpose 12:05 - Emily's recording process behind her song "Easy" 15:25 - What happens if you're not easy to work with in the acting world? 20:40 - Are there similarities between the different artistic mediums?  28:45 - Do you ever ask yourself if you question whether you're the best fit for the role you're playing?  31:06 - Playing in Spring Awakening on Broadway in New York and auditioning for film and TV 38:33 - How did you learn the acting and music business worlds? 43:09 - Defining success is extremely personal 55:15 - Is Emily business-minded or does she bring on a team to handle everything?  1:01:45 - What it means to Emily to make it in the new music business -- Connect with Ari’s Take: Website: Academy: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: Connect with Emily Kinney: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: My Caffeine Withdrawal: 
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Aug 19
1 hr 3 min
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