Music Updates

Kindness on Making the Industry More Inclusive: ‘Share information — It’s Quite a Powerful Thing to Do’

In my teaching [at Goldsmiths, University of London], I wanted to do a completely transparent seminar with third-year students who were about to join the music industry and talk about all of the things I didn’t know at the start of my career. I’d actually show them documents: contracts I’d signed with labels, the way management makes commissions, accountancy fees, tour management fees, tour budgets, the live fees you actually get for doing a show, DJ fees, the fees you get from brands. How it works to be a producer, what producer points mean. What the income from producing a record might be. How my publishing works. How songwriting splits work.

I really wanted to lay it all out: “This is exactly how my career has gone for the past 15 years.” And I realized that it was meaningless because there was so much jargon in it. When I tried to present it to one of my colleagues, we realized that you can’t [walk someone through it] because it’s an avalanche of incomprehensible information. So I thought I’d try to define it in a way that was straightforward enough for a new, emerging musician to understand.

In doing so, I was like, “Well, maybe this has become more universal and more approachable than the seminar itself.” Normally the how-tos of the music industry are written by people that worked in management or in labels. I thought an artist talking about [these topics] might be helpful.

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