For All Artists! Home Page News Mentors Contact Us Links
David Frizzell
Ronnie McDowell
Thom Bresh
Erin James
Peter Powers - Hypnotist
Renee Clair Arts
Hal Ketchum
Leif Skyving
Johnny Urrutia
Steven L. Smith
Lyle Sinclair
Atomic Pilot
Kevin Simnacher
Zed Head
Blooddrunk Shenanigans
Cody Leppo
Blaze and Kelly
Jacob Underwood
Jason Ramsey
Tracey Emery


Greetings to all of you who venture to this page.

First of all Thanks for checking it out! Get ready for a dose of truth and reality.

I know when I was coming up through the business I wanted to learn all I could to get an edge on the business. Well the reality is this, there is no edge.

It doesn't exist anymore.

Bear, circa 1979
Ratler Band, Vinton Iowa

There is no magic contact at any of the remaining (by a thread) labels who will walk you into a deal or magically make your record hit number one. So if you want to read on do so, there is ZERO BU*%$#IT in this note. I was taught by some very successful people about how this business really works. For the most part it is a very jaded and twisted place.

On the flip side however its one of the most exciting adventures a human can undertake. Being an artist these days is very much a solitary journey. There are no Patrons of the arts to speak of. There is no solid base of tour support, artist development or any help from a Publicist, attorney or label A&R person. At the End of the day, you are responsible for making it or not.

Many an artist have this idea in their head that if they just get signed to a label all their dreams will come true, they will have a massive home, lots of cool cars and all the trimmings. The reality is you will be touring your ass off to repay the label and the odds are against you that you will receive any money after you pay everyone involved in making you a "STAR".

As an artist, your biggest challenges come after you create a CD or work on a project that now needs to be heard or seen. Here are 3 very common questions that we hear everyday.

1.) How do I get a Major Label?
2.) Who do I contact to get promo to?
3.) How do I get on a tour?

That is almost always followed by the following type of statements:

"No one is buying it, They don't know where to find me, I have a thousand copies sitting in my living room with My TV sitting on top of them and I don't know how to market them. I am starving to death out here on the road and with no tour support I cant afford gas for the station wagon we have been reduced to driving."

"I spent everything I had and then loaded up My credit cards too, Now I am stuck with all these Cd's and wondering how to sell them"

"Do you think I can get these Cd's into Wal Mart or Target? what would it take to get that done?"

The Answers are all very different. But one overriding factor applies. Before you make your ABBEY ROAD or your version of THE WALL, start with a real plan. Most artists tend to be compulsive and in a hurry to make their new masterpiece without much thought about a couple of simple items.

A) How will I pay for this Cd? (Just because you know where Mom keeps the checkbook/credit cards doesnt mean you "have a budget")
B) Who is my target audience for this product?
C) How do I reach that audience? (TV, WEB, PRINT ADS etc...)
D) What is my repayment plan in the event that I sell none of my masterpieces or very few?

While no artist ever thinks their CD is going to fail, you must face the facts that most will never see daylight. Unless you have a REAL PLAN, a "LOT" of talent and a bit of luck and timing, you will not make it in today's fierce market. That's the facts folks. Sorry if that all sounds too hard, but if it were easy everyone would be doing it.

Some think if they have enough talent it will make all the difference, well, take a look at whats selling these days and its enough to make you cringe, thanks to TV shows like Idol and others of that ilk, everyone thinks they can sing now. Add to that companies that make devices that allow people who cant sing to sound almost tolerable and you have a recipe for the current disaster that is the music biz.

As the business changes so do the parameters surrounding it. With the Internet comes the illusion that if you put up a site you will sell Cd's over the web. Nothing could be further from the truth. The digital age is still in its infancy and because it is a baby, it has a lot of serious flaws and issues. No one has mastered the art of delivery yet. There are a lot of potholes in the road to digital delivery.

That said without a web presence you really don't stand a chance. The good news is that you can use Myspace, Facebook, Twitter etc to start to build a fan base. The bad news is that for the most part those type of pages really don't generate an sustainable income because everyone has WALMART mentality these days. They all want it for free.

Very few bands are making a living from downloads. If you can good for you! You are truly one in a million. For the rest of you, you must play out live and you must become a business mind in regards to merchandise. Many artists say they have HUGE marketing skills yet they continue to eat top ramen. (BTW-Ramen with egg in it is like going to a Chinese buffet)

Marketing to them means they sell one CD for every 4 they give away to their friends and relatives. That won't pay the bills... The goal for any artist is to be self sustaining and capable of creating buzz and merchandise that appeals to your target market.

Our goal at Nashville Ninja is to provide you with a real business plan and help you as an artist to define your path with a real goal in mind that is attainable and sustainable. The road is littered with casualties who decided they knew what they were doing and how they were going to get there.

The reality is you cant possibly know where every pothole is but you can be prepared by having more than one income stream related to your career, endorsements in place and solid agencies who will be glad to book you because you have a plan and work it.

We can help you get there, we can lead you to the water but at the end of the day your career is up to you.

We stand ready to assist and guide you. I will share with you the advice given me by Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood. When I asked him what his secret to success was he replied "Hire the best people you can and then get the hell out of their way." Sage advice in any business situation really.

Choose wisely. Your career depends on it...

Good luck to you all,

Micheal "Bear" Clair FOCGP







©2010 Nashville Ninja Artist Management LLC. All rights reserved. | Original site design by Best Web Creative.