Inside View Major Label Evolution
Todd Simpson
May 6 2021, 11:32 PM
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Posts: 23.195
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
As sort of historical review piece, I was fascinated by this vid. It’s about a guy who was deep inside the world of BIG LABEL music. He was neck deep in for nearly two decades. He was paid to look at the system at Atlantic. So what did he find?

He mentions how big record labels did believe that if you put talented creative people together (producers with artists/bands) they can come up with some great music. He points out that just being around really creative and smart people will elevate the level of your game. This is true imho no matter what your field is. If you are a coder, hang out with really great coders and you will get better. If you are a guitar player, spend time learning from better players and you will improve. If your a painter, spend time working for folks better than you are, in nearly any capacity as a worker, and you’ll get better. Your immediate circle of influence does have an impact. These days, with so much “stay at home and shelter in place” going on, we have turned to youtube and podcasts even more than we had in the past, this too can be a way to elevate oneself. Listening to great players play, and hear them talk about how they got to where they are, can be of great benefit. Listening to what your instructor says and putting in the work, can be a huge help, no matter what you are trying to learn.

On the other hand, if one doesn’t seek elevation from being exposed to those better able to do whatever is desired, it’s easy to stagnate. We have all had friends that seem to be a bit stuck in one way or another and eventually fall behind. Sometimes, they fail a grade at school and you just stop hearing from them, or you may have a roommate at college that just dropped out and went away. Or a colleague at a job who up and quit and fade away. It happens.

When smart folks are put together, they can come up with some great stuff. Especially when they “click” or just get on well. Music producers used to be a very important part of the puzzle at major labels for getting the best out of a given band. These days of course, it’s a bit of a different world. The labels have contracted to a much smaller level than in their heyday during the CD boom. Many bands/artists have to just fend for themselves. Many still find a way to work through it by surrounding themselves with friends, teachers, who can help them improve and move toward their goal whatever it may be. So who you work with and who you learn from can be a huge benefit.

However, when budgets started to get smaller during the streaming shift, fewer people had to do more heavy lifting. The budget was just much smaller. The manager of a band had to take on a more creative role with a band. Instead of creative people at a record label helping out, the manager is just all that is available. So if a manager isn’t a creative, smart, capable, person, then the band can’t improve in as efficient a way as possible. Still, things change and we have to adapt or die. Now more than ever, it’s not even the manager, it’s down to the band/artist. So collaborations with other artists are starting to fill that gap. Other artists/bands working together has become a new creative unit approach. As a result we see more collabs happening and some of the results are great.




QUESTION: DO YOU TRY TO ELEVATE YOURSELF BY EXPOSURE TO YOUTUBE AND OR REAL LIFE PEOPLE? OR DO YOU FOCUS MORE ON DOING IT BY YOURSELF?

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 6 2021, 11:34 PM
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