Went to the Muzikantendag (Musicians Day), an event organised by the Dutch Copyright organisation BUMA/STEMRA (yeah, I know), which again turned out to be quite useful. It was not as crowded as last year and there was less to do, but I guess that’s also cause they split it up over two dates and veneues (there’s one in Haarlem in two weeks). Basically for most starting musicians it’s THE opportunity to give their demo’s to (Dutch) industry professionals for a listen, but I’m there for the lectures and Q&A’s. I’m glad I went this year, cause I was kinda doubting, but it worked really inspiring. I wanna make more music!

Short overview of what I saw:

Opening by Lucky Fonz III
Singer-songwriter who, in my view, isn’t really a perfect musician or singer (or musically appealing to me), but he proves the point that personality is much more important. A lot of musicians for get that. He also gave a great talk.

How do I get gigs?
A booker from Mojo (Jeps Salfischberger) and a booker from local venue Speakers in Delft (Gideon Rozendaal) explained the mechanics of how you get booked, how much you can expect to get paid (short answer: not a whole lot and you’re not gonna get booked if you can’t guarantee a crowd will show up). They underlined a thought that I have been playing with: start small. Really small. And work up from there.


Dries Bijlsma, the producer of hiphopper Typhoon,  explained exactly how he made tracks from scratch (including this one). When they asked for a bpm to make a song right then and there, I suggested 140 bpm, they were kinda shocked. Sorry, I’m hardcore. ;) Bijlsma gave quite a few interesting ideas I might wanna try out myself to create beats. Had a short talk with him afterwards about rights and people helping out with tracks. Might have a few for crowdsourcing thanks to that.

Ralph Murphy – Murphy’s Law

Song-writer Ralph Murphy, author of Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting, gave a mini-masterclass of how to write not a song, but a hit. Though not geared to writing the kind of music I have in mind, Murphy has some great anecdotes, advices and is generally a pleasure to listen to. I like the fact that he studies music purely out of a certain scientific curiosity, some times even researching songs he doesn’t like. He also managed to make me fill up three pages in my note book worth of notes, the most of any session.

Online Marketing & Distribution

This session was kinda disappointing cause there were a lot of things I there I kinda already knew. Alexander Mooij had a lot of interesting things to say and I guess mentioning Trent Reznor is always cool points, though everyone kinda knows about his marketing ploys, nothing new there.  Bart Snoeren frm 3fm/3voor12 gave some really interesting insights on how to get on Luisterpaal. Andy Zondervan despite being from BUMA/STEMRA showed that their organisation is thinking about the future and more fair systems for online content. Also thanks for point out ‘I want a pony’ Krause. Name-dropping helps discovering new music.

How do I release my own album?

The drummer of The Tunes and Lucky Fonz III talked about how and why to release your own album, without outside help. Short story: you make more money, but you also have to do a lot of (tedious) work. And as long as you’re a small artist, that’s okay. Also, you don’t have to sign with a record company to get your album out, just getting a distributor might be enough. And lets you keep your own rights. Got some good ideas and tips out of this session, especially with what I have in mind.

There were a few more sessions after that (about/by BUMA/STEMRA), but since I’m too cool for school, I skipped those and went home earlier for a good meal. After all I wasn’t there to drop off a demo or exchange business cards, but just for industrial espionage. LOLZ Please remind me next year, when I doubt if I should go, then I SHOULD go.

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