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The Ramblings of an Independent Artist

DECEMBER 1999
© 1999-2000, Christina Fasano. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

And so December 1999 - Whoa! Somebody bring me a clone of myself, O.K.? I mean really! Trying to keep up with all the opportunities that are available on the net, let alone outside of the net has me chasing my tail around trying to keep up with myself! “An agenda, an agenda!” I keep saying to myself. And the day does indeed start out with one - but following one contact always seems to lead to another that was not necessarily planned for the day. And the ‘agenda’ plan gets thwarted by the ‘new’ contact that seems incredibly promising and MUST be acted on right away! And so the pile of ‘must-do’s’ gets higher and my sanity gets thinner and thinner until unbeknownst to me I find myself staring at ‘Talk Soup’ or some other mindless fascination like the wall. Ha!

The opportunities on the net are seemingly endless and more are appearing every day. Sorting through to find out which ones will be lucrative and beneficial is a job in itself. Jumping into all of them does not appeal to me even though I know many artists who are doing just that hoping for more exposure. The exposure I am seeking right now is for ‘new’ fans. New people other than the ones I know, to find me, hear me, respect and ‘feel’ my work enough to buy it. Some of the sites on the net seem to want a large majority of the rights to a creators works thus creating a situation in which they do not have to pay certain usage royalties to the artist and/or writer. Many more rights than seems necessary or actually good for the creator(s). Many of these sites have thousands and thousands of artists. If I am not recommended by the site with some sort of promotion, I am lost in the sea of the thousands of artists hoping someone happens to come across me in the genre’ I’ve specified for myself. I recently emailed a new upstart company asking them if they planned to support the artists that signed up with their site in a way that would increase new fan sales for the artists. I told them I would be thrilled to sign up if this was the case. I never heard from them. Also there is an opportunity to have my songs submitted to a few major artists for possible use on one of their upcoming CD’s. One prerequisite however is that the songs have not been downloaded for free on a site like MP3. As well I am finding that some film and television companies prefer not to use material that has been given away on the MP3 or similar site. So I say all this to say that ‘my’ jury is still out on how beneficial it is in the end to play the ‘giveaway’ game. Not the giveaway with fans, but with the sites. I may soon jump in and discover that the water is fine - but I'm still listening and watching how other independents are faring and from whom I am currently hearing all kinds of different weather reports. Most not that exciting. The artists that that seem to be doing well on these sites are the artists that are driving the traffic to their sites themselves. They do not seem to be gaining new fans from the site itself. And so I must ask, If I'm the one driving the traffic in, why wouldn't I drive it directly to my own site? Give away a song from my own site? Sell the CD from my own site and keep all my royalties and my rights?

I’d love to hear from artists who have had success in working with sites like MP3.com, who also have their own websites. Again, I'm looking to find sites who work with promoting the artist thus enhancing their ability to obtain ‘new’ fans, not the fans the artist told to go to the site and download their material and/or buy it. I’ll be happy to post summaries of any info. I receive in my next article.

Another avenue we have been exploring quite thoroughly has been getting the music into the hands of film and television people for possible licensing deals. I've been getting some good feedback and will possibly hook up a deal of this type in the spring. Anything baby! Anything at this point - I'm beyond being in debt! Its not just ‘debt’ anymore, it’s a black hole! Ha. And all for the sake of art - the creator in me. The demon who wants on stage! The sacrifice is huge on certain levels but I often ask myself - what else is there to do? This life, I've been given ‘this’ to do. If I don’t do it, I die inside. Fame or no fame. Money or no money. If I don’t do it, I die inside.

Nutshell Progress Takes, or the ‘Illusion of Progress’ takes:

  • Presold CD’s before their release date to fans from my e-mail address list
  • Got my material accepted and posted on Amazon.com: buying info: Spiritually Wet
  • Got my own website up!!! funkywhite girl.com and FWG Records
  • Met and talked with Ice T at the Los Angeles WebNoize conference where he ask to take one of my CD’s Webnoize - Wednesday, December 29, 1999
  • Met Matt Fink, keyboard player, (Known as 'The Doctor' from the old Prince CD’s) at a Just Plain Folks, Just Plain Folks Songwriting/Musician Networkin…, performance where I sang my song ‘Hungry Love.’ He bought my CD and hooked me up with an agent who is taking my CD to Midem 2000 in France Midem - The Premier International Music Market
  • Got my music cataloged for possible inclusion in an upcoming TV series
  • My CD is in the running for Just Plain Folks Album of the year contest in my genre of music
  • My song ‘Sweet and Sour’ is playing on Lord Litter’s Underground European Radio Stations broadcast across Europe. And just got Lord Litter’s January Playlist which shows he plans to play my song ‘Reciprocate’ during January Lord Litter's Netnews / TOP NEWS
  • Got an offer to join DaJamBand. DaJamBand is San Diego A local pro-situation that will also be touring in other countries. A great opportunity as they will be showcasing my material as well
  • I consigned CD’s to local Tower stores and some have sold
  • Submitted my package to a new music magazine called ‘Get Fancy’ and hoping to be reviewed in their debut release in February 2000
  • Have sold some CD’s from my website to people I don’t know!!! New fans! Yeah!
  • And finally, made my Mother proud (ha).

And in closing:
The things we do for our art....we bend waaaaaay over backwards and fall down huge mountains that we just finished climbing only to get up and climb again. Because if we are true artists from our souls, and have no other choices in life, (truly), but to be the artists that we are, then we are somehow motivated by the fall, because inside the work of climbing is where the art truly comes from. nuff said....

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