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Did you know that YOU CAN make a living in the music industry? Celebrities, working class musicians and people just like you who work behind the scenes in all areas of the music business will share their stories, encourage you and give you tools and how-to examples of the ways YOU CAN make a living doing what you love in the music industry.

YOU CAN Make a Living In The Music Industry Podcast John Martin Keith

    • Musikinterviews

Did you know that YOU CAN make a living in the music industry? Celebrities, working class musicians and people just like you who work behind the scenes in all areas of the music business will share their stories, encourage you and give you tools and how-to examples of the ways YOU CAN make a living doing what you love in the music industry.

    Episode 12: Eric Kalver - Understand What The Product Is

    Episode 12: Eric Kalver - Understand What The Product Is

     This week I'm talking with music supervisor, composer and drummer Eric Kalver.  Eric is in L.A. and stays extremely busy currently working for the video game publisher Activision. When he's not finding cool songs to put into video games, he is either composing music or playing drums in a bunch of different bands around L.A. He took time out to talk with me about his journey from being a magician's assistant (yes, you read that correctly) to being one of the top music supervisors in L.A.Show Notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*Eric grew up in a family of magicians.*Check out The Amazing Eric and Bozo on You Tube.*I went to Berklee School of Music for drumming and began taking arranging classes.*I realized by doing arranging that would help me stick out of the crowd.*A “lead sheet” is a music chart that is condensed so that it’s easy to read and on just a page or two so the whole band can read off the same sheet.*I moved to L.A. sooner than I planned because people told me that the jobs would be gone if I waited.*My first job in L.A. came because my father knew someone who produced the Daytime Emmy Awards and got me a job as a production assistant, moving chairs and sets and getting people where they needed to be.*That got me work doing other entertainments jobs through the same company for about 3 months while I looked for music jobs.*I was able to email and connect with a person from Berklee who lived in L.A. and eventually got me work as a copyist.“Copyist work” has to do with the sheet music that is being played by an orchestra or player.*I would take the master score the orchestrator was working with and I would extract the parts from the master score using a computer program called Finale.*In Finale I would go into each instrument part and “clean it up" once it was extracted from the main score.“Clean it up” meaning the spacing of the notes, making sure the notes make sense when you read them, cleaning up the dynamics, making sure things aren’t all over the place.*A “copyist” is like a proof reader for a book editor.*Having a network of like minded people who do the same kind of work as you who, if you get along with them and they trust your work ethic, then you can be recommended for jobs in the future.*When networking, instead of offering my card to someone, it’s best if I get a person’s business card so they are the top of my mind and I can follow up with them because I may not be on the top of their mind.*It’s better not to talk about the thing you want to network about until the other person brings it up.*It’s all about “the hang.”*Because of my Berklee connections I found a composer looking for an assistant. I got hired by Brian Tyler who worked on the Fast and Furious movies and Avengers: Age of Ultron.*I didn’t study composing in college but I needed a job and was willing to learn and since Hollywood is a film scoring town, I applied for the job and I got it.*When you’re an assistant to a composer, it’s not necessarily a job where you’re doing music the whole time.*My job was more of an administrative job when I started. I was picking up laundry and lunch and running errands. That’s part of the job. They don’t tell you in school how to arrange the food and do hospitality, how to treat clients who are coming into the studio, etc.*Attention to detail is important.*Taking care of these details can prove to your boss that you can handle bigger tasks later on.*Now, if I’m hiring a musician and they aren’t easy to hang out with it’s just not going to work.*I got to do some orchestrating on the movies Fast Five and Skyline.*As an orchestrator I was taking instrument parts

    • 1 Std. 12 Min.
    Episode 11: Hope Thal - Make Sure People Know You Exist

    Episode 11: Hope Thal - Make Sure People Know You Exist

      This week I am talking with my friend and co-writer Hope Thal who lives in L.A.  She is a great film composer who has worked on multiple indie projects and is now on staff at Joy Music House which offers music preparation, orchestrating, and everything else that goes into creating a great score. Hope is also currently working behind the scenes on a top secret t.v. show for Dreamworks. We met when she was a guest speaker for a course I was taking and I reached out to her about writing together for tv and film projects. Thankfully she said yes and now we get to talk about her journey that has led her to this moment.  I know you will be encouraged by her story!Show Notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*Make sure you’re always doing something that you like and that you’re good at when you’re trying to become a professional musician.*It helps to be able to say I did this ten episode web series, people don’t even have to see it to already feel like “Oh because you’re doing something, I feel that if somebody hired you then there’s more hope to hire you than if I hadn’t done anything."*Relationships are a skill you have to develop.*Having boldness and a tasteful manner is very important.*It says a lot when you’re just willing to put yourself out there.*Be persistent.*It’s okay to keep asking when things are getting rescheduled, they’re not trying to avoid you.*Check out Catch The Moon Music.*Never say "no." You’ll figure it out as you go.“Spotting Session” - Sitting with the executive producer to watch the show and talk about the score. When is the music in and out, deciding if the temp music works or if it needs to replaced.*My job is to take notes during the session and make the time code and make sure I’ve gotten everything they’ve talked about so that composers can just engage with the director or executive producer without having to write anything down.*After the composers create the music, I add all the music into Logic and do a Quicktime movie for pass number one, then send it over for review, get notes and keep going back and forth until it’s where they want it.*Occasionally I get to be the one doing the music editing.*I do all the printing of the stems which is taking the entire episode and separating all the tracks for the mixing stage.*I create lead sheets for the music which is writing out the melody line and chord chart from the audio.*What I’m doing now will produce fruit later if I’m just patient and be the best that I can at everything I’m doing.*What is some practical advice for scoring or composing or admin work?*Get involved in the community of whatever you are doing.*Most work has been through word of mouth, relationships, school, AWFC, Society of Composers and Lyricists.*The work you’re doing may not pay bills now, but it will lead to opportunities in the future. Small steps.*It takes an incredible amount of patience and trust that those are the results you’re going to get.*Your talent is important but you have to put time and energy into making sure people know you exist.*Patience and persistence!*It takes time to build that career.H.B. Thal website Hope Bartimioli Thal (H.B. Thal) is a composer, songwriter and vocalist based out of Los Angeles. She studied classical voice at Grand Canyon University in Arizona before moving to LA to study Film Scoring at UCLA Extension. Since graduating in 2017 she has been writing on various independent projects including 2018 LA Live Festival Best Short film winner: Cat’s Outta the Bag.She is a composer at Joy Music House, a score production company started by composer Catherine Joy which offers services including music preparation

    • 1 Std. 7 Min.
    Episode 10: Jeremy Quarles (Part 2) - Foster Relationships and Have The Spirit To Want To Learn

    Episode 10: Jeremy Quarles (Part 2) - Foster Relationships and Have The Spirit To Want To Learn

     In part 2 of my conversation with Jeremy Quarles, we focus on road managing different bands and artists including his current position with Grammy and Dove Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman as well as the ins and outs of running live sound for shows. Show notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*What steps did you take to let people know that you wanted to transition into road managing?*I learned a lot about road managing from Francesca Battistelli’s road manager Greg Lee. I watched him road manage her while I was doing production.*When your road managing, there’s nobody to learn from because you’re doing the job. So that time was really instrumental to me because I was able to learn how to best do it.*Greg Lee also worked for Streamlined Event Agency who’s main task is producing tours and they put road managers out on various tours. He was able to offer me a job road managing for some tours, short runs and one offs that the company produced.*I also contacted other road managers that I knew and told them that I was moving into road managing and just letting people know that’s the direction I was heading.*You can’t be afraid to let people know those things and ask for those things.*I took about a year and a half to make the transition completely from a production guy who could road manage to a road manager who could do production.*It’s uncomfortable and it’s hard work.*If you can do anything and be satisfied with your life, then you should probably do something else. But if you can’t, then you know the music industry is for you.*Some artists I’ve worked with: Love and the Outcome, Brandon Heath, Sidewalk Prophets, Mandisa, Aaron Shust, Anthem Lights, Selah, Hawk Nelson.*What does “advancing a show” mean? It’s everything you do leading up to a show. Being in constant contact with the venue. Making sure they’re going to have food for the artists and dressing rooms, green rooms and private restrooms for the band, especially in churches which are not set up to be event venues. And helping the promoter prepare for the artist coming in.*It can also be providing the most updated stage plots and backline rider so they can be as ready as they can be for the band coming in with no surprises.*Then as road manager, I go on the road with the artist to make sure all of those things are actually getting done.*My goal when I’m on the road is to have nothing to do because everything is already done. It’s just managing and making sure the day happens as we have it set up. That way if something comes up, you have the capacity to handle it instead of doing things that should have already been done in advance.*As road manager I am responsible for getting the payment check and making sure it is correct.*I usually email the promoter the week before they are cutting checks to remind them of the amount we agreed to.*A cash buyout is when the promoter gives money to each band and crew member so they can eat out somewhere instead of catering the event. The amount is usually around $15-20 for lunch and $25-30 for dinner per person.*Once a tour was over and I needed more work, I would connect with artist managers and artists I knew which opened doors.*Front of House (FOH) Engineering means running sound for the what the audience hears and you’re out with the audience at a mixing console.*Monitor engineering means running sound for what the band hears on stage either in-ears or floor monitors and you’re working side stage from the band.*What’s the difference in FOH and monitor engineering? For me, I can make 6 people happy easier than 6,000 people. Running monitors is mixing the levels of instruments for each band member in t

    • 38 Min.
    Episode 9: Jeremy Quarles (Part 1) - Learning How To Say No

    Episode 9: Jeremy Quarles (Part 1) - Learning How To Say No

     My good friend Jeremy Quarles and I visited recently to discuss his work in the music industry working with a sound company as a professional live sound engineer and also as a road manager and production manager for different artists and festivals.  In part 1 of our conversation we discuss how to go about getting a job working for production companies, the pros and cons being an independent contractor, building relationships that open doors for bigger opportunities and learning how to say "no" to things that distract from your true goals.Show Notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*I was classically trained on piano starting at 4 years old.*I went to Belmont University and focused in audio engineering.*During senior year of college I gravitated toward live sound and reached out to Spectrum Sound and worked part time prepping gear and learning what the live concert industry was.*I offered to work for free just to learn.*I became a contract worker after a short period of time and they would use me for shows when needed.*What did you do at a show starting out? I was at the bottom loading and unloading, doing low level audio engineer jobs like making sure the cables are connected properly and signals are getting to all the consoles, etc.*It takes a lot of organization and forethought knowing how the whole system works which is why it’s an entry level position. Because you are having to learn how everything works and getting that general overview of how the system works before you get into specializing into one thing.*Contract work has advantages - Flexibility to pursue other interest and jobs when work is slow. You’re not tied down to one particular company or job.*Contract work disadvantages - You’re not getting healthcare benefits, you don’t have a minimum salary so your budgeting is up in the air when shows are inconsistent.*You can move up the ranks quickly from loading and unloading trucks to running sound for events as long as you pick up on it because there is always a lot of work with concerts and events especially in Nashville.*I was doing different jobs from the patch where you’re coordinating all the inputs and outputs, to system tuning where you hang the P.A. and tune it for the front of house engineers coming in whether the band was bring someone in to run sound or if it was someone from Spectrum Sound. I was a stage tech helping the mix engineer for festivals, then I moved into mixing monitors and front of house for my own festival stage.*I was making connections along the way with the tours and the bands I was working with.*I was on the Rock and Worship Tour with Mercy Me and Jeremy Camp and some others and when you’re on the road for a long time, you get to know people and make connections.*You’re not doing it to make connections but you’re always in each others mind when things come up in the future.*The music industry is a small pocket of people.*I had a friend who was a sound engineer and road manager who asked me to fill in for a couple of shows for Christy Nockels which was great because I wanted to get away from the technical side and more into the personal side working with artists and artist management. So this was a good opportunity to give it a try and see how it went.*That is what turned my thinking into road managing.*In Christian music a lot of people do more than one job on the road. A very common job for one person is front of house engineer and road manager.*My first full time gig as road manager / FOH engineer was Francesca Battistelli.*At that artist level she needed a dedicated road manager and a dedicated production manager.*I became production managing and running front of house takin

    • 28 Min.
    Episode 8: Keith Everette Smith - Go Beyond Expectations

    Episode 8: Keith Everette Smith - Go Beyond Expectations

     My friend Keith Everette Smith and I sat down together recently to discuss his rise through the ranks of the music industry to create his own path to success as a producer, artist developer, session player and touring musician working with some of the biggest names in all of music.Show Notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*Keith plays trumpet, piano, drums, guitar and bass. He also produces music and does artist development.*I started out learning trumpet and drums as a small child and added other instruments along the way.*I started producing music in high school and college for friend’s bands by reading articles in magazines.*Enthusiasm has always led what I’ve done.*I produced an album and did some road managing for college friend Meredith Andrews who is now a well known worship artist.ARTIST DEVLOPMENT*I Enjoyed the aspect Artist Development and helping build a career from the ground up.*I was invited to be on staff as Instrumental Director at Saddleback Church in CA because of a relationship.*I produced the boy band Anthem Lights while at Saddleback Church.*I began artist development for Anthem Lights and got them signed to Provident Music in Nashville. That was my door in to Nashville. Plus, I had already produced other albums independently.*I did not expect to play trumpet when moving to Nashville. I came to Nashville to be a producer.*What does it mean to do Artist Development? Developing your gut, your ability to evaluate talent and people of good character. It’s a very gut level thing in terms of finding people to develop.*The non-negotiable thing for me is finding people with great character.*Fame is a really dangerous thing.*I consider it a great responsibility to make sure I’m helping good people steward success well.*It’s an exercise in taking something great and making it even greater by exaggerating it and making it stand out even more than it already does.*Most people spend their artistic life trying to fit in.*You have to figure out how to join the ranks of those you respect, then how to stand out from them.*The way you win at artist development is exaggerate what makes them great.*Sometimes you can take a negative thing about an artist and turn it into a positive.*Limitations are wonderful breeding grounds for opportunity and success.*Comparison can be very important or detrimental.*What are day to day attributes of being an artist developer? It’s making sure the music is great, making sure the artist is on social media and streaming services, helping an artist figure out who they are and what makes them unique, who they are as a person.*Keith’s wife Tasha Layton is an artist and vocal coach and she says “you grow as a singer as you grow as a person.”*What do you (artist) care about? Are you believable? Is your message trustworthy. That’s why an audience will listen to you.*I am looking for inconsistencies in the message all day long.*There is much about artist development and producing an artist that is simply psychology.*Labels want to know: Can I sell it? Do people want it? Can I make money off of it?*You have to be careful with your own artistic integrity.*I’m trying to develop the artist into something that is appealing and consistent enough to be a good investment for the record label.*You are doing whatever it take to be able to present the artist the way they need to be presented to labels, publishers, managers, etc.*Social Proofing - building an artists career enough to prove to the labels that they are worth signing and investing in because other people have already proven that they like this artist. So you can trust that if you decide to sign this artist, it’s worth it because t

    • 1 Std. 16 Min.
    Episode 7: Doug DeAngelis (Part 2) - Make Something To Show For Yourself

    Episode 7: Doug DeAngelis (Part 2) - Make Something To Show For Yourself

    This week I continue my conversation with hit producer, composer and music supervisor Doug DeAngelis. In part 2 of our interview we focus on working as a music director and supervisor for award shows such as The Billboard Music Awards and Teen Choice Awards. We also talk about what it takes to be a music supervisor for t.v. shows, the relationship a supervisor should have with an artist as well as the importance of knowing the music editor for a series. Plus, practical steps you can take to get into this line of work in the music industry.Show Notes:Sponsors: Edenbrooke Productions - We offer consulting services and are offering listeners a 1-hour introductory special. To request more info on consulting services, email Marty at contact@johnmartinkeith.com. Talking Points:*I do music supervision and music direction at the same time for award shows.*How did you get into working on award shows? I did talent performance shows and along the way I got called to work on a sci-fi award show for Spike T.V. then she started calling me to do Teen Choice Awards and shows like that and people get to know you and start calling you for others.*It takes about 2 months to put an award show.*A “Dub Stage” is where you mix a t.v. show.*Don Mischer Productions does award shows.*I am either editing library music or writing music for the award shows.*Label and management decide what music they want played when their artists come on stage for award shows and I have to work with them to put that together.*Award shows are giant marketing events for artists, films, shows, etc.*When actors or models come on stage to be presenters, I have to figure out what their brand is and create music that fits who they are. Then their managers have to approve it most of the time.*The stress in award shows comes when they don’t tell you who the artists or presenters are until about a week before the show. So you’re doing stuff blind and chasing a lot of rumors and sometimes do work for no reason.*You’re going to do a lot of work for nothing, but that’s part of the job.*I do pop culture award shows, not academy awards, etc.*You only get about 48 hours to turn a song for t.v. shows.*I rarely have time as a music supervisor to reach out and ask licensing agents for songs to put in a show. I have reached out directly to artists and had them send me music that I needed right at that moment.*A music supervisor’s sentiment for putting an artist’s music in a show should be “thank you,” not “you’re welcome, I just got you exposure on social media.” That is devaluing you as an artist.*We have devalued music for the past 25 years.*Music supervisors should appreciate the artists and thank them for making the show successful.*Music supervisors should always be respectful of the musician’s art making their show better.*I would love to see the business of music stop accepting less all the time and try to be innovative and get back to more with innovation.*I moved to Nashville with the goal of saying “how can we break the mold entirely and start over again with a new model that will actually generate real revenue for artists and not just take whatever we’ve left them by giving away things all the time."*I have a company called Black Sleeve Media to create a new medium for music that can be experiential like the video gaming world where people will find value in and spend money on.*We’ve built technology for mobile devices that can play back multiple multi-tracks all at one time to gamify the experience of music and tie it all to different social experiences and communication experiences and festivals, and tie to brands, etc. and make it so you’re actually participating in music. It’s all virtual currency based so you’re not buying music but unlocking features and things they can do with music that will pay the artist the same way that the sa

    • 57 Min.

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