I had the sincere pleasure of meeting, in person, Mara Measor, who was one of the talented contributing artists on our 2013 Homes Campaign Album, Foundations. We met up at a local coffee shop. I grabbed a green tea, while she went for a whole wheat bagel. With her busy schedule, she hadn't even grabbed lunch yet. We sat on a bench outside and began talking. Something that I realized off the bat, Mara was the person I pictured her to be. She was the gentle, kind and funny person that her lyrics, her posts and her music portrayed.
She was interested on how OneReasonRecordings started and how we were doing. The conversation flowed smoothly, one topic to the next. It was like talking to an old friend. These were the artists that we wanted to know. We wanted people who were not only talented, but caring. We wanted those concerned more about the quality of their music, rather than the monetary gain from them. We wanted to be able to support our artists as much as they supported us.
One thing that Mara said that really stuck with me was, "I want my music to be meaningful." As hard as it was being an independent musician, she was much more concerned about how she could cater to her fans, rather than how to accumulate income. She began talking about her most recent album, Mara, which by the way is incredible. She said, "I spent two years working on this album. It was a lot of work and I had a lot of support, which I'm thankful for. After the album was completed, I had to do a bit of advertising and PR work. It's so hard to advertise myself because I don't want to force my music on people. I don't want it to be noise amongst the music that is already out there. I want my music to be meaningful. I don't want people to feel like they have to buy it. I want them to buy it because they want to."
This directly goes into what I have to say next.
I'm happy to announce, after hours and hours of conversation, debate and work, that we've restructured OneReasonRecordings. As I'd like to say, "Welcome to the next big thing." Because as much as we focus on social justice and what music is able to contribute to that mission, our artists are just as important. When reality hits, music is a hard industry to go into. We know that ourselves and the independent artists are well aware. It takes more than just a good pair of chords. It takes resources and connections. It takes support and advertising to make artists successful.
So what do I mean by the "next big thing?"
We believe that a huge concern for independent artists is that in order to get many of the resources you need or require, you have to sign onto a record label. With a record label, there are other concerns that artists have. Is the pay good? How is my schedule? How much freedom do I have in terms of the music I write and what I perform? Signing onto a label can sometimes be much harder for an artist. At the opposite end, not having those connections and resources puts a nice road block in the middle of an up and coming artist's music career.
Here is where we come in.
We are transitioning into a pseudo-label. I say pseudo because we aren't going to be exactly like a record label. What we raise in funds, will be donated to music programs around the world. What we want to be able to do is to start setting up connections and partnering up with different organizations to provide the full-blown advertising/marketing/recording/mixing/mastering/distributing experience to all of our independent artists at no cost. We want to provide the full experience, regardless if the artist donates a single or an album. We want to do our best to help as much as possible during and after the recording process. We want to start connecting our musicians to gigs. An artist that works with us isn't bound to a contract detailing how much music should be released in what time, what they need to change, what they need to write about and what fraction of a fraction they'll make with each album/song sold. To help alleviate the burden that many independent artists experience, not only are we covering the cost for distribution, but we'll even give an artist a cut of up to 30% per song/album sold, if they don't want to just donate their music.
Artists who are interested in working with us, please check out: http://1reasonrecordings.org/prospective-artists
This got us to think even more, not just about the independent artists out there, but those in the music field (teachers, studio producers, composers, musicians). We wanted to support them as well. So we created a music service page on our website: www.1reasonrecordings.org/music-services. People who are interested with working or learning from talented musicians and teachers would be able to go on there and buy a lesson or a composition and then a percentage would be donated to OneReasonRecordings.
For those that are interested in being included in our network, musicians and teachers of any sort, please check out: http://1reasonrecordings.org/prospective-career-in-music-orr.
We also want to partner with film crews and studios around the U.S., so if this is something your company might be interested in, please check out: http://1reasonrecordings.org/prospective-partners .
We'll still be doing something similar to our campaigns, so don't worry! With the money that is raised through our new system, unless we're working on a specific campaign, we will be looking to fund for music programs and create music schools around the U.S. and around the world.
Music changed our lives. We're here to change someone else's.
Join us, whether you're a musician, an artist, a teacher, or just someone who loves music. We need your help to make this possible. Let's change the world through music.
This article was written by Johnathan Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of OneReasonRecordings