Navigating the Business of Music:

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    Insights and Tips from Randy Klein

    Offering a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry, this article shares Jazzheads’ founder Randy Klein’s perspectives and experiences as a composer, performer, and entrepreneur, providing valuable insights for aspiring professionals.

    The business of music has a simple working formula.  A creative creates the music, the music is recorded, the music is released through online distribution channels to world audiences who listen to it through various streaming and download channels, income for this music is calculated by plays(streams and downloads) with a percentage of that income paid ‘hopefully’ to the creator of the music. This business of music is built on collecting pennies and parts of pennies, along with knowing what to do when successes start to emerge. The rest of the business of music is like playing the lottery. If you are sitting on the right bar stool at the moment the planets align, you might win the prize.

    Being in the arts isn’t easy. There is an internal personal struggle that an artist goes through that is individual to each artist. To complicate the matter further, the ‘business of music’ isn’t easy either. It is constantly changing and evolving with all of its technical bells and whistles, but it in the end remember, ‘pennies and parts of pennies’, the bottom line, as in any business. 

    So, as a creative in a business world I am constantly weighing where my focus should be. Being the creative, making more music (the product) or looking and being prepared for business opportunities to arise to sell the music.

    To be ready for the success that could come, the creative in business must be totally prepared. Prepared by continuing to hone their craft while at the same time committing to ‘the business’ of ‘selling their wares’.  ‘Selling it’ may sound like a good idea for a book title, but it is exactly what one has to do if they are going to achieve the success when it does come.

    Here are three tips that I follow and feel guilty when don’t follow them.

    Tip # – Set reasonable goals – I think in grand scale, so my goals are past infinity. I have to ask myself, ‘What is next?’ ….to do to get to my goal. This help keeps the grandeur of my imagination in check. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t dream big.

    Tip #2 – For me it starts with being consistent with schedule. It may seem boring, but consistency delivers big time. Knowing where you are ‘going to be and not having to think about it’ isn’t something to sneeze at. 

    Tip #3 – I have a game I play.  It’s called, ‘The Follow-up Game’ – I follow up followups and then follow them up. Following up is paying attention to detail. Paying attention to detail is a plus. How many follow-ups does it take to get your world to change.  Just…ONE!  Or a lot of ONEs. The point is – relationships are built from follow-ups. And, you are self-promoting your wares.

    So where to start?  Here’s my freely associated list: be organized, be thorough, if you think you are being lazy… you are being lazy, discipline your bad habits, create systems that work for the way that you think, communicate, be nice to people, respect their talents, listen to what they are saying, take in understand new approaches to old problems, observe the good as well as the bad, observe, observe, learn from your observations, be fair by thinking difficult situations through carefully, and have a belief and trust in yourself.  

    Patience and persistence falls into its own category. We all have our individual barometers for measuring how patient we can be and how persistent.

    Believing in your art and being truly honest about the marketability of the work is crucial.

    Creating ‘media projects’  that have high artistic marks along with sales potential is the goal.

    Then comes the subject of ‘getting it out there’, building an audience base, etc. etc., a subject for another article. [email protected]

    Randy Klein is a seasoned professional in the music industry, known for his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence and honest assessments. With over three decades of experience Randy possesses extensive expertise in the business of music from creating the composition, performance, and music education to selling the product to worldwide audiences..

    Randy’s strategic acumen is evident in his founding of Jazzheads, an independent music label, his prolific compositions, and his initiatives that have brought Grammy nominations, EMMY awards, and Gold Records. He continually showcases his innovative approach and creates successful opportunities.

    Randy’s ability to effectively communicate is his forte. His ideas and insights through publications, workshops, and performances underscores his role as a respected voice in the art of music and the music business community, fostering connections and sharing knowledge with a wide audience. Randy Klein’s creative and original thinking is an asset to any organization.


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    Randy Klein
    Randy Klein
    Randy Klein, an esteemed figure in the music industry, has crafted a diverse and illustrious career over three decades in the vibrant city of New York. As a composer, pianist, author, educator, and sole owner of Jazzheads, an independent music label established in 1994 with multiple Grammy Nominations, Emmys, Gold Records, and a long list of accolades, Randy has left an indelible mark on various facets of the music landscape. His journey began with a passion for music that led him to formal education at the Berklee College of Music, continuing as an adjunct teaching under John LaPorta. With a Bachelor of Music degree, Randy embarked on a remarkable career characterized by innovation, creativity, and unwavering dedication. As the founder of Jazzheads, he has provided a platform for emerging artists while garnering acclaim for his own compositions and performances, including nine Grammy nominations and prestigious awards like The Hall Center for The Performing Arts fellowship at the University of Kansas and a BMI Foundation Jerry Harrington Award. Randy's historic releases and heartwarming musicals have resonated worldwide, transcending boundaries and cultures. Beyond his artistic endeavors, Randy is a passionate advocate for music education and mentorship, empowering aspiring songwriters through workshops and sharing his insights with students and professionals alike. His prolific writings, ranging from instructional guides to thought-provoking essays, establish him as a respected voice in the industry. Randy's enduring legacy serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians, highlighting the power of passion, perseverance, and artistic vision. Connect with Randy at [email protected] to discover more about his captivating musical journey and ongoing endeavors.