Category Archives: Music Business

How Can I Promote My Music?


Join Freedom For Musicians at our Facebook Home

Freedom for musicians is an international cooperative for musicians to share and cross promote each other’s work. In our Facebook group you can promote your gigs, products and
services to an international audience. You can also feature on our website www.ffmrecords.com

What Freedom for Musicians can do for you:

By joining the Facebook group you are automatically a member of FFM.

You can have your music blog or articles published on the website.

You can have your music videos and youtube channel published and promoted at FFM.

You can list your products and services on our musicians directory and in the musicians market.

You can publish your events and concerts on our Upcoming Events feature.

You can be a featured artist.

You can become an FFM Ambassador for your country.

Music students can featured in our Spotlight.

You can release your digital music via our own independent record label FFM Records.

Come and join FFM’s Facebook community and be part of the fastest growing and most dynamic international musicians network.



Promote Your Music Online for FREE


With more than 400 articles, FFM Magazine is packed full of great stories, music, videos and resources for the music enthusiast. Join our community for free or just browse. There is something for every musician at Freedom for Musicians.

At Freedom for Musicians, our philanthropic purpose is to serve and support musicians from any genre, style or culture by providing a free promotional service via FFM Magazine.

Continue to our Articles




How can I get more exposure as a musician?


At Freedom for Musicians, our philanthropic purpose is to serve and support musicians from any genre, style or culture by providing a free promotional service  and providing exposure via FFM Magazine.

Our services so far:

  • All our musicians have access to the website via the admin team.
  • A Musicians Directory
  • Live stream your performance at the FFM Live Lounge
  • Event promotion through our network of thousands of musicians worldwide.
  •  Members can advertise, for free, any musical product or service on the website. (Musicians Market Place)
  • Flex your journalistic muscles and publish your music blog on our website.
  • Become an International ambassador for your home country.
  •  Recording artists can access the marketplace through our own fully licensed independent (FFM Records Ltd) record label.
  •  An opportunity to be a Featured Artist.
  • The Freedom Orchestra. An orchestra established to bring together recent settlers in the UK either refugees or migrant musicians. (Coming soon)
  • Have your musical innovations promoted as ‘Featured Product’.
  • Promote your online lessons to a global audience.
  • Share and promote at our Facebook home.

If you would like us to promo your work, all you need to do is message me, Roger Moisan, with your links etc, and we will do the rest.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY, AND WILL NEVER BE, ANY CHARGE FOR OUR SERVICES

You can join FFM by becoming a member of our Facebook Group

Message me personally through Linkedin

email – rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk

Visit us at FFM Records



Latest release from FFM Records – Dita Nurdian ‘Miss Dee’



Dita Nurdian is an Indonesian writer of electronica and dance music. Her passion for this genre is evident in her prolific output. At FFM Records, we have released 4 of Dita’s latest tracks and you can download them here, Beatport and stream on Spotify.




Dita Nurdian is FFM’s Ambassador for Indonesia




Latest release from FFM Records – ‘Measure of Abstract’ by Slawomir Rataj



Slawomir Rataj is a guitarist and composer from Poland. Recently released under the FFM Records label,  Slawomir’s debut album ‘Measure of Abstract’ is an instrumental album that combines electronica with Slawomir’s phenomenal guitar playing.

You can download the album here, at itunes and stream on Spotify.




Introducing the brilliant Lisa Ballew – Why Did You Wash Me Away?



The talent for writing and crafting a song aren’t always innate, but with Lisa Ballew it was something that was instinctive. Raised on the west coast of California, she connected with a deep-rooted musical family tree and began writing her own music at the early age of 13.

At 20 she ventured to Nashville to grow her musical prowess and feed and perform in a creative community. She eventually returned to the West Coast to be near family and continued to develop her art. She has crafted hundreds of songs that are ready for an audience.

“I think there was a period where my songs were cathartic and more for me…an outlet to express how I felt and saw life during both beautiful and difficult times. I finally had a realization that I had been stowing away my songs, my gifts and talents. I felt a strong sense that it was time for me to put it all out there. I needed to move forward in my musical journey and share my songs.”

That journey lead to the creation and release of “Ready For The Ride.” It showcases a pop sensibility and Lisa’s ability and passion to create songs that are relevant and commercial. This is just a glimpse of a deep catalog of songs waiting to be heard. The ride is just beginning…… 

Large H

Visit Lisa Here and check out the full album




Brent Smith: The New ATTITUDE of Shinedown


Behind the Original Cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”


Go to the profile of Daniel Nester

Queen’s mega-hit has been interpreted countless times. But who did it first?

Three years ago, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with a reissue of the single’s original artwork for Record Store Day’s Black Friday and a Queen-endorsed brew, aptly named “Bohemian Lager,” made in — where else? — the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.

Over the years, the Freddie Mercury-penned song has evolved from a radio staple to competition showcase for melismatic singers everywhere to something akin to public domain. There’s countless parodies: “Bohemian Carsody,” a car-themed parody by the all-female comedian troupe SketchShe, has racked up almost 30 million hits. There’s also ascience-themed “Bohemian Gravity,” College Humor’s “Bro-hemian Rhapsody,” “Bohemian Momsody,” the Minecraft-themed “Bohemian Craftsody,” and “Nintendohian Rhapsody.” And that’s just scratching the surface.

Interpretations of “Bohemian Rhapsody” also abound. Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro’s TED Talk cover from 2010 has nine million views and counting. American Idol’s Adam Lambert’s rendition of “Bo Rhap” led to a job playing Mercury himself in a biopic set to release this year. Kanye West, the supremely self-confident rap artist and provocateur, opened his headlining set at Glastonbury Music Festival with a “Mama” heard ‘round the world in a performance that could charitably be described as pitch-imperfect. Remember Robert Wilkison? Arrested for driving while intoxicated in Alberta, Canada, he proclaimed his innocence with a full-throated “Bohemian Rhapsody” from the back of a squad car. He racked up 11 million hits. They did not let him go.

But who made the very first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover?

Perhaps 1982’s recording by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

Or maybe the 1987 cover by Bad News, the comedy metal band?

Good guesses, but both are wrong.

The very first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover was recorded for a Top of The Popscompilation volume and released in December 1975, three months after the original song was released on the airwaves. Not to be confused with the television show by the same name, the Top of The Pops series were budget-priced compilations that featured studio musicians and singers recreating chart-toppers, and usually featured a scantily clad model as the album art. We’re talking everyone from the Supremes to the Sex Pistols. Found on Top of The Pops #49, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, next to Wembley Stadium, where — it might be noted — Queen recorded early demos for tracks like “Keep Yourself Alive.”

Recently I tracked down Tony Rivers, one of the four Top of The Pops singers who recorded that first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover. He was also the vocal arranger on the sessions, a thankless task for which he was well-prepared: Rivers’ long and varied career includes working on tracks from early 60s vocal groups Harmony Grass and the Castaways, recordings with Pink Floyd and INXS, and singing backup for Cliff Richard and Elton John — all of which he’s written about in his book, I’m Nearly Famous: The Tales of a Likely Lad.

Rivers was kind enough to let me pick his brain over email about the original “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.


Everyone covers or parodies “Bohemian Rhapsody” these days — from the Muppets, Phish, Flaming Lips, William Shatner, Zac Brown Band, Kanye West — everyone climbs Bo Rhap Mountain, it seems.

Well, not many could manage to put this together, least of all Kanye West!

But you were the first.

I have always assumed that [it was], mainly because harmony wasn’t many singers’ strong point at that time, and it was the most complicated arrangement to learn in a few days and record.

Tony Rivers in the 1970s.

A few days? The original famously took three, four weeks.

There were very few around who could have done it that quickly. It was a bit easier for us four, all coming up with vocal group backgrounds. All four of us sang on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We usually took a day to lay down lead and backing vocal tracks, and would be on our way home by 11pm. Not this time!

So it wasn’t easy to do, then.

No. With due modesty it was difficult for us because of the time restriction — maybe two or three days to live with it (once the committee had chosen it).

By “committee” you mean the people at Top of The Pops?

A small group of Hallmark employees, along with producer Bruce Baxter, would sit down prior to the planned sessions and choose the potential hits. That, of course, was the secret to the label’s success. I have no idea what their thoughts were in choosing “Bohemian Rhapsody” other than “what an amazing record!”

The cover is pretty much perfect, note-for-note. How did you pull that off?

As usual, I had the job of sorting out the vocal arrangement. I had to listen and memorize the parts. John Perry and Ken Gold were also listening and were both assigned lead lines that suited their voices, which they did brilliantly I think. Oh, and let’s not forget the late Stu Calver, who was the very high voice on the Roger Taylor parts — the “Gallileo”’s and so on.

Normally this wouldn’t be too big a deal, but with this song, I had to sit for hours at home listening, making notes, and memorizing vocal lines — apart from the other tracks we had to do that day!

The time-consuming job of layering track after track of vocals ’til we got the sound and the voicing right seemed to take forever. But in the end, it had been a great opportunity to find out how that song was put together.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around you doing all of this in a few days, to be honest.

The harmony parts were obviously part of the problem, but they are not difficult harmonies. The problem was lack of familiarity with the whole thing. We could copy sections, piece by piece. The other problem was the time needed to achieve a similar “sound.” That kind of mass tracking takes time, and wasn’t usually available in big lumps. This was something with many lumps!

We were helped greatly by the fact that all three of us had good range in our voices with JP and Stu blessed with fantastic falsetto range.

I believe we spent the early part and the rest of the day, singing whatever vocals or harmonies needed on the other songs that had been selected.

You worked on other songs at the same time?

Memory tells me at around 7pm we started on Bo Rhap, bit by bit, until each section sounded good, and added voices until it did. We finished and hit the A406 [a main London road] around 7 the next morning in a daze, in rush hour traffic, with “Gallileo”s running round our heads.

I have nothing but admiration for the man who created it: Freddie Mercury. What a record.

A bit different from something like [The Sweet’s] “Little Willie!”

The original version made a splash, of course, but the TOTP version made headlines as well. Kenny Everett, who famously played the test pressing of the original track, also played your cover.

Kenny Everett was a big name at that time , and decided to see if the listeners could tell which version had taken months and a fortune to record, and which was done in a few hours on a budget album! He played our version and Queen’s, cutting between the two, asking “Can you tell which one’s the ten-bob version, and which one cost six million quid to make?”

Did you ever hear from the Queen camp regarding your cover? I know you worked with Cliff Richard for quite some time, and Freddie Mercury and he were friends.

Ken Gold was introduced to Freddie whilst on an Elton John tour of the USA. Ken decided to ask Freddie what he thought about “that cover.” He looked pensive, then added, “Hmm, an interesting version!”

I did meet Brian May once. He said, “Hi, Tony! Roger and I used to go to see you live at Loughborough Uni/College, and you were a very big influence on our harmonies!” Not bad, eh?



Introducing Luca Brassy



For the past 13 years, Luca Brassy, born and raised in Upstate NY, has been building a reputation in the Tri-State area as one of the hottest emcees in the region.  His journey really started in entertainment through professional wrestling at age 13.  By the time he turned 16, Luca was running his own professional wrestling training center (24/7 Wrestling Productions LLC) in Upstate NY.

Due to things out of his own control, 24/7 closed its doors in the summer of 2003.  From there, Brassy had a hard time finding himself again until he discovered his love for writing and music in 2004.  In October 2004, he met Jgreen Moneytalkz who has been producing his music ever since.

Luca Brassy has performed at numerous cities and states including Schenectady, Albany, Glens Falls, Syracuse, Amsterdam, Rochester, Pittsfield, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Buffalo, Newport Rhode Island, Brooklyn, Bronx NY, Manhattan, Staten Island, Ardmore PA, Uniontown Alabama, Birmingham, Atlanta GA, Marshall NC, and Memphis TN among others and has been building a name for himself based on his politically and socially oriented music.

Among other great accolades, he has opened for several well known emcees such as Rakim and Lil Kim.  Brassy is now moving in a new direction with his music and putting his old school lyrical mentality to use with his club vibe which has brought him a whole new fan base as well as a different kind of recognition.

Brassy’s first mixtape was released in 2006 titled “The Project: Stereotyped”, and his first full length album “The Narration: The Heart of a Champion” in 2010.  A remake of that album was released Through Tate Music Group in 2014 titled simply “The Heart of a Champion.”   Luca was recently signed to Sony RED where he released 2 singles “Like That” and “3000” (produced by Younglord).

With this, he continues to be active around his own community as well as others.  He continues to grind and make new contacts in radio, magazine, film, blogs, etc.  He most recently was signed to CNY Mode modeling agency based in Syracuse NY!  In music, his newest single “Lose Your Mind” was recorded in Los Angeles with the music video being shot in ATL.  Brassy stays on the grind and is always active in his music and all business endeavors.  Stay tuned for the latest on Luca Brassy!  POW!!!

Luca Brassy
Visit lucabreassy.com

 

Luca Brassy



The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think


Go to the profile of Craig Havighurst

Starving artists have been affected by more than just piracy and streaming royalties


In their many (justified) laments about the trajectory of their profession in the digital age, songwriters and musicians regularly assert that music has been “devalued.” Over the years they’ve pointed at two outstanding culprits. First, it was music piracy and the futility of “competing with free.” More recently the focus has been on the seemingly miniscule payments songs generate when they’re streamed on services such as Spotify or Apple Music.

These are serious issues, and many agree that the industry and lawmakers have a lot of work to do. But at least there is dialogue and progress being made toward new models for rights and royalties in the new music economy.

Less obvious are a number of other forces and trends that have devalued music in a more pernicious way than the problems of hyper-supply and inter-industry jockeying. And by music I don’t mean the popular song formats that one sees on awards shows and hears on commercial radio. I mean music the sonic art form — imaginative, conceptual composition and improvisation rooted in harmonic and rhythmic ideas. In other words, music as it was defined and regarded four or five decades ago, when art music (incompletely but generally called “classical” and “jazz”) had a seat at the table.

When I hear songwriters of radio hits decry their tiny checks from Spotify, I think of today’s jazz prodigies who won’t have a shot at even a fraction of the old guard’s popular success. They can’t even imagine working in a music environment that might lead them to household name status of the Miles Davis or John Coltrane variety. They are struggling against forces at the very nexus of commerce, culture and education that have conspired to make music less meaningful to the public at large. Here are some of the most problematic issues musicians are facing in the industry’s current landscape.

1. The Death of Context

Digital music ecosystems, starting with Apple’s iTunes, reduced recordings down to a stamp-sized cover image and three data points: Artist, Song Title, Album. As classical music commentators have long argued, these systems do a poor job with composers, conductors, soloists and ensembles. Plus, as I argued at length in a prior essay, they’re devoid of context. While there are capsule biographies of artists and composers in most of the services, historic albums are sold and streamed without the credits or liner notes of the LP and CD era. The constituency of super-fans who read and assimilate this stuff is too small to merit attention from the digital services or labels, but what’s lost is the maven class that infuses the culture with informed enthusiasm. Our information-poor environment of digital is failing to inspire such fandom, and that’s profoundly harmful to our shared idea about the value of music.

2. Commercial Radio

It’s an easy target, but one can’t overstate how profoundly radio changed between the explosion of popular music in the mid 20th century and the corporate model of the last 30 years. An ethos of musicality and discovery has been replaced wholesale by a cynical manipulation of demographics and the blandest common denominator. Playlists are much shorter, with a handful of singles repeated incessantly until focus groups say quit. DJs no longer choose music based on their expertise and no longer weave a narrative around the records. As with liner notes, this makes for more passive listening and shrinks the musical diet of most Americans down to a handful of heavily produced, industrial-scale hits.

3. The Media

In the 1960s, when I was born, mainstream print publications took the arts seriously, covering and promoting exceptional contemporary talents across all styles of music. Thus did Thelonious Monk wind up on the cover of TIMEmagazine, for example. When I began covering music for a chain newspaper around 2000, stories were prioritized by the prior name recognition of the subject. Art/discovery stories were subordinate to celebrity news at a systemic level. Industry metrics (chart position and concert ticket sales) became a staple of music “news.” In the age of measured clicks the always-on focus grouping has institutionalized the echo chamber of pop music, stultifying and discouraging meaningful engagement with art music.

4. Conflation

A little noticed but corrosive quirk of the digital age is the way our interfaces conflate music with all other media and entertainment choices. iTunes started it by taking software ostensibly for collecting and playing music and morphing it into a platform for TV, film, podcasts, games, apps and so on. This is both a symbol and a cause of the dwindling meaning and import of music in the multi-media onslaught that is our culture. The shiny displays distracting people away from “just” music are already ubiquitous. So why impose them on a music player? I believe that one reason vinyl and phonographs are hot again is that musically oriented people crave something of a shrine for their music — a device that is for music only.

5. Anti-intellectualism

Music has for decades been promoted and explained to us almost exclusively as a talisman of emotion. The overwhelming issue is how it makes you feel. Whereas the art music of the West transcended because of its dazzling dance of emotion and intellect. Art music relates to mathematics, architecture, symbolism and philosophy. And as such topics have been belittled in the general press or cable television, our collective ability to relate to music through a humanities lens has atrophied. Those of us who had music explained and demonstrated to us as a game for the brain as well as the heart had it really lucky. Why so many are satisfied to engage with music at only the level of feeling is a vast, impoverishing mystery.

6. Movies & Games

We as a culture do hear quite a lot of “classical” or composed instrumental music, but it has migrated from the concert hall to the video game and movie score. On one hand, that’s given young composers options to make a living, and some very good music is being imagined for these imaginary landscapes. But there’s a pernicious effect of the ubiquitous media sound track, in that whole galaxies of musical ideas and motifs and moods have been essentially occupied and rendered cliché. How does a young person steeped in the faux-Shostakovich rumbling of a war game soundtrack hear real Shostakovich and think it’s any big deal? This is rarely remarked on, but I believe that thousands of cumulative impressions of background music assigned to “romance” and “grief” and “heroism” have laid down layers of scar tissue on our ability to feel something when tonal symphonic music is made or written in the 21st century.

7. Music in Schools

It all begins — or ends — here. Like any other language, the rules and terms and structure are most readily absorbed by the young. And as music’s been cut from more than half the grade schools in the US in a long, grinding trend, the pushback has been based increasingly on evidence about music education’s ripple effects on overall academic performance — the ‘music makes kids smarter’ argument. This is true and vital, but we tend to lose sight of the case for the value of music in our culture — that music education makes kids more musical. Those who internalize music’s rules and rites early in life will be more likely to attend serious concerts and bring a more astute ear to their pop music choices as adults.


Those who care about the future of the music business ought to spend less time complaining about digital disruptions and expend more energy lifting up the public’s awareness of serious music, because we truly do devalue music when we reduce our most impactful art form to an artifact of celebrity and a lifestyle choice. Complex instrumental music has become marginalized to within an inch of its very existence, and that has a lot to do with industry folk defining “value” in only the way that affects their mailbox money.