Dotted Music Blog

Find Your Champions to Prop Your Music Career – Emmanuel Legrand

Emmanuel Legrand is a London-based freelance journalist, blogger and media consultant, specialising in the entertainment business.
In this interview with Emmanuel, we continued the theme of promoting a musical act in other countries (something covered in the previous episode, with Martin Frascogna), and talked in details on the history and essence of publishing.
Emmanuel has presented one of the most clear and easy to understand explanation of publishing that we have seen so far. In this podcast, Emmanuel also talked on the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people, why you need publishers, and who may be owning you money.

Some of the topics covered in the conversation:

  • Analysing circulation of European music repertoire within the EU
  • Tips on international music promotion
  • Importance of offline networking, and having a bullshit detector
  • Example of Lady Gaga, who didn’t do all on her own – she had a team
  • Why it’s tough for music business professionals to work with some musicians
  • Publishing for non-publishers
  • What to look after looking for a publisher
  • Don’t be afraid of people giving you advice
  • Latest publishing trends (and how they are related to YouTube)
  • Knowing different types of licenses and who may owe you money
  • Why you need to sign up at Soundexchange
  • Taking care of your meta data

Listen to the episode below:

Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or by searching “Music Growth Talks” in your favorite podcast app.

A few notable passages from the episode

Find the Right Partners

I'm going to take the extreme example of Morrissey who’s probably the most difficult artist to manage. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure he has a manager. There are some artists like Van Morrison who are extremely difficult to manage. But there are some artists who have built that kind of relationship. Simple Mind had a fantastic relationship with their manager until they sacked him which I think was a big business mistake because they went for the big money and they did not really see the long-term vision that the manager had. As a result, they started losing friends.
I guess most of you would love to be in a situation where you can make decisions involving billions of dollars and hundreds of concerts and stuff like that. This is something that happens to established artists. My take on up-and-coming artists is that you have to find champions. Even if you're a songwriter, you have to find someone, most likely a publisher, who's going to give you a chance to blossom as a songwriter. This is someone who is going to champion you, find performers to perform your songs, find synchronization deals for you, and so on. You have to accept that it might not be the most lucrative contract you'll be signing in the early stages, but there are some people who are out there and are ready to help you.
One of the most prolific songwriters of the last few decades is Diane Warren, who's written for absolutely everyone, from Aerosmith to Whitney Houston to Celine Dion, and a few others. When she first started, she found someone who had faith in her ability to write songs. That person was her champion for a while. Then, when she started achieving success, she went back to that person and said that her contract had been structured for an up-and-coming artist and that it does not exactly represent her status at that point anymore. The person refused to renegotiate the contract with better terms, therefore, when the contract ended, Diane Warren went elsewhere. There's always ways to find your way, but what she will tell you without any anger is that the relationship termination was one thing, but the fact that she had found a champion in the first place who invested in her and took time to give her advice was all really valuable for her career development.

Take Care of Your Meta

I was once conducting research for a project. I was dealing with 250,000 lines of data on an Excel spreadsheet. In that spreadsheet, there was an entry which said “Robbie Williams” and another entry which said “Williams, Robbie”. It really is a problem if at the bottom end of that, there's money involved that is waiting for you to be collected, but is otherwise held back simply because at some point there was a misunderstanding, or a small mistake, or a lack of consistency. So, make sure to start paying attention to these things even if nothing seemingly is happening right now. No one knows what will happen with that song that you recorded five years ago. Maybe someone will want it for a big movie and then these things will matter.
Andrew Apanov is the founder of the Dotted Music digital marketing agency, and host of the Music Growth Talks podcast.
Podcast Interviews