The New Music Business with Ari Herstand show

The New Music Business with Ari Herstand

Summary: Ari Herstand is the best-selling author of How to Make It in the New Music Business. Forbes calls him “The poster child of DIY music.” In this show, he deconstructs the brightest minds in the music industry, digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and strategies that listeners can use to run successful careers of their own. Ari offers straight talk with no fluff and doesn’t let his guests off easy. If there is a way, Ari will find it.

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 Jamestown Revival's Bassist on Shady Managers, Thousands of Shows, Playing Conan, Tracking to Tape - Nick Bearden | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:37:23

Nick Bearden has played thousands of shows with Jamestown Revival, but we go heavy on the business side of managers, where he shares a story on one of the shadiest managers I've ever heard of. We also discuss how freelancers operate.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 TikTok and Instagram Influencers with Ultra Records Marketing Director | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:23:21

We talk about a bunch of stuff, but specifically we dig into influencer marketing. The thing that I was interested to learn about was how they get in touch with TikTok "influencers" (people with huge followings on the platform, or social media in general). If you ever wondered how those influencers choose which song(s) to dance to, well, oftentimes it's labels paying them to do those dances, skits, or anything like that.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Manager for JP Saxe, X Ambassadors, Jukebox The Ghost is Persistent | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:32:00

The episode is with Seth Kallen. He's an artist manager for JP Saxe, X Ambassadors, Jukebox The Ghost, and many others. He talks about how to get opening slots on tours and how he was relentless early on. We discussed creating during quarantine, sync licensing, and touring.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Making Music During COVID-19: Ari's Take Academy Roundtable Discussion | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:26:15

We recorded this episode about a week before George Floyd's death. So we're not going to be mentioning this uprising. We talk about what it's like running our careers and writing music during COVID-10 and quarantine. We hear from all of the Ari's Take Academy instructors, including Lucidious (Streaming & Instagram Growth), Vo Williams (Advanced Sync Strategies for Film, TV and Video Games), Kristen Mathe (Cracking Colleges), Andrew Spalter (Breaking China), and Allyson Toy (Breaking China).  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 White Musicians for Black Lives | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:43:09

My thoughts on what this moment and movement surrounding Black Lives Matter, #DefundThePolice and the death of George Floyd requires of white people. Namely musicians.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Kevin Garrett on Writing for Beyonce and Recording as an Independent Artist | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:56:10

In this episode Kevin Garrett and I discuss his music publishing deal with Roc Nation and his distribution strategies, his music creation process, and remaining independent.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Red Light Manager on When and How to Get Management with Andrew Leib | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:02:02

Andrew Leib and I get into his story and what he looks for in artists that he wants to work with and how artists can reach out to managers. We dig into artist branding and his process on how to put a package together. This was a fun episode for me to be able to catch up with one of my best friends.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Oprah's Drummer Madame Gandhi on Feminism, Activism, Music Video Budgets as an Indie Artist | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:03:13

Today's guest is with Madame Gandhi (birth name Kiran Gandhi). She's an incredibly inspiring person, an activist, and feminist. She started her career drumming for M.I.A., Thievery Corporation, and embarked on Oprah Winfrey's Vision 2020 tour before the COVID-19 pandemic. Gandhi is also a recording artist and speaker. She also holds an MBA from Harvard University.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Sexual Harassment, Sexism and Life as a Female DJ in a Male Dominated Field with Dani Deahl | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:38:10

Dani Deahl and I dig into what it's like being a woman in a male-dominated industry. She also gives some tips on how to break in and become a professional DJ. We also discuss artificial intelligence (AI) in the music industry.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Zaytoven, 'Godfather of Trap' on Production in the Age of Coronavirus | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:50:01

This episode is with superstar Grammy-winning producer and "Godfather of Trap," Zaytoven. He is one of the most influential producers in hip-hop right now. He's a Grammy winner and has worked with artists like Future, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Usher, T.I., Pusha T, and 21 Savage, to name a few. There are a lot of interviews with Zaytoven out there. He's an interesting guy with a cool workflow. I didn't want him to tell the same stories and answers he's told before. So we dug into what you're most interested. We talk about his processes, manager, music community, and much more.  If you're a hip-hop producer this is a must-listen episode. Zaytoven dropped endless gems throughout this episode, giving advice to emerging up-and-coming producers on how they can develop their sound. He shares the stories of how he did it and how you can do it as well. --- Quick links:  4:46 - About Zaytoven and how he got started making beats 8:16 - Was Zaytoven selling his beats to artists early on? 10:28 - How Zaytoven got acclimated to the music community in Atlanta, Georgia 11:49 - Zaytoven's advice to young producers to know when they're ready to start sharing their music 13:17 - How producers can find their own sound 17:00 - How Zaytoven's workflow has shifted since he initially started 18:30 - Does Zaytoven create beats himself or does he collaborate?  20:13 - What Zaytoven does with his finished beats 21:00 - The pressure Zaytoven feels to innovate his iconic sound 23:33 - Producers who are 'chasing' a sound that's already established and not creating their own sound 26:17 - Releasing music under his own name and the strategies in releasing so much music 30:18 - Is Zaytoven on TikTok? 31:40 - How Atlanta, Georgia has evolved over the years and why it's Zaytoven's favorite place to live 35:50 - How Zaytoven manages all of his projects and keeps everything organized 39:00 - Zaytoven's music release strategy and his involvement in Familiar Territory Records 48:22 - What it means to Zaytoven to make it in the new music business --- Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram (personal): Instagram (Ari's Take): Facebook: Twitter (personal): Twitter (Ari's Take): YouTube: Connect with Zaytoven:  Website: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube: SoundCloud:  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 100 Million Streams Doesn't Come Without Some Pain - Lucidious | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:46:32

Today's guest is Lucidious, a hip-hop artist originally from Virginia now living in Los Angeles. I’ve covered him in the book and on the website quite a bit. He has an interesting story from the business perspective. He has over 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify without any official playlist inclusion, label, or manager. This translates to more than $20,000 per month from streaming revenue. I brought him onto the show so we could go deeper into his story. We talk about digital marketing and all aspects of his business. We talk about his family. We discuss mental health because a lot of his fans connect with him on a deep level due to their own struggles with mental health. This was a very enriching and inspiring conversation for me to have, and I think you’ll get a lot out of this as well. Ari's Take Academy: Streaming & Instagram Growth with Lucidious (use code NMB for 10% off): --- Quick links: 4:10 - About Lucidious 11:39 - What inspired Lucidious to write lyrics? What was the beginning of the journey like?  17:50 - When did Lucidious begin rapping? 25:48 - How much say Lucidious has in his productions because of his diverse musical tastes 34:46 - What are the marketplaces artists can purchase cleared tracks?  38:03 - Was Lucidious' first album officially released or just through SoundCloud? How the Lucidious name came to be 54:15 - Gaining popularity through video ad campaigns 1:02:00 - When does Lucidious decide to point the ad campaigns directly to Spotify? 1:04:50 - Messages that Lucidious receives and how he helps those who are struggling 1:15:40 - Where Lucidious draws the line when responding to fans 1:21:47 - Advice for artists who are receiving dark messages from fans - and how to emotionally protect themselves 1:28:47 - Lucidious heading out on his first headline tour 1:42:48 - How Lucidious defines making it in the new music business --- Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram (personal): Instagram (Ari's Take): Facebook: Twitter (personal): Twitter (Ari's Take): YouTube: Connect with Lucidious: Website: Spotify: YouTube: SoundCloud: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Patreon CEO on the Problems (and Solutions) of Digital Art | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:53:25

Patreon co-founder and CEO, Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets co-founder, Jack Conte, believes in digital art. He believes in artists and he believes in fans to support artists. So much so that his company Patreon is setup to facilitate a symbiotic artist/fan relationship. He is the founding member of (and still active in) Scary Pockets, but doesn't tour with them and discusses how they're able to get millions of streams and views. Jack is an inspiring dude and this episode will no doubt, brighten your day. --- Quick links:  5:04 - When Patreon got started and when it moved out of Jack's house 7:08 - Why Jack continued with Patreon in addition to being a musician and where he's at now with it 13:35 - How the artist-fan relationship has evolved and where it's going 16:27 - Is it required for artists to be community leaders and managers? 21:15 - How Jack has seen Pomplamoose fans engage with them and the difference between a budget and a beacon 24:07 - The unique ways that communities are engaging each other 27:14 - How Discord is different than private Facebook groups 28:35 - When is it a good time to start a Patreon?  31:17 - Where are you seeing communities form prior to joining Patreon? 32:20 - How are musicians transitioning from doing a bunch of hands-on labor to services like Patreon? 39:00 - About Scary Pockets project 48:04 - What's next for Jack Conte? 51:10 - What it means to Jack to make it in the new music business --- Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram (personal): Instagram (Ari's Take): Facebook: Twitter (personal): Twitter (Ari's Take): YouTube: Connect with Jack Conte: Facebook (Pomplamoose): Facebook (Scary Pockets): Twitter: Instagram: Patreon:  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Hip Hop Artist with Over 1,000 TV, Film and Video Game Placements with Vo Williams | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:26:55

Vo Williams and I go in deep to discuss practical, tangible, actionable steps you can take to get your music synced. Break out your notepad because you're going to learn a lot.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Austin Powers Music Supervisor and KCRW DJ Chris Douridas | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:18:47

You probably know Chris Douridas from Los Angeles' iconic, trend-setting radio station KCRW. He was the host of Morning Becomes Eclectic in the '90s. He has been at the station for about 30 years. Chris is someone who has hired most of the staff that we know at KCRW and is an extremely influential figure in the Los Angeles music scene. Chris also started the premiere music showcase, School Night. He is also a music supervisor and was nominated for a Grammy award for his work on American Beauty and has music supervised a number of films, including the Austin Powers trilogy and Shrek 2. Chris and I discuss how he listens music and what it takes for what it takes for him to play a new song on his radio show. We also talk about how he puts together the music for films he's working on. Chris also shares a hilarious story about his first time on air as a radio DJ.  --- Quick links:  2:59 - Chris Douridas's first experience with radio 6:00 - Switching from doing news to music 20:14 - How do you know how much time to talk before the lyrics start? 26:40 - What emails do you choose to open? 31:15 - How Chris searches through SoundCloud 32:30 - What percentage of music you play is from other means vs. being pitched? 34:40 - Have you received any packages that stood out to you? 35:20 - Every artist has the same tools as the labels.  37:42 - Do you still discover music live? 39:20 - What is School Night? 52:12 - How do you answer the question of, "What kind of music are you into?"  59:20 - Music supervisors' job is to help find the sonic boundaries of a movie. 1:04:10 - Chris's Grammy nomination for American Beauty 1:12:12 - What project that you are working on are you most excited about?  1:16:40 - Where do you see the podcast medium headed?  1:18:00 - What do you think it means to make it in the new music business? --- Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram (personal): Instagram (Ari's Take): Facebook: Twitter (personal): Twitter (Ari's Take): YouTube: Connect with Chris Douridas: Twitter: KCRW:  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Lauv's 4 Billion Streams, Top 40 Hit, Without a Label | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:10:38

This episode comes to you from Foundation Management's offices in Brooklyn, New York, which is Lauv's management company. I sat down with Emma MacDonald, Lauv's label manager. Lauv is an independent artist, and I profiled him the second edition of How to Make It in the New Music Business. He is one of those incredibly successful artists without a label. In fact, he was the most spun artist in 2019 and has, to date, more than 4 billion streams. Emma is employed directly by Lauv through his A5B label. She runs all of his label operations, including radio and marketing campaigns. We discuss what their release strategy looks like, how they worked the rollout for his most recent album, and the waterfall effect. --- Quick links:  2:35 - About Emma MacDonald and Lauv's A5B label 4:25 - Lauv being fully independent and his publishing deal with Kobalt 6:15 - What Emma's role as label manager is 11:31 - Why Lauv is so heavily involved in the process 14:00 - What are the label services that AWAL provides Lauv?  15:50 - Is Emma working with AWAL's radio marketing company In2une? 17:30 - How does anyone make the decision to pursue an expensive radio campaign? Why Lauv's story wouldn't be a success on a major label 21:42 - Spending tons of money on a radio campaign for your first song isn't a good idea. 30:00 - What is Lauv's release strategy? Is there a formula?  32:33 - What does waterfall mean? 41:59 - When the album is out, is there more of a campaign?  44:00 - What are all of the assets that you like to have for a full on release campaign?  51:04 - What are the budgets for visualizers and music videos? 54:58 - How do you choose where to put the videos: YouTube, Vimeo?  1:09:39 - What it means to Emma to make it in the new music business --- Connect with Ari Herstand: Website: Instagram (personal): Instagram (Ari's Take): Facebook: Twitter (personal): Twitter (Ari's Take): YouTube:  See for privacy and opt-out information.


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