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Beats by KHARMA

The Artist's Journey:
The Road to Success 🚀

The Artist’s Journey: The Road to Success

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I’m not going to tell you to work hard, be consistent and to never stop believing. Instead, I want to show you what’s important on your journey as an artist and how you can become better every single day.
 

Before we do that, I want to talk about the different type of (undiscovered) artists I run across every day.

I’ve categorized them into the following three groups:

Group 1:

“My music is great, I only need a producer, manager, record deal or “…” to help me take things to the next level.

These artists think that they need to rely on others to get traction. They could be insecure or incapable of taking action on their own. Usually, they have no game plan other than waiting for someone to offer them help. Maybe their music is good, but often this isn’t the case.

Group 2:

“I don’t need any help. I got this and I’m going to make it big one day.”

This is the opposite of insecure. They’re determined that they will make it big one day — which is actually a good thing. But they often disregard the importance of the journey. And in their mind, they’re usually way ahead of where they actually are.

Group 3

“I made some great songs, but I don’t know how to get it out there. I’ll keep making songs and I hope one of ‘em will blow up.”

These singers or rappers are in love with the process but have yet to create an actual plan.
A plan that will get them to where they want to be.

Your journey matters ❤️

Whether you recognize yourself in one of these groups or not, it doesn’t matter.

There isn’t a wrong category per se, and I don’t wanna put you in a box.

We’re all in different stages of our journey and are all gravitating towards that same goal. Which in this case is success — which in term is different for everyone.

For some, it takes longer before they reach a specific milestone. Whilst others are celebrating midway.

It’s not about questioning where you are on your journey, but whether you are in control of the vehicle that needs to get you to the point you wanna be at.

Of course, your vehicle needs fuel. The fuel is what drives your engine: your passion, determination, and energy to work hard. That: “Jump out of bed every morning to rush to the studio” type fuel.

Your vehicle will take you where you need to go, it carries your talent, skills, and music.

If you forget one or the other, it’s going to be a long ass trip.

You can be passionate and hustle every day. But your talent, skills, and music will be the determinant factors.

How to get your breakthrough in music

 

Every day, we’re exposed to what most think is the definition of success.

You see your favorite artists drive foreign cars and partying all day.

Some might see that as if they are lucky. “Oh, they’re so lucky that they’re living their dream life. Oh, I wish I was that lucky.”. But you know what?

Screw luck!

I hate to break it to you, but if we are going to chase our dreams based on LUCK, the odds are always stacked against us.

Catching that big break in music is an event occurred in time, followed by a process

And that process, in this case, is your journey.

There will be no event without process.

If you consider that specific event as pure luck, then that means we can create our own luck.

As long as you focus on the journey and on what’s right in front of you, the event will come.

But, unfortunately, most artists don’t see it that way. And they are driven by what they see on their Instagram feed.

The main take away from this story is to put your focus on the process, NOT on the event.

And the latter is hard when all you see is the event.

Remember my habit? Deconstructing songs and analyzing the journey of artists?

To optimize and speed up your journey it’s crucial to develop your skills and maximize your talent.

This is not something I came up with. This is what I’ve concluded from analyzing real-life examples.

Take Ed Sheeran for example. In this TV-show he lets people hear an old recording from when he couldn’t sing. The dude actually couldn’t sing!

He invested time in developing his talent and skills to reach the level he’s at right now.

Tory Lanez dropped about 14 mixtapes and a bunch of singles before he caught a big break. Yes, we all agree he works hard, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Compare this track from his first mixtape – to his 2015 multi-platinum hit “Say It.”

He evolved into a completely different type of artist.

Tory Lanez in 2009:

Tory Lanez in 2016:

This can only happen when you focus on the process, not the end goal. In other words; honing your skills and becoming a little better every day.

When you start digging you’ll notice that every successful artist was once where you are right now.

They all traveled the same road, but their journey was different.

The only common denominator is that they got a break-through with one song.

Yes, it only took one.

Yet, what’s hidden behind that one song are hundreds of songs they’ve created. Songs that didn’t do well or haven’t seen the light of day at all.

G-Eazy calls this process his Practice Years.

“I have like twelve mixtapes to my name that I hope doesn’t exist on the internet. But the thing with hip-hop is, your practice years are documented in the form of mixtapes, songs online etc.”

G-Eazy

Where a lot of artists fail 😢

Over 60% of the artists are creating music that is far below the quality-standard.

And that is alright if you’re starting out…

It becomes a problem when you’re not making any progress after 10 songs.

To name an example. I sell beats online and I always try to push artists to buy the high quality tracked out files of an instrumental.

Almost every song on the radio is produced and mixed with the separate files of the instrumental.

I sold a total of 732 licenses from January to October 2017, yet only 179 licenses were with tracked out files. That is less than 25%.

Which means that over 75% of these artists don’t focus on the quality of their music.

Most of the people buy a simple MP3 version of the beat, which is even more disturbing! MP3 files aren’t for professional music production

When I confront them, the reaction I usually get is…

“Oh yeah, I didn’t know that…”

The same problem occurs with the quality of the recorded vocals, mix and the production of their song.

This year I’ve surveyed 1.400 artists and asked them what their biggest struggle is. The majority struggles with mixing, recording, and songwriting.

Yet, they upload their music anyway.

Not noticing their mix sucks or aware of the fact that their vocals could use work. Like, real work.

They determine the success of the song on the number of views, likes, reposts, and comments. Whilst that is a contributing factor, again it starts with your music — it’s the foundation.

Work your ass off 🏋️‍♀️

In the decade that I’ve been working with artists, more than half the music I’ve heard was not ready for a big crowd.

A majority of those artists are walking an endless road to success. To be frank, most of them will not make it even close to the finish line.

The Fundamentals;

  • Becoming better every day
  • Improving your writing
  • Your recording
  • Mixing your own music

Are replaced by:

  • Settling for low-quality
  • Prioritizing marketing your (unfinished) track
  • Getting likes on social media
  • And the list goes on

They all want to have the same success as our favorite artists. But that’s exactly the point where they go wrong right from the jump.

Don’t look at their success. The answer is in the process—the journey— the mountain they had to climb to reach the top they’re at now.

Don’t look at their success. The answer is in the process—the journey— the mountain they had to climb to reach the top they’re at now.

How did Post Malone go from sleeping on his friend’s couch to the number one song in the world?

What did it take for Ed Sheeran to become one of the greatest singers?

How did Tory Lanez evolve into an R&B singer, after releasing a dozen hip-hop mixtapes?

They all followed a process, which led to their big break. They respected the journey and worked their ass off.

Ready to start crushing and making better music… this week?

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Price: $50

 

Beginners license that is typically used by beginner artists that do not expect the song to go big.

This license comes with one single industry-quality WAV-file, but not with tracked-out files. (harder to get a better mix).

Radio airplay is not permitted. 

This license does not give the rights to a music video.

 

Allowed on Spotfiy & Apple Music
- but only for up to 50,000 streams combined

 

 

Price: $99 $95

 

Professional license, most popular among artists that are releasing their song on platforms like Spotify, iTunes - or perform with the song in live (paid) performances.

This license comes with high-quality tracked-out files which are essential for mixing songs professionally. 

Allowed 100,000 streams and 10,000 sales - possibility to upgrade if you get above it.

 

We do not recommend this license if you’re looking to create a music video for YouTube. 

 

 

Price: $199 $195

 

Professional license with no limitations on streams, plays or sales.

This license is generally purchased by artists that believe their song has the potential to surpass the streaming caps of other licenses. 

We strongly recommend this license to artists that want to create and monetise a music video for YouTube. 

 

Allows for radio play.

 

This license allows your song to be played on TV/Movies.

Basic License 

Trackouts + Premium License

(Most Popular)

Unlimited License

 


Price: $30

 

Promotional license that is typically used by beginner artists who does not want to profit from their song.

Comes with MP3-file.

Radio airplay is not permitted. 

This license does not give the rights to a music video.


Not allowed on Spotify, iTunes Music, YouTube with monetisation, or any other service with monetisation.

Good for FREE mixtapes and FREE downloads.

Non Profit License

This is a basic-level non-exclusive license agreement (the “Non Profit Agreement”), effective as of (the “Effective Date”) by and between the “Producer” or “Licensor”); and John Doe residing at {CUSTOMER_ADDRESS} (“you” or “Licensee”), regarding all the terms for Licensee’s use of, and the rights granted in, the Producer’s master recording and underlying musical composition entitled Track Title (collectively, the “Beat”). 

1. License Fee: Producer’s receipt of a – licensee fee (the “Non Profit Fee”) from you is a precondition to this Non Profit Agreement. 

2. Delivery of the Beat: Following receipt of the Non Profit Fee and execution of this Non Profit Agreement, Producer will email a link to the Beat in MP3 for the Beat (as such terms are understood in the music industry), to the email address you provided to Producer.  

3. Term: The Term of this Non Profit Agreement shall be ten (10) years and this license shall expire on the ten (10) year anniversary of the Effective Date.

4. Use of the Beat:

a. Non-Exclusive. The Beat is being licensed to you on a non-exclusive basis, which means for example without limitation that Producer may continue to exploit the Beat and/or license it to other third parties. 

b. Making One New Song. You will have a limited, non-exclusive, nontransferable license to create one (1) new, substantially different (i.e., with substantial unique addition) derivative musical composition (the “New Composition”) and one (1) new derivative master recording (the “New Recording”) incorporating the Beat. For example, you may choose to record your own topline vocals over the Beat, and/or incorporate all or portions/samples of the Beat into the instrumental music of a New Composition and New Recording. You will have the right to modify the arrangement, tempo, duration, and/or pitch of the Beat in preparation of the New Composition and New Recording. You will not have the right to sublicense the New Composition and/or New Recording to third parties (e.g., you may not permit anyone to “sample” your New Recording in a subsequent master recording). 

c. Promotional / Free Use Only. You may only exploit and/or permit exploitation of the New Composition and New Recording in non-paid uses—e.g., where people don’t have to pay to listen to and/or download it. For example, you may release the New Recording for free download, include it on a free mixtape or free compilation of music, or release it on non-monetized digital streaming service (such as SoundCloud, but not, for example, via Spotify or Apple Music). 

d. No Public Performances. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, you not may perform the New Recording (and/or underlying New Composition) publicly (for example, in a live concert performance, at a festival, or in a nightclub), and even if people are paying to see you perform.

e. No Radio. You may not pitch, submit or permit the pitching or submission of the New Composition and New Recording for performance on terrestrial, satellite, or internet radio (e.g., over-the-air radio, Sirius XM, Pandora, etc.)—any such use would require your purchase of an UNLIMITED License in connection with the Beat. 

f. 0 Video. You may synchronize (use) the New Composition and New Recording in zero (0) audiovisual work (“Video”). The duration of the Video can’t exceed the longer of: (i) five (5) minutes; and (ii) the duration of the New Composition as embodied on the New Recording. The Video can’t be used to promote any third- party product or service—it can only be used to promote the New Composition and New Recording. You may exploit the Video only on free-access internet video platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, and/or Vevo), and you may not monetize the Video (on those platforms or otherwise). The description of the Video on such video platforms must include credit to KHARMA as producer. You may not license or permit the Video to be broadcast on television networks, or to be otherwise licensed to third parties. For the avoidance of doubt, the New Composition and/or New Recording (and/or Beat) may not be synchronized with or incorporated in any other audiovisual work—for example without limitation, in any commercial, television show, film, or video game. 

g. No ContentID Registration. You may not register or permit the registration of the New Composition and/or New Recording with any content identification system or service (for example without limitation, with YouTube’s ContentID, whether directly or through a third party). This is a non-exclusive license agreement, and the Beat may have been or may yet be licensed to third parties for their own use; if any licensed users of the Beat tried to register their derivative songs, the content identification system might improperly flag all other users of the Beat as infringing uses. 

h. 0 Distribution Copy/10,000 Stream Cap. Your rights to exploit a New Composition and New Recording are subject to a maximum aggregate number of ten thousand (10,000) streams and zero (0) distribution copies (physical, or digital downloads), across all services and platforms (for illustrative example, if the Video had half (50%) of 10,000 plays on YouTube and the New Recording had half (50%) of 10,000 + one (1) streams on SoundCloud, that would be a breach of this paragraph). If you are approaching the foregoing cap on your rights to use the Beat, New Composition, and New Recording, you must either remove the New Composition and New Recording from all platforms, or you must purchase a new higher-level license of the Beat from Producer (e.g., an UNLIMITED License), before exceeding the foregoing cap. 

i. No Direct Use of the Beat. For the avoidance of doubt, you are not getting any right to exploit the Beat directly, only to create and exploit a New Composition and New Recording that incorporates the Beat along with sufficient new and unique material to distinguish the New Composition and New Recording from and not directly compete with the Beat. 

5. Credit: You will have the right to use and permit others to use Producer’s approved name “KHARMA” for purposes of the New Recording and “KHARMA” for purposes of the New Composition, but solely in connection with uses of the New Composition and New Recording permitted hereunder. You will use best efforts to have Producer credited as a “producer” of the New Recording (e.g., “Produced by KHARMA”) and co-writer of the New Composition (e.g., “Co-written by KHARMA [and other co-writers]” in any and all metadata, liner notes, and/or other customary place for such credits in connection with all exploitations of the New Recording and/or New Composition (as applicable), and in a manner no less favorable to Producer than credit accorded to any other producer or songwriter of the master recordings and musical compositions (respectively) bundled with the New Recording and/or New Composition. In the event of any failure to have Producer properly credited, you will use reasonable efforts to cure such failure immediately on a prospective basis.

6. Royalties: In addition to the Non Profit Fee, you agree to pay the following royalties to Producer, either by directing the distributor of your records to do so (i.e., your record label, or the digital distribution company you use, e.g., DistroKid), or by doing so yourself (e.g., to PayPal ID: whoismarcel@gmail.com, or via Producer banking information that may be provided upon emailed request): 

a. Mechanical Royalties. When a copy of a master recording like the New Recording is sold (either on a CD, or when someone buys it on a service like iTunes) or streamed (e.g., on a service like Apple Music or Spotify), copyright law requires that the songwriters get paid a royalty called a mechanical license. You agree to make sure that Producer is paid mechanical royalties for Producer’s 50% songwriting share of the New Composition, at the minimum statutory rate. 

b. Producer Royalties. For Producer’s production of the Beat you intend to use in the New Recording, you agree to pay Producer 50% of everything you make from the New Recording. 

7. Ownership: Producer has written and composed the Beat, which is commonly treated as one-half of the total songwriting on a musical composition (and you agree that Producer retains a 50% ownership of the copyright in the New Composition). The Producer is and shall remain the sole owner and holder of all right, title, and interest in the Beat, including all copyrights to and in the sound recording and the underlying musical compositions written and composed by Producer. Nothing contained herein shall constitute an assignment by Producer to Licensee of any of the foregoing rights. You may not register or attempt to register (or permit the registration or attempted registration) of the Beat with the U.S. Copyright Office. You may own a copyright to the extent of your contributions embodied in the New Song and New Recording (e.g., your topline lyrics, melody, and/or other new instrumental elements), but any registration or claim of copyright as to the New Song and/or New Recording must be as a derivative work disclaiming any ownership to the copyright(s) in the Beat.  For the avoidance of doubt, there is no intention of the parties for the New Composition and/or New Recording to constitute a joint work for purposes of copyright law, and Producer does not herein grant to you any rights in or to any other derivative works that may have been or may yet be created by third parties based on the Beat. Producer reserves to itself any and all rights in and to the Beat not expressly granted to you herein. You will, upon request, execute, acknowledge and deliver to Producer such additional documents as Producer may deem necessary to evidence and effectuate Producer’s rights hereunder, and you hereby grant to Producer the right as attorney-in-fact to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record in the U.S. Copyright Office or elsewhere any and all such documents if you fail to execute same within five (5) days after so requested by Producer. 

8. Breach by You: 

a. If you fail to cure any breach of this Non Profit Agreement within five (5) business days of Producer providing you with written notice of a breach, Producer will have the right to immediately terminate this Non Profit Agreement, and if Producer notifies you of such termination, you will have no further right to use the Beat in the New Composition, New Recording, and/or Video (and you must immediately cause them to be no longer available to the public). 

b. If you use the Beat, New Composition, New Recording, and/or any Video in a manner not expressly permitted in this Non Profit Agreement, you agree to pay Producer any and all amounts previously or thereafter collected, received, or credited to you or any third party in connection with such exploitation of the Beat, New Composition, New Recording, and/or Video (as applicable). 

c. You recognize and agree that a breach or threatened breach by you of this Non Profit Agreement could cause irreparable injury to Producer, which may not be adequately compensated by monetary damages. Accordingly, in the event of a breach or threatened breach by you, Producer shall be entitled to a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction restraining you from violating the provisions of this Non Profit Agreement. 

d. Nothing herein shall prohibit Producer from pursuing any other available legal or equitable remedy in connection with breach or threatened breach of this Non Profit Agreement, including but not limited to the recovery of monetary damages from you. 

9. Representations, Warranties, and Indemnification: 

a. Producer represents and warrants that Producer has the full right and ability to enter into this Non Profit Agreement and grant those rights granted herein. Producer warrants that the exploitations of the Beat permitted hereunder will not infringe upon or violate any common law or statutory right of any person, firm, or corporation; including, without limitation, contractual rights, copyrights, and right(s) of privacy and publicity and will not constitute libel and/or slander. 

b. You represent and warrant that exploitation of the New Composition and/or New Recording hereunder will not infringe upon or violate any common law or statutory right of any person, firm, or corporation; including, without limitation, contractual rights, copyrights, and right(s) of privacy and publicity and will not constitute libel and/or slander. Just to be clear, Producer takes no responsibility whatsoever as to any elements added to the New Composition and/or New Recording by Licensee or any third party, and Licensee indemnifies and holds Producer harmless for any and all such elements. 

c. Parties hereto shall indemnify and hold each other harmless from any and all third party claims, liabilities, costs, losses, damages, judgments, costs, and expenses as are actually incurred by the non-defaulting party (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising in connection with any breach or claim of breach of this Non Profit Agreement by the defaulting party, their agents, heirs, successors, assigns and employees, which have been reduced to final judgment or settled with the defaulting party’s consent. The non- defaulting party shall give the defaulting party prompt written notice of all claims giving rise to indemnification obligations hereunder, and the defaulting party shall have the right to participate in the defense of such claims with counsel of its choice at its sole expense. 

10. Miscellaneous: In no event shall Artist be entitled to seek injunctive or any other equitable relief for any breach or non-compliance with any provision of this Non Profit Agreement. This Non Profit Agreement constitutes the entire understanding of the parties and cannot be changed or waived, in whole or in part, except in writing signed by both parties hereto. This Non Profit Agreement supersedes all prior agreements between the parties, whether oral or written. Should any provision of this Non Profit Agreement be held to be void, invalid or inoperative, such decision shall not affect any other provision hereof, and the remainder of this Non Profit Agreement shall be effective as though such void, invalid or inoperative provision had not been contained herein. No failure by Producer hereto to perform any of its obligations hereunder shall be deemed a material breach of this agreement until you give Producer written notice of its failure to perform, and such failure has not been corrected within thirty (30) days of notice (or, if such breach is not reasonably capable of being cured that quickly, Producer does not commence to cure such breach within said time period, and proceed with reasonable diligence thereafter). This agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Sweden applicable to agreements entered into and wholly performed in said State, without regard to any conflict of laws principles. You hereby agree that the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any action, suit or proceeding based upon any matter, claim or controversy arising hereunder or relating hereto shall be in the state or federal courts located in Sweden. You don’t have the right to make any money off the Beat, the New Composition, or the New Recording except as specifically allowed in this Non Profit Agreement. You shall be deemed to have signed, affirmed and ratified your acceptance of the terms of this Non Profit Agreement by virtue of your payment of the Non Profit Fee to Producer and your electronic acceptance of the terms and conditions (e.g., at the time of your payment of the Non Profit Fe