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Artist Advice: How To Approach A Producer With Or Without A Budget

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For this article, I asked my Instagram followers for ideas for the next artist advice column on my site. What would they like for me to write about. I based my topic off their suggestions regarding promotions, blogs, anything related to music. This week I chose – @illtalbeats with his comment: “Do an article on how rappers should approach producers for beats (Especially for artists that don’t have a budget) lol” || Thanks illtalbeats this is the perfect topic! Here’s what I have to say about approaching producers with or without a budget. 

I know for an up and coming artist it can get really pricey in order to put a really solid project together. From the cost to purchasing a beat, to paying an engineer to mix and master it, hiring a graphic designer to create the cover art work, acquiring the licensing, trademarking and copyright. Placing your first order on printing physical cd’s, which need packaging sleeves or cases (plus the graphic designer to create the overall look). Creating and stocking up on merchandise, and then online promotional campaigns you get from official websites that support you’re kind of music. Phew! Remain Calm.

Key is to be able to manage your finances to the best of you’re capabilities. If you need to save, you save. But first things first… when it comes to creating any music content you need to find the heart to you’re song. This is where the producer plays a huge part. Because if the producer is a talented individual, who is capable of multiple genres or a new sound you’ve been searching for. Then your song comes to life, with a heartbeat to the music.

Lately, I find the best ways to find a producer is through Soundcloud.com, Twitter, and even Instagram. On Soundcloud, beat makers upload their beats and even instrumentals they’ve been working on. In hopes to finding an artist who will be interested in collaborating on something new. Networking is key when it comes to building new relationships. Comment, Share, and Like what you hear. Showing support goes a long way, especially when you’re really feeling the music.

Best ways to search for producers are through hashtags! Here’s where the producer who puts #Producers #FreeBeats #HipHop #Music while appear before your eyes. Don’t forget to follow them and become a familiar face. Once that, obtain their contact info; usually an email address, phone number, or straight through a direct message. Let em’ know how you’re interested in working together and how can it be possible? Here’s where it comes to whether or not your wallet comes into play.

Producers work in many different ways when it comes to selling their beats. They can set a price for the track, lease the beat, or accept royalties off any sells/plays. When a producer sets a rate for a beat, you have to understand and respect it. You can either pay in full or even make payments in order to own the music, rightfully. I’ve heard producers leasing beats for a certain amount of time. But this might be helpful for an artist who might not be completely sure if music is the right path for them. But hey! Reader, right now if you’re an artist who knows for sure what they want and their going to work as hard as possible to make it happen… Continue to read Right? Cool!

So, next option is accepting royalties. Royalties occur when you’re content is registered with BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. For example, BMI has connects with licensed holders who use/play your music; such as radio stations, television stations, clubs, and restaurants. These license holders maintain a monitoring system that provides licensing fees in order to get you paid. 50% of a song is credited to the songwriter and the remaining 50% is left to the publisher.

Once you’ve selected the beat, picked which type of purchase choice, then it’s time to make a payment. When making a transaction, make sure the producer sends you an invoice for exactly what you agreed upon. This will guarantee this service or ownership of the beat you wanted to purchase. You also have to take into consideration any fees that may take place such as Paypal. You should pay to make the difference so the producer fully gets the amount he/she asked for. 

Say, you don’t have a budget. You’re an independent artist and all funds goes towards maintaining your life and your living situation. This is where networking and friendships come into play. I would say search for a producer who’s starting just like yourself and you feel a common base in music and interests. Proclaiming how you really want to work with them on a small scale when it comes to collaborating on music. You two can select a certain amount of beats and then you come with the verses, and then a project is born. A free project, this will help promote both parties. With heavy online promotion, you’re definitely guarantee to gain more fans this way. Now the producers followers, friends, associates become familiar with you as an artist as well.

Also, during the recording process you should have the producer present. Build together on the sound the project will have and hook them up with their favorite goodies as well during the session. Drinks, Snacks, Coffee, and even some funny smokes. Positive Vibes = Amazing Music. After working together.. when you’re in works on any future project, they might possibly hook you up with free beats.

FREE BEATS?? Yeah, it’s possible. When you network and play your cards right. But don’t forget to give credit to the guy who created the song that inspired the lyrics to the best song you’ve ever written. It takes from hours till days and even months to get a beat sounding the way it does. Take into consideration, they deserve the credit too. Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.52.50 PM I’ve received music submissions from the artist himself and he did not give credit and not even mention the producer at all. How rude is that? The producer should always get mentioned on anything related to the track/project promotion, getting tagged in every photo of the cover art, and getting notified when the track gets featured on a popular website. This also will benefit the artist because now you have an extra individual who will help promote it because they are involved. This concludes my take on how artist should handle approaching producers on purchasing their beats and even sometimes working without a budget. Any comments or suggestions, provide them below.

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