music industry

Speaking in Sault Ste Marie – THUR MAR 16

Super excited to head to speak on this panel THURSDAY, MARCH 16 at 6 p.m. for Music in Film and Motion on building your team as an artist! If you’re in Sault Ste. Marie, come on out to LopLops .


sualt ste marie panel

It’s our birthday!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the launch of YouRockRed!

Highlights include:

  • over $200,000 in Canadian grants awarded to our musician clients
  • Polaris Award nomination for first client Kalle Mattson
  • Over 50 consultations with artists
  • Working with over 100 artists in various capacities
  • stage managing Mod Club during NXNE (Danny Brown, Alvvays)
  • providing social media support at Canadian Music Week
  • exclusive Google Play Plus party with Stars, A Tribe Called Red, Kevin Drew
  • Management client The Strain opening for Lorde
  • Providing marketing and management support for the Ottawa International Film Festival

But honestly, seeing and hearing what our clients are capable of bringing to life is what inspires us daily.

To another year of rock and roll madness!

We’re choosing to say that Gaslight Anthems’ new album, Get Hurt, being released on our birthday is NO coincidence…

Lisztomania – The Importance of Being Organized as a Professional Artist

You’ve heard it before from the biggest names- Treat your band like you would a business.  I’m currently sitting here sending off invoices to clients and following up with little check marks in fancy table graphs for what grants have been applied to, whether the results have been made public, which officers to check in with for payment transfers and which clients have been sent a reminder email to pay the lady in red (me!).


I’ve always been one for making huge lists.  There’s literally stacks of notebooks around the YouRockRed office filled with them, but lists for bands are just as important.  Keeping a running list in Excel of where you’ve received press, what country, what outlet, a LINK (super important), date things were published- all of this has a HUGE impact on you.  Otherwise you’re combing through past Google Alerts (which if you don’t already have set up for your band STOP and do that RIGHT NOW!) trying to find that amazing review where the writer obviously was crushing hard on your live set.


Same goes for keeping a strict account record of ALL of your performances.  Don’t rely on your team to keep your Sonic Bids up!  You as an artist need to know exactly where you’ve performed.  There could be an incredible promoter you want to follow up with but if you’re doing 20+ dates how are you going to remember if all your press release says is that you played Thunder Bay?  You want that PHONE number of that promoter.  Also Factor requires all contact information to verify dates if you do indeed get audited.  A quick note about how many people were in attendance too on top of recording your albums sold and getting it signed for SOCAN is also super important.


All of this may seem so simple it’s almost laughable but there’s been countless acts I’ve seen not have their shit together and it affects their ability to run the band like a business because of their lack of organization.  It’s great to be able to focus on artistry but just being able to PASS this information on to a responsible team member or hired help (label, PR, etc.) makes your life as an artist SO much easier.


That’s today’s music industry lesson.  Now go make questionable rock and roll snowmen.

kiss snowman

Questioning the fate of the Grand CD

Stacks of jewel cases used to be a point of pride; a conversation starter at a party.  Something you’d stare at longingly and beg, if you had a best friend with more music knowledge than you, a chance to borrow one of those prized items.  Only later would they learn your penchant for accidentally scratching their favourite Modest Mouse album.  (Woops!)

But the actual jewel case CD?  Breaking the cellophane wrapper and eagerly whipping out the interior booklet to see the album art and thank yous associated with them is a thing that I fear is not regarded the same anymore.  I know for me I’ve got CD wallets (remember those??) hidden on book shelves and boxes of the cases at my mother’s storage unit.  What’s most valued is what’s on my hard-drive storage.

It used to be limited to industry personnel to get free music but now everyone can get free digital music whereas before a trip to your favourite record store was the only way to be connected to that world.  Nowadays bands like the Weeknd and Vance Joy can get huge record deals and award nominations through their bandcamp.  You could go years without hearing a song repeated now with all the free music available online.  Youtube, Bandcamp, Sound Cloud… it’s overwhelming to think of actually.

I feel spoiled with free music nowadays and my younger self would have been literally rolling *carefully* on the jewel cases in sheer glee since I  grew up in the country with limited dial-up driving my parents crazy downloading music from Kazaa and Limewire and literally no friends into alternative music to show me the way.

I was reliant upon whatever I was given at concerts and one of the most profound realizations came when an entire indie record label catalog was delivered to my parents’ home (instead of the radio station I was DJ’ing at).  The label isn’t around anymore and truthfully the records weren’t all that great, but a huge box full of music was better than Christmas for me.  Fast forward 10 years later prepping for festival season and a major label sends me their most popular artists albums in CD form and it felt so foreign!  I opened some of them but truthfully thanks to Rdio and Itunes, I already had the songs at my disposal on my computer, iphone and wherever else I wanted to plug into.  I had this confused moment where I had to question, where am I going to put these CDs?  The CDs that are stacked around the office are usually just clients’ demos and past work that I physically need to write grants and whatever else I’ve written about.  The rest though are handed to me at events.  I still love getting them but I feel badly that some just gather dust as I’ve already got them on my media devices.

That said, I get just as excited when I get emailed exclusive media-only listening pages for bands I’m interested in as when I’d wander into the record stores that marked my youth, but now are tragically closed, like no doubt so many of your favourites probably are.  So here’s to celebrating CDs and the nostalgia associated with them!

How about you?  What’s your favourite form of music?  Vinyl?  Cassette?  MP3s only?  Let me know in the comments below !