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2. An Apology
Kanye West's Auto-Tune-heavy, emotionally naked fourth album came after a brutal year during which his mother died and his engagement broke up, but the album's cavernous sound and exposed-soul lyrics confused even those who had been aware of West's recent trials. Its core aesthetic was like nothing in hip-hop: freshly butchered feelings enumerated in detail, but masked by digital processing; beds of spare synths used to balance a mix of singing and rapping. Drake cited West as his budding sound's "most influential person" when he was hustling mixtapes, while artists like Future further tweaked the idea of using Auto-Tune as a way to convey emotions that evoke too much feeling when spoken of explicitly. O K Computer might be Radiohead's best album, and Kid A their most musically innovative, but In Rainbows shook the music industry's very infrastructure.
This is partly because, like using music in an advertisement or trailer or using the title of a song as the title of your film, it would be considered an additional use and attract an additional payment. The main reason though is that legal terms for soundtrack albums are entirely different to those of a licence and almost impossible to include in the same agreement. To understand why read on…. If you can find a nice friendly record company with deep pockets to take over the whole endeavour on your behalf and you are content with a small percentage of any profit, the answer is probably yes. Colleagues have pointed out that the tone of this piece is somewhat negative and it may have been more useful to offer a guide to releasing a record instead of a list of reasons why not to. In our defence this is a piece for film makers; not for those interested in setting up a record company. The latter is laudable, if rather brave in the current climate, but for someone primarily occupied with making a film we felt it vital to be honest about the potential pitfalls. Making a film is a huge task in itself and adding a record release together with the steep learning curve required to do it properly would, we believe, be asking too much. If you have the skills and desire to make a film then diverting your time and energy elsewhere when there are companies more than capable of taking on the task strikes us as a misuse of valuable resources. Not so much extra problems as twice the work.
Regardless of the time of year, getting people to pay attention to the music you release is very difficult, but we have found that there are times of year when releasing new music is more difficult than others for emerging artists. That being said, there are no absolutes, and you have to pay attention to your existing fan base. For example, if you have a college following you will have to take into account when students will be on campus. And when you are hiring PR to support your release there are a whole host of other considerations. One of the most frequent questions we get is whether or not to release music between Thanksgiving and the New Year. And if you have a holiday release I would stop reading this article and check out our article about releasing Christmas music. Emerging artists looking to release new music towards the end of the year have to be aware of several factors. If radio is a part of your plan, then you have to consider that there is simply less airtime due to holiday-themed programming. The same applies to blogs. Artists are being asked about their favorite albums of the year and favorite holiday memories rather than discussing their new releases, so that will be dominating the music news cycle.