AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

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AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby WilliamFS » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:06 pm

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In recent years, critics, fans and artists alike have lamented the turning tide in hip hop. It is commercially successful, it is the voice of a generation and it is the world’s music—all positive things. But, despite its diverse audience, it often seems like the artists themselves are not as diverse.
FROM: http://sugaspott.co.uk/

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Last weekend, during the whole rancidpunk controversy, I was away for a couple of days in London, checking on the forum via my phone. I was with my girlfriend sitting on a table outside a pub by St Martin's Lane in the West End having a drink as this guy approached us. As soon as I saw him coming I saw the opportunity. He was a struggling artist selling his music album.

He had a dozen copies of his CD in his bag and was going person to person, table to table. He was dressed in the style of hip hop artists, with sunglasses on even tough it was dark (which he later took off revealing a bruised eye). I started asking about whether he was doing ok with his sales, whether he made any money on live performances, etc. At this point he sat down with us and we got to chat. I first told him I was probably not going to buy his CD because that is not my type of music. I also did not mention the PPUK until the very end of our chat.

He was open minded, willing to talk, and quite articulate, so I asked: "Do you think that if all music was distributed for free and artists made money from performances only, you would have a better chance of succeding?" He said: "No, the industry would disrupt this levelled playing field by signing a handful of artists for their performance rights instead and heavily promoting them." He went on: "Signed artists have a bad deal with their labels, for they also sign away a lot of their performance rights. Some former X-Factor winner gave up his music career due to the terms of his contract which basically took a massive cut out of any sort of music related activity he did for several years." He also claimed to know a Leona Lewis relative and told me that in spite of all success, she was struggling to buy a flat. He told me he was from Zimbabwe but came to UK at age 14. I insisted a little: "Imagine that the public opinion changed and that people started to be against the idea of a middle man -- imagine if people developed this ethos of wanting to buy straight from the artists." At this point, he was very sympathetic to what I was saying, and told me amogst other things something I really didn't realise: that iTunes charges him £20 a month for him to have his music up there.

He works with this Trademark Records http://trademarkedmusic.co.uk, which he claims to have set up with a few friends. The website has a few dead links and not a great deal of helpful information.

Anyway. At the end of our chat (some 10mins) I bought his album (£5) and told him - "Listen, have you ever heard of the Pirate Party? I think you should check us out. The PPUK is very much interested in people in your position." After I explained that the PPUK would promote the idea people connecting more directly with the artists, with fewer middle men, he replied: "Yeah, I am all for that! Do you have a T-Shirt I can wear on my performances?" On arriving home, I sent him an email, to which he responded. I am posting this exchange below. I hope people find this useful and suggest a line of action for the party.



> Hi,
>
> We've met the other day and I bought one of your albums.
> As I've explained, the Pirate Party is not the same as the Pirate Bay.
> The Pirate Party does not encourage people to do anything illegal. We
> want to change copyright laws to make them more reasonable.
>
> The Pirate Party would be very interested in getting to know artists
> who are not signed by big record labels and potentially we could reach
> agreements to promote each other, to the benefit of both the artist
> and the party. Please contact me back. I am interested in talking to
> you and any other musicians in a similar situation to yours.
>
> Regards
>
> WFS

hey william
i remember you and i i recall you would like to shift public perception so that pressure can be mounted in respect to companies towards a change in policy where the dynamics of producing media and content are concerned. holla
am definitely interested but due to the critical state i am in financially i will only be able to get in touch with you via email for the immediate short while as i try and sort a mobile number out yes im that broke ...
anyways how is it all going ?
Last edited by WilliamFS on Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby Murton » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:24 pm

That's fantastic. I'm really liking that he wants to promote our image in his work, perhaps some sort of mutually beneficial agreement could be made with struggling artists such as the one you met where in return for some coverage (given in good faith, we have no interest in chasing them up on it) we directly support the artists by creating a thread, possibly with a sample of their work as a download if they agree to such, that contains a discussion point about the artist and perhaps a link to order their works, directly from the artist.

We get a little positive exposure from recording artists, they get a little exposure and some sales from our members and affiliates, it's a win/win for both us and all for the cost of a little discussion and a free t-shirt for the artist, a small price to pay in my opinion. These struggling artists are building a grassroots following in hopes of making a living from their work, we're trying to build a grassroots following to create a pressure to revise copyright laws and make things easier for the artists, it seems to me are goals are quite compatible and collaboration is not only logical, but possibly even essential.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby Icanhas » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:25 pm

Fantastic.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby rancidpunk » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:27 pm

Great stuff.
- No copyright, Piratpartiet, 1983 -
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby valisk1 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:29 pm

That's som epretty excellent stuff right there.

Perhaps we ought to consider the prospect of setting up a Pirate Festival yearly event, or touring event, with unsigned/liberated artists as the draw.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby WilliamFS » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:40 pm

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One the one hand, we should be aware that our opponents and the media will try to say that all that we are about is getting free music - we should work to dispel that image and explain the wider implications of copyright reform, as well as our other core values.

On the other hand, we should be more proactive about it, and perhaps have a music team or media team. This team should be systematically trying to get in touch with as many struggling artists wanting exposure as possible. Once they have a network of contacts, things like PPUK cultural events become possible.

And just imagine if one of the unsigned PPUK promoted artists makes it big!

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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby epriezka » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:56 pm

Brilliant stuff.

We need to puncture the myth put around by people like Lily Allen that downloading hurts struggling artists. It does not. It hurts rich and successful artists. Why? Because the music industry openly campaign that losing control over copyright material hurts their 'investment' in music. What investment? Paying for a musician's guitar or for a studio? No, not that investment. It hurts their promotional and marketing investment. In other words, they want to drive customers towards a small number of big winners that make them huge profits. They do that by promoting the hell out of a few specially selected acts. How does that help other, smaller, struggling musicians? It doesn't help them. It hurts them. A viral approach to selling music, where people share what they like with friends would subvert the whole point of music businesses that exist to TELL YOU to like Lily Allen and not somebody else you never heard of but is just as good.

I was hoping, when I first got involved, that people would take the initiative and use the party as a springboard/excuse to launch projects to spread media. That way, we are not just moaning about government, but living our values in practice. Music promotion is not something I know much about, but I fully support anyone who takes the initiative and wants to use the party as a starting point for getting projects like this going. Peter Brett is running with the radio project. Others have talked about festivals and live events. Anyone interested should use the party as a mechanism to meet like-minded people and get projects like this off the ground.

I've been quiet recently, but partly that is because I've been trying to make contacts with new media/web 2.0 people who wouldn't consider themselves pirates but are keen on the idea of new ways of sharing culture. With a bit of luck we can bring some of their experience and expertise on board. The good thing about these projects is that the politics does not have to be really heavy - which means these projects will make our point of view more accessible and understandable to moderate people who are put off by the idea that the Pirate Party's manifesto is just a charter to steal.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby johnsmithson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:28 am

A very interesting example. It would be good for PPUK to get involved in this sort of thing.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby epriezka » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:21 pm

johnsmithson wrote:A very interesting example. It would be good for PPUK to get involved in this sort of thing.


Great story about a real person. Shame we don't know who johnsmithson the sockpuppet really is.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby PiratePartyCanada » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:43 pm

He would be a good candidate to get his music up on the Artist Promotion Project that the PPoC is going to host(I believe there was some consensus around the UK also hosting a mirror of said project)


Give him the PublicRelations@PiratePartyofCanada.ca email address and we can get him enrolled(APP = Free Publicity in exchange for a few songs being put into CC)

It's great to see that you guys are getting some support!
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby Sharkz » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:08 pm

Awesome news :)
:)
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby sugaspott » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:20 pm

hey how you guys doing
i happen to be the artist William is talking about
i realise i'm late but its better late than never
this is my first post so forgive me if i am not up to scratch (i saw a few big words in use hey)
many thanks to Will for purchasing a struggling artists material
alas
i would like to correct a few facts so people have a correct understanding of whats up

@williamfs - i never move with a dozen copies of my album ( irrelevant i know but i am only commenting on where the heartstrings have been pulled)

yes i was wearing sunglasses because i was the victim of a brutal attack only a few days earlier ( i only say this to create awareness of the violent side of hiphop that mainstream media has created and not really what true hiphop lovers advocate for) hence the bruised eye

i did not claim to know a leona lewis relative , i know someone who claims to be related to leona lewis...still trying to establish the amount of truth in the claims and if favourable i will count it in an arsenal of ever increasing ammunition i intend to use in the not too distant future

yes i am from zimbabwe and no i did not move when i was 14 Will, i moved when i was 21, 5 yrs ago

trademark records is real, would anyone like to develop funding strategies as we are seriously broke and cannot get anything off the ground
the dead links are simply the leftovers of a change in host and differences in script implementation that left us with that shell , i decided to rebuild the site from scratch again when a few reforms we are trying to implement are active and it makes general sense
my personal website is also down - funding issues again, yes its very difficult for me at the moment but i will weather the storm

still waiting for a t-shirt dude, you promised

yes i remember the emails perfectly well , kinda sad there wasn't more correspondence

@murton - i definitely need a ticket for your train of thought

@valisk1 - lets call the festival - Once A Pirate Always Free Music Festival

@epriezka - i couldnt agree more

@piratepartycanada - Artist Promotion Project ???? yes please respond to my email in due course

@everyone else - please check out the music when u have a chance, it may not be your cup of tea but at least its something that came from nothing

P.S. - new email address is sugaspott@gmail.com
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby WilliamFS » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:48 pm

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Hi,

I am delighted to hear from you again.

Forgive me if some detail of my account didn't seem accurate.

I am also still waiting for t-shirts.

Please do continue to get involved with the PPUK.

regards
WFS
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby Mikkel » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:02 am

Hey folks! Mikkel here from the Pirate Party of Canada, specifically the committee in charge of

piratepartycanada wrote:He would be a good candidate to get his music up on the Artist Promotion Project that the PPoC is going to host(I believe there was some consensus around the UK also hosting a mirror of said project)


Give him the PublicRelations@PiratePartyofCanada.ca email address and we can get him enrolled(APP = Free Publicity in exchange for a few songs being put into CC)

It's great to see that you guys are getting some support!


... that stuff. I got an email from him earlier this evening, and we're going to help him get a bit of exposure through our tracker. Just FYI, the project has evolved a bit since then. It's called CaPT, the Canadian Pirate Tracker, and is very much online. We're in the process of overhauling the place right now, but it'll stay open for business in the meantime. If you come across anyone else who might be interested in helping us to demonstrate the awesomeness of P2P, be sure to send 'em our way. We have a dedicated contact point for the tracker now, which is capt@pirateparty.ca.
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Re: AN ACTUAL STRUGGLING ARTIST supports PPUK

Postby trevor » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:01 am

This is great news. Being a music lover and knowing a couple unsigned artists this thread really caught my attention. I have always had strong views about the record labels and how the artists are treated.
If plans like williamfs has suggested (a music/media team) do take off i would be interested in being a part of it.
I will try and speak to some unsigned artists i know to see what they think of the PPUK and let you guys know.
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