Stan Sheppard

*Each year that goes by in the music industry, there are hundreds of small “start up record companies” across the country that experience what I call “The Big Let Down” as it applies to their new business venture within the first year of operation.

In a majority of these cases, the owners of these new companies have no idea of what they are getting into when they launch their new labels and they seem to think that just because their music “sounds good”, that  they actually have a chance of having a hit record in a very short time. All I can say to that is… “good luck, because you’re going to need it”

Professional sports stars, doctors, lawyers, accountants, actors and people from just about every walk of life have poured millions of hard earned dollars into their dreams of having the next Motown Records and becoming a musical superstar, only to find out a short time later that their record companies are basically a waste of time and money on a major scale.

Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to work with several sports  stars who have started their own music companies and I have watched numerous
other players jump into the business only to have their dreams take a crash
landing shortly after they took off. These people really felt that just because they had the money to spend to push their product and that they had a “name” in the  sports world, that they would have a hit record with their first release.

WRONG.

They thought their status in the sports world would in some strange way make
them special in the music industry and that people would treat them with respect.

WRONG.

Simply put… “NOBODY CARES about you or your money!”

When this reality hits them in the face, they are shocked and dismayed and the depression starts to set in real fast. Before they realize it, they have spent mega dollars launching this new label and the money keeps going out and “nothing is coming back in” from what they are producing. This happens every week in our business and there is no end to this madness in sight.

As I do in each of my columns, I try to do my best to educate my readers and let them know “the real” when it comes to the entertainment industry. Therefore, I have decided to let everyone reading this article know what they should do and expect if they enter the music industry to hopefully make a living at it. Here are my “TOP 10 MOST IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER” if you are set to enter this wild and crazy field of employment.

1. If you are a person in professional sports who wants to start a record company or launch yourself as an artist, “don’t let anyone know it’s you or your company.” This is the quickest way for you to make people turn away from you and to treat your product with “NO RESPECT”. The industry people will take your money, take photos with you, pat you on the back and then the moment you leave the room they throw your record in the waste basket.

2. Don’t get in the music business thinking you are going to make money in the first year. It’s possible, but highly unlikely.

3. If you want to start a record company that will release product on a national basis, you must have at least a six figure bank roll to do this or it’s a waste of time in most cases.

4. Do not try to promote your product nationally right from the start. Work your record locally or regionally to try to build a “story” for your record before you attempt to spread it across the country.

5. Research and test your product with as many people as possible.

6. Understand that 95% of everyone you will meet in the recording industry specializes in telling lies and half-truths. As I tell clients, most record executives and the “truth” have never met !

7. If you hire someone to assist you with launching your label, please make sure you hire people who have had success in the industry on a major scale. Google these individuals and check out their history. If it comes up weak, “RUN AWAY FROM THEM.”

8. Hire a seasoned entertainment lawyer to represent you and make sure everything you do is “on paper.”

9. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to press and ship your records if you start to make some noise in the marketplace. Having a potential hit building and not having the cash to support it is called “having a hit and going broke!”

10. Please understand that your chances of going Gold or Platinum within the first year is “highly unlikely.” 90% of all records released are either complete sales flops or they don’t make enough money back to cover the cost of making the CD. Don’t put your life savings into this type of venture because quite frankly, it is not a safe investment.

In closing on this subject, I know some of my readers are saying “wow…Stan is very negative  about the recording industry”, but as I said earlier, I will always keep it real with you and even though I have painted a rough picture of the industry and your chances for success in it… all I can say is that I am speaking the FACTS to you and giving you some insight into this crazy world I work in. Now that I have warned you about the possible pitfalls and what to expect if you jump into these waters, please remember these important words…”there are sharks out there with razor sharp teeth
and they are not on a diet. Are you the main course on the dinner menu tonight?”

Case closed.

On the creative tip, it looks like 3D Entertainment/ToneStruck Records has a potential hit artist on their hands with “QUE”, the young 17 year old Rap artist out of Milwaukee who made a name for himself with the hit song called “CAN’T KEEP RUNNIN AWAY” that dealt with the subject of  “Bullying”. “QUE” has a new single getting ready to hit the streets called “YO CHAIN FAKE” and the response to this song has been INCREDIBLE! The project is being promoted nationally by MR. LEE FORD JR.

Another record that is really catching on fast is the new single from “JERRY B. LONG” called “WHO IZ U?” This song has HIT written all over it! Everyone who has heard it from CHRIS BROWN to CEE LO-GREEN has just been BLOWN AWAY. “JERRY B. LONG” aka “KOKANE” is releasing this new single and album before the end of the summer on his new label called “BUD E BOY ENTERTAINMENT”. The album is  entitled “IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD” and it is a mixture of Old School and New  School. Please look out for this record and artist because in my humble opinion, he is on point to become a household name in a very short period of time.

Another label making some noise recently on the East Coast, is a label called “PYPEN HOT ENTERTAINMENT” headed by MR. MICHAEL “BROOKLYN” DeHEYWOOD.
This Brooklyn based label is launching several new acts this summer and they are getting ready to drop new music from “K-NAVI”, “SPICEE CAJUN” and ALEXANDRIA FAIRCHILD” just to name a few. These young artists have a unique style and they are poised to do big things in the coming months. Also, from what I understand, PYPEN HOT ENTERTAINMENT has been in direct talks with MR. LEE FORD JR. and his TONESTRUCK RECORDS to assist the label nationally on the promotion end of things.

On the R&B side of things, please go to iTUNES and listen to the new project from “LENA J” called “PLEASURE, PAIN & PASSION” on LADY J ENTERTAINMENT.
This CD is loaded with sultry, smooth R&B songs and it is one of my favorites out now. She’s got a song called “IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT” that absolutely does it for me! I have worn the CD out and whoever hears it feels the same. Do yourself a favor and pick this album up. Believe me… YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Until the next time, stay safe, stay focused and stay with God.

To reach Stan Sheppard email: stansheppard2011@hotmail.com