So you’ve written some songs? What’s next for you and your music?
You’ve spent the last few years working on your songwriting and creating recordings that showcase your passion and your talent. But what do you do with your music now?
Some things you may have tried:
Gigging around – You can get out gigging and show yourself off to the world, making sure that you’ve always got your CDs with you to sell to anyone who’s interested.
Social Media – You can post updates on Facebook about your latest achievement and upload your latest promo to YouTube, hoping you draw in some believers.
Marketing yourself – You can pay for promotion and marketing by utilising press releases, Facebook ads, or hire someone to take care of this for you.
As simple as this sounds, we’ve probably all experienced how frustrating it can be to get results this way. So, you need the people that make things happen – the decision makers in the music business to have your music in front of them. But, maybe you don’t yet know any of these people, or the ones you do know haven’t yet realised how great your music is.
So, how do you get your music before industry professionals who make the important decisions?
Well, that’s where Big Culture Music comes in…
What is Big Culture Music?
Big Culture Music is a music publishing house and record label that seeks to place music with established artists, and on TV, Films and Adverts worldwide. It has been set up to provide songwriters and composers with a real home for their music. Whether you’re new to the game or have been going for years, we want to hear what you’ve got to offer, although our biggest passion is for upcoming and emerging stars, and those further ahead who have not yet found a home for their music elsewhere.
What information are we giving you here?
This information is about the music publishing aspect of our business and is by no means complete. But- it should help give you a basic understanding of publishing (if you’re new to this) and a clear understanding of what Big Culture has to offer you as a songwriter/ composer.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PUBLISHING
What is music publishing?
Music publishing is one very complex aspect of the entire music business and can take years to really get a grasp of.
A very simplistic explanation is: A music publisher is tasked with taking care of songwriters’ and composers’ copyrights and ensuring that they get paid whenever their compositions are used commercially. A contract is drawn up between the publisher and the songwriter/ composer which gives the publishing rights over to the publishing company. In return for their cut, the publisher takes care of all tasks surrounding the copyright. The publisher will also seek to make the most out of each of the copyrights by placing them anywhere where they can be monetised.
What are the main functions of a music publisher?
Exploitation – This is ‘exploitation’ in the most positive sense of the word – placing songs with other artists, on TV, films, advertising, and anywhere else where music makes money.
Administration – There is a great deal of process and paperwork involved in music publishing. One of the benefits to a lone songwriter/ composer for signing a publishing agreement is having this taken care of for them. The most obvious benefit being that the songwriter can focus on what they do best (writing songs) and not be held up by the complication that administering copyrights can bring.
Collection – Quite simply, when music is used by anyone other than the rights owner, money is usually involved as long as licenses are issued to grant permission for the use of a copyright. A publisher will collect this for you and make sure you get paid everything that’s owing to you.
Protection – There is so much room for dispute over ownership and rights to copy, distribute etc., when it comes to music so it’s necessary to have proper legal representation in place to protect you and your music. The publisher will take care of this for you as your representative, making sure that not only your rights are not infringed upon, but that you don’t infringe on others’ rights. Also, if a claim is brought against you or one of your works, they will represent you in bringing about the best conclusion possible.
Acquisition – This is one of the most obvious roles of a publisher but is only possible if all of the other roles are in place and working properly. All publishers seek to grow their catalogue (of musical compositions/ copyrights) over time, balancing this with their ability to administer their existing catalogue and taking care of those on their roster.
What is copyright?
Copyright is the original creation (in this case – the composition). There are two possible copyrights relating to compositions.
Music and words – This is separate from, and does not include the recording of that composition.
The sound recording — This is the recording of a musical composition – usually referring to a master.
The copyright owner for both types of copyright could be the same person (in the case of a songwriting artist, for example) or made up of a combination of any number of people, including the publisher who has been given some of the rights in the music.
In the UK, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 ensures that a person owns the rights to copy (copyright) as soon as they fix their original idea in a fixed form by documenting it and/ or recording it. Other territories have different laws and do not operate in exactly the same way.
Now that you’ve copyrighted your music, is it protected?
Although, by law (UK) your composition is copyrighted as soon as it is fixed by documenting it or recording it, in order to establish the date when you created your original work, you will need to register it via official methods. This is necessary each time you create a new work to make sure that if a dispute about ownership arises, there is official proof of the date you claim to have created your work.
Why give away part of your publishing rights?
“Surely it’s best to own as much of the rights as possible?” Yes, if you know what to do to make your music make money, but unless you are going to pitch your songs yourself, owning 100% of publishing rights is little use if your songs don’t really make any money.
Why choose to assign your rights to Big Culture Music rather than another publisher?
If you’ve already tried to get your music placed with a publisher, especially a heavyweight, you will find that it is not a simple task. Obviously, most publishers are set up like any other business – to make money. There are a few that also truly believe in looking after their songwriters/ composers — and Big Culture Music is one of them.
We are not out to capitalise off of your creations at the expense of your bank balance or career, but seek to create a lasting relationship with you, making sure that your music is the best it can be upfront and is administered with excellence once your composition is ready to exploit.
Big Culture Music is working alongside Tweed Jacket Music
Big Culture Music is partnering with Tweed Jacket Music (www.tweedjacketmusic.com) to help complete their existing provision by adding services at the front and backend.
What does the relationship with Tweed Jacket Music involve?
Tweed Jacket Music is a “one-stop-shop for all things music” which centres around getting records cut and promoting artists. By entering into relationship with Tweed Jacket Music, we are able to offer you much more than just publishing – We can also provide you with everything you need to produce your demos and records, get live exposure, and confidence that the end result of this will be as good as it can be.
What does the process look like?
Lyric and Melody Check (Big Culture) – Before getting in the studio, we will work with you to make sure your lyric and melody is as streamlined as possible.
Song arrangement (Tweed) – We work on the song to make it flow and be as good as it can be before pressing the record button.
Pre-Production (Tweed) – Working up the song arrangement with guide tracks and programming, mapping out the direction of the sound and style.
Production (Tweed) – Adding the main parts of the song to the guides – drums, bass, guitar, keys, vocals, backing vocals, programming etc. The engineers make sure they are all recorded to the highest possible quality and we make sure the takes are the best they can be.
Post-Production (Tweed) – Putting on additional sounds and parts to finish the recording.
Mix (Tweed) – Editing and setting the levels to make it sound amazing.
Master (Tweed) – The icing on the cake: making sure the song has the best level, EQ, compression and all-round juiciness to make the biggest impression.
Publishing (Big Culture) – Now you’ve got your finished recording, we can get you placed with other artists, or on TV, Film and Advertising etc.
So, as you can see, our relationship with Tweed Jacket Music gives you access to everything you need to be able to just focus on creating the best music you can and have all the rest covered for you. But if you already have the rest (or just some elements) in place, this will pose no barrier to you working with Big Culture Music and still receive benefits from our connection to Tweed Jacket Music.
What other benefits are there for making Big Culture your home?
Don’t miss an opportunity – Take advantage of the fact that you have discovered an opportunity for having your music considered for placement. If you continue to look elsewhere, you may have to wait a lot longer to find a real home for your music.
Be one of the first to register interest – Get in at the beginning of an expanding business that is starting to explode.
Don’t get lost among many and bigger fish – As one of the first, you will receive our focussed attention. Go elsewhere, and your music may sink to the bottom of the pile, overshadowed by those that have already been established for many years.
Take advantage of something already established – Big Culture Music is in direct partnership with Tweed Jacket Music (www.tweedjacketmusic.com). If you haven’t yet taken a look at what Tweed offers, head on over there and see what else could be made available to you – production, management, promotion and artist development opportunities.
Get opportunities for co-writes and collaborations – We will seek to match you up with others who compliment your music style and can help you grow and develop as a songwriter/ composer.
Receive a personal service – Many publishers have so much to deal with – it is hard to get hold of someone to find help or get your questions answered. We will aim to have someone available for you all the time but if there isn’t someone available right away, we will strive to get back to you within 24 hours.
Now, it’s over to you!
So, we’ve hopefully managed to give you some understanding of what publishing is, why you need a publisher, and why we think you should seriously consider us.
Whether you are just interested in finding out more or are certain that you’d like to have your music considered by Big Culture Music, please drop us a line via the contact form here. We look forward to hearing from you!
Once we have your submissions, we will take time to listen and consider your material and get back to you as soon as possible with a response. If we decide not to take your music on, we will aim to give you clear reasons why.
If you receive a response saying that we would like to work with you, we will get back to you as soon as possible with a proposition for working together. And then the fun begins!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you’re ready to register your interest in being represented by Big Culture Music, click here to get in contact.
All the best,
Founder of Big Culture Music