Our Music Industry: A Cup Half Full Or Half Empty?

Posted by Aaron Davison on Monday, July 16, 2012 Under: July 2012
Today's post is another guest post from music producer Gary Gray.  Gary and I recently created a brand new course on how to produce music specifically for licensing opportunities, called "How To Produce Music That Will Get Licensed And Make You Money".  I am super excited to share this new course with you.  It turned out amazing! Gary is an incredible teacher who has a way of taking really advanced concepts and making them easy to understand.  If you're interested in improving your music production skill, you're going to love this course. 

Anyway, more on that in the next day or two.

Today I thought I'd have Gary introduce himself a bit and share his take on the music industry.  

Take it away Gary....


Our Music Industry: A Cup Half Full Or Half Empty?

How Two Words Can Change Your Life


I know we share something in common already. 

Aaron Davison.

I am honored to know and work with the man who founded and built the HowToLicenseYourMusic.com empire.   I met Aaron earlier this year (in the modern sense of the word ; you know, phone, internet, Skype, email, text - since we live and work thousands of miles apart).  But then people who impact our culture in very definite ways and with clearly effective action - as does Aaron, have a way of making you forget that you never actually met them in person.  I'm sure Aaron and I, since we are now collaborating on several projects in the Music Industry, will soon meet face to face and I look forward to that old-fashioned way of doing business as well.  But his passion for what he does and the care and intensity that he consistently practices leaves it's mark with a feeling that we, the Music Community, are all being cared for by this man, far beyond the normal "entrepreneurial  spirit of enterprise" that we have come to use as a barometer of how successful one has become in this modern age and what their future potential holds.

I know  -- this is Aaron's blog and of course I'm going to say something nice about him.  But I don't give out compliments easily (as a musician, like you, I've had my share of struggles and less than optimum endeavors and business dealings and having been active in the industry for more than 30 years, so I've had to grow some thick skin to get through some stormy days [and weeks and months]).

And that's why it is so refreshing to know that Aaron is out there, working so hard WITH us.   It's crystal clear that he is not doing what he is doing for any other intention than to help

The favorite hats I've worn throughout my career have been teacher and student.    One takes courage and the other humility.  And I see in Aaron an inspiring balance of both.

Having grown up in this industry with incredible opportunities of apprenticeships and mentorships coming my way by some of the top musicians, producers and engineers in several genres, I always looked forward to when I could help mentor and apprentice those who had less experience than me.  A way to give back to the collective storage of knowledge and wisdom that is the core resource of what we do and who we are.

 And yet, interestingly enough, the more I teach, the more I find myself being the student.

In the last year alone,  I've had the opportunity to sit face to face and work with some of my personal heroes of the recording industry, such as Phil Ramone and Quincy Jones.  I still have to pinch myself.

Those moments with icons - where you learn so much in so few words or by just a wry smile as they nod in approval when you do something right - those moments are what make the rest of the struggle and strife of life more than worth it.   We all live for those moments.    It's why we put up with what we do just to sit down in front of a keyboard, a guitar, our home studio, a drum set, a bass, or just a microphone and hope that we can some day share our message and create those moments for others.

And that brings me back to Aaron Davison.  When I first found out about HowToLicenseYourMusic.com, I had just met with my attorney in LA, Ken Burry of Greenburg Traurig.  Ken's hourly rate is more than the first car I bought when I was a kid.  But wellworth it.  Ken is considered one of the best in the entertainment industry.  One of his smaller projects was putting together the entire contractual administration for a show called American Idol.  You see, some of my most important apprenticeships in the Music Industry have been on the Industry side of things. 

This all has to do with Aaron, you'll see.

While living in Hollywood in the mid '80s, my day job was with Music Connection Magazine and at night I played drums and did arrangements under Berry Gordy and Suzanne DePasse at Motown Records Live Productions.  I realized that being the bestmusician was only half the equation. 

You had to know something about business.  You had to know something about people.  You had to know something (and do something) about networking - or you just wouldn't survive.  Even if you have a manager or an agent - if you don't understand a certain amount of wisdom concerning business, you just ain't gonna make it, man.

I was so lucky.  I met and worked with some of the best musicians, and some of the best business minds in our industry.  I never take that for granted.  The opposite, actually - I consider it my duty to pass on as much of that wisdom as possible.

And that brings me back to Aaron Davison and HowToLicensYourMusic.com.  I've tasted the rewards of having my music and my productions being played on National Radio, on National Television, in Movies, on Corporate Websites and on Major Label recordings.  One of the latest recordings I co-produced and mixed and mastered was chosen by one of the top music supervisors in Hollywood, Mason Cooper, as a single on the Concords Record release of the Film Score Soundtrack for a Dennis Quaid film.  The last single I produced, mixed and mastered was recently premiered on CBS National Radio.

So. . . when Aaron Davison asked me to collaborate with him on putting together a course to help members ofHowToLicenseYourMusic.com raise the quality of their recordings so that they could get their music licensed and make money, you better believe I said, "Yes!"

Appropriately enough, our collaboration resulted in a course called, "HOW TO PRODUCE MUSIC THAT WILL GET LICENSED AND MAKE YOU MONEY."  But behind the scenes, I feel  I've found a soul-mate who shares not only the balanced passion of Music and Industry, but who truly cares about people and about seeing them succeed.

And I fully appreciate two words that Aaron has repeated; though I've heard them before from others, it's how he says it and who he is that makes those words stick: "Keep Going."   A cliché - maybe.  But those words helped me recently get through some of lifes ups and downs for sure.  And they allowed me to stay focused so that I could put together the curriculum for what I think is going to be a great ongoing series of courses.

I'm here to fully back-up Aaron in his pursuit to help educate the music community world-wide and to help uphold high standards in what we do.   It's like Quincy keeps telling me, "These are amazing times. We gotta keep the 'industry'in the Music Industry, man.  Keep the flame burning. "

There has never been so much opportunity in the Music Industry.  It's not a choice of whether the Music Industry is a cup "half-empty" or "half-full" - it's flowing over!

So, take Aaron's advice and know that any struggles or troubles will eventually go away if you Keep Going!


Gary Gray

Los Angeles, California

July, 2012

In : July 2012 

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