Dear Steve – a brief guide to the modern music business in the UK

Note: a friend of mine knows a young, talented, attractive, committed singer/songwriter. They asked for my advice. 

PS: we have a gig in Soho next week. No coincidence..



Hey Steve,

mental week here, sorry it’s taken a while to write you a proper response..

The first question is, where is she/you based? If in the UK then great. If not then all my subsequent advice comes with the heavy caveat that I might well be talking total shit, rather than just out of my arse. If you are UK based, look seriously at joining AIM ( – the trade association of independent labels.

Secondly, always remember music. is. a. business. no. matter. what. country. or. genre. you. look. at. so some of this always applies.

Thirdly, remember that this is a long-haul enterprise. It takes a minimum of 3 years to break an act that is already running on all cylinders, producing great music and replicating it live.

Probably the best option for releasing the music at this stage is to set up a single-artist label – people do this all the time for self-release and there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact I would say the majority of releases (rather than majority of revenue, note) these days are self-releases. You will still be able to get things done, no problem. Working in that way (rather than trying to get signed) has the added advantage that if someone does want to sign her in the future it’s easy for them  – if you have a prior commitment with a smaller label there will usually be a buy-out or release clause, or other exclusivity criteria t=

This entry was posted in Blog, Music and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.