Thanks for comment, really great.
You make some really interesting points, some we find very familiar to us.
I’m still before my first coffee so…haha.
I think your’e take on the data farms is definitely a familiar conversation. They deal in data, and it just so happens this data is largely music. Much like the music industry that eventually could see how to make money on scale, these new platforms are generally speaking, extensions of that same thinking. I think belongings this relationship is agreeable between artist and farm, then that’s ok. I can’t comment really on what might appeal to one person, group over another. Although I totally agree with you, it is not the world I want to be in. I think it’s very clear what the objective is with many of these platforms. I don’t think we need to feel forced into these unbalanced relationships. We simply don’t have the relationship. I always felt it’s like the equivalent on feeling bad because we are not invited to a party, but the party isn’t for us anyway. It’s a bum deal for the most part. I agree, that part is pretty dismal, but I think that is not the area that should be the focus, it’s almost like a different industry or an industry that no longer has a face that we want to look at. So let’s position ourselves somewhere else.
I think your impression of a partially formed idealistic approach is partially correct for me. It is partially formed. We don’t know what will happen or how certain things need to be adjusted as we go. I believe in Agile, and shipping early, working in the open, and don’t agree with top down hierarchy. So, I think the idealistic part but be fair, should there be a desire to have an outcome, which in our case is basically the focus shifts more to the creativity of the music itself with a more collaborative approach with roles shared. The label is both label and artist, the artist both artist and label. Can we begin to find ways to promote together? Can we share sounds, tracks, directions? All these things. I think we already know the answer to these questions, we do it in other forms all the time, so this is really about shifting the mindset of how this can work.
No appeal outside is a super curious one. I presume you probably mean for the bigger picture, career progress or similar? as obviously there is clear appeal there in some forms. I think this is a super interesting area. So I would ask, does a label need to provide a career, if we say that is what we are talking about, that fits into an industry model that we already recognise as problematic? If the desire is about gaining popularity, then that can be found elsewhere. If it is about gaining money, then there is always the potential to earn money credited or not. If its about say getting work elsewhere based off that work done with the SM-LL label, and how do you provide that proof to a potential employer or new label? Well, i’d say at that point, as with every point along the way, the artist isn’t forced to not take credit, it’s just not announced by us. There is an ambiguity around it. This does also leave the possibility of someone else taking credit for work that isn’t theres, but then I would say they should, as it isn’t anyones. I think that will be super curious.
I think also, unless I was unclear, I don’t want to reduce ego or branding, at least not generally. I think ego and branding are great tools. I think with SM-LL, there is an interesting tension around brand for sure, one mentioned a little in another reply, but ego is always there in some form of course, but when credit being a method to connect creative output to ego is compromised then I think that shifts things slightly, although that’s probably after the fact. During the creative process things will be a bit different. There is a sense of working together to make a good record, not purely a snapshot of someones artist brand/name. I appreciate this is a tricky distinction and overtime maybe we will get better at articulating when we explore it.
I think you also raise a super good point about “your scheme” and being “all about SM-LL” is definitely an area we struggled with. So I have always had to correct people in the past, when referring to me as a label boss or similar, or as your label. I’ve alway referred to it as “the label” and encouraged artists to help evolve it and play a joint role. This has often been really difficult as typically artists expect those more traditional roles. I think it’s worked best when working with Software Developers who are used to working in Agile methodology as they are comparable.
I think what SM-LL ends up becoming is everyone, with roles being blurred and being taken on as temporary, not fixed. I don’t decide whats what no more than anyone else.
I think your point about everyone contributing as a sovereign-less ghost is actually kind of correct. I think I will definitely use this so explain this more So, I have a dislike for hierarchy and have anarchist beliefs. I think the idea of SM-LL being at the top and artists below and uncredited is a scary one if assuming we take credit for everything and claim ownership of SM-LL. I think it’s fair there will be credit attributed to people wether they want it or not, we can’t control or would want to control listeners, but I would say that applies in all cases. Do we acknowledge it or utilise in problematic ways, is the distinction. If everyone involved in SM-LL has a shared role, then everyone benefits in the ways we set out. So it becomes less about our system and everyone else under it looses out, and more a shared system, ideals, and we work together to understand how to iterate on these ideas.
I think the likeminded minds is very key and I think this goes to the other point about being forced. It seems being forced would have to ensure likeminded or not, you have to, but then of course, that falls apart a bit like as mentioned previously about not being able to attend a party you don’t want to be at anyway.
Obviously this is probably more concerns about if this was a model for all, that we should all be like this in some idealistic vision we all should agree on, but we shouldn’t. A world that was all in agreement sounds like a dictatorship regardless of the ideals and aims that fuel it. I think this is more about providing balance and options and using a methodology that enables beneficial ways of working. We couldn’t force someone to remove credits, as there would have been doing collaboration to begin with or any credits to remove. Nobody would be working together if the belief was to then expect a different output with regards to credits, at least within the SM-LL output. Obviously they can take credit outside, but then that is always a possibility anyway.
I have found your comment super useful and challenging. I love it It really helps us work out these sticky areas. It’s definitely not a simple thing I feel so I really value this immensely and to consider for a moment that others might also read this and think about these areas and create interesting methodology is super exciting.
the current terrain is questionably not for us, speaking as someone who makes music and wants to share it and pay for things, so the more creative thinking around finding other ways the better I feel.