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Music Beat

September 1, 2007

Music Beat: Success takes more than good music

Oneonta is home to many talented musicians and bands. What does a band have to do to build an audience and get a record deal?

I asked that question recently in a conversation with Doug Yoel, president of Now Forward Music Inc., when he and his wife were visiting Oneonta from his New York City office.

Now Forward is primarily a record-label services company that markets, manages and distributes label-related products.

Although Yoel has a youthful appearance, he has already accomplished a great deal in the business.

He is a two-time Grammy-nominated record producer (Roy Haynes’ "Whereas" and "Fountain of Youth"), a label manager for Dreyfus Records (jazz/electronic), Thelonious Records (jazz/hip hop), Kindred Rhythm (folk rock/eclectic) and several other labels.

He handles worldwide marketing and licensing for his clients, as well as promotion and booking.

He has experience with major labels and indies, so I asked his opinion about helping a band to build a career.

"Suppose there’s a band in Oneonta that has achieved some popularity. They’ve made a CD to sell at concerts and they have their own website," I said. "They play in local bars and clubs but they want to reach a bigger audience and they may even be thinking about getting a deal with a record company.

"What are the next things they should do to build their career?"

Yoel said, "They need to have a good understanding about who they are. They should know who their audience is and how to reach a larger group of people who may like their music.

"The band should also make a business arrangement among members, especially in the area of song writing.

"If the group is collaborating on the music and there’s no agreement about song writing or other income splits, when the group gets successful there will be difficulties deciding who owns what and who should be paid for the music."

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