3 Things We Learned About the Music Industry from Rico Love + We Love Music Conference

Rico Love stopped by The Breakfast Club to promote his new music conference that’s being offered through the Black Expo entitled, We Love Music Conference. This conference was put together in an effort to develop up and coming song writers, producers, artists, managers, etc. It offers classes taught by industry leaders, including a class on the art of songs, taught by Rico Love himself that teaches you the steps you should take in order to make a hit song. Rico also notes that with giving this valuable information in the conference, it will increase the quality of up and coming music and therefore, increase the value of music. We Love Music Conference is very affordable; price point at $175 for 2 days.
Rico Love didn’t just talk about his conference though, he also shared some knowledge/thoughts about the music industry (as he always does). Here are 3 things we learned:

(1) How Music Streaming Affects Song Writers 

The Breakfast Club brought up how streaming affects sales of an album due to a new rule that allows streams to count as album sales. We’ve recently seen this affect with the album sales of Drake and Beyoncé’s new albums. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” sold about 650k in 4 days, while Drake’s “Views” sold slightly more than that in one day. How you ask? Tidal (the only streaming service that has “Lemonade”) only has 3 million subscribers, while Apple Music (the only streaming service that has “Views”) has 13 million subscribers. More exposure leads to more streams. However I’d like to know how much of those “album sales” are actual sales and how much of that is streaming, because from what I understand, artists don’t make as much from streaming as they do from actual sales.

Rico’s concern in this situation is how streaming affects song writers and producers. Of course, streaming services have deals with major labels and artists get paid for those streams, but what about the writers and producers? I would think since the writers and producers have the majority ownership of the songs that it would be illegal to not pay them for streaming. However, neither Rico, nor I, was sure on the logistics of these streaming deals.

(2) It’s Hard to Mix Business with Artistry

Any artist knows that adding the stress of doing business puts strain on the process of creating your art. For me, once something feels like a business, it takes the fun out of the artistic process. Rico agrees that it’s hard to mix the 2, but doesn’t think it’s impossible. It’s all about surrounding yourself with the right team.

(3) Independent Artists Have an Advantage Over Signed Artists

Teenagers today grew up having Napster (1999) and Lime Wire (2000), so they don’t know the excitement of being able to go to a record store and buy an album when it’s released. Rico says that independent artists have figured out a formula that works that record labels haven’t figured out yet; the art of making fans fall in love with that artist’s movement/wave. The stronger an artist’s “cult like” following, the more likely those fans will support them. The independent wave is so effective that some artists are secretly signed; signed to a major label, but advised to not tell anyone and still act as if they aren’t signed. Rico also attributes the success of the independent movement to fan perception. If you look like you’re struggling, fans are more inclined to support you and want to see you win. If you look like you’ve already “made it”, fans may not support you and may even resent you for it.

Comment and let us know what you think about Rico Love’s thoughts about the music industry. Will you be signing up for his music conference? Check out his interview below.

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