Hold Me (feat. ELY) is OUT NOW – Progress Update December 2016


What a great month.

The first thing worth mentioning is the release of Hold Me, a somewhat chill, somewhat upbeat house track, with a driving trance bass.

It’s the first track that I’ve done a proper marketing push (with Budi Voogt’s marketing strategy), and it’s exciting to see the results.

Liveliness, a YouTube channel with 109,667 subscribers, uploaded it to their channel. In just a few days, it has racked up 3,659 views and 146 likes. Thanks Liveliness!

Josep Vinaixa was kind enough to premier the track on his popular music blog, Ultimate Music. This lead to a few hundred plays on Soundcloud.

(Download Hold Me or stream it on your favorite platform here.)

There has been a couple other small wins, including good feedback from friends on Facebook, and a few smaller channels which have reached out to me to upload it.

If you add everything up, you’d probably find the track has over 4,000 plays across the various platforms. John Lavido’s total fan count also grew by 89 fans (from November to December).

While 4,000 plays is nothing compared to the big guys with hundreds of millions of plays, it’s a good step forward. Especially when you consider that my last track, an official remix of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda (which I did zero promotion for) generated a massive 83 plays.

Looking over November’s update, I can see that I got almost everything done…

One of the interesting things I realized this month is that I could hire someone to take care of the marketing relatively easily. This lead to another interesting thought, that perhaps my best use of time is to work on my business (an existing business that isn’t in the music industry), increase sales, and then use that cash to invest in hiring someone to run the music marketing processes.

The goal would be to have them running it entirely on their own, with the business automated, so I can spend all my time on the craft of making music.

Also, you might have chuckled when I mentioned analysing a Nickelback song above. The funny thing about Nickelback is they’re one of the biggest rock bands in the world, in a time when rock n’ roll isn’t anywhere near as popular as it was in the 80s and 90s, yet they also attract hordes of haters.

Here’s the thing –

Regardless of whether you like their music or not, Nickelback is a fascinating case study in marketing and growing a music act. They’ve managed to succeed despite the odds, and despite the haters. They’ve obviously figured something out about how this business works (The Chainsmokers are another similar example – they’ve broken it down into a formula).

Maybe you don’t want to follow a formula. Maybe you want to make “art”. But what does that even mean? What’s your goal for your art? To selfishly make whatever you want and ignore the needs and desires of your fans? Or to balance your desires with the desires of the market so you can have the best of both worlds?

I’m not suggesting selling out or making music you don’t like.

I just know that for myself, I want to have a great time making music, but I also want to make music for as many people as possible. If that means tweaking, optimising and refining everything I do in order to serve people, I’m down. I think it’s how to have the biggest impact.

Check out this quote from Nickelback’s Wikipedia’s page:

“Around 2001 Chad Kroeger started “studying every piece, everything sonically, everything lyrically, everything musically, chord structure. I would dissect every single song that I would hear on the radio or every song that had ever done well on a chart and I would say, ‘Why did this do well?'” Kroeger said that Nickelback’s single “How You Remind Me” sold so well because it was about romantic relationships, a universal subject, and contained memorable hooks.”

Is this selling out?

I don’t think so.

I think it shows that you care about your craft, and that you care about making music that is pleasing to people. If you want to be the most technically proficient and build a fanbase of producer-geeks, be my guest. I’d rather make music for ordinary people who just want to have a good time.

That’s why I’ve been approaching my music career the same way Chad Kroeger describes it above. Analysing songs. Looking for trends. Always asking why.

If you poke around the internet and research major artists like Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers and Kiss, you’ll find they also adopt similar strategies like this.

Also worth reading is this article on how The Chainsmokers are conquering the mainstream.

Here’s my plan over the next 30 days:

  • Make a gritty version of Hold Me to practice my chops.
  • Do a few calls with mentors.
  • Implement some new strategies in my non-music business.
  • Finish Hook Theory 2.
  • Enjoy Christmas with my family.

Let’s do this.

Happy December, and happy Christmas.


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Mike - December 28, 2016

Hey man, we think about music in the exact same way. There are things to be learned, so why not analyze, learn and apply in creative ways? Good stuff!

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