Miamilicious Label Membership
What is Miamilicious?
Miamilicious is a young music label focusing on most genres of electronic, electronic dance, and house music.
Miamilicious is also more than label. Its member Artists share ideals, collaborate on songs when desired, receive professional coaching and mentoring to improve technical craft, and have access to guidance on career and Artist business development.
There are only three things that drive progress for every Artist currently on the planet: increased resources, improved capabilities and skills, and access to bigger opportunities. Miamilicious provides help in all three categories so you have a better shot at obtaining your musical dreams.
What makes Miamilicious different?
Beyond the typical “label” things Miamilicious provides such as music publishing, mastering of your creative work, distribution of your music to the global retail market, and collection and payment to you from sales and royalties,Miamilicious Artist Member’sreceive some very un-typical benefits that other labels don’t provide.
What special benefits does Miamilicious provide that other labels don’t’?
The special benefits you receive beyond “typical” music labels can be summed up by the phrase ///Artists First///. When you look at how the industry treats most Artists, it’s almost never “first” and it’s usually not even second or third.
The benefits put together for Miamilicious Member Artists came out of this fact that Artists are rarely treated well. Beyond poor treatment, there is almost zero interest in elevating the artist’s craft or guiding career development by most labels. This combination means too many Artists give up on their dreams. We grew tired of seeing the playing field tilted against you as an Artist and decided to modify the field so at least the parts of the game that should be easy are just that—easy!
As a Miamilicious ///Artist First/// Member you can expect:
- A higher percentage of ownership in every aspect of your creative work as compared to other labels.Miamilicious Member artist’s receive an additional 5% from publishing and we split revenues from your works sold via retail distribution 55:45.
- Access to Miamilicious production coaches (seasoned music producers) who can review works in progress and provide guidance to either improve the work or help you visualize fixing any problems you express related to your work. Regardless of whether you’re completely new to creating your own songs or a seasoned Artist who’s released many albums or songs, access to a mentor as a neutral sounding board improves your craft. For artists needing technical improvement, we can make recommendations on exactly what courses to attend (online of course!).
- Access to the world’s largest sound library of label WAV files for use in your productions for Miamilicious releases.
- Instant credibility for promoting yourself as signed to a Miami based label. Miami is recognized as one of the 7 global epicenters of electronic music. Miamilicious Member Artists gain benefits of the name and location no matter where you live on the planet.
- Use of Miamilicious branded and co-branded merchandise create more interest in your brand as an Artist or DJ-Producer and to help create additional income from local sales.
- Opportunities to perform live at a Miamilicious hosted event during the year or during Winter Music Conference. Performing in Miami means not just a great time in one of the greatest party cities in the world but added Artist and DJ credibility. The industry doesn’t see you as legit if you haven’t performed in Miami.
- Booking agents exclusively for Miamilicious Members Artists aftera critical mass of Artist numbers are reached.
- Access to legal templates and tool kits to protect you in your relationships with venues and managers.
- An Artist’s Handbook that provides some common sense answers on how to improve your chance at long term success in the music industry.
- Guidance on sample clearance for works created via sampling of other Artists original works including legal templates for the sample clearing process. This includes guidance on some novel ways using new technology to eliminate copyright issues with derivative works.
- Guidance with navigating licenses for covering other’s original works.
- Guidance with sub-licensing related to remixes and use of songs from other label’s catalogs including legal templates for the sub-licensing process.
- Discounted legal services for one of the industries global legal experts.
Why be on a record label at all?
To be blunt, without a label affiliation it’s basically impossible to be either rich or famous as a musical Artist.
Besides sex, drugs, girls (and boys) and serious partying (okay….we’re half kidding on those items), the main and biggest reason to be with a label is to easily get your music distributed around the world without that factor being a roadblock for your career.
No distribution = zero chance of success.
The second biggest reason to be on a label is to gain access to a platform, bigger than you as an individual, so that you can are more visible as a music brand and to help you become larger than life if that’s part of your musical dream.
It’s virtually impossible to be discovered, “make it big,” attain any real level of name recognition, or, should you desire, make a great living from your musical creativity or creative works without a straight forward (and easy) path for getting your music from your head, through the production process, and into the marketplace globally. Without a label and without mentors, you’re creative works aren’t as good and whatever you are producing get less attention and that filters one down to you as an Artist, DJ-Producer, or Singer-Songwriter.
What’s changed with record labels, I really don’t understand much of any of this?
To best understand what’s changed, we must go back in time a bit.
The Historical Model (AKA TheLabel as Artist’s “Sugar Daddy”)
The major label model was up until quite recently essentially like this: the label signs an Artist, the label advances money (really a very expensive loan….as there are no free lunches in life) for the recording of an album (or on a “single” deal, for a single only.) The label hopes to recoup that advance (the loan) AND make a profit if they can break the act or song, which has and remains a hard task. Because labels only broke a few bands out of all the ones they signed, the labels recouped their costs *overall* by making a TON of money off of the few acts that made it big (the Rolling Stones subsidized a lot of UnRolling No Ones!).
The way they went about recouping their loans was also pretty nasty, especially regarding how the accounting worked. When it was all said and done, the Artist received only a ten percent credit for every dollar the label earned from record sales that counted towards the loan. In other words, if the advance was 100 thousand dollars, the label would take the first million dollars of profit from the sale of the record before the advance was considered paid off and the Artist would then finally see some earnings from the sale of the album. That’s a lot of dough and it took a very long time!
This model still exists except now, the label only hand picks a handful of Artists that they then take the time to “invent.” A major label still has the ability to create someone out of a mildly talented unknown who they believe is groom able. If you are outside of the power circles where theArtists are hand-picked no one is going to find you.
There are also examples of major Artists who “blew up” on their own without a major label’s involvement at all (Skrillex and Lady GaGa being prime examples). It was only after they became big on their own did major labels become interested. If the traditional model still had 100% control of the market and thus making all the decisions, there would be no Skrillex, and there would be no Lady GaGa.When taken as a whole, it’s mostly a very good thing that the “sugar daddy” model is only a sliver of its former self.
“Modern” 360 Model.
A new, rebranded version of the “sugar daddy” BUT….without much sugar. With the advent of the digital age and online piracy, things have actually gotten worse for Artists. Under the 360 model and contract the label recoups advances not just from the sale of the album, but from every aspect of the Artist’s career, such as concert sales, and the sale of “swag,” that is, licensed t-shirts etc. The labels argue that this was actually a good change for Artists because “they are so good at promotions and concerts and things like that,” but that argument is really b.s. and ultimately the major label-promoter still has a very lop-sided way of looking at the relationship.
Most independent labels are formed and stick to the musical genre(s) that the founder of the label understands, enjoys, promotes, and may even produce or perform personally. Independents have provided the platform for most of the interesting new music of the last 30 years to have access to the market.
What hasn’t changed with the independent model however is the financial terms. Most independent labels simply follow the same publishing and sales percentages of the large label model just because “that’s the way it’s done.” Beyond keeping the relationship lop-sided financially, few independent labels offer real Artist development services or mentoring.
Can’t I be discovered if I put my music on Soundcloud and simply share it?
Soundcloud is great as a platform for sharing your music privately with collaborators or mentors or for sharing small “teasers” of music that is linked to a way to buy from a retailer. It’s also an excellent and user friendly cloud drive service for storing podcasts/radio shows to stream to websites and social media. In fact, Miamilicious uses it as a cloud drive for feeding our radio show to our website and social media sites.
While Soundcloud is great for all those things, it’s lousy for “getting discovered.” In fact, “I’m waiting to be discovered” comments heard from Artists hanging out on Soundcloud are in many cases just a convenient excuse for not making it. The cop out becomes, “I tried, I put my music on Soundcloud, and no one discovered me, (sound of tear drop falling)….I give up.”
A better course of action, instead of waiting around with the herd at Soundcloud (cure the disco cowbell), is finishing songs, getting help if one doesn’t know technically how to complete or execute musical ideas to be commercially viable, having their songs professionally mixed and mastered, getting songs distributed to major digital retailers, and then being in a state of constant self-promotion so fans can actually discover and begin to purchase what actually went into the world instead of sitting on a server at Soundcloud with a few other half-a** producers making comments about what they would change in your artistic work!
Lastly, Artists on Soundcloud often claim they are there looking for collaborative partners. Collaboration is a great way to stimulate more creativity but those seeking to do collaborations are looking for others who have access to publishing and distribution in addition to their own. Thus, once again, a Soundcloud fail.
Ultimately, see and use Soundcloud for the things it’s good for. Pretending it can do things that it can’t is an easy way to waste years of valuable time better spent developing and creating!
I know I’ve got what it takes to be big. Why not simply go directly to the more famous big names labels like EMI, Dim Mak, Virgin, or Universal?
After many years of music industry change and consolidation, thanks to shift to digital distribution, here’s the reality of the big name labels. Yes, there is still nothing like the power of a major label taking an unknown Artist and blowing them up to mega sized proportions in a very short time. Some 21st century examples are Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Rihanna. A little bit of talent + a major label push = stardom. Here’s how all that works. Through connections (on rare occasion a contest), a moderately talented Artist with minimal history of success but some potential is hand-selected and then trained and groomed for mass market commercial success by the label. Songs are then written for them and the studio puts a big team around them that handles everything.
Anyone not having a direct connection inside the label will find the door closed. No amount of dropping off “demo’s” or stalking executives will get those doors opened. If you are an electronic or dance Artist and you make it big on an independent label they might come looking for you (still not a guaranteed thing), but they will have had no part in your gaining your success. That’s the new reality every new and emerging Artist faces. Also, go review the section “What’s changed with record labels.”
Why Miamilicious versus other independent electronic and dance labels?
Ironically, most independent dance labels still think they can be just as rude to you as an Artist as the old-school big labels. Most won’t take a phone call from you, most won’t respond to your email, and if you send them track demos it’s almost a guarantee that no one will listen to them. Oh yeah…they also tend to have a bias towards artists that live near the label. “What, you don’t live in Berlin…..sorry, S.O.L. pal!” [FYI: If you’re “just a DJ” you are really wasting your time sending any label a “mix. Please review the “I’m just a DJ section.”] Additionally, other independent labels are going to use the same “industry standards” that the big labels use to keep more rights, royalties, and ownership of your works than a Miamilicious Artist Member. If you want the short end of the stick, go for it with one of the other indies.
I’ve been reading on blogs that these days anyone can publish and distribute their own music, in fact, why wouldn’t I simply start my own label?
It’s true. Anyone could. What’s usually not discussed is how much time and money this will involve especially registering with multiple publisher rights organizations around the world that keep track of airplay of your music and collect royalties from such. To achieve a truly global distribution to the retail market also requires more than one distribution service (that means it doubles your work!).
With distribution services on your own, you must pay upfront fees to distribute every song or album and in some cases even pay a fee with each passing year for every previous release you sent out into the retail world. If you don’t pay the fee, they remove your work from the retail store! And they claim to be your friend!
Lastly, forming your own label requires you to become a legal business entity which of course brings with it annoying things like business licenses, provincial and national tax reporting, employees, etc.
Some Artists after achieving a certain level of financial success do go on to create their own labels for only their music but often these artists find that the added hassles of running the label ins’t worth it.
Did we mention that everyone artist gets the same 24 hours in a day? From a time management standpoint, it simply doesn’t make sense to do the administrative work of a label as artist when you’re most important tasks are: making music, perfecting your craft, and promoting yourself and your work.
How difficult is it to become a Member Artist with the Miamilicious label?
We don’t discriminate against Artists like other labels.In fact, Miamilicious has an ‘extra wide open door” Member Artist Policy making it straight forward for aspiring, emerging and established Artists to enjoy the benefits of being a Miamilicious Artist.
If you are a DJ that’s never written a song, but realizes you have to step up your game and start composing, the Miamilicious door is open to you. We’ll provide you with guidelines on what steps you need to take to learn the craft of song-writing and production and of course via professional coaching and mentoring.
If you are an aspiring DJ-Producer or Artist-Producer already working on songs and need help and direction and of course getting your works out into the world, the Miamilicious door is open for you.
If you are an aspiring or experienced vocalist that wants to sing on more dance music songs, our door is open and we have Artists ready to compose for and work with you.
If you are an established Artist who deserves a bigger stake in your works financially but don’t want the headache of being your own publisher or dealing with distribution, the same Miamilicious door is open. Our expert legal adviser can also review any previous contracts you’ve signed so you don’t lose out on works you previously have had published.
How do I get signed as a Miamilicious Artist Member?
To become a Miamilicious Artist Member, complete the short Artist application on the website, pay your first month’s Artist fee (less than the cost of many iPhone bills!) and you immediately gain access to all the benefits and services of being a Miamilicious Artist Member.
Can I refer a friend to also be a Miamilicious Artist Member?
Yes, in fact, if you refer a DJ, Artist, Vocalist, or Producer to be a Miamilicious Artist Member, we’ll credit 3 months of your Artist Member fee!
Where can Miamilicious Member Artists be located physically?
To be a Miamilicious Artist Member, all you need is a computer and a reasonably fast internet connection. You can live anywhere in the world. All Miamilicious Artist Member services (besides the live events in Miami) can be accessed from most anywhere in the world.
Why do Miamilicious Artist Member’s pay a monthly Artist fee to be a part of the label?
The main reason is in the fact that the label, as a business, forgoes all upfront sales revenue that would normally go to supporting daily operation costs and the Artist fee helps offset this so that we can keep the lights on and the servers humming. That forgoing of up front revenue is a side effect of our ///Artists First/// philosophy; a side-effect that we’re proud to live with. After an Artist’s creative works are generating sales and royalties, their Artist fee can even be debited from their royalties each quarter.
The collective buying power of all the Miamilicious Artist Members on the label results in our ability to hire professionals to develop you as an Artist via coaching and mentoring your works, to buy promotion for Artistic works being produced by Miamilicious Artists and to support the electronic sound file library licensed for use by Miamilicious Artists in their song writing.
To understand why this type of arrangement, the use collective energy and resources, works well, simply back up in time to about 100 years ago. Way before the internet, Artists would often congregate physically together in “Artist colonies.” It was a direct way to be inspired creatively, to create better works as critique and guidance was easily available, and to receive mentorship from more experienced Artists. The “price of membership” in those days was manual labor outside of the hours allotted to Artistic creativity to support the colony’s daily needs. They days and work were long and hard but a reasonable trade off for the artist.
Now thanks to technology getting less expensive with each passing year and because of high speed internet connectivity, any Artist on the planet can be a part of the 21st century Miamilicious “music colony” to access benefits created collectively at a reasonable cost and for less than what you’d pay for as an individual by yourself to duplicate even half of what Miamilicious Member Artists receive.
The Artist fee at every level is less than what many Artists already pay in “smart” phone or cable/satellite TV subscription bills and it should be noted that none of those things contribute to anyone’s success as an Artist.
When Miamilicious hosts live writing and collaboration sessions for Member Artists or has live performance events for Member Artists in Miami no one has to worry about feeding chickens or plowing a field but you will be expected to log some time on the beach in the sun!
Do my Artist services “roll over” each month?
For critique services, no. We’ve found that without monthly and quarterly deadlines on production work it’s too easy for Artists to procrastinate and say they’ll “get to that critique” or “I’ll get around to finishing my next track” later and it never happens. We all get more works finished and keep moving towards our artist goals as a by-product of a monthly deadline for critique.
For mastering services, you can “bank” your mastering and use them at a future time as long as you are an active Miamilicious Member Artist.
What if I stop paying my Artist fee?
You no longer have access to member services or benefits. You do, however, still retain your more favorable royalty and license arrangements on all works already published by the label as part of our ///Artist First/// philosophy. If your works are selling, previous Artist fees are deducted from royalties and of course any royalties owed are paid back to you.
Can I release works with other labels?
Absolutely. If you submit a track that isn’t acceptable for either of our two imprints, you are free to submit it to another publisher/label.
I’m just a DJ, what can Miamilicious do for me?
The great thing about technology is that it allows DJs to be more creative than ever before.The downside of the technology also means that “DJs are a dime a dozen” and easily replaceable. If you want to not be part of that “dozen for a dime” DJ world, you have to enter the world of real music production and not just claim being a producer because you made some mash-ups in garage band.
If you want regular bookings, beyond your local club or lounge, you have to be different than all the other “I’m just a DJs” out there. The best path to do that is to be making your own songs.
Ultimately, the days of being “just a DJ” and becoming big internationally are over.
We’ll provide guidance and mentoring for you to move beyond “just a DJ” to a real DJ-Artist-Producer.
I’m a bedroom DJ, how can Miamilicious help me?
Every DJ and Artist started in their bedroom (or garage!). If you have dreams that are bigger than that, we’ll provide guidance and mentoring to get you to your next steps as an Artist.
I’m an Artist-Producer, how can Miamilicious help me?
Artist-Producer’s receive the same benefits as a DJ-Artist-Producer. Additionally, Miamilicious Artist Members are likely to play your work (it’s encouraged) which helps sell your works to the public.
I’m a dance music vocalist or songwriter, how can Miamilicious help me?
Vocalist and songwriting members can benefit by being readily available to Artists and producers on the label for using your voice in their production work. Having your vocals on Miamilicious produced songs means your name gets out into the marketplace and Artists from other labels may seek you out if they like what they hear.
Beatport allows me to sell my mixes that I build from songs I buy from Beatport, why not just do this?
Beatport’s mix service is designed to do one thing and that is to make Beatport more money. It also makes the original Artist who wrote the track that you put into your mix more money too. Unfortunately, unless you have thousands of fans willing to buy your mixes from Beatport, to be blunt, you’re wasting your time.
I have a bunch of unfinished tracks in my library. Now what?
Less experienced songwriters and producers often find that finishing a musical idea can be the most difficult part of the creative process. For that reason, Miamilicious Artist Members have access to seasoned music producers specialized in all genres of electronic music who can coach and give you feedback on what steps to take to complete your tracks. Having a neutral 3rd party as a sounding board is a critical item missing for most artists. You’re friends and parents are going to tell you that everything you do rocks. Artists, just like athletes, need “coaches” that can help them improve creatively and technically.
If you need some structured coursework for technical skills and help with music theory, your Miamilicious Mentor will provide guidance on steps to take. Anything recommended to you will be available in an online format.
My track is almost done, but I need to get it mastered. How can you help?
All of the Miamilicious Artist Member levels provide for mastering of your tracks. [See the Membership Details page for the differences between levels.] We also have mixing engineers affiliated with Miamilicious who can, for a low fee, finish mixing songs before they go to mastering.
Do you accept demos?
There’s no need to submit a demo. Our professional production mentors are here to help you from whatever artistic level you arrive at not from some preconceived expectation on our part. Any works in progress you have will be reviewed as part of your being an artist on the label.
How do you sell and promote my tracks?
Miamilicious distributes your tracks to the 43 largest music retailers on the planet which of course includes the biggest ones like Beatport, iTunes, and Amazon. Distribution also includes streaming services so that revenue from those sources is not missed. If our creative team feels that one of your songs has good potential for a higher level of commercial success Miamilicious will provide additional paid-promotion so that your song gets more attention.
Does Miamilicious have multiple imprints?
Miamilicious has two imprints. ‘Miamilicious’ and MUrge. Miamilicious released songs are those works that we feel have the best chance of commercial viability and that creatively represent the best work of our Artists. MUrge released songs are works that represent artists still finding their way, and while perhaps not as commercially viable, still deserve to be released so that the artist benefits from a catalog of work visible to the public.
Having two imprints is another part of our ///Artist First/// philosophy since it allows more flexibility with our releases and ultimately more total releases from our artists. A win-win for the label and our Artists.
Will Miamilicious publish and release every track that I submit as a Miamilicious Artist Member?
If every track you produce meets the quality standards of one of the two imprints, then yes.
If however, the song needs work and isn’t something that we’d proudly be associated with on either of the imprints, we’ll suggest revisiting the song with a mentor to improve what may be problematic. One of the reasons, we provide mentoring and coaching services is so that every Artist affiliated with Miamilicious can ultimately produce works that will be worthy of you and Miamilicious.
If you disagree with our assessment of a song you’ve submitted, you can either have the track featured on a public Facebook, sponsored by us, where fans and the public can hear the song and vote on whether they like it. If the song is getting a lot of attention, we’ll reconsider releasing it. You are also free to have your track mastered as part of your Member Artist benefits and then have it published and released outside of Miamilicious.
What about sample clearances?
We all wish that samples didn’t have to be cleared. It’d be great to take a riff from a famous song and turn it into something even cooler. Unfortunately, most pop songs that were blockbusters never grant clearance or if they do the fees required for the clearance don’t make sense for a genre like electronic and dance music. [There are new technologies allowing you to get creative without breaking copyright laws. That technology is discussed in the Artist handbook.]
The real danger is that un-cleared samples can easily lead to expensive lawsuits for you as the Artist.
Therefore, all copyrighted derivative works (sampling) of other Artists works must be cleared. If you’ve used a sample, you must show proof of clearance. We provide you with a toolkit for that purpose.
Miamilicious Artist Members are encouraged to report un-cleared samples they hear in any songs released on either Miamilicious imprint since a single lawsuit involving an un-cleared sample that escapes our review could not only create a serious legal situation for the individual Artists but it can endanger the entire label’s existence!
Am I guaranteed to perform at Miamilicious sanctioned events?
Any Miamilicious Artist who demonstrates technical proficiency for playing live before audiences will be considered. Artists lacking technical skills will be given guidance on how to improve and become performance ready.
How often do I receive statements and royalties from Miamilicious?
Our label management software generates a quarterly report and deposits any royalties owed quarterly on your behalf via PayPal. Every music retailer has their own system for how often they pay royalties back to the label and our management system tracks everything and provides you with an easy to understand report of royalties.
What does my Miamilicious Artist Member fee include?
Every Miamilicious Artist Member enjoys the following:
///Artists First/// Benefits for Miamilicious Artist Members
- Higher revenue percentage from your works from both the publishing and retail side. Five percent more via publishing (PRO) revenue and five percent more for you (55:45) from retail sales.
- Access to professional production mentors (all who are active Artists and producers) in the following audio programs (Ableton, Maschine, Logic, Reason, Cubase). Work in progress coaching type and feedback is specific to Artist level.
- Mastering, publishing, and song distribution specific to Artist level.
- Access to preferred mixing engineer services. Mixing engineer will provide a “here’s what I did audio or video file” as a mentoring service.
- Access to the world’s largest label sound library of electronic music WAV files for production use.
- Artist Credibility for promoting yourself courtesy of being on a label in one of the 7 global epicenters of electronic music.
- Use of the Miamilicious co-brand merchandise by Artists at their local level.
- Performanceat live at a Miamilicious hosted event during the year or during Winter Music Conference by Artists who are technically proficient.
- Online collaboration opportunities with other Miamilicious Artist Members. Occasionally, live collaboration and writing sessions in Miami.
- Option to team up with a label mentor to complete unfinished works that are then co-published with the mentoring Artist.
- Booking agent will be available after a critical mass of Artist members is reached.
- Access to legal templates and toolkit to protect you related to venues, liability, and managers.
- An Artists Handbook that provides some common sense answers on how to improve your chance at long term success in the music industry.
- Toolkit for sample clearance and sublicensing related to remixes using other Artists’ original works.
- Discounted legal services via Miamilicious’ global music legal expert.
Beyond the ///Artist First/// benefits, each Artist Level has services specific to that level.
PROMiamilicious Artist Member fee includes:
- Monthly mentoring critique of your native production DAW file with audio feedback provided for the production.
- Monthly mastering of one track.
- Monthly track releasefor global distribution***
- 75% discount on additional work critiques
- 75% discount on additional mastering
- 75% discount on mixing engineer services
Deluxe Miamilicious Artist Member fee includes:
- Bi-Monthly (every other month) mentoring critique of your native production DAW file with audio feedback provided for the production.
- Quarterly (every three months) mastering of one track.
- Quarterly (every three months) track release for global distribution***
- 50% discount on additional critiques
- 50% discount on additional mastering
- 50% discount on mixing engineer services
Basic Miamilicious Artist Member fee includes:
- Bi-annual (every six months) mentoring critique of your native production DAW file with audio feedback provided for the production OR Quarterly (every three month) mentoring critique of an MP3 file of a work in progress with audio feedback.
- Bi-annual (every six months) mastering of one track.
- Bi-annual (every six months)track release for global distribution***
- 25% discount on additional critiques
- 25% discount on additional mastering
- 25% discount on mixing engineer services
***Songs must meet Miamilicious publishing standards for release into the distribution system. Songs not meeting that standard can go through the mentoring process forcritique and then be resubmittedfor mastering and distribution once the standard is met. Artists are also free to either have the song put on a sponsored social media page to have fans and the public vote to change our opinion or the Artist candistribute a song not meeting Miamilicious publishing standards by any other route they desire.