2018 was a crazy year for Dj Iceman. he wrote 2 Amazon best selling books “Ownership Is Everything” and “The New Beat Makers Handbook” and opened his web design firm Big Boss Web Solutions. and on top of that he has his production company Big Boss Beatz and his promotional company Big Boss Ent. “its a lot of hats to wear but its necessary to maintain other streams of income in this business.”
So why is it so important for artist to think like businessmen in this day and age in the music industry?
Its always been important,cause as an artist you ARE a business within yourself. but you have to be more on point now cause of things like 360 deals. there is REALLY no money in music if you are an indie artist or are just starting out. the industry is trying to squeeze every penny out of you and you’re trying to keep as much as you can.
So what’s the key to keeping more?
Ownership. you have to own everything you can. your stage name,your image, your logo, your music. ownership is leverage. 99% of the people who got fucked over in the music industry got fucked over cause they didnt own their content. if you own it, you control it. they cant offer you 40% royalties if you’re already getting 90%.
What about outside business investments?
I think it’s VERY important to have investments and income streams outside of the music. you may not do music forever. you won’t be hot or on top for long this is about “Life After” i knew i wasn’t gonna be djing forever, so i opened my promo company in 2015. and that started from a $500 investment. as time went on i just started investing in more things. in 2017 i retires from djing after 34 years. i started making beats and opened a production company. then this year i opened my web design firm to deal with things outside of the music. if you look at all the guys whos on top the Jay-Z’s the Nas’s the Lil Flips’s they are doing so much more outside of the music and it goes beyond the normal restaurants,liquors and clothing lines. (even though they have those as well) they are investing in things like tech companies and real estate. it a pretty good way to build a nest egg.
What advice would you give to future investors?
Start small, do your homework and trust your gut. i started out flipping websites, and i still invest in websites. find something your passionate about and something you know. if you like cooking maybe start out making sandwiches. as a music artist it always starts out with merch. cds,shirts,hoodies, hats and the like. if you are a producer start with a mixing and mastering service if you can do that. start from your home base and expand out. you don’t need a million dollars to be an investor.
What about for someone who just wants to stay within the music realm?
Your music is your product,so its important that you own everything. have your own website and set it up for direct sales of your music and merch. and remember you don’t have to be signed to make money and its not all about streaming. once you properly own your music and publishing you can license your music out for commercials,tv,movies,video games,etc. you can ghost write and sell verses and hooks. same thing if you’re a beat maker. you have the ability do make sound kits you can sell you can do leases as well as exclusive sales.
Any last words of advice?
There’s always another stream of income around the corner. you just have to have the vision,and don’t be scared to invest! a lot of times people focus on what they are spending now and don’t see what they are gaining in the long run. if you do your homework and trust your gut you’ll be fine. don’t worry about “what if i lose money” theres always that risk. but if you’re afraid to lose then you’re afraid to win.
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