For creators and producers in the music industry, the landscape can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of undervaluation and undercompensation. A potential remedy to these concerns might lie in the formation of a unified organization that brings together songwriting producers and artists, empowering them to proactively address these challenges.
In our recent Pay The Creators Podcast episode hosted by BeatStars Founder & CEO, Abe Batshon, entertainment lawyer Karl Fowlkes shared his experiences growing up in South Jersey and the challenges he faced in his career. Fowlkes emphasized the importance of innovation and creating a more equitable music industry. He also suggested that social media platforms, such as Twitter, could be a powerful tool for lawyers to utilize for communicating with young creators. Recently, Karl was recognized as one of Billboard's "Top Music Lawyers of 2023", reflecting the immense impact of his expertise on numerous music creators globally.
Collaboration and technology are also essential for tackling challenges in the music industry, particularly when it comes to ensuring that all artists are fairly compensated for their work. Karl and Abe highlighted the importance of registering all songs and working together to achieve this goal. Additionally, it was discussed that artists can use their platforms for more than just music, using their influence to make a positive impact on the world.
Another topic that surfaced was the importance of building a brand as a music creator. It was suggested that to increase their leverage in negotiations, creators must add value beyond producing a track. By building more valuable intellectual property and creating brand equity and awareness, music creators can scale their operations. Karl mentioned that he discovered GRAMMY-nominated artist Blxst via social media early on before he had a lot of fans and a big reason he decided to work with him was due to how well he branded himself as an artist.
"For me, it was instant… One day I was going through my release radar on Spotify and his song just popped up. From there, I went through a rabbit hole and I was like this guy is ‘intentional’. It really spoke to me then that you didn’t need to have much money to put out a consistent brand and he was just doing it. I was like, this guy just needs a little help.” - Karl Fowlkes
The music industry is constantly evolving, and collaboration, innovation, and a willingness to disrupt traditional practices are crucial for ensuring that creators and producers receive the compensation and recognition they deserve. Social media platforms and technology can be powerful tools for achieving this goal, and music creators must build their own brand and intellectual property to increase their leverage and scale their operations. With a united community and a forward-thinking mindset, the music industry can thrive and continue to produce incredible art.
Episode 7 of Pay The Creators featuring Karl Fowlkes is available on all streaming platforms. Tune in and learn more about his successful music entrepreneur!