TOM KEIFER's Advice To Up-And-Coming Artists

Culture Brats recently conducted an interview with Tom Keifer, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based blues-rock band CINDERELLA. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Culture Brats: On Facebook the other day, you wrote about how companies with unfair royalty payments are hurting the development of new artists. Would you like to elaborate on that?

Keifer: I think it just comes down to the thing about the lost revenues in the industry. There's a lot of emphasis placed on that lost revenue contributing to artists not being paid fairly for their creations, which is true. That's just one aspect of it, because the lost revenue in the industry due to illegal downloading and some of these streaming networks, a lot of that revenue that's been lost would flow back through record companies and publishing companies to develop artists. I was lucky enough to come up in a time when a label would spend a lot of time and money to record a record. They would not only record the first one, but the second and a third, add develop an artist and bring the artist along. I think that that's an aspect of how the industry's been hit that a lot of people don't think about because the emphasis is put on unfair rates paid to artists, which doesn't resonate with a lot of fans. I think the broader picture of up-and-coming artists not getting the same opportunities afforded to them because of the lost revenues is a much broader issue and problem and I think the window is closing and getting smaller and smaller for those kind of opportunities for new artists. It's sad.

Culture Brats: What advice would you give to a band starting out today?

Keifer: It all starts with the music and that music should be you. It should be uniquely you and come from your soul. Don't chase trends, stick to what's true to you and what's in your heart. If you do that and you're fortunate enough, maybe the trend will become you. That's first and foremost, no matter what generation you're in. Secondly, every generation has its challenges to overcome. The more you can arm yourself with information and knowledge and try to figure out how to get around the challenge you face today, it's important. We had our set of challenges, there's nothing new, there's always challenges. So you stick to your dream and figure out how to make it happen. This goes beyond music, too. The current challenges due to technology [are] really punching the creative industry hard due to lost revenues. It goes into literature, movies. It goes into software development because a lot of that is pirated. It's way beyond just music. It has a real domino effect, too. Look at all the bookstores closing, all the movie stores closing, all the record stores that are gone. Obviously, it's a far-reaching problem beyond people being paid fairly for their creations. Which I'm not saying isn't an issue, I think that is an issue. It comes down to the technical term which is intellectual property, which applies to software, literature, movies, music. And I'm sure there's a bunch that I'm not even thinking about.

Read the entire interview at Culture Brats.

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