First and foremost, I want to say Thank you to my Fans and Supporters who have been by my side since my 1st Single/Album in 2009. I’m so grateful for your love and support throughout this crazy ride. Your inspiration and encouragement has created the most significant foundation for me to stand on and feel stronger everyday in my mission. I am most compelled to blog and express my experiences and concerns within the music industry right now because of the critical designs that are now in position for the benefit of few, and not the benefit of the fans, artists, songwriters and all who are suppose to make up the music industry. It is now time to speak candidly about the issues at hand, as I feel it is my job to do so.
Over my 7 years of being in this music business I have seen and experienced so much that I would have otherwise been completely blind and naïve to. Watching the music industry as a spectator when I was a child/ teen was so exciting for me. I believed in the picture that was painted. I believed that all it took was talent and hard work….
Ladies & Gents: This is certainly not the case.
Whether the industry has ever operated in a “just” manner, I have no idea because it would have been before my time. What I do know is that since the beginning of my career up until now, there is nothing real, fan based or sales based that is representing the whole of music. Making it in the industry right now has nothing to do with hard work, discipline, talent, or any of those characteristics that sound really nice. My accomplishments alone are a testament to that statement.
There is a larger game at stake here that seems to have been in play for many years. It is called politics, manipulation, capitalization and control. Through my future blogs I will speak more specifically on those four concerns that have been damaging the industry, independent artists, and the listeners/fans, consumers.
First I will just lay out an example based on my over all career up until this point.
As an Independent artist I have had 20 plus song placements on VH1 & MTV Reality shows including a major feature with my song “Here With Me” on NY’s 1st season of “Love and Hip Hop” which climbed billboard Airplay & Sales charts to #4. Along with my single “4 the lovers” spending 16 weeks on the billboard charts peaking at sales charts #7. My other 2 Singles “Bcuz I Luv U” & “Ring My Bell” both charting as well. I then had song placements on Basketball Wives, Single Ladies, and scored 2 major theme songs for the Hit TV Reality Series “Hollywood Exes” & “Atlanta Exes” with my song “Make It”.
I couldn’t get any outside exposure or visibility even though all of this was happening with my music and sales. Every door that my label and I knocked on was closed as if my career was happening but I couldn’t be involved? The industry on the public side TV, award shows, magazines had separate reasons for why they would not feature me or invite me as a guest, singer, performer. And the reasons were sometimes an insult on my talent, voice, label,,,,etc.?
My Label BSE Recordings and myself were perplexed that I had the #1 Song (In All Genres) on ITunes. I had 4 Singles off my first Album climbing up the Billboard and Sales Charts and yet most all media outlets not only weren’t interested, but many had something to say about my music, or even ethnicity?? What? How could my music be doing so well, but I am not an allowed participant?
This my friends is when the red flags went up…and this is when everyone’s red flag should go up. This is when you know deep in your intuition that something is very wrong. I knew someone, somewhere is trying to silence my light. But why… This couldn’t be because I am an Independent artist on an Independent Label could it??? I thought, “well,.. that wouldn’t be right”… If I only knew then that there were millions more things that “weren’t right”.
The second thing that wasn’t right, if you can believe this, BSE and I also were not the entity that were even receiving our sales monies coming in from my music at that time. Yes thats right, don’t trust anyone!!! Apparently that was just a standard partying gift for trusting the so-called “professionals” that work in the business taking good care of Indie artists.. They are professional alright, professional thieves. (Look for my future blog on professional thieves).
So I had the #1 best selling song, and Album with 4 of it’s singles topping charts, and our company BSE recordings, weren’t receiving the profits nor I any media recognition. We of course eventually regained control over my music as soon as we realized we were hoodwinked and we never let that happen again. But along with us gaining back control of my material, my profile on Billboard started magically dissolving along with all of my music’s accomplishments on there. Also my profile on iTunes is no longer in the charting system, I’m not even placed in the Independent Music side of Itunes right now nor any of my releases are posted anywhere on new releases. Not to mention my music reviews from my fans have been and still are magically being taken down by Amazon & ITunes after being posted ?? So apparently these are the consequences for being Independent and being in control of your material.
A deep knowing within me knew there was no choice but for me to continue, so I did so with no money at all. My second Album “Substance” became a blessing. Myself an my label scrounged up as much financing as we could to make this Album happen. “Substance” became a canvas of pure emotion for me. I was so confused and upset about the state of the world and, of course, the music business. Everything seemed so artificial and totally not genuine. I was also more motivated knowing that there was a force out there against me from succeeding. “Fight 4 Ur Life” is a song from “Substance” that was inspired by my obstacles at that point. Two singles did very well off of Substance. “Waiting” spent 20 weeks at #1 in Soul on Amazon, and “Bcuz Ur Lonely” spent several weeks at #1 in Classic R&B Amazon Charts. But still no mainstream media interest or visibility. We hired one PR representative after another that were repeatedly contacting the national media outlets, TV and award shows, mags etc. and proving to them my accomplishments and that I am just as deserving to celebrate my accomplishments as the artists that are out there being privileged to appear over and over on TV etc.. But the answer was no, or just simply no response.
Now don’t get too discouraged because I didn’t walk down this path for nothing!!! I was even more motivated to continue my music more than ever. After much soul searching, I realized whatever power “thinks” they can hide my light from shining or from succeeding wether by trying to cover previous crimes they may have committed with my music or even just because there is a strong grasp/control on the entertainment industry.. as far as who succeeds and who doesn’t….just because that’s how they operate??
Nobody, is going to tell or make me feel that I’m Not going to be successful,…..and that’s exactly where the soul of my new Album “Thru The Veil” comes from. “Thru the Veil” is about claiming your success and standing in your own power because you now know that you have it, and also that you can “see” through the illusion (aka, the bullshit)
I also realized then my mission is much bigger than my music. It is also to do something about all this…
“Thru The Veil” was released in October 2014 and reached the #1 R&B Album and the # 3 Pop Album in the U.S. sales charts. My new Single “ Can’t Get Enough ” spent over 8 weeks in R&B as the # 1 best selling song and # 13 in U.S. Pop Songs. At the same time “ Here we Are Now ” & “ It’s There ” featuring Brian McKnight was # 2 & # 3 in R&B best sellers for 8 weeks as well. So all together I had the Top 3 best selling R&B Songs and the same 3 in the Top 20 in Pop Songs in the U.S., yet again I was still sitting at home for another year watching the AMA’s, Grammys, Billboard awards, BET Awards, Soul Train awards, Black Women Rock, Vh1 Divas ?? As my music was heavily on VH1 for 4 years. I was never invited as even a guest to any major event in the music industry even though I was currently out-selling the major artists on the charts that has been attending every event….?
So you see Music Lovers, with all that I have accomplished and as an Independent artist at that, I am so very proud of, but at the same time to have never been recognized visibly on ANY major media platform for my accomplishments proves that there is something seriously WRONG with the system.
Although these have been my personal obstacles,.. I have seen a pattern along the same lines with many other independent artists all over the world being taken advantage of without them even knowing , and I hope and look forward to connecting with them.
With all this said, I felt obligated to start this blog and share with you more in depth, my experiences and the truths of what is really going on in this “Hollywood industry” and how it affects ALL including the fans, listeners, consumers who actually care about the art and it’s value.
Throughout this blog forum I’m also compelled to enforce the fans that it’s time to take back control of the music industry. The Music industry is at a place right now where fans and actual sales have no relevancy or dictation to anything? Mainstream radio? Any award given at every show?? What is everything based on then?? Certainly nothing that’s real….
Everything has been a huge distraction and its time for us to get focused.
That takes me to my 2nd blog which will embody the so called “innovative” world of STREAMING,… I Can’t wait to spit out those truths,..
It’s time for change, the strong hold must be lifted and the smoke and mirrors must dissolve in the name of MUSIC!!!
That is the main reason for why I have started my blog and why I am now speaking candidly.
I thank you so graciously for listening, and for supporting my music and supporting music in general as it is a healing gift for us all and we now must protect it.
Love Is Everything & We Are Love…
ARIKA KANE Xoxo