Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat - Jean-Paul Sartre
2011 was another challenging year for us at MTC. We have collectively and (in some cases individually) faced several obstacles over the past 12 months.
The transition from MTC being a joint venture label to becoming a wholly owned (and distributed) entity was not an easy one. Funds were tight especially when we faced a downturn in the market and all of the things that come with music being available for free. The changes that were implemented at NZOA this year also made it harder for any small label, with album funding terminated and $2,000 deposits (as such) now being a requirement for video funding. I'm not saying that these decisions were right or wrong, but these are the realities that a small label now faces in 2012. Furthermore, while we make more per track or album sold under our distribution deal with Warners, it has become necessary that we create music that actually sells if only to recoup the amount of investment that has gone into the making of the album and all of the associated costs that come with that.
I personally had to really roll up my sleeves this year to create a new reality for myself in the industry. Universal Motown & Island Def Jam merged half way through the year leaving me without a position in the Universal building having spent 8 years there with SRC & Universal. While this was obviously a personal setback, it ultimately affected MTC because i had to then focus on getting my own affairs in order. Someone has to pay the rent and in this case, it was me. After much thought i decided to spent the remainder of the year setting myself up as opposed to hitting the job trail. A lot of positive things have transpired with my new ventures and i'm sure that you'll hear about that through the grapevine in good time. But i will say that with the benefit of hindsight, i am now in a better place than i have been for years. While my focus was elsewhere I had hoped that MTC could continue to move forward without my constant involvement, but at the end of the day; i now realize that we all have to focus on the same goals otherwise the end result gets muddied. I am back in the drivers seat now and i am excited about many of the acts on the roster.
On a positive note, i was very pleased to get the Kidz In Space album into the market this year and i'm always excited to see what Ash and co will bring to the table in the future. The one man machine that is Derty Sesh has certainly been unstoppable all year and look for his new Twice As Nice produced single to drop early in January and his second album to follow soon after. Cavell joined the team this year and i'm very excited to see what he cooks up in the coming months. Kayo & Young Sid are working on their highly-anticipated album projects and i am very much looking forward to seeing how their sound(s) develop. Our Twice As Nice fam made huge strides in the U.S this year and are already placing tracks with notable artists globally, the next 12 months will be very exciting for them.
Empire Records launched this year, and it's always great to see people come out from under an umbrella like MTC to develop their own home for artists. Let's not forget that it was Urban Pacifika that gave birth to Dawnraid back in the day. The Empire crew very quickly set about signing Jae'O, Abby Lee, Porina, Five A, Elly & Drew Neemia.
The next year will certainly be significant for all of us. As I forge ahead with my new endeavors, i certainly want to start including some of our acts in my U.S campaigns and i'm sure that this will bear positive fruits for our acts. Empire Records will continue to grow with Deach & Tyree at the helm and i couldn't be more excited about some of the music that i have been privvy to from Sesh, Sir T, Sid, Kayo & Cavell.
Happy New Year everyone!
Until next time....