Clay Aiken – Surviving the Music Industry

Today, I found a very interesting site on the internet.  Music Industry Quotes To Live By is an unique list of quotes about the business of music.  I thought some of the quotes were interesting enough to share with you.

The quote is in black and then underneath, in red, is something about the author.

“Consumers have musical choice? What musical choice? In our society we choose only from what we are given to choose from, and that choice is determined by 5 major media corporations who control the exposure outlets that consumers depend on for their entertainment.”   Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Music

Current faculty member of the Audio and Music Business Program at the Art Institute of Seattle, where he teaches courses related to the promotion and marketing of recorded music.

Owns FourFront Media and Music, a consultation service based in Seattle that helps musicians develop marketing and career plans.

“Record companies like to make money, and that is their only goal. They do not care about the content that they sell – they care about maximizing their profits. It is because of this that I hate record companies with the same passion that I hate venture capitalists. The record companies do not try to foster a creative environment which rewards musicians who serve their respective niche, but create an environment which attempts to market a small amount of music to the largest audience possible. ”  Numair Faraz

No information about Numair Faraz could be found.

“In Los Angeles, they don’t want you to fail, they want you to die.” David Geffen

David Geffen is an American record executive, film and theatrical producer and philanthropist.  He is one of the three founders of Dreamworks.

“I think the second you feel you’ve gotten somewhere, you’re nowhere.” Michael Goldstone, VP A&R, Epic Records

Michael Goldstone is a  music industry executive in the United States. He has worked with many record labels, including DreamWorks Records.

In May 2008, Goldstone launched the indie label, Mom & Pop Music Company together with Q Prime management.

“American music is something the rest of the world wants to listen to. Our job is to make sure they pay for it.” Jason Berman, RIAA

Jason Berman is a member of the Recording Industry Association of America.

“I’ve probably put together more deals backstage at concerts than by telephone.” Michael Lippman, Lippman Entertainment

Early in his career Michael observed that record producers and songwriters, are artists in their own right, and lacked proper guidance. Michael started a management firm representing select recording artists and for the first time ever, created a business managing record producers and songwriters ensuring that all players in the creative process were protected and properly rewarded. Hailed as an innovator in negotiating entertainment contracts, his advice is often sought after by his colleagues. Michael’s intuitiveness for brokering diverse talents and commitment to the success of a project is renowned and maintains his broad power base within the industry.

“I’m a survivor in a business that constantly rejects you.” Dick Clark

You all know Dick Clark!!

What do you think?  Most of these quotes are pretty negative about the professional music business.  Do you think the quotes convey the correct picture of the music business.  Maybe you have a favorite music quote.  Would you share it with us??

Disappointed that there is no Clay Aiken news here today?  Me too!!  Don’t worry…….why not visit our video tab at the top of the page.  We have lots of great Clay Aiken videos for you to watch.  Soon and Yet  have to  arrive sometime!!

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19 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Surviving the Music Industry

  1. What a sad business this is….

    It should all be about the talent that someone possesses…instead music is pushed down your throat… You can call radio stations…they will not play what you want to hear… Seems unless you play the game…you don’t get played…period…. Some will sell their souls..some won’t.

    It’s very frustrating…

    I love Clay Aiken’s voice…but you won’t hear Clay on the radio..and if you will be “Invisible”..after 6 years…that is the one they play…IF they play it…You could request every day…it doesn’t make a difference. I actually don’t listen to the radio anymore, cause I hate the music on it. The same stuff, over and over again..the same artists…


  2. Musicfan..don’t worry…there will be Clay news, as soon as the ink is dry…I that I am sure… You’re doing a great job of these wonderful stories in the meantime.


  3. While I’m on a roll here..I just thought I’d add that on the late shows, SNL, etc., they always have singers/bands….and I’ve got to say…that 99% of them suck…bad..really bad… I just shake my head…and think, my God….after that crap….I listen to Clay sing and think what the heck is wrong with this???? they play that garbage….but it’s hard to get someone with a wonderful voice like Clay on these shows to promote his music…. So you know that there has to be something behind all of this…. It really boggles your mind…..


  4. It’s hard to believe that David Geffen said that in LA, they don’t want you to fail…they want you to die…

    Wow….that is quite the statement…I do believe sick…


  5. I wonder if these people have listened to their own “playlists” lately. I feel like I’ve had the same songs shoved at me over and over. So yes, I can believe quite a few of the quotes. It’s pretty bad when you have to switch off all of the pop stations and go to an “oldies” station to get any variety. There’s some good ones on the pop stations, but I don’t want to hear them every hour. (Especially when there’s a couple of songs that they’re pushing hard that make the hair on your arms stand up.)

  6. Really loved the David Geffen quote. I laughed out loud and then nodded my head. It’s a true if sad statement. Rotting souls indeed!

  7. Christopher Knab, Numair Faraz and David Geffen have all hit the nail on the head. It’s not about the consumer, it’s not about the artists, it’s all about the $$$. I understand that they are in business to make a profit, but even the movie industry will back a schlocky film that they know will make money so that they can back an independent film that has artistic merit and a message.

    Greed & corruption have always been the guiding principles of the recording industry, since day one. Some are better than others, but by and large they eat their young.

    Right now there’s a big bruhaha about artists being paid fair royalties for all songs played regardless of format. Some of these artists are claiming that they are being boycotted from radio play for taking a stand (we know all too well that radio will and does boycott artists). Maybe that’s another story? IMO, the artist who recorded the song is entitled to equal pay. Let’s face it, most people don’t buy a CD or a single because of who wrote the songs, they buy it because of who sang the songs.

    sorry, got a little out of control and I’ll stop now LOL!!!

  8. Musicfan,

    Too bad the music industry is all about money since TPTB are in the perfect position to supply the public with a desired and much-needed source of entertainment. Thnx for another informative entry.

    I’m glad longtime fans can listen to/watch Clay Aiken perform via clack (CDs, videos, montages). Hopefully, new CA fans will follow the links in our blogs and join us.

    Have a super weekend!


  9. Great blog musicfan. It really says something about the music industry when everybody knows they are all about the $$$. But….nobody seems to be able to change it. I don’t think they want it changed. But with the changing times and the decline in CD sales, the $$$ is declining. Maybe they’ll figure out that they need to change something. Hopefully the changes that will be made are the changes that need to be made. Only time will tell.

  10. Musicfan, great find with this article. Sadly it seems to be 100% true. The big record companies certainly have shown us that they choose the artists they want to push whether the public is happy or not.
    Thank goodness for our Clay Aiken clack, at least TPTB haven’t gotten their tentacles into that–yet–hope they never even try.

  11. What interesting quotes!! It is obvious that everyone knows the business is “evil”, but it doesn’t change.

    Musicfan……..this was a great find. Thanks for sharing with us!!

  12. There are articles out there written about how certain songs and CD’s reach number 1 status. For example, the labels have figured out a way around payola by adding a middleman according to one article. Just google payola and see what comes up.

  13. It is a sad state of affairs. I just read an article by John Mellancamp. Basically he was saying the same thing. Label greed created the mess music is in today. The CD came about so that the public would buy music that they already had on vinyl. Record players went away, CD and MP3 players hit the scene,the sound wasn’t as good, but they were rolling in the dough. The one thing they didn’t count on was that technology kept on moving and the public figured out how to get music for free. WHOOPS!



    I got a question answered by Clay thanks to your blog LOL!!!!


    that is all

    • This entire thread has been very interesting. Being a relatively new Clay Aiken fan, I just finished reading the articles about music contracts & royalties, & you're to be commended on the research you did & the conversations you had with entertainment attorneys. Entertainment law is a specialty unto itself & can get really complicated at times. I've worked in artist management & it's sometimes hard to keep up with everything that goes on in the music industry because things change so frequently. In addition to the royalties paid on the sale of records or CDs, there are royalties paid when a song is played on the radio. There are separate ones figured for songs that are played on XM and/or Sirius satellite radio stations, & finally, royalties earned when songs are downloaded from iTunes, Napster, etc.

      About five years ago, Don Henley of The Eagles wrote an excellent article entitled "Killing the Music." You should be able to locate it on Yahoo or Google. If you can't find it & are interested in reading it, email me privately at & I'll be happy to forward it to you. If the record companies aren't already making it difficult for artists to make decent money, there are individuals who offer pirated & bootleg recordings on the Internet. The artist receives no compensation on illegal recordings, & the consumer very often gets a product that is inferior in quality

      The artist for whom I worked had a number of hits in the late '60s & when his record company signed him in 1967, he didn't have an attorney look over his contract beforehand. Needless to say, the record company had the deck stacked in its favor, while the artist got the short end of the stick. About 6 or 7 years ago he was asked to be the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Sony, who bought out Columbia Records, concerning the way royalties were figured & paid. Sony wanted to bind the terms of a 40-year-old contract on him & other artists of that time period, & they cried foul. He didn't receive any money as a result of the lawsuit, but at least newer artists won't have to go through what he went through. His hits still get lots of airplay on oldies' stations, & he continues to play to sold-out audiences all over the country.

      I have a question for you all concerning Clay. Does anyone know who manages him? If I'm not mistaken, I believe I read somewhere where he & Kelly Clarkson sued to get out of the contract they were under on American Idol because it was too restrictive. With Clay opting not to renew his contract with RCA, I believe it would be in his best interest if he either signs with an independent record company, or forms his own record company. The artist I worked for did the latter, & it definitely makes things simple after his shows. He sells CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, photos, etc., & there's no middle man to pay. I think this might be a great way for Clay to go. How about you all?

  15. Nothing new…still the same old crap. That’s the reason I don’t listen to the radio any more. The only station I listen to is songs that play the older songs. I usually only listen in my car..and I enjoy all of these songs. They make it now-a-days that you are forced to listen to THEIR favorites ad nauseum. They deserve everything they are getting.

    I too agree that their will be news from Clay when the ink is dry.

  16. This is definitely Clay related. I learned more about the music business through Clay and Clay fans. One of the many perks of being a fan – education and great entertainment!

    What’s happening is ugly, but not surprising. I thought I was an outcast for a while, liking singers with great vocals, songs with good melodies and lyrics. I am now wary of having songs/music videos shoved down my throat, not going to make unconscious choices anymore. Great writeup! I LOVE musicfan’s writeups and CANN and clacks!

    Still wondering why such a great singer/entertainer seem to be dropped. Look at the wonderful concerts – Elvis in particular. AMAZING. There’s money to be made here for sure. Clay wrote briefly about challenging Clive the title on his first album. Is this the repercussion of that or am I reading too much into it? I’m a 3 month old fan, forgive my ignorance.

    I hope something triggers a revolution in this industry. Its overdue.

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