Clay Aiken – What Musical Choice?

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!!

“It’s almost impossible to stay in the music business. It’s a long term play for almost no one. To triumph you must have sharp elbows and brilliant insight. If you think the guys running it now are stupid, you’re wrong, you are. They might be acting out of self-interest, they might be all about the money, but what they know could put you back in kindergarten.” ~  Bob Lefsetz

Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

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!!

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain

11 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – What Musical Choice?

  1. Thanks so much for your hard work and daily blogs. This is very interesting information. Based on what we have seen Clay go through, my opinion is that this is quite a true picture of the music business, unfortunately. .

  2. Interesting!!! I am continually baffled by the music business.. I use to think, if you had talent, that things would work out for the artist. That is the farthest from the truth. It's true, the music industry determines what YOU should hear!!! So they get those songs, that the artist has sold their soul for in $$$$, to be played over and over and over on the radio, until you can't help but know the song, because it is all over the place. It's sad really. I know there are so many artists out there that are incredible, but nowadays, you have to be shocking, over the top, crude, and throw sex in the mix, to be noticed. Sad really… What happened to the talent, the voice? I'll take Clay Aiken over any singer out there, whether it is todays music or past music. I love his voice. Now, there is a voice that should be heard. The music industry is definitely a crappy business to be in.

  3. Reading this makes me sad. I can certainly agree that the music business is a mess today. It's all about the money rather than the talent of the artist. Artists are getting the short end of the stick. I can only hope there is a breakthrough that changes things because the thought of Clay leaving the music business and never having another Clay cd is heartbreaking. I hope Clay is able to figure out what's next. "Soon" and "Yet" can't get here fast enough.

  4. “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" Numair Faraz. Oh yes, we have learned that. Alway, watch your back. Many artists have been burned by the industry because they aren't cookie cutter and won't mold to the industry.

  5. ahhh, the David Geffen quote =) That quote generated a response from Clay at the OFC Q&A thread (good times, good laughs). I absolutely believe this is a 100% accurate view of the music industry – no doubt about it. We have no "choice", we have what the industry wants us to have. When the current crop of entertainers no longer serve their purpose, that will be it and I hope they are saving their money. They are "living" on an outdated model and they are too arrogant to change. Spending over $1M to produce a single hit song is what the problem is – there's only so many artists they can support at that level and the rest, no matter how talented, get the crumbs or they get the boot.

    The music industry is not like the film industry, where they make blockbusters in order to be able to produce "smaller" films – they are strictly in business to make money and art be dammed (hope I can say that). My DH, who was in the "business" for several years, has always said that if you have a year in the music industry you're doing extremely well, two years is amazing and over two years is a miracle. Clay is our miracle man and I hope for future miracles =)

  6. I agree with kta……this makes me sad. There are so many talented people out there and instead, the general public is fed those who can make a quick buck.

    It is amazing that anyone can survive the music field.

    Thank you for this article. It is something that makes me think!!

  7. Well, I never gave the music business a second thought as to how it was run – until Clay was cast into it – willing at first. All I knew was that for a long time I had lost interest in a lot of the music being played on the radio. Could not handle the rappers nor those boom boxes. I found heaven when I saw and heard Clay sing on AI. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Clay's songs were not being played on the radio, supposedly because the stations were not being payed. I thought that was illegal. I guess that is what it means when it is said that money talks, or shall we say plays. What a messed up industry!
    Thanks for the interesting information. Makes one want to shake their head in disbelieve and disgust.

  8. I have to agree with some of the quotes you posted. Some record labels will sacrafice creativity for profit. They care about the quantity of CDs sold and not the quality of the product. Clay would not be a good fit with these record companies. Several artists over the past few years have proven that you can put out a quality CD that is creative and it will sell tons of copies. Norah Jones is a perfect example. I wish more record labels were willing to take chances instead of going with the current flavor of the month and rushing to get the product out before the flavor changes.

  9. It is illegal for the labels to pay to get their music on the radio, but they get around it by having "middlemen" who pay it so the money is not coming from them, at least not directly. The middlemen buy the "spins" for a new song until it takes off. It may not be in the form of actual $, but could be vacations, prizes, cars etc. And it isn't the DJ's who get the money now, it's program directors and the stations who determine the playlists. DJ's have very little to say in what music is played except on occasion they are given an hour to take requests.

    It's obvious a label only has so much money to go around so they determine who gets the benefit of it. There are several articles available on the internet that explain what is going on behind the scenes. The music industry determines who they want to be popular and that's who we hear–no matter if there are others who are just as good if not better.

  10. In reading your blog, it looks like the record business is a back biting and back stabbing business.
    I don't blame Clay for taking a break. I am so thankful that Clay has other outlets for his talents besides radio. Thank goodness for CDs and internet radio. At least there we have a choice as to what we want to hear and not the cookie cutter music that record labels are doling out.

  11. This is a great article. The quotes tell so much!! You really have to be a strong person to survive the music business…perhaps that is why there are so many musicians who run into so many problems (drugs, alcohol, tempers, illegal things). Thankfully we have Clay who is smart enough to take a break instead.

    Thank you for this info!!

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