Get familiar with Sarah Johnson (@SJManager)
1. Introduce yourself to the world!
What’s good, its Sarah J! Super producer manager. I’m also the Corporate account manager over at PMPWorldwide.com
2. I first learned about you through Twitter, How important is social media in the music game now?
Your online presence is sooo important if you are trying to get into the music game! Its a great way to brand your production company or product and touch people all over the world. I believe in establishing the relationship first before you send your music thru Twitter links. Much more effective! It helps to have your own website, blog, producer page on a premier producer site such as PMPWorldwide.com , create Youtubes of yourself making beats from scratch. Anything that’s solid marketing & promo to keep your name out there!
3. I noticed you offer great advice for up & coming musicians. With the game constantly changing, how do you stay up to speed on how to be successful in the industry?
Thank you! 90% of the game is really based off relationships!
Its really important as an up n coming artist/producer to constantly travel, go to showcases & conferences so you can be in A&Rs faces. Stay on their radar to the point they are reaching out to you!
Its important to study the current music trends & soundscan #s etc to see where the music is heading. Definitely an interesting time in the music right now!
4. How is managing Artists and Producers different?
I have one group that I’m managing right now, on the side from the producer aspect. Status Blak, a 4 man R&B group out of Detroit. They are really dope. A lot of work goes into creating the perfect records for them,getting the vocals just right ,working on their image, LIVE shows and local buzz. I find myself motivating them and the producers I work with to get the best product from them. Communication is key though…Just keeping that in the forefront is important. Finding your artists/producers WORK & EXPOSURE is the main focus everyday.
5. Personally, I prefer to not do the Beat Store thing, & try to secure my placements privately. I feel like it makes a better working relationship. What do you think is the best way to go about getting major beat placements?
My advice to new producers trying to get those big placements are: Make your trax sound as Universal as possible, come with full concepts and referenced records, its easier for the labels to see the direction. Don’t just chase major placements….Create a few catalogs of “sample free” tracks to submit to different licensing opportunities. Get your sound circulating out there so labels/artists reach out to YOU because they love your sound. Get an account on PMPWorldwide.com where the traffic is already built in and you can market to the world your production!
6. What separates a great “producer” from a “beat maker”?
A producer can run Nuendo, Cubase, Logic, Protools, huge consoles, actually run sessions and develop an artist vocally etc. A beat beat maker might not be able to play real instruments like most producers can. A producer can usually take artists and music to a whole other level & create those hit records on a consistent basis!
A beat maker may get frustrated that it takes so long to get work, and end up burning out.
7. I’ve noticed over the past year that mixtapes are becoming the best way to release music to the world as an independent musician. How do you feel about submitting beats or placing beats on mixtapes?
I feel the way the music climate is right now, with less releases, its important for producers to keep their name relevant in the game by having a few mixtape joints out in the market. Its nothing wrong with it. It actually makes the artist want to reach out to you when its album time.
8. How important is it for Producers to register with ASCAP / BMI?
Very important to become a ASCAP or BMI affiliate. They are the worldwide leaders in performance royalties & advocacy for songwriters, musicians & music publishers.
9. How important is it for Producers to promote & market themselves? I always try to brand my beats & make sure I have a great signature that can be recognized from other producers, is this important?
Yes, very important to market yourself as a producer! PMPWorldwide.com is the largest online producer community right now where producers can dump tracks directly to major artists working on their projects. They can also showcase all of their trax, and sell directly to potential buyers that log on to PMP everyday!
10. What advice can you offer an up & coming producer that is just starting out?
Take time perfecting your craft. Come out with a unique innovative sound. Learn how to play real instruments. Network with different artists or develop your own artists with your production. Get some dope songwriters on your team to bring your blank tracks to life! Don’t be afraid of mixtape placements, its a great way to build your discography.
11. What makes a producer great?
What makes a producer great is being able to make classic records. Someone that is constantly reinventing their sound. Not afraid to try new software or samples. Someone who can take criticism well. Structure full songs. Knows what a great mix sounds like.
A great producer knows how to grind and has a strong work ethic! Also able to adapt to the current times in music NOW!
12. You manage producers / artists, are you taking on new clients?
I always have my ears to the streets! You never know where that new hit or super producer is going to come from!
Yea Big S/O to Certified for this dope interview. Shout out to my PMP fam and all of the up n coming producers & artists pursuing the music!
Follow Sarah on Twitter : @SJManager
E-mail Sarah : Sarahjrecords@gmail.com