As a music writer, dj, sound engineer or any other creative role in music, when was the last time you handed someone your résumé? Almost certainly if you had a job with a company it would have been a sure thing, but for anything that relates to freelancing the classic CV is pretty much useless. So what do we have instead to find our next contract? The big one of course is word of mouth, and for anyone that is starting out I'll give you a heads up, increasing the list of people you've done good work for is the biggest clincher of regular work there is.
So if the traditional résumé is dead in the water, what is there to replace it? Sure word of mouth is great but usually potential clients want to check you out for themselves even when you've been recommended by someone close and trusted. The answer is of course the Internet where the profile has gained a new dimension in that not only can you have different versions of your frontline representation, but also in multiple formats, styles, looks, themes, perspectives and possibly flavours. Linked In offers social networking for professional contacts, Soundcloud has the tools to create a well-featured, easy to use portfolio for your music, Twitter allows a steady flow of short messages to be communicated to a wide audience. However, is there a place that you can really show everyone what you do? By this I don't mean only the end result, I mean the process, the how, the why, the when and all other information related. Equally, you might be looking for an engineer to mix your album, and wanted to check out a little more about their workflow or thought process. Individual websites are good for this, although they might not have all the information you're looking for, and you have to bookmark a million sites and navigate around to whittle down your options. To me it seems like there should be an easier option, both as a searcher and a searchee.
Another consideration in contacting other professionals is inclusivity. If you just want to find a singer for a single track which has the vocal line and lyrics written, pay a flat fee and part ways with a handshake, it isn't all that tricky, but what about when things get a little bit complicated? Say you're a composer and need to bring a couple of people on board, a singer and a producer for instance. You need of course to send your music / notation to both, but you're concerned about your work leaking into the net, or even being claimed as someone else's. On top of this, to save immediate costs you want to have a royalty based pay scheme for the producer. However the singer, whilst being paid upfront, is writing the lyrics and so also has creative rights. To top this off all parties are in different countries. As it stands, organising this would take as much time as you took to write the album. Once again, it seems that there should be an easier option.
It was less than a decade ago that my best portfolio as a professional musician was a presentation CD / DVD. The Internet didn’t allow for the streaming of high quality audio or video, and the creation of clear, cool, professional websites was beyond the scope of a web amateur so I always had copies of my multimedia presentation disc. The problem was that it took a chunk of time out of someone’s day to view my portfolio, so convincing anyone to take the time was a big task. Today, profiles with the ever expanding and opening Internet simply takes some time and thought about how to put your best foot forward and show the world the best that you have.
With Music Gateway you not only have access to the most inclusive system for musicians on the net and a combination of all the best parts from everywhere else, you have access to everyone else doing the same.