“Yep, this is why I wanted out of the music biz, ask any other professional if they’d: shoot a movie, fix your plumbing, drive you somewhere, give you surgery, free blow job etc etc for free…FOR THE EXPOSURE!!!!

Faaaaaarrrk off.. no firkin way they’d do that. why are musicians expected to do so.

It’s time musicians both large and small, young and old, grow a pair and send their fans to hijack the purveyors tweets, emails, website, forums, word of mouth, every form of negative press they can muster about a person or organisation that attempts to rip musicians off…

Did you all see Taylor Swift pull all her catalogue from Spotify? Smart girl.”

Former musician

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SINGAPORE, 11 November, 2014 – Music Matters Live, Asia’s premier independent music festival, is returning in May 2015 to Singapore for its fifth anniversary, and applications to participate in this 4-night electrifying music event are now open to all bands.

Growing rapidly in size and international prestige, Music Matters Live is the festival in Asia to participate in for international, emerging bands looking to meet with the Asian and international music industry. Part of the award-winning All That Matters conference series that attracts global entertainment executives to Singapore, 2014’s event hosted more than 70 bands from 20 countries over the week. In 2015, music lovers should look out for over 80 bands to hit venues across the Lion City, the #1 must place to visit according to Lonely Planet. Bands with global aspirations, listen up; this is your chance to break into Asia! Who will be discovered next year? Music Matters Live has previously hosted various artists and sensational bands including: Simple Plan (Canada), Ash Grunwald (Australia), Jezabels (Australia), Boyce Avenue (USA), Sezairi (Singapore), Gentle Bones (Singapore), Afgan (Indonesia), Katie Noonan (Australia), JUVENILES (France), Gurrumul (Australia), Jaurim (Korea), Prata Vetra (Latvia), Naoto Inti Raymi (Japan), Kate Miller-Heidke (Australia), Little Boots (UK), Lim Kim (Korea), Bunkface (Malaysia), Electrico (Singapore), flumpool (Japan), Kreva (Japan), Drunken Tiger (Korea), Indus Creed (India), NIDJI (Indonesia), Faber Drive (Canada), The StoneWolf Band (Portugal), Singto Numchoke (Thailand), THE BOXER REBELLION (UK), DUNE RATS (Australia) and many more!

Budding artists and musicians for 2015 can also look forward to participating in the Music Matters Academy with mentoring sessions and workshops led by music and global entertainment legends. Past mentors include Daniel Glass (Mumford & Sons, CHVRCHES, Two Door Cinema Club, The Temper Trap), Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Killers, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band), Brian Message (Radiohead, Nick Cave) and apl.de.ap (Black Eyed Peas).

Looking to make an impression on the Asian music scene and to strengthen your international career? Send your application to Music Matters Live for free via this link: http://goo.gl/forms/TYS0q7L8wH before 8 January, 2015. All applicants will be notified of selections from 18 February, 2015 onwards. Contact sammy@branded.asia for any applications or inquiries.

Be ready to rock and see you in Singapore at Music Matters Live!

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Let’s first say that I like him as a person and admire Jasper Donat of Branded from a business point of view in somewhat the same way that I admire Jimmy Lai, the owner of Apple Daily, who had pigs intestines thrown at him by his enemies at Occupy Central tent headquarters last night in Hong Kong, but not nearly as much as my admiration for Jack Ma of Alibaba .

Jaspar

Jasper has successfully created a franchise with everything that supposedly Matters- Social Matters, Sports Matters, Doo Dah Matters, Wah Wah Matters, Bollocks Matters, and, of course, the mothership of them all, Music Matters- and more power to him.

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Let me also say that I have attended a grand total of two of these Music Matters tribal gatherings when with a major music company. Why attend only two? Frankly, I found them a waste of time and kinda creepy- creepy in that many of the Speakers chosen really had bo diddley to say, and creepy hearing peers at that time say the only reason for attending these conferences was so they could have a free trip to Hong Kong, and, to show they’re working, hold other meetings during the boring Music Matters bits. And there were many boring bits and equally boring people with no clout and way past their Use By Date.

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The only reason for attending the first Music Matters was to hear my friend- singer Tia Yuan from Mainland China- who had been flown in- her manager footed the tab- to perform for free for, apparently, this region and the world’s movers and shakers of the music industry. Who these were remained a mystery. Michael Hoskins? Ed Bean? Terry Leong? Lachy Rutherford? Harry Hui? Wolf Urban? Adrian Cheesley? Who?

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After a stuttering, spluttering speech by the rather awkward head of the then newly-formed oxymoron called CreateHK, Tia performed to a group of old timers holding court at the bar at JJ’s in the Grand Hyatt while others enjoyed those last days of Pompeii when being with a music channel or music company almost meant something.

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It was a vapid, boorish crowd and this appearance did nought for Tia Yuan’s career path. She performed for free- for “exposure”- and as with anyone who does anything for free, it is seen as a cheap Sideshow Bob affair worth nothing, and which meant, nothing happened. It was just a bit of free entertainment by an unknown Chinese chick in-between cocktail chatter and finger food. No big deal.

Over the years there have been other Music Matters- and which I have shied away from as I really didn’t think I could learn much from the likes of Vijay Lazarus with whom I worked when at Universal Music, American music blogger Bob Lefsetz, and others who came out to this region to “save the music.”

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We all knew it was farcical, but it was a good excuse to share a curry puff and shoot the shit about which music company was taking over the other, and where this one and that one were going to land with a golden parachute.

Psycho-urine-anal-ass-ist. 'Among other things, John, you're full of crap.'

Where was the music? It was around, but it wasn’t a gangsters paradise. It was a wankers paradise like the mining company at one Music Matters that funded some band from Mongolia with costumes Michael Jackson would have died for, and the sound of “throat singing”.

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It was absolute crap, but many of us applauded like trained seals as we wanted some of that Aussie mining company’s dosh. That plan ended in tears when the supposed management of the band fell apart and the mining company led by some boy genius, supposedly rolling in the deep end of billions, bailed outta funding anymore music. Perhaps he had been shafted or he knew how to spin a yarn and be “rock and roll” for a nanu second.

At this same Music Matters was Daniel Eck from a then-fledgling Spotify who gave an equally spotty presentation on the music streaming site- like today, he hadn’t figured out how artists would be paid- which, for some bizarre reason had Hong Kong’s richest man- Li Ka-shing- as one of its main shareholders.

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Was this Music Matters? Maybe. And then the franchise moved to Singapore, not exactly a mecca for music where, I think it was last year, when my old boss Max Hole- top bloke- took his own Long March to the Lion City and talked about the “potential” of the China market- a myth concocted decades earlier by my old mate and legend in his own dim sum hall, Norman Cheng, for his own gains, and which, myself and that notorious gibberer Paul Robinson flogged to those too dumb to see through the three-ringed circus and Dumb and Dumber- Alain Levy and David Munns- who were then running EMI Music- at every worldwide marketing conference we attended.

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Fast forward to today and the new bumph for the upcoming Music Matters that had a group of us laughing from crying as it reeked of- how you say- The Big Bollockski.

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Study the come-on below. Hello? Have any of the acts listed gone on to bigger things?

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Frankly, most don’t even exist today. Electrico were known as “Singapore’s Sigur Ros” for their simpering, whimpering, artsy fartsy pretentiousness. Forgetting Electrico, where’s Iceland’s Sigur Ros, anyway? Anyone care? These other names mentioned? Who ARE they? Again, anyone today really care?

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Then there’s the small print and the Terms And Conditions: In simple parlance, for this supposed golden goose of an opportunity to perform in front of yada yada yada and Yoda, bands not only need to fill out a form longer than the Magna Carta to prove their worth, they must sign on to fund the trip to Singapore themselves- and play for free.

Stop it, you’re killing me, Branded. This is the end of 2014 and this everything-for-free con is still being hatched?

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It’s nothing personal and no one’s twisting anyone’s arm to fund themselves and play for free, but it shows the great divide that has taken place in this DIY World between the music industry- and those who still sail in this rapidly diminishing world- and the artists who now refuse to play at being performing monkeys.

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They have grown balls and don’t need confabs that continue to say that “Music Matters” when everyone knows that it’s only about Money Matters.

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When Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Semmens was asked by Branded to perform in Singapore, he was excited. He didn’t know any better. He showed a group of us the invitee’s name card- and we laughed. When, as a joke, he wrote and asked what he would be paid for performing, well, no prizes for guessing the response.

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Ben Semmens is paid extremely well by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to perform once a week at the popular Happy Wednesday nights in front of over 22,000 people.

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Ironically, it was the biggest gig Jasper Donat’s fun rock band called Uranus had played at- and were paid for their corporate three-chord rock.

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The HKJC has paid for Ben Semmens’ travel, for his accommodation, and for his performances- for three consecutive years plus paid for his recordings and the accompanying music videos.

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The HKJC pays every artist who performs at their events and where the audiences have included the likes of mega-manager Simon Fuller, some of the biggest sponsors in the world, and a ready-made international audience of well over 15,000 who enjoy their ‘live’ music during those 25 minutes between the racing.

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Who’s really “saving the music” and who’s play-acting at it?

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Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and Fast Track Global Ltd
www.fasttrack.hk