In this post I am going to discuss something which is largely taboo in our culture. Something generally left unsaid. Something that I believe deserves a much greater degree of honesty and transparency.
This post also contains: an update, an offer, some staggeringly beautiful words (not of my making), and the real secret of my success as an independent artist.
Since it’s release, the #PresentReflections E.P. has been doing really well out in the world. People are being very kind and have said some really incredible things about both: the music, and their experience of it.
Here are a few of them:
(This music is)…”Relentlessly honest, and ferociously, gorgeously, shattering.”
“This is the sound of a beauty that enfolds all darkness, and all light.”
“The perfect backdrop for a yoga or meditation practice.”
“If ever you doubt the sheer might of your soul, listen to this music. It is faith in freedom.”
and my personal favourite:
(This E.P. is) “…not merely a listening and emotional experience, but an immersive journey into one’s own soul.”
As well as the critical listener response, I want to share how #PresentReflections is doing in terms of sales. This is the Grand Taboo I alluded to in the title of this piece. The reticence and resistance in our culture to: sharing or discussing anything that touches on the financial aspects of our work.
The stark truth of the matter is: the number of sales I make each month is growing steadily, but is still relatively small. I want to be really upfront about that. Were a decent size independent label to look over the number of sales I do in any given month they would, in all likelihood, come away entirely underwhelmed.
Yet I do this as a living. So how is that possible, given what I have just fessed up to?
Well, when you buy my music thru Bandcamp (the main store I use) there is a set ‘minimum price’ but also an option to pay more should you so desire. The principal reason I get to do this as my day job is: the vast majority of the people who buy my music choose to pay more than the minimum. How much more? Well, if we use #PresentReflections as an example: the minimum payment was set at £3, but over 90% of my sales came in between £5 – £100 (the majority of which were firmly in the upper half of that range.)
You may be thinking to yourself: why? Why do people choose to pay more, even when they don’t have to? I have been asking my paying listeners the same question and the answer I have been getting back is both clear and unequivocal. The reasons that people give way more than they are asked to for my music are simply: they find value in my work, they want more of it, and they want to support me in what I do.
Now, at first glance this little truism may seem less than groundbreaking. But personally, I find it incredibly heartening that there are people out there who really walk their talk and put their money where their mouth is in terms of supporting independent art. And I want that little piece of information spread, as far, and as wide, as possible.
Because what it really means is: if you are an artist, or an independent of any kind, you really do not need to be afraid.
Old-school patronage is still with us people. In fact, it never left. And it is very alive, very well, and kicking like a motherfucker in the modern digital world. ;-)
My Mailing List has a brand new home (and funky new sign up page) at: jamesradcliffe.email
The List is my inner circle. It is where I break news first; where I give away the free things. It is where you can access my best offers, and where you’ll find the most direct connection with me (if you are on the list you can email me – I read and reply to all of them). I only mail when I have something cool to give or important to say and there is absolutely zero spam (because spamming people is rude, and sucks.)
If you like what I do and want a bit more sign up (if you do it today you’ll also get 3 free pieces of music). You are free to unsubscribe at any time so, if you don’t like it, no hard feelings.
Thanks for reading this. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
I wish you well.