By : Dan – The After Hours Review
Live Mic Records – A Division of Live Mic Music
To anyone within the Long Island, the music scene is alive and well! Local bands and artists of all genres are killing shows across the island. Whether you’re into Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop, Punk, Emo, Pop Punk, Hardcore or Metal, Long Island has the talent that will keep you listening. Live Mic Records, owned by Mike Foschino, is teaming up with some of the dopest musicians on the island to create a powerful catalog of music that everyone will enjoy. On Sunday, February 16th, Live Mic Records announced the signing of Nonstop to Cairo, a Ska/Hip Hop/Funk/Reggae band that is a staple in the Long Island music scene and are absolutely killing the game.
I sat down with Mike to gain some insight into this project and see what Live Mic Records has in store for us! Check it out below!
When did you first become interested in the music industry?
About a year and a half ago, I had an idea to create a company connecting artists and venues on a social media like platform. From there, we kept expanding, our team continued growing, and I found myself fully involved in every aspect of the music industry and becoming more interested in the culture every day.
What were your experiences in the music industry before Live Mic Music?
I honestly went into the music industry blind. I’m not a musician, I played my fair share of instruments in High School, but never continued with that. Jumping right into it helps me learn everything at its most current point, but the learning and experiences will never stop.
What were your first experiences in the music industry?
One of the first things I decided to do was hold a showcase with some of the artists we were working with from the start. It was the first time I was trying to host an event. A couple of friends and I put everything together, got some sound gear, opened the doors and started to let the line in. We ended up pulling about 120 people, 4 different artists, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It’s a great feeling when you put on a successful show, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. That was our first taste of music events, and weve been going strong ever since.
When did you first get the idea to start a record label?
When I first started this company I never thought of it as a record label. We didn’t do enough, it was just a collective of industry freelancers and a few musicians. It wasn’t until my original idea evolved into music administration that we considered a record label. But we brand ourselves as Live Mic Records – An Entertainment Collective. Record labels have a bad stigma to artists in the indie scene, which is why we won’t brand ourselves as one, but we will operate with the same capabilities to promote our roster.
Why start the label with so many bands going the DIY route?
Because most artists don’t have the time to even think about all aspects of the business side of music. Artists need to be creative, write music, produce art, etc. They shouldn’t have to take their focus off that. The music industry is at a turning point, where the potential for artists to really profit is growing every day. I am not a musician, my focus is learning the ins and outs of the industry, following trends, licensing music, providing a creative hand and helping these artists benefit. Without them, we wouldn’t exist.
What are some of the things involved with starting up a label?
CONTRACTS! So many contracts. Always, for everyone. There’s a lot of language to be understood before doing anything. The most important thing is finding third party companies that operate within different aspects of the music industry. Getting registered with a PRO, setting up multiple artist distribution, find the best software to house and distribute content / information, making sure you are all set up legally to collect royalties from every corner of the industry, branding / social media, contacts every day. The bigger your contact list the more powerful you are. We have over 10,000 contacts between playlist curators, industry wide executives & worldwide blogs. Setting up a marketing strategy is the most important thing you’ll do and you won’t know how it works until it works or fails. And most of all. . finding the artists!
What do you see for the label throughout the first year of business?
I see us having a lot of success after the first 3 months. Once we have music released from multiple artists and genres, I’m confident the momentum towards the brand is going to grow fast. We are offering publishing / distribution deals to artists as well, where the artist isn’t on as much of a time constraint. Between the artists that we publish and our heavily pushed roster of the label, I believe all of our artists will see a huge success from our marketing plan for new music, and more artists will follow.
What are your plans with recently signed band, Nonstop to Cairo?
Being our first band signed, NSTC definitely have an advantage as far as our marketing plan is. The amount of exposure we are going to push their music to is unexplainable. We are going to be searching for new fans from across the country, in areas revolving around, funk / ska / reggae, hopefully enabling us to send them on tour within their first year. Ska is a genre for everyone, it’s fun, upbeat, and can put a smile on anyone’s face. If you follow anything that’s music related and you don’t know Nonstop To Cairo yet, you will.