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Helpful Articles

Many people want to get involved in the television or film industry. The good news is that there has never been a better time in history to have your music featured onscreen. The proliferation of equipment at affordable price points means that just about anyone can make films and shows. There are a few questions to ask if you want to have your work featured.

1. Will the film be seen at festivals?

When it comes to the number of films being made, the flip side of the coin is what will be done when they are completed. If the project never sees the light of day, then your music will not be featured.

2. Where will the film be shown?

Think about whether it matters to you if the film is seen on YouTube, is going to a festival circuit, or if there is a theatrical release date. Some films and shows stream only on services like Netflix. This still offers a good chance for people to hear your music, but it’s a good idea to find out the creator’s intentions. You’ll want to be able to point to something and say ‘yes, my music is in this film’ because it will help you with future gigs.

3. What is the remuneration?

The new indie scene tends to equal little or no pay. Most of the people working on films don’t make much money. When you first start out, you have to be willing to offer your music for little to nothing for exposure. However, don’t let this run your life. Everyone in the creative arts should be paid for what they do, so try to make sure you choose wisely when deciding on the projects you’re willing to do for free.

4. How can I connect with creators?

This largely depends on where you are based. One great resource is Facebook groups in places that are industry-heavy, such as New York, LA, or London. Filmmakers are often looking for composers or music for their projects. Hunt around until you find the most reliable groups in these areas, and you’ll find that people are always looking for music. Make sure that you have a website where samples of your music are readily accessible when the time comes.

5. Should I cold-contact directors?

Dozens of other composers will contact directors. Don’t let this deter you. Many creators find that their composers drop out or they are in need of music for something. They will often remember that you emailed them and get in touch. One of the surefire ways of getting their attention is to specify your interest in their projects. If you already know and appreciate a director’s work, you’re more likely to get a response. This is partly because everyone likes to work with people who are familiar with their past projects, and also because people who know their work are more likely to be offering appropriate music.

Creators are often looking for the perfect music. Most people work for a long time before they find their way into big-budget television and film. Composing soundtracks is a particular talent that takes hard work and experience. If a director wants to use your original songs, this usually happens because they like your sound or a song you’ve written is perfect for their film or television show. Most directors of big-budget films and shows are inaccessible unless you have an agent, but you’d be surprised at how far networking at the indie level can get you. Your music will find its way into films, and with enough exposure online or in the festival circuit, you’ll build up an impressive portfolio that will open doors to the TV show or film of your dreams. Check out our website for more info on how to master your music for the film industry.
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In the internet age, it’s easier than ever for a musician to put themselves out there and share their art. However, there are many new artists trying to make names for themselves in a huge industry. There are common mistakes that many of them make that can hinder their chances of making it big. However, while such a low barrier of entry to becoming an artist means that everyone has a shot, this means that more than ever emerging artists need to avoid making mistakes that could prevent their success. To help emerging artists have the best shot possible, here are 5 of the most common mistakes they should avoid making in their early careers.

They Have the Wrong Motives

A common mistake emerging artists make is that they often have the wrong motive. New artists need to ask themselves, are they in it for the music? Or are they looking for fame? While it’s ok to be motivated by success, primary motivation should stem from a love of music and share your talent. Being passionate about music is the only way to ensure success. If you are more motivated by fame than your music, the quality of your work will suffer. If your primary motivation is not your love of music, you will falter early on in your music career.   

Not Thinking About Their Name

When emerging as an artist it is important to take some time when coming up with a name for yourself or your group, as your name is the brand you will be trying to sell to the public. For instance, if you are a solo artist, do you want to be known by your birth name, or do you want to create a stage name for yourself? Choosing a distinct name can help to set you apart from others in the industry and make you more recognizable, particularly if you have a common name. If you are part of a group, it is particularly important that you take time to think of your name. You will want to come up with a group name that is unique and original, yet won’t be off-putting to audiences. In particular, you will want to avoid having obscenities in your group name, as this can limit your audience and make it difficult for people to safely search for your group on Google.   

They’re Not Marketing Properly

It can be easy to digitally distribute your music using platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and other digital music websites. It is also important not to forget to market your music. You should have a presence on various social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Music Blogs. These are marketing tools that you need to master and stay on top of as they will be your best way to reach new audiences. These platforms will bring in new followers and will expose new audiences to your music helping you to expand the reach of your music.

Spamming on Social Media

It is important to stay on top of social media accounts. It is also important that you do not overuse these platforms and inundate your followers with constant updates. Social media can be a useful tool. However, if you update each of your accounts ten times a day with similar updates, you will inundate readers and potentially turn off followers. Finding a balance is key when using social media. It is a balance many new artists have a hard time finding. Keep your updates frequent but original, and do not post an obscene number of times a day.

They’re Not Taking Advantage of YouTube

Perhaps the most important tool available to emerging artists is YouTube. While this may seem obvious, one cannot underestimate the power of YouTube and its role in creating new stars. YouTube truly is the new radio, allowing artists to reach audiences of hundreds of millions of people. This makes it important that you regularly update your Youtube with new material. Share these updates on your social media accounts to increase your exposure. Contact us to learn more about mistakes you should avoid early in your music career.
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Mixing and mastering are two terms you often hear as part of the music production business, but it’s not always obvious what the difference is to a novice. Like technical terms in any industry, it’s easy to assign your own definitions to these two terms, even if you’re way off base.

A Yummy Analogy

Imagine baking a cake and then frosting it. What did you do? Well, you mixed up the ingredients, put it in a pan, baked it, cooled it, then frosted it. If you took it to a party right then, people would eat it and enjoy it. It would be a just-fine dessert. Now imagine that after you baked it and it cooled, it went to a Cake Master sort of person who used fondant, multiple types of frosting and even props to turn it into a work of art. When you took that cake to the same party, people would ooh and ahh over it, but ultimately, they’d eat it and enjoy it.  Now imagine that, instead of a cake, it’s your song. You take your various tracks, lay them on top of one another and spit out a version that people can listen to. Yes! You made a song! But now imagine there’s a Music Master who can take what you did and layer on some musical fondant and yummy frosting. They can turn it into a real treat for the ears. That’s the difference between mixing and mastering.

What is Mixing Really?

When you mix a song these days, you use editing software to closely examine each of your tracks, then you layer them or “mix” them into a full song. Usually, you examine each track by itself first. Do you need to make any edits? Did one of the backup singers cough at some point? Did your drummer suddenly play louder for 5 seconds then go back to his previous level? There is a lot to consider on just one track. The mixing part begins once you add in a second track, then a third. So, you take your drum track, your vocal tracks, and your various other instrument tracks, and you work with them until just the right amount of each is heard when played back all together. There is both an art and a science to it. Sometimes, you want the drums to suddenly feel louder for a section, or you want the lead vocals to sound more hushed. There are a lot of different things you can do with even basic audio editing software, minor tweaks and adjustments you can add, but your main goal is to hear all the right things at all the right times. Let’s now assume you are putting together an album of ten songs. You go through and mix each of them until you are happy with the results. At this point, you could distribute your songs if you wanted to. After all, a cake with basic frosting is still pretty yummy, but what if you want more? What if you really want a polish on it all? Many artists consider mixing good enough for something like a demo tape but turn to mastering when they’re ready to distribute and share with the world.

So What is Mastering Then?

Whereas mixing focuses on the elements of a particular song, mastering takes a larger view of the entire album. Mastering is considered an art. The difference between a painting of a bowl of fruit at the flea market and one that hangs in a museum. The average person can’t always tell you what’s different between the mixed and mastered version, but they can tell you the mastered version is better. So what happens in mastering? The very basics are that the levels across songs are managed in a pleasing way. Have you ever noticed how songs across a good album seem to rise and fall at just the right points? That’s mastering.  That’s just the beginning though. Mastering also gets into adjusting reverb, compression, equalization, and a host of other elements, including doing some optimization to try to ensure a good listening experience across a wide range of devices.  The goal of mastering is to refine and enhance the story your album is telling. While some artists feel reasonably comfortable mixing their own music (others give this task to professionals too), most serious musicians believe using an experienced mastering professional is the only way to go. Working with such a professional doesn’t come cheaply, but it’s often the difference between good and wow. Between would-be fans listening once and playing it on a loop. That’s the very basic differences between mixing and mastering. Want to learn more? We know a thing or two, contact us
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Disruption is rapidly becoming the norm as advances in technology completely remake industry after industry. The music industry is no exception. Even though it has already undergone massive change over the past 20 years as CDs then MP3s then iPods pushed listeners to adopt newer (and not always better) technologies, streaming services have introduced a level of disruption far beyond a simple change in media or device type. Streaming services are changing the industry itself.

Setting the Stage

Like most industries, music is fueled by money. Where and how money is spent by listeners drives almost every aspect of the commercial music business. In its latest revenue statistics, the RIAA paints a clear picture that, in 2017, streaming services have emerged as the primary revenue drivers. In fact, streaming services accounted for a full 62% of revenue in the first half of 2017. Paid streaming services also dominated across all three of the streaming payment models, including ad-supported and digital radio. With this clear game-changing information in mind, let’s take a look at what this impressive impact means for the world of music.

Changing Definitions

No matter the media type, vinyl, tape, CD or even MP3, the definition of an “album” remained relatively constant for a very long time. Put X number of songs together, ideally have a theme of some sort, and sell them as a collection. In the world of streaming, it is far more likely that someone else is curating the content. Someone else is taking songs from multiple artists and placing them in a collection according to whatever criteria they set. Playlists on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have millions of followers. New songs added to one of these lists can generate levels of interest at speeds unheard of years ago.  What constitutes a ‘song” has also changed. No longer are there radio-imposed time limits or chatty DJ-inspired intros. While there is still, generally speaking, some common sense guidelines around song length, there are also people willing to listen to much longer songs these days. Artists are no longer limited by traditional song guidelines. 

Changing the Record Labels

Artists all over the world stood up and cheered when Chance the Rapper won the Grammy for best new artist recently. Guess who didn’t cheer? Traditional record labels. Chance the Rapper’s success flies in the face of an old and successful model. A model whereby you can’t make it big without a record label behind you. Although it was already clear that artists could achieve some amount of financial success with a streaming-only album, winning a Grammy for one sends a very different message: In this world of peer reviews and artist-driven content, maybe the entire record label concept isn’t necessary anymore? Because of this, the larger entertainment industry is pondering that thought now, including TV and film. As the ability to produce professional content at a local level gets easier and cheaper, we’re likely only at the very beginning of a monumental shift in how our entertainment reaches us. Of course, the labels aren’t taking this sitting down. They used to have experts that guided artists on how to get play time on the radio. Now they have experts who guide artists on how to get added to the right streaming playlists for their audience. For every Chance the Rapper, there are 10,000 unknowns who never make it big. It’s just like there was in the days of radio. What’s different now is that it’s possible to make it without a label, where once it was not.

Last Track

There are many other changes that streaming services are forcing in the music industry, from availability and price of equipment to the entire “manager” concept. But when you consider that streaming has changed the rules of the three most fundamental aspects of music – the song, the album, and the record label relationship – it’s clear that we’re in the midst of a renaissance unlike any other in our lifetimes. Ready to join this renaissance but don’t know where to start? Contact us, and we’ll help you on your way. 
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How Do I Submit My Music On A Spotify Playlist For Free

We receive a lot of emails asking this question on how to submit your music on to a Spotify playlist so we decide to write a post about it. Before submitting your music to a curator make sure you have verified your Spotify artist account. Here is how to get your artist account verified on Spotify.  As an independent artist you want to get as many listeners as possible and a good way to get more streams and possibly gain more followers is to get your music on a playlist. So after a little searching we came up with a list of Spotify curators:

1. Indiemono 

Indiemono is the biggest Spotify curator we found, they have a playlist for all genres of music and they love breaking new artists, especially if you have less than 1,000 streams.. You can browse all the playlist to see what playlist fits your genre of music and submit your music. Once you find the playlist that fits your music just click the submit button. Here is a link to Indiemono playlist browser.  Biggest playlist: Sad Songs (370,000 followers)
Total playlist followers: 1.1 million

2. Soundplate Soundplate has a great selection of playlists curated by their team for pretty much all genres. I really liked their submission process it just was hard to find the playlist browser for the site. Here is the playlist browser.

Biggest playlist: Selected : Soundplate (2,000 followers)
Total playlist followers: 10,000

3. Spingrey Spingrey has playlist for several genres and you can submit your music by following their collaborative playlist but Spingrey charges a membership fee anywhere between $1 to $250 depending on what level you choose. Here is how to become a member of Spingrey. Here is the playlist browser.

Biggest playlist: it’s LIT (27,000 followers)
Total playlist followers: 150,000

4. Simon Field Simon is a successful producer/artist and he curates one of the largest independent playlists on Spotify for electronic music. The playlist is hosted on Simon’s artist profile on Spotify. When submitting by email keep it short and include Spotify URI. Submission link: promo@homebrewprod.com

Biggest playlist: Ibiza Deep House (100,000 followers)
Total playlist followers: 106,000

Above is just a few curators we found that artist can submit their music too. If you are looking for more Spotify curators just do a search for “Spotify Curators” and you should be able to find more Spotify playlist to submit your music too.      
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How To Get Your Spotify Artist Account Verified



Our goal at PEEKSOUND is to provide artist with all the tools we can to help them become as successful as possible. So we decide to write a post on how to verify you Spotify account. 

What is Spotify Verification



Getting verified on Spotify lets your fans know that your artist profile belongs to you. When you get access to your Spotify for Artists, you’re automatically verified on Spotify. You need to have a Spotify account to get access to Spotify for Artists, I’m not sure if you have to have a paying account or if you can use your free account. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can set one up when you’re getting access.
Once you’re verified and have access to Spotify for Artists, you’ll get a blue check mark on your profile and be able to:

  • Update your artist image anytime you want
  • Post artist playlists to your profile
  • Make an Artist’s Pick, which appears at the top of your profile
It can take a few days for the Spotify team to review your account. Once you’re in, it can also take a little time for your blue verification check mark to appear on your profile maybe a day or two. There is no minimum amount of followers you need to have, verification is available to every artist now which is great because at one time you needed to have 250 followers to get your account verified. Another cool thing is that if you are a record label and want to verify your artist you can verify them one at a time and see them all in your Spotify for artist dashboard.

How to get your account verified 


1. Go here: Spotify for artist

2. Type the artist name or the Spotify link for the artist(s)

3. Click the artist name 

4. Link the artist account to your account.

Once your account is reviewed by the team at Spotify you will receive an email letting you know if the artist has been link to your account. Now just download the Spotify for Artist app: iPhone or Android 

How Do I Submit My Music On A Spotify Playlist For Free
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Band Mates: Friends or Employees?


Band Mates: Friends or Employees?


Being in a musical group with other people requires a great deal of hard work, dedication, and creativity. Bands come together for a plethora of reasons, and they all have one main goal in mind: to make good music. The type of relationship that the band members share can greatly affect the productivity and work ethic of the band itself. Whether the band mates see each other more as friends or employees coworkers, it can change the dynamic of the creative process.

Friends


For the most part, bands form because a few musically inclined friends have come together to generate some music. They feel comfortable meeting up at each other’s houses, working on covers, and writing songs. As we have seen, there are definite advantages and drawbacks from creating a band with longtime friends.

Pros


The pros are rather obvious. There is already a close bond and a high level of comfort between the band mates. Each member feels safe sharing their own ideas because they are among trusted companions, so creating together will feel natural. Everyone probably lives close to each other, so it will be easier to organize practice sessions together. There is typically not an issue of egos because everyone is most likely on an equal level of skill. Also, because the personalities of the friends would be known, the band would probably avoid working with people who wanted to make it some sort of unfriendly competition. Lastly, live performances will be even more satisfying whilst performing with good friends because everyone can effortlessly sense and work off each other’s vibes.

Cons


Conversely, there are quite a few downsides to working with people who have deep connections with one another. The most obvious issue is that any kind of drama that occurs within the band can leak into the friendships. Cutting out someone’s solo, shooting down someone’s ideas, and especially kicking someone out of the band could damage personal relationships and the friend group dynamic. It is heavily advised to not work with family for similar reasons; you may keep them around for the sake of the relationship and not the band, which in the end helps no one.

Professionalism may not necessarily be a priority to the band members. They could be texting every two minutes, getting distracted and going off on irrelevant tangents, or breaking off into separate conversations. Because everyone is friends, they may not be used to pursuing serious endeavors together. Although having fun may be a nice add-on to the whole band experience, that is not the primary focus. Likewise, your work ethics may not line up very well. Some members may prefer the “work a little, rest a little” method, while others may prefer the “work consistently until we are done” method of practicing. It proves incredibly difficult to work alongside someone that does not operate the same way you do.

In addition, the band may not want to discuss the more legal matters such as copyright and ownership to songs because that can be uncomfortable and uncharacteristically serious. These topics need to be discussed early in the band’s career so they know how the potential royalties will be dispersed. Will they be equally divided among band members regardless of actual contribution, or will they be only be divided among the members who actually wrote the songs?

Employees/Coworkers


Bands can also form on a purely professional basis. Members could be brought together by an ad on Facebook or Craigslist, or they could just be fellow classmates/acquaintances who happen to play instruments and/or sing. Practice sessions are often organized more like appointments, and each member is more like an employee to a company rather than a group of friends convening in a garage.

Pros


The benefits of this setup may not be as clear as that of a friend band, but they are present and equally as valid. For example, each member will most likely take the band more seriously because their willingness to collaborate with virtual strangers shows how much they really want to be in a band. They will show up to practices on time, put in as much work as possible, and then finish within a reasonable time frame because this is a job to them.

Additionally, removing members from the band will be from a business standpoint. The members in question were not effectively adding to the productivity of the group, so they had to leave. Once that person is out of the band, no long term friendships will be shattered or severely altered. This makes it easier to replace them because their main asset to the group was their skills, and that can be found elsewhere.

Giving constructive criticism will not be as awkward because everything is much more objective. Hurt feelings are secondary to producing a quality song. To increase efficiency, every member will know their role, level of authority, and how much of the band and its songs they own very early within the band’s inception.

Cons


On the other hand, some disadvantages are that the band mates do not know each other very well, so they could end up being really irritating, egotistical, control freaks who are really talented but detract from the band instead of adding to it. There needs to be an appropriate screening process before committing to being in a band together. Moreover, these employee bands do not have that deep bond with one another, so anything that comes along with strong partnerships is not really present in the practices and performances.

The Verdict


Overall, neither way of forming a band is better than the other. It really is all circumstantial how one comes to creating a musical group with others, and whatever works for them is what they will do. Friend bands usually have a greater attachment to one another, and their performances can be just that much more rewarding and exciting since they are alongside close companions. However, the casual nature of a friendship often times bleed into the professional setting of working in a band together, and that can cause problems for the success of the group. “Employee” bands tend to be more goal oriented and less likely to dawdle, but they lack the warmth of a friend-based band. In the end, however, making music with other like-minded individuals is always a thrilling and fulfilling adventure no matter what the pros and cons may be.



By, Taylor Turner

https://peeksound.com/illegal-sell-bands-unreleased-music/
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Is Vinyl Actually Better Than Digital?


The nostalgia surrounding vinyl records is huge. Ever since other methods of listening have been developed to surpass vinyl, people have clung desperately to their 45 LPs proclaiming their superiority. Even younger audiences who didn’t even grow up listening to records are now hailing them as the ultimate listening experience. Why is there such a hype around vinyl?

The Issues with Digital


Digital music can sound more “dead” than vinyl for multiple reasons. Digital music, or more specifically the MP3 file, is compressed to be extremely loud. Dynamics are usually lost because everything on the mix has to be decipherable at every volume level on every platform. This causes a lack of warmth and personality, and the overall quality is rather poor compared to what the music sounds like live or on CD.

The Pros of Vinyl
With vinyl, there is much more room for the music to grow. There can be booming louds and gentle softs. The music floats within the middle range of pitches, which is comfortable for humans to listen to. If a song is recorded on tape, its conversion to vinyl better preserves the original sound of the song. The dynamics and quieter moments are not lost in the compression process. And of course, records have that undeniable nostalgia that so aptly captures either childhood memories or just a simpler (or arguably better) time in music history. However, does that make them undeniably superior?

The Cons of Vinyl


The low end is typically nonexistent on vinyl, and there tends to be an unremovable hiss that clouds up the high end. Even though the dynamic range may be larger, the sonic range tends to be rather limited. In addition, there can be unpleasant sounds like crackling or popping because of the needle losing contact with the record as it spins.

Newer records are often not originally mastered for vinyl. Songs from today need to be remastered specifically for vinyl in order to take advantage of its full potential. Digital tracks are typically mastered from the CD to vinyl, and not directly to vinyl. This leads to rather flat sound, sometimes no better than just listening to the original MP3 file.

LPs also become warped after repeated use. They become virtually unusable after too many plays. In addition, as an album progresses, the quality of sound decreases. Basically, the longer the album, the worse the songs are going to sound by the end. This happens because the grooves have to be smaller in order to fit all the songs on the standard size of a record.

Portability and cost are the most obvious drawbacks of records. Although these factors have nothing to do with sound, they are important to consider. You can pretty much only listen to 45s when you’re at home. If you only like to listen to music occasionally, then this is fine. Nowadays, new records can cost upwards of $40, whereas CDs cost max $15, and single MP3s cost $1.29. MP3s can be free if you stream them. You have to buy the record player as well, which at its cheapest is around $40. If you have the cash for all of that, then this won’t be a problem for you.

The Verdict


Is vinyl better than digital? Well, compared to the ultra-compressed MP3 files, yes, in some ways. Vinyl records do have more personality and are not fighting to be the loudest, but they are rather impractical.Technology has advanced to a point where we don’t have to deal with our music “wearing out” or producing weird sounds that aren’t part of the song. There is a reason why music has evolved past records. If MP3 files do not meet your standards, try .wav files or CDs. However, if records do suit your needs and you are not looking for a replacement, then rock on.


By, Taylor Turner
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Is It Illegal to Sell A Band’s Unreleased Music?

The Situation


A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was perusing one of his favorite music pirating websites. He came across some unreleased songs by System of a Down that they had scrapped. From what he could tell, the band had not deemed the songs worthy of being on an album, but they somehow leaked anyway. The songs were on sale for $0.99, which does not produce much of a profit for the seller. However, a question came to my mind: is this illegal?

The Defense


Upon asking this question to my friend, he gave me this as a reply: “Since they have no intention of releasing these songs, they’re not losing anything. Plus, I want them.” I want them. What a good rationale for any unsavory action.

I argued with him back and forth for quite a while about this topic. He maintained his stance that since System of a Down decided not to include these songs on any of their albums, they were automatically just up for grabs. A simple look into copyright law solved this debate.

The Rebuttal


Copyright law states that a song is copyrighted the moment it goes into a fixed, tangible form. Lyrics on a page, sound recordings, and CDs are all examples of fixed, tangible forms of music. While filing the copyright for a song with the Copyright Royalty Board stands up better in court, the immediate copyright can still protect an artist against infringement.

It is common knowledge that it is against the law to steal other people’s things. It is even worse to profit from it. Music is no different, even though it is not a flat screen TV or a brand new car. Internet piracy ravaged the music industry beyond repair in the early 2000s. Why give money to a third party that is completely disconnected from the band you enjoy? If you are going to spend money on their music, shouldn’t you just support them directly?

Do we know for sure that System of Down filed the copyrights for these songs with the Copyright Royalty Board? No. However, that does not make a difference. These songs are theirs to sell even if they have no intention of profiting from them. Even if the thought of someone stealing a useless item from you does not bother you, it does not make the act any less illegal. How you feel personally about a law has no bearing on what the courts believe.

The Answer


Technically, the selling of unreleased or “scrapped” music is illegal. Unless System of a Down publicly gave up their copyright to these songs, no one else has the right to sell them. Now, will they sue the person who was selling their music? Probably not, but the message still stands. With 57 million people still illegally pirating music, artists are not even making a fraction of the money they used to make. If we want to continue consuming music, we have to support musicians in a monetary way. The desire for free or unreleased music does not override the illegality of obtaining it.


By Taylor Turner
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