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Citizen Cope on Major Labels vs. Independence, Audience Connection and Having a Seat at the Table

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The New Music Business with Ari Herstand - Citizen Cope on Major Labels vs. Independence, Audience Connection and Having a Seat at the Table

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.
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Citizen Cope on Major Labels vs. Independence, Audience Connection and Having a Seat at the Table

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Citizen Cope, a.k.a Clarence Greenwood, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and performer. His music is commonly described as a mix of blues, soul, folk, and rock. Cope’s compositions have been recorded by artists such as Carlos Santana, Dido, Pharoahe Monch, and Richie Havens. In his solo career, “Let the Drummer Kick” from his 2002 album, Citizen Cope, went RIAA-Certified Gold. In 2004, he produced and released The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, followed by Every Waking Moment in 2006.

In 2010, Cope founded his own record label, Rainwater Recordings, allowing him to exert full creative control. Free from the marketing entreaties of the major record labels, he released The Rainwater LP later that year. One Lovely Day followed in 2012. After taking a hiatus from his own record releases, Cope came back stronger than ever, releasing Heroin and Helicopters in 2019 and The Pull of Niagara Falls in 2021. He is currently slated to release another album in 2023.

05:45 Welcome
07:24 Communication with an audience performing solo vs. with a band
11:09 Post-pandemic reflection, music festival line-up experiences, career sustainability
16:55 Album achieving gold status, having a timeless sound
19:36 Breaking down Citizen Cope’s new album’s sonic landscape
29:41 Releasing records independently with Rainwater Recordings
33:20 New artists establishing themselves before getting signed
36:51 Biggest difference working independently vs. with a major label
43:04 Is it worthwhile making records because of streaming?
48:02 Publishing deals, Sony licensing with Peloton, TikTok and Facebook
53:40 New album ‘Victory March’ release date
55:45 What it means to make it in the New Music Business
57:58 Artists having a seat at the table

Edited and mixed by Maxton Hunter
Music by Brassroots District
Produced by the team at Ari’s Take

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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