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[LABEL] #5 – Unanswered Question

I am just sketching down a few questions here that I hope will all come out in the wash when I finish this process:

1 – My existing Ltd. business. Do I need to redefine it in any way?

2 – What do I have to include in my Marketing Plan?

3 – International Copyright Law – Original Artwork is copyrighted automatically?

4 – Publishers… what are they again? I know roughly, but honestly couldn’t explain the difference between a Publisher and a Record Label off the top of my head.

5 – PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd.) – Forgot about these guys too. Re-cap.

6 – What are the costs of setting up the label? I want to write down a list of the cost accrued in setting up a label.

7 – The Distribution Deal – I only just found out that you have to sell yourself to these guys. I thought it was just an automatic signup type thing. So what are the requirements to qualify to pass an assessment by the Distribution company?

8 – Is there a difference between a label that just releases my own productions and one that releases others…? What are their official names? I know a little about this, but not 100%.  With my plan for the label, I want this to change after the first year, so do I have to change/declare anything officially to someone? If so, does it cost anything to do it?

9 – Am I obliged to release a certain amount of releases (tracks) per year? I expect this is going to change according to the difference in Distributor and the agreed deal between them and the label.

10 – What happens if I don’t achieve the amount of releases requested by the Distributor? Do I get dumped by the Distributor? If so, how hard is it to pick yourself back up again?

11 – Do I have to write a contract to myself if releasing something?

I know obviously I have to write up a ‘Recording Contract’ for an artist I’m going to sign on my label, but do I have to write one up to/for myself if it’s my own release?

12 – What do I do if someone rips off my music… and makes money from it? What is the process of suing them (if that is decided)?

I know this is a complicated answer, but I’ll just try and explore a few reasonable examples and take from it what I can. I’m not expecting this to happen, but I’m not turning a blind eye to it. I need to protect my business and not let people exploit it without justification.

13 – How long (usually) is an artist signed for to a label?

I know this is different from label to label and that it is declared by the label to the artist at the beginning of the agreement. I want to explore a few examples from labels in my genre so I can make a decision on what is a realistic length of time to give to offer to a potential artist I’m interested in signing.

14 – Etc… etc…!

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[LABEL] #4 – The List // Setting A Timeframe



So far I have noted down what I think are all the things I need to do to release a piece of music on a digital label. I put them in a very ‘rough’ order here below.

I’m certain there will be other things that pop up along the way that I don’t know about about yet, so I’ll add at the end of this series a complete ‘To Do List’ in the correct order. For now it’s good enough to work with.

1 Decide on Name //
(Records, Music, Recordings, Digital Audio)

2 Register the name at Companies House //

3 Decide on Image, Artwork, Branding //
– Do I have the right designer?
– Can they produce at the right rate for the amount of releases I want to hit per year?
– Can I afford it?

4 Decide on tracks for 1st EP release and think about the direction of the label’s sound //
– Remembering though, you can’t think your way to a ‘sound’, it is a process that keeps evolving

5 Create All The Online Platforms //
– SoundCloud
– FaceBook
– Twitter
– etc…

6 Create a solid ‘Marketing Plan’ (which reflects how much I am gonna spend on the label) //
– think about other avenues for getting paid, like Merchandise etc..

7 Find the right Distributor //
– Press and Play
– LabelWorx
– PrimeDirect

8 Tart everything up and get ready to hit the Distributor to seal the ‘distribution deal’ //
– What do I need to show them to sell myself?
– Get advise from friends here for sure

9 Register with MCPS – PRS (PRS For Music) //
(Mechanical Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Rights Society)
– Who are they, what do they do?

10 Sort out the Barcodes + ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) //
– Note: Can be encoded by the Mastering Engineer or by the Distributor

11 Register with the PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) //
– Need to look into this one. If I remember rightly I need to have a release already.
– Do I actually need to register?

12 Register A Copyright //
– Look at ‘Poor man’s copyright’

13 Writeup a ‘Sound Recording Contract’ //
– Look into Music Lawyers
– Do I need one?

14 Create ‘Promo Campaign’ for the first release //
– Supposedly this is the hard bit

15 Release! //
– Fin!


So being realistic here, now I have written that all down and I can see a little more clearly what I have to do. Lets say, I’ll aim for Christmas 2020. That way if I get it done anytime before then, it’s a bonus. Happy days.

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[LABEL] #3 – Name, Image, Brand

I want to create a label, so what’s it going to be called, and what’s it going to look like?



For the name and image for the ‘Fat Kat’ label (and ‘Kat Nine’) I used Deadmau5 as a large source of inspiration.

Back in 2008/2009 especially, I used to listen to loads of Deadmau5 and loved his sound and image.

Nowadays my sound and taste has developed and so his music is not the type of sound I would play out nowadays, I still remember him as being a great source of inspiration and still look up to him.

I think he is genius for creating the brand he did, DJ-ing with his mouse head on. It is such a solid logo/image and he must have made a mint smashing out merchandise, and I’m sure it was real easy to come up with ideas for merch in comparison to a DJ/producer who just uses his/her name. I guess this is just another reason why I decided to create the ‘Kat’ as now I have this non-human, cartoon identity as something to play with.

Deadmau5’s image is unforgettable for sure and I liked how he reflected some of the Cat/Mouse theme in his productions, like this track – Catbread.

What an epic track. Still got this one on vinyl… yeah!

KAT TIP – Get someone else’s perspective on it

Catnip 2

There are many things to take into consideration when coming up with a name for a brand. So many. It’s easy to fry your brain thinking of ideas, so make sure you get second opinions from other people. It can sometimes be even more helpful if they are in the industry already.


I found coming up with the name for the label ‘Fat Kat’ pretty easy as I had already created the image and branding for ‘Kat Nine’.
KatNine Profile image 512x512

The main thing I kept in mind when coming up with this name was to keep a tight correlation between the label name/image with me as an artist.

Here are just three examples of artists who used part of their artist name as influence on their labels name, which is exactly what I had in mind when creating mine:
Nicole Moudaber – Mood
Deadmau5 – Mau5trap
K’Alexi – K Klassik

Kat Nine – Fat Kat

As one of my big goals for this label is to get recognised as an artist this seemed like a good thing to do. So when they see the image of the Kat which will be on the label, it will also remind them of the artist behind it. Just like this:


It’s kind of like product placement.


…Records …Recordings …Music …Digital Audio

This part of it, I didn’t find easy deciding on at all. I went round and round in circles with this.

Does it matter what name you use? Does it affect the functioning of the label in anyway?


Nope, it’s just a name and it doesn’t matter.


I thought originally of using Fat Kat Records as, honestly, it’s pretty cool. But after a lot more thought I think it would be counterproductive to use that name for a couple of reasons:

1 – there is already a company name Fat Kat Records, which is a music store in Germany, so I am in immediate competition with them online.
2 – I’m not going to be printing Records! It’s going to be digital, so it seems like false advertising

3 – I just feel if I change the name to ‘Recordings’ I can avoid competing with these guys constantly on search engines

Note: I also used GoDaddy to check out some dotcom’s for sniffing out available names and companied

KAT TIP – Check it out

Catnip 2

Make sure you google search the name like hell before deciding on it. Put it into all music media platforms too, so you can see if some else has already registered the same (or similar) name. If there is anyone with a similar name (which is what I’m up against), then how large is their company? – are they still prolific in what they are doing? – and can you (realistically) compete with them?.

If you do load up a brand/name/image/business pretty much the same as someone else’s, you should think about if they are going to have a legal leg to stand on if they want to sue you for copyright infringement.


Here is my main competition with the name:

Fat Kat Music Studio – SoundCloud account with Productions and DJ Mixes
Fat Kat Records – Beatport account (one release back in 2007)


I have decided on

Fat Kat Recordings (Ltd.)

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[LABEL] #2 – What’s the Plan

Where am I now / where would I like to be in the future?


Now: Todays date is 29th October 2015 and I have 70 followers on SoundCloud, 125 likes on Facebook, and 65 followers on Twitter.



FaceBook: The followers I do have are friends and family. The people that have liked my page that I don’t know, that have found me on the internet you can count on one hand. This is my fault I know as I’m not the greatest fan of Facebook, which really hasn’t helped my situation. But as it is one of the main platforms I use for advertising, I am going to have to make start getting along with it. I had toyed with the ideas of buying likes, but turns out it’s counter-productive for getting posts heard, and it would be an empty win. You can’t pay people to enjoy something. They either like it or they don’t, thats their decision.

If you don’t know about this already, check this out.

It’s a video about where your bought ‘likes’ come from. It’s really interesting….and completely twisted.

Facebook Fraud:


SoundCloud: I have 70 followers here and most of them are people that I don’t know, so I like SoundCloud. Brilliant.

But it takes months to get over 100 plays on any of my tracks, which is rubbish.

Again, all my fault. Bad self promotion.



Twitter: I have 65 followers, but I have only started using it this year and I know I haven’t properly started using it yet.

I have found that I get followed by some really interesting people on here, which is exciting, but I also get followed by some suspect looking accounts, some of which have hundreds of thousands of followers. I’m wondering whether this is a case of buying followers? I don’t know about this yet, I’ll be looking into that another time.


BandCamp: I don’t even know if anyone knows about my BandCamp page. I never usually post about it when I do my free releases as I want my plays to hit SoundCloud or YouTube. My BandCamp page is always up to date, but I can definitely put lots more work into it.


YouTube: I have 1 subscriber to my channel… Well, not exactly the greatest amount of followers. I think I may be able to do just a little better here.
I still think this platform is awesome and I have high hopes for getting interest with this channel once I start making tutorial videos and the like for this website.
Another reason why I like YouTube is that a large percentage of music that I listen to is on here.

Byzantine All Stats

Byzantine Geography Stats

So far, I have uploaded 7 tracks to my channel and 6 of them have between 2 and 64 plays…. But the other one has 545 plays! I literally just signed in and looked at the stats on my YouTube channel for the first time to see where these people who played my music are coming from. Turns out India is loving my music! Yeah.
I never realised underground techno-house was rife there (and in the rest of the middle east for that matter). So what is all this about? This is looking really suspicious after finding out about the Facebook click farms. I’ll be looking into this and blogging about stats later on in this series.
I wanted to spell all of this out for a couple of reasons.
One, to summarise where things are now for me as an artist and two, to get me to realise that I need to massively work on self promotion as this is a major part of running a label. Self promotion has been my biggest downfall by a long shot for years and I’m going to have to do this whether I like it or not. Time to sort it out!
Label Plan
I had thought that for the first year the label will just be releasing my music, (with perhaps one collaboration per EP) as I have loads of tracks sitting on my hard drive that I really want to get out there.
The consensus is… I want to reach more likes/followers on these media platforms as an artist, build some respect for the label and develop it’s ‘sound’. The end goal is to build a family of like-minded proucers and be running a half decent label.
I think that if I create some buzz around the label first (by releasing my own productions) then this will be more attractive to other producers who may want to release on other labels and this could potentially be what makes them choose mine over another’s. Well thats the idea anyway. I can’t help but think that no-one would want to release on my label if there is no existing content there already! So I have to build it up myself first.
Saying that, I may completely change my mind after the first release and be more hyped up about getting someone else signed. I’m open minded about the whole thing.
I was thinking of planning out the release schedule with EP’s already as I am sitting on a few EP’s, but I’m just going to take it one step at a time, focus on the first release, then take it from there.
So I have an initial plan for the label now, an idea, and pinpointed my weakest areas that need to be worked on to get this project up and running effectively.

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[LABEL] #1 – Why do I want to start a Label?

Drumcode Records

There are loads or reasons why I want to start a label, most importantly for me, I love music and I love making and sharing it. That makes me happy, which is awesome. So I want to share it with as many people as possible.

Some more reasons:

I would like to get recognised as a producer and would like to get signed on a (fairly) big label in my genre (underground techno/house). I think that setting up a label is going to be a good way to get my music out there and heard at a rate that I am in control of, which will hopefully lead to more publicity and increase chances of getting picked up further down the line.

9BC2B561-860F-4053-B7AA-83588C80A49DIncognitus Recordings

I am already signed to a UK based label ‘Incognitus Recordings’, which is run by a friend of mine Will Craig. This is great, but I would also like to know the mystery behind how it all works and do it myself. Plus, I simply feel that I want to have control over what tracks are released, when, and who they are sent to.

A recent photo of my lounge

Another reason why I would like to start a label is to get paid for the music I have created. I do enjoy throwing stuff out there for free, but I also need to pay the bills.
I am totally not doing this for the money, but it would be nice to see a few pennies come my way for creating some rinsin tunes.
I’m not expecting much at all, I just want something, instead of nothing. I’m know there will be lots of costs for setup and for each release, but it’s all an investment. So bring it on!

Indirectly it could also lead to money as more publicity could lead to more (and bigger) gigs, which is where I can get paid. Plus I’ll be looking into the other potential income streams through the label (brand).

Quick Summary

I would love to share lots of my music, I would like to get signed on a big label, so I want to get lots of my music out there, I would like to know how labels work, and I would like to make a few pennies whilst doing it.

Note: that’s not really my lounge….

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Icon links to Kat’s media platforms located to the right hand side of the website

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