Hello and welcome to the blog of singer songwriter Ben Hemming. So I finally finished it. The album is out now! Seems like a long time since I sat down and wrote the songs, recorded, mixed and mastered them. All from the comfort of my home studio in Camden. Which is probably part of the reason it took so long. Camden is a place with so many distractions! And a little trip to Istanbuldidn’t help much either! But I guess I wanted to talk a little bit about the philosophy of the album with you now and how that reflects on the modern music market. The album was very much a solo project in every sense of the word. I recorded all the instruments, mixed each song, mastered every song, and self realised the recording on iTunes, Spotifyand amazon. And although it’s only been out a couple of weeks there has been an interesting development in it’s performance. One word… streaming. Revenue from streaming from sites like Spotify and YouTube have been the biggest source of revenue significantly dwarfing downloads from sites like amazon and iTunes. Which gives a good idea the way things are going. If I think of my own music consumption, I download sometimes from iTunes but mainly stream on Spotify and YouTube. It’s just a shame the revenue that Spotify give is so pathetic. It’s almost like these sites have become the new record companies and the artists are getting a bum deal as always!
Which is why I decided to keep studio costs to a minimum and record at home. It simply isn’t cost-effective to spend lots of money on a studio, when the same results can be achieved in a budget studio at home for half the cost, especially when the revenue isn’t covering the overheads. This helps explain why so many studios are going out of business, because artists aren’t willing to pay the costs for something that simply won’t reap the returns necessary to cover the original investment. But on the plus side the fist track of the L.P. ‘Black Heart’ has made it onto the cover C.D. of this months The Blues Magazine. Which will give the release some good exposure.
I see albums as more of a promotional tool these days for tours and gigs. And this is why I have also decided to release the record on bandcamp for ‘name your price’. Fans can pay as little or as much as they want for a product that they will hopefully enjoy and want to see played live. Which brings me on to chat about my tour of Europe. It’s only a few weeks away to when I’ll be jetting off to sunny Spain to play at a private villa party before hitting the cities of Paris, Berlin, Krakow and Oslo, to name but awe. I’ll be keeping up my monthly blog and newsletter, but you can get the inside scoop on my Facebook page. But before I go I’ve managed to squeeze in a last minute gig at the Bohemia in Hackney with my new backing band of Cajon player and double bassist. Which should be a great way to say goodbye to London for a couple of months!