As many of you might know, I have been spending the last three years of my life trying to complete a Masters Degree in Music Industries.

I was incredibly scared and nervous going into this final project for my MA because I know that things can change relatively quickly in the industry.

There’s A LOT of people (in and outside the industry) that have opinions about the things that are happening and many are very vocal about them.

So my biggest worry was to get shot down and penalised by those people, especially people within the industry that I might look up to.

I didn’t want to share my project with the world until I heard back from the examination board because I was terrified that I might get a bad mark and be the laughing stock of my peers…

It got to the point where I was having nightmares about the email that would appear in my inbox, telling me how I had performed. And more or less two months after my deadline, it finally appeared…

Totally on edge, sweating like a maniac, I opened it and followed the links to the results, to then see this…

MA project mark

I screamed and cried at the same time out of happiness and relief!

For somebody who has felt like a damn loser most of her life, this really is one of the most important moments of my life because for the first time I genuinely felt (and feel) like I’m very much the opposite and I am so proud and happy of my achievements!

I’ve been working hard on my attitude and the way I view myself the last 2-3 years, and it was one of my goals going into this MA to improve my confidence and the way I view myself within certain situations in life.

After having one of the worst years of my life in 2013, I am so happy to see that 2014 is so gar going in the right direction.

Bandcamp feature of The Sign Of Four

It has been a long time coming, but it is with great excitement that I can tell you that Jazzman Records are finally on Bandcamp!

And if that wasn’t enough, it is with great pleasure we see our new artist, The Sign Of Four, as part of this weeks homepage recommendations!  I urge you to check out the entire show hosted by the awesome Andrew Jervis, who prior to Bandcamp worked at Ubiquity Records. There’s some great picks in there this week with some excellent records, so it really is amazing to have The Sign Of Four in there!

Plus, I think this new feature of having a weekly recommendation show packed with great music that you can find on the site is a fantastic idea – although its a shame you cant embed it…

Anyway, make sure you check out the Jazzman Records Bandcamp page, spread the word and let us know what you think! I know there’s not a lot on there at the moment, but there is loads more coming and we will try to offer physical versions of  some of the releases too in due time too.

Oh and if you still haven’t checked out The Sign Of Four album then hurry up and do so now below!

[iframe src=”http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2171286033/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=e41170/transparent=true/” width=”100%” height=”100%”]

As part of my MA course, I was asked to generate an idea for a new (digital) business opportunity that I could pursue, but which had a clear cultural aspect to it. My initial idea was Jazzgirl that I talked about in week 4’s post.

However, in a lot of the feedback that I got, people raised the concern that it might be too niche.

Now to clarify the idea – the label would focus on female artists within all genres that Jazzman Records cover (hence the name Jazz Girl) but the app would include information from all Jazzman Records labels.

I can see how this might be confusing for some (to have an app called one thing and it covers something else), so I wanted to run by a new idea with you all that I had this weekend.

DISCLAIMER: Before anybody goes crazy in the comments field, I would just like to point out that the ideas and thoughts in this post are all THEORETICAL and part of my MA degree. I would appreciate you giving me feedback and help, but in a constructive way if possible.

So the new idea that I had was to just create a Jazzman app that would take advantage of all the material we get hold of when we “dig deeper” and give people access to a bunch of unseen material that sometimes doesn’t make the cut due to lack of money or time or space (there is only so many pictures you can fit in a booklet before it becomes a mini book…)

I am basing this idea a lot on the Blue Note app but I would like to take our app one step further and link the bridge between digital and real life – mainly because we pride ourselves on our physical products.

I would firstly like to share some screenshots borrowed from evolver.fm to give you an idea of how the Blue Note app looks and works, and then explain how I would like to make the Jazzman one a bit different.


Homepage where you have features on artists or playlists, as well as recommendations etc


Dexter Gordon – artist page with different types of content – here it is music


Biography


Videos


News


Similar Blue Note Artists to Dexter Gordon

The actual app is free to download, but it is only if you decide to subscribe monthly for £1.99 that you get access to ALL CONTENT that the app has to offer.

The way I had envisioned the Jazzman app would be similar – so free to download to your tablet or smart phone but pay a small monthly fee to subscribe and access all available content, as well as getting all the latest news or new content before others.

Maybe even incorporate the blog and the radio show in there if that is possible?

However, I also wanted to add some premium accounts to the mix that would connect the digital world with the physical one, as well as features that would hopefully make the fans of the brand feel more involved with what we do.

One idea was that for a certain amount each month, you would subscribe digitally as well as physically to all new Jazzman releases – so with that specific premium account you would have first access to the new Jazzman releases digitally via the app, and you’d get them sent home to you without the hassle of trying to order them on the website.

Another idea was to create a special “Jazzman Recommends” section linked to our webstore where Jazzman Gerald personally would pick out the best releases of either the week or month and for a certain amount each month, people could subscribe digitally and/or physically to get those releases sent to them automatically. A bit like a record club generated by Jazzman.

And if that would take off, we could even introduce a guest feature, so you would get a notification saying that next month Gilles Peterson would be picking the releases.

I know this isn’t a new business, more like an idea to expand a part of an existing business, so I might not be allowed to do this.

Nevertheless, I would still love to hear your thoughts on this though!

P.S. If you are not familiar with Jazzman Records, we basically “dig deeper” not just music wise, but also when it comes to liner notes (so information about the artists and their music), pictures, and with the app, it would mean video and so on too. It would give us an opportunity to bring to life all the content that we have, as well as sharing the content we might not have been able to share on physical releases.