Asia, the future of music?

August 9th, 2013By Category: Arts & Entertainment


The asian market is getting more and more important for international songwriters. The asian share of the worldwide music market is growing, both in size and importance. I am Mikaela Hammarström, a singer songwriter from Sweden who is now making a living as a musician in Japan.

There are a lot of “songwriting camps” where professional songwriters meet, collaborate and write songs that are aimed for “pitching” to artists in Japan and Korea. They are usually held under a short time, a few days but the tempo and expectations are high.

So what does “Pitch” means? When you “Pitch” your music, you send your song to an A&R (the gatekeepers at the record label) these are in the front line to find the next new big “Hit”. “A&R’s” Stands for “Artist and Repertoire” (Repertoire is a fancy word for songs, don’t ask me why!!). They don’t take “Unsolicited material” witch means that labels do not take material from people they don’t know about, producers/songwriters with no name. That’s why song camps are so popular, here you meet a lot of people who’ve been in the music industry for a long time and got the right contacts.

So how do you get in contact with A&R’s if you’re not in a song camp and you’re a rookie with no “track record” ? It’s not that easy and what I know is that they don’t want a lot of people sending them a lot of cd’s they’re not gonna listen to anyway. You can pay to find contact info at “HitQuarters” or you can also “co write” with someone who works as a songwriter for a publishing company with a “track record” who will have a lot of A&R’s in their music library. “Track record” means a record of accomplishment, a persons history of success. So start working on your track record because YOU WILL NEED IT 🙂

So what about “co writing”? You write music with another songwriter and split the music rights and % between you. When I co write I bring my laptop (I use the music sequencer “Logic”) and I’ll meet the other songwriter at the studio, at a cafe or at home. You sing and you record your music and make a Demo. When I did “co write” from Sweden with a korean songwriter from “SM Town” (Label S..M Entertainment), we worked online. He sent the track, I made the lyrics and recorded it into a demo, and sent it back to him. He showed it for the A&R at SM Town and said that we wanted it for BoA’s upcoming album, but the song it just wasn’t right for the time (you’re gonna hear that a lot).

In Japan it’s important with good relationships and you don’t wanna break someones trust, because then you’re out of business. If someone send you a track it’s better to start working on it right away to show them that you care. You can ask if there’s a deadline (be sure there will be one) because you don’t wanna waste someones time.

Author of this article

Mikaela Hammarström

My name is Mikaela Hammarström and I'm from Sweden, now living in Tokyo, Japan. I'm an educated Tv-Journalist but also a sound engineer/music producer.

I'm signed as an artist & songwriter to the swedish music publishing company One Songs International. I'm in Japan to work with my project "Miss Luvlee" and I will soon release my debut album and I hope you'll like it :)

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