Note: This article has been loosely translated from the original Dutch language newspaper article.
Just upload your popstar career
22 November 2000
Becoming famous with music is not easy. You first have to make a demo tape with pain and effort. For months you toil on nice songs. You have spent your money down to the last cent on recording equipment. And then you can go to the record companies. All of whom will happily knock you out the door. “Become famous? With that? Did you really think that?”
So don’t. Put your music on the internet and wait for success. Take RedHeat for example: a 21-year-old from England, who has been living in Rijen in Brabant for a few years now. Greg Tuby is his real name. He put his music on the site MP3.com. And that was an unexpected success.
Greg has only been actively involved in music for two years. It all started with a cyber romance. In January 1998, Greg met a nice girl in an internet chat room.
He was 18 at the time and still living in England. She lived in Rijen. A month later they met for the first time. Greg was madly in love and went all in: they got engaged right away.
Two months later he moved to Rijen permanently. After a while he found a job at a large telecom company. “I immediately bought a synthesizer with my first salary,” he says.
Since then he has been making dance, trance and symphonic electronica music under the name RedHeat. The internet had already helped him with a girlfriend, so why not a musical career too? “The Internet seemed like a cheap way to get my music out to a lot of people,” Greg says. “Because on a site like MP3.com you can upload your music for free.”
But MP3.com lists around 100,000 artists. The offer is so large that you wonder if there are still people who find RedHeat. “I don’t advertise my music,” says Greg.
“Some artists do. They advertise on the internet, or they hand out flyers on the street. I do not do that. I have my own homepage and that’s it.”
Yet there are a hundred people a day who download a song from RedHeat. That means 36,500 downloads per year. “And then my number of downloads is still nothing,” says Greg.
“There are artists who are working hard and have up to four thousand downloads a day. A lot, but it’s not that crazy. Internet is unbelievably big. It’s the biggest audience you can find. Internet artists may not be well known outside of the web. They are not on TV or on the radio. But things are going well on the internet. It’s a different world.”
Even though all music on MP3.com can be downloaded for free, people can still buy CDs from the artists on via the site. For only 6 dollars.
“I sell about 300 of those CDs a year,” says Greg.
“And from MP3.com I get half the sale price.” That’s about seven-and-a-half guilders per CD. “Of course it won’t make you rich,” says Greg, “but I was able to buy nice new equipment from it.”
And it didn’t stop there. Record labels keep a close eye on what’s happening on the internet. And so Greg has been invited by them a few times. For a real record deal. But he cautiously declined.” I can’t work under pressure. Sometimes I don’t get any further for three months, and then I suddenly am able to write three songs in one day. That is not so handy if you are under contract and are obliged to deliver songs. But if a record company asks me if they can buy the rights to my existing songs, then of course I won’t say no!”
RedHeat can be found at: http://mp3.com
Has since notarized a legal name change to Red