Saying No. Should you do it?
Well ya, I think what and who you say no to is as important, if not more so than who you say yes to. I get a lot of questions about whether or not is it ok to turn down doing a remix. Or if it is ok to charge a fee for a remix. And yes, yes you should. Under the right circumstances.
A quick side note on asking for a fee. Actually just one word, Reasonable. Know what you’re worth, know what you’re average sales are (yes push those labels to send you statements!) and know what a label might actually be able to pull in to help cover the costs. Most of the time I recommend something along the lines of 50USD as a good and reasonable remix fee, IF you’re worth it and it is digital.
Let me run down a little list of when to say no, when to charge and when to say yes please to those remix and mix requests and maybe even a DJ gig or two.
When to Say No
- You don’t find the label (or requester) to be respectful or nice. Working with someone you don’t get along with is never enjoyable.
- You aren’t a fan of the music coming from the label/artist. No fun remixing something that doesn’t inspire you or making a mix having to feature music you don’t actually support. Exclusivity and quality are key here.
- You aren’t going to get something out of it. Ya shocking right? Seriously though consider what releasing on the label or for the artist is going to do for you.
- The label/artist have less of a social reach than you. Consider their Facebook, twitter and other ways they promote (not just the numbers but also the interaction). Consider their own personal reach. Is this going to get you to new music lovers? No? Well then.
- You are already way overbooked and honestly don’t have the time for it and/or you won’t make the deadline. Say no thanks, contact me again in x months.
When to Ask for a Fee
1. See the list above and if in any of these situations and you think it is worth it, ask for a fee. If they say no, say sorry and they can contact you again in the future when they are ready to pay for your services. This alone will free up a ton of space for you to focus on originals, running your own show and working with people you WANT to work with.
When to say Yes, Please!
- The label or artist is awesome, like DeepWit. Everyone knows we’re awesome. That’s why people rarely tell us no 😉
- The label can offer you something. More exposure, the chance to actually sell some music and maybe even some advice and help how to keep moving up in the scene.
- They are great to work with and you can see yourself working with them for years. Getting your name established on a long running label can be great for your career. You rise with them and vice versa.
- They send you royalty statements and pay up. One reason to love Proton labels, is exactly this. Not sure if they do? Don’t hesitate to contact some of the artists they’ve worked with to find out.
- You’re just a huge fan and would be honoured to work with said label or artist. Nothing is more fulfilling than feeling like you’ve “made it” to where you wanted to by getting to work with them.
I hope that has helped cleared up so much of the confusion floating around out there about whether or not it is ok to say no. On a different note, remember that No does mean No, regardless if it is for a remix request or that cute blond turning down your advances at the bar.