Rolling Out

VoTT breaks down how starting a business is similar to making a song

The R&B singer wanted to hone his business skills

R&B singer and songwriter VoTT is a rising star in the music industry, and he’s letting people know he’s here to stay with his latest EP Heart Breaker, which talks about his life experiences from 2020 to 2024. Finding his inner self throughout that time, VoTT had a new sense of confidence and boldness in his music.

VoTT spoke with rolling out about the music industry, and how running a business is similar to making a song.

How did you get into the business side of music?

When I was finishing up at Harvard, the night before graduation we did a little commencement dinner. I was a speaker for my class, and while we were going there, we rode through the Boston University campus. I was like, “I really want to get my finance game up.” So, I literally just applied and got in on a whim. If you asked if I would’ve been at Boston University right now, I would’ve been like, “I’m not going to be there.” I got in and it’s been an amazing experience because I wanted to hone in on my business skills. I run a business and I want to run more businesses. I want to be that guy who’s well-versed in all the skill sets that work around whatever company it is, even my own record label. I run that in terms of how we partner with bigger labels, but in terms of our day-to-day operations and our market strategy, I’ve been doing it, and so far, we’re doing very well.

How is running a business similar to making a song?

The whole go-to-market, it’s all operations. Your music is your product; you have to make sure that [the] product is in compliance. So think of doing your copywriting, making sure your splits are in order, and making sure the whole finance piece and financing the project is in order…when you’re doing the copyright, that’s going to cover your legal. When you look at the actual sales piece, to have a good sales strategy, you have to have a marketing [partnership], so how are you going to market this record?

A lot of people don’t realize that your marketing budget has to be probably 10 times greater than it actually was to make the product. So a lot of people fail when they do music because they forget all about the marketing. They’ll spend so much on the product to where they now have no money for the music. That’s where a lot of people fail today because it’s not about the talent; it’s about the analytics. Even though I’m still a part of the creative process, a lot of people fail to realize that making a record in the music business is no different. Of course, when it comes to your finances, what kind of return are you going to make? How are you going to make this money back? The go-to-market strategy is key. It’s not that a lot of people miss it; they just aren’t aware of it.

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