November 28, 2020

Being a vet in the game, Tomas has a wealth of experience and information to share with anyone trying to break into the music industry today. Here’s his take on the good, bad and the ugly.

The Good

“The good is when you see it be successful and you don’t know that till the end of the first day. That’s the real good, even the great. It’s a wonderful feeling when you see people walking around and they are excited to be there and they are holding their conference badges and they are talking to people and they’re sharing their music with everybody. You just hear that hum in the air. Its just people that are taking the opportunity to look around and work the room and make connections.”

The Bad

“The bad part is having to pay for everything first, upfront. Everything is expensive – every plane ticket, every rental, etc., but as the saying goes you got to be in it to win it. When you are running an independent company and you have so many other projects going on, it all adds up really quick.”

The Ugly

“The ugly is when you hear somebody talk crap. Because there is always going to be haters and always going to be people who are just negative. Typically it goes hand-in-hand with someone who didn’t get booked for something or who just realized their career is not going to do it. Yeah, you got to take the ugly with everything else. It’s fine. If that’s the ugliest than it’s really not a bad thing. There really isn’t anything else uglier than that because people are just so supportive. I’m lucky to have a wonderful team of people that work here with me who get it and don’t mind going the extra mile. Because when you do something like this you need to have that spirit – like let’s just roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to make sure this gets done.”

Advice

“The most important thing is you have to keep on writing songs. Never forget the importance of a song. No matter how important you are or how out there you are, you still need to have a million songs to get to that next level. Then after that I think it’s important to read about the industry, it’s important to see what else is happening and to protect yourself; especially now [that] the digital realm is changing so much. With the business changing so much you have to watch out. Back 10 years ago you didn’t think about the bigger picture things because you [were] so removed from it (as an artist). Now with things being a lot different you are not that removed. So, if Google is changing their price point maybe that is going to affect you a little bit. Or things like SoundExchange; you should know what SoundExchange is and be signed up for it. You should know enough to register your songs. You should have the basic knowledge of what songwriting is and how to write a song and split songwriting with other people. It’s a complex business and that whole cliché of that crazy, drugged out rock star – that’s either BS or a majority of those people will crash and burn.

LAMC is going on from July 6th-9th all over New York City. For a full listing of events visit www.latinalternative.com.

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About The Author

Navani Otero is a New York City based multi-media journalist. Her work has been published in The New York Post, Latina, XXL Magazine, In Touch Weekly, msnNOW and MTV News. The self-professed music junkie splits her free time helping out on The Heavy Hitters Radio Show on SiriusXM and mentoring aspiring teen writers. You can read her observations on life at www.navaniknows.com.

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