"People usually think: How can I get a record deal? The proper question is: how can I go make a career for myself as an Independent Artist first."





So people usually ask me, "Hey how do I get a record deal Cyrus? Good question. In fact that very question;  "How do I get a record deal?" lends itself to reveal a lot about the individual or band asking that question. Almost as if you are asking  "Hey when should I expect to win the Lottery Cyrus? or" "Hey when can I expect quit my day job Cyrus?" or "Hey when can I expect a Label to come take care of all my debt Cyrus?" The proper question should be: "Hey when should I begin working my ass off proving I have what it takes to be a professional?" All sarcasm aside the best approach is this - "How can I go make a career for myself as an Independent Artist first?" This a good place to start. Sure - It all starts by “getting noticed.” Getting noticed is usually a by-product of doing all the right things, by making a career for yourself as an Independent Artist. Many artists out there have learned that when you do all the right things, eventually someone will come and investigate what all the hype is about. One time I heard a prominent A&R say to a band - “Don’t worry about finding us, when you end up on our radar screen we'll find you.” Truth is all the questions you may have will answer themselves in time if you do the right things. So what are some of those things?" The good news is - it's not as complicated as you might think, and you're in the right place to find out. But I should  warn you - If you want to someone to blow sunshine up your ass, go listen to the Gin Blossoms! Be advised there's a pop quiz at the end on the next page.



If you want someone to blow sunshine up your ass? Go listen to the Gin Blossoms!"




Another band sent me an e-mail claiming to be the hottest band in Austin, Texas. After some quality vetting, I called them back to say -  “I went downtown, talked to hundreds of teenagers, club owners, booking agents and no ones ever heard of you guys.”




So I said to this band - “I went downtown, talked to hundreds of teenagers, club owners, booking agents and guess what? No ones ever heard of you guys.”




Many A&R Representatives are extremely proactive in looking for new talent. A&R’s are very good at finding the what, where, when, why, and how of talent recruitment. Kind of like a clothes buyer. These folks have their finger on the pulse of what's' hot and what's not. If they fail, their careers also fail. So back to the question, what are some of the specific things A&R’s look for? I like to call them the five M's.  Some of those things include motivation to start a band, and make a good musical production, or demo, possessing talent and marketability, possessing a unique signature sound that stands out from the rest, a solid live presentation, but more importantly something that will drive the consumer to the “point of sale”. OK in other words it's all about money. So it's about Motivation, Marketability, Music, & Making Money. This is why “Buzz Factor” is so important. No matter what you may think, the bottom line in the record industry will always be about money, either selling tickets, or selling music - yes making money. Money is the thing that puts A&R's on the map in an attempt to make a name for themselves as they head up the corporate ladder. It's in the best interest of the A&R that you succeed, kind of like betting on a horse? So what happens to the A&R that convinces a label to bet on a horse that goes belly up?  Well let's just say the job rotation rate of an A&R Representative is high for a reason. True - it usually takes a band up to 2-5 years of doing all these right things before they even “get noticed” by a prominent Music Professional. Yes it’s all about getting noticed. Yes it's all about making a good impression with someone important, and yes it's all about making money. Money talks in the Music Industry & success starts by having clout, and developing good working relationships with the right people behind it all. In other words good old fashioned networking. The final M - Making friends. 




You wanna see how the Record Industry works? Don't go to a Radio Station, go to it's dumpster.”






The purpose of the "BIZ TALK" essays is to put into action those steps that will not only greatly increase the possibility of you getting noticed by the right people, but more importantly its about helping you develop genuine relationships with some of those people. Even if your goal is to remain Independent, "BIZ TALK" will show you how to maximize your potential whatever road you go down. I will reveal many tricks of the trade to you that have helped myself and many others around me over the years. So let's recap what the 5 M's are - Motivation, Marketability, Music, Making Money, and Making Friends. Nothing and I repeat nothing will ever beat good old fashioned networking. Not networking like going door to door selling vacuums, I'm talking really making close friends in this Business. In this business millions of people are trying to get record deals, but in this overly saturated market it’s more important just to get a foot in the door, in an attempt  to form a genuine relationship. Not a relationship for the sake of  networking, I'm talking networking that becomes a by product of a genuine partnership. The real stuff. Before we get started I have a very simple question for you - If you hear a band on the radio it's because of networking. How important is networking? Have you ever heard a bad song on the radio?  Maybe now you see how important networking really is.


I believe that music is one of the most powerful things on this planet. I also believe there is nothing more powerful than making a dream come true. No doubt millions of people have dedicated their entire lives trying to make their dreams come true. But reality is exactly what separates the pretenders from the contenders in the Music Business. If you've ever watched  American Idol you know exactly what I'm talking about. The contenders from the pretenders - ah yes. It's about reality. Reality is one of the things you have to look at when evaluating yourself. Reality about your dream, your talent, your music, your approach, your performance, your perception, your connection, your appeal, your past, your present, your future, your chances of success, and yes ultimately your life..........................................Why?


Because music is not a dress rehearsal, it's your life through music.



"Music is not a dress rehearsal, its your life - through music."


Cyrus Rhodes




Welcome to BIZ TALK!




About Cyrus





Cyrus Rhodes is President of Seattle based label Katavi Arts Guitarist for local band Seven Against Thebes Executive Producer of Projects Drum Dynasty, Seven Against Thebes, Over the years Rhodes has been a guitarist in a touring band, A&R Representative Chicago (1998 - 2003), Seattle (2003 - Present), Talent Buyer, Band Manager, Booking Agent, and most recently a Syndicated Music Critic. His reviews have been posted on USA Today and Headline News. Rhodes is also Chief Editor and lead critic for several webzines.  In 2009 he  launched www.ndiemusicdigest.com. IMD is dedicated to developing hard working Independent Artists worldwide. IMD only accepts material from unsigned bands and artists.


Cyrus's Record Label  Katavi Arts

Cyrus's band Seven Against Thebes  Seven Against Thebes

Drum Dynasty Project Drum Dynasty


Cyrus Rhodes has written and edited reviews for the following Publications, Labels and Entertainment Agencies:




All What's Rock

Carlito's Music Blog


Headline News

Gas House Radio

Indie Mindy


Indie Artists Alliance

Jan Van Zee

Leicester Bangs

The Mag

The Muse Muse

Music Emissions

Music News Nashville


Rock n' Roll View

SKOPE Magazine

USA Today

Vents Magazine

Victory Music








Entertainment Groups and Agencies


Blonde Entertainment

Boston Punx

Budhha Fubk

Cross Seas Entertainment

Erco Scavenger Entertainment


Freebird Entertainmentc


Golden Harvest Entertainment

Grit PR



Kaos Records

Lazer Marketing

La Famouse Ent

Magna Carta

Miles High Productions


Pop Core Entertainment

Rhymesayers Crushkill

Serge Entertainment

Solid Productions LLC

SOM Entertainment LLC



Working Brilliantly



Arkouse Records

Arythmia Records

AK Jazz

AWB Records

Bag of Bones Records

Bald Freak Music

Blacksail Records

Bloody Mary Records

Blu-Grascal Records

Budhha Funk

Buckin Savior Records

Cakewalk Records

Commune Recordings

DEC Productions

Dharma Records

Do Too Records

Drunk Soul Records

East End Productions

EP Music

Firebelly Music

Flintrock Productions

Global Vortex Records

Good Records

Hush Music

Interscope Records

Intimate Audio

Jetty Records

Kite Stripe Records

The Last Records

Lakeshore Records

Left Ear Records

Lettera "A" Records

Line Drive Records

Lonely Llama Music

Mad Dwarf Productions

Nettwerk Records

Noh Code Records

OmOm Music

One Eyed Turtle Productions

Outstanding Music

Peaceman Music

Post Colonial Records

Prospect Records

Purple Kush

Raven Recordings

Red Rock Music

Round Box Records

Roast Records

Ryder Roo records

Saguaro Road Records

Sauspop Records

Seven Seas Records

Singing Wolf Records

Squidhat Records

Spektrum Productions

Tenth Planet Records

Thin Man Music

Trifonic Records

Waltzing Duck Records

Contact  Professional Inquiries only I might bite your head off


Cyrus Rhodes

President, Syndicated Music Critic, Marketing Solutions

Indie Music Media LLC

Katavi Arts LLC

Seattle, WA.


(360) 509-1779 - Office

(360) 394-3631 - Facsimile