Over the past several months, BCF Records has been working with rapper Tony Watts, also known under the SoundCloud alias “Punkblunt”. This particular project has been a collaboration between rapper/songwriter Punkblunt and producer Burning Cheese Fist. In addition to this collaboration, the album has been mixed, mastered, and released professionally under the label. I thought of this as a perfect showcase of how BCF Records can work with artists in terms of development, professionalism, and distribution.
When Tony came to me initially, he had been releasing his own music with various producers on SoundCloud. He voiced interest in completing a professional album with 10-12 songs. After going over the initial plans, we started producing beats and recording vocals each week or so, to generate content for the album. Tony would come over to my place with lyrics and song ideas to try out. Some week's I would produce the beats with Tony there, to help head in a direction he wanted, and some week's I would have beats prepared, based on a theme or idea. Our setup was not high-end or anything flashy, I produced all of the beat within the DAW FL Studio, and recorded vocals through the DAW Pro-Tools. This was done using a condenser mic housed in a small recording booth constructed out of mattresses and couch cushions. This goes to show that quality recordings are not limited to multi-million dollar studios.
Having the recordings and instrumental portions finished, the mixing process began. In this process, I used multiple compressors to even out the vocal lines. Not much pitch correction or reverb was needed with the lines being mostly rap based. A lot of the editing time was spent correcting small timing errors between backing vocals and the main lines. This and the standard housekeeping edits of deleting extra noise made the tracks sound very clean. The next step, I would designate as the mastering stage, was mostly spent getting the tracks to mesh well between instrumental and vocal tracks, as well as making all the tracks in the album flow together well.
There are three main ways that BCF Records have benefited Punkblunt as an artist. These benefits specifically for this artist deal with pricing, professionalism, and distribution. As the owner and audio engineer at BCF Records, my goal is to give back to artists in any way possible, not necessarily to charge them. With this in mind, the whole production of the album (Producing beats, Recording, Mixing, Mastering) was done for little to no charge at all. This is made possible due to the ability to sell the music under the label, giving BCF Records a small percentage of return on any profits. Having a Bachelor's degree in music production, I was able to offer another level of professionalism to the music applying my knowledge in mixing and mastering. Little changes that make a big difference in music on a professional level such as proper use of EQ, compression, vocal processing, managing output levels (LUFs/limiting), and applying accurate metadata, are all part of this. Having self-produced tracks on SoundCloud, Punkblunt had not had this level of production quality prior to working with BCF Records. Lastly, the span of distribution through BCF Records is much broader, including Spotify, itunes, pandora, amazon music, youtube, and many more, allowing the listeners and fans to choose the music platform that they enjoy or use the most, not limited just to Soundcloud.
Unlike traditional label contracts, Tony keeps all of the rights to his music with the only obligation being the marketing rights and percentage of return for BCF Records. This contract is only in effect for the album released under the label as well, as to not bar Tony from future endeavors.
This is a great example of an artist that came to BCF Records with music that they saw value in, and that is all that they needed to succeed. For the equivalent of a $60 vocal shield (Which was donated to the studio), Punk Blunt received: Beats for his songs, vocal recordings, quality mixing/mastering, and distribution of his album. In an established recording studio, this could all amount to hundreds, if not thousands, for a full-length album.
Here at BCF Records, we watch out for our artists financially, legally, and as friends, making sure they can succeed solely on their music. The collaboration between Punkblunt and Burning Cheese Fist is now known as the artist “Punk Blunt,” in the confines of the album. As fans of music, you are everything to the artists and all appreciation is owed to you. For a discounted price on the album download, jump over to our Rap page Here.
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