MONTCLAIR, N.J. – On the eve of his next hit record, well known record producer, mixer, and author Eric Sarafin (aka Mixerman) pulls back the curtain on the grim reality artists face as they attempt to make a living in a music business. What we discover is the ever-widening economic divide between the creators of music and the corporations who distribute it online.
From the recording studio to the dark-paneled offices of Washington lobbyists, in an America where wages are stagnant, the middle class struggles, and the uber-rich become even more uber-rich, this is a tale to which all who chase the American Dream can relate.
In #Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent (August 2016, $24.99), after years of diminishing income, Mixerman accepts a timely and lucrative offer from an Indian billionaire, with the mission of mentoring the young adult Billionheir, and teaching him how to produce hit records. But it isn’t long before the two are teaching each other about life in general, as Mixerman is reminded of just how critical adequate funding is to success in the music business.
After an initial carefree romp through California inspires a catchy ditty about Douchebags content to retard the free-flow of forward progress, the two partner up to produce “The Douchebag Song” and break it on the Internet in the hopes of acquiring Spins on radio (a far more lucrative medium than Streaming). There’s just one problem with their plan. It seems a few of Mixerman’s aggressive and hilariously shameless Producer friends have figured out how to import Billionheirs of their own in what ultimately becomes an all-out race for the crown jewel of the music business: a big fat distribution deal with Easter Island Records for the Billionheir-Produsah team that can figure out how to generate the Number One song in the country.
#Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent is a project as unique as its author and all of its audiobook contributors, including Grammy winning and nominated producers Ed Cherney, Dylan Dresdow, William Wittman and Ken Scott. Between character performances, catchy Leitmotifs, and four fully produced tracks, including “The Douchebag Song,” the audiobook brings this fictional tale about the music business even further into reality.
While it’s true that #Mixerman and the Billionheir Apparent is a fictional story, it addresses and illuminates the near impossibility of independently breaking a song on the Internet. In order to further propagate the feeling of reality, Sarafin produced “The Douchebag Song,” with the help of the Pharcyde originals Fatlip and Slimkid3. The catchy song can be heard and purchased online, but it’s the audiobook that allows the listener to follow the song from its inception to its ascension as a hit record at the top of the charts, and what that actually entails. It’s also an argument and prescription for reform of our current laws dictating how Artists and Songwriters are paid.
True to form, Mixerman interweaves this satirical and entertaining story with his off-color social commentary on a dying industry in a rapidly changing world. A world in which the Internet fails to stave the economic divide, Independent musicians have no shot at a living wage, and Big Tech controls the commerce of music at all levels. Meanwhile, the US Congress, the only entity that can actually remedy the problem, does nothing.
As Mixerman explains, “…it’s far cheaper for Big Tech to line the pockets of lobbyists and fund the campaigns of politicians who gladly ignore the issue than it is to pay artists and songwriters a fair rate for their work, my friends.
“Same as it ever was.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MIXERMAN (aka Eric Sarafin) is a Los Angeles-based producer, mixer, and author who reaches a vast audience interested in the recording process and the music business through his popular blog on Mixerman.net, his books, and The Mixerman Radio Show. He is also the author of The Daily Adventures of Mixerman, Zen and the Art of Producing, Zen and the Art of Mixing: REV 2, and Zen and the Art of Recording.