Akademia SCAM Alert.

I’ve won an award for the EP ‘ the Abbey’ for best Folk Singer Songwriter December 2016.

YAY. except it’s not as good as it sounds, Unfortunately this has turned out to be one of the most convoluted scams i have come across in the Music Promotion world. Initially I was contacted via email by a DJ from an LA radio station. It said he’d heard my track named it and went on to suggest
getting in touch with a company called the akademia. This i did and after having a bit of a look around
I entered my EP into one of several Monthly Contests. I paid $19.99 to enter and was
really blown away to receive an email telling me i’d won. They’d created me a page with a brief
and shining review of the EP. Fantastic, they offered to promote me and invited me to their annual Gala attended by 1500 people including Music Big wigs in L.A.. All great, except here’s where things started to unravel.

I decided i’d better look into the Akademia a bit further.. Research on Google found a lot of people asking the same questions, Who are these guys? As it turns out the Akademia hold roughly 130 competitions every month. I don’t know how many entries they receive but that could be a pretty reasonable income. They then offer their winners a promotional package for a cost of $49.99 per month.

My first hint of a Scam came when an email arrived stating they’d met with several Executives from a Global radio network who’d agreed to put my song on circulation. I looked into these radio stations which have names like WLDN London & KEDG the Edge Sydney. They are all Internet radio stations
transmitting from the same location in the United states. They all have the same Akademia Award winning artists on rotation an no one else.! Each of these stations have only one point of contact and no physical address. That’s a BIG clue right there. They all have around 4000 followers on FaceBook, (probably from other artists who have won an award) and I couldn’t find any one openly stating how positive their experience had been, no champions.

I decided to reach out to the artists listed on the website’s own Success Stories page the ‘Winners Circle.’ http://www.theakademia.com/winners/
Of the ten artists listed i contracted 8 and received 4 responses. Of those 4 only one went on to work with the Akademia after winning an award. One! here are the responses:

Ricky Kej http://www.facebook.com/rickykejmusic

“Hi.. i did not pay akademia any money.. and am not associated with them in any way. Is there anyone who has told you that I have done any work with them?”

D’NME https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDNME/

“Hey how’s it going thanks for reaching out. I personally never paid the Akademia Awards to for any support. I submitted music to them and they like it and it eventually won an award. After that I never did anything else with them. I did pay for the physical award but I was ok with that because I wanted it. Personally my experience with them was really straight forward. The promotion they offer I already have access to so I didn’t need to request their services. Hope this helps D’NME”

Nicky Barot http://www.facebook.com/nickybarotmusic

“My manager handles the publicity side of things. I attended that gala at the LA expo last year and it was legit. Got to meet the executives. All I can say is it takes time to build momentum. I believe they too are trying to build their brand. I get updates from them about the spins my songs get which are on smaller satellite stations. All I can say is talk to more people and do what your gut tells you. As for me, I’m focused on my music and Akademia gives me reason to talk about myself. Cheers.”

The Silver Snails http://www.facebook.com/thesilversnails

“Hi Wayne, RE the akademia, my feelings as follows: on the one hand the publicity (‘look! we won an award’) is fine and doesn’t cost much. On the other hand, their promotion service is a scam. we signed up for a year of promotion and received essentially one or 2 bogus emails a month in which they pretend that they have us ‘in rotation’ on these fake radio stations. Not only did this leaving us feeling like chumps (scammed yet again by music industry bottom-feeders), but it feels like they used our brand to promote a fake service to brother/sister musicians because they featured us on their website. Of course, we did our diligence along the way, talked to Anwar, even attended their gala last april to see if there was something behind it. As far as i can tell, the only people aware of them are indie musicians like ourselves, i.e. not a good place to find fans, move along… Best Regards, -£ucas“

I also watched the various clips relating to their annual Gala event held in LA. I started to watch any YouTube vids i could find, the event looked glitzy Red Carpet Photo flashes Tux and Ball gowns, very LA very Glamourous. But the event was held outside on the forecourt, every body queuing up for their picture round the outside, no one else.! Basically the event is populated with artists who’ve won an award. No Music Biz professionals, no paparazzi, just the artists and the Akademia staff. You basically fly to LA to have your picture taken and pay for the pleasure.! It’s wrong.

I did find this one report from Fox News: http://www.foxla.com/news/140124495-video
**update: Another fantastic source is Steve Angulo, who replied to this post and has done extensive research into the Akademia. His video’s are really informative. You can find his Youtube channel here> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV4LnLhZiPEnm6lzpr2tYOQ

The Akademia are an example of just how cautious the new independent artist must be. I suggest always checking a site or offer very carefully, You can find search forums and find website statistics to help verify an offers validity. As Musicians we have access to the whole industry like never before. It’s fair to say that we no longer need Big record companies to promote us, however, it is a double edged sword because we are also exposed to scams like the Akademia. Be careful out there people.

A Letter to my Crowdfunders: the Abbey release notes

So after 4 years I am extremely glad to announce that I have finally released a 5 track CD and Digital download and called it simply ‘The Abbey’. I have split the release of the album into two EP length releases ‘the Abbey’ and ‘St. Cecilia’. Most of the tracks on this release where recorded with Gem at Hive Studio’s in Glastonbury. I still have several guide tracks that i’m working on and 3 new songs that i’m planning to release as soon as possible. This could take a while and that’s why i’m releasing the tracks that are finished and ready.

I have strived to make this the best recording I can and at times my perfectionism has led me down
blind alleys. I re-mixed ‘Rollin On’ three times, re-recorded the vocals three times and took two separate summers in the UK to get all the other instrumentation down. Only two tracks, namely ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘Another Platform’ were finished in that first summer after you all so kindly donated your hard earned cash to help me realise this dream. ‘Train Story’ was recorded in Australia and then Samantha Barry added Violin and Harmonica in the UK. Gem mixed the track and sent it over but on first listen I wasn’t happy and so, for many months it sat and did nothing. Sometimes you need to let these things alone for a while and after having another listen I realised it was perfect as it was! It’s actually my favourite track on the EP. I was also stuck with the acoustic version of ‘I’ll See Again’ that Sam and I laid down in those first sessions in Glastonbury. The Click track had bled through and I felt that i’d need to re-record. Once I’d dug it out however I realised that i’d only need to re-record the Guitar part and hey presto the track came back to life.

I have more, better songs in me and it is now my intention to sell as many copies as possible of ‘the Abbey’ to help fund the second leg of the journey and get back into recording. Please feel free to share the tracks around if you see fit. All in all I hope that you get something out of having a listen and please know that I would never have completed this important first lap if it hadn’t been for your support. Knowing that I had to deliver to my friends and family kept me going even when the expanses of time in between seemed to engulf me and leave me feeling very low and unable to proceed. I had to finish and so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, your donations keep on giving. I promised you an album and have delivered only an EP length recording. Therefore the story is not finished. I have 5 more tracks unearthing themselves at my fingers and I strive to create the time to realise them. ‘St. Cecilia’ is the patron saint of music and it is in her name that i will finish the recording and writing of the next release.

Thank you, Thankyou, Thankyou all for being my friends and for supporting me with my dream.

Sincerely
Wayne R Davies
Whitedog

My Influences: Neil Young

The Tipping Point

When to quit the day job.!

As an Independent artist the hardest thing to reach is ‘The tipping point.’ By which I mean, the point where there is enough momentum in your music career that you can give up the day job without risking the security of your family.

‘The Tipping Point’ catch 22 is this:” If I don’t dedicate enough time to my music career i’ll never get near the tipping point and yet if I dedicate all of my time to my music career i’ll be broke in about 2 months and therefore be further from the tipping point!” That is the fear. So what is the solution..

I don’t have the answers yet but i’ve researched a lot and the advice i’ve been given suggests the obvious. The three PPP’s. Patience, Perseverance and Planning.
So to help me with the third P i’ve found a couple of solutions..
Firstly, I used this little diagram to help me out, ..

So for me, some time off work is the way forward. I’ve booked a couple of days off but it’s not going to be enough.. Can i get my job to reduce my hours and therefore give me more time to work on music? We shall see… Otherwise a part time job could be the way forward..

SecondIy, I’ve been putting in place ‘systems’ which are enabling me to clear my head of all the lists and concentrate my efforts on one thing at a time. This seems to have really helped, for example, in my very limited time before work on wednesdays I review my music opportunities with sites like www.musicclout.com and www.taxi.com and submit to any that suit me. On thurs i spend that precious 30mins reviewing emails that have been sent to me. On Fridays ill rotate between booking gigs or addressing my Mailing list (which means for the first tim ein months i’ve actually communicated with them!)

My third bit of ‘Planning’ is to use the calendar!. So many times in the past i’ve had a rough date in the future for the intended release of the album. And, invariably, that date comes and goes.. So this time I haven’t actually picked that date yet but i’m placing into my calendar all the things that need to happen in order to release on time. By entering these ‘signposts’ into an actual calendar and sticking to them i’m hoping that this time round the ‘Album’ gets released.

That’s all for now, I’ll report back next month with some real progress… i hope!

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Coffeeshop Crossroads Lyrics Video

 I’ve just posted a video for the song ‘Coffeeshop Crossroads’ on YouTube. Here is the link.>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-edTjgrDvA

The song is about not knowing which is the right way to go, always having several options available to us can be quite disconcerting at times. It was written in a cafe back in 2002 in Glastonbury and I released a version on the back of the single ‘I’ll See Again’ in the same year. I have stripped back a lot of the lyrics since then and changed the way i pick the bass notes with my thumb. It changes the feel a little bit and i’m wondering if i’ve lost some of the original sentiment, which is that no matter the cjoices that we have we are on the road home and hopefully we can find some trust that at the end there is only death and that we cannot possibly be heading in a wrong direction.

Anyway i hope you enjoy the video, thanks for listening,.
W

Getting going..

“It doesn’t matter what you get done, as long as you get going.” Anon.

Really,.? Because, I have so many unfinished projects it not true,. I’m very good at getting going, it’s finishing that I have a problem with,! Reading back over posts from a year ago I realise I’m no further along the road! The Album is still not complete, no time to finish, concentrate, anything,. But the money is coming in,. An absolute opposite to the UK where I had the time and the resources, but no money!
I’ve been listening back to the tracks recorded in the UK last Summer, I really didn’t get any further with the Album. The live show with Sam and Smiffy took the music in a slightly different direction and working with them both was a hugely enjoyable experience, one that reminded me what being in a group is like,. The feeling of having others working with you for shared goals. I realise that everything material became hard back in the UK but I’m starting to realise that the development of the self in a spiritual /personal development sense was working behind the lines in that time. That the Album itself moved not nearly an inch but the attitude to record a really good record was in nurturing. I have employed an attitude that the timing of this album has to be in alignment with producing the best Record possible with the songs I have. And that means going over the tracks that are not yet working again and again until they sound right. 
I have to work on the best album possible,..St Cecilia was urging me to get it right, to produce something that I am proud of today and for the rest of my days. So I cannot possibly say I didn’t really do that right. And for this end I am dedicated. 

Autumn

Been a while,. Rollin Stones “pass the wine” on the stereo, feelin it at the moment. Progress on the album is afoot however. Laid down some Bass n Guitar on Flowers the other week,. Gotta get Sam in now to embellish it. I think Sam works best in the cans, ‘o apart from certain intimate live gigs,. She can shine. the gig on Friday at the King Arthur was grand, didn’t feel like our last at all. Smiffy has been a legend, is a legend and im going to give the man my 12 string guitar. Such a long time since last rehearsal and they both remembered everything. Hoping we can still get a version of Coffeeshop crossroads down before I leave for Australia.

Still time to get Gareth Austin on Banjo…
Then I think if I cunt correctly that’ll be 7 tracks..
Rollin On
I feel fine
Flowers
Another Platform 
Coffeeshop crossroads
Train Story
Ill see again (Hive version)
Plus 2 more to go,.
The Ol Highway.. &
Love
There is also “A Little light for you” unreleased, as such.. 
So this is the Album as its shaping up,. 
I love the way that music so seems to me! Last night I hit play on the music random play button and was treated to ‘ Alice in Chains -them bones’ first, an Alice in Chains T-Shirt and then Bert Jansch, lovely Hand picking, style on the 6string. 

I have been in England and performing with Samantha Barry on Fiddle and Graham Smith,
or ‘Smiffy’ on Double Bass. We’ve played a few dates but three have been memorable. The
first was at Enfest, which was our first event of the Summer. The second was a two song set
at the open mic every tuesday at the Hawthorns in Glastonbury. And the third was last
Thursday at the King Arthur, also Glastonbury.

I’m attempting to co-ordinate the recording sessions to finish the album. I still have £470
of the money donated and have about 3-4 songs in the bag. These sessions are to be
recorded at St. Dunstons house, which is right next to the Abbey grounds.

We’re going to record another 4 songs live acoustic.  Were looking forward to this immensely,
i cant wait to play you the results. To all those who have donated and joined through the website,
you’ve helped me to get to this stage in the process of recording an album and that record is
nearly with us.

I have uploaded a track to the web for you to listen to….
https://soundcloud.com/whitelectricdog

thankyou for listening.
much love

Wayne

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the Rifleman’s and the Arthur,.

Wednesday night at the Rife’s, a venture that started out back in 2007 with Durban Poison, and friends, Mark and Jamuna and Paul O’Reilly., the night ran for 2 years in the end, I booked the headline acts and produced a local gig listing magazine called the G.A.S. mag,. It stood for Glastonbury Alternative Scene’s and we had everything from Rock to Hip Hop and back through folk to Soul ! It was great, good times,. And yet I spent a lot of time and effort in the Rifleman’s.. And now it seems I’m going back again,. This time though, I know I can only be there for one Month,. Which is great because I believe the Wednesday nights worked best when we allowed others to have a go,. So I’m glad to say that Whitedog has a month long residency at the Rifes and that i will be inviting as many of my friends as I can to come and have a play,. I think it’ll work out ok..

Which turns me to the Arthur, the place for live music in Glastonbury today, which after being a popular place to go whilst the Riflemans has been in decline,. has, it seems, attracted some of the darker side! Okay, I left my laptop unattended, for moments, maybe even minutes, possibly even, an hour! Not sure, I was playing Chess, which was great, but my good friends had to leave and I didn’t realise or remember that my Laptop was still under the table,. Under the table that is before someone decided to claim it as they’re own,. Which is inconvenient cos I got a lot of posters and things to do,. There are ways mind. I could use this iPad to Guerilla style some flyers and email them to the printer which reminds me that I’ve got to take the guitar tomorrow to Jam with Smiffy,. 
Now don’t get me wrong, because I really love what the King Arthur pub now stands for , it really is doing what it said it would and putting on Live Music every night,. I love it,. I just hope they understand that I wanted to play these two pubs,. I’m starting a music night back at the old Haunt up the road,. And many would be glad to come I think,. Wahey. I’ve been negotiating with Cameron about a Thursday night gig at the Arthur for quite sometime,. We’ve had dates flying around,. It’s not flowing too well. I want to play for Cameron as he does have a good heart and he wants the music,. I want to play down the Arthur as much as I want to play at the Rife’s. these are both gigs in the same town,. Our home town of Glastonbury, Avalon.