- 01 Feb 21
The acclaimed MIX Course returns this month – and to celebrate, we're revisiting our 2018 Wrap Night panel discussion, featuring Meteor Award-winning musician Luan Parle.
The countdown is officially on for the MIX (Music Industry Xplained) Course 2021!
Brought to you by Hot Press, the acclaimed course is aimed at those who want to succeed in music, management, media, publicity, promotion, publishing, record labels, and lots more, within the music, entertainment, events and media space – and is set to return in its online format following last year's hugely successful course.
Recognised by the music industry in Ireland and abroad, MIX is a 13-week series of lectures (one each week) by top professional exponents from the Irish and international music industry. Key subjects include: Record Companies and How They Work; Music Marketing; Publicity; Image Development; the Independent Route; Record Production; Social Media; Music Publishing and Music Online. Also covered are Radio, Working with the Media, Management, Finance, Touring and Distribution, and Music Publishing.
Every year, the MIX Course's Wrap Night features a lively panel discussion – and back in 2018, Luan Parle was on hand to share her unique insights into the music industry.
Luan signed her first deal when she was 12. Later, aged 20, she released an EP – and on the back of the good review it earned in Hot Press, she scored another deal internationally with Sony Music. She released her latest album, Never Say Goodbye, on her own label, LPR Records in 2020.
"From the moment I signed my first deal, I was told what to sing and what to wear," Luan revealed at the MIX Course Wrap Night. "I’d write songs and then have to fight to have them accepted by the label. I always felt I was answering to someone. Sony sent me to Mendocino in California for nine months to make an album; then I went to London. I was recording all over the place and then I got dropped.
"That sort of deal, where you’re given four or five years and a couple of records to develop, doesn’t really exist anymore," she continued. "Companies want a pretty much instant return on their investment. When I went independent in 2010 and recorded The Full Circle, I felt really liberated – perhaps too much so because I tried all these different musical styles that had been denied to me before, and it was a bit all over the place. There are so many different ways to get your music out there now. You can stick a little video up on Facebook and, if it grips the imagination, become an overnight viral sensation. It’s really exciting. The other side is that you have to do everything yourself. You’re booking and promoting the gigs; building, as Colm said, relationships with media; and worrying all the time about balancing the books. If a poster needs sending to the venue, I’m the person doing it, which sometimes gets in the way of you actually being an artist."
When asked about how to deal with a prospective manager, Luan suggested engaging "on a three-month trial basis and see if the goals set have been achieved."
"It took me a long time to realise that you’re very much a product," she said. "You want someone who cares and has your interests at heart. It’s not just about product and making money. I had a showcase at Sony and we had a couple of managers to meet. My Dad and I were going to interview them. I had all my questions and goals set out. I had my first meeting with Derek MacKillop who was managing Elton John at the time. And straight off, his phone rang and it was Elton. I was like, 'I’ll go with you!' It was an amazing experience."
She also opened up about her career highlight – opening for Elton John for three nights in the Hammersmith Apollo:
"It took until the third night to actually enjoy it, because I was so aware of my surroundings and the legendary status of who I was supporting."