I’m sure I’ve said a few words on this blog about one of my favorite comedians: Louis CK. What I may not have shared is how much I admire his business acumen and how I often wonder why this paradigm has not worked for more persons in music. It’s quite simple… Louis CK invests in himself, produces, directs, writes and edits his specials and then he sends an email to his fans (of which I’m sure numbers way up in the hundreds of thousands) letting us know that the new special is available either to be streamed or downloaded for $5, our choice, directly to Louis’ PayPal.

This is permission that he’s gotten from everyone on his list as we’ve either purchased a product in the past or by some other means signed up to receive communication from Louis. Again, our choice. I also enjoy and appreciate that Louis only calls on his list when he feels that there’s something or real merit that we should know about, no tweets every 5 minutes about being in the studio working on something great or next level ad nauseum.

Why hasn’t this model translated more for music? Not quite sure… maybe they don’t, don’t show or don’t care but speaking on a very personal level if I’m into if you’ve established that you consistently make a great production, I want to know about it and I will support it. I mean when you cut out all the fat (middlemen) and it’s just you and I, you can bet your last money that I will gladly fork over $5 on Tuesday for a hamburger… scratch that, any day.

Check out the work that Ryan Leslie and David Banner are doing that are a few of the examples of musicians going the Louis CK route, that’s highway I favor… invest in yourself, connect directly with those who want to hear from and support you, rinse and repeat.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.