While there are a handful of international labels in Ukraine, in talking to many musicians this is not necessarily a great thing, as the rights provided to market access of musicians signed to a particular label are/or seem to be a little onesided when it comes providing Ukrainian musicians access to markets abroad, and even giving a damn about Ukraine's contemporary cultural heritage.
While I may be simplifying the matter, the scheme works something like this:
- International label enters market
- Pushes its big names onto the market, with very little regard for local cultural product
- Signs some local musicians to recording contract
- Works their asses off (many musicians are not ready for this, nor the demands of the big players on the international market)
- They get relatively little in return (little money goes into the local talent, and for good business reasons - just how much can they sell internationally)
- The musicians burn out, and what do they have in the long run?
While I never did previously, today I track much of what is going on in the music industry worldwide using a number of Ukrainian sites, but primarly one site run by a guy by the name of Yuriy Zelenyj and his site www.fdr.com.ua - I met Zelenyj once or twice and I know our paths will cross much more in the future. While I am kind of rambling, the reason I bring this up, is that it is clear that he is doing a good job in staying abreast of events in the industry, not only in Ukraine but even back home in Canada.
Today, I learnt from Zelynyj's site, while siting in Montreal, that a group of well known Canadian musicans have joined together to form the Canadian Music Creator's Coalition, when I checked out what the Coalition stands for, it appears that my take on the big labels from their professional standpoint are pretty well in line.
Maybe it is time that the indies in Ukraine start think along these lines, start lobbying the government regarding cultural content, and not just paying lip service to those from north of the border who flood Ukraine with second rate Russian music.