Official Artist
Terry Lee
Composer , Musician
295,393 views| 195  Posts


I notice. Everyone rants on blogs. Something wrong with the system, something wrong with this, something right about that but usually sharing publicly about what their views are versus what they are forced to adhere too.

I signed on to Bob Lefsetz and man, that muthafucka can write. I don't say I agree all the time. Nevertheless, it is extremely enlightening and entertaining to enter the mind of someone so colorful.

Two good friends of mine have been sharing they're thoughts on the music industry and labels.I thought I'd spit it too...but it's going to take ten parts. Not too many people read my blogs but I know a couple of you do and I hope you enjoy in time my rants into the music industry.

When I started my music career in Asia, I had one dream: to raise the bar on the originality of Asian pop music and take Asia's pop culture international. Boy, was I fucking dreaming? Good kind of dreaming considering I was the boy who had plans of his own since 11 and nobody was going to stop me from doing it. Getting in the way happens all the time. But nobody was gonna stop me..

I had no music training and i wrote my first song at 12. I was going to live my 20s in and out of studios, backstages, helping shape peoples' careers in different ways. Did I wanna be a rockstar? No. I liked the girls and the perks that come with being a music star but I didn't want that rockstar-ness. I just wanted to breathe the whole of Asia's music scene- from the dark and musty underground spots in Singapore and Malaysia to trying to communicate with a Korean sound engineer who didn't speak anything but...Korean...I was going to breathe it all it. I was 21 and I wanted to kick it with powerful music executives, cunning music executives, shady music executives, extremely creative music executives, REAL music executives, songwriters, engineers, music critics, superstars, talented producers, rappers, singers, lounge singers...I wanted to be part of it all.

BUT I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE ONE SPECIFIC. A good friend and business partner asked me a couple months ago, he said "what's the myth of terrytyelee?". That was an awkward question. I don't expect people to know me but if they know about me for what I do, I am honored. But i can't quite answer that question.

I'm a music tastemaker. What do I do? Here, read on:

1.  I am very bad at copying. That is a music xerox man. I'm a music tastemaker.

  1. I solve business and personal (trust me on this one) solutions that require a music idea.

BONUS: I throw in the ability to not just conceptualize it, I write the song, the lyrics and create the skeleton of the song with these kicks and snares that I have stored in a secret place in my apartment. I can also help you record it and tell you how to deliver it vocally. If you are person that wears a suit and is probably very good at what you do...but have no sort of creative talent at all, it's ok....i'll tell you which superstar brand name is suitable for your needs and I'll tell you how to spend your money effectively. Remember, marketing dollars are dollars. You don't want to waste them.

  1. I can help you take an existing song/product/campaign and use a secret magic charm to make it suddenly relevant to your target market. I have worked various markets in Asia and am familiar with the different styles and taste of music consumers.

  2. I write songs specially tailored to help an artist achieve his/her desired image/positioning. I like writing with the artist and I encourage full participation in any part of the process. I am highly open to suggestions as I believe I am best at mediating different ideas to find the best direction/solution.

  3. I can create, manage and execute any form of music campaign.

These are the five basic things that I do as a music tastemaker. I have plans to go into the corporate world one day but for what I want to bring and do there, these years on the independent route have been a priceless journey.

Now, onto the music business.

Everybody, including 60 year old taxi drivers, knows the music industry is dead. Or at least, the music marketplace as we know it. Trust me, as bad as music sometimes gets, there is no such thing as bad music. So the music did not kill it. Neither did the labels and neither did the old out of touch executives artist complain about all the time. NONE OF THEM ARE TO BLAME.

We killed it. Us. Mankind. We wanted information immediately, we wanted to do everything in front of the computer, on the couch. We wanted to put the whole world onto a military computer program and create a parallel universe called the World Wide Web. We fucking killed the music marketplace as long as a lot of other things:

  • We killed the need to have cash.

  • We killed the need to have to go shopping.

  • We killed our standards for quality and swapping it for instant gratification.

amongst a few....

End of the day, our need for technological evolution moved us right into the beginning of the information age. You think people at the beginning of the industrial age went "why the fuck are people buying paintings anymore? my beautiful paintings" well, the truth is...mankind got tired of riding on a fuckin horse cause it hurt his balls and started to look for a way to build a fucking car. A horse carriage without a fuckin horse.

So we entered a phase in history. Probably the last age before the universe blows up and starts all over again. But we are here. People in the labels always say they are trying to find new business models. That is wonderful. That's why you have New Media. What the hell that is to the laymen? I'm pretty sure no one quite knows. It's the "Let's Try and See If We Get Lucky" department of the music company.

For me, whatever is being done now is great. But I believe we have all, most of us, missed the fucking point. It's not in the music, it's not in new digital or mobile campaigns, it's not in killing piracy. It's got nothing to do with selling music anymore. We are an old civilization and we are at a point in time where we do not need to get out of bed to live our lives. Anyone can make music, download it, upload it, share it with the world immediately after it's written. It's nothing more than writing a Word document. Anyone charge for a word document? It's just a form of communication.

There you go...communication. That's the root. I'll touch more again.

I heard a rumor once. It was "There is only one good music executive in Asia, he's name is XXXXXX and he works for XXXXXX." I believe its true but that's how crazy this industry is. There's only less than a hundred people who really know what their doing in the music industry throughout Asia. I know about 20 of them. I got a long way.


Tye Lee

about 15 years ago 0 likes  6 comments  0 shares
uh...did you pass out? >=P
about 15 years ago
Mariejost 26 dsc00460
How do you manage to work in the biz and still love music at the end of the day?
about 15 years ago


take a picture, snap....

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Languages Spoken
english, cantonese, mandarin
Location (City, Country)
Taipei, Taiwan
Member Since
November 20, 2007