Bigshot Records and Our Many In-House Services and Resources
About The Company and Brian Choper
Bigshot Records (BSR) was founded by Brian Choper, a seasoned drummer of 40 plus years mentored by legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich, who instilled in Choper his strong values of giving everything to your craft in order to succeed in the music business. Rich believed that if you are in the music business, you either do it for the music or you get out and do something else. More can easily be learned online about Choper as a performer and businessman, including videos of his performances and articles about his business concepts and achievements. As CEO and President of BSR, Choper is involved in every aspect of the operation and is so passionate about the music and artists at BSR that he himself plays drums in two of the bands founded and managed in-house in support of two of the signed artists.
Choper’s Vision of the Music Business and Why He Started BSR
Choper has seen huge change in the music business since he got into it, some good but much of it frustratingly off track in his mind. He’s seen great bands come and go while the corporate influence on the music business has dumbed down the music. Productions are strictly viewed by companies producing them as a profit center with less of a focus on the art, the dollar potential receiving far more consideration than artistic quality.
While Choper clearly understands the need for any company to make money, his view is that the production should either meet a high artistic standard, or why bother with the artist or the show? But his thinking clashes with the corporate America business model, and it is for this very reason that Choper started Bigshot Records. As both a producer and a performer, he felt that getting into production work himself was the only way to protect the integrity of the music arts scene in which he wanted to perform.
Choper started Washington’s Entertainment Connection (WEC), the parent company of BSR, for the purpose of handling all of the logistics, business and paperwork involved in behind-the-scenes management, including the contracting, signing and promotion of the bands, all of the behind the scenes work. WEC has been around since 2003, and the Bigshot Records label was launched in 2012 specifically to manage and promote original music artists, including touring, show and tribute bands.
Services and Resources We Provide
Since its inception, WEC and now BSR have provided services and resources that include networking with major outside artists and support companies, managing our in-house roster of artists and bands, scouting for and discovering new artists and assembling new bands, organizing and managing band and DJ live shows and productions, social media outreach to fans interested in live shows and productions, working with publicists and promoters to support live shows and productions affiliated with the label, in-house development and production of audio and video recordings, streaming of live video recordings, and establishing an entire audio-visual department to handle the sound, lighting and video needs for any production.
A Breakdown of Our Services and Resources
Genres of Music We Promote: BSR does not promote Hip-Hop or Rap, and we do not at this time promote Classical music. BSR focuses on Classic and Contemporary Rock, Pop, R&B, Funk, Jazz, Swing, Americana and World music. We encourage you to browse our website to peruse our artist roster and experience their music for yourself. Consistent with Choper’s vision, part of the mission of the company is community outreach so the music we produce and promote is generally suitable for the entire family.
Discovering New Artists: BSR is nothing without their artists, so the company never stops looking for true talent. Through Choper’s direct supervision, the company has scouts that are continually looking for new artists, bands and DJ’s. However, once they are discovered, it has to be analyzed to determine whether they fit the mold of what BSR promotes. They have to be able to perform family-oriented music on a high level. They have to show us they are easy to work with without attitude, will keep their commitments and are consistent with the quality of their performances. Choper makes the final decision on all new artists signed. If he does not approve of them or the plan to make the artist successful, it does not happen with us. He is looking for artists who think like him, where you leave the attitude at home and where the music and artistry come first before anything else. Choper’s not really interested in artists who don’t want it bad enough.
Mentoring, Coaching and Managing Artists In-House: If signed by the label, the company coaches and mentors artists as necessary as they work their way through the hoops of this complicated business. The coaching may be in areas of artist professionalism, stage presence or presentation, business protocol and licensing of their original music. We do whatever it takes to take a signed artist to a high level of professionalism and performance.
How we treat our Artist: There are many benefits and perks
of being signed with BSR. Some of them include:
cares and nurtures their artists. This in itself is a gold value. BSR only
selects its premiere talent to be listed, and those artists on the outside
recognize this, know and work toward being positioned there. Our clients know
that any band listed with BSR is a serious, quality and professional act.
2. Bio, logo, photos and press kit creation, and
all of the things you need to make yourself look and present yourself at your
best, all at discounted rates.
3. Video production is either subsidized, financed
(or both) or built into the deal, depending on the arrangement. RPM Studios
gets involved artist development in intimate ways, helping the artist produce
stellar product suitable for prime time or talk show television or cable. The
video and sound production quality itself is so high, it can launch or be what
enables artists to be discovered.
4. Subsidized or discounted CD and DVD production.
We not only produce video, but we can either use the recording from the video
shoot to create a stellar live album, or we can manage the artist as they record
an LP separately. Especially if we are dealing with a songwriter or band with
new, original music, this can be a very valuable service.
5. Public Relations and Social Media Outreach. These are two extremely awesome benefits. It
is a huge game-changer for most artists, because unlike just being listed with
WEC with some possible access to these services, being signed with BSR gets you
immediate exposure, as long as the artist has the product. We have our own
Public Relations and Social Media reps who promote the artists we want to
spotlight. This includes music and LP new releases, single releases, bio
stories of interest, concert and stage stories. We also use these mediums to
promote concerts and tours, all built into the BSR affiliation.
6. SWAG, paraphernalia and music sales store. BSR
not only has a music store, but we will promote the whole gamut, including your
music, videos, T-shirts, hats, etc. all through our BSR online store.
7. Concerts in-house. You can put on a subsidized
live, streaming concert, right in our RPM Studios. You can either use this to
raise money, shoot a video, have a CD release party, or just perform a concert.
BSR may even stream this live through to our affiliates, so that our backers
and promoters and press agents can see the artist perform live.
8. Promote artist or band performances through our
own connections and contacts in the business, to get them on tour.
9. Legal, including copyright and music licensing
issues. No one likes dealing with ASCAP, BMI or any of the licensing issues involved
in protecting newly composed music as a score or audio recording, or the
performing or the recording of covers. BSR offers a solution. We offer access
to very good and experienced music lawyers at discounted prices, lawyers who
would usually be out of financial reach to the average artist. Music attorneys
can often charge thousands for their services, as they are specialists. Through
TR, we can help you get copyright and licensing protection and the protections
you need for all of an artist’s music, both the written charts and the audio
recordings. In some cases, depending on the music and the arrangement we make
with the artist, BSR will cover some of these costs.
The Artists Signed With BSR: In addition to discovering new artists, BSR has also re-introduced legacy artists from the past. We’ve taken an electric guitarist and singer named Bruce Packett who used to tour with well known Classic Rock acts and re-introduced him through the music he plays so well. Choper personally assembled a Classic Rock band called Nexus featuring Packett as lead guitarist-singer and Choper on drums, which has already performed club dates and is currently organizing festival shows and touring dates. Choper and his scouts discovered a Frank Sinatra/Michael Buble’ tribute singer named Peter Cannella and literally formed a big band for him so that he could perform the great classics songs of the big band era while touring and recording with a real band. Choper became bandleader and plays drums for this band, called The Brian Choper Jazz Project With Peter Cannella, which has already performed in concert with tours being planned. We’ve also re-introduced Sir Joe Quarterman, a well-known and still popular 70’s R&B singer-songwriter, and brought him back into the spotlight by recording a fresh new single with him which will be released soon. You can get more information, view videos and listen to the music of these legacy artists on the BSR website by linking to the specific band or artist.
Managing Bands in-House: At BSR, one of the areas of work that goes on behind the scenes is the creation, development and management of several in-house bands the company assembled to support our artists. These include The Brian Choper Jazz Project With Peter Cannella, Nexus Rock Band and a back-up soul band to perform with Sir Joe Quarterman when he records. You can experience the music of our bands and artists for yourself by going to the BSR website.
Managing, Producing, Fundraising and Filming Shows with Partners: BSR networks and partners with outside venues to produce shows, whether they be fully ticketed concerts, concert fundraisers, live video shoots or casting calls. Our fully ticketed concerts have been successful, and the concert fundraisers have brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as given spotlight and exposure to non-profit organizations. Our live video shoots have provided promotional benefit to the host venues while allowing us to videotape bands live to create extraordinary promotional videos for them.
Choper Studio 1: CS1 includes a studio located in Baltimore Maryland used to produce recordings for our artists. It is used exclusively for audio as BRS believes in live video, meaning all video is recorded at performance venues live and never in a studio. For all recording issues, we have our own expert production crews in-house to handle sound, lighting and video including producers, technicians, support staff and all the necessary gear.
Promoting DJ’s: While Choper has primarily supported bands performing live and does not believe in the idea of the DJ as a substitute or alternative to the live band show, he knows that some venues and patrons may prefer a DJ as the option for certain events. In order to accommodate that demand while maintaining his high standards of performance, the parent company WEC has two top DJ’s on its roster that were chosen by Choper and his scouts based on both reputation and experience.
Publicists, Promoters and Social Media Team: BSR has at its disposal some of the top national publicists and promoters in the music business. Together they cover the music business centers of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Nashville with a nationwide reach and spin to their stories. Between these experts and our social media team, we take artists and events, find the story within, and promote it to the public and the media. We can either keep the story local or give it national attention, depending on the need or goal of each project.
BSR Partnering With Venues and Non-Profits Who Support the Live Music Arts
Working With Outside Performance Venues: Even with all of our in-house capabilities, we have intentionally avoided the acquisition or management of our own performance venue. Choper believes management of such a facility would lock the company into booking performances in one location while also being a major distraction to all the other projects and activities the company does.
What We Look For In A Partner: We are looking for non-profit organizations and non-profit music venues who are supporting the live music arts as part of their mission. We are looking for concert halls, theaters and festivals interested in supporting not only our signed bands, but the many other artists and bands we network with for our concerts, shows and productions.