some context 4 u 👨❤️💋👨
Hello! my name is jackie, nice to meet you / nice to see you again. This is the first installment of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: an annual report for my wolfjay project. I’ve wanted to do an annual report-ish thing for years, but turns out I’m really good at thinking of reasons why I simply can’t do one. But fuck all of them! This might be imperfect, but I’m gonna give it a red hot go 🥵
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the impact I want to have on the community around me, and one of the things that felt important to me was wanting to make things easier for others than they were for me. Especially young queer artists. Marginalised groups don’t have the same support networks that their priveleged peers do. We need to stick together! 💗 I don’t know how much of this will be useful, but I’m hoping that the transparency will maybe help a little.
To me, wolfjay is a chance to:
- make friends with a bunch of cool people doing cool shit
- be sincere about shit that isn’t too cringe
- think big and think small
- do fun shit with computers + music tech + socials + marketing
- also super low risk so I can fuck around with shit I’m interested in without impacting if I can pay rent or not
@ other artists, the priorities I have for this project might not match what you want out of yours, so please bear that in mind 😌
income 💰 💸 😩
In 2021-2022 I made $3368.75 off of music, with most of that coming from live performance and physical bandcamp sales. This is a bunch more than previous years! Mostly because I’m playing solo now so don’t have to pay for rehearsal rooms and someone’s fee, and only have to cover transport / food / drink / other shit for one person. Also put my rate up a bit and for the most part played shows that were paid at least a $250 performance fee, often closer to $400.
This is also the first time that I’ve been able to do merch, after just paralysing anxiety around ever making my money back in the past. BUT I met super cool lovely angel @sicknasty.xyz who helped me plan out a preorder only merch drop. People’s preorders paid for the merch run, the shirts were printed SUPER fast, and people got their orders within a month of ordering. Fucking sick. And made a bit of money :)
I did two different designs, both based on art my pal @picapsso made for my EP artwork :) I also tried out A5 lino prints printed by tree paper gallery here in Naarm, but they didn’t sell very well. If anyone wants one please buy one, I have a drawer full of them still lol.
The next biggest source of income for me was APRA AMCOS royalties, mostly because two of my songs got synced for an SBS show The Heights. They found my music after looking on Triple J Unearthed, and the show has been broadcast internationally which led to several larger than normal payments from APRA.
Lastly, and somewhat unsurprisingly, streaming made up less than 1% of my income. I had to round it up for the graph in order for it to be visible. This is only made by my releases up to She Calls To Me, all of my releases after that were released on ‘Sleep Well Records’. The deal I have with them is a 50/50 split for 5 years, and I only start getting paid after the costs recoup. I haven’t gotten anything off streaming from these tracks yet.
expenses 🤑 🤡 😭
My expenses all up were $8118.99. This is broken down to contributing to my utilities bills at home, mixing and mastering costs associated with finishing songs, putting on/playing shows, making merch, and purchasing equipment to make music.
Normally this would be much more balanced, but due to lockdowns and being anxious around being in venues due to COVID the money I spent was much further weighted towards buying gear. Around 30% of this equipment were basic studio tools like speakers and cables so that I could make use of my spare room as a production space, with the remaining 70% being buying components for my live setup so that I can easily and reliably play solo shows with live guitar and backing tracks.
This included getting my pedalboard professionally built by Nick Smethurst aka @pedalboring, local legend who taught me SO much about gear selection, board development, and best practices for reliability. I’ve not had a single issue with my live setup at the several shows I’ve played since completing it, and it also doubles as having a reliable way to track great sounding guitars at home, and a really flexible effects chain to route audio through for reamping meaning I can use all of my gear for way more applications, without having to rewire anything. I’ve been able to get much more done during sessions than I previously would, because I’m no longer having to stop to address technical issues. I expect this to pay even further dividends next financial year when I’m able to perform more frequently.
Merch production was my next biggest expense, which is great because they were my second largest source of income. This covered blank t-shirt purchasing, printing with Sick Nasty, compostable shipping packaging, and shipment.
some shit I wanna try 🌯 🧘♂️
So that I can have better data for next years report I should definitely track my budgets a lot better! would be sick to have per project budgets as well as year total income/expenses so I can suss the viability of projects.
publishing + sync
I’m not interesting in playing the publishing game of endless soul destroying cowriting sessions churning out hearless songs that are mid at best just for a publisher to try hype up and drop the second you don’t get thos streams BUT I do want to reach out to some sync agents and see if they want to rep my stuff so I can try and get some sync spots :)
Want to get way better at production! Happy with how my guitar production work sounds after spending a bunch of time on it and investing in my setup and workflow, but want to be better at the electronic side of things. I’ve had a bunch of false starts in this over the last year or so, trying to buy and learn gear to help flesh out my understanding in this area (fucked around but didn’t click with the waldorf blofeld, elektron digitakt, poly beebo) but want to have another run at things! I’ve been invited to be a part of Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio’s 12 week advanced professional development course which will definitely help with this!
(side note: I started writing this months ago and just had the final week of the advanced PD course at Mess and ugh yeah I’m way fucking better at elec production now lol BUT ALAS I NEED TO KEEP UP THE FACADE THAT I PUBLISHED THIS AT THE START OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR DESPITE IT NOW BEING OCTOBER)
my live set
My live setup at the moment is a bit of a hangover from when I was playing live with a drummer, just playing along to a backing track without much interaction. I try augment it with some cool guitar stuff and manipulation with pedals but it doesn’t feel right yet. I used to have an octatrack that i had to sell to pay rent when I first moved to Naarm (fuckin rip) and really want to grab a mk1 if one pops up at a decent price! Also I reckon the guitar live is a bit of a crutch for me, can’t move around much when I’m playing and have had way more fun in rehearsals when I’m just singing. Want to try out using the octa for playback + sampling, and running my vocals through some of my pedals. Maybe have a little synth as well who knows hehe!
changing up my release process
I’ve been releasing stuff for the last few years through Sleep Well Records, run by Alyse Vellturo aka pronoun who’s been the fuckin best. I’ve learned so much from her and become really good friends. Hanging out with her in NYC in march 2020 was fuckin surreal and made me real happy. I’ve started thinking about all the cool shit I could do if I cough maybe started my own label cough (thinking out loud here let’s see how things go) 😬
apply for some fuckin grants you grub
moneys sick, would love to have some money to do some things
establish the wolfjay cinematic universe
Just want to do more shit! Like, idk, a blog! or some videos about shit I think is cool shit! wolfjay is a frame of mind, time isn’t linear, etc, ie.
smaller slices more frequently
A friend was telling me about this shit they do, eating heaps of small meals a day instead of big meals, sounds like something that could be cool with making stuff. I like to have ideas for big things but folks I simply do not have the time or money or attention span to see it through, gonna try doing little things every few weeks instead and see how that shit goes. 🤡
Made a little spreadsheet situation to see the average time between releases of wolfjay music and golly it was simply too much time between releases. Since I started wolfjay in 2017 on average i’ve put something out every 5 months. Since I signed with sleep well it crept up to every 7 months. I just passed a year since I put anything out! Don’t like that at all! More shit more often please!
I know there’s a lot of goals there! let’s see how I go! thanks for checking this out and I hope there was something in there for you :) ty for reading! love u! ciao ciao gossip wolfjay xoxo