Everyone wants to share their story. I suppose I am no exception. The most difficult part is figuring out where to begin.
I used to be a promising baseball player. Music, out of all the possibilities, seemed like the least likely path for me, let alone a career as a contract lawyer or an artist manager. If you were to judge by my father, our family shouldn’t have a sense of rhythm. However, something compelled me to choose music, as well as jurisprudence. I came across John Grisham’s book The Firm, and after reading it, I found inspiration, although not exactly as the story unfolds.
At the outset of my career as a manager, as I collaborated with artists, record companies, and various other stakeholders in the music industry, I realized the significance of agreements and intellectual property rights—areas that many of us find challenging. Naturally, this started to become an integral part of my study plan. Law school provides a solid foundation for education, allowing you to customize your studies to align with your future aspirations. In my case, it granted me the skills necessary to excel as a manager.
During my studies, I came across an intriguing collection of contracts that one of my artists had downloaded online. It was confirmed that these contracts originated from the United States. As I delved deeper into examining the material, I realized that I had stumbled upon a comprehensive overview of music business contracts in the US. Although I didn’t yet grasp their significance or their implications for the future, I decided to keep the collected material.
As my career as a manager progressed, I rediscovered those agreements once again. This time, I made an effort to study them more thoroughly. I must admit that initially, it was quite frustrating. After all, the material in question originated from an entirely different business culture.
I still can’t quite fathom how the idea of writing a book came to me. It was the year 1999 when, somewhat jokingly, I decided to send a letter to all the book publishers I knew. Surprisingly, Edita Publishing received that letter and extended an invitation for an interview. We ended up entering into a publishing contract without a proper script in hand. Oh boy, that moment truly transformed my plans. I wasn’t prepared to become a writer—I didn’t even identify myself as one. For the first three months, my main task was organizing Post-It notes in my studio. Miraculously, after nine months, I managed to complete the script, which my publisher also embraced.
The outcome was, let’s say, satisfactory. Despite my lack of experience, the book had a solid structure. Surprisingly, it sold well enough to pave the way for the next step. In fact, it became the first book on the subject ever published in Finland. I believe that unique distinction allowed me some leeway and forgiveness. I managed to convince my publisher of the need for a sequel. Once again, I revisited those agreements. This time, I embarked on a systematic translation process—first a literal translation and then adapting them to fit the Nordic legal culture. The greatest challenge in this endeavor was harmonizing the content with the perspective required.
The sequel took on a more assertive tone. My publisher enlisted a group of university professors to evaluate my work, which naturally boosted my confidence and courage. The sequel even had a Second Edition. Around the same time, my first artists began venturing into foreign markets. The subsequent years were consumed by their endeavors. However, my writing never ceased. In 2010, my colleague Jone Nikula and I collaborated on an updated version of the music business laws, this time with a different publisher.
In 2013, while driving one of my artists to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport for their performances in Japan, I made a decision to pursue one of my biggest dreams—to start writing in English. I enrolled in the university once again, and luckily for me, my former English language teacher was still there. He graciously agreed to provide me with training alongside first and second-year students. Additionally, I had the privilege of attending all the international courses at Turku Law School, which provided me with the necessary practice and repetition for my endeavor.
And so it came to pass – one book turned into three, forming a trilogy. As with countless other authors, the act of writing never truly departs from you. In fact, I diligently keep abreast of industry developments. Whenever an occasion calls for it, one of these books undergoes a new edition. I sincerely hope you derive pleasure from reading them! You can find them available on platforms such as Amazon, Google Play Books, and numerous other stores.
The much-anticipated update is now here. My bibliography has been enriched with a new book. ”The Art of Music Business Management – For Artists & Managers” saw the light of day in July 2022. Its revolutionary and self-paced concept has taken me to numerous educational institutions to speak on the subject. Naturally, this book is available on Amazon, Google Play, EBSCO, and many other platforms.
Mika Karhumaa: Musiikkibisnes – kevyt musiikki ammattina ja liiketoimintana (Edita Publishing 2000)
Mika Karhumaa: Musiikkibisnes 2 – sopimukset kommentaareineen (Edita Publishing 2002)
Mika Karhumaa: Musiikkibisnes 2 – sopimukset kommentaareineen (Edita Publishing 2004)
Mika Karhumaa w/ Jone Nikula: Musiikki Liiketoimintana (Teos Publishing 2010)
Mika Karhumaa: Boost – Managementin FAQ (MK 2014)
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Contracts ( MK 2017 )
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Philosophy (MK 2018)
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Strategy (MK 2019)
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Contracts, 2nd Edition (MK 2019)
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Philosophy, 2nd Edition (MK 2020)
Mika Karhumaa: The Essence of the Music Business: Strategy, 2nd Edition (MK 2021)
Mika Karhumaa: The Art of Music Business Management – For Artists & Managers (MK 2022)