Everybody wants to tell their story. I guess I am not exception in it. The hardest part is to decide where to start.
I was a promising baseball player. Music, of all options, seemed a least likely option, not to mention a career as a contract lawyer or an artist manager. If there is anything to go by my father, our family shouldn’t have a sense of rhythm. However, something made me choose the music – as well as jurisprudence. I got my hands on John Grisham’s book The Firm. After reading that book I got an inspiration for a career as a lawyer – though not quite in accordance with the script.
At the beginning of my manager career, while working with artists, record companies and many other music business players, I discovered the importance of agreements and intellectual property rights. Things that many of us are experiencing challenging. This naturally began to appear in my study plan. Law school is a fine school. It gives an opportunity to tailor your studies so that it best supports your future endeavors. In my case, it was a better ability to work as a manager.
During my studies I got an interesting bundle of contracts that one of my artists got downloaded online. Their origin was confirmed in the United States. When I started to look at that material in more detail, I noticed to have received a comprehensive overview of the US music business contracts. Although I did not understand their relevance yet, or any of its future sights, I took the material collected.
The career as a manager had already going on for some time and I found those agreements again. This time I began to learn them a little better. I have to admit that the initial felt was pretty frustrating. After all, the material in question was from the whole different business culture.
I still don’t know how I came up with an idea to start writing a book. It was year 1999. It was a half-joke to send a letter to all book publishers I knew. Edita Publishing got that letter and invited me to an interview. We enter into a publishing contract without a decent script. Oh boy, how much that moment changed my plans. I really wasn’t ready to be a writer – didn’t even associated myself to as such. The first three month I mainly organized Post-It notes in my studio. Miraculously, nine months after, I got finished the script, which was also adopted by my publisher.
The result was, say, reasonable. Despite of the lack of necessary experience, it was a good in structure. However, the book sold enough to make the next step happen. It was the first book on the topic of all time in Finland. I think because of that I got many things forgiven. I got my publisher persuaded that there is a need for the sequel. I took up those agreements that I mentioned earlier. It followed a systematic translation – first literally and then adapting them into the Nordic legal culture. Getting that content dancing with the perspective was the biggest challenge of the work.
The sequel became more assertive. My publisher acquired a bunch of university professors to evaluate my performance. This naturally resulted in a boost of confidence and courage. The sequel also had a Second Edition. At that time the first artists of mine started to join the foreign markets. The following years passed by with their affairs. However, I never stopped writing. In 2010, together with my colleague Jone Nikula, I published an updated version on the laws of the music business – this time for another Publisher.
In 2013, as I drove one of my artists to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to have a venues in Japan, I decided to work on one of my biggest dreams – to begin to write in English. I logged in to the University again. How fortunate to me, the old English language teacher of mine was still in the house. He agreed to take me training, in conjunction with the first and second year students. When I was additionally having the right to attend all the international courses at Turku Law School, I got the repetition needed for this purpose.
So it then happened – one book became three – a trilogy. Just as with many other authors, the writing never really leaves you. In fact, I follow the development of the industry closely. Whenever there’s a reason for this, one of these books gets a new edition. I hope you enjoy reading them! You can find them on Amazon, Google Play Books and many other stores.
Please feel free to contact in other matters too.
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)