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 the inspiration – though not 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. The things that many of us experience challenging. This naturally began to appear in my study plan. Law school is a fine school. It gives the opportunity to tailor your studies so that it best supports your future endeavors. In my case, it was the 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 feel 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 the idea of 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 wasn’t ready to become 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 also my publisher adopted.
The result was, say, reasonable. Despite of the lack of 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 again. 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 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, we published an updated version on the laws of the music business – this time with another Publisher.
In 2013, as I drove one of my artists to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to have venues in Japan, I decided to work on one of my biggest dreams – to begin to write in English. I logged in the University again. How fortunate to me, the old English language teacher of mine was still in the house. He agreed to take me in training, along with the first and second year students. As I was additionally having a right to attend all the international courses at Turku Law School, I got the repetition needed for the cause.
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 will have a new edition. I hope you enjoy reading them! You can find them on Amazon, Google Play Books and many other stores.
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)