It was 2011 when I made what I called "The After 2am Sessions", which was then a 6-track EP, and I released it on Bandcamp.com because I wasn't web-savvy to build or even afford my own website, and honestly didn't have a clue how to make one, have it hosted, how to code anything, and was turned off by all the steps needed to make a website become and the daunting task of up-keeping it and whatever else I felt would be a distraction from the art of creation to be free to just focus on the music. Plus, BC (aka Bandcamp), seemed to be very artist-friendly, a champion for the little guys who didn't have a budget or a significant fanbase, but could upload their music for free and get discovered by music lovers around the world who wanted to support new and interesting artists, and could find a very diverse collection of them on a platform that allowed fans to really support their favorites and pay even more than the asking price and give feedback directly to the artist to let them know how much their music meant to them.
Well...it was nice while it lasted; I had a great decade with BC, and I will always appreciate them for making the site they have to give me access to the thousands of people that found me through them, but when they blocked me from getting any more sales–when they flagged some remixes that I had up (some that were up for years)–and didn't at least give me a warning with a chance to take them down, told me that they would consider reinstating my account if I got the licenses for said remixes (but never said they would if I simply just removed them from my page, which I did ask them in a reply message), and then proceeded to ignore my reply message for 2 weeks, cutting off a fairly steady flow of income for an artist in need to make a living during a pandemic! it was during that time that I knew it was time to evolve, take action, and take another new step in my goal to be a truly independent artist and take over the reigns of my musical freedom.
BANNEDcamp (as I've come to call them now) recently contacted me–2 weeks later–and said they would, in fact, reinstate my account if I removed the flagged remixes, which seemed to happen very quickly when they realized I was no longer writing them to "beg" for them to unblock my sales, and maybe saw some of the series of messages I sent to my followers (in the BC app) telling them that I would now just take my music and its sales into my own hands and create my own website free from any further censorship and revenue fees, especially when I wasn't expecting what was previously great customer service on BC's part (with chats with staff members with actual names) to be replaced by cold/static responses from simply "Bandcamp, Inc", reflecting what seems to be a new norm as this pandemic has been taking a huge bite out of the music industry's already decreasing power and sales. However, BC's sales generated by their artists have topped well over half a billion dollars in the past year, so it's no surprise that the industry has most likely started to go after artists via BC; although hypocritically, BC has left others alone who weren't flagged for similar song remixes–trust me, I did check and there are many whose sales weren't blocked at all but had remixes of the same artists/songs I had been blocked for. I guess so long as music publishers only told them to flag the artists they told them to, BC wouldn't bother the rest so long as they kept generating money for them where BC still get their 15% revenue cut, but I'm guessing more like this will occur, especially if BC keeps making more money as they are.
Look, I appreciate what BC offered as a music distribution model, and I'm actually not gonna shut down my account (I'll leave up what I already have there so that those who have their app and have my music from there can still stream it in their Collections), but I've already disabled sales on my BC page so that anyone wanting to buy my music should come to THIS SITE, thus I reclaim that 15% cut so that EVERY DAY is "Bandcamp Friday" for me (that's there first Friday of the month promo where they waive their 15% revenue share fees for 24 hours). But I'm done because no one is taking any more from my sales, and no more waiting 2 days to receive those sales because the transactions will be instant from the moment anyone buys my music so it goes straight to my account, when I need it (the way it used to be some years ago before BC implemented their 48-hour payment delay rule that I still don't understand); to be honest, they should revert back to that, especially during this pandemic where waiting for the government to look out for us in another stimulus check distribution looks either unlikely or no time soon, while many of us are really struggling to survive out here.
I know this was a long read, but for those who know me, and those who take the time to read, I hope you get the benefit of all these words I share and can gain something beneficial from them. And if you are feeling this website, and feel like it's time for you to do the same, then by all means, start your own! And hey, use my referral link because I'll get a free month of hosting for each person who signs up and gets a paid plan like I have to create their own website: https://bandzoogle.com/?memref=r80a67
Anyway, I'm just really looking forward to getting back to doing what this site is all about in the first place...just MAKING & RELEASING DOPE MUSIC!!