Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, TIMKAT!

Kathryn Ballard Shut
October 3, 2012

Tomorrow, October 16, 2012, TIMKAT will celebrate five years of being in business.  When I stop promoting, tweeting, 'Facebooking', and writing press materials long enough to ponder this moment, I cannot help but want to thank so many people for their support and love in helping this tiny company reach that landmark place in time, especially in light of having been founded during one of the most difficult economic periods in history!

For many that may not know, TIMKAT actually started as a casual phone call between my father (Tim) and me one night, about two years before he lost his battle with lung cancer.  At the time, Tim was going through heavy chemotherapy treatments and we were very hopeful that the sessions would help to place the deadly disease into remission.  Some days left him feeling strong and ready to fight on; others simply left him sick, weary, and almost ready to give up.

At one point in our conversation, Tim asked me if I knew anything about the new social media page, MySpace, and I said that I did; that I'd easily created a couple of pages and that people from all over the media world were "befriending" me on it.  He mentioned that he too, had a page, but had no idea what to do with it - would I help him to improve it?  I promised that I would.  However, the next thing he said resulted in the birth TIMKAT.  He said, "Do you think that we could use those pages to sell my albums online?  And do you think that we could go further, say, into getting TV, movies, and commercials to notice us?" 

Since that idea, TIMKAT has suffered its setbacks (including the loss of Tim in 2009) but more importantly, has grown into a company that continues to carry the torch for the independent, up-start, talented Jazz, Soul, and now, House music artist, that otherwise gets lost in the stream of corporate media and payola rotations.  We have built a strong social media presence that includes pages on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, ReverbNation, Jango, Google+, LinkedIn, MusicSubmit, TuneCore, CDBABY, Spotify, all major global mp3 download sites, About.Me, Blogger, JazzTimes, Thumbtack, StoryAmp, and many more outlets.  We are a company that by and large ties its existence and continued growth to the Internet.

We have grown from sponsoring the music of one signature artist (Tim Ballard) to include five additional ones; two of these groups are from Italy, making us a truly international presence in more than just social media spaces, forging distribution and songwriting contracts with partner music agencies and publishers, such as Azzurra Music of Verona, Italy and PLG Music Group/Blue Pie of Chicago, IL.  See the complete roster listing at the end of this article.

Regarding social media and fans, as of this writing, TIMKAT proudly interacts daily with just under 4,000 "followers" (we call them "citizens" of our music community) on Twitter, all legitimately interested parties, thanked individually, and followed back, per our promise never to 'buy' support for what we do or to become distant from the wonderful people who support our efforts In addition, the Tim Ballard Facebook  page is home to over 1,700 people who love his music, and visits to our ReverbNation page grows every day, with new fans becoming turned on the eclectic mix of the world-class jazz, soul, and house music that we offer.

Furthermore, since 2008, we have forged very strong connections with growing Internet radio stations around the world, becoming veritable partners with station directors at (US-FL & SC), (US-MD); Coffee Talk Jazz (US-CA); KING FM World (Berlin, Germany); Radio Kaos Caribou (Ermont, France); Radio Wey (United Kingdom), AwesomeRadio featuring Indie Showcase (Australia/Canada), Sound Wave Radio (US) and AllStars70s (France).  Each station has taken a personal and active interest in learning about TIMKAT's mission and we simply cannot thank them enough for their support and partnership.

Finally, as President, I have also been honored personally and professionally, first in 2008 with inclusion into The Recording Academy (Grammy, Los Angeles Chapter), then again as a publisher and songwriter in ASCAP in 2012, and finally as a businesswoman into Who's Who Among Entrepreneurs (2012).

The key to our success so far has been very simple.  It is imperative to be respectful, gracious, and honest, and timely in business dealings.  Even though the music business can be cold, cruel, and cut-throat, there is no reason to succumb to a level of madness that dehumanizes people and steals their work.  We believe in the music of our artists, but also commit to being ethical, fair, and giving to those who sacrifice and work hard to make their sound a reality.  There is plenty of room for great musicians out there, and not just limited to the sacred few that pay to be played on corporate radio.  At the end of the day, as many a jazz artist would have said back in the day, it's all about your sound.  Get a great sound first; worry about showing off later.

While we may not be the most prolific or famous company on the block, we appreciate today, and will continue to appreciate tomorrow, the support from each and every person with whom we cross paths.   Just ask those so-called "followers" on Twitter.  Most of the people that began with us months ago are still with us today and continue to share us with their friends, which has been a true blessing.  They know that we're the real deal on the musical block, and to us, they have never been followers -- they are in fact leaders for others to find great music -- the "cool kids" on the block that found the gold first.

So happy birthday, TIMKAT; may we celebrate five more years and beyond of working toward the goal of "world-class jazz, soul, and house music!"

Best wishes,
Kathryn Ballard Shut /shoot/
Denver, CO, USA

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Unknown said...

Happy Birthday TimKatEnt and Congrats Kathryn.

It's an every day honor and pride to be your partner.

Avec toutes nos félicitations chère Kathryn et en souhaitant une longue vie à TimKatEnt

Bon Anniversaire !!!!

TIMKAT Entertainment, Inc. said...

Thank you so very much, RKC!!