My Album Is Still Charting after over 2 weeks on the Amazon charts! :) Thanks!

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On the 28th of January I was overjoyed when I saw that my classical album had hit the bestseller list once again, both in classical romantic and easy listening! It peaked on #2 from what I could see, but since the charts are updated every hour, it can easily be missed if it goes to #1, unless you stalk your own releases.

My album has continuously been charting since its release in December 2014, which makes me extremely happy! Usually a release will experience sales when you as an artist receive press exposure, play gigs and release new videos. So the fact that the album keeps on charting without any press buzz at the moment, gigs (I’ve been ill for a year) or new videos is crazy! In 2016 I also experienced that my music video for Paganini Cap. 24, went viral for the 2nd time, after a guitar site in Mexico posted it on their Facebook.

Whenever people come across my work and it is shared it is obvious that there is great interest for it! I’m looking forward to release new music. Right now I’m happy to be recording again! Thanks a lot to those who pay for my work and let other people know about what I do! As an independent artist I really appreciate all support! If you want to read about my Major Label experience in 2016 (the secret project) + my health (why I’ve been “gone”) you can read about that on my website right here:ย Commandermusic

Thanks again to those who support what I do! Make sure that you check out my Amazon bestseller books and previous releases on my website. Everything can be found there. โค

 

I’m Charting Again! :D

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It made me so happy to see my classical album back on Number 2 on the Amazon.com Music chart today ๐Ÿ˜€ It has now been going in and out of the charts since its release in 2014 ๐Ÿ˜€ I cannot wait to share my new music with people, especially what I was working on before I got injured ๐Ÿ˜ฎ It makes me really, really happy and grateful to see this! At the end of last year I also experienced seeing my children’s book chart as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Make sure that you check it all out over here:ย My Store!

Thanks, thanks, thanks & thanks again to those who support what I do!!!!!! โค โค โค โค โค

Bestseller List!!!

545

:):):):):):):):):)

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Show Biz Literature.

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I just finished reading an old book of mine that I’ve previously read before. It’s actually quite interesting to do that as your perception of information has a tendency to change depending on where you are in your life. All of a sudden there are elements that become relevant that were mere background noise previously.

So I read a book about the music industry and I guess I should write a long entry about the experience…….

The truth is though that there isn’t much to write about rock’n’roll and/or show-biz literature. In terms of rock’n’roll auto/bio-graphies they all pretty much revolve around the same topics, in terms of “how-to-make-money-in-the -music-industry” books they present a certain template that is usually outdated at the time of publication due to the “ever-changing” nature of the music scene itself. In terms of general interviews across various elements in show-biz there is pretty much three conclusions one can come to….

  1. Everyone speaks like this: I and William…. Which is incorrect as one should say: William and I. Throughout all of the various interviews included in this book it was consistently done wrong. You put yourself last when you speak about yourself and others, just as if you have guests over you serve them first. If someone asks you to pass something around the table, you serve that person first and then yourself. If someone asks for water for example, it is very impolite to serve yourself first before passing the bottle around….
  2. Out of all of the interviews I read…(517 pages in total)….I was only left with half a page worthy of notes in my tiny “yellow-book,” listing other books recommended in the interviews. This list also included various movies. In other words there was not exactly an abundance of intellectual information.
  3. Artist are generally very out of touch ย with their own potential for legacy. One element of art that nobody ever really seems to contemplate or write about is that entertainment is trend based. Each generation has their heroes, which means that my little sister will be largely ignorant of my heroes, just like I will be of my mother’s.

Unless younger generations receive a well-rounded education in culture from their parents and unless young artist protect the legacy of former artists many traditions and composers will simply die out.

For example, if you don’t have musicians who sit and practise their instruments until the cows come ย home, classical music and the virtuoso repertory will disappear. Maintaining the tradition also costs, not only due to the hours necessary to become a good musician but because of the maintenance that a musician of a certain caliber has to go through.

When I read my book this time around I googled all the various musicians and performers mentioned and it was quite interesting to see how many of these are irrelevant today.

If anything that you do artistically is of historical value, you rely on music experts doing their homework by going through a plethora of material without being partisan. Usually when rock documentaries or music encyclopaedias are created, there are complaints from fans about all of those who have been omitted. Sometimes it is actually quite glaring who gets left out. Mind you that only signed artists are even considered to be included in any sort of ย compendium of music.

My conclusion from reading this work is this: you have to enjoy being a musician in and of itself. It is most probable that your work will be forgotten as only a dedicated “cult” of fans who play your music and inform others of it can keep your work relevant past the generation that you inspired. It is also a good idea to take some advice from the squirrel, yes you read that right. Squirrels have such a bad memory that they keep several “food storages,” to remember where their nutrition is. Therefore it is advisable that musicians invest in a wide vocabulary in terms of their skills. Knowing both how to write music and perform music, knowing how to play several instruments and knowing how to navigate between different genres is needless to say a good way of making sure that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Being a one-trick pony places you in a very vulnerable position, because when the tide turns in terms of your popularity you’ll most definitely be screwed, in lack of better words. It is also interesting to note how rock & heavy metal legends spend the majority of their adult life keeping the memory of their youth alive. Wouldn’t it be strange if a construction worker, or a nurse or a teacher spent a great deal of time getting an employment, only to be active for 2-3 years, only to spend the rest of their life promoting how great they were in those few years they were active?

The life-cycle of a musician can best be described as:

  1. Learning how to play an instrument, which takes several years. If you are to reach virtuosity level you can look at 9-10 years of practising.
  2. Trying to make it. These are the ungrateful years when everybody thinks you suck, besides your first fans and independent bloggers…..until the mainstream media starts mentioning you, then you rock and always did. This can take many years; after discussing it with other musicians we came to the conclusion that most bands have a 3-4 year lifespan. After 3-4 years serious bands usually get to the point where they are “picked-up” by press people who will mention them in their up-and-coming section. Most rock bands break up at this point.
  3. Unofficially making it…..Those who keep on going will experience a gradual increase in their fame/visibility and will learn that the music business is all about how you “use what you get,” meaning that if somebody in the press gives you a good review, you quote it and use it in press releases. Press/visibility can be used to obtain endorsements,gigs, sales, etc; Any tv-appearance is a golden opportunity to “make an impression.” You always have to treat things like they are very important and major because you don’t know when you will get the same opportunity again. You also have to use what you have on your “show-reel” to see if it can open any more doors. Building a good and solid reputation will eventually reap its benefits and hopefully result in the next step which is….
  4. Officially making it…this is the point when you land a major contract or run for your life which a lot of rock musicians have actually done…(which is a very good reason for not being in a band)… A major contract will enable you to re-negotiate your endorsement deals, seek out new sponsorship/partnership deals and allow you to get the “infrastructure” of the establishment. This is the point where you seriously “pimp” out your brand name for the simple reason that you do not know how long you will be commercially viable from a corporate perspective. There are pop groups that only run for 3 years, artist that can only hang in there for one hit, etc; There are also bands who can stay en vogue for a substantial amount of time but they do not represent the vast majority. A great number of the artist mentioned in my book were not interested in making money…this came back to bite them in the ass later when they bankrupted themselves paying medical bills for themselves and/or their family….there is no pension plan when you are an artist and the majority of the individuals/bands mentioned in the book had obviously not thought about……
  5. ….going through a prolonged time of “rainy-days.” Yes that’s correct. If music=trends, then needless to say there will come a time when the music you wrote or performs is out. This issue can be dealt with by either re-inventing yourself, being good with money/investments when things are going well or by having many strings to play on….a great number of the artists interviewed had no idea how to deal with loss in popularity….I’ve heard many stories of artists that were “big once” but then ended up being a starving artist again relatively quickly….there are artist who experience a 10-30 year dip in relevancy….that is quite a substantial part of an artist’s life….
  6. Comeback. The inevitable comeback that so few survive to experience. In rock’n’roll it will happen when you are 50-60 years when finally you win your very first Grammy. Finally your band will be relevant again and you can go on numerous “final tours” cashing in some serious cash having reached legend-status by simply having survived rock’n’roll….but it will not last long…becasue…
  7. Death. Yes, that untimely thing. Over 60% of musicians suffer from mental health issues, mostly ย depression,ย musicians also have a tendency to die younger than the ย general population. These are the usual causes of death according to genreย โ†’ย chart.ย Few can handle being a starving artist, few can handle being an up-and-coming artist, few can handle being a major artist and fewer than anyone can probably deal with loss of popularity, whether it is sudden or gradual. You have to make sure that playing music makes you happy before you pursue the idea of being a rock star and more important than anything: you have to keep in mind that the music industry is a hierarchy officially based on popularity rather than merits, with an unofficial penchant for nepotism/corruption more than anything else. Considering that the output of the majority of artists alive today will be completely forgotten after their death, it could be a good idea to have a more balanced life, unless being a workaholic is your natural inclination.

NEW SONG & VIDEO OUT NOW!

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NEW song & video to be released TODAY!

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Just a quick note to the people who have subscribed to my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ A new music video will be released today onย My YouTube ๐Ÿ˜‰

The song was first written back in 2007, inspired by John Dickie’s book about Cosa Nostra.

I made a new arrangement and re-recorded the song last year to include it as a bonus track ย on myย second albumย which was released in April this year ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope that you guys will enjoy it and help me share it!!! \m/ โค \m/ โค \m/

New Album Out Now!

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New blog entry? Yes I guess ๐Ÿ˜› My celebrations of my DIY keyboard operation was short lived I’m afraid. I honestly hate blogging on my phone as everything becomes tricky once you insert photos. I cannot scroll past my pics without getting stuck ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜คAnd the response is quite slow as well usually, when you type, in contrast to writing entries on an iMac or a Pad.

So what’s new over in the uk? Well I’m quite busy that’s for sure. If you guys have missed out I’m in the middle of releasing my first metal album, which is available today from all digital distributors btw. The first round of signed preordered copies were sent on the 15th, any orders after or on that date will be sent out this week. Any delayed orders from before that, my sincerest apologies, we moved again, etc. And I’m not the one who receives the orders via email anymore, they now go to my management. I always get a proof of postage when I personally send packages out, so everything old and new before the 15th was cleared out. Some people have already received their CDs, feel free to post pics and tag me whenever you receive yours ๐Ÿ™‚

I was quite happy to see that Classic Rock Magazine featured my latest music video as one of their “Tracks Of The Week”, check out and share the vid please \m/

It feels great to actually have a metal album out! Now the challenge is getting the word out and spreading “the gospel” ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› In the middle of practising which is equally important.

Funny that, how musicians always speaks of practising, practising, practising, without mentioning the importance of promoting, promoting, promoting. You won’t sell any records if nobody knows about your release! And you won’t have all the time you need to practise and/or write if you don’t sell records!

On a different note, I was ironing my shirts yesterday! I had not ironed anything ย since I was a little girl ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Adventure time! Happy Happy Happy!!!

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There is nothing I love more than motion when it comes to my music! The feeling of moving forward and the surprise of new endeavours outshines everything else, at least thats how I feel!

You got musicians who hates interviews, musicians who run away from their fans, musicians who hate gigs or hate the studio etc…etc…

I have to admit that I enjoy all aspects of what I do and there is nothing that makes me feel more happy than when I feel appreciated as a musician.

Feeling appreciated as a musician has to deal with two things, at least in my opinion:

1- People liking what I do. If I post a new video/song and the feedback is positive. That makes my day.

2-Money-when people pay for what I do/my talent etc. ( My album charted twice last month!)

Big smile this morning ๐Ÿ˜€ Selling music again with no exposure ๐Ÿ˜ฎ & no label ๐Ÿ˜ฎ nor a tour ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This album has huge potential, just saying! It entered the charts a couple of weeks ago too, and I didn't expect it to chart again so soon ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I #smile when people like what I do ๐Ÿ˜‡ I get so excited I seriously cannot hide it ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ #MusicBiz #SellingMusic #MyFirstAlbum #CraigOgden #ThisIsAwesome #SuperHappy #ILikeToFeelAppreciated #ClassicalMusic #Crossover #Excited #HappyMusician #GuitarMusic #Guitarist ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ @emgpickups @drstrings @levysleathers #Ibanez #Laney

A post shared by The Commander In Chief (@thecommanderinchief1) on

THIS obviously makes me beyond happy. If you were a baker would you be happy if people stole your bread everyday? If you built a business would you be happy if people expected to get your services for free? Didn’t think so…yet people expect the joy of playing to be enough for musicians…as if though they don’t have bills that needs to be payed just like everyone else.

If you debate like that though some might say:”oh…but music is only a hobby…” really? Look at all of those who turn that “hobby” into something tangible everyday.

Anyway…

Yesterday I came back home from yet another adventure, I’ve had many cool adventurous moments this year and many awesome rockstar experiences since I started doing what I’m doing professionally.

Yet my recent trip made me particularly content.

Why you may ask?

Well for a starter I had my travel expenses covered!

This probably seems very standard to a lot of industry people who refuse to go anywhere unless these type of expenses are being payed for.

But being a band leader myself having had to pay people in the past etc. I feel appreciated indeed when someone sees the cost of flying me in as an okey expense to deal with.

If you get payed on top of that, I feel like I just won the lottery. Literally.

To give an example of something different:

I was asked to warm up for TNT back in 2012 on a couple of gigs they had in Norway. Since the norwegian market seemed out of reach at that point regardless of the humongous buzz I had abroad we saw these gigs as a chance to break into the Norwegian music market.ย 

I had just had a successful ย Pledge campaign to raise money for touring. The plan was to tour in the UK, the dream was of course to warm up for an established act to get more exposure. Yet when the TNT offer came our way, it seemed silly to say no. After all they are legends back in my home country.

To cut a long story short they didn’t pay me at all. We had to cover all travel expenses ourselves. We were 5 people in total with loads of heavy luggage that went over there. “Team Hagen” not only had to pay all travel expenses etc for everybody we also had to pay the guys that came with us. Needless to say the Pledge money flew out of our account no matter how cheap the accommodation was etc……

Sure I got great exposure and word of mouth starting spreading, but a funny thing to point out is that I attracted lots of people in Bergen, people who knew my songs and came to see ME. yet I didn’t get payed at all whatsoever, DESPITE selling tickets….that doesnt sound like a particularly fair deal….

I got to play Rockefeller which is one of the biggest venues in Oslo, this was freakin’ awesome, yet all of the positive things couldn’t really hide the fact that it had been a financial disaster due to how expensive it all turned out to be.

So when I get MY travel expenses covered and/or payment in addition I’m a VERY happy camper indeed.

It is also a reminder that travelling alone with backing tracks etc, is much smarter financially than dealing with the expenses of a backing band when doing Metal related stuff!

I loved the hotel room I got on this recent trip. Nothing beats having your own room, Your own space. This made me beyond happy too \m/ It doesnt have to be a 5 star hotel, it’s just the fact that I have my own place. This is very important to me. Always.

And because I didn’t have to pay for all kinds of weird things, this meant that I could eat what I wanted which of course is a HUGE factor when it comes to happiness.

What I came there to do work wise was/is exciting in itself! In fact very exciting indeed \m/ In fact the biggest thing I’ve have ever done exposure wise! Exciting because is damn cool and also because its a new challenge. Something that is entirely new to me, concept wise.

I got the gear I needed to do the job. This obviously makes me happy because that means I don’t have to stress out about shit that doesnt work, etc…

I spent a lot of time walking around alone, just like when I was in N.Y….this is kinda sad of course….but looking at the bright side you got the “world in your pocket” when you got a smart phone. You are never entirely alone, even if you might think so ๐Ÿ™‚

Having too much time on your own also makes you really appreciate the time you spend with others. For example I met with a female friend during this trip, something I really valued and I went to say hi to an old family friend as well.

The company of others is invaluable. Yet it is something you might not realise until you find yourself spending a great deal of time by yourself ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I have to say that more than anything this trip, like my US trip earlier this year, was yet another reminder about how much you can get done or experience in a day or two! Freaks me out a bit to think about, but I hope that I get more and more and more adventures and/or out of the box requests. I want my life to be adventourus 24/7 \m/ It’s fun and life should be fun! ( preferably all the time ๐Ÿ˜› ).

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