In the streaming era of music, it’s tough for many artists to make a living. It has become increasingly important for musicians to go on tour, sell merch, monetize their influence, and negotiate better terms with record labels.

Bonsound is a company that’s making it possible for artists to get the services they need to diversify their income streams. The Montreal-based record label provides artist management, concert booking and producing, and even support to help sell merch like t-shirts and accessories through Shopify.

Co-founder Gourmet Délice was originally a musician who identified the need for a company like Bonsound. “We were trying to find a booking agent for bands like mine, which were mostly heavy rock and roll,” Gourmet says. “There was absolutely no structure in the province [of Québec] to help us with that. So we just said, ‘Well, we’ll do it ourselves.’”

Gourmet shares his journey of building a music business that works with artists to help them make a living.

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Giving artists time to create

Bonsound has been around for 20 years. Gourmet says that there are tons of resources out there to help artists run their business by themselves, but the opportunity cost is great. “There are only 24 hours in a day, and if your mind is only on the business side, then it’s tough to create.”

Man with red hair wearing a t-shirt that says “Crash”
Gourmet says merchandise, like this shirt for the indie pop band Les Louanges, is an important part of an artist’s income. Les Louanges

Cutting the middlemen

Artists rarely make a lot of income through digital streaming or record sales. Shows are generally a bigger revenue generator, according to Gourmet, and even then, artists only get a small cut after ticketing fees and paying the venue.

Bonsound started helping artists cut the middlemen in the music industry by selling merch and vinyl records. Artists get a bigger cut of the profits from physical products. Plus fans can help grow the…

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