Who can we trust in the music business?
In History we have seen longstanding and overwhelming evidence of a “system” that cannot be trusted. Music Business is the same. A huge platform for millions where it is a hostile environment for betrayal, greed, self-seeking, self glorifying and temporary highs. We’ve seen impeccably talented stars die suddenly, with repetitive and predictable patterns of events. All these people at one time or another in their lives, needed a source of hope, someone they could trust. Not a drug cartel selling them a fix when they needed but divine inspirational Hope. The world of entertainment NEVER prepares you for failing in the public eyes with paparazzi publicizing a damaging page on your recent failures. You are often reminded of shame by a Major Label and an incomparable standard to the others who are successful, we have desires at times to be successful without counting the true cost.
The man you shake hands with could be the next person below the record label executive. He could set you up to fail a year in advance. You will be exceptionally talented and you will have exactly what he needs. A & R’s sell you a dream not reality. They are sales people. Remember that. They will become delusional with the “chance” of benefiting from your fame into his fortune because he knows what you will bring to the table. Welcome to the world of Music Business.
If you are new to music, young and inexperienced you will be very susceptible to scams. You could get your seemingly big break but the Label forgot to inform you that the money they invested in you is just an advance that they will re-coup when you make a profit. They may forget to inform you that the songs you wrote and recorded have to be re-done the way they want it to sound. It’s pop culture algorithms that count. Basically it’ll sound the same as everyone else’s. Next you can’t write your songs, they will! Then you can’t dress in your style because they hired a stylist for you, wait are you getting charged to dress yourself? The album they initially said they would release just becomes a single. They don’t want to take a risk with a full album. Your image gets shifted to be more appealing, now you don’t even know who you are anymore. The single flopped, the marketing team took a huge cut and didn’t gain mainstreams radio attention (they weren’t offered enough cash) Now you want to go and re-record somewhere else. You can’t It’s in the disclaimer you failed to understand. You don’t own any of the music! You can’t sue the label because rarely can anyone afford to. You may start asking questions when the party’s over. Nothing is ever really in the best interest of the artists these days. To have full creative control is a luxury. To have a say isn’t a right and to remain uniquely individually creative is asking for too much. To have a say in the finances must be done in the beginning before signing. There is no going back. Once you sign your life and musical rights away, you have no control or say in what happens after that. It’s never worth rushing into any deal, a “slave contract” for example. You really will pay for it later on and I don’t just mean on paper either!
Don’t be so fast to say yes to that Label. Don’t believe everyone with a smile on their face has your best interests. DO NOT trust verbal agreements. The best protection you can get yourself is an Entertainment lawyer (not the one the label assigns to you) He will work for them! Indie artists, don’t accept free tracks from producers who claim they want to help, they will sue you later especially if your music gets licensed for film or becomes successful. They must sign a contract/disclaimer waiving any right to the track. A Contract that only you sign is not enforceable. Some will try this and say they will pass it to the third party later on to sign. That is a scam and don’t fall for it. Give your music and the hard earned investment that it deserves, You have the right to earn a living fairly and being a slave to no man or dead end contract. You have the right to refuse to sign anything at all. You also have the right to go away and think about it. If you can’t afford an entertainment Lawyer, look up the terms you don’t understand online. Most of all stay professional at all costs. Getting involved with a producer can turn ugly, he calls the shots, he can stop your alum being made, ensure you get dropped owing the Label millions. Take huge precautions and make everything accountable for your own protection should you need to take legal recourse, you will want a full proof case when going to court. (Ke$ha)
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of man. 1 Corinthians 7:23