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    Industry Tip: DON’T focus on trying to get a record deal.

     

    Hey everybody,

    It is super important in today’s music industry landscape that all aspiring artists and songwriters have their mind in the right place.

    If you think making it in this business today is about getting a record deal, your thinking is outdated.

    In 2015, your focus should be on your own personal branding, social media, and making money through your music.  The record label model of 20 years ago has many flaws, mostly the system of cash advances which can leave a talented artist signed to a big deal, but a slave to the system.

    What comes to mind is the record by Gangstarr featuring Jadakiss, "Rite where U stand” where Jadakiss says, “You wanna know why I invest all my money into haze and into dope, Cuz right now, I'm currently a slave for Interscope”

    Meaning, he has some “big record deal” but he still has to hustle to make money.

    Typically, a young artist may be thrilled to get a cash advance as part of their record deal; all of a sudden large amounts of money are accessible and staring them right in the face.  Often this money can be especially tempting for young artists that came up poor or with a lot of hardship.  It’s pretty common for this money to get spent on cars, jewels, toys, bills, houses, family, etc.  The issue is the record company WILL grab that money back later, even if your album is a success.  It’s a cash advance, which really means the money is LOANED to you.

    On top of that, failed bands who don’t make back the money they were advanced will never see royalties.  Furthermore, the cost of producing the album will be tracked (recording fees, manufacturing fees, etc.)  And you can bet the farm the fees to produce the album will be large, as all the best equipment, engineers, and studios will be used.

    If you are not careful, signing a record deal can ultimately leads to the artist giving away their rights, their control of revenue streams, and independence.

    How should you play the game?

    Your goal should be to get rich off your music/brand completely independent.  Thanks to the internet these days, there are many ways to get noticed (youtube.com).  If you are successful at building a big name & are making money off your music, the record companies will come slithering in to talk.

    It’s all about leverage and a good lawyer.  I am not saying to never sign a record deal, just make sure if you do, you’re coming in from a position of power and with a proper legal team to dissect their fine print and contracts.

    Good Luck!

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    "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest."- Henry David Thoreau

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