Record labels!…..every single artist’s dream. The one way ticket to success. Record labels were once seen as the holy grail for artists. Over a decade ago, it was the most needed thing in order to be a successful musician. Due to new technology and streaming apps, that is no longer the case. This generation of musicians have an advantage no other previous artist has had, the ability to stream and promote their own music without having to get signed first. Apps like Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music and even Tik Tok have been helping artists get the publicity they need to reach potential fans. In 2020, not utilizing these apps to your advantage is the most self sabotaging thing you can do for your career. Many artists have used these apps to create a following, including Shawn Mendes, David Dobrik, Alessia Cara, Lil Nas X, etc. What these artists all have in common is that they utilized these apps and posted their covers and music, promoting them until they were reaching important people. Eventually, yes they all signed with a label, but many artists like Chance the Rapper haven’t and he’s currently thriving, every coin he gets goes to him and not a label.
The point of this blog isn’t to say all labels are monsters and you should avoid them at all cost, but to know your worth and make sure you do your research before signing with one. For all the great labels out there, there are many who just want to use artists as a cash cow and take away creative freedom. Doing your research will ensure that you know what to look out for in those contracts, things like 360 deals for example. The goal should be to have a label who genuinely believes in you and wants you to succeed as well as trusting you with your own art, rather than full on changing who you are. To avoid sticky ones always make sure you read your contracts with a professional lawyer and see what those papers are truly saying as well as remembering your worth and what you know you’ll accomplish.
If you have a record label or are in the process of it, congratulations! That’s amazing and you should be proud. However, always make sure they’re holding on to their end of the deal. Some labels will sign singers only to keep them on the shelf and control when they can and can’t release new music or merch. If you are in it to win it and giving up some creative control isn’t a deal breaker, then definitely go for a record label, if you prefer to have 100% creative control, independent labels might be the way to go. At the end of the day, this is a personal choice and regardless of what one reads, the choice is ultimately yours. Do what you have to do for you. We can’t wait to see all the new up and coming stars! Remember to stay safe and spread love!