Most big-name rappers today are eager to put their loved ones and close friends on once they get into a position to do so. Many achieve this by creating their own label imprint under the major label they are signed with and offering recording contracts to their homies. While this seems like a great way to come through for an equally talented friend, it is not always the brightest idea for an artist to sign a deal with another musician, whether they are a big act or independent.
Before you begin handing out music deals to your buddies, let's go over a few key factors that you should consider before signing fellow artists.
Examine Your Career First
Let's say that you are an independent artist and have decided to launch your music label to sign some of your own talents. Before locking unsuspecting musicians into contracts that they may not fully understand, ask yourself, what have you done for your own career? Look at your monthly streams, YouTube views, and comprehensive analytics. There is a good chance that if you were not able to make your career pop, you might not be able to break another artist's career.
Are You Familiar With Music Contracts?
While it is easy to throw a few generic terms on a piece of paper and have someone "sign to you," it is essential that you know the different types of recording contracts out there and what is offered in each. Often when musicians end up in bad deals, the main question people ask is whether or not they even bothered to read the paperwork. Though this may sound like common sense, many artists are not familiar with the legal jargon within this type of document. Are you signing your artist to a 360 deal or a profit split recording deal? You will need to be able to thoroughly explain the differences in the types of deals as the head honcho. Otherwise, the agreement is on its way to disaster.
Do You Have the Right Connections?
As an artist who wants to sign other artists to your label, what type of connections do you have within the music industry? Are you friendly with any execs at music labels? Do you have good relationships with music blogs? If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, have you successfully used these connections to further your career? If you have not pulled off this task in your own music journey, you should not give an aspiring artist false hope.
Do You Have the Money to Fund an Artist?
If you are an entertainer, you know the job is costly, especially if you are independent. Have you accumulated enough money from your career to be able to fund the career of another musician? This includes the marketing for their projects, wardrobe, performance expenses, studio time, and the list goes on. There are success stories out there of indie artists who go on to break other acts. For instance, rapper Young Dolph launched his Paper Route Empire label years before signing now-superstar Key Glock. While it is not impossible, it should be noted that Dolph had enjoyed a successful music career for years before signing artists.
Do You Have the Time to Manage An Artist?
As a musician yourself, you are well aware that it takes lots of time. If you are busy recording your music and gearing up for the release of your album while overseeing every other aspect of your work, when will you have time to focus on another artist's career?
Everyone wants to be the boss of their music empire, but it takes a plethora of knowledge, money, and oftentimes selflessness. Thousands of artists are bonded to a piece of paper by an inexperienced fellow musician with little to no artist management experience outside of their own career. Therefore, without the proper planning and resources, many artists end up in unfavorable contracts that they cannot get out of. Sadly for some, this is where their story ends.
This blog is not meant to discourage you from creating your label and taking music by storm. All we ask is that you approach it realistically and be aware of your situation before bringing another creator on board.
Blogged by @cakedupdrippedout