Updated: Jan 12
NASHVILLE, TN – There once was a young artist who journeyed to the ‘Music City’ to pursue her dream of becoming a music sensation. She tried and tried to perform at local venues while making friends with as many artists in her similar career stage. After several months of seemingly going nowhere, the artist thought to herself, “I know what will make me happy, I need a record deal. That’ll make all my music career problems go away. Then I will be able to actually earn a living from my music streams plus have something to prove to my family and friends that I’m a successful artist.”
Smelling fear and desperation in the atmosphere, a local A&R representative emerges from the abyss.
“What seems to be the trouble, little one?” he sneered.
“Well, I’ve been doing this ‘artist thing’ for a few months now and I can’t seem to gain any traction. I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing. I mean, I’ve been playing a ton of small shows and writer’s rounds while also songwriting like crazy with other people, yet I’m still unhappy with where I am. I feel like I should be further along by now and all my artist friends on social media seem to have it better off than me.” She sighed.
Grinning from ear to ear he replies, “What if I told you that all you really needed was to be signed to a record label? I have an extra spot on my roster consisting of 3 artists total. You could be the 4th. Just write and produce the songs and I’ll worry about the rest.”
The artist overjoyed, “WHERE DO I SIGN? All my family and friends will be so proud of me. I’m hopeless when it comes to the ‘business side’ of things and all. What was that about percentages and ownership of the masters stuff?”
“Doesn’t matter,” he said.
“Yippee,” the artist exclaimed, “I’m so pumped to be partnering with you! What was the name of your label?”
“Perfect! This will finally be a turning point in my music career!”
Ten years later, the artist is still working 4 part-time jobs that she does not enjoy, because she gave away her music rights and royalties.
Keep those masters, folks.