If you want to get into the music business, two main options are open to you. You can start as an independent artist and build your own name, or sign with a major label. Each option has its pros and cons, and you shouldn’t assume that one is automatically better than the other. For instance, a lot of artists seem to think that record labels are obsolete when they could actually benefit from them. On the other hand, some people think that signing a deal is the only way to go when it could severely hinder their career. Let’s take a look at whether signing a deal or staying independent would be the best option for you.
Record Labels Can Stifle Creativity
If you’re a true artist, you might suffer under a record label contract. This is because the record company will eventually have the final say on what kind of work you can release. Not only that, but they may pressure you to create music when you don’t feel like it or simply aren’t ready.
You have to remember that you will become a commodity once you get signed, and one of the things record labels like to stress is that you have to remain fresh in the public’s mind. This is why you will have to be prepared to release work regularly or they might stop supporting you, and this is when bad things start to happen.
Not being able to release the tracks you want can also be very frustrating. Even if you create an absolute masterpiece, the record label may tell you that they don’t want it on your project. And the worst thing in all of this is that you may never be able to release the song. This is enough to send some artists into a deep depression. So, if creative license is extremely important to you, think twice about signing a deal.
A Record Label Can Give You a Mainstream Push
One thing you have to know, however, is that signing with a major label is still the only way to reach international superstardom. This is because major record labels have a level of access that independent artists and labels will never be able to get.
Some companies are under huge international conglomerates and can get you everything from TV show appearances, to interviews on major radio stations, sponsorship deals, and more. If you feel like you have the total package and the potential to be a big star, staying independent may limit your potential.
Independent Artists Often Make More Money
If your main goal is making money, however, then starting a label could be a much better option. Not only will you be able to release your music when you want and have complete artistic license, but you’ll also keep a much bigger slice of the pie. Not to mention that you’ll be able to sign other artists that you like and feel would fit with your brand.
You have to know that starting a record label is hard work and that you’ll need to have certain things in place first. First of all, you’ll need to hire a good entertainment attorney and an accountant. They are probably the two most important people as one will help you draft and understand contracts while the other will ensure that you always stay on budget.
You will also need to start your search for a good studio. Here, we would suggest that you look at a music studio like PIRATE. They have locations all over the country and offer tons of freedom to independent labels and artists. You can go in for a studio session at any time of the day and bring your own engineers without having to spend on equipment. They also have some of the best prices compared to any professional studio you’ll find out there. If this sounds appealing to you, you can click here to book a session and see what the experience is like firsthand.
Independent Artist Often Struggle with the Business Side of Things
You cannot build a record label and expect it to be successful if you don’t understand business. So, if you don’t have at least a basic formation, you will need to consider getting one right away if this is the path you want to take. You don’t have to get an MBA or anything, but you should at least complete a course that will teach you the basics of the music industry.
These are all things that you will need to consider before making your decision to sign or stay independent. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from people in the industry and take the time to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both options.