The music industry is probably second only to Hollywood in its ability to chew up starry-eyed newcomers. To succeed in the industry and successfully promote your music, you should try to go in as forewarned as possible.
There are a lot of traps young artists can fall into that end up causing them big problems later on. So, we’ve picked out the top three we think indie musicians should be most aware of before entering into the music industry!
1. Big Album Bonuses
This trap is becoming better-known, but it still catches a lot of young musicians. When a label approaches you about funding an album, most of the time, that signing bonus is actually a loan – one that has to be paid back by ways of the album’s profits. If not, you may find yourself on the hook for more albums, or possibly in bankruptcy court.
While this arrangement has worked for many, it’s imperative you don’t waste the bonus and try to save as much money as possible.
2. Signing Away Your Rights
Read your contract carefully when dealing with anyone who wants a piece of your music. It’s unfortunately common for companies to slip in clauses giving themselves the right to your output. Once signed away, regaining those rights can be a long and costly process.
Whenever possible, only deal with companies that respect your IP rights. You should be able to promote your music without giving up your rights.
3. Losing Control Of Your Image
Be wary of anyone who wants to give you a makeover. While sometimes a new gimmick can help kickstart an act, it tends to give a lot of invisible power to whoever’s in charge of the new image. Whether it’s a producer or a label exec or a bandmate’s SO, you’re likely going to know better than them how you want to present yourself publicly.
Plus, in worst case scenarios, people can end up performing under stage names they don’t even own, giving someone else near-total control of their career.