The music industry is a notoriously tough one to get into and can be extremely nasty. For every successful artist, there are thousands who fail miserably or end up getting exploited by record companies. The worst part is that many of those who get into predatory contracts do so because of ignorance. This is why you need to do some research on the industry and pitfalls to avoid before you even think about starting a musical career. Let’s take a look at some industry myths that should be dispelled right away.
Artists Make Most of Their Money from Record Sales
This is probably one of the biggest myths in the music industry. A lot of people assume that having a hit will have them set for life, but this isn’t how it works. In truth, artists usually make most of their money from performances and everything else they have going on, like merchandise, for instance.
This is why you hear so many stories of artists who were still struggling for money after having a single on the radio. This is also why you need to be ready for everything that comes with being a musical artist and can’t neglect your live performances, as this is what will ultimately put bread on the table.
Talent is All You Need
Other people assume that being talented and putting your music out there will be enough for them to be discovered. But so many talented artists are still unknown and will never make it.
If you want to make it in the music industry, you will have to do much more than just put your music on Bandcamp. You also have to network with other artists. Artist networking and content creation platforms are the future of music creation, and you need to make a name with fellow artists and professionals first if you want to start building a buzz.
Other artists will be able to introduce you to their fan base or collaborate with you. You may also find people who will be willing to mentor you or ask you to perform as opening acts for them. Never underestimate the power of having a network of creators around you.
Signing with a Major Label is the Best Thing That Could Happen to an Artist
A lot of artists have only one goal: getting signed by a major label. But you should know that signing a record deal is not always the best option, especially if you’re a pure artist.
For one, major labels are much more concerned with sales than with creativity or artistry. This means that they may favor someone on the label that has what they believe to be a more marketable package.
They may decide to shelve you before you even release a project too. If you’re lucky enough to get released and have a good first project, they might put pressure on you to create more and you’ll probably be locked into that contract for at least three to six albums. So, this is something you’ll have to think about before you sign on that dotted line.
The music industry can be treacherous, but once you understand how it works and what motivates record companies, you’ll be able to make better decisions for your career. The most important piece of advice we can give you is to not rush things and always have someone who understands contract law in your corner.