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Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Sometimes It’s Tough to Trust Others with Your Music

You have been a musician all your life. You consider what you do equal parts art and skill. Tying it all together is the passion you have for music. You are so passionate, in fact, that you find it tough to trust others with your music. So you sit on it. It languishes in your heart and mind because it is never released to the public.

Your story is not unique. According to New York City-based Supreme Tracks, countless musicians and singers have plenty of good stuff to offer. Yet it never leaves the confines of their home studios because professionals never get their hands on it. Whether that is good or bad depends on the artists. After all, it is their music.

Not Without Reason

It should be noted that artists fearful of outside production have valid reasons for feeling the way they do. Over the years, more than one musical act has lamented being pigeonholed by an industry that loves formulaic music produced purposely to fit inside a nice, little box that plays well on radio.

Even with modern streaming services, the formulaic approach is still alive and well. If a budding act can find a record label willing to take a chance on them, the band will still have to conform to the label’s formula requirements. Some are okay with that. They are willing to do whatever it takes to hit the big time. But many artists don’t want to give up control of their music to satisfy a formula.

What You Want Out of Life

For many a would-be pro, it is a matter of priorities. What do you want out of life – with your music and in general? It is a question not so easily answered by someone in his twenties. But make it to your fifties and you see things a bit more clearly. Perhaps that’s why so many aging rock stars look back on their early years in the industry and regret some of the decisions they made.

If you are a budding musician and you want the support of an established label, you have to give up control. A record label is not going to invest in you unless you are willing to do things their way. Often times that means giving up creative control, too. You go from being a genuine artist to someone who provides the performances your label is looking for. You are not quite an employee, but it’s pretty darn close.

Publishing Rights, Royalties, Etc.

In addition to giving up creative control, signing with a label often means giving up publishing rights in exchange for royalties. If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, consider the story of legendary Beatle Paul McCartney. A few years ago, McCartney filed a lawsuit against Sony/ATV in order to regain control of his portion of the Beatles catalog.

Way back in the 1960s, the Beatles surrendered control of their songs to a publishing company that was formed specifically to promote them. Over the years, that music eventually became the property of Michael Jackson and then Sony. To get the catalog back, McCartney would have to pay tens of millions of dollars.

It is understandable if you are a musician uninterested in giving up control of your music to a third party. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot have it produced professionally. Professional online production is a service Supreme Tracks offers. You can still maintain control but have pro-quality projects you can then distribute as you see fit. At least that is one option for getting your music out without surrendering it to someone else.

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