The journey to the top of Ghanaian music has in time past and even now proven difficult than it may seem for most artistes and this has caused a lot of gifted musicians to wallow in the dungeons of the underground world. One may have the talent but the platform to push him/her to stardom may be lacking.
However, the modernization of the music industry via the emergence of record labels has smoothened the transition from underground to mainstream and from an ordinary mainstream artiste into a “top skanka” artiste.
Whereas some record labels has played key roles in the success stories of some artiste, others too have all but ended the careers of some hitherto budding and buoyant talents. This in no parts is sometimes due to shoddy deals and unclear contractual terms which eventually leaves some of these artiste for dead and eventually the tailing off of their music careers.
Today, we present to you some factors you must consider clearly before you sign unto a record label.
- What type of deal are you signing?
This is very important in your dealings with a label as an artiste. What kind of deal is on the table? Production deal? Distribution deal? Major Label deal or a 360 deal?
A production deal means the record label just produces your songs and leave the rest to you. A distribution deal requires the label to make sure your songs hits every market space available. The major label deal and the 360 deal moves in similar patterns but in a 360, the label takes total control of you the artiste. That is to say, you are at the back and call of the label. So know what you’re signing unto.
- The length of the contract.
It is advisable not to sign unto long term contracts especially for first timers. Preferrably a one year contract with the option of rolling it over as the years go by. This gives you the insurance to move out of the deal if any of the parties is not honouring the contractual agreements.
- Royalty Rate
How much in terms of money are you getting from the label. This is where most troubles begin to emanate from. It should be as reasonable to satisfy both parties. Make sure the axe is laid to the root of any niggling royalty issues before you put pen to paper
- Credibility of the label.
What is the intergrity standing of the organization you’re going to work with? Is it one that you can trust and be assured of working with? If you’re not convinced of how genuine the label may be, do not commit because you may be signing the death warrant of your music career.
It is with no doubt that the lure of a record label may be too tempting to resist, but be as wise as the ant and as crafty like the serpent before appending your signature to any deal for a record label may be Jesus the saviour of your music career or Judas the betrayer.