Record labels have been the obvious option for an artist seeking to grow. But many are naive as to what happens when signing a contract with a label. We explain what they do and why signing a contract may not be in your best interest yet.

What does a label do?

Recruit artists and develop them.

WIth a broad pool of talent globally, labels are tasked with seeking artists they deem fit to invest in. By today’s standards, labels seek individuals with an already semi-established fan base. While it is important for the label to ensure the artist has a sufficient following to bring a return on investment, this often puts pressure on artists to build their platforms from scratch. 

Funding artists and their music projects.

Once signed, the label invests an amount into you and your music projects. This funding can go into covering the costs of producing, songwriting, distribution, and even transportation. These funds help jump-start the process of creating a music project for many artists. 

Connect artists to resources otherwise not available to them. 

Record labels have an arsenal of resources. They ensure their artists are paired up with all necessary experts to build the project. From songwriters, musicians, and vocalists, to photographers, videographers, and stylists. Artists can utilize the resources provided by the label without needing to go on a hunt in search experts.

Downsides to a label?

“Shelved” Artist.

Many artists assume they are guaranteed success once they sign with a label. They work towards a contract, once they attain it, they hope for smooth sailing. The reality is that only a small percentage of artists signed to labels ever get to put out music. The bulk of signed artists are “shelved.”In other words, they are put on hold, unable to release music through their label, and unable to escape their contract. 

Lack of creative freedom. 

The small percentage of artists that don’t get shelved still face obstacles. Primarily the lack of creative freedom. The label dictates your every move. From the type of music you release, to the audience you will market to. Artists are stripped of their creativity and have no say in the process. While semi-established artists can fight for their artistic choices, many artists with little to no following are unable to influence any decisions made by labels.

Financial instability.

Artists seek labels for the funding they provide. Unfortunately, the contracts are set up in a way where artists rarely see any profit. Oftentimes, contracts are designed in a way where record labels are profiting off the artists’ profits. Not to mention the artist must pay back what the label has invested into the project leading many artists to drown in debt.

How does Acuinas come in?

As we’ve seen, the music industry can be full of deceitful contracts and practices. We seek to reshape the music industry for the better and it all starts with helping the artists.

We offer connections to music industry experts.

Connect directly to music industry experts. We offer exclusive access to our vetted experts. Build a team of experts that share the same values of transparency and authenticity as Acuinas. 

The artist keeps their creative freedom.

Creative freedom is important to artists. We do not dictate you. Artists are free to choose how they build their team, and most importantly what projects they build. 

We promote a more transparent music industry. 

Acuinas vets all artists and experts. All of our partners share the same vision of transparency, authenticity, and compassion. As we move forward, our artists and experts will be a model of what we seek the music industry to be. Together we’re reshaping and creating better lives for creators.