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Signed artist with their own studio, self produced...How

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hardnox, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Okay, so when labels have an artist who is self-produced, and owns their own studio...Do they budget any different? How do they approach that from a financial standpoint? Or more importantly, how does the artist/producer/studio owner approaches this financially?
     
  2. In my experience, a record label won't let an artist produce his own records, especially not in his personnal studio, unless he has a lot of experience or a proven track record. They will, however, sometimes release self-produced records under a license deal or buy the masters from an up and comer if the tracks are killing (rare) or (more often) if the project has been released independantly on a small scale and achieving some significant sucess.
     
  3. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    groundcontrol,
    When you say "License deal." Do you mean a distribution deal? I can think of a lot of artists who from day one have done everything themselves whether it be electronic groups like The Chrystal Method or people like a Dr. Dre who started on their own and continue on their own.
     
  4. It's often called a P&D deal (as in Promo & Distribution). You provide the finished master and they'll take care of the P&D. Depending on your pulling power and/or negotiation abilities you try to get them pay for mastering, artwork, the videos and some tour support on top of the promotion of the singles and the pressing and distribution of the CD's. Ideally they'll pay you an advance that will cover your production costs.

    You have to realise that this is not the standard "artist" deal everybody refers to when you say "signed artist". The record company is, technically, licensing the rights to exploit a master recording paid for and owned by somebody else. :tu:
     
  5. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Thanks for the further clarification. So, let's take Dr. Dre for example. He owns his own production company called "Aftermath Entertainment" he has artists signed with him such as Eminem. However, his records are distributed by Interscope. I've also seen that Interscope has input on the projects and selection of singles etc. Eminem for example is listed as an Aftermath/Interscope artist.

    Is this the same kind of Promotion and Distribution deal? Are P&D deals one-time things or can they be multi-album deals?

    Thanks Again
     
  6. I don't know the particulars of Dre's business setup with Interscope, but it looks like something along the lines of what I explained to you. In effect, Dre's company is acting as the label to which Eminem is signed. This kind of arrangement (like all arrangements in this business) is rarely a 1-shot deal as nobody in his right mind is ever gonna invest all the sweat and $$$ it takes to break an act without having the chance to recoup that investment over a couple of records, not even talking about letting someone else turn a profit on an artist for whom they have done all the dirty work and taken financial risk in the first place!

    Usually this is the kind of deal that exists between a small label or a well-established producer's company and a major. It usually gives the distributor the exclusive distribution rights for the label/producer's roster for a number of years or a number of albums, whichever is of the longest duration.

    Mind you, you have to have an extremely well proven track-record or an incredible buzz surrounding you or an artist you've signed or already independantly released before you can hope entering such a partnership deal with an established record company.

    Most of the time, if they are really interested in an act, the majors will prefer having that act sign an "artist" deal directly with them (whatever that actually costs them as money is not really an object for them) so that they can better control (for good or for bad) the whole processus and keep all the profits for themselves, they are a greedy lot! :eek:

    Better have some hit material and a very good attorney before you plan going to lunch with the sharks! :eek: :w:
     
  7. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    thanks groundcontrol.
     
  8. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    Very informative thread! Thanks guys.

    Anybody know a good entertainment lawyer?

    Hey Danny, are you the guy with the profile in Keyboard mag this month? If so, congrats! Looks like you guys are gonna have a great career.
     
  9. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    EJolson,

    Yea that's us in Keyboard. I'm asking these questions because we are going to have our record ready to go in June, and some of the folks that have heard our stuff are really into it. Some kids that we've let listen to it hear one song and go "Where can I get this?" I just think we might have some good stuff, and not that I'm dumb enough to think that the day our album comes out an A&R guy is going to all of sudden call up and go "Here's a deal," we just want to be prepared. I know it ain't easy. Nothing thus far has been "easy" why would it get easy now?

    Dave Matthews said "Good music will get out there." I believe this, it's just a matter of when it gets discovered. We the artists have to fight for our music to get out there. We are already fortunate to have some inside avenues into some labels (through DJing) so we'll see what happens.

    I might sound like I'm dreaming, but my brother and I already agreed that we would rather stay independent than go to some Major, and become another cute little white-boy packaged piece of TRL trash. Not that that ain't a good gig for some folks, but it ain't us. Yes we must prove that we know how to make good music, or in a Label's language "music that will sell." But we love producing and mixing just as much as writing, performing and all the lime-light stuff. We want to control our own destiny, even if it means you hit it big in 6 years instead of 2. We don't want the money, we want our music to get out there the way we make it.

    I just read an article on Billboard's website on Timbaland who said he doesn't even want to do another solo project because he turned it into the label a year ago and it's just now coming out. This is one of the top producers in music here! I was like Holy crap! Timbaland practically owns urban/pop/r&b/hip-hop radio. If this bulsh-t happens to Timbaland then, damn what about us? Interscope sent Dr. dre and Eminem back to the drawing board after they turned in the Marshall Mathers LP. Interscope didn't hear a lead single. Dre and Eminem were given one weekend and came back on Monday with "The Real Slim Shady." If they tell Dre & Eminem what to do, then they're gonna tell us even more!

    I have a friend that just got signed to Arista. He's a 20 year old singer guy and really, he just loved being on stage, and entertaining. He came to me and my bro a year ago asking if we could write and produce some songs for him. We were busy getting ourselves going (We didn't have our new studio yet!), so he ended up meeting a guy who's worked with Ja Rule. See, my friend didn't really care about songwriting, producing, mixing or any of that. He accomplished his goal. Now I'm sure Arista owns his ass and they dress him up everyday, take him to a studio, throw a sheet of lyrics under his nose and say "sing it like this." His heaven, not mine. I want a career, and we're going to do it ourselves until we find somebody that believes in this vision. Impossible? Well, stay tuned.

    I love the music biz. I'm not against major labels or anything. I know a lot of people working in the industry. In fact, my friend from Universal Music Video and Distribution actually incouraged us to do it ourselves. He said "It's been a while since we've seen a solid independent record hit the streets."

    Just some words to ponder.
     

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