Today, young new emerging artists are choosing to get their music out to the world by either doing it themselves or pursuing an Independent Label rather than a more well known label.
There are advantages and disadvantages to making these choices.
Major labels, first and foremost are harder to come by and the big dream of getting signed sometimes misleads these young talented kids into believing they are going to be the next big thing, when in fact they are nothing but a new project for the label.
A large signing bonus may at first seem pretty cool and even a “no brainer” when considering a large major label, but trust me the fine print is what you need to look at.
Many major labels will also sign an artist that sounds very similar to another artist they are investing huge amounts of money into, just to basically put them on the shelf to not get in the way of their money making endeavors.
For the last several years I have worked extremely close to many young, new, alternative bands in Southern California, Orange County and the Inland Empire and have watched many hearts break, many kids have their dreams shattered and many get taken for a slam dunk ride. The music industry has changed drastically from what it used to be like.
Bands today usually have to “pay to play” sometimes way up in the hundreds. They must sell their own tickets for around $8-$10 bucks a shot, then only play a 45 minute set.Going through an Independent Label is a whole different issue, they are usually dirt broke, wondering which band is going to be their meal ticket none usually are, maybe one or two will make them a bit of money, but it ends up being sunk right back into the band or other label needs.
A good Independent Label can allow these artists to play at venues across the country without having to sell pre-sale tickets and give them the ability to build their fan base nationwide.
Then there are the bands that have really chosen the Indie route. They are paying for their own studio recording time, CD replication, scheduling their own gigs, buying their own merch (i.e. teeshirts, hats and buttons) and hoping that one day, that one “industry peep” will be sitting at a secluded table in the back of the club with a martini waiting to sign them.