Most musicians aim to get a recording deal. It’s exciting to have a team sell and promote your music – all you need to do is focus on creating it. But the stories of artists fighting with their record labels are not uncommon. Thus, you should be careful about the deal you sign.
Here are three things to pay attention to in your recording contract:
Many recording labels usually require an artist to sign with them exclusively. The artist can’t record or release music for another label without permission. If they do that, their record label can take legal action against them.
Record deals always have specified periods. The record label will typically inform you of this when discussing the deal. But ensure what you agreed on is what is in the contract.
The initial term may be divided into intervals with commitments. For example, in a 24-month deal, a label may require you to release the first album in 12 months, then Eps and singles in the remaining period, followed by “options.”
During an “option” period, the label can extend the term of the contract. Most record labels have two to three options, but some can go up to seven, which means an artist can be with a label for years.
You should pay attention to the terms in your recording contract to avoid misunderstandings that can affect your career.
You should know if you will have a say on when to release your music, how to market it and so on. Although recording labels have the final say in most aspects, you should have more freedom in your creative decisions.
Before signing a recording contract, you should get legal help to avoid agreements that can negatively impact your creativity.