Ever since I wrote this piece How to Get a Record Deal with Jay Z, I’ve been getting email and comments from people that think I’m Jay Z and can give them a record deal and make them rich and famous. The irony of course is that piece, basically takes a massive dump on getting any major deal and instead suggests building your own fan base.
What makes me feel so bad about these people writing me their sob stories is that they’ve been sold a dream. The exact dream I was trying to denounce. So why do these people think I’m Jay Z? Because they are desperate. And I don’t blame them. We all have become so misled that we think getting a record deal is analogous to winning the lottery. We think once we sign our life away, all our problems will be solved and we see no other way out. Just like Biggie said, “Either you slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot”. For us music is our “jump shot”. But the thing is we have to put in the work.
For example, I don’t want to beat up on these people to much, but how do they expect to get signed if they only read the headline and not the article itself. How can I help them? Many of them I responded to by asking, “how many mixtapes have you put out?” “How many videos have you done?” Guess how many? Zero. And these are not just kids. These are people in their twenties and thirties! Grown folk! People that should know hard work pays off.
What even makes me more upset is that these are the same people that get taken by scammers selling all these “artists services” such as radio play, video promotion, and whatever else these guys can think of to get you to part with your money. It’s all bullshit scams. You can’t pay anyone $500 to promote your song and have a real hit. Believe me I’ve been taken by such scams before and it hurts.
One of the main reasons I started ADG was to make good mixing and mastering more affordable and more reliable. I know a ton of engineers that charge way too much and I know a ton of engineers that are just not reliable and provide horrible customer service. In the last year, I feel ADG has helped to change all that. However, I feel we have to do more.
I want to completely kill the dream of getting a record deal in your head. I want to provide you with the tools and information to completely empower you to be a successful independent artist. It’s 2014. It’s time we stopped allowing ourselves to be tricked. This is not a lottery. Making it, however you define it, is about working hard and working smart.