September 25, 2008
What it means to do it the hard way
John Watson had a lot of gems at the Big Sound conference, but on the "big industry" panel he addressed the issue of getting signed and whether that meant anything in the new environment. He and the others gave several examples of how acts needed a "7-year horizon" before they had figured out what they were doing and got comfortable with their business and their role. He talked about the process of accumulating fans, contacts and street cred during that 7 years and noted that, even having been signed to major record labels at an early age, people like Missy Higgins and Delta Goodrem still had that 7-year development period.
But on the subject of what happens when an acts get signed and if handed all of the support that goes along with it, he made the following observation:
"Never underestimate the satisfaction that comes from success on your own terms."
I think that's important. Getting signed bring great support and benefits but it also, like any partnership, requires compromise. Some of the compromises that record companies ask for do not sit well with some acts, and John's point was that in this day and age, there's no compelling reason to accept the first deal that's put before you.
Making it on your own terms is easier than it's ever been, and far more rewarding than compromising.Posted by Hughie at September 25, 2008 3:24 PM