Music News

Selling Out in the Music Industry – Thoughts from Chris Taylor

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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For singers and musicians that are lucky to have a record company notice their talent will be faced with the decision of taking a record deal or not.

For most of us, taking a deal to have a professional career in the music industry would be a no-brainer, but always check the fine print. If a singer has a voice they deem suitable for the mass market, the contract will look especially lucrative. A large salary, a cut of the royalties, media attention and promotion and VIP access to the right parties can be had with a signature.

‘Stardom’ does come at a cost however, in exchange for the hype and the attention, the record company effectively takes your freedom of expression. Every song recorded will be the work of another songwriter and there will be little to no opportunity to have your own work included in the mix. The pop stars of today are glorified karaoke singers, with absolutely no originality coming from their own brains. These are the singers who will be promoted endlessly until their looks fade and no-one gives a shit anymore.

Singers with the perfect balance of ego, delusion and creativity are the ones that are hit hardest of all by the media machine in the end. They are the ones that leave their band mates to go off and be famous with the lush deal. They are the ones who get writing credit in name only and have the one big hit. Once the novelty of hearing and performing that one song over and over do they finally get board and want to write material that they want to produce?

After a bitter dispute with the record company over direction, the record company finds them more hassle than they are worth and drops them. These are the people who are never heard from again because no other company will take them. These are the people that in 15 years down the road sacrificing what remains of their dignity and end up on the line-up round of Never Mind The Buzzcocks with the tagline of ‘now working as staging manager’.

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