Below is an excerpt from BET’s “To Sign or Not to Sign: The Art of the Record Deal”, read the full article here.
Some artists see it fit to make sense of signing individual records to a deal rather than their entire career over to a major label. While this option is not unheard of, labels will avoid these sorts of deals simply because a longer-term relationship means more control and more security for future material. Furthermore, an artist would want to pay special attention to the terms of exclusivity with respects to features. Covered by something called a “sideman provision,” this allows an artist to jump on a fellow musician’s track, even if that musician is signed to another label. The best means of keeping an eye on these terms would be to enlist a trusted team of advisers, something that Slip-N-Slide Records songstress Teenear was fortunate enough to realize early on.
“I don’t have many concerns [about the label’s control over collaborations] because I have full trust in my team, who all help make sound business decisions,” she said. “When collaborating or building, my input on which artists to feature it always considered. I also make sure to present various business ventures as they come up. As an artist, I still dip in on the business end and it’s well received by everyone.”
The “Friday Night” singer views her label home executives as family that hands her the tools she needs to pursue her own artistic freedom — within their consent, too, of course.
“If I’m interested in doing a feature with anyone else, I definitely have to make sure I get approval,” she said. “The label then works with that artist’s label or their management team to handle any specifics, like signing off on verses, the budget, booking the studio time, etc. The team works the mechanical end.”
Teenear’s healthy relationship with Slip-N-Slide comes a dime a dozen, though. As a smaller label, she enjoys the luxury of having more focus on her projects, which isn’t always the case at larger-scale record labels. Her advice? Check all of the hens before dropping all of your eggs in one basket.
“I would say,to not be in a rush and shop around,” she said. “Different labels offer different things in terms of what they are willing to invest and bring to the table.”