The music industry has always been looked at as an “eat or be eaten” type of world. Everyone is looking for a way in, and once they make it, they are willing to do whatever they can to stay there. What a lot of people don’t know is that the music labels don’t always give artists the opportunity to be themselves. I believe that labels shouldn’t be able to choose what an artist can or can’t release. I feel this way because the artist should be able to express themselves, the artist knows exactly what their fans want to hear, and labels should just trust that the artist is talented enough to capture the attention of the listeners.
There are numerous artist such as Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne that don’t get to release the personal songs that they write. There are numerous mixtapes that are released because of this reason. It is a very sad that the artist whom created the content can express how they feel through what they write. The whole point of artistry is to embody one’s feelings and put depth of emotion into what they're creating. How could that be done if someone is making these decisions for them? This has been an issue that many people have acknowledged. We as supporters of these artist deserve to be getting the content that is dear to the artist themselves. This is not being done, and that needs to changed.
An artist usually starts off their career with a fan base or a group of people who knows what kind of music they make. For example, the artist Bryson Tiller didn’t get famous until the end of the year 2015, yet he has fans that have listened to him since 2013. This is why there is an established understanding between fans and that artist. That is why I feel that artists know exactly what their fans want. Furthermore, the relationship that the fans feels is one of trust that the artists we listen to know what kind of content we like. Whether it is from music videos, albums, or concerts, the artist knows what we want. The whole point of a label is to sell it to the people that are willing to buy it. Artists that start with a fan base already know what they should do to grasp the attention of the listeners.
If a music label signs an artist, I feel that they should trust who they supported and believe that they can capture the attention of the listeners. When a label signs an artist, they do primary work. Things such as simple concerts, community service activities, and collaborations with other artists. They do this to test how they will benefit their brand. I feel that if they give these primary tests to the artist, and they were successful enough to survive and get signed, they should trust them to maintain that audience. Apparently they don’t do this because the issue is still an issue.
The argument that I receive is always that labels know what will and won’t sell, but that isn’t true. There have been various situations where a label creates a scenario that should “produce album sales,” and it backfires on them. The thing that is so sad about that is that the label isn’t looked at as the ones who messed up, the artist is. Then, the label can back out of their contract and create problems for the other labels that might’ve been interested in their music. This has happened to so many artists. It is called blacklisting in the music industry. It is when a label drops you because you caused the company “damage.” It isn’t fair to the artist. This proves that labels aren’t always right.
Labels shouldn’t have as much control over an artist creative process and releasing of their music. This isn’t healthy for the fan to artist relationship. It has been proven statistically that the more content that is received from the artist directly, the more it sells. Labels should listen to the artist and the fans that support their company. The majority of the time, the fans are right about what will and won’t work.