There are people who love music, then there are people who are music lovers. It’s what separates the casual iTunes downloader from the music collector with thousands of records in their home. That deep love of music doesn’t reside in many people’s hearts, and those that qualify sometimes take it a step further and start their own record labels.
While many people have a relaxed attitude about running a record label, the music industry is serious business and it is easy to get into trouble if you don’t pay attention. That means sourcing for as much advice (legal and professional) even as you venture into the business.
Choosing the genre
Creative types like musicians hate the term as it makes them feel boxed in a category, where they would love for their work to transcend boundaries. However, there’s a reason most record companies are built to target a specific market.
Perform some bit of research and find what other you can offer than other people aren’t.
Setting up the roster
Many record label owners are either musicians or fans. As such, it may be tempting to sign up all your music-making friends and let everyday be a blast (if you are not planning to take the business too seriously). However, if you want to taste success, you aim is to be objective/selective and find talent that people can gladly give up hard earned money to listen to. A relentless pursuit for excellence will come in handy at this point.
Extra tip: When it comes to the business side of things (money, contracts, and licenses), have everything in writing, and always be willing to learn.
Natris Morris is an entrepreneur who owns Cross My Heart Records, a record label he started to pursue his love for rap music.
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