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Producers & Artists: Think Twice Before SIGNING a BAD Production Deal!

What's the Deal? Your Ego!

Producers & Artists: Think Twice Before SIGNING a BAD Production Deal!

You want to be the boss-level producer on the block with the best artists and sound but do you really know what it's going to take to make your sound shine?

Your main problem is your ego! It really needs to be fed recognition for being the best. Every producer and artist wants their art to shine on the mountaintop. I understand this because not only did I want this for myself but almost every producer I know wants this for themselves.

In addition to you and the music industry being in your way for starters. You actually need someone who is going to help your sound become consumed by the masses. That thing is a recording artist.

You’re going to have to go through many artists, more than likely, to find one that works well for you and where you’re trying to go. However, you also have to consider where they are trying to go.

You will also need a company set up to facilitate the rights that you will acquire from your selected artist, plus you’re going to need either a crew or some knowledge on how to build traction on this artist so you can get to the next step up from the production deal, the record deal!

By this point, your ego should have deflated a little leaving you feeling underpowered. That's ok because your expectations need to be managed in order to pull this thing off called a production deal. With any business, it's hard to grow from the beginning but you shouldn’t have to feel underpowered because you didn't have the guidance to get this done and you didn’t have knowledge of the business to know what you were doing for the artist in the first place.

I can testify!

I understand all of this because I’ve been the person I’m talking about. Some deals broke even independently and some deals slipped out of my hands and went major. Though this doesn't encompass all of my 23 years of experience in the business, those two were pivotal points.

Breaking down needs for a Production Deal

So let’s break this down into a few key topics we need to address before you think about signing an artist to you under a production deal and altering your lives.

What are you bringing to the table? We must address how much muscle and tools you have to fulfill your deal.

  1. Adequate studio to start recording

  2. Quality production

  3. Can the artist get to you easily

  4. do you have a partner?

  5. Marketing experience

  6. Attorney

  7. Company setup properly to fulfill your deal?

  8. Significant industry Connections or access to them.

  9. will you manage or co-manage the artist?

  10. Will shop for a label deal?

Adequate studio to start recording?

Can your current studio facilitate the artist you want to sign and get a decent sound so you can compete with the big dogs that are already running?

Quality Production?

Though you may want to be the next Dr. Dre that will be for the public to decide. How is the quality of your production when it comes to industry standards in genres close to yours across any era? Will you let the artist work with another producer while under your deal?

Can the artist get to you easily?

Can this artist get to your studio often enough to keep the momentum going in the creative process?

Do you have a partner?

Recording and producing is one thing but you’re going to need a teammate to help you with the business side hands down. Do you have this partner in mind? If you don't seriously consider pumping your breaks or taking things slow before you sign an artist because they may just dip out on you when they see you can't keep the business together.

Any marketing experience?

It's going to take some marketing to get some traction on this artist and as the company that is producing a product will you provide marketing to get traction or do you think you’re just going to walk into a record label and give them a completed album with no traction? Those tactics are so 2002 and they don't work anymore. Record labels need action because they aren't fully staffed to handle the needs of every artist anymore.


You need an entertainment attorney to draft this agreement. This isn't a producer contract that you can pull off the internet and think that it will be fine. This production deal needs to be ironclad and tight. You will need one drafted for you. Secondly, if you have an artist smart enough that will need an attorney as well do you have the fees for that if they want to redline the contract?

Is your company set up properly to fulfill your deal?

Not only does your attorney have to draft a great contract but a company needs to be in place to handle the actual copyrights that you acquire in the production deal! my book "The 60 Day Record Label Executive Edition" is perfect for this!

Do you have significant industry connections or access to them?

You need plenty of connection to make things happen and if your network game is weak you will stifle the progress of the deal which makes the artist leary of doing business with you.

Will you manage or co-manage the artist?

Will you give the artist free reign over what manager they get to choose or will you and your partner co-manage the artist in addition to the production company that you already have to run? This is a serious question because it brings more hands into the mix of things as you start moving down the path.

Will you shop for a label deal?

If you going to shop for a label deal, do you have the plugs to do so, and what type of deal did you have in mind?

You've got work to do!

If this is you let’s get a call together seriously I’ll get you through this and manage your expectations. All of these obstacles will be put into perspective for you with a plan of action for the next step. This will not only alter the lives of the artist out there but also the producer who has no idea about what they doing.

Secondly, grab my book the 60-day record label because you’re going to need to build that company structure properly.

What the end of the tunnel looks like

You can have the perfect deal for your artist that keeps your obligations in check. if your sound is hot and the public agrees then for sure you will have the hottest producer sound out! In addition to that, you have the hottest artist, the millions of dollars that come with it, and the experiences of a lifetime! Last but not least your ego will be fulfilled.

However, though that sounds really dreamy, many producers and artists who sign these deals destroy their creative careers though basic business, bad relationships together, or just purely wasting each other's time acting like they know what to do. Don't be this person gets things correct from the jump.

Change your mindset

Move from the in-experienced producer mind space to a producer who can grow artists over and over again because you understand the core principles of what it takes to run a successful production company.


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