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Promising So Much, But Delivering So Little

As a child, we are often asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Usually the answer to that question is never certain, simply because our inquiring minds haven’t quite figured it out yet. But what if our career path was already chosen to be something that was predestined for us? The only thing is ironically, we just don’t know it yet.


When kids age into the music industry alongside their parents, they are already in the public eye and they can pretty much buy their fame once they get older. Furthermore, the strong relationship established between their parents and fellow colleagues already links them to great ambassadors and influential leaders in the industry. But what about the kids that are passionate about music who don’t have that advantage? The ones that crave and desire to have a career in music but are clueless to how they can obtain it and still be successful. Even those that may not have it all figured out yet, but possess a strong or potential talent for music. Who can they turn to for guidance, for that spark of inspiration, or just for moral support?

Don't Be Duped!

music recording contract

It’s unfortunate that these kids and most of their parents lack the knowledge of the music business. They are deceived to believe that once the contract is signed, all is well and the money will immediately start rolling in. Guess again! Sad but true, the music business is crammed with hidden agendas. For instance, there may be changes in copyright law, new developments, deductions, and even recording costs. Case in point, consider the R&B singing sensation group New Edition when they initially started out. They were kids with a dream to simply earn money, buy candy, and one of them even desired to play basketball. They signed their first deal with MCA Records in 1983 and escalated to the top R&B and pop charts ranking in at 2 million with 2 hit singles. (Collier, A. (1986).NEW EDITION. Ebony, 41(8), 58). After spending years on tour from their hit single, each member of the group returned home to the projects with a check for $1.87. Now tell me what parent wouldn’t be agitated or discombobulated about that.

“Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right questions.”

Eyes Wide Open

Therefore, it is extremely important to know what you are getting into once you sign on the dotted line as it relates to the music business. Being prepared and knowing what to expect can prevent any child’s dream from being turned into a nightmare. Most importantly, it would be a colossal mistake to allow dollar signs and the idea of fame blind you from reality of what’s in black and white, or even in the grey areas. Once you dive into the sea of the music business, you’ll either sink or swim. My suggestion is simple. Don’t go in without a lifeguard or a float because if you get in too deep you may not survive.


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