Prince Did & So Should you
It has been one day since the universe lost one of the greatest musical talents. Prince Rogers Nelson played every instrument, wrote all of his own music and lyrics, and was one of the few artists to own his masters. He so famously said,
"If you don't own your masters, your master owns you."
Now that the genius has passed, his music will be distributed and presented in his own image.
(Side Note: I truly hope that includes sharing his vault of unreleased music with his disciples.)
Unfortunately, for some, the pertinence of owning masters does not seem relevant until a music-altering change, like the loss of a legend.
Why is it important to own your music? Well, do you want your song to be in an ad for a product or service you do not support? What about in a broadcast without your knowledge or permission? Owning your music allows you to have complete control of its distribution channels as well as how your music is featured. Would you create a painting and allow someone else to sign his or her name on the bottom? No! Your music is your art and it belongs to only you.
In this day and age, it is much easier to remain independent. Services such as TuneCore, CD Baby, and ReverbNation put the power in your hands. Companies like these allow you to control your music's distribution channels and help you monetize sites like YouTube, all at a much lower cost than a label. This way you are able to stay within your budget, which allows you to spend more money on a marketing/promotional strategy, be it traditional (radio, tv) or digital (Google, social media ads). Do not fight for your masters when you can own them from the very beginning.
There will never be another Prince. He believed in ultimate uniqueness for self and art. Songs like "Beautiful Ones," "Diamonds & Pearls," and of course, "Purple Rain," will live on forever. He did that for us. Thank you for the music and thank you for being no one else but you.
If you need more information about how to become an independent artist, please contact me here.
May your rain and shade be PURPLE, always!
#NowPlaying: "Beautiful Ones" by Prince