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It is important to have some “muscle” behind your talent. A large percentage of indie artists don’t have lawyers for a variety of reasons. Usually it’s either because they don’t think they need one or they can’t afford it. The reality is that the minute your music starts to show value, you not only should have an attorney but you are going to regret not having one. As someone with 25 years experience in our industry, I can say with certainty that an artist needs a good team and that includes an experienced entertainment attorney for a variety of reasons. From set up, to representation and income collection, you need someone on your side that has the power to protect you.

When you start a business, hiring an attorney is important to make sure your foundation is set up right from the beginning. From making sure you are setting up your entity properly, guiding you through song registrations for royalty collections and making sure you have proper agreements with your band members/producers/etc. Getting these things set up correctly from the beginning can save you a big headache later in your career. I can’t tell you how many times we have gone to release an album or single, only to find that we can’t due to someone already having the name of the band trademarked or a rouge producer shows up demanding to be listed as a writer (because he now sees that the single is about to be released to radio). In one case, a producer was paid $45K to record some songs and the indie label ended up re-recording them elsewhere to avoid having to use his versions. All could have been avoided with the proper paperSoundCloud reposts.

I’ve also come across situations where and up and coming artists are taken advantage of and not given credit for their SoundCloud reposts. This is also where an attorney needs to be involved. Artists are scared that by speaking out, they may loose an opportunity. You need someone else to be the “bad guy” and stand up for you. Bring your attorney in on important  meetings and get things in writing along the way.  A good lawyer is there to stand up for you and your interests. They can be your career’s best friend.

Another piece of the puzzle that is underestimated, and not spoken of often enough, is the role of an attorney to help you get paid. In our business, I have found that collecting income (especially large sums) requires a lawyer. When substantial sums are due to an artist, it seems to take forever and you will experience excuses as well as delay after delay until months (or even years later), the payment is forgotten. The large corporations know that by delaying payments they can, in many situations, get away with not paying you at all because many artists simply don’t have the ability to do much about it and they don’t pursue it. The big corporations prey on this and they practice it regularly. Sometimes, all it takes is a call from an attorney demanding payment.

Don’t be afraid to push for opportunities but keep your music close. Don’t give the power to anyone to collect money on your behalf if you don’t have to (I’m not a fan of digital distributors collecting your royalties). Keep things as direct as possible and make sure that you have a go-to attorney that can look over contracts and will go after people who owe you money or are suppressing your role in something. Stay educated, watch your royalty statements and never get complacent. Even doing everything right, you can still get in trouble but lessen your chances by being on top of things and “keep your house in order”. In the end, the artist must realize that this is a business and must conduct him/herself as such if they don’t want want to be taken advantage of.

-Amanda Alexandrakis (President of Music Promotion, Inc.)

 

 

SoundCloud Promotion

Supreme{PR} is a Texas based Organic SoundCloud Promotion Agency with a focus on music promotion streaming platforms like Soundcloud and Spotify. We generate real engagement through our partnerships with the largest promotion netSoundCloud repostss. Supreme{PR} provides 100% transparent services and remarkable customer service. Disclaimer: We offer organic exposure, not miracles. Make sure your songs are professionally produced and mastered.

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