When Grammy nominee Brent Faiyaz and his manager, Ty Baisden, were offered a record deal with a quarter million dollar advance, they walked away. Instead, they opted to go independent.
New artists usually seek notoriety by signing with a major label. But the contracts often leave them with few rights to their music and little-to-no longterm earning power. In recent years, however, more and more artists have decided to buck signing with a label and pursue their independence, according to veteran music attorney Richard Grabel.
The best contract that Faiyaz and Baisden reviewed, for example, gave them 18 percent of the royalties — money paid by the record label to the artist for each time a song is played or purchased.
After scooping up a Grammy nomination for his performance on GoldLink’s “Crew,” Faiyaz and Baisden chose the indie route. They set up their own company, Lost Kids LLC, and invested $30,000 out of their own pockets for a debut album. Now, they use data from streaming platforms like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music to build their fan base. Knowing who plays Faiyaz’s music — and where — helped the duo sell out a tour across the United States and Europe.
Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News
Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com
Follow VICE News here:
More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo