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<h1><a href="/" title="Derek Sivers">Derek Sivers</a></h1>
<div class="blogparent"><a href="/blog">Articles</a>:</div>
<h1>If I had a record label, would you be signed to it?</h1>
I never liked the idea of having a record label, because you’re too deeply invested into something you don’t <a href="/circles">control</a>.
So if I were to have a label, my decision of who to sign wouldn’t be decided just by the quality of the music.
There are plenty of people with great music but destructive work-habits or an unsustainable approach to their career.
To confidently invest in an artist (as a label), I’d want to see:
every song has been absolutely improved repeatedly — every note/syllable crafted to be the best it can be
vocal performance is not just perfect but striking
arrangement is everything it can be to bring out the song
arrangement offers a new idea to the world, and not just the usual paint-by-numbers
photos/image are striking and amazing, and capture the essense of the music
live show is so entertaining that even a deaf person would enjoy it
band has been around, recording and gigging, for at least two years
artist has done this for a few years and still believes that this is their real calling in life, regardless of external rewards (or total lack of)
band members don’t need unreasonable amounts of money to perform (can perform profitably)
band can entertain a crowd without props or big sound system (in-store appearances)
off-stage persona is sustainable (stamina, dealing with fans well, etc)
no addicts — to anything
a persistently healthy attitude to the immense amount of work it really takes to be successful at anything
And so you see why I’ll never have a label.
Who could possibly fit this list?
<img src="/images/jim.jpg" alt="Jim Morrison mug shot" />
© 2008 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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