One of music’s most popular artists has an interesting take on record deals: “I’m gonna say the word — slavery,” said Prince, according to NPR. “I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.”
The comments came in a small meeting with reporters, who were not allowed to record the event. Prince objects to record company contracts as they give artists little control over where their music is distributed, and the revenue from new distribution deals, according to NPR’s report.
Prince recently pulled his music from all streaming services except Tidal, and announced that he’d release his next album solely with Jay Z’s streaming service.
His move to Tidal is based on the company’s promise to let artists do what they want to do, and follow their own dreams for their career.
“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” Prince said. “Jay Z spent $US100 million of his own money to build his own service.”
He added, “We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”
Prince also stated that he thinks streaming services should restructure how they pay artists. He wants them to pay musicians directly so other factors such as record labels don’t get a share.
Prince’s move to Tidal comes at a time when the company is seriously struggling. But if the service can get to get more artists to pledge their sole allegiance, it could be a game changer.
It will be interesting if more artists will move to Tidal and other streaming platforms to gain freedom. While the freedom might be good for specific artists, it would force consumers to chose which streaming service to get a membership with, and they would therefore miss out on tons of service-exclusive music.
Prince’s next album, “HITNRUN” will be available exclusively on Tidal Sept. 7.