We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Record Label Quotes from Katy Perry, Keren Woodward, Young Dolph, Tony Wilson, Scott Borchetta. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
At my second record label, they told me and other female artists that some of us were going on the chopping block. I was 19… and it was devastating.
We were all friends who formed a band. We weren’t auditioned or put together by a record label, management company or TV show.
I got a record label and I got a couple artists signed. All of them got real-deal.
We had a heroic attitude to artistic freedom, and we thought normal contracts were a bit vulgar – somehow not punk. But that was the whole point – we weren’t a regular record label.
In 1985, I went to work for MTM Records, Mary Tyler Moore’s Nashville record label, and stayed three years. After that, I spent two years as an independent promoter, then worked for MCA Nashville Records, DreamWorks Nashville, and Universal Music Nashville.
I have no friends here apart from the dudes at my record label, and I didn’t go to school with no one. Nobody knows me – I’m incognito. It’s all new, all fun.
If you have good songs and a real desire to make music, the next thing to do, instead of approach record companies, is to get yourself a really good manager because then it allows you to focus on your profession of being a musician. Then they can focus on the darker art of the record label and the music industry.
I’d done recordings, little demos, since I was in college, which I used to get gigs. But I never thought I’d have a record label.
At 18, I finally came into a relationship with a record label. My family got back on its feet. I was happy.
I had heard all the rumors and controversy swirling about the ‘In Utero’ recordings – there was a lot of, ‘Oh, the record label hates it,’ it was going to ruin the band, that kind of stuff.
I went from the most underground band in the world to signing with Madonna’s producer and a record label that is extremely mainstream – it was interesting.
All of my songwriting success happened within a four month time span, and my record label deal happened within the next three months.
When I first came to New York I was a dancer, and a French record label offered me a recording contract and I had to go to Paris to do it. So I went there and that’s how I really got into the music business. But I didn’t like what I was doing when I got there, so I left, and I never did a record there.
I’ve made sure that in any situation and with any record label, I’m allowed to write my own music.
I’ve never conformed to what my record label has said and, yes, that has meant that it’s been a long journey for me.
I’ve started my own record label – Jeepney Music – and I want to put out my own stuff and also stuff by other Filipino artists.
It’s not like I’m taking 20 grand from the shows. I mean there’s no record label, so this is a genuine thing. And I think most people can see that. I think that anyone who knows me, knows I do things with integrity.
So, as I step out and take these first steps on this journey to do my own thing, I didn’t want to have to get anybody’s approval on anything. I didn’t want to have to ask a record label ‘Is this okay for the album cover? What time do you think I should go on tour this year?’
I should be the one to say what I do. It’s just not done that way anymore in Nashville, and I can’t do it the other way. That’s how our record label came about.
Anyone who’s an executive at a record label does not understand what the Internet is, how it works, how people use it, how fans and consumers interact – no idea. I’m surprised they know how to use e-mail.
I still stand behind the stuff I did early on, but I was on a record label, and I didn’t have a lot of creative control. Another side of that is just being young and having bad taste. There was plenty of that, too.
Singing is my favorite thing to do. One day, I hope to get signed to a record label.
My allegiance was always to the act. I wanted them to be happy. I wasn’t owned by a magazine or a record label. And I was a very naughty boy to boot!
If you are the record label who owns Lady Gaga, and you have a new artist coming up, you can say, ‘Let’s have the artist play just before Gaga.’ Now you’ve exposed the huge Gaga audience to the new artist. It’s similar to showing a trailer before a movie. The hit creates a hit.
I just think that any person who wants music to be their career shouldn’t focus on a record label. I have seen friends who sign to a label too early in their career, and they lost control over their music, and their releases were delayed or never put out.
Heath Ledger was supposed to put our album on what would have been a new record label. I still feel a little dead after losing him.
The record label used to try and make us do stuff, like dance, and we’d say, nah, not doing that.
I wanted to first build a platform and then use it to shine a light on music/people that I believe in. This record label is for people across all corners of the world, to showcase all genres of music.
Being in a band is very much like a startup. You start in a garage. You hope to get interest from investors, like a major record label.
We believe that the Internet is the live concert promoters best friend although it might have crippled the record label business.
I know a lot of people who jumped into a record label right away, dropped an album, and then nothing happened for them. Build your fan base first, and follow your gut.
However, the radio and national media depend much more on the hype from a good record label, and from a ‘ buzz ‘ about a band, then from just one or two good shows. There are a lot of artists that have a ton of good press going for them, and still do not make it big in the US.
I miss how a record label can help spread the word that you have something out.
If you ever want to know why I’m not on a record label, look at ‘The X Factor!’ Honestly, of all the people that strive to break barriers in music and do good things and write great lyrics, not one of them would ever pass the first round on any of these competitions.
I have an independent record label called Favored Nations on which I released an album by an artist called Johnny A, who plays an arch top Gibson through a Marshall, but the tone is all in his fingers.
When you find fame, or you get signed to a record label, it’s not what you imagined – because you imagined they would have 100 percent trust or faith in you as an artist. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case – it’s what sells.
There’s this idea of a star, and this person is very aloof and writes all the music, and they don’t talk to anyone unless they go through the record label. And I always felt very uncomfortable about that.
There’s a Nina Simone record that I love, ‘Live at Vine Street,’ and she sings flat on it. I can imagine she might’ve told the record label, ‘Oh, God, you’re not releasing that!’ But I’m glad they did.
You can now be a master of your own destiny. I’m not sure why you would sign up with a record label.
I’m running my own business, my own record label, so I’m always dealing with heavy amounts of stress.
Obviously, as the music business has suffered tremendously, with being able to illegally download everything, it’s also become amazingly easy to find new bands, because everyone can put their stuff online. Even if you can’t find a record label, you can find these awesome bands, all over the world.
I certainly don’t want to be a record label guy.
My favorite record label of all time is Motown. That era of music was my favorite.
Friends of friends had bands in college or in their early 20s and had a moment where they had some kind of interest from a record label or manager. It’s always interesting how people handle those decisions and those moments.
At some of my earliest shows, we used to roll up 20 deep – if my mates can’t come in, I can’t come in. My record label couldn’t understand it: plus-19 on the guestlist?! But that was how it was. Over the years – as it is with everyone, but amplified from being in the public – it’s got smaller and smaller.
I want to invest and have my own record label and artists. I want to have a business where my kids, kids, kids will still have something going on long after I’m gone.
I’d been doing my own thing, and making my own money; I wasn’t built by a record label or the music industry, nor was I built by prominent artists that have given me co-signs.
Remember the Stax label and how if you liked one record, you liked all the others as well? You don’t talk to a lot of people who tell you how much they love their record label. I don’t care how many records they sell.
I’ve been doing my record label for 15 years called Dim Mak. I started my label when I was 19 in ’96. I started putting out an eclectic roster of artists. In 2003, we found a band called Bloc Party, and in 2004, we started getting remixes for Bloc Party, and at the same time I was throwing Dim Mak parties in Los Angeles.
After performing in various bands, my big break came when I signed for the record label CBS. I had a couple of hits, then my third single, ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat,’ reached No 1 in 1983.
After we wrote The Wreckoning, our record label did listen.
My record label is treating me like I’m a new artist, which is exciting after all this time.
I don’t get involved in record label politics.
You no longer have to have a big record label behind you and have to kowtow to the politics that enabled you to get there. You can be a phenomenal artist and put your stuff out there on YouTube and find yourself becoming a star.
I did my first album with my own record label.
With the Beatles, we’d been very spoiled because we had George Martin who worked for the record label we were going to be signed to. That was very fortunate, because we grew together.
When I first started out in the music industry and went to Elektra Records, I didn’t go to be an artist, I went to get a record label started. And they said in order to have a label deal, I had to be an artist – so that’s what I did.
I made this record without a record label.
I remember when I first came out as an artist, back in 2004 or 2005, the record label used to take me to all the radio stations and just have me sit in, like, their lunchroom or their conference room, and play for the whole staff. Just to introduce them to me so they would play my records.
When you’re 17 and a record label says, ‘Hey, do pop,’ you listen.
You can be more creative when you’re not feeling like a slave. When you’re on a record label, they have you like that.
If I was rich enough, I would love to launch my own record label. I would love to try and give all my musically talented friends a start in the industry.
I learned how to take other people’s mechanisms of promoting their stuff through me as opposed to promoting my own stuff, as far as getting Snoop DeVilles, SnoopDeGrills, Snoop Doggy Dogg biscuits, Snoop Dogg record label, Snoop Dogg bubble gum, Snoop Youth Football League.
My father was the first entrepreneur in the family. He started his own record label, his own restaurant. He knew that, in order to give something back to the people, he had to create.
I figured it out at a young age: I could meet as many young people online and try to form my own family or my own record label group.
If you’re making a film about a band or a songwriter or whomever, there’s a publisher, there’s a record label, and there are people who are vested interests in that film. But with back-up singers, because they did stuff for everybody, there’s no one party that has any vested interest in seeing the story told.
I used to be brave. In the past, I’ve opened a restaurant, had a record label, had my daughter and it was go, go, go with all of these.
So you have to just be really careful and make sure that when a deal comes along, that it’s like the right deal for you… not necessarily the most money, because you have to pay the record label that back in like record sales and stuff.
I wanted to raise my kids to be strong, independent and follow their dreams and be themselves and make choices based on what they want not what the press, management or a record label or I don’t care who it is… you stick to what you want and you be who you are and be proud of it.
I’m lucky enough to exist in 2018, where I have a record label that’s like, ‘Write whatever you want to write.’ I don’t have to hide anything.
Well, we were originally called Huey Lewis and the American Express. But on the eve of the release of our first record, our record label, Chrysalis Records was afraid that we’d be sued by American Express.
I think I’m a living embodiment of, ‘Don’t try to push me around or squash me,’ whether its how I talk to a record label or in my relationships.
Unless you’ve given up your business to a record label, there’s no such thing as just being a musician anymore.
Finally I’d found this way where I didn’t need a record label; I didn’t need to wait for some phone call to tell me, ‘Go and do it’. It’s like, I’m going to get up with a bag of CDs and an amp and my guitar and make it happen for myself. That was such a liberating feeling, and I think it was the start of everything.
When you don’t have a record label and you have been on your own as we have, you can look at all these other ways you can get in touch with other people and get music out there again.
Shoot, there’s a committee to tell you everything at a record label. You definitely have to know who you are if you want to look like you at the end of the process. We’ve all seen people get record contracts, and by the time they’re spit out by the machine, we don’t even recognize them.
A record is a commodity, but so is a hamburger. Just because I work at McDonald’s doesn’t mean I reap the benefits of that commodity. That’s the reality with most artists in the record industry: They’re getting paid a subsistence wage so they can keep producing a commodity for the record label.
My record label dropped me, and I’d been spending way too much money.
I’ve always had a love for poetry and when I got signed to a record label I thought, ‘How odd that I’m doing a record before a book of poetry,’
I’m developing artists for my new record label, my son’s band, Intangible, being one of them.
I’ve been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long… I was like, ‘Let’s do it for ourselves.’ All these songs, we’ve travelled the world – no record label, nothing. We just did this for us, but the love is very appreciated.
I once worked at a record label called London Records. The company was owned by Roger Ames, one of the most successful figures in the British music industry. Roger always placed a value on loafing, on holidays, on not being in the office all the time.
When I got my first email from a record label, I decided I didn’t want to go in with just one song, so I sat down and kept on writing.
I just have so much love for my record label.
Leaving your old record label doesn’t have to be a stall in your career. It’s like new life being breathed into it.
I have a day job Monday to Friday. I work at a record label in Brooklyn called Ba Da Bing. It’s a great indie label and I listen to music all day. I meet people online and find out about the cool new music blogs.
When Alcatrazz played in Japan in early ’84, the record label offered me the opportunity to do a solo album while continuing to play in the band. I wanted the whole album to have vocals, but the record company didn’t want that. Initially, the album was released solely in Japan.
Commercial success still hasn’t come to an artist that isn’t signed to a record label. There are very few artists that can succeed without the help of a record label. The role of the record label is still required, it’s still necessary.