The Nigerian music industry is growing bigger every year. This growth is due to the rapid emergence of artists and they owe this to their record labels. A record label basically connects the buying fans to a product (artiste). Starting a record is a long and not-so-difficult process. Here are some practical tips on how to start your own label.
1. Choose Your Business Structure and Label Name
Many indie labels skip this step, at least initially, but it is a good idea to have your record label set-up as a legal business entity from the start. You will need to be an actual, legal business if you want a business bank account or credit card, and it certainly makes tax time a lot more manageable. Likewise, if you are applying for business loans or other kinds of funding, you will need to be a legal business.
The names and specifics of various business frameworks differ from country to country, state to state and city to city (for example, sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc). You will need to spend a few hours with your computer or at the library to learn about the law in your area and to print up the forms you need to set up your company.
2. Get Your Label Licensed
A standard record label requires a license. Proper registration protects your label with legal authorization to run as a label. Registration of the name as a trademark also allows you to put the label logo on music records or sponsored events.
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3. Assembling your team
Without key figures in your label, you really do not have a company. The following positions need to be occupied by experienced personnel.
a. Legal affairs: Legal will handle the creation and dissolution of all binding documents. They will explain the meaning of terms, tell you the implications of your actions and help you design your contracts for you. They are your representation and will respond to any lawsuit or infringement.
b. PR/Publicity: They take care of your image-building and public welfare of all team members. They will create trends for you, and make sure stories about you reach Linda Ikeji. They manage your media profiles and also help you write replies. This team packages you against potentially disastrous career statements. PR hear things in and out if the industry, they are your eyes and ears.
c. Manager: The manager is the labels closest link with the artiste. He makes sure the artiste complies with the labels ideology and often takes the responsibility of sales and distribution (marketing). There can be other managerial positions like the business officer who handles bookkeeping, payroll, and financial records.
4. Setup A Recording Studio
A record label would be able to control cost when there is a standard studio for an artist. A standard studio requires a system [laptop or desktop], software for recording e.g. the Virtual Analog interface, headphones, headphone AMP, Di boxes, microphones, the audio interface for getting music in and out of the computer, snake cables, monitor isolation pads, studio monitors, cables, bass traps, diffusers, a DAW remote, a control surface, software plug-in, secondary monitors, uninterrupted power supply etc.. Before anyone can start up a successful Record label this steps should be taken into consideration.
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5. Sign Artistes
HR comes into play I’m this area. You need to have artistes if you’re going to run a label. HR should have a good musical ear. They will search for the artiste according to the specs in your policy. Some companies want Rap artistes some want those who do other genres.
6. Legal Advice for Artiste Agreements
Many small, indie labels write very simple contracts without consulting a lawyer, but if you’re not sure where to start, a lawyer can help you draw up a standard contract. Remember, though – you’re setting up a small label, so you want to keep it simple for yourself and your signings. Elaborate contracts are not necessary for your purposes here.