There’s lots of perks that come with being a famous music artist.
Aside from being adorned pretty much wherever you go, you’ll have companies sending you free goodies & a fanbase that enables you to make money off the back of your music online. Team that with all the extra career doors that open up by being a famous musician, & it really does seem pretty great. However…
There are some things you need to know, before investing too much of your time competing for a fan’s attention. Because as much as there are plenty of positives, being a famous music artist doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Details that often get cast aside (or forgotten about), due to the average artist’s insatiable lust for the spotlight.
So STOP – here’s 8 things every artist needs to seriously consider, before trying to become a popular music artist…
FYI: If you’re a fan of insider information on the music industry, be sure to also go to this site, for more useful tips, once you’ve read this blog.
Risks that come with being famous in the music industry…
1. Security of your personal info
Being famous in pretty much any regard increases the risks to your personal information. However in the music industry, where artists get advances of several hundred thousand (if not millions) & flex their lavish lifestyle online, you automatically become a prime target. So if you want to minimise your chances of being victim to identity fraud of data phishing scams, be sure to…
- Form a company – Do this & you’ll be able to prevent details like your personal address & name from being published on Trademark directories or related business sites. You’ll also be able to use your business name for any contracts, opposed to your personal name, which minimises the chance of your data being leaked.
- Have separate emails – Sounds simple, but by having 2 separate email addresses (1 for business & another that’s personal), you can straight away lower the chances of your data being phished by hackers. If you want to be really secure, then you can even create separate emails for banking & other sensitive data, so that way your public facing email doesn’t contain much sensitive information.
2. You lose out to the tax man
On the topic of setting yourself up for success in the music business, forming a company also doubles as a great money-saver.
Make money as a LTD company/ LLC opposed to a sole trader, & you receive significantly more tax benefits. All of which you can use to help lower your tax bill & increase your overall profit – i.e. ensure you don’t lose out to the tax man! Do this from the start & not only could you save yourself serious amounts of cash, but you could potentially even sell the business on at a later date, should you want to free up some capital.
In other words, you turn your music career into a saleable asset.
3. Your record deal contains a death clause
Unfortunately, this is as sinister as it sounds.
A death clause is a specific clause that’s woven into record contracts by a record label to cover them in the case of the artist’s death. A clause that on the surface seems pretty reasonable. The label invests money into you, so if you were to die they would (in effect) be losing out. However…
In the everyday job, this insurance payout would be used to cover the cost of finding your replacement. So in most cases, this would be the cost of the average salary. Whereas, with music artists typically having a net worth far above that of the average worker – sometimes in the 10s of millions – this clause can also double as an incentive to record labels.
Kill you off ‘accidentally’ & they receive a giant payout.
PS/ It’s this clause which is believed to be the reason behind the ‘accidental’ deaths of artists like; Prince, Whitney Houston & even Michael Jackson!
4. Being followed/ stalked by fans
As you’re probably well aware, fans can go slightly crazy. Something that can be slightly daunting as a music artist, especially if you’re new to fame.
Take rapper, Silento – the MC behind the viral tune ‘whip nae nae’. He was caught by the cops driving at over 140mph away from a gig, in fear that he may get followed by fans. Exactly why shielding the identity of your car is also so important. If fans know this, then they can tail you out & about when you least expect it, let alone after a show.
It’s this which is why a lot of artists use Ubers to get to & from shows. That way, the chances of them being spotted out & about are far slimmer.
5. Record labels will be out to screw you more than anyone
Looking at some of the world’s biggest stars, you’d imagine they’ve all made it.
In fact, the majority of the artists you see today (even those in the charts) are financially speaking, poorer than you. As a famous rapper once said; “If you have $0 in the bank & a stable job, you’re probably richer than your famous rapper’. Something that all comes back to record labels.
When an artist signs with a label, they give them a chunk of money known as an advance. Money that appears to the unsuspecting artist to be lump of free cash. However, it’s really just a loan – one that record labels give an artist to help them make their music. And just like all loans, an advance needs to be paid back… with interest.
Team that with the fact that artists on labels are lucky to see a 20% of all the profits from their music (especially those on 360 deals), & you can soon get a sense of where this is going. If you even begin to get famous as an artist, music labels will offer you all the money in the world, in hope of tying you into a crappy deal.
In other words, you’ll be a prime target.
6. The media pries into your past –
The claws of the media can get sunken into anyone.
However, as a famous face, your past is likely to be a prime target. That’s because with fame, comes attention, and attention for media companies means cash. That’s their entire business model – jump on what’s hot to make money. So if you’re what’s hot, then you need to be cautious.
This is where you need to be very careful of who you have around you. The media is no stranger to offering people silly amounts of money for a headline, which is why we always suggest monitoring your social circle. Especially into today’s viral age, one headline can ruin your entire career.
7. The internet serves as a permanent record
In connection with the point above, the internet is a permanent resource.
So it’s important that any music artist who’s in the spotlight is on their best behavior – i.e. careful about how they act. Because as much as fame might seem lawless, it’s actually anything but. With it, comes both responsibility & accountability.
Both things you need to bear in mind when putting anything out there on the internet. And that itself could be anything, from what you say in a podcast, to your political views or how you dress. Plus, with all these media articles & your music being out there basically forever, it’s highly likely that your children may also come across it at some point; in some cases, content on the internet can even be used in a court of law!
Exactly why you cannot let fame go to your head – do so & thanks to the internet, it could well haunt you forever.
8. Your relationship will be put to the test –
If you think your relationship is looking a bit shaky before you’re famous, then good luck.
Because out of anything on the planet, fame is arguably the biggest test for any relationship, due to the sheer amount of pressure that comes bundled along with it. Become a famous music artist & not only do you have the pressure to perform, as well as countless financial pressures, but there’s also all the pressure which that puts on your relationship.
And just to clarify, this doesn’t have to be romantic. Being away on tour + late nights in the studio soon add up, & they can lead to your having to limit the time you spend with loved ones. After all, there’s only so much time in the day.
So should you be on the brink of fame, it may be wise to assess whether you can maintain a strong work life balance. And if not – make the decision to put certain aspects of your life on pause.