Why I Never Signed With a Record Deal
OK, so when I was about 16, I had my first music audition to be included in a girl's pop group. I didn't know how to sing for shit even though I thought I could, LOL. My mom always supported my music career, so she allowed me to take a few days off of school and paid for me to fly to Santa Monica and audition for Columbia records. I was working with this older lady who was my manager, and she was managing her daughter, Who was in many movies, and she took me on as a client. I flew to LA to stay with them in Hollywood on Lankershim Boulevard. My manager Helen was to take me to the Columbia records audition and then to a town agency called cavalier associates to sign up as an actress.
It was around 7 PM, and Helen asked me if I was prepared for my audition. This was my first time performing in front of someone, so it was weird. I wasn't nervous; I was just more anxious to see how the setup was. So Helen and I pulled up to Columbia records, and it was a two-part building. Just so happens Jessica Simpson and J Lo are having a release party for their first album that they dropped. I could see through the glass window all of these men in suits And women dressed up. That was the first time I encountered the "Celebrity thing" that everyone always talks about when they go to Hollywood. Well, obviously, I didn't go in there because that's not what I was; therefore, LOL. So I went into the building across from where the event was. I walked into the office, and a white and black guy sat behind the piano. They told me to put my CD in the player, and then I performed. Got damn, I was horrible! I remember closing my eyes and singing; one of the guys was tapping their seat. I hear him, so I'm like, OK, great, they're enjoying this.
After that, I flew back home, and my manager tried to tell my mom that I should take the proficiency test, leave high school early, and live in Hollywood to audition for more labels and acting roles. So obviously, I didn't get the Columbia records gig, but it was a great experience; that's not why I never got signed! Once I moved from San Jose to Oakland, and I became Keldamuzik, that's when I started rapping.
I started to learn the ropes of the music industry on my own and became my manager and entrepreneur. I could obtain opportunities for myself due to my marketing and business background. I was functioning just like a management company/label, using different email addresses to correspond with promoters, event organizers, and DJs...And once I hit the jackpot and got myself booked in Tokyo, Japan, to open up for R&B singer Lloyd, I knew that anybody could play in this game if they had the gift of gab and the talent to go with it.
I had labels approach me at the time, but I did not want to pursue the deal because I was so successful on my own. I did not want to do the 360 agreement and be tied to a company that is collecting all of my earnings, and I'm just given A standard salary, possibly under 100,000. No way! And the thing is, there's no such thing as record labels like that anymore. It's like social media is a record label, and we build our teams to help market and manage ourselves as artists. So my point of all this is to any artists who are still chasing a deal, don't do it! Let them come to you. When they do, make sure they open their wallets! Haha... But you would rather have it that way because you know you've done something right when a label/investor approaches you. Build your promotion team. Everyone could wear multiple hats. It doesn't take much nowadays to become a success on the Internet and to blow up as an artist. Even if you're not famous, you're still making income off your music and have a loyal fan base online.