You may well not want to be signed to a label – either you want to stay fiercely independent or a music career isn’t why you’re making music.

But, it’s still the holy grail for many artists.

We repeatedly point out that if a sustainable career as a musician is your goal, you need to be doing the same things whether you want to be signed or want to be a diy artist – make music, promote it, build a fanbase and build a community of fans that will pay to support you. That’s what labels want to see these days – that you’ve done something to start the ball rolling. And, if they don’t sign you (or you don’t want to be signed) that same foundation is what you build on to take your diy career to whatever level you want.

So, take this article from Music Globalization in that spirit.

As an entertainment attorney my job is simple – help musicians. Sometimes helping involves revealing the bitter truth. Some bands want to gauge their industry success based on label partnerships. This is unrealistic. If you’re not signed with a label it means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but unfortunately many musicians equate a lack of label backing as failure. Instead of harping on the disappointment, groups need to understand the harsh realty at hand – labels pass for a reason. It’s these reasons which bands must understand, analyze, and apply towards their career advancement. The worst thing to do, yet the most common, is to begin blaming the surrounding cast. “Had our manager only done this……. Had our booking agent only booked us larger shows, etc…” Wrong. Listen to what the label executives tell you.

Read the whole post here.