How to Take Control of Your Intellectual Property
PRINCE, musician (via e-mail)
(Business 2.0) – New Power Generation—the name of your band, your website, your record label—is particularly fitting. How have you managed to gain so much power over the record industry where other stars have failed?
Career-wise there was a big turnaround when ALL the middle-men were replaced with oxygen. One of the things working in r favor is that NPG is self-contained. We produce r art, package and manufacture it with no cost whatsoever 2 the record companies. Thus they don't have 2 give us advances. They don't claim control or ownership of the product because they don't pay 4 anything. Everything is above the table now and the deal stays "clean." Hopefully. (laughs)
Does your NPGMusicClub.com site scare the labels?
We didn't create r Music Club 2 make other labels nervous. It was created out of necessity. We make a lot of music and needed a worldwide distribution service that works as fast as we do. Labels take a lot longer 2 "set-up" records (Never quite understood y).
U can get music from r club in the time it takes 2 open an emale. 4 once, eye have a distribution service that actually works FASTER than eye do. It's heaven 4 a musician who writes as much as eye do.
Is the industry changing because of this technology?
The industry is trying 2 change, but they r used 2 the old thinking. They still want 2 own the copyrights that they distribute, when in fact most of the label chiefs nowadays have never set foot in a recording studio, let alone know anything about producing hit records. They usually sign "producers" 2 work-4-hire contracts and "buy" the copyrights from them thru designer publishing deals. Most producers sign these deals so they can get some "rims" 4 their hummers. (laughs) That's one of the reasons y there is no concert business. Y pay hard-earned bread 2 c somebody who can't really reproduce what their "producer" did in the first place when u can c them 4 free on MTV?
How do you go about finding the good people on the business side—lawyers, managers, accountants?
U don't! (A good manager? Did u really ask that?...laughs even harder/ had 2 get tissue)
How can people stay true to their art and still succeed?
One of the best ways 2 succeed in the music business (IMHO) is 2 get ur spiritual base 2gether first. Most kids need 2 hone their decision-making skills first. "Y do eye want 2 make music?" "Do eye really have something 2 say or am eye just trying 2 get famous?" "How far would eye go 4 my dreams?" Kids 2day should leap-frog over stars of the "past." Do something NEW...say something that has NEVER been said b4! Challenge the current system 2 do better 4 its citizens!
Thanx 4 the rap. Peace. — P.S.