When a big record label comes calling, it’s hard for emerging artists to resist the lure of being signed.

But, as good as it may look to you, there are good reasons to rein in your excitement. Do some research before you sign on the dotted line.

3 Reasons That Record Deal Might Not Be Right for You

Many indie artists with unique sounds and a strong fan base end up being scrutinized by big record labels.

And, while it’s certainly validating, it might not be the right move for your musical career. Here are three reasons why making the jump to a big label might hurt more than it helps.

  1. You Don’t Know Your Worth Yet

Recently, rap artist Lil Pump voided his Warner Bros. contract — a $350,000 cash advance on $500,000 plus 15% of sales from five required albums plus associated merch — because he signed while a minor.

And good thing, too, because “Gucci Gang,” his hit single, charted to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, bringing Lil Pump signing offers in the millions.

Ultimately, he re-signed with Warner at a price tag of $8 million, but this story could have had a very different ending if he’d been a little older when signing the deal.

  1. You Might Have to Compromise Your Genius

You know that unique sound that makes your music, well, yours? That’s probably not going to cut it for the generic swath of population the record company is appealing to.

They want songs in the Billboard Top 100, and that means sounding like most of the other pop songs out there. And, if you’re under contract, they can change your tune.

  1. It’s Not a Sure Thing

You may think getting signed is your ticket to fame, but one in every 42 signed acts gets shelved — meaning they never get to put out that first album.

That happens for a variety of reasons, including label mergers, acquisitions, and failures. Either way, you end up back where you started, but without the momentum you’d built on your own.

When Staying Indie Makes Sense

When you have a one-of-a-kind sound that’s winning fans and making you happy, nurturing your creativity and managing your own career can make for a happier ending than a pie-in-the-sky record contract.

Record companies have profit — their own profit — as their bottom line and they’ll sacrifice anything to get it.

As an indie artist, you have the final say about your music — and your career.

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