The award-winning artist discussed the pitfalls of label advance loans with Steve Stoute.
Over the last two days, United Masters has hosted SelectCon over on Twitch. Steve Stoute's distribution company has helped artists reach new audiences, and today (April 29), Stoute sat down with Pharrell Williams to discuss various aspects of the industry. Throughout music history, there have been artists who have grown disenchanted with their record labels over money or contracts and even recently, well-known rappers have shared how they haven't received a penny from their labels.
One issue that many newly signed artists face is paying back their labels' advances that they received when they first inked their deals. Some of these artists haven't seen that many zeroes on a paycheck and don't understand that the cash isn't a gift and needs to be paid back. Stoute asked Pharrell what he thought of these dealings.
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"You shouldn't walk into a company and say, 'I'm gonna make this record.' They give you an advance then for the tenure of that, the entire time you're album's out, you're working to pay back that advance," said Pharrell in a clip of their conversation. Stoute interrupted and added, "It's illegal." Pharrell continued, "No bank gives a company a loan to start a company and walks away with the trademarks."
Stoute doubled down that it's against the law. Elsewhere, Pharrel said, "No one should own you. No one should own your actions. No one should own your creations. But you." Check out the clip of the conversation and let us know if you think label advances are helpful or harmful to an artist.