Prince Compares Record Labels To “Slavery.” Will Release New Album Exclusively On Tidal
During a meeting with 10 hand-picked journalists at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis, Minn., Prince likened record contracts to “slavery.”
Prince: “Record Contracts Are Like … Slavery”
Prince invited journalists to discuss the modern music industry — and had some very rough words to say about it. “Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word — slavery,” he declared, adding a piece of advice for young artists: “don’t sign.”
Prince’s statements appear to reference the fact that many artists claim they are indebted to their record labels and see very little of the millions in profit they generate for big studio labels. It makes sense for Prince to position himself against record labels since he recently announced his next album HitNRun will be available on Sep. 7 exclusively on Tidal, a streaming platform founded by Jay Z. Tidal aims at treating the artists fairly, offering them a primordial place in the redistribution of the money earned from sales and streams of their music. Prince also said that artists loose control over their music and their careers when they sign on a record label.
“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” he said of Tidal. “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”
This is the same reasoning Prince used when he removed all of his content from Spotify — following in Taylor Swift‘s footsteps — and gave Tidal the exclusive rights to stream his music.
Back in 2007, Prince had filed lawsuits against websites that were streaming his music, including YouTube, eBay, and The Pirate Bay. Prince declared wanting to “reclaim the internet.”
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the artist also debuted two new songs at his press conference, “Million Dollar Show” and “Shut It Down.” Prince previously released a song called “HARDROCKLOVER” last month on SoundCloud.