By Ava Carroll
Who hasn’t dreamed of being a major international recording star? All you’ve got to do is write the songs, perform them, and the money will follow. Right? It’s a bit trickier than you think. Because you can’t be everywhere at once, wherever people listen to music, you’ll have to record your songs, which requires a record label. Most artists make their first deals when they aren’t popular and well known, and probably would be thankful for any deal.
Though it doesn’t always work out. A master is an official term for a master recording of an artist’s song, and most of the time, the label owns the recordings and agrees to support and promote the artist. The recent disagreement between Taylor Swift and her label, Big Machine Records, shows that controlling your creative output is harder than it looks.
When Taylor Swift was fifteen, she signed a recording deal for six albums. After releasing her sixth album, Reputation, the now mega-successful and hugely wealthy Taylor Swift made a brand new deal with a different company where she would own all her own future masters. Taylor had tried for many years to buy back the masters to her original six albums, but unfortunately, her previous recordings were sold without consulting her. To raise awareness for newer artists to be cautious when negotiating deals, Taylor has shared with the public that she is re-recording her old songs and albums, to receive new masters that she alone will own. This will give her complete control of her artistic creations.
As Taylor Swift herself said, “You deserve to own the art you make.”