Don’t sign to a major label — they’re dying, Radiohead



Yorke, 41, who made his fortune from six albums recorded with EMI, has told talented young musicians to make it on their own without the help of massive recording contracts.

He offers the pessimistic advice in a rare interview for a new school textbook in which he is asked what advice he would give teenagers who wanted to make a difference with their music.

Yorke claims the mainstream music industry is dying and that this will be “no great loss to the world” before telling aspiring musicians not to tie themselves to the “sinking ship”.

Yorke suggests it will be “only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds”. After recording six albums with EMI, Radiohead split acrimoniously from the label when they failed to agree new terms.

In 2007, the band released their seventh album, In Rainbows, as an internet download for which fans could pay whatever they felt was appropriate.

Yorke was speaking to the authors of a new textbook for citizenship studies, The Rax Active Citizenship Toolkit, which aims to inspire young people to become more politically literate.

EMI’s new executive chairman today claimed the label was on a “firm foundation for growth” despite its debts. Charles Allen said EMI, which owes its bank, Citigroup, about £3 billion, has more than trebled cash generation at its recorded music division.




I’d say the biggest challenge for any start-up artist would be producing songs people would love to hear. :iagree:

The second biggest challenge would be to get it played on a popular radio station, although I’d imagine if the song sounds great, the station will likely play it if it means the DJ knows its listeners will stay tuned in. Alternatively, get it distributed by P2P, get fans to share it with friends, etc.

As new listeners hear it, those interested will go looking to get the song. Once the artist builds up a decent fan base such as via its website, then it’s time to make money with a combination of website ad-revenue, donations and public performances and gradually work up to concerts.