“Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” Prince told a group of journalists over the weekend at a rare meet and great at his Paisley Park studios in Minneapolis, according to NPR.
“I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.”
His biggest problem with record labels is that they take the control away from the artist, leaving them unable to make their own decisions about how their music is used. That, of course, segways perfectly into his decision to release music exclusively through Tidal.
Prince told the journalists that signing with Tidal allowed him to control how his music made money and also to direct the revenue to the right places. “Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” he said.
“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.”
The 57 year-old singer also outlined his dream scenario for artists whereby money from streaming services is paid directly to them rather than going through record labels first.
Prince has been a staunch defender of Tidal from almost day one, streaming concerts exclusively on the service and eventually pulling his music from all streaming services apart from Tidal. He’s released two songs from his new record so far, HARDROCKLOVER and Stare, with the latter first released on Tidal, only to appear on Spotify a week later.
As Consequence Of Sound points out, the often-controversial artist fought with his record label Warner Bros in the early ’90s, appearing with word “slave” written on his face several times. He’s since reconciled with them and agreed to re-release his back catalogue with the label last year.
HITNRUN is scheduled to appear on Tidal 7th September.
Listen: Prince – HARDROCKLOVER