This article originally appeared on haulixdaily.com.
I've been involved in running a small record label based out of Boston for the better part of four years at this point, and I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything. I probably don't know half of everything there is to know about running a record label, but I do think I know a thing or two about music. I've been working in the industry in one way or another since I was 16, and I even have one of those fancy music business degrees you see promoted in the back of rock magazines. In just a few months, I will be 28, and I like to tell myself I have something to show for 12 years of long days that almost always turned into late nights, even if it is just an understanding of how the industry works.
This post could go in depth on how big labels operate, as well as the many factors that are considered before signing an artist that lie beyond the quality of their music, but that isn't the reality I know. The world I know is small and mid-size labels, often started out of bedrooms or dorms, that are run by people who are making records for no reason other than the desire to help further expose the artists they know and love. You can call these labels passion projects if you must, but if you understood the work involved, it probably wouldn't sound quite so glamorous. The financial return for running a label is honestly smaller than any other project I have been a part of, even though most our albums have sold incredibly well. People don't start a label to make money, though – or at least I didn't.