For his final installment of Artist of the Week, M. Rivers reflects on the beginning of his career and what he wished he would have done differently. Check it out below:
Early in my career, I Signed a record deal to Epic Records in New York, the industry-wide decline in sales had just begun and no one saw what was coming. I was on a roster with over 100 signed artists and had a massive recording budget. This was before 360 deals, so I kept all of my touring and merch revenue, but I gave up the masters along with the hope of ever recouping. I was still developing as an artist and things were rushed. I had an unexperienced manager who had no skin in the game. I had a very young agent who wasn’t really a fan of music but rather a fan of the hustle. So much bullshit surrounded me and I bought it. My A&R person told me to start thinking about what countries I’d like to buy my second and third houses in. I went to all the parties, hung out and schmoozed with celebrities, and I admit it was fun as hell. All anyone could talk about was writing a hit and doing everything you could and working with whoever you could to make one. Doesn’t matter how you got there, and who you have to pay to get there, the big labels have mafia like ways to make things happen. I tried to make something honest and great but wasn’t ready and the pushers weren’t waiting.
Sony merged with BMG and after being sold so many promises of work and success, I was hung out to dry for two years and eventually shelved. My reflection is this; I wish is was more present at that time. I would have aimed to have a greater understanding of the business and the people I surrounded myself with while concentrating on making something great. Lucky for me, I’m not dead yet.
Check out his album, Champion, below!