Once you’re signed, the label will hook you up with producers and songwriters to get your single made, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you’re working with a team of people who understand your artistic vision and your “brand,” this could be awesome. However, if you’re stuck at a label that simply want to churn out “hits,” you might find yourself creating music the same way you create ads — with a committee.

“When I came in for my first [writing] session, the other guys were already clustered around the table, listening to the melody they’d picked out and trying to figure out what sort of song should go with it,” Spose wrote. “Finally Mike [Caren] said, ‘You gotta make it about a party … a party you, like, filmed. You filmed all these chicks! And the hook can be…and I got it on caaamera.’ They started getting deeper and deeper into brainstorming this song. Then I pointed out that this wasn’t at all the kind of music I did.”

Labels do this because they want a guaranteed hit, which brings us to the next point…

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