5 scams that unsigned artists must avoid


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Unfortunately there are bad people out there who see ambitious unsigned artists like you as something to be exploited and ripped off. These people are evil and you shouldn’t ever have anything to do with them. So here are a few tips on what to look out for before crying hard.


1. Pay up front to be represented

Managers and agents are paid by commission, in simple words, they only get paid if the artist they represent gets paid. So if someone says they want to represent you as your agent or manager, but that they first need to be paid in advance of doing anything, they are clearly not a manager or agent, but certainly a scam.


2. Pay to get connected with some persons in the industry

There are people out there who claim to be artistic agents or to know some, and dare to request you to pay to get you connected or even get a deal. These people are what are known as LIARS. Artistic agents are the people in labels who discover and sign new artists, working with them to help create and develop their career. They do not get paid by unsigned artists. Never. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply not a profesionnal. Real artistic agents find exciting new artists and in fact, it would make more sense that they help their artist financialy for prove their trust in their art than request money instead!


3. Buying tickets for a mystery unsigned artist promotion night

This is a scam that appears from time to time – unsigned artists are approached by a supposed promoter who has supposedly selected them to appear in a night of unsigned artists. What the artist has to do is buy tickets to guarantee his/her appearance, and he/she will never see the money again or hear any more about this supposed great gig. There are lots of nights out there for unsigned artists and you should absolutely be trying to appear on it, but make sure the gig is legit before getting involved.


4. Charges for playing live in concert

Gigging is an essential activity for almost all artists. It’s very important to not get ripped off in the process. Some venues may determine their fee based on how many fans you bring along, and there may be a minimum guarantee of tickets you have to sell. If that’s the case, once you pass that minimum you must have the ability to actually earn a share of the money from the sales you bring in. And that break-even point has to be completely clear. Think about what is realistic for you and what make you comfortable with.


5. If it sounds too good to be true…

Then it probably is. Building a successful music career is a long hard slog. The rewards can be varied and immense, but they have never come to anyone without lots and lots of hard work. So if someone is offering something that seems a little too easy, just too good to be true, be on your guard. And if they’re asking for your money up front, without the guarantee of anything, be even more careful. Being a successful musician is hard enough as it is, don’t make things harder for yourself by falling victim to a scam from a bad person.


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