Mr. Lexx’s grievances with the largest independent label and distributor of Caribbean music, VP Records, has finally subsided after the entertainer took to social media to share that he had a successful meeting with the organization’s CEO, Chris Chin.
Two days ago, Lexx thrashed the record label for what he classified as shady and conniving tactics pertaining to the label owning 145 of his songs.
“How cruel is this? VP records is telling me they own the publishing for 145 of my songs for the rest of my life. Imagine the countless artists they did this to. Imagine how much artists died without a cent in their account and VP still collects their cheques. How is this legal?” Mr. Lexx questioned.
Urban Islandz spoke to Natasha Von Castle, The Communications Director for VP Records, who explained that the label had done nothing wrong and Mr. Lexx needed to revisit his contract to confirm just what he signed to.
“I just think he really needs to review his contract and understand what publishing is. I think that’s where a lot of these artistes don’t fully understand what they are signing. Your publishing is your publishing. I believe he was signed to Greensleeves, so when VP Records acquired Greensleeves we then acquired the catalog of many of these artistes. At no point in time are we taking advantage of them. At no point in time are we trying to harm them or put them in a negative position, but at the same time I think that it’s our responsibility to understand how these contracts work,” stated Von Castle.
While questioning Mr. Lexx’s decision to air his issues on social media, she also explained the benefits of being signed to a label.
“He will come to understand how his career as benefited by VP Records being involved, for example, music placement, whether it be in television shows or movies. These are some of the benefits an artiste has when they are signed to a label, not saying it cannot happen independently but I am saying that we have resources to make it happen a little bit easier, a little bit faster and all of those things.”
The deejay, who has been making music for over two decades, recently expressed that both parties are now happy following their impromptu meeting.
“Today (Monday) I had a meeting with CEO of VP records Chris Chin who personally contacted me and tho I can’t mention in detail everything discussed I am happy to say we came an agreement which I’m comfortable and with that want really reach the up coming artists when being…. …. approach with contacts ensure they have legal representation before signing anything,” he wrote on Twitter.
Both Mr. Lexx and VP Records were tight-lipped about details concerning the new deal/renegotiations when contacted by Urban Islandz.
…. approach with contacts ensure they have legal representation before signing anything.
— Mr Lexx (@therealmrlexx) May 25, 2021
Recent technological trends have made it easier for entertainers to showcase their talents to the world. This has also resulted in more entertainers choosing to form their own labels versus being signed to an already established company. There have been grumblings of record companies simply profiting off the work done by entertainers without providing any real assistance. While all publishing deals are not the same, it usually involves the entertainer allotting full or part ownership of their intellectual work to the company for a share of the royalties.
The benefits of a publishing deal to fledgling entertainers include stronger connections with studios and industry executives, assistance with funding high-quality demos and recordings, writing/creative assistance, and cash advances. Sadly, not many entertainers review their contracts in detail to properly understand just how labels recoup their initial investment.
Von Castle is urging entertainers to ensure they analyze contracts with a fine-tooth comb and to seek legal counsel if they are unsure of jargon and complex clauses.
When questioned if VP Records had any strategies to combat the increase in entertainers choosing to go independent, she said, “We believe in artistic expression, and however artistes want to express themselves that is how they should express themselves,” and as such, there is no push to ensure more entertainers are signed.