fbpx

What Every Artist and Creator Needs to Know Before Signing Contracts

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Listen to this episode:

Powered by RedCircle

 

This week’s special guest on Trapital is entertainment lawyer Karl Fowlkes. As part of his own The Fowlkes Firm, Karl represents entertainers across many domains — from music to sports to media, including hip-hop’s rising star, Blxst. He pulled double duty, not only appearing on the podcast, but guest-writing for the newsletter about the need for the artist contract to evolve.

 

In particular, Karl predicts shared equity between not only artists and record labels, but also with other parties like distributors or fintech companies. The days of record labels having 100-percent ownership of an artists’ masters could slowly be phased out over the next decade in favor of a split much more friendly toward the artist.

 

Karl also has advice for an artist, or any content creator for that matter, signing a new contract — LOMO. The acronym stands for length, obligation, money, and ownership. These are the top-line items creators should prioritize when inking deals, according to Karl. 

 

Karl has a ton more insights into how artists and creators can maximize their long term value, plus how deals will change in the near and distant future. Here’s everything we covered during our interview:

 

[4:13] The Future Of The Artist Deal

[5:50] Changes With Major Record Labels

[7:36] Will Record Labels Exist In 10-20 Years?

[11:20] Artists Wanting A Partnership, Not Signing 

[15:50] Karl’s Advice To All Content Creators Signing Contracts

[19:18] The Issue With Music Royalties

[22:42] The Hip-Hop “Middle Class”

[24:47] Building EVGLE Brand Alongside Blxst

[25:08] Blxst Partnership Status With “Major” Labels

 

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS

 

Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co

 

Guest: Karl Fowlkes, @esqfowlkes, Fowlkes Firm

 

Enjoy this podcast? Rate and review the podcast here! ratethispodcast.com/trapital

 

Trapital is home for the business of hip-hop. Gain the latest insights from hip-hop’s biggest players by reading Trapital’s free weekly memo

TRANSCRIPTION

 

 

[00:00:00] Karl Fowlkes If you’re making $20,000 to $30,000 a month off music. I mean, damn, that’s pretty, you know, that’s solid money. No, that’s nothing to shirk off. And some of these people, if they were independent, they might not be the global superstars that they are, they might be a little bit more in control, they might have less obligations, and they might still be able to put out the music that they want to put out. And all that stuff sort of creates sort of a concoction of, man, and maybe I will be happier, maybe I wouldn’t have to get fake teeth, get a bunch of gold chains. I wouldn’t have to do that because I’m living a lifestyle that’s conducive for long-term success. 

 

[00:00:38]  Dan Runcie Hey, welcome to The Trapital podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Trapital, Dan Runcie. This podcast is your place to gain insights from executives in music, media, entertainment, and more, who are taking hip-hop culture to the next level. 

 

[00:00:58] Dan Runcie Today’s episode is all about the deals that artists sign. There are so many more options and ways that artists can level up and types of companies that they can partner with. It’s no longer just the record labels. There’s alternative finance options, their distribution platforms, and more. And I broke this down today with my friend and well-respected entertainment attorney, Karl Fowlkes. And he runs an entertainment practice called The Fowlkes Firm where he represents artists like Blxst, producers, entertainers, athletes, and more. 

 

[00:01:30]  Dan Runcie So I talked to Karl about his experience with this and what he sees as the future landscape. And Karl has this phrase that I think he needs to trademark, he has this phrase called LOMO, which is focused on the four key elements that artists should be focusing on when they’re signing deals. The important thing about LOMO. And more broadly, this conversation is that this doesn’t just apply to artists, look at all the different types of creators right now. There’s so many deals that they’re doing, there’s so many opportunities from different companies that want to partner with them. And whenever those things happen, there are more and more contracts that aren’t always set up in the easiest way for you to be able to understand and break this down. So we talked about that and where things are heading and how it really is shifting to a place where artists aren’t just giving the keys to a big corporation to handle everything. Let’s have them, build the businesses around themselves, partner with the different companies to fill in the different roles you need, and build up from there. This was a great conversation. I think it’s really insightful for all the creators out there. So I hope you enjoy it. Here’s my chat with Karl Fowlkes. All right, today, we got Karl Fowlkes with us who’s back on the podcast from The Fowlkes Firm, you represent Blxst and a bunch of other artists. But we’re here to talk about this guest piece that you wrote for Trapital, a really great piece about the future of the artists deal. So let’s start at the top. Why did you want to write this piece?

 

[00:02:56] Karl Fowlkes  I think right now, you know, historically, there’s, there’s been a few players. And those few players are really just record labels. So it kind of pigeonholes what the what the deal is going to look like, you know, now, there’s so many different players out there. Technologies is infused all through the music industry. So there’s, you know, there’s distributors, there’s advanced companies, right, they’re just trying to like, you know, model what they can give you based on streaming algorithms, you know, companies like beatBread, for example. And then you still got those major labels, they’re sort of offering a lot of those services. So the landscape is so different, I think, because there’s so many different parties and so many different solutions. I think the deal has to change with the times that we’re in. And oftentimes, you know, what I’m seeing, you know, I’m not seeing, you know, those changed deal terms. And, you know, I just think it’s something that we need to get ahead of.

 

[00:03:48] Dan Runcie  Yeah. And I feel like now you’re hearing more than ever, people talk about ownership artists, whether or not they may have enough behind it, want to make sure that they’re owning everything when they’re coming to try to negotiate contracts. Do you feel like that’s shifted the landscape? I mean, I feel like it’s definitely improved the conversation around it, but do you feel like that’s actually having an impact on the deals that are being made?

 

[00:04:13] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, and it’s been quite effective. You know, I think most people who are in my position, you know, doing deals on the attorney side are seeing contracts that, especially if there’s any built-up leverage that almost exclusively, you know, have a license period, right? So instead of the full transfer of ownership or work-for-hire language I’ve seen in the past, I’m seeing a lot more 20-year licenses, 25-year licenses, 15-year licenses. So the artist is you know, almost exclusively, you want to get the masters back. Now some of the other top line terms might not be that different in terms of the royalty rate, or some, you know, the ancillary income. But you know, the ownership paradigm is definitely, definitely changing. And I think that’s the unique thing about it today.

 

[00:04:59] Dan Runcie  Yeah, because I feel like, especially with the major record labels is kind of two things happening, right? On one hand, you’re streaming revenues are continuing to grow. And you have all these other revenue sources from outside of the digital streaming providers, whether that’s with Peloton or Roblox and all these other partners that want a license deal. So while that’s increasing, but on the other hand, more and more artists are not going to want to  just give up their masters in perpetuity. So the labels are also counteracting that piece of it. So I see them in a lot of ways, they’re hoping that the revenue from all of these areas can offset the loss that’s eventually going to come from the masters, because eventually you can earn money from the back catalog forever if the current artists are going to keep that back catalog, and the labels aren’t going to be able to have it.

 

[00:05:50] Karl Fowlkes  3,000%. So I think, I almost wonder why some of the record labels out there don’t sort of take from their publishing counterparts, right? Because the co-pub deal is sort of set up as a joint ownership structure, 50-50, right? So the songwriter usually owns half the composition, and the publisher owns the other half of the composition. And, you know, when the term is up, the kind of, the songwriter can go do what they want with their 50%. And they can have, you know, whoever collects on it, and then you know, the record label can, sorry, the publisher can take their 50% and go collect on it as well. So it’s a shared equity model. It’s something that I think tends to work for better parties. I know, there’s some mechanisms that are a little bit different, you know, as it relates to distribution of music versus collection of music. But I think that’s sort of a precursor to, you know, maybe something we’ll see, you know, happen over the next 10 to 20 years.

 

[00:06:46] Dan Runcie  What do you think the next 10 to 20 years will look like? Because I often have this conversation with a lot of people, some people go to the extreme of being like, no record labels will be extinct by then. And I’ve never quite gotten to that perspective, just because the people still ignore the desire that people have to be the biggest star in the world and where they feel like they need to go in order to do that. But I do think that we’ll likely see more of these shared equity or more of these flexible options because I feel like one of the things you highlight in the piece is that it’s great that there’s so many distributors and places that you can release your music, but it’s still a pretty big difference where it’s like, okay, you either got to give up everything, and we’ll make you a superstar, or you try to do it your own. But it’s still hard to get to that level without some additional support.

 

[00:07:36] Karl Fowlkes Yeah, I think the next 10 to 20 years are going to be a very interesting time. And I don’t think anything’s going to be figured out in the next 10 to 20 years, just because I think there are so many different emerging business models, right? Like, I keep talking about these music tech companies, kind of coming in and offering using algorithms and, you know, formulas to sort of create an estimate on, you know, what your royalties could be, will make in the next three to four years. They’ll give you a big advance, right, and now to reference beatBread, because, you know, I just saw they did that for a massive artist recently. And they’re, they’re not really they’re not offering service or anything, we’re just going to give you that funding element. And I think historically, if you look at startups, and you know, there’s always been a lot of artists, our founders’ conversation in the past five years, but when you look at a lot of startups, it’s really hard to scale a business without capital. So capital is always going to be sort of the driving force on any decision I think you have to make in your business journey at a certain point. So I think what will happen is labels will realize I think the all-or-nothing approach of sort of either doing a license deal or completely owning the masters isn’t really probably in anyone’s best interest, including theirs. And I think we’ll see more shared equity, right, and more investing in artists, you know, being in business with an artist forever, like in a tasteful way, right? Like, owning 20% of somebody’s master for perpetuity seems a lot better than owning 100% of someone’s, you know, master in perpetuity, right. There’s, there’s like a natural, if you’re an artist, you might be able to live with that, hey, this person gave me a million dollars. They have different access, resources, and funding opportunities throughout and they have a history of helping artists, you know, why don’t I, we can we could share this thing forever, but you know, I’ll be in control. I think that makes a lot more sense.

 

[00:09:32] Dan Runcie  Yeah. And what I think it does is it itemizes how to look at the value add that you’re either getting from a record label or from another type of partner, right? Because at its core, a record label deal is very similar to a private equity model. I know a lot of people make the venture capital comparison. But I think it’s a bit more like private equity or even more so an M&A deal where you are essentially selling yourself as the business, at least to the recorded music business of what you’re doing, to this company. And then in return, they are paying you for the services, and they’re obviously going to try to maximize it as much as they can with everything they offer, from marketing to promotion to all the other services that you can essentially get counsel advice, so on. But I think the shift and what we’re seeing a lot more artists do, more so I’d say on the independent side, I think we’ll see some of the bigger artists do it, too, they want to create the business, they want to be the one that is doing the actual tasks, and how can they have, you know, things set up around them in order to do that. And it’s something we see with all creatives to some extent, right? I feel like some people are always going to, maybe they want to gravitate more towards the business side of things, maybe they want to gravitate more towards the art that they actually do need to make. But still, if you’re going to take the business side of it, then yeah, there is likely going to be a company you go to for marketing support, there’s going to be a company you go to for PR or for distribution or for those things. And if you do it that way, then you’re likely going to have a better approach about how you’re making deals. And I feel like this is one of the key things that, like, you and I’ve been talking about for years now, just in terms of like how these things get set up, and how these things should be set up, especially for the artists that are willing to put in the work.

 

[00:11:20] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, I think what artists and their teams, too, are realizing are, you know, they’re still doing a ton of work, even after they signed to the record label, right. And I think some of those things, historically, that we may be thought or attributed to regularly, but whether it’s right or wrong, are things that in this generation, you know, teams, managers, other team members on that direct artists’ team are being tasked with, and, and they’re executing, you know, to some extent, right? We’re seeing TikTok campaigns being launched. And then that being the driving force of, of an artist being signed to a multimillion-dollar license deal, right, because that artists and their team leverage, you know, that music technology to create some moment, momentum and drive the price of that deal up. We’re seeing a lot of that. So I think all that’s making artists and their teams do is say, hey, if we’re going to do a lot of the strategy and, and work to get signed, maybe signing doesn’t necessarily make sense, maybe we’re looking for, for something else, maybe it’s not traditional, we signed to you model. It’s like, let’s partner, I need you for a few things. The rest we can take care of, we need some funding, and you know, we need some support on you know, a radio, we need some money, some of your tools that you might have and your staffing, but you know, eventually, we think we’ll be able to do that stuff down the line. I think that’s kind of the fut ure more and more sort of artists’ companies. And you see some of these catalogs, you’re like, yeah, that’s like, that’s, you know, that’s a mini-company. You know, I know, we talked, we saw Justin Timberlake’s catalog sold for, I believe, roughly $100 million. But you think about companies that could sell for $100 million, like, they have more than, like, two employees, where it’s actually a company. Like, there’s people driving marketing campaigns, there’s the Human Resources Department, there’s, you know, so I always think it’s funny, because when you actually look at the valuation of the IP, and what something is actually making year over year, and, you know, that’s like, that’s a pretty sizable company, that that’s probably not staffed correctly. I think that’s probably what we’ll see in the future is, hopefully, these companies and they can get staffed correctly.

 

[00:13:35] Dan Runcie  And it makes you also think about, okay, let’s take the Justin Timberlake example, obviously, someone that had a very successful and still has had a very successful solo career. But how much more value could there have been if he had created things in the way that, you know, we’re talking about here? Obviously, there’s a trade-off there, because I do think he’s clearly someone that benefited more than the average person for a number of reasons from the major record label system and the broader media system that we’re in. But yeah, $100 million, like, you think about a startup that is reaching $100 billion, you already have the idea of how big that startup is, what’s that startup’s trajectory looks like. And obviously, this is a little bit different because it’s based on that recurring revenue stream. But still, I mean, it’s huge,

 

[00:14:22] Karl Fowlkes  Right? And I think like it’s when we talk about sales and you know, when a company has to do get due diligence done on them, right so you look under the hood and you know, you’re trying to see what that company actually owns. Do they even own the rights? Do they own the pub rights? Do they own the likeness? Do they own the trademarks, right? But if a company, for an artist, you know, driven company It doesn’t have to be one artist. I think, you know, obviously, there’s going to be a lot more collective and smarter labels, I think, in the future that are successful and, you know, running this model. But, you know, if you do due diligence on a company, and they do own all the IP, they do own all the trademarks, they do own the pub, and they do own the record, and there’s employees in place, and there’s procedures in place, and there’s a history and books to sort of show what’s happening over the past 5 to 10 years, you know, you’re right, like, you know, these, these evaluations are probably being done on just raw numbers. But if you were to factor in some of this other stuff, it’s like, man, this is like a, this is a well-oiled machine, this might be worth a little bit more.

 

[00:15:22] Dan Runcie  Yeah, for sure. And I feel like once we were able to get there, a lot of it is focused on the type of deals, people can make and how specific they’re getting about these. And you have been pushing and promoting this acronym about how artists, and I think this even extends beyond artists, how anyone that is creating content or making any type of deal should be looking at things. So what’s the advice there that you give for that? And what are the elements to look out for?

 

[00:15:50]  Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, yeah, you know, a strategy I’ve sort of been using and I created, I believe it was about a year and a half ago in talking to a few clients was, you know, length, obligation, money, and ownership. And those four key things are sort of the top line things you need to worry about when you’re forming a contract. And also, I like to think about, you know, clients and people I’m talking to, when I’m discussing LOMO, just prioritizing those things, right? Because you’re not going to have, you’re not going to have the perfect deal where you have a short term, you get, you get a lot of money, your obligations low, and you get to own everything. That’s just not, that’s just not realistic. But what I do think is realistic is, you know, putting together a strategy that you can sort of, you know, put those things in order and you know, 5, 6, 7 years down the line, be happy with whatever sort of business you set up for yourself because you knew what you were getting into. You knew what your priorities were and you knew what you were signing. So I think those four top line terms: length, obligation, money, and ownership are the driving force of, they’re for sure the backbone of every contract, and for better or worse, I think those terms have decided whether an artist is going to be on Twitter in five years, talking about how they hate their contract, or they’re going to be, you know, being able to sell their catalog for $50 to $100 million in 10 years, right? So I think LOMO is really important, and they’ll help you sort of prioritize your needs if you are an artist. And again, that’s not just for the artists, that’s for the artists’ team. That’s where these collectives that are coming up, I think those are probably will be the ones enforcing that strategy. But you know, LOMO is very, it’s very useful, I think.

 

[00:17:35] Dan Runcie You got LOMO trademarked?

 

[00:17:37] Karl Fowlkes I haven’t gotten LOMO trademark, man, that’s crazy. Maybe after this episode.

 

[00:17:42] Dan Runcie  I mean, I feel like you got it, I mean, because that’s so many of these things, right? How do you, like, simplify things to just make it clear and take away so much of the legalese that I think is in there, and many times as a tactic itself to confuse artists?

 

[00:18:00] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, I mean, and again, like some of the legal, you hire an attorney to do the hard legal work, right? That’s like the job of, you know, when people are generally saying artists, you need to understand your deals, we’re not saying you need to become an attorney overnight because you still need an attorney, you need someone who’s, that’s someone else’s job. Your job is to sort of run your company, you know, have a little bit of insight on some of these objectives and stuff that you’re building. But you should really have a key indicator of those top line terms, that’s what you really need to know. You’re not going to know what the indemnification clause is, or you’re not going to get into the warranties and representation. That’s not the best use of your time. But you should know how long the contract is. You should know how much money, how much royalty you’re going to get, or how the royalties are even paid out. You should know what you’re required to do. You know, all those good things are the core of a contract. And I think that artists need to focus less on some of the nitty-gritty of the contract. You’re not going to read too much legalese in a contract. But you know, those four things will help you sort of, you know, understand what you’re signing.

 

[00:19:03] Dan Runcie  Yeah, I agree. And you mentioned earlier about the artists that are going to be on Twitter complaining about their deal. Is there an area of LOMO that you think they’re most likely to complain about or have an issue about?

 

[00:19:18] Karl Fowlkes  Oh, yeah, that’s a really good question. I think oftentimes, it’s a combination of usually two things, but I think it’s the maybe the way royalties are paid out. I think once you really understand recoupment, you know, it’s not like a net profit. It’s not like an off top thing, and what I mean by that is, if you’re recouping at the royalty rate, I mean, If you have a 20% royalty rate, you got to make five times, you know, to recoup, right, to get even, right? because, you know, you’re, if a dollar of money is generated, only 20 cents of that dollar is counting toward, you know, paying back the label, right? So you got to make five, you got to make 25 times over. I think that’s the part that really rubs people the wrong way, right? Just because if it was a net profit situation, or an off top, right, you know, all costs go toward recoupment,, and then you get 80. And I get 20. and still be bad, but it’d be a little better, it’d be, it’d be a little less bad. So I think it’s that part of the money that really, really gets people upset, because I’m not even sure that, you know, these companies really don’t have to do that. Like, that is just, and I’m not, I’m not in the business of, I don’t care. Like, that’s just stupid. That’s a bad business model. I think that’s the reason why a lot of disruptions happen, because that just so that’s so one-sided.

 

[00:20:36] Dan Runcie  Yeah, it makes me think of Meek Mill, when he had posted, at some point earlier this year, I don’t know when I’m going to get paid, or I haven’t gotten paid for this. And this is someone that, you know, could sell hundreds of thousands in his first week with, at least to do with Championships, or whatever the album was when he, llike, first came out of prison, but he still doesn’t know, and he’s also someone that runs a record label himself, or he has the joint venture with Roc Nation for his Dream Chasers. So it’s like, even at that level, artists still don’t know.

 

[00:21:08] Karl Fowlkes Yeah, I mean, Benny The Butcher, definitely a favorite rapper of mine. But you know, I was listening to a Freestyle yesterday, he did, I think, with Charlie Sloth on London. And he said, these rappers, you know, they’re doing 100k first week, but you know, he’s still not recouped. And I always, that is interesting, right? Because, you know, we all care about these sorts of, these first week numbers, but, you know, how much money is it taking to get to those first week numbers? And, you know, still, you’re still probably in a hole, depending on the advances you’ve got. Advances are good, but it’s also a way for you to continue to be locked in that contract, right? Would you rather. have some people want that $5 million check. But you know, you lose leverage me the more money you take. That’s just the reality of it.

 

[00:21:56] Dan Runcie  Right. Yeah. I, I think that Benny, of course. And I think Griselda overall, they figured it out in a model that actually works for them. And I think Russ probably falls in this category as well, where it’s like, okay, you know, we don’t care about the first week numbers. We actually want to have a business that runs, right? So Griselda could sell $75 or $100 vinyls or, you know, butcher cleaves, or whatever it is, in order to, you know, have, like, high-end merch that people are going to want to buy. And I think for a lot of artists, yeah, there is at least a bit of a trade-off to some extent, like, do you care more about the revenue? Or do you care more about the fame and the accolades and the media and stuff? And I don’t think that’s as black and white for most artists as they think it is.

 

[00:22:42] Karl Fowlkes   Yeah, because like, the real metrics that people should care about, you know, we’re not in this all for money, but I think money and ownership, if you have those things, and you’re building a model that sort of is conducive, and not just because you’re doing shows all the time, like, you know, I’m not sure Russ passed pop out ar nightclubs, you know, just to pay his bills, I know for a fact he doesn’t have to do that, right. And that sort of the flexibility and freedom that I think guys really want when they hop into the rap game. They want to be able to, you know, sit down sit by the Dame Dash Calls it that “by the pool money,” right? You know, I want to be able to put my feet up by the pool, have their residual income coming in, and you know, and really be a boss really be a CEO not have to perform in Shreveport, Louisiana, you know, at a nightclub to pay my bills because I’m not getting any money from my music. Streaming is not the best model yet, from a payout standpoint, but because of how often and consistently people are streaming music, it’s still an effective way for you to get money, right? So I think, when Russ posts TuneCore statements, you know, that is, obviously not everyone’s going to have that sort of consistency and hard work. But you know, a lot of that’s real, I mean, if you have five, I always talk about that, that hip-hop, middle class that needs to emerge, and you need to be happy and we need to celebrate those people. And because if you’re making $20,000 or $30,000 a month of music, damn, I mean you could talk, you know, that’s solid money. No, that’s nothing to shirk off. And some of these people, if they were independent, they might not be the global superstars that they are, they might be a little bit more in control, they might have less obligations, and they might still be able to put out the music that they want to put out. And all that stuff sort of creates sort of a concoction of, man, and maybe I will be happier, maybe I wouldn’t have to get fake teeth and get a bunch of gold chains. I wouldn’t have to do that because I’m living a lifestyle that’s conducive for long-term success. 

So I think that I think that’s really important, too. I mean, that’s, that’s kind of where I am. And that’s not the sort of education that I’m putting out.

 

[00:24:47] Dan Runcie And I feel like that’s also how you’re building the businesses that you have and what you’re associated with, right? I look at what you and Vic and the team are building, with Blxst as well, and what you’re building with Evgle, and I feel like this is exactly that. Like, you’re building the company that structured around this. Can you talk a bit about how you all have things set up?

 

[00:25:08] Karl Fowlkes Yeah, so Evgle is a company that I am an equity partner in. It’s me, Victor Burnett, who was the president and is also Blxst’s manager. And then you obviously have Blxst, who is the key cog, the creative genius, and really someone who’s sort of, you know, been patient, and made this all possible. But, you know, the way we’re set up is, you know, we were, we’re a company, privately-owned, and we’ve been able to partner with entities in, you know, retain 100% ownership of IP, make sure we’re getting, you know, some of that mail, that by the pool money at all times, and in putting ourselves in a position for us to, you know, not just build vertically, but horizontally. We’re building out, you know, we have a full staff, you know, we have health care for everybody. We have office space, all those, all that fun stuff, that I think that, you know, isn’t probably celebrated enough in building a company and particularly in hip-hop. So that’s kind of how we’re building. And I think long term,  we’re empowering our artists and the people that come next, to do the same thing. It’s not going to be, hey, you signed with Evgle, or we’re taking your masters, and you’re taking ownership and control of everything. That’s, that’s just not what we’re doing. And, you know, I think Vic and Blxst in particular, are very, very cognizant of that. And so I think, I think we’re trying to lead the way in that regard.

 

[00:26:34] Dan Runcie  So is the plan to continue to build the company solely around the brand of Blxst himself as the creative or do you also want to bring on other artists, too?

 

[00:26:46] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, so we already signed another I’ll call a multi-hyphenate, you know talent as well. He’s an artist and producer. So we’ll be rolling him out sometime later this summer, maybe early fall, then we have another producer signed on or partnered on, sometimes I use old terms, but partnered on the publishing side. So there are two other creatives already, you know, in-house, and I think the goal will be to get bigger, you know, as time goes by

 

[00:27:14] Dan Runcie  And then in terms of Blxst specifically, what does his relationships look like with the major record label system and being able to amplify the work that he does?

 

[00:27:25] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question. You know, we obviously have a public relationship with Red Bull Records, who’s our partner on the record side, and it’s been a super fruitful partnership. You know, Blxst has, you know, elevated his career. They’ve been really helpful in allowing Evgle to stay, you know, 100% independent, and building what we built. So, kudos to Red Bull. And those guys over there, in Red Bull’s distributor, is The Orchard. So we do have a, I guess, major label tie, righ?. So you know, but that’s really kind of, you know, I think all three of us, you know, Blxst is a multi-hyphenate to the truest extent ever, you know, he’s, he can edit his own videos, he does his design work, he can produce his songs, he engineers it. You know, Vic, similar type of talent, you know,  he’s, you know, he’s, he’s a merch guru, you know, great leader, great manager. And same with myself, obviously, I’m a lawyer, but, you know, as an operator, and someone who builds businesses on the sort of technical and admin side, you know, I love that part. So we’re talking about three people who are multi-hyphenates. I think when you have people like that, you don’t have to outsource as much throughout the different phases of growth. And we’ve been able to resist some of the pitfalls that other companies have had to go through because we’ve been able to scale to  2x to 5x by doing a lot of stuff in-house and I think I don’t think that’s going to change. And you know, our growth has been incremental and positive, you know, year after year and I think that’s because we’re taking the steps and we’re not trying to build something really quickly.

 

[00:29:11] Dan Runcie  Yeah, you’re trying to build for the long haul, right? And if Blxst’s someday going to have his triple-figure catalog sale, if he want ever wants that, that’s going to be done by, you know, building step by step. You’re building for the long term, even though I’m sure, right now, especially after the Kendrick feature, and he’s just been blowing up especially I feel like for the past two years now, but I feel like especially the past, like, 12, 18 months, you’ve been seeing more and more, at least publicly, I feel like, it may seem like it, you know, things are going fast, but I feel like, you know, talking to you all, yeah, you know, this is a long game.

 

[00:29:46] Karl Fowlkes  Yeah, it’s a long game. And you also know, like, you know, behind the scenes, we’ve been aggressive, in know, diversifying our company profile and our portfolio and what we’re trying to build, you know, outside of music. You know, I think all of us also realize the entertainment industry is also just a vehicle, to impact the world. So, you know, at some point, your vehicles change. And I think we’re also we also realize that, you know, everything that we’re building today, you know, has to be bigger than, bigger than just the industry that we that we exist in. That’s just not, it wouldn’t be fulfilling for for any of us. So, I think that’s it, we’re very cognizant of that.

 

[00:30:23] Dan Runcie  That makes sense. That makes sense. Good stuff, man. I am excited to see not just more change in the industry, but obviously, I think you wrote this piece for a really timely reason. And we’re gonna continue to see the impact of that. So yeah, if you’re listening, definitely go check out The Future of the Artist Deal. It’s up now on the Trapital website. And Karl, before we let you go, anything else that you want to plug? Or let the listeners know about now?  

 

[00:30:50] Karl Fowlkes No, man. I mean, honestly, just keep your eyes out for everything we’re doing at Evgle, I think there’s going to be a lot of fun, disruptive stuff that we announced, and we do over the next couple of months to a year. And, you know, personally, you know, The Fowlkes Firm is growing as a disruptor in the law firm space. So, you know, look out for those two things. And, you know, I just challenge everyone to challenge the status quo. You know, that’s, that’s what we’re all here for.

 

[00:31:17] Dan Runcie That’s the only way the industry grows, right? 

 

[00:31:19] Karl Fowlkes Yeah.

 

[00:31:19] Dan Runcie  Exactly. I appreciate you, man. Thank you.

 

[00:31:22] Karl Fowlkes All right.

 

[00:31:24] Dan Runcie  If you enjoyed this podcast, go ahead and share it with a friend. Copy the link, text it to a friend, post it in your group chat, post it in your Slack groups, wherever you and your people talk, spread the word. That’s how Trapital continues to grow and continues to reach the right people. And while you’re at it, if you use Apple podcast, go ahead, rate the podcast. Give it a high rating and leave a review. Tell people why you liked the podcast. That helps more people discover the show. Thank you in advance. Talk to you next week.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

Share this episode:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Listen and follow to the Trapital Podcast:

"The stuff that Trapital puts out is fantastic. Really interesting insights into the industry, artists trends, and market trends."
Mike Weissman
Former CEO, SoundCloud
“You tell the true stories. Not just the end product, but how you get to the end product. Your point of view on it is dope.”
Steve Stoute
CEO, UnitedMasters and Translation

Subscribe to the Trapital Podcast

More from Trapital

Get updates on new Trapital episodes, upcoming guests, listener Q&As, and more.