People & Inspiration

In Focus: The Business Side of Music According to Careless' Chairman James Reid

In Focus: The Business Side of Music According to Careless' Chairman James Reid

 

While the music industry champions the arts in general, there's another side of it that most of us might overlook. We're talking about the business side of music which keeps the wheels turning in terms of how artists can make a living out of their passion. From producing an album and booking shows to managing schedules and making sure that they get paid, there's more to this field than just performing.

 
 
 
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Many artists assume that the business side of music can be easily winged once you're there, but you have to take it seriously if you want to take control of your career. During Careless' artist signing event, Chairman James Reid shares that it's one of the reasons why he started this independent music label. "I've just wanted to have creative control over my music like any artist does. But you know, being a high profile celebrity, I've never really had that chance before until now," he says.

When James finally relaunched Careless as his very own, he didn't waste the opportunity to take an idea and turn it into an actionable plan with the help of his artists. "Everyone has their roles in the company. Even if I'm their Chairman—everyone answers to me—I also answer to them. We all bounce off and give each other ideas with everything. It's like we're collaborating."

 
 
 
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Describing Careless as a space where he experienced the creative freedom he craved, Bret Jackson, the A&R officer of the label, shares more on how James operates as their head. "He's the kind of leader that knows what he needs in order to allow all of us to do our art and doesn't get in front of it. He knows what he can do to help us, and then he lets us do our best. All of us have our ways to make it run and to make it work." He adds, "I think that's the best way to do business rather than other companies where you do something just because someone said so. It's more like a circle where we all put in our ideas on the table."

 
 
 
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Working in music is more than just a nine-to-five job that differs from your typical day as a music artist because it requires a lot of commitment. Careless artist (and James' girlfriend) Nadine Lustre shares that James is certainly the kind of chairman who's very hands-on with his business. "He takes care of Careless Music like it's his baby. All of his time and effort, even his funds, go into this company. He's not strict or anything. He's very supportive when it comes to my music because I just started with composing. He helps me out by tweaking the songs I wrote to make it better."

We can all agree to James' astounding dedication to his music and his business. But let's not forget that he is also into acting. So how does he make time for both his crafts? "I'm not juggling it, I'm taking time to each, so I can do it properly. It's because I can't do music all-out or I can't do acting all-out if I'm going to juggle both. I tried it in the past, and it's challenging. I wanted to focus, at least for this year, in my music. And invest time in this company because I want to see how far it will go." 

 
 
 
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As they run their own league, Careless currently stands out from the rest of the names in the business. "I think people appreciate our label because of the options we give to artists. You can either sign in to a big label, or you can go and try independent, so you can have more creative control and more freedom, which is very difficult." One thing that James can commit is being artist-centric. He adds, "We're a music label, but we're independent, so we like to give our artists as much freedom as possible. And we try to make it more about them."

If it's your best interest to take the reins in terms of your art, James advises, "Go for it, because what else would you be doing? A passion is something you love doing, and you know you're meant to do this. But the purpose is when you use this passion in the service of others. If you can turn passion into a business, which I recommend, then you've found your purpose."

 
 
 
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ALSO READ: In Focus: Here's What Nadine Lustre Has to Say About Being Dubbed As Our "President"

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