At Cat Family Records, we're working to help create the middle class of music scenes. For artists, there are typically two points on a career continuum: made it and still struggling to pay rent. Most independent artists work full-time jobs alongside their creative pursuits, and success can be limited by financial barriers unique to the music industry.
Writers, poets, and visual artists, for example, are better equipped to shape the presentation of their various visions as they, theoretically, maintain more control over finished products. A published poem may well be the same poem in its writer’s notebook. If editors demand changes and writers oblige, the process of change can be as simple as a few clicks and a few more keystrokes. For recording artists, the medium of expression is not so easily dictated.
Writers and performers, as in television and film, lean on the coordination of complex processes, executed faithfully and professionally, in order to present their ideas to the masses. Most artists rely on recording engineers, mix engineers, mastering engineers, record executives and producers, booking agents, marketing agencies, entertainment lawyers, and general managers to help capture, polish, and promote their content worldwide.
For many, this burden lies within the financial and social depths of their own pockets. And it’s an expensive side job. For those that sign with major labels, a loan and a promise of fortune await. It’s rare, however, even when an artist is signed to a house-hold, that they repay their debts or make it to that coveted pasture of super-stardom.
Herein lies the dilemma for aspiring professionals: to be as competitive as possible, some self-produce; they learn to record and mix, to market, to be vigilant and steadfast. Most, though, end up relying on friends and savings to recruit help and produce and distribute albums. Currently, there are very few artists making a living wage selling music. This process creates a sliding scale of success punctuated at each end. A small percentage are “making it” and financially independent, while others are caricatures of the “starving artist” motif and struggle to endure.
Here, we’re tired of the old machine, and we work everyday to improve the lives of independent artists and to push the industry forward. We don’t build success on loans; we produce and market for free. If we make hit records, we share in the financial success, but we give more than we take. From touring and booking to merchandise and promotion, we put artists and community first. With proceeds from shows, events, and albums, we funnel money back to the arts and the communities in which we thrive. Because, to us, artists are inherently more than friends and allies and neighbors and coworkers. We like to think of ourselves as extended family--the kind you don't hate seeing at holiday functions. So, in short, we got you. We'll keep fighting as long as you keep creating.