Record Labels ‘Fucking It Up’ for The Voice Winners, Says Adam Levine

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You wouldn’t even know the name ‘Adam Levine’ if it wasn’t for a major label, but Levine says those same labels are killing the potential careers of finalists from The Voice.  “When the baton is passed post-Voice, there’s some problems,” Levine told Howard Stern (with the Washington Post’s Emily Yahr taking notes.)  “People take over after we do this great job of building these people up on the show.  There’s some real issues there.”

“But they go to a record label that fucks it up.”

The pressing question — and one posed by Stern — is why American Idol produced a crop of superstars, but copycat shows like the Voice haven’t had the same star-creating power.  “The rollout of all that is still such a mess,” Levine continued. “And by the way, just to clarify, this has nothing to do with what happens on NBC or with the people.

“In that time, we do so much great shit for these singers, and then they go to a record label that I won’t mention.  But they go to a record label that fucks it up.”

“Record labels are — our business is the worst right now,” Levine added. “No one knows what they’re doing.”

 

Image by Hollywood Branded, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

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18 Responses

  1. GGG

    I don’t think we can say American Idol created more than 3 “superstars” let alone a crop. Carrie Underwood for sure, Jennifer Hudson for sure, Kelly Clarkson I guess, though don’t think she’s as big as she once was. And Jennifer Hudson didn’t even win, so that’s 2 winners out of what, 15 or something? Not that there aren’t a handful of AI alum with solid careers, but AI has pretty much always been about the competition and nobody really giving a shit when it’s over.

    Reply
    • Lisa Mann

      As our friend from Vail CO astutely pointed out, ALL the contestants must sign exclusively to said record label. Bad for winners, but way way worse for the also-rans. A talented vocalist who doesn’t make it to the finals still gets noticed by other labels, just from being on tv. If approached, they have to say NO, even though the record company they’re exclusive to is doing zero for them, having been voted off. By the time the exclusive contract has run out, the memory of their tv performance has long faded.

      Reply
    • Paul

      David Archuleta had to buy out his contract before he could do anything on his own.

      Reply
  2. Vail, CO

    OK Adam, if you’re so concerned with artists getting fucked by the major label, then why do those artists have to sign major label deals as a condition of participating in The Voice to begin with?

    “Every contestant has to sign a contract with the label before they can be featured in the show [THE VOICE], which has caused huge controversy around the Swedish and Finnish versions, with coaches on the shows comparing it to slavery and one union threatening lawsuits.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2012/mar/15/behind-music-voice-contracts

    Reply
  3. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    Everyone should read this, especially if you are considering auditioning on the Voice, or AI, or any similarly-formatted show.

    “This Musician Got An Audition-Free Slot On The Voice. Why He Turned It Down”
    by Ari Herstand

    Here.

    Reply
  4. Dry Roasted

    Any comparison to American Idol is misguided. The Voice has chairs that swivel.

    Reply
      • Dry Roasted

        I can read your comment, but I cannot see you delivering it. Therefore, I can only judge your comment on its merits.

        Reply
  5. cmonjudgeman

    The Voice was created to ONLY make the Judges more famous and mainstream…

    no one cares about a “voice” from someone they don’t care about..

    Reply
  6. JTVDigital

    This is a very well-known issue, but thanks for bringing this up.
    It happens everywhere these shows happen, in all countries.
    I’d say 90% of winners or top 5 finalists end up being fucked up by labels at some point.
    It can go from the label only releasing a single instead of an album, setting up the release date way too late at a time when people have forgotten about the singer, to not releasing anything at all in some (rare) cases.
    And he is completely right by saying “No one knows what they’re doing.”
    A waste of time, energy and talent.
    Keeping in mind all these singers get stuck in long-term major label deals, that’s pretty bad for their career.

    Reply
  7. Literati X

    It’s big business but also a very small part of the music industry in all it’s complex parts that make of the entire–whole of the super star. And still what constitutes a super star is left to the perception of the fan and how much they value the artist. You might say , Carrie Underwood , and I’m going to say , Fantasia Barrino . But yet there is a heavy price to be recouped when your being manufactured inside the pressing plant of high powered publicity , presentation and performance. . . If you want to hit the ‘ Jack Pot ‘ you need to own the casino —

    Reply
  8. Neal

    Maybe Adam should start a label and do it himself. Hire a staff, do the A&R, promote it to radio, press, on line, offer tour support, etc. Spend the money needed in this day and age to promote an artist across all platforms. Maybe Adam is picking the wrong singers. And maybe someone should start a show that doesn’t focus only on these artists singing covers? Maybe if they were artist/writers, we would be witnessing the birth of an artist, not just singers doing covers. It’s primetime karaoke!
    There are a few very talented artists going through these shows, but Adam, don’t criticize the labels doing their job if you’re not willing to put up any of the money to try it yourself. You have no skin in this game financially. Put up some of the money NBC is paying you and start a label and see how it goes. Without those labels, where would your career be?

    Reply
    • yummy

      Adam has his own label where he has signed Rozzi Crane. draw your own conclusions.

      Reply
  9. Jordan

    The problem with the The Voice, 2 of their coach’s turned out to be dumbshits; Cee Lo Green rapes a woman by drugging her with a date rape drug and the other idiot who wear that stupid ridiculous hat lies,cheats and steals other people’s musical copyrights but won’t pay for it. He loses the battle in court, yet has the balls to appeal the ruling. Screw The Voice.

    Reply
  10. Rock N' Roll Buddha

    The problem with these TV Talent Competition shows is that a lot of artists naively think its a way to short-cut the system and vault to stardom – and stay there. And it’s not.

    To grow your career – it takes years, and LOTS of Hard Work to sustain it. If you start your career on TV, and you don’t continually stay visible on TV – then you fade quickly from the public consciousness, no matter how talented you are.

    Everyone is looking for a shortcut – and there really aren’t any if you want to have a long, viable career. You have to tour, get press, (hopefully) get some radio airplay, and build a following – and that takes time.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    I, for one, am certainly relieved and reassured to witness the eloquence and profound insight of our generation’s “artists”.

    Reply
  12. SingerExpress.com

    It is a problem with these reality based singing shows as it is for independent artists as it is for artists that sign to a “label” because the promo machine that once was in place and worked is no longer and there isn’t’ a new one in it’s place. For starters – everyone has to think differently about how to market and promote talent utilizing all of the new developments in technology. We have re-invented the wheel of how singers and those who hire singers connect utilizing the technology updates and industry changes and it works. Maybe if these shows considered doing something for the talent that doesn’t make it on the show it would change the outcome of successful talent being associated with the show. There are so many talented singers and they all deserve a chance to be heard – we offer that opportunity and these singer shows would benefit by doing the same thing.

    Reply

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