So what do the majors think when their artists slag them off online? One of Parlophone’s A&R people gives us a rare insight – and says “half of artists don’t have a clue what’s going on”…

Finding out what’s going on inside record labels is notoriously difficult. This has always been the way, especially inside the majors. So when Raye recently went on a Twitter rampage against her former record label Polydor, it wasn’t surprising when the label initially responded with silence.

A few weeks later, she was told she was officially being allowed out of her contract – the terms being kept confidential, of course.  Hence Raye gets to tell everyone she’s an independent artist whilst praising Polydor, the label that was supposedly so bad to her, to the high heavens.

One can only wonder what the people inside Polydor and Universal more widely were thinking at the time. Well, we now have a clue. Sian Anderson, when she isn’t being a DJ at 1Xtra for three days a week, is part of both A&R and marketing at Parlophone Records. Oh, and she also runs her own label called Saint Music. Busy lady indeed.

She revealed in a series of tweets that things are not what they seem.

For example, one tweet reads “An artist will come online and scream their label isn’t giving them budget for their videos and miss out on the part where the label already spent £200k in their previous videos creative ideas that didn’t work”.

Or another reads “I blame poor management a lot of the time tbh, half the time the artists don’t have a clue what’s going on and are going by what their uninformed managers tell them”.

I strongly suspect that very soon, majors are going to get sick and tired of artists who try and pull these kinds of stunts – and decide to respond to their temper tantrums with their own robust defences. It’s going to be fun when one of them does – not just for mischievous bloggers like me, but by the looks of it, for the majors themselves too…

Is THAT how you get out of a record contract these days? Singer Raye escapes Polydor’s clutches after complaining loudly on Twitter – so will other artists be tempted to do the same?

A couple of weeks ago, British singer Rachel Agatha Keen – known in the music world simply as Raye – complained on Twitter that her record label was preventing her from releasing an album. And earlier this week, it was revealed Polydor and Raye have now parted ways.

The trouble is this leaves far more questions than answers. We probably won’t get most of those because I strongly suspect a clause is in place preventing many of the details being disclosed. We won’t find out, for example, whether Raye had to pay to get out of her contract or whether she was just allowed to leave without penalty. The only thing I’m certain of is Polydor will not be releasing the rights of the master recordings to her as a result.

I also note the brief statement she issued on Monday about the subject. She goes out of her way to praise Polydor – I can’t help but think this is because Raye knows majors typically only let artists go when sales and streams don’t meet expectations. They like to be in charge, because it’s the majors are used to.

Raye will also no doubt be aware that criticising Polydor further at this stage could backfire. If another major comes along in the future, they’re unlikely to offer more generous terms if they suspect she’ll just slag them off on social media later on.

Still, it makes you wonder – how many other artists are out there, pondering whether they could get out of a record contract by simply complaining loudly online about it? If artists at other labels follow this path, let’s just say Tom March and Ben Mortimer, head honchos at Polydor, are unlikely to be on the Christmas card list this year…