Music Industry

How Did a Group of 11 and 12 Year-Olds Become Hostage to a Major Label?

You might remember the viral video featuring Unlocking the Truth that landed these kids a major label deal with Sony worth close to $2 million .

Sadly, things went south rather quickly. The Daily Beast reports.

People tend to romanticize the music industry. Behind every successful band is, it seems, a story of a renegade A&R representative who discovered them cracking away at a dive one night and the rest was history.

The reality is far less enchanting. These days, record labels are more concerned with branding than talent. It’s not a matter of what you can do, it’s a matter ofhow. Lizzy Grant was a failed singer-songwriter before Interscope rebranded her into a sultry, self-described “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” while Katy Hudson was a gospel recording artist before Capitol Records and songwriting wizard Dr. Luke helped transform her into the girl-kissing Katy Perry.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Breaking a Monster, Luke Meyer’s new documentary that chronicles the industry journey of the Brooklyn band Unlocking the Truth. If that name sounds familiar, well, it should. Back on June 23, 2013, the group staged a raucous gig on the sidewalks of New York City’s Times Square, where pedestrians were left floored by this headbanging trio of 11- and 12-year-old black kids from Brooklyn who shredded through heavy metal tunes like a gang of 30-year-old vets. Video of the performance went very viral, and in July 2014, it was announced that Unlocking the Truth had signed a much-ballyhooed $1.8 million deal with Sony Music Entertainment.

And that’s when things got complicated.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38060 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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