Tila Tequila’s Record Deal


by Moses Avalon

What has happened to my career?Ten years ago I was fighting the good fight by watch-dogging major label rip offs.But lately I find myself being a major label apologist because they refuse to stand up for themselves in the press while they (and therefore artists) are ripped off by ISPs.And now, today I am completely through the looking glass by investigating an artist’s potential malfeasance.And one that’s in mourning, no less.

I don’t know if I should be thanking Moses Supposes reader Justin L for bringing this to my attention or not, but is seems MySpace’s “most popular artist” Tila Tequila has decided she will compete with major labels.Starting this month she will be signing, developing and distributing new artists.

Stop laughing.

Tila has a plan and she’s sticking to it.She also has a few advantages over the Big Four.While majors offer guaranteed advances, infrastructure, experience, marketing leverage and legitimacy (for some) Tila Tequila is going to bypass all that dumb stuff and just get down to the music.She claims the following advantages:

1)“If you’re a new artist signed at a Major Record Label, trust that your album will never come out… I can guarantee your record will be put out, that you will be making money, and start seeing all the checks come in pretty quickly.”

2)“Major record labels would have to spend millions on [promotion] But… since I am already a known public figure, I can easily promote you and immediately.”

3)“20,000 downloads, to a major record label, that’s a huge flop…With me, if you sell 20,000 downloads, that’s 20,000 dollars in your pocket immediately.”

(So she’s going to get iTunes to waive their 30% vig somehow?)

4)“I have been in this business for so long, that I pretty much have all the resources you need.”

(I think she’s was signed in 2005, but actually that might be a long time for someone pushing 30.)

5)“I’m not some old fart who thinks he knows what ‘music’ is these days….Hell no! I am a young, hot, sexy biatch who is relentless and passionate in what she does!”

(Okay, She might have a good point here.)

6)“I am constantly getting booked for my tour/appearances, I can easily add you to my tour as opening acts.”

(Forget the Talent Agencies Act.She don’t need no stinkin’ badges.)

And finally…

7)“The word ‘fail’ does not exist in my vocabulary!”

Neither do words like conflict of interest, fraud in the inducement, false advertising, unfair practices and other common business terms.

Tila is not just whistling Dixie.She claims to have two artists in her stable already to which she has made a number of guarantees via her site.

Unfortunately, many of her promises are incompatible with each other under California Labor law.Others are likely to get the attention of an Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission if complaints are filed.Specifically, if you sign with her she will, “Instantly, literally give you overnight fame…you will become a major superstar faster than you can say ‘superstar,’” and the clincher, “free first class trips all over the world, [where] you will get paid to perform too!”

But here’s the best part, “On top of the record deal, I will give you the option to also let me be your manager!”

Her..?As a manager..?“On top?” Now I’m excited.

All kidding aside, the most newsworthy part is that her bullet points are very on message and will resonate a great deal with emerging artists desperate for a break and too unsophisticated to understand why her pitch is probably a recipe for disaster.Who in their right mind would let their label also be their manager?The answer: a great many people.

What does a Tila Tequila Records contract look like?Who knows?If I ever see one I’ll let you know if it reads the same as the standard major label tome that is now surpassing 150 pages on average. (Up from 40 pages in 1977 and 90 pages in 2001)

Frankly, I don’t see how it can be very different.The rights an artist needs to grant so that a label can allocate the resources to achieve fame are invasive, to say the least.Unless Tila is just doing this as a publicity stunt, she will have to acquire these same exclusive rights.When she does and then realizes that she can never “guarantee” paid gigs, or stardom, she becomes just like the labels she is calling “the devil,” on her website; worse in my view, because majors promise nothing except a shot and they appeal to those with experienced representation.Something tells me Tila isn’t going to tolerate too much negotiating from lawyers on her offer of guaranteed fame.

However, in my heart, I hope that she (and her people) have found a new angle.This is one time I’d like to take my cynical, New York attitude and send it on hiatus. I wish her success in our changing industry. Tila, was once just a hottie with a dream.Now she’s selling the hot dream herself.I suppose that this could be called progress.Lord knows she will not be the first “artist” to try it.

Welcome to my side of the street, Tila.Bout time.I needed a “sexy biatch” to watch dog.

If you’re interested you can send inquires to TilaTequilaRecords@gmail.com

Mo out

25 responses to “Tila Tequila’s Record Deal”

  1. Chuck Griffiths says:


    So, what she has is a website with a lot of hits, an OD’d heiress fiancé’, and a potential legal problem that makes Michael Jackson’s estate look like a game of catch?

    Where do I sign?

    Off to check milk cartons. Somewhere, a village is looking for its idiot!

  2. Sean Hooks says:

    In the worlds of Rick James.. “Cocaine is a powerful Drug”

    Moses you should debate her on CNN. I would slap my momma to see that!!!

  3. john b says:

    Wow, I’m underwhelmed. It is hardly worth noting that she is full of more shit than Doug Morris ever was.
    She certainly won’t attract good talent as they barely know who she is, which is to say a celebrity. As celebrities goes she will have far less impact on music than Paris Hilton had on Chihuahua ownership. She has a brand but it doesn’t stand for anything, end of story. She’s not a great Cola or a great skin cleanser, she nothing really. Musicians aren’t stupid (at least the good ones) and if they are going to swallow bullshit it’s going to be with a nice advance or something to help it go down, so she will be deluged with the contents of the bottom half of the record company waste basket. As Carrie Fisher once said; ‘celebrity is just obscurity biding its time.’

  4. Steven McClintock says:

    Oh if it were all JUST that easy. I hope she makes a TON of money before she gets sued. All those that think you get something for nothing can jump aboard and share in the fun!
    Great article…thanks for sharing

  5. Tom Player, Player Entertainment Law says:

    Tila Tequila as a record exec?

    Hell really has frozen over!!!

  6. dennis jones says:

    ……. you’re morphing from a cynical New Yorker to a good vibe guru!

  7. Bernadette Giacomazzo says:

    Once again, Mo, you never cease to amuse!

    But I think we really have to consider, for a minute, the potential legal ramifications ol’girl has possibly cooked up for herself. How quickly we forget the Lou Perlman debacle, c’est non?

  8. LTS says:

    If Tila was a 250 pound fat slob she wouldn’t even be on the radar, the only thing she has going for her are her looks. Zero talent and a bag full of gimmicks. There is an oversupply of music and an undersupply of demand, she can sign as many so called artists as she wants. The music will be low quality and I would bet most of them will have to resort to Tila’s way of staying popular, and those tactics have nothing to do with the art form known as music. Just a bunch of smoke and mirrors and never ending B.S.

  9. Phil Johnson says:

    I feel the same way Moses.. I’d love to see her make it work because it would mean she knows something we don’t. But having a zillion friends on MySpace and a crummy reality show don’t mean she can break an act.

  10. Franklin Purnell says:

    One thing Tila has going for her is whats taking place this very moment – conversation about her proposed plans (regardless of its merits) it generates the kind of interest that only good/bad hype will do. Obviously she doesn’t really care about what the industry types think or know except that the talk they generate about her places her and her activities into the spotlight where we all know that in many cases any press is good press. I guess the real challenge is for us to shut our mouths and see if she can actually pull it off.

    • Moses Avalon says:

      I agree with Franklin. I weighed this dynamic a lot before writing about it. Then I decided that, for the sake of the many unsophisticated artists out there who might be attracted to her deal, that I weight in. Somewhere, hopefully a parent of one of the Tequila Records hopefuls will want to learn a bit more.

  11. Jimi says:

    Deals come in a lotta flavors. So does fame. And Success.
    Tila herself probably doesn’t have to deal with this stuff either, “She has people”.
    Laws & loopholes have always been, & always will be. Understanding and catering to your market is key.
    Every weekend in countless clubs around any reasonably-sized community & you’ll find:
    DJs husting mixtapes (cds)
    Cover bands selling homepressed CDs
    Cover bands performing covers in unregulated places (singing “happy birthday to you” too, of course) & flyers for events using unlicensed clip art from magazines & online images. & of course the unlicensed karaoke king who’s photocopied lyric book with album cover art, & minus-one decoded tracks made from illegal downloads, is every possible way of wrongness.
    They are making money, some are even regionally famous,just under the radar enough so that PRO’s, Publishers, the RIAA & all the kings horses will not bother ’em.
    Of course I do not condone this, but the savvy promoter says “this is a private event” so “there is no problem” everyone is paid cash, so how can anything be traced?
    I believe Tila can do exactly what she says, but not within the structure of what is, & certianly not beyond regional success, ‘cuz then you DO have to answer to the powers that be.
    I have personally “helped self-manage” a few artists, produced CDs that have broken-even in 100 days or less, & done world tours of small venues & festivals generating more CASH income in a few months than I make all year in my straight job.
    No it is NOT easy, but the resources are all there if you just pay attention.
    Direct downloads are possible, & if you have a 20 million person fanbase, 1% of that fanbase direct downloads without cuttin’ in itunes or another provider is possible (the other 99% will be illegally downloading of course)
    We’ve discussed alternative revenue streams, & this is where I truly believe we are headed.
    Tila’s model is not the best or the most ethical (legal) but as you have pointed out in much of your own work, major label music is just as bad if not worse.
    Wait’ll Tila runs for govenor…

  12. Ben says:

    Although I try to be optimistic, I think “3 Act Farce” is a more appropriate title for that particular label..
    Come to think of it.. It’s no different from the others!!

    That being said, best of luck to her.. It could become the new paradigm and I can look forward to a juicy deal with “Lohan Entertainment”..

  13. sindee says:

    stranger things have happened!

  14. moses!
    at first i laughed when i read the subject line. then i read your article, and immediately sent off a proposal to tila to consider my new project, lovers and poets, for her label.
    nice one… thanks..
    shannon 🙂

  15. Rick says:

    Sounds to me like she wants to make a change to industry “standards”. I’m no legal expert so I can’t say if what she wants to do can fly in the legal arena but at least someone is tryin to do something besides bitch and moan about how things are. If Mo can take a gander at one of the contracts she offers, we can make better judgement. If her goal is to bring great music and artists into the mainstream/limelight, bring it! If it’s just about the money, it’ll show in the quality of the songs.

  16. Max says:

    One Trick Pony Ride Away
    Good looking out, Moses…
    A myspace schlock act with enough fanboys to give her “street-cred” by adding her to their pile of teen girls they’ll never meet makes good? or just makes with a sack of cash to some extradition free paradise? has Bernie Madoff grown tits and a pretty face? I think it’ll be meet the new boss…
    Will continuing to watchdog this scenario turn into a guilty pleasure for you, like a really greezy Jersey Shore show? Well, there are enough guinea pigs to go around for her to test, so maybe if one or two hit, it might show up
    on the hype meter high enough to hide the fact that it’s probably a fluke. Jimi, I’ll vote for her if she kisses my… baby!

  17. Justin B says:

    I don’t think what Tila’s doing is anything new. That sounds to me like what any Indy label is trying to accomplish with unsigned acts. The only difference is, Tila has a reputation and a guaranteed way to get your name into people’s heads. Isn’t that what all new artists want? How nice would it be if you could just write some good songs, hand them to somebody on Friday night, and by Monday morning have 2 million plays. Myspace: what you have done?

  18. JD says:

    This is a joke right?

  19. IdiocracyBuster says:

    You know the song she released for a few hours in the early morning hours on Valentine’s Day (Pop Rox) samples I Love Rock n Roll (music plus Joan Jett’s voice over and over and over throughout the entire song) WITHOUT authorization from Blackheart Records (they’ve confirmed this). She’s someone who clearly knows the music biz! Have you considered that this whole record label story is just one more lie in a list of many? Check out the recent interview she did with Under30CEO.Com here: http://under30ceo.com/tila-tequila-quits-hollywood-takes-on-the-boardroom/ and then the article where they APOLOGIZE for the first article because it so clearly was full of lies: http://under30ceo.com/lessons-learned-from-the-tila-tequila-controversy-and-what-gen-y-can-do-about-it/ It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months (I’m guessing not much other than maybe a drug overdose and perhaps an arrest).

  20. prcarlos says:

    Great analysis on TT. Thanks!

  21. Rusrek says:

    But even then, I was starting to think that I really wanted to try my hand at writing a novel. It took me a few years to sit down and actually start writing fiction. It took even longer to get it published.

  22. Bopsluptuff says:

    There are a million radio stations in our world. They are in every country: from USA to New Zealand. They are different styles: from Rock’n’roll to Classic. Do you interested to hear live what a thousand of people listen, for example, at France? Or at Brazil? Listen on http://www.radiopalace.com.

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