03/27/2015 10:25 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2015

Our Record Industry Nightmare: Unlocking The Truth's Journey From Viral Craze To Label Hostages

Kevin Winter via Getty Images

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 quixotic. 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 of how. 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.

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