Getting Signed and Leaving Universal Motown
Gilbere Forté: “Label calls were coming in right after I released 87 Dreams. I told myself there was going to be one project and that hopefully, I can get into a situation where people will respect the vision, see where I’m trying to go with my music and give me the platform.
I felt like a dream was put in front of you, you signed up for it and now someone says, ‘Hey! Just put my contract in the shredder.’
"When those calls started to come in, I was meeting with every label in New York and I’m meeting with the big A&Rs. I’m like, ‘I’ve read about these guys, I’ve fucking seen them on VH1’s Behind the Music.’ When we were getting through all the label talks, I was doing some showcases in Fall 2010. It was between Republic and Motown and at the top of 2011, I decided to go with Universal Motown, which is with Sylvia Rhone.
“I’ve heard all of these amazing stories about her. It’s important that they were able to get my vision. What I got from being around her was a lot of interesting knowledge about how to prepare myself for the next phase of really being with a major label.
"It was unfortunate that she ended up leaving the company and her staff also left. It was in the first four months of my deal. Then, I was in the position that I read about in the 1999 issue of The Source magazine ‘The Artist Gets Left at the Label and Gets Shelved,’ or the new boss comes over and says, 'I don’t know you, I don’t know anything about you, I can care less, get off the label.'
I wanted to just jump out there but I told Raak, ‘We’re gonna go back to your mom’s basement and we’re just gonna keep working.’"
“I felt like a dream was put in front of you, you signed up for it, and now someone says, ‘Hey! Just put my contract in the shredder.’ I felt like I’ve worked so hard to be able to live out my imagination. If I didn’t attain these things from my imagination, I wasn’t doing myself a good service.
“I fought hard to get out of that contract for almost about six months. They were trying to move me to Def Jam and I didn’t know if that’s where I need to be. Overall, I was able to make it out of that situation and but then it was back to square one.
"My project Eyes of Veritas was out in Summer 2011 and I was like, ‘Shit, everyone’s so fucking excited about 87 Dreams, everyone’s so excited about Eyes of Veritas, no one knew I had a deal.’ I wanted to just jump out there but I told Raak, ‘We’re gonna go back to your mom’s basement and we’re just gonna keep working.’"