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Feb 27 2018
Sisters Are (Intent On) Doing It For Themselves: First Madonna, Now Grimes Gripes About SH*T Label Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 2.54.15 PM(Images via video stills)

Madonna's not the only female musician complaining about control in the industry — the influential artist Grimes is lashing out at her “shit label” and hinting at dark issues behind the scenes that are affecting her career ...

Over the weekend, Madonna seemed to snap at manager Guy Oseary, who was publicly lauding the 20-year-old Ray of Light, their first project together. Lamenting recent experiences with a cavalcade of writers as songwriting camp, the pop icon asked Oseary to help her get back to being allowed (!) to be a visionary driving her own train.

The Guardian Calls Ray of Light the Peak of Empowered Pop

The remarks seemed to have been about Interscope. 

Now, Grimes has taken a similar swipe at her own label, 4AD.

According to The Guardian:

...[O]n Saturday, Grimes (AKA Claire Boucher) revealed in an Instagram comment that she’s recording two albums to follow up her 2015 record Art Angels, one expressing “extreme darkness and chaos”, the other, “glorious light”. These would appear “separated by a period of time”, she wrote. “One final album for my shit label”, followed by another “on a label of my choosing”.

This wasn’t the first intimation that Grimes is struggling with the independent 4AD. Earlier this month, she told one fan that her new album was due this year. But two weeks later, she edited an old Instagram caption to read, “no music any time soon after all music industry is trash”. On Twitter, she explained to a fan: “I’m not allowed to say but there r people involved in my career who would rather destroy me than build something. indie music is more about egos than money. if u hurt someone’s ego, they don’t mind forgoing what you are potentially worth to them to take u down”.

The tweet was swiftly deleted, as was another, reading: “srsly fucked up and crazy shit going behind the scenes in my career this whole time i’ve never spoken of to protect myself legally”. Grimes and 4AD have unfollowed one another on Twitter. (4AD has declined to comment on the matter.)

It's hard out there for women — and for men — when the corporate standard-bearers have so many young backs to scratch in order to make deals worth the while of the bottom line.

I am not a person who feels Madonna is far off from where she needs to be. On the contrary, I think many of her fans are just overly controlling and whether they'll admit it or not expect her to be the same person she was at 25 (or even 40), and expect the world to react to her new music in the same way it would to any 25-year-old (or even 40-year-old). Ain't gonna happen.

But I do think it would be nice if she didn't have so many collaborators, and I'm betting her next album will reflect that sensibility. I hope Grimes finds her way through the wilderness as well — she's not toward the end of her career, but toward the beginning.