Life as a Major Label Artist with Josie Proto

Signing to a major label can provide musicians with resources and financial support they are unlikely to access otherwise, giving many the opportunity to advance their careers and create art they are truly proud of. Although many choose to remain independent and in complete control of their projects, life on a label is often sought after due to the stability and platform it provides.

Josie Proto has recently been signed to Island Records, but landed her first deal with Dougie Bruce at Universal Music Publishing at just 16. Speaking on how signing has impacted her day to day life, Josie told us “it meant that I can move out, which is super cool! It’s also given me the opportunity to work with some amazing people and have access to resources that would normally be difficult to get hold of as an independent artist”. The most prevalent changes she has seen from when she was independent is that she’s “definitely future planning more, and looking at the bigger picture” due to having “more creative freedom and leeway to play around a bit”.

Writing on her journey through music, Josie told us “I was incredibly lucky that I had been working with Dougie Bruce prior to being signed. I started working with them when I was 16 and signed a small recording deal with Dougie for my first 2 EP’s when I was 17. In the middle of releasing the second EP, Dougie put some feelers out and Island offered me the deal I am under now and I signed when I was 19, but it didn’t really come into effect until earlier this year when I released ‘I just wanna walk home’. It was quite daunting when I moved over to Island, there were lots of meetings filled with legal jargon and documents to read. I was super nervous, but the team there is amazing!”

On a more creative note, Josie shared with us the favourite part of her job - making music videos. Her song ‘I just wanna walk home’ talks about the fears faced by many women or femmes when travelling alone at night. Creating the video for this was a career highlight for Josie. “We worked with some amazing women who all shared stories and opened conversations about walking home as a woman and how we wanted to change the narrative which was incredibly moving and passionate. The video couldn’t have turned out better.” She is currently working on her next music video - a sort of ‘episode 2’ of latest release Problem Child - and wants her next release to be “something that really demonstrates all the writing and recording I have been doing in the last year.”

Many young artists dream of having the ability to create projects that resonate with them creatively and politically like I just wanna walk home. With the help of her team, Josie is utilising her position on a major label to create meaningful and personal projects to inspire other young musicians to keep creating.