More to Say!

Joi Marshall

Earlier in the week, I was listening to old music from the all female R & B singing group, Jade. Many of you may remember their monster hit, “Don’t Walk Away”, but the group had two albums of music with excellent sales records. Two studio albums, “Jade to the Max” and “Mind, Body and Song” went platinum and one live album that went gold. In the early 1990’s it seemed that Jade was going to be a musical force for some time. Nevertheless, even good music does end at some point and Jade would not release any more music as a group. In my quest to learn more about the group members, I started my search with founder and fellow Chicago South Side native Joi Marshall. All three members have continued recording and performing to some degree, although not selling as much recorded music as with Jade. In 2007 Joi Marshall released a gospel album entitled, “Testimony and Praise” as she said “to simply enjoy the gift that God has given me, share my stories of how an uncomplicated relationship with God looks, and put it out there for people to feel”. In listening to the songs, they truly tell her poignant story within the music industry and beyond. Joi did not stop with the album. She also wrote a book entitled, “Answers to the Twenty Most Asked Questions about the Music Business”. Regarding the book Joi said it “answers many of the questions that I wished I had answers to BEFORE I signed to major label.  No, it’s not another major label basher, it actually teaches artists to understand the basics of the business, how to create a good deal when you have no real leverage and even how to use a major label “bad” deal to your advantage…turning lemons into lemonade”. While reading her statement the first thing I thought about was the 360 recording contracts, many are discussing today. Joi speaks out against the contracts as keeping artists from making the money they should make. 360 contracts allow the record or entertainment company to take percentages of clothing lines, books and other revenue streams to which the company would not ordinarily have access. There are some positives in signing 360 contracts, but as with any contract, it is good to do your homework and get legal help before signing. I am happy to see an artist tell a helpful story. Joi Marshall had a lot more to say.

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