After pulling his music from most streaming services expect for Tidal and Google Play Music, Prince will continue to keep his ties with Tidal by releasing his next album exclusively on the platform. And now the artist voiced his reasons why he continues to partner with Tidal.
Speaking to a group of 10 journalists at a meet-and-greet Saturday evening at Paisley Park Studios located in Minneapolis, Prince expressed his views about record labels and his concerns that they don't give artists creative freedom or control over their work. Prince's main issue is that these labels don't pay artists fairly from royalties earned from the rights streaming services obtain to play their music, which hit a wrong chord with the popular artist, who is known for publicly speaking out against labels.
"Record contracts are just like—I'm gonna say the word—slavery," Prince said. "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign."
Speaking to reporters, who were not allowed to bring in cellphones, recording devices, or alcohol, Prince said that he continues to work with Jay Z's artist-owned music streaming service because the artist gets paid directly, without a middlemen such as the record label taking a big portion of the cut.
"Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves," he said. "Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves."
Prince will release his next album titled HITNRUN exclusively on Tidal on Sept. 7. The "Purple Rain" singer previously released a new single called "HardrockLover" on the high-definition streaming service, but the track could also be heard on SoundCloud.
Tidal also streamed the benefit concert Prince performed in Baltimore in memory of Freddie Gray, who died April 19. Gray fell into a coma while being transported to police headquarters following his arrest on April 12. Even nonsubscribers of the exclusive platform were able to stream the concert.
However, even though he pulled all his music from some other streaming services like Spotify, Prince's exclusive-to-Tidal trend is not so exclusive. Prince released another new track called "Stare" on Spotify last week. News that his album will drop on Tidal probably means that's all Spotify will get for the time being.