Her face looked astonished. Isabella Rhodes observed the contract.
“Will I get my masters?”
“What are you going to do with them?” asked Job Weisberg. “Are you going to stuff them under a mattress?”
Isabella looked graven, now. She had sold one hundred and forty million albums, won a slew of industry awards, completed ten films, one of which earned her a best actress nomination. But she didn’t own the music or the movies. Sure, she collected residuals here and there from such efforts, but never knew the taste of outright ownership.
“I mean…no. I could use them when I go on tour again.”
“And do what? Bring them on stage with you?”
“I didn’t say that. I could license them while I’m touring. I’ll get my merch out there like I always have. Anything could work. I just think that with my master recordings, I’ll have the power over my own work. I’ll be able to grant samples and earn from them. I’ll be in a position of power to govern what happens to my work.”
Weisberg lit a cigar. “‘Bella, listen. I want this for you probably more than you do. But you’re just not selling the same as when you first started. You’ve got a few million streams. That’s cute. But we’re in the age of billions. You’re going to need to get back into the studio to make next level music.”
“Yes. You’re going to have to get into the Internet game even more. You’ve got a presence. Now, you need an impact. In order for you to own your masters, you will need to find a way to bring your business mind to today’s and tomorrow’s media landscape. I would love to help you with using your work for you. I mean that.”
“Job, I appreciate that. I do have in mind what to do with the ownership of my work that goes beyond just granting samples. I want to have a tiered system of distributing my efforts to film distribution companies, the streaming services, and other outlets for my songs.”
“You’re going to have to do some lifting, but I’ll be glad to aid you as much as I can. Your ability to put forth all of your knowledge you’ve just demonstrated means you can take control of your destiny. If you wish to acquire those works as your own, you will have to do so with the consistency and mindframe of a CEO.”
“I’ve played the business lady role my whole career. I know that with my recordings under my wings, I’ll be able to fly without worrying about them falling between the folds. I will have the mindset to know that I can steer the conversation over what I created.”
Job laughed between puffs. “You know, you can use them. You can use them beyond all the noise. It’s easy to try to say, ‘oh, give me my stuff,’ which everyone wants to say. You have the chance to become a major player despite your recent slump. If you take seriously your ability to manage your future, you just might take that ownership.”
“I’m feeling like I can reclaim my status in this world. Hell, I’ve been around the globe and sold millions of tickets. I’ve got that going. But I need to rest assured in the comfort that I own my own.”
“That’s what I want from you. I needed to know what you would do for all that. You’ve got the way unto you. This way is going to lift you up and allow you to stand on a plane that very few artists can claim to have achieved.”