ATLANTA — Atlanta is the music capital of the South, with many aspiring artists vying to make it big, inspired by so many successful Atlanta talents like Outkast, Migos, Gucci Mane, and so many others.
But there are roadblocks some young artists face while chasing the dream – the possibility of getting scammed by bad people posing as industry gatekeepers. It happens to the most vulnerable who have an insatiable hunger to launch their careers.
The legendary Patchwerk Recording Studios, where so many major artists have recorded hit songs, has a message: don’t get scammed.
Curtis Daniel III, the co-owner of Patchwerk, said the studio posted a ‘Fraud Alert’ on Instagram recently after a scammer pretended to be affiliated with the recording studio. The person messaged aspiring artists and promised a label deal if they paid a small fee of $200 up front.
He said that should have been an indication that it was a scam.
“They’re losing money that could be financing their dream, that could create an opportunity to change the life of their whole family,” Daniel said.
He said the biggest strategy that scammers will use is to create a sense of urgency to rush the process. He has other tips people should look out for.
“If it’s a legitimate business, they’ll have a legitimate address. They’ll have a business phone number. They’ll have a website. They’ll have a business social media and when someone is emailing you, it should come from a business domain.”
Daniel said there’s nothing worse than when it’s too late. These types of scams are a trend that has become common in the music industry – from people posing as record labels to recording studios.
The Patchwerk staff member said they post on social media every time their company is used to lure in victims as a teachable moment.
“They call us after they got robbed. After they paid, they call us. And I just be like, you could have made that same phone call after you made that money,” Daniel said.