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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Music business is 'killing creativity'
Dave Stewart has launched an
Dave Stewart has launched an "artist-friendly" network
Former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart has warned that big record companies are in danger of killing creativity by chasing profits.

Stewart says major labels - which control 75% of releases in the UK - are so concerned with using manufactured acts to follow short-term trends that they ignore a lot of real talent.

He has launched his own record label and production network to nurture artists that major labels would pass by.


We believe that by doing the right thing, the money will come

Dave Stewart
"It's very difficult nowadays for lots of artists who don't fit the mould that [the major labels] have created," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"They've understood how to sell one thing, like McDonald's did, and said 'right, we'll sell loads of this thing'.

"But there's lots of other artists out there that don't particularly fit that mould."

He said there was now a "very corporate face to a very creative business" after numerous mergers and managers were brought in from outside the industry.

Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox in Eurythmics
Stewart and Annie Lennox found fame in Eurythmics
"I remember in about 1986 when Annie Lennox and I were doing really well, the head of our record company changed in America and then this one came in from Hertz Rent-a-Car," he said.

"That was kind of a little sign of the beginning of the way things have become."

His new record company, the Artist Network, is intended to be artist-friendly, and will also produce films, TV programmes, books and visual art and have its own live music venue.

He said it would be more welcoming than big record companies like EMI, where hopeful artists have to "get past the man with the peaked cap and the uniform" before even getting a foot in the door.

EMI said it was "nonsense" to say its acts - which include Radiohead and Blur - do not have creative freedom.

'Different'

The Artist Network has already signed acts like reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, and is backed by Body Shop founder Anita Roddick.

It hopes top raise $30m (20m) to fund its first 10 major music projects and four independent films.

"We're approaching it completely from a different way," Stewart said. "We believe that by doing the right thing, the money will come."

The Eurythmics had worldwide hits in the mid-1980s with songs like There Must Be An Angel, Sweet Dreams and Who's That Girl?

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Dave Stewart
"There are lots of other artists out there that don't fit the mould"
See also:

30 May 02 | Business
13 May 02 | Entertainment
28 Mar 02 | Entertainment
11 Oct 00 | Science/Nature
13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
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