The Launch Of MorningStar Records

Published on 8 May 2023 at 00:00

The self-proclaimed "label minus the label" celebrates its public launch. Read more below.

A note from label founder and flagship artist, Mike Haggith.


     Friends, the day is finally upon us! I was beginning to think this day would never come, with just how much work this turned out to be behind the scenes. However, no matter how closely I spent my nights flirting with burnout, constantly writing, organizing, and optimizing, I maintained my motivation by constantly looking around the industry. To say it's tough out there for independent artists would be the understatement of the century. It seems everywhere you look, there's another 'pay to play' scheme popping up, another rising artist weighed down by the chains of an outdated and predatory recording contract, and another video telling musicians that the only way to make money is to spend thousands of dollars building websites and ordering hundreds of CDs that don't sell nearly fast enough to generate any real revenue. Should an artist be forced to surrender all the rights to their music, voice, and identity in order to release an album? Not in this day and age, they shouldn't, and this is exactly why I've poured so much time and energy into MorningStar Records. So, how does this all work? Well, there's a whole blurb about that here, and a significantly more detailed outline with FAQs for artists who might wish to affiliate here. However, I'll give you a quick overview here.


     Essentially, this is a record label, minus the label. Under this model, artists produce their own music and albums in their own space at their own pace, then if they so choose, they affiliate- not sign- with the label. What's the difference? Essentially, affiliating is a nice way of saying MorningStar Records doesn't own your stuff, we simply host it on the site and sell your CD and LP units for you. As an affiliated artist, you are listed on the website with an artist bio, your updates are published on the homepage and News tab in the form of blog posts, and of course, your albums are listed on the label's webstore at absolutely no out-of-pocket cost or long-term commitment.


     The label exists predominantly as a website with some social media presence, which cuts the overhead so much that it essentially exists for no more than about $40-50 per month, which I personally pay out of pocket. CDs and vinyl records (LPs) are made to order, meaning whenever one is sold on the website, I send the manufacturing request straight to the factory, they manufacture and ship the unit directly to the customer, and I handle the transaction on the backend, paying the revenue directly to the artist minus 20% to help cover the cost of overhead and labor. I think it's a model where everybody wins, and of course, the artists retain their rights and can affiliate and un-affiliate as they so choose, even opting to do so on an album-by-album basis.


     At this point, you may be wondering why I'm doing this, and what's in it for me. To be perfectly honest, I've always wanted to run a record label that doesn't screw people. Have you ever read through a standard recording contract? The rights you give away are maddening to think about. When I was recording and releasing albums with $6 in my chequing account and no idea where my next meal was coming from, I wished there was an option like this to release and sell physical units without the overhead costs. As the saying goes, be the change you wish to see in the world. Apart from this, my goal is to build a community of like-minded artists who can benefit from things like cross-promotion, networking, and even guest features on each others' projects down the line. Maybe this is all just a big vanity project, but I really believe we can build something great together. This has been my vision for the last ten plus years, and after months of tireless work, it is now MorningStar Records.


     Thanks for reading. If you have more questions, and I'm sure you do, feel free to read more here and reach out to This is something I'm really proud of, but I'd be even more proud if you were a part of it. Come join the MorningStar Collective, and be a part of the change.


-Mike Haggith