“He was an executive at Tower International,” she says, “and he told me that the LP was selling like hotcakes in Japan as an import. He wanted to distribute my record there, but he needed it in the new CD format. I told him that basically I didn’t have any money left, and he said that he wanted to become a personal investor in me and that he would pay for the format change. Then he arranged a distribution deal for us with Bayside, which was owned by Tower and was a major distributor of Indie records. So we went with them, and they’ve been our distributor ever since.”
Alfonso nods agreement. “Having her own record company does not mean Kitty is desperately interested in the business part of music. In fact, she couldn't be less interested in it — that's not why she got into the music. She really just wanted to sing, and sing material she likes the way she likes. Mad-Kat Records gives her the freedom to do that."
Which brings us to 2007. Tower and Bayside recently went bankrupt, leaving many of the labels under their wing without "brick and mortar" distribution. But Kitty is not very worried.
“Oh, I had been approached by other record labels and managers in the nineties who had wanted to sign me. But now, with Mad-Kat a nineteen-year-old company, we have a working business infrastructure and a solid business plan. And unlike with record companies that are not run by the artists, we own our own masters, which is all-important. Besides, there’s a lot of panic and confusion now in the record industry. The influence of the Internet. Downloading and all that. Falling CD sales. So the longer we stay the way we are, the smarter our original decision looks. We own all of our own work. Distribution will come. In fact, we have worldwide digital distribution now, and we’re in negotiations just now with the best Indie distributor there is, and I think it’ll be quite a step up.”
The prospect of a major recording deal can be very compelling to artists who have been working for years and may not have achieved the level of success for which they had hoped.