No matter how many industry professionals and fellow musicians may suggest that "getting signed" is a not-what-it-seems type of trap, one can still want nothing more than to say that they've "made it" in the traditional music industry fashion, by getting signed. In 2019, is this now just a distant dream that will bring more problems than peace?
Honestly, this is a hard topic because we do truly believe that the only people who can have a substantial and accurate opinion are those who have been signed to any type of label, as they have experienced this in every detail. Even then, there are so many variables that go into the situation, where one artist's experience is completely contrasting to another's.
Ultimately, the only suggestion that we can make is to do your research on the company and read every single word. If you're being offered a contract, no matter how big or small, you must hire a music attorney to break down the details for you. We know that this isn't the fun part - but it will save you so many headaches in the long run - read your contract yourself.
If you've spent decades and decades perfecting your craft and it's taken all of that time to get to this very moment with the pen in your hand, then you can most certainly afford one more week, set aside, to just read your contract and think about the future ahead. Make a realistic plan and don't allow the glamour to cloud your clarity on the realities of the situation.
Additionally, don't be afraid to create an addendum to the offer. If the company truly wants to collaborate with you, they'll be willing to negotiate to any reasonable terms that will help you create a better lifestyle and environment for the art form.
Finally, if you're dead-set on getting signed, it's imperative that you research each and every potential company that may be interested in your art form. Read the articles until you run out of pages on Google's results. There are artists that, each company comes with a story. Don't sign to the first one that wants you. At the end of the day, make sure that your ideals align.