Chris I would love to know your opinion on the Columbia thing. Cause I assume - just like Niam - he could have chosen his label. Then again he is 50% of the closet, so maybe he didn't have a choice, just like Louis didn't with the other Sony label SYCO. Or maybe Harry has to fulfil some kind of obligation and that's why it's Columbia? Cause Jeff is so close with republic records guy and Columbia wasn't really pro Harry/the band in the past? I think there has to be a reason we can't know of?
Louis hasn’t been confirmed as signing with anyone, so that’s not really a thing just yet.
And I think Harry chose the label that offered him the best deal. I don’t think there was coercion other than the normal coercion that any label would do to keep a massive talent.
Harry registered Erskine Records last year. It is almost certain that Erskine is the actual “label” that he is signed to and then Erskine did a deal with Columbia for marketing and distribution services, etc. so that Harry has vastly more control over his music and his earnings than he would otherwise have if he signed a traditional deal.
This is what Niall did with Neon Haze and what I believe Liam has done with Hampton Records.
So people worrying about Harry being trapped I think are barking up the wrong tree. Harry literally has one of the greatest, most influential, and wealthiest artist managers of all time on his side in Irving Azoff. Forcing him to sign some shitty deal after the 1D contracts were over is not likely.
Columbia/Sony may have had first (or last) right of refusal on his solo stuff, but in a situation like this, Harry would have had other offers that they had to match or beat. I don’t believe he would have signed otherwise.