I have been a JoJo fan since I was literally 6 years old. Her album was the first that I ever owned; I literally taught myself how to sing by listening to her over and over as a child.
It confused me when after her highly successful sophomore album (The High Road) she stopped releasing music; it made no sense. Come to find that she and her mother naively signed a record deal when they were poor and vulnerable and looking for a way out. They did not read the fine print.
The label had legal ownership of her name and her voice and kept her in limbo for upwards of 7 years, barring her from releasing any new music unless it was on their terms.
This is why upon hearing that Camila Cabello left Fifth Harmony and reading the official Fifth Harmony statement I noticed certain things did not add up.
Reading into it further, I noticed the circumstances under which the groups deal was signed; the majority of the group were 15/16 years old when they signed their contracts, and without going into the details (you can find them with a simple search on Google/twitter), their management and label found a loophole that enabled them to essentially have full ownership of the girl’s image/music/name without their realising, as they were so young and genuinely uneducated on the ins and outs of the industry.
It took JoJo 7 years and a hell of a fight to sue her way out of her deal - if you are a Fifth Harmony fan, I urge you to voice your outrage and help these girls out. I had the misfortune of hearing the leaked audio of one of the girls crying/distraught over the issue, referring to herself and the girls as ‘slaves’. Contractually speaking, as of right now, they are just that.
Speak up, voice your concern, have it make the forefront of media/the news. These girls are contractually trapped and unable to speak for themselves; please shout as loudly as you can for them.
As an artist myself, I know that your doing this will be intrinsic to their respective careers in the future.
Do you want your idols to stick together out of contractual obligation, or do you want them to be free and wholeheartedly thrive?
Speak up, and #FreeFifthHarmony.
And best of luck to you and the girls.