Ciara took the world by storm with her debut single “Goodies.” Now, she’s a Grammy-winning artist who has leveled up even more in her artistic journey, owning her masters and a record label.

Ciara Reveals She Felt Unsupported By Her Label

In an interview with ABC News during the Soul of a Nation’s Juneteenth special “Soul of Freedom,” Ciara described signing to a record label early on as a dream come true. However, over time Ciara began to question if she was truly benefitting from her artistry.

“But the reality is that when you get to do it over and over and over, you start to go, ‘Okay, am I really reaping the benefits of the fruits of my labor,'” Ciara said, according to ABC News.

Taking Control Of Her Artistry

Early signs of Ciara’s frustrations were shown publicly in 2011. The singer and songwriter took to Facebook to share her thoughts on the record label, revealing she felt stifled creatively and unsupported. It was this moment that served as a catalyst for Ciara wanting to take control of her music and, in 2017, she received her window of opportunity thanks to her single “Level Up.”

With a sensational single in her back pocket, Ciara planned to release the hit single with a music video. In conversation with the CEO of her label at the time, Ciara noticed a lack of attentiveness toward her release.

The moment, although may have felt discouraging, Ciara used it to her advantage to obtain her master recordings and spearhead her own record and entertainment company, Beauty Marks Entertainment. Ultimately the label not having faith in her artistry issued a green light on her masters and she was able to acquire them for free.

“I had this song called ‘Level Up.’ I had the video for the song as well. I had a whole vision for my project,” said Ciara during the interview with ABC News. “I sat down and I talked to the CEO at that time. It was like, he made up his mind before I came into the room. He wasn’t checking for it.”

“Amazingly enough, they gave me my masters,” Ciara added. “They gave them to me for free! So, it lets you know they didn’t believe at all … It was that easy and I was ready. We gon’ level all the way up.”

Ciara Hopes To Empower Others To Take Control Of Their Music

As a woman of color championing a heavily male-dominated industry, Ciara hopes to inspire others to take control of their work and creative rights in a similar way that the legendary Prince once inspired her to own her masters.

According to ABC News, “Ciara said she was inspired by Prince’s legacy of struggling against the music industry and the ‘power in ownership.'”

“He was really bold, and he was always expressive and opinionated,” Ciara said. “I love that as an artist.”