Never Sign a Contract!
Mary Spender has a following pushing a line of staying independent in music. I call it owning your own business. I'm one of those pub players you never remember but love when we're playing.
I gave up on ever getting "the deal" in my 40s and, as I write this, I'm 60. I was spread too thin to do what I needed to to get a major label contract. I was never going to move to London or LA, or even Sydney or Melbourne back in the day, although, now I'm retired, I live in Melbourne. I was kind of high on my supply, "...better to be a small fish in a tiny pond." Also, the internet is the democratisation of the arts. This makes the job harder, but it also keeps the control of your art in your hands, you're a tradie with an instrument.
So, check out Mary's channel, click subscribe and give her Patreon some love. She says it much better than I do, and she's better looking and better spoken than me by a country mile.
Oh, stick to mostly originals, too. You're an artist, not a forger. Covers are a great way to learn, there are covers that mean a lot to you, personally, but a musician is not a jukebox. Play your own stuff, especially if you stay online.