I don’t really want to get into the details, but over the weekend, Big Machine Label Group was sold to Scooter Braun, a media executive that manages artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Zac Brown and more.
Shortly after the news broke, Taylor Swift released a statement condemning Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta for orchestrating what she called her “worst case scenario,” and selling the masters of her songs to an “incessant, manipulative bully.”
Scott released his own statement, but at the end of the day, none of us really know what went on in the negotiations, who was told what and when, or what happened to cause Taylor and Scooter’s relationship to be what it is. Fans and even other artists have their opinions about the situation and the industry as a whole, but country singer Jason Eady has perhaps provided some of the most thoughtful insight on the situation.
In an Instagram post last night, Eady shared why it’s important to build a REAL fan base with REAL fans that pay their hard-earned money to come see YOU. If you’re an up and coming artist in the music industry, you’re going to want to pay close attention:
“Reading this news about Taylor Swift and Big Machine Records and the fact that the biggest manager in pop music just bought a huge Nashville label has got me thinking about some things.
When I was first starting out I wanted the big Nashville record deal. I thought that’s what you were supposed to want as a musician. That was the goal line. And, thankfully, it never happened. I listen to people complain about not owning their own work and wanting more creative control over their music and I am thankful every day for the position I’m in. I do own my own masters. I do get to have complete creative control over my work. No, I’m not famous and I don’t live in a mansion. But Courtney and I do own a car and a van, bought a house, raised kids, put a daughter through college, travel the world, and live a successful and happy life, all through playing music.
I have an incredibly supportive fan base who make every bit of this possible. That’s who I rely on for my career, not a label. They are people who want to hear the music that I make, whatever that may be at that point in my life, without worrying about what’s in style right now or what everybody else is doing. I have people who spend their hard earned money to show up and see me sing my songs everywhere I go. That is success no matter which way you cut it.
I don’t say any of this to sound arrogant or as a “look at me” post. I say it to say to any young artists out there… stay true to yourself, make your music your way without compromising, get out there and do it on your own, building a base one show and one song at a time. Over time you will end up with a fan base that wants to hear YOU. I’m not saying not to dream big. You should definitely dream big. And one day if you grow it big enough and you want help from a major label then you go to them on your terms, not theirs, and work out an arrangement where everybody wins. And if that never happens, getting to make a living doing what you love is as valuable as anything else you can have in this life. Just stay true, be patient, be humble and thankful, never stop working, and trust the process. Things will work out, trust me.”
Anybody trying to chase this crazy dream, take notes.