Yesterday I did a column about Taylor Swift’s reaction to Ithaca Holdings’ acquisition of the record label that made Taylor Swift a great deal of money. Swift was definitely not happy to see Big Machine Label Group acquired by Ithaca. Swift doesn’t have control over the masters to a number of albums that took her from country star to pop tart. Eady, who is an indie musician from Texas, gave his take and it’s very similar to what I’ve told my daughters since they decided to do music fulltime.
Eady wrote a post that was republished at the Texas Red Dirt Roads page on Facebook on July 2. He also had it on Instagram, but I decided Facebook probably is more accessible to people who want to read it in full. Here’s part of what Eady said:
“…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…”
I spent many years in my profession, writing about all manner of people. I interviewed some very famous people, and one takeaway is that fame doesn’t guarantee happiness.
If you can do what you love every single day of your life, to me, that’s happiness. And if you can do it on your terms, that’s bliss.
As for Swift, her fans comforted her and her critics dissed her. After all, she’s a multi-millionaire and she entered those licensing agreements willingly. A pop culture livelihood, I think, isn’t for the faint of heart. In the end, you have to decide what type of artist you want to be, and if you’re a fan, what type of artist you want to support.
(Kay B. Day/July 2, 2019)