If Kelly Clarkson Can Survive a Major Label Split, So Can Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has changed labels. She produced 6 albums with her original label, Big Machine Records, and is the artist mostly responsible for their success as a new label. However, when she decided to split with this company to reach higher goals, she was met with bullying, resistance and heartbreak.
The star has lost the rights to all the master recordings of her life’s work, but she’s received encouragement from Kelly Clarkson who has also survived a major label change in her career.
Taylor Swift’s entire musical repertoire was recently sold
Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Records, recently sold the rights to the artist’s master recordings. This means all of the music on her first six albums now belongs to a guy named Scooter Braun, who purchased the label for $300 million.
She is subsequently angry and sad. She wrote a lengthy Tumblr post about how disappointed she was by the sale, and how she felt betrayed by the record label who she’d been with since she was 14 years old.
Swift has been bullied by Braun for years
According to Swift, she didn’t have a chance to buy the songs herself. Scott Borchetta, who is the founder of Big Machine, made the deal with Braun without giving her any heads up. Of course, Swift had recently left Big Machine to pursue a contract with Republic Records and Borchetta wasn’t pleased.
So, Braun grabbed the record label — and Swift’s recordings.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time,” Taylor lamented. “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums,” Swift explained in her post.
She continued to place blame on both men for their extortionist behaviors. “He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them.”
Kelly Clarkson offered Swift advice
Kelly Clarkson recounts how she too has been bullied by a former label and offers to stand in support of Swift.
Clarkson remembers when she tried to present the song “Because of You” to her recording team, she was told she was a bad writer. Clarkson explained to Variety “I was told that was a shitty song because it didn’t rhyme. A group of men thought it was OK to sit around a young woman and bully her,” she said. “I was told I should shut up and sing.”
Because of her experiences, she took to Twitter to show support for Swift and suggested she simply rerecord her songs.
Clarkson is familiar with change
Kelly, who won an eight-album contract with Sony Records when she won American Idol back in 2002 completely understands the nuances of someone else owning your voice. Since then, she hasn’t been in control of her music the way she wanted to be.
That’s why her newest album under her new label, Atlantic Records, will sound a lot different than what fans are used to. The split has been powerful for Clarkson though, she’s now gotten an opportunity to put some heart back into her songs.
Her new album, The Meaning Of Life, is her first after signing to Atlantic Records. It has a soulful sound to it, that is brimming with Kelly Clarkson’s signature sass.
She takes this change very personally and offers some solace to the grieving Taylor. If Kelly Clarkson can survive switching labels and coming out on top with new, more personal music. So can Swift.