Tenn. (AP) — Country star Jason Aldean learned the hard lessons about
the music business when he first signed a record deal with Capitol
Records that ended up never producing any music. Years later, he signed
to Broken Bow, a Nashville-based indie label that has gone on to release
all nine of Aldean’s records, six of which have been certified platinum
“I got kicked around in the music business
pretty good early on and learned a lot,” said Aldean on the eve of his
new record, the appropriately titled “9,” which came out Nov. 22.
“Broken Bow giving me an opportunity to do what I’ve done over the years
and giving me a chance to have a career means a lot.”
ago, the German-based BMG bought BBR Music Group, which includes Broken
Bow, and Aldean this year signed a new global distribution and marketing
deal with BMG, a big step for Aldean who was already one of country
music’s most downloaded artists.
In many ways, Aldean has become
the face of the label and is invested in its success, which now includes
artists like Dustin Lynch, Runaway June, Lindsay Ell, Jimmie Allen, Zac
Brown Band, Trace Adkins, Kid Rock and more. Recently named artist of
the decade by the Academy of Country Music, he’s sold nearly 12 million
albums in the U.S. alone, had more than 20 No. 1 singles and filled
arenas and stadiums along the way. He also has his own imprint at the
label, where he has signed and released music from Tyler Farr.
with BMG’s support, Aldean and the rest of BBR Music Group’s artists
have greater access to an international audience for country music that
has been growing, said Jon Loba, executive vice president, recorded
music at BMG Nashville.
“In the next year, you’re going to see
some really big picture initiatives specific to Aldean that will not
only advance his career overseas, but the genre as a whole,” said Loba.
“We’re trying as a company not to just elevate our artists in other
territories, but the entire genre.”
“I think that’s something every artist would like to have,” Aldean said. “It kind of opens you up to a whole new world.”
discussed owning his music, a hot topic in Nashville lately during the
public feud between Taylor Swift and Nashville-based Big Machine Label
Group, which owns her first six records. The three-time ACM entertainer
of the year told The Associated Press that was a priority in his last
“When I redid my record deal a few records
back, when I upped with Broken Bow for the first time, that was a big
point for me,” Aldean said. “I wanted to own my own stuff. And then when
I just re-upped again, I wanted to own more of it.”
Loba declined to discuss specifics of Aldean’s contract, but acknowledged he was getting strong offers from their competitors.
were happy to deliver in this instance on the things that were
important to him because he is so incredibly important to us,” Loba
“Those are our paintings, you know. That’s our piece of art.
And the record companies, I feel like, we both did well. I made these
records. They profited a lot off it and got that initial stuff off it,”
said Aldean. “At some point, I want that stuff back and to be able to
leave to my family.”
But Aldean also feels a loyalty to his label,
which has trusted him to be his own A&R guy, essentially picking
out his songs and singles with his longtime producer Michael Knox.
Luckily, he has other country artists bringing him songs, such as Tyler
Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, who co-wrote his driving, country rock
single “We Back.” Morgan Wallen, who is opening for Aldean next year,
co-wrote “Keeping It Small Town” and Brantley Gilbert co-wrote “The Same
Way,” both songs that Aldean felt fit his style of arena country rock.
feel like whenever we go into the studio and start recording, it’s
almost like a lot of these guys start writing specifically for us, for
our record, which is cool,” Aldean said.
Even as the music
industry moves more and more to a singles-driven approach, Aldean still
sees the value in a full 16-song album.
“I feel like it’s really
hard for a fan to get an idea of who an artist is by listening to one
song every few months,” Aldean said.
Follow Kristin M. Hall at http://twitter.com/kmhall