Canadian rocker Bryan Adams has some advice for his younger counterparts as he prepares for the self-funded release of his 11th studio album in America -- take control of your music.
Best known for hits like "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" and "Summer of '69" over a career of nearly 30 years, Adams said he has not been signed to a record label in the United States for more than four years and loves the freedom. <b1>
"I really recommend it to most artists to take control of their music if they can," the rocker-turned-photographer said in an interview for "Hear the World" --
-- an exhibition of his celebrity photos to promote awareness of hearing loss that opened in New York on Friday.
"It's really time for artists to take control of what they're doing and appreciate what it takes to move forward," said Adams. "I really didn't understand how much went on behind the scenes in promoting a record." With several new artists having hits without the backing of a major record label, Adams says he believes independence "is what the music business is coming to."
Adams is signed to Universal Music Group internationally and, according to his Web site
, his new album "11" debuted in the top 10 in 11 countries -- including No. 6 in Britain -- when it was released in March. In the United States, the album will be released exclusively through retail giant Wal-Mart on May 13. "I know already that we're better off here doing it myself than when I was with a label," he said.
"There's four times the interest just by doing it ourselves because we're creating our own buzz."
While Adams did not elaborate on how he was creating his own buzz, many bands are seeking new ways to sell their music and connect with fans, particularly over the Internet. As a result, record labels are struggling to keep pace and have lost several top acts as part of the industry shake-up.
Among those taking control are British group Radiohead, who declined to renew their contract with EMI and then released an album online for which fans could pay any price. Madonna left Warner Bros to sign with concert promoter Live Nation and Prince gave away an album in a British tabloid newspaper. Of his new record, Adams says sales pitch is simple.
"It's another Bryan Adams album, so if you have liked any of the other ones then you will probably like this one," he said. "Same singer, a lot of the same musicians."