Garth Brooks has left RCA Records after releasing just one album. Man Against Machine was released in 2014 and was part of a multi-album contract, but after Sony Nashville head Gary Overton stepped down and the two singles disappointed at radio, the singer has moved on.
Brooks tells The Tennessean that he will release both of his upcoming fall projects — a Christmas duets album with wife Trisha Yearwood and a solo record — on his own Pearl Records imprint. He is working with a major distribution partner to get it into stores.
“I’ve always enjoyed being part of a team,” Brooks states. “I think you can always be part of something bigger with a team than you can be by yourself. Would I love to be part of a label group? Sure I would. But with the new streaming income now, I can’t make them money.”
The retail partner is believed to be Target as Brooks “slipped” that information during an “Inside Studio G” session a few weeks ago while on the set of a photo shoot for the Christmas album. Also, up to this point, Brooks hasn’t allowed his music to be streamed online, but claims that could change soon as he solidifies a deal with an unnamed streaming partner. He states that it’s “neither of the two partners you think it’s going to be, but it’s one of the biggest partners in the world.” The two largest streamers are Spotify and Apple Music, so perhaps Amazon is in the picture.
“There’s a lot of different ways to promote now and a lot of options that are open.”
It wasn’t until 2014 with the RCA deal that he began offering his music digitally via his GhostTunes venture. However, after parting ways with the label, that could change as GhostTunes may get absorbed into a larger company, although he didn’t elaborate.
As Brooks puts the pieces together for his two upcoming albums, he is working on a project with television sports and alluded to CBS during this week’s Inside Studio G. He is also putting together a radio promotions staff to promote the new music to radio.
“There’s a lot of different ways to promote now and a lot of options that are open, and I feel very, very lucky about that,” he explains. “The word the management group is using is collision or connectivity — how do you put all of those things together and make them work toward the music? They’re not just individual things out there going — they all tie together.”
Brooks has declared fans who tune into his weekly “Inside Studio G” Facebook Live series will be the first to know about the upcoming projects. No reveal date has been announced, but it’s expected in the next few weeks.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.