The mercurial electronic artist has long raged against the major-label machine. Now he’s betting his brand’s future on Kobalt.
Despite the popularity of electronic music in recent years, the major labels’ track record with the genre has been hit and miss — the chart success of a Daft Punk is a rare exception to the reality that dance music moves tickets but relatively few albums.
“The label does what’s good for the label. Always,” says Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, who has sold 1.2 million albums and 4.2 million tracks in the United States, according to Nielsen Music. “It’s instilled in the industry that that’s the only way to do it. Well, not anymore.”
The masked Canadian producer, who rode the EDM boom up to the ranks of its top earners — reportedly commanding upward of $500,000 per show and raking in an estimated $15 million in 2014 — is bringing his recordings, publishing and Mau5trap label to Kobalt, the upstart independent publishing and music-rights platform that counts Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney and Skrillexamong its clients……
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