Deadmau5 ditches Universal, tries indie label for next release

Deadmau5 enters the magazine headlines yet again, this time he’s gotten out of his contract with Universal Group. The mau5 has been battling labels since the beginning of his career, but the problem finally seems to be fixed now that he’s going to signing his Mau5trap imprint and all his intellectual property to Kobalt, an upstart, independent publishing company. Kobalt is an indie company handling the likes of Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney and even Skrillex.

Although Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5) has sold 1.2 million albums and 4.2 million tracks in the United States, he always fought against for his ‘independence’ as he would put it. In a statement involving Universal, deadmau5 said, “The label does what’s good for the label. Always.”, quite clearly implying that the major labels aren’t protecting their artists or giving them creative freedom.

This isn’t the first time Zimmerman has found his way out of a major music group, the mau5 was signed to Ultra Music Records who solely represented him in North America, he stood alongside Kaskade, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris but had a massive fall out with Ultra in 2013 over lack of creative control. Joel’s North American market was then taken care of by Universal under the Capitol’s Astralwerks imprint. Although deadmau5 was yet again signed to one of the biggest music publishers in the industry, these companies were simply not able to produce results despite the growing popularity of electronic dance music.

Apparently Kobalt earns 20-30 % more revenue than the major music publishers, this combined with the creative and artistic control that Joel will receive here has convinced him to sign for them. However deadmau5 still remains cautious, as can be seen from the following statement.

“I’m not saying I’m never gonna get f—ed again, but I do like the freedom that, if I do f— up, it’s my fault rather than the fault of someone who bought that responsibility from me.”

This is first step towards the right direction according to Joel, he has major plans for the upcoming months including bolstering the Mau5trap imprint.

“I’ve got $130 million in the bank and a whiteboard full of cool ideas for emerging markets and technologies where we’re gonna test the waters and see what happens,” he says. “And that’s how you become the first (best) — not by using the old traditional broken-ass model.”

We wish deadmau5 the very best of luck with his new label and certainly can’t wait to see how the Canadian artist progresses from here on out.