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Interview with Jason Bradford, Tone Box Digital

Posted in A Day in the Life, Interviews, The Great Give Back 2008 | 1 Comment »

I recently interviewed Jason Bradford, musician and owner of Tone Box Digital, an online music label, and l was impressed with his mission to empower his artists.

Indie Artists, Musicians, Bands, please go to’s Small Biz contest page and vote for Tone Box Digital. It only takes a click. Voting ends December 31, 2008 at 12:00am.

Rock Star Life Lessons Interview with Jason Bradford, owner of Tone Box Digital
by Carla Lynne Hall

Rock Star Life Lessons:You recently received attention from Wired Magazine for Tonebox Digital, your indie record label/distribution service. What is that about, and what was it like to be recognized for that?
Jason Bradford: This is actually going on right now. started a small business section on their website and to launch it they began the search for new businesses that would line up with the Wired mentality. We were chosen in the top five and I was flown to NY to do an video interview, which is live on their site right now. Now it’s up to the public to determine which of the five should win the program. It’s been amazing. I know there are many labels big and small who are trying to find there way in this industry and for Wired to recognize our business model and plan as a good one is truly amazing. (Tone Box is also the underdog in this program. We’ve never had backers or investors so it’s all come out of my pocket– small pocket! The other four are pretty well funded and have some great ideas, good company to be in.)

RSLL: How does Tonebox Digital differ from the old school music business model?
JB: Our model is pretty simple. We make sure that no matter what, the artists makes more money than anyone in the chain (the chain consists of artist/label/distributor/service). We partner with artists and get them placement in all the major online sales outlets then help them connect with bloggers, social media sites, music review sites, podcasters and any other outlet we can manage to find.

We also do everything online. We do not print physical CDs nor to we promote to traditional radio…However, our artists may do these things on their own and we advise/consult on placement but normally do not go that route unless we have a proven artist/music piece to work with. The word “label” can be misleading because I feel like we are more of a partner to the artists and what they are trying to do.

RSLL: How did you decide to start a label?
JB: I had dreams of running a major label one day… I went to school and got a Music Business degree and knew that I would work at a label one day. The funny thing is that I never worked at a label besides my own. I’ve been told that’s a bad thing because I “needed” that experience but I can tell you that I’m glad I didn’t. It’s been fun building my own thought process of what the music business should look like and I know that I haven’t fallen into any traps that the traditional or big labels would have “taught” me.

I’ve had opportunities to work at some big labels but the timing was never right. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go there now, with the shift in our digital world I think some new thinkers and idea shakers could do a lot of good at a major label… who knows, I may end up there one day or I may not! 🙂

RSLL:Why did you decide to go digital?
JB: It was simple for me. I was an early adopter for buying music online and knew that there had to be a way to get indie artists out there. This was in the early 2000’s… by 2003 I was prepping Tone Box and by 2004 one of my artists had spent over $100K trying the traditional model (photo shoots, lots of CDs, clothes, video, radio promotion). It wasn’t fun- even though he had backers, I wanted it to work! I immediately started thinking there has to be a better way. I started working with another band and we spent less the $5K on the record put it out digitally and starting making money right away. They went on to sign a bigger deal but had the credibility from the stuff I did with them. That was two different artists with two different approaches and you see which one worked. I’ve been full on digital since then.

If you believe in indie music, vote for Tone Box Digital by December 31st, and help empower indie musicians everywhere!

One Response to “Interview with Jason Bradford, Tone Box Digital”

  1. Vote for Tone Box Digital in WIRED Magazine’s Small Biz Contest | NYC Singer Songwriter Blog ~ Rock Star Life Lessons by Carla Lynne Hall Says:

    […] Interview with Jason Bradford, Tone Box Digital […]

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