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Vote for Tone Box Digital in WIRED Magazine’s Small Biz Contest

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

Tone Box Digital, the online music label run by Jason Bradford, has made it to the TOP 5 finalists of WIRED Magazine’s Small Business Contest, and I want to help him WIN.


In my opinion Jason’s nomination is awesome for a couple of reasons: A) Tone Box Digital is the only music company listed, and B) Tone Box Digital is the “smallest” company of the five finalists. While it’s an honor for Tone Box to even be nominated, I would like to help him win the whole enchilada. By rallying the die-hard indie music fans, I know we can do this.


1. A win for Tone Box Digital would not just be for him alone, but for any indie artist that dares to go up against a major label artist.

2. Tone Box Digital is a company that helps indie artists market and sell their music, and if he wins, indie artists will also win because it is further proof that indie musicians can make a living from their music.

3. PLUS, it would just be really cool!

I recently interviewed Jason, who’s also a musician, and l was impressed with his mission to empower the artists on his label, Tone Box Digital. If you believe in indie music, 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.

ALSO – Jason has also started a group on Facebook for the fans of Tone Box Digital. If 200 voters join his group, he will give away a $30 gift card to a lucky winner!
Says Jason:

Here’s The Deal:
I’ll be selecting one random winner to receive a $30 gift card from Amazon, iTunes or Starbucks– Your Choice!!! All you have to do is tell me where you posted the info! Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, your blog, your website— that’s it! Just pass it on!!!

Use the wall to tell me where you posted it and you are entered to win!!!

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

Tone Box Digital Intro from jason bradford on Vimeo.

To learn more about Jason Bradford and Tone Box Digital, read the Rock Star Life Lessons interview!

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!

What is Your Vision for Your “Next Level”? ~ Guest Blog Poll by Jason Bradford

Posted in Recession Proof Musician | 7 Comments »

While planning the first week of articles for “The Recession Proof Musician”, I thought it was important to talk about your VISION. After all, how will you know you’ve reached your destination if you don’t know what it is?

Coincidentally, Jason Bradford, musician and online label owner posed similar questions on his blog, The Blogford Files, and I’m reprinting them here to encourage you to think about your vision of success. If you feel like answering them below, great, but I also suggest that you include your answers on Jason’s blog as well. At the very least, you’ll get two links back to your music website! 😉 Later this month, I’ll be interviewing Jason for more in-depth knowledge! Stay tuned!

Define Your “Next Level”
by Jason Bradford

1. As an indie artist or someone who works with indie artists what do you feel is missing to take you to the next level?

2. Can you define your “next level”?

3. Do you believe a major label will help more or less in your career?

4. Do you work on your music career like you would with any job or goal?

5. Do you have digital distribution? Worldwide?

6. What are you doing online to market, share your music & build your fan base?