Sheryl Crow has turned her back on the major labels and will be releasing her new single via digital distribution service Stem.
The singer has released all 10 of her albums through either A&M or Warner Bros. but now it appears she’s keen to try a new way of getting her music out there – and she has turned to the three-year-old platform, which streamlines and tracks payments for artists.
“For artists out there who don’t belong, or seemingly don’t fit into this cookie cutter world of very young pop, it’s a great way to get your music out there,” she tells Billboard.
“I’m a little bit of an anomaly, in that I’m a much older artist than what gets played at radio, obviously. And I’m a much older artist than what typically winds up on playlists, and I’m also a much older artist than what most labels are interested in putting money into, because they don’t make the money back, but that doesn’t mean I’m not making good records, it doesn’t mean that I’m not staying vital and creative.
Her new track, Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You, features fellow singer/songwriter St. Vincent under her given name, Annie Clark. The two stars became friends after collaborating live onstage at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit.
“I called her and said, ‘I am dying to have you bring your St. Vincent-ness to this,’ and I said, ‘You will not hurt my feelings if you don’t like the song’,” Crowe recalls. “And I sent it to her, and her response was, ‘Fuck yeah!’ That was a direct quote, as only Annie Clark can respond, which I loved. She did all kinds of stuff on it, and we pretty much used all of it.”
If the new song is a hit on Stem, Crow is considering an alternative release for her next album, which has been in the works “for about two years”: “We’ll shop it and then we’ll sort of evaluate where we’re at,” she explains. “So I can’t say specifically whether we’ll do it through Stem or whether we’ll do a one-off with the record and then come back to Stem, but I love knowing that it’s (Stem) there.”