American Idol season 14 winner Nick Fradiani has parted ways with his label Big Machine Records, he tells Billboard.
After signing with the label run by Scott Borchetta, who served as a mentor on Idol, back in 2015, Fradiani says he is leaving on “good terms.”
“It just wasn’t the right fit,” he said. “I couldn’t be more happy. It needed to happen, and I was hoping for it.”
Fradiani’s departure marks a change in the label, as Borchetta had shed all pop acts not named Taylor Swift, including Laura Marano of Disney’s Austin & Ally, from its roster. American Idol season 15 winner Trent Harmonremains on the roster, as does runner-up La’Porsha Renae on Big Machine/Motown.
“I love Scott. We both wish things turned out differently,” Fradiani said. “I was signed to a country label, and I’m not a country artist.”
Either way, the parting is amicable, says a Big Machine rep, who added: “We have in fact ended our business relationship, but he is still a great friend of the label.”
Fradiani said there were many benefits that came from his relationship with Big Machine, including releasing three singles. His latest one, “All on You,” currently sits at No. 36 on the Pop Songs airplay chart
“A lot of the past Idols didn’t get that. It’s not easy coming off this show,” he said.
Fradiani has also ended his relationship with 19 Entertainment and recently picked up Madison House and agent Jordan Burger — who handles season 8 winner Kris Allen and season 7 winner David Cook — as his booking agent.
“I am already far along in the next record and put my own management team together,” he said. “There are a lot of positive things happening. I did my best. Some people will look at it like it’s not going well, but it’s moving forward.”
He is still pressing forward with the release of a video for the song “Love Is Blind” from Hurricane. He is eyeing Feb. 14 as the day to release it, and his team is ready to pitch the song to different radio stations and television. Big Machine is still helping out with the track, he said.
“I’m still proud of Hurricane,” he said of his debut album, which sold 5,000 copies in its first week of release. “But I felt like I was an artist searching for a hit single. and sometimes I don’t think that was me.”
Still, he said things are looking up. He is in the studio working on music and is heading out to Los Angeles to collaborate with specific writers in mind.
“The music is feeling better,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been finding myself again in last few months of writing, and if I stayed, I was going to stay where I was.”
He said he is thankful that Borchetta was open to letting him break ties and that “we both have mutual respect for one another. I think we both knew it was the right thing.”
That said, “It’s not the worst thing to not be on a label.” For example, he has freedom to release music swiftly to his fans, be it covers or originals. Plus, he is already booking some live shows — something he didn’t get to do as much because in the past year he primarily did radio appearances. Up next: a February date next month in New York at Daryl Hall’s Daryl’s House club, as well as a hometown show in Connecticut.
“I’m not rushing into anything,” he said. “I’m thinking about the music. I’m in a good place.”