CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux Knows What it Means to Do It Yourself
When Tracy Maddux—a passionate fan of live music—joined CD Baby, he decided he needed to see a show by each of the new employees he worked with. Nearly everyone at CD Baby plays music. It meant ...
CD Baby-distributed artists are no stranger to the small screen, having competed in and won every major talent contest style show, from The Voice (Javier Colon, Beverly McClellan, The Swon Brothers, Will Champlin) to American Idol (Beach Avenue’s Nick Fradiani, Lee DeWyze, Megan Joy, Nikki McKibbin, Corey Clark, Josh Gracin, Latoya London, Diana DeGarmo, Jordin Sparks, Kristy Lee Cook, Matt Giraud, Sam Woolf, and more) to America’s Got Talent (Michael Grimm, Beach Avenue).
Now, two are making their mark on this season of NBC’s The Voice. Joshua Davis, currently one of the top six artists on the show, continued his rise in front of a growing national audience with his stunning performances. Also on this weeks show, Sawyer Fredericks performed Michigan songwriter and CD Baby artist May Erlewine’s ‘Shine On’, an anthem of hope for the times. It’s rare for the show to put an indie songwriter’s work in the spotlight, a move CD Baby applauds.
Sawyer, a young and prolific songwriter from upstate NY, is also representing the folk tradition on The Voice. He was introduced to Erlewine’s music early on, many years ago. May’s song, ‘Shine On’, found its way into his heart, and he sang it on this week’s show in dedication to his mother.
“I am honored that Sawyer connected with my song,” Erlewine says. “It is the best thing an artist can hope for that their work offers something inspiring and useful to others. ‘Shine On’ was written to be sung around the world, to support environmental and social justice movements, with an aim to bring encouragement to those in need. This is a really unique situation and I am proud that the song will help to represent independent artists on national television. I am grateful to Sawyer for working so hard to sing it. ‘Shine On’ belongs to the people.”
Davis's music is a foundational part of the Michigan music scene. His incredible musicianship and songwriting has paved the way for many young artists. Joshua’s songs are the soundtrack for the mitten state and his community has rallied to support him and his journey on the show. That community includes Davis’ longtime friend Erlewine, who has been inspired by Davis and his music for years.
"It was an amazing moment of serendipity when I met Sawyer Fredricks and learned he was a fan of my dear friend May Erlewine and her song ‘Shine On.’ I was excited to encourage Sawyer to pursue this song choice and am so proud of The Voice for choosing to support independent songwriters. I am also thrilled that such a beautiful and important song will be reaching a greater audience. Watching this all unfold has been one of the best parts of my experience on The Voice!"
Erlewine’s latest album is Where We Are, produced in 2014 by Earthwork Music and distributed by CD Baby. Both Davis’s A Miracle of Birds and Fredericks’ first full-length album, Out My Window, were released in 2013. All are available from CDBaby.com and all other online retailers.
Tune in to The Voice on NBC, Monday and Tuesdays at 8 PM, to follow Davis and Fredericks as they continue on the show.
CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to more than 350,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. With a one-stop professional dashboard allowing indie musicians to manage their royalties and licensing, CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Macklemore had their start on CD Baby, while others like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers. Greg Brown, Willis Earl Beale, and Grant Lee Phillips are among musicians who’ve dropped the old label system and turned to CD Baby to strike out on their own.