The overwhelming success of their second single, “Best Day of My Life,” catapulted American Authors right into the plush studio seats of Island Def Jam. Now, these four Berklee College of Music dropouts are determined to keep the good times rolling.
It all started with some Alt Nation airplay on SiriusXM satellite radio and a song that friends pitched to Lowe’s advertising team “just for fun.” The signing offers quickly came pouring in. But lead vocalist Zac Barnett claims there’s no big competition against prestigious rock label, Island Records. “We’d all been big fans of Island Def Jam for a really long time,” Barnett explains. “The minute we went into the office it just felt right–– such good vibes going on there. It felt like family and a good home for us,” “We ended up signing with them a week or so after our first meeting.” Things naturally fell into place after that. The guys now work with a team that understands their artistic visions and goals.
“Don’t think that because you get signed
to a label, all your problems go away.”
“It was a very easy, organic process to make it work,” says Barnett. “When we signed with them we were just doing our thing, making music in the studio. And they respected that, they trusted us. I think trust is a big thing. We all come up with the ideas and we’re all there, seeing it through. We definitely have a lot of creative control.”
A loyal management team, supportive since the beginning, already provided such freedoms––joining the Island Def Jam “family” simply added that extra boost of professionalism and widespread promotion.
“It always just flows together so nicely. It’s great having all these people, but it’s also nice because a lot of the time it all works so well together, you forget that they’re all there,” says Barnett. “Everyone kind of does their part, and it’s definitely not as overwhelming as one may think that it could get.” But first things first––work hard, then work harder.
“Don’t think that because you get signed to a label, all your problems go away,” he says. “These people are so amazing and definitely help propel your career to the next step, but it’s important to always continue working and writing. You need to make that hit song yourself.” American Authors is signed to Mercury Records (owned by Universal Music Group and operated through Island Def Jam Music Group). The debut album Oh, What a Life was released March 4. – Danica Bellini