Despite the positive combination of producer, engineer and record label it wasn’t a strong enough relationship to foster any long-term success. industry consultant and manager, John Graham, industry consultant and manager says, “Sonoma Mnt Estate (SME) being both a recording studio and a small independent label seems to work at odds with creating a recipe for success. Marketing, administration and planning seemed to get lost in the ‘mix’ of running a studio and as such I felt that I could not work with Melanie until she put this deal in the past. As a recording studio S.M.E Studio has world-class facilities however as a label its philosophy and paradigm do not appear geared to address the new download era which I think is essential for success.”
Dekker tells Graham, “I was stoked to record at Sonoma Mountain as the people and facilities were great. I initially had faith that as a label Zabit records could pull together a major release or a series of distribution deals, but everywhere I tour and have toured people are still asking “Why can’t we get your record anywhere but on CDBABY?”! I explain that CDBABY is helping to donate money to wounded soldiers and their families so it is a good place for the fans to go but it is frustrating for them and for me as the presence of the CD anywhere else remains like an un-mined gem. There was also a time when interested major’s wanted a new record utilizing the Zabit sessions as a demo, but Zabit records had already made the record “Revealed”
An industry insider observes “Sonoma’s lack of embrace of the new digital download era makes it impossible to break the record on the internet. At the same time major labels are only signing artists who already have strong indie internet success. These days if a small label is unwilling to comprehend the new dynamics and paradigm of the digital age then it is almost impossible to prove to the majors their artist’s viability…With CD sales in North America down another 9.5% in 2007 and digital downloads up 300% plus, indie labels will only succeed if there is a strong internet presence.”
Since breaking with Sonoma, Dekker continues to move on up with her career, writing new material, working an upcoming 40 date European tour, and fielding interest from experienced music industry management and labels.
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IU managemnet is an artist management company specializing in developing the singer songwriter. It is based in Vancouver Canada