deadmau5 shares advice for budding producers: “Don’t sign with a major label. Ever.”

“Now, I’d be able to [remix old songs]; if they weren’t able to sit on it for seven to 10 years, you know what I mean?”


Fiona Garden for MusicTech

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Dance music icon deadmau5 has said that he would advise his ‘past self’ to think twice before signing with a major record label if he could.

It was during a recent interview for MusicTech alongside his Kx5 partner, Kaskade, where deadmau5 – real name Joel Zimmerman – made the comment.

In the chat, the Canadian producer, whose first single with Kaskade, I Remember, was released in 2008, discusses the issues with remixing old released music. Upon being asked if he’d give any advice to his younger self, he responds: “Don’t sign with a major label!

“20 years later, after you’ve written a track that people still love and play to this day, you’re like, ‘Wow, it’d be really great if I could just really redo this or reimagine it…’ and then someone’s like, ‘No, you can’t actually.’

Zimmerman continues: “Because now, I’d be able to do that shit; if [the record label] [wasn’t] able to sit on it for seven to 10 years, you know what I mean? Yeah, there you go. Don’t sign with a major label. Ever.

While Kaskade – Ryan Raddon – interjects in to remind his partner that such a comment is “easy to say while we’re sitting here”, Zimmerman stands his ground on the comment.

“I don’t feel that any one major label ever helped me out so much that I can say my career would have gone down the shitter if they didn’t,” deadmau5 says. “Yeah, sure, that little bit of money upfront is always nice and stuff like that, but…”

Raddon does, however, agree with Zimmerman about being cautious of signing major record deals early in your career, advising new producers to try and “retain as much control as possible.”

It sounds as if deadmau5 is eager to reimagine some of his earlier music, such as Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff, The Veldt, Strobe and Raise Your Weapon. We sure do hope he’s able to do so in the future.

Read the full interview with Kx5 (Kaskade and deadmau5) at


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