Jason Eady has a career that most singer/songwriters would love to have. He's able to put out quality music, make a respectable living, provide for his family, and he does it on his own terms.

In the wake of the Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun social media war Eady offers up a fresh take. He encourages young artists to chase their dreams, stay true to themselves, to understand the value of their work, and to -- when the time comes -- be able to come to the table holding all the cards.

Reading this news about Taylor Swift and Big Machine Records and the fact that the biggest manager in pop music just bought a huge Nashville label has got me thinking about some things.

When I was first starting out I wanted the big Nashville record deal. I thought that’s what you were supposed to want as a musician. That was the goal line. And, thankfully, it never happened. I listen to people complain about not owning their own work and wanting more creative control over their music and I am thankful every day for the position I’m in. I do own my own masters. I do get to have complete creative control over my work. No, I’m not famous and I don’t live in a mansion. But Courtney and I do own a car and a van, bought a house, raised kids, put a daughter through college, travel the world, and live a successful and happy life, all through playing music.

I have an incredibly supportive fan base who make every bit of this possible. That’s who I rely on for my career, not a label. They are people who want to hear the music that I make, whatever that may be at that point in my life, without worrying about what’s in style right now or what everybody else is doing. I have people who spend their hard earned money to show up and see me sing my songs everywhere I go. That is success no matter which way you cut it.

I don’t say any of this to sound arrogant or as a “look at me” post. I say it to say to any young artists out there… stay true to yourself, make your music your way without compromising, get out there and do it on your own, building a base one show and one song at a time. Over time you will end up with a fan base that wants to hear YOU. I’m not saying not to dream big. You should definitely dream big. And one day if you grow it big enough and you want help from a major label then you go to them on your terms, not theirs, and work out an arrangement where everybody wins. And if that never happens, getting to make a living doing what you love is as valuable as anything else you can have in this life. Just stay true, be patient, be humble and thankful, never stop working, and trust the process. Things will work out, trust me.

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