Allen Stone gave college a try. He spent a semester in community college and a year in bible college in Spokane, Wash.
But his love of making music won out. And that's been its own school of hard knocks.
In May, the souful singer released his first major label album, "Radius," with Capitol Records. That should have been cause for celebration and greater exposure, but it wound up mired in frustration and conflicting goals.
"When you're dealing with a major label, all the want is hits," Stone, 28, says by phone from Tempe, Ariz. "All they want is the next Bruno Mars song,and that's absolutely not what you want as an artist." "Radius" was, in fact, finished more than a year before it was released but, according to Stone, went through an overhaul after he initially turned it in.
"Unfortunately the two guys that signed me at Capitol, right when I finished and literally walked the record into the office, they quit," Stone recalls with a laugh. "A different team took over, a team that didn't know my stuff, had never seen me live. I don't think they really like my music, to be brutally honest.
"So the process started of them trying to fish for singles, sending me songs on a daily basis and people to write songs for me. And that's just not me."
The good news is that Stone was able to negotiate his release from Capitol and returned to the independent ATO label, co-owned by Dave Matthews, which plans to re-release the original version of "Radius." The album will have a new lease on life in the U.S. and get its first release in other territories -- including Europe, Asia and Australia -- which has revitalized Stone's enthusiasm for being in the music business.
"Y'know, at the end of the day I get to do music for a living," he says. "the business hurts sometimes, but at the end of the day it's not the end of the world. I'm making my living playing music and writing songs, and that's 10,000 times better than what I actually deserve.
"So everything that happened is under the bridge for me, and I can't wait to keep moving forward and see what comes next."
Allen Stone and Bernhoft
Tuesday, Nov. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $22.
Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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