Phoebe Bridgers says labels "tried to buy" her for $10,000 when she was 18

Publish Date
Monday, 10 May 2021, 3:35PM
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Phoebe Bridgers' sophomore album Punisher propelled her into stardom — garnering four Grammy nominations and a smashed guitar worth $100,000 — but it hasn't been an easy road for the 26-year-old.

During a recent interview with AltPress, the singer-songwriter divulged that before signing to Secretly Canadian and ultimately starting her own label Saddest Factory, she had to go through "archaic forms of making stuff" and reject other labels that "tried to buy" her for $10,000.

"Infiltration is first, unfortunately," she explained. "Especially for music. You have to participate in these archaic forms of making stuff that can be really exhausting. And now I do wield a certain amount of power—I have hiring capabilities at my label. I have hiring capabilities with my band. I actually have the power to make this system different from what I had to deal with when I was coming up and getting 360 deal offers for $10,000 when I was 18. It was $10,000 for 20 years of my life. That’s what [they] tried to buy me for."

Now she's trying to make it easier for others who want to work in the music industry, and one of her goals is to diversify behind-the-scenes jobs. "I think there’s a community problem in music—performers look so different from people behind the scenes," she confessed. "There are very few queer people, people of color or women in administrative, boring-a** jobs. When they do enter music, they’re being pushed to the forefront, like, 'Be an advocate for this system.' Once I started having hiring capabilities or signing capabilities or whatever, turning the room that you work in or enter into somewhere where you share something with people is invaluable. I think community is what makes you powerful. Just watching people speak up for themselves, or communicate something that you’ve been trying to communicate for a long time, who look like you. We’re all copying everybody all the time."

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission