Schuyler Fisk's departure from Universal Records after four years and no releases may have been the best thing to happen to her musical career.
"Everybody at Universal wanted me to be the best artist I can be, and everyone had different ideas about what that should sound like. But at the end of the day, it was me who should have the final say on what I should sound like," Fisk says. And that's exactly what one hears on "The Good Stuff," her first album, released exclusively on iTunes. "This album is everything I wanted it to be, inspired by things I did when I was signed and inspired by my frustrations after not being able to release anything."
Fisk used many of the contacts and resources she had at Universal after she left the label last year, including W Management and William Morris, and collaborated with producer/songwriter Linda Perry on the acoustic pop track "Hello." A sponsorship deal with Gibson provided her with loaner guitars, while 50,000 friends and 4 million spins on MySpace kept the buzz going.
While the turnaround for "The Good Stuff" may have taken a long time, Fisk can enjoy some immediate gratification with its first-week performance. The set opened at No. 43 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart after selling more than 1,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The daughter of actress Sissy Spacek, Fisk has acted since 1990 in such films as "The Baby-Sitters Club" and "Snow Day." On the set of the latter, director Chris Koch heard Fisk playing one of her first songs, "It's Not Her," and was impressed enough to use it over the end credits of the movie.
Fast forward, and Fisk's friend Joshua Radin, with whom she's supported on tour, introduces her to actor/director Zach Braff—who then places their duet "Paperweight" in his 2006 film "The Last Kiss." Later, actress Reese Witherspoon personally called the singer/songwriter and commissioned a track for her movie "Penelope."
Fisk's famous friends aren't just limited to the acting world. The artist, who is on tour with Ben Taylor, has opened for Sheryl Crow and Cary Brothers, in addition to performing on the Hotel Cafe tour.
"When I left Universal, it was totally amiable and the best for everybody. I can't thank them enough for what they gave me then," Fisk says. "But part of me wants them to see me succeed and go, 'Oh darn, looks like we just missed her.' "