John Mayer parts ways with Columbia Records after 21 years

John Mayer
(Image credit: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

John Mayer has announced he will be leaving Columbia Records, the record label that has worked with the electric guitar star on all his eight studio albums, and with whom he's been with for over two decades.

In a statement posted to social media, Mayer said he’s “excited to pursue new avenues of making music” and that he believes “some of my best work still lies ahead”.

“After 21 years, eight studio albums, and some wonderful personal and creative relationships, I have decided not to renew my recording agreement with Columbia Records,” Mayer wrote.

“Hard as it is to say goodbye,” he continued, “I’m excited to pursue new avenues of making music, both of my own and with other artists. I love music more than ever, and I believe some of my best work still lies ahead.”

The artist and label partnered together in 2001 for Mayer’s debut album Room for Squares, which was followed up with Heavier Things in 2003. They continued their professional relationship for 2006’s Continuum, which is often regarded as one of Mayer’s finest efforts, and 2009's Battle Studies.

Mayer's discography was then bolstered by the acoustic-heavy Born and Raised, pop-rooted Paradise Valley and The Search for Everything, which were released in 2012, 2013 and 2017, respectively.

As such, 2021’s ‘80s throwback album Sob Rock – Mayer’s most recent studio LP – will be the blues guitar ace’s last record with Columbia.

Mayer made no mention of his future plans, and it remains to be seen whether he will pursue independent channels to release any upcoming music or if he will sign with another label. 

In December last year, Mayer presented Columbia Records with the Label of the Year Awards at Variety’s Hitmakers Event, during which he said, “I can tell you from my experience that the release of my album was one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on to date.

“I think,” he continued, “it’s because Ron [Perry, Columbia CEO and Chairman], Jen [Mallory, Columbia General Manager] and the entire Columbia team understand the balance between the visions of both the artist and the label. 

“[They’ve] adopted a working relationship that I think is the most open-minded and fun it’s ever been in my 20-year career as a Columbia recording artist.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.