With the times changing as quickly as they are, more & more artists are going Independent. Before, it seemed like a path full of fear and doubt - now, a musician's future is more in their hands than ever before. It's an exciting adventure in which fans are praising the artists for having the courage to embark on. Would you do it?
With the boom of the internet, so many industries are now only within arm's reach of those who have had to follow a certain system to attain a space within it.
In 2017, Chance The Rapper made history by being the first artist ever to receive a GRAMMY without releasing any physical copies of his music. This GRAMMY win was up against so many of the greats who had huge albums that year. Another similar story is that of Frank Ocean and his release of his album "Blonde". While being signed to a major label, Ocean finished his contract terms by releasing his final album with them, only to release "Blonde" as an independent artist just days later. Ocean remarked “I was trying to close out this label situation I had going on. And also my Apple deal, which all eventually happened. Some of those things—particularly the Universal thing—was taking forever.” So, Ocean took matters into his own hands and came up with a behind-the-scenes strategy.
On the flipside, one may debate that Ocean may have never had the option to go independent if he hadn't first been marketed and publicized by a major label, with major label money and major label connections. We can really never know, but we can assume that with a voice like that, he would have eventually risen to the top of the endless playlists and new artists on each and every platform, due to the sheer uniqueness in his sound and his ability in being so pure within his art and truth.
So, how does an artist who is brand new break out as an independent artist? In our opinion, we'd like to think it's broken down into a few simple steps, followed over and over again, with a million baby steps in-between. First and foremost, you need good music. Whatever that may mean to you, as long as you believe it's good and so does a fanbase, it will get listened to and promoted naturally, via word of mouth, because people genuinely want to share what they believe is good. Being independent, you won't have a babysitter. You are your own music maker and your own babysitter, so you'll need to be responsible - socially, personally and financially.
We truly believe that with the power of the internet, if you do our own research, protect yourself legally and soak up all the wealth of knowledge that the internet has to offer - you will be gifted every tool that is necessary. Your biggest hurdle will be the marketing and publicizing - you'll need to get especially creative when it comes to this.
In future articles, we will discuss what comes next once you reach mainstream success via the independent route but are now in need of a strategy on how to fund major shows like Madison Square Garden and worldwide tours. You'll need to front a lot of money, which is exactly what major labels do - acting as a creditor.
We are all so lucky to live in a time that has put the power back in the people's hands. Don't let this moment go to waste!