Will Independent Artists Ever Rule the World?

In the old music business, artists are at the mercy of labels. What if you intend to stand alone as an independent artist? They have two options: be signed to a label and hope to succeed or treat music as a hobby by playing at bars and clubs. Invariably, getting signed to a label in the past means you’ve made it. Today, artists are at a crossroads on which path to take as significant labels are losing their grip on the music industry.


While just a handful of independent artists are doing exceptionally well, the potential of being independent is increasing by the day. Looking at what Chance The Rapper, White Mystery, Jane Weaver, Frank Ocean, and Nipsey Hussle are doing, going independent is fast becoming the route of numerous artists. None of these artists has a Major Label affiliation, which does not affect their towering careers.

A Case of No Strings Attached

Look around. Most of the major labels are struggling. They are just like any other SoundCloud artist trying to find their footing. Let’s be frank; no label has the interest of artists at heart. It’s an all-man-for-self scenario, as the labels are only interested in what comes out of a deal into their pocket and little about the artist.

Have you seen the leaked contract between Sony Music and Spotify? It’s a true reflection of what is obtainable in most record label deals—it plays out like a Lord and Vassal relationship, quite exploitative and selfish.

The reign of record labels is about to be over, not just because of how exploitative they are but also because artists are interested in making a name for themselves in the industry.

Reigning Without a Record Label

Indeed, artists don’t need labels to make good music and establish successful careers. That’s why the focus is on big names who have gone on to succeed on their own without a major label backing them. To rule in the music industry as an independent, the following will be a huge deciding factor;

Readiness To Take Risks

In an interview with Billboard, Chance The Rapper stated his readiness to take huge risks that record labels are not ready to accept. He makes any video, plays at any show, and expresses his opinion on any issue.

Maybe his ability to take risks is why he’s one of the most prominent independent artists in the world today.

Be Prepared Mentally

In the words of Joey Bada$$, he asserted that he was prepared to build himself from the ground up. He adopted a bottom-top approach that saw his album doingbetterl than one released by a major label. It’s all about having a vision.

While Joey is still not signed to anybody, his works are making waves.

Have a Model

When Nipsey Hussle released Crenshaw, he was selling the album at $100 apiece. This is unlike what is obtainable among independents, but he did make it work.

Not many rappers can adopt this artistic route, but he did, and it’s now a standard.

Final Thoughts on Independent Artists

Independent artists will eventually rule the world. It may not be now, but it’s bound to happen. The shine of being signed to a record label would have waned by the time it happened. It is giving way to independents to flourish.