A Modern Day Gold Rush (pt. 1)

Anti label sentiment is reaching a boiling point (most notably NaS’ beef w/ Def Jam and Lupe Fiasco’s beef w/ Atlantic) and it almost seems like a new niche service being offered to independent artists each day. It’s time for artists to cash in on this gold rush.

On October 27 I posted an interview by Young Guru (the sound engineer behind big hip hop stars like Jay-Z and Kanye).  In that interview he said, “What we’re dealing with now is the emergence of independence, right? And the emergence of the Internet. So people are finally waking up to these things that I’ve been saying for, I’d say about 20 years. That you don’t need a record label. At all, whatsoever. I work with ‘em, I know I don’t need ‘em.” He also said, “Don’t deal with the company. Period. Start your own company. This is the perfect time for musical independence. The perfect time.” And he went as far as to call the labels slave masters.

The lesson is clear. If you’re trying to start out as an artist right now don’t focus all of your efforts on getting signed to a label! Ten years ago you probably would, but the landscape has changed. The outlets that were controlled by labels have opened up somewhat and access for everyone is increasing each day.

What remains to be seen is whether an artist can use these tools to become huge. It is definitely true that at some point you need a team of people to help you, but when you do need help be smart about it. A number of services have started that allow fans to help the artists they love. Involve your fans in the process. The change is coming, and all it takes is one mega success to come out of one of these services and others will flock.

More on the services available to you in pt. 2

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