Author Topic: Staying Independent  (Read 1508 times)

  • butterfly1
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Staying Independent
« on: April 23, 2015, 08:59:02 PM »
With all of the technology that is accessible by so many I am hearing that being independent and staying that way is the best way to go. Owning your music, keeping your creative freedom are perks to being independent. However, that grind is hard. I was listening to a underground rapper who has made millions, booking his own shows, producing his own music and such. But, he had to work extremely hard. Signing to a label if they think that you are worth it can be a different story. They can blow you up. However, they also tell you what to do. What do you guys think about being independent?

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 11:36:21 PM »
With all of the technology that is accessible by so many I am hearing that being independent and staying that way is the best way to go. Owning your music, keeping your creative freedom are perks to being independent. However, that grind is hard. I was listening to a underground rapper who has made millions, booking his own shows, producing his own music and such. But, he had to work extremely hard. Signing to a label if they think that you are worth it can be a different story. They can blow you up. However, they also tell you what to do. What do you guys think about being independent?
Being signed to a record label isn't the holy grail everyone seems to think it is. I can guarantee you that, although a label can blow you up and turn you into a success, this only ever works successfully for 5% of the artists that sign to a label. I can also guarantee that being signed to a label will be a lot more demanding and a lot more hard work than staying independent. By staying independent, you won't have to pay all the extortionate costs of funding your music career back to the label and give up your rights - you are in control.

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 03:18:30 AM »
With all of the technology that is accessible by so many I am hearing that being independent and staying that way is the best way to go. Owning your music, keeping your creative freedom are perks to being independent. However, that grind is hard. I was listening to a underground rapper who has made millions, booking his own shows, producing his own music and such. But, he had to work extremely hard. Signing to a label if they think that you are worth it can be a different story. They can blow you up. However, they also tell you what to do. What do you guys think about being independent?
Being signed to a record label isn't the holy grail everyone seems to think it is. I can guarantee you that, although a label can blow you up and turn you into a success, this only ever works successfully for 5% of the artists that sign to a label. I can also guarantee that being signed to a label will be a lot more demanding and a lot more hard work than staying independent. By staying independent, you won't have to pay all the extortionate costs of funding your music career back to the label and give up your rights - you are in control.

You're right, but then YOU'd have to do all the promo and logistical stuff if you want to go on tour and things like that. While it's true that the majority of signed artists don't make it BIG, that number would be even SMALLER if you want to do it yourself from scratch.

  • Aladar
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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 05:21:40 AM »
You're right, but then YOU'd have to do all the promo and logistical stuff if you want to go on tour and things like that. While it's true that the majority of signed artists don't make it BIG, that number would be even SMALLER if you want to do it yourself from scratch.

There's promoters for that...

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 06:39:25 AM »
Promoters who you have to pay out of pocket for.

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2015, 06:12:16 PM »
Seems to be no one right way to go, it depends on what your goals are and how you prefer to work. And maybe how willing you are to sell out. Having better control over your work by staying independent definitely appeals, but then signing to a label has its own perks. I would think both probably require hustle… maybe different types of hustle. I think being a squeaky wheel, so to speak, might count for a lot more than people think in both cases.

  • Aladar
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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 08:26:48 AM »
Promoters who you have to pay out of pocket for.

Do you even know what a promoter is?

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 08:50:03 AM »
Promoters who you have to pay out of pocket for.

Do you even know what a promoter is?

I do, and yes, in theory they take a cut of the profits, but what if there ARE no profits (which can happen if you're just starting out and have a small listener base who aren't gonna pay to see you live)? Do you really think they'll do it out of the goodness of their hearts?

Besides, some online promoters DO charge fees upfront.

  • Aladar
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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 09:31:58 AM »
I do, and yes, in theory they take a cut of the profits, but what if there ARE no profits (which can happen if you're just starting out and have a small listener base who aren't gonna pay to see you live)? Do you really think they'll do it out of the goodness of their hearts?

Besides, some online promoters DO charge fees upfront.

Yes. Yes, they do. Not every promoter is representing a professional agency. In fact, most promoters - ESPECIALLY on the indie scene - are independent, and doing it indeed from the goodness of their heart, not to profit. Most promoters are happy to break even, they just want their scene to grow and get some music to their area. In fact, most independent bands starting out even take door deals to help offset the losses for the promoter.

  • butterfly1
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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 09:30:35 PM »
I love the idea of being in control. But, lets face it...Many artist do not have the grind to blow themselves up. Tech 9 has mastered it. He has a loyal following and he has made millions. If I was a musician I would stay independent and license out my music.

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 04:09:45 PM »
With all of the technology that is accessible by so many I am hearing that being independent and staying that way is the best way to go. Owning your music, keeping your creative freedom are perks to being independent. However, that grind is hard. I was listening to a underground rapper who has made millions, booking his own shows, producing his own music and such. But, he had to work extremely hard. Signing to a label if they think that you are worth it can be a different story. They can blow you up. However, they also tell you what to do. What do you guys think about being independent?
Being signed to a record label isn't the holy grail everyone seems to think it is. I can guarantee you that, although a label can blow you up and turn you into a success, this only ever works successfully for 5% of the artists that sign to a label. I can also guarantee that being signed to a label will be a lot more demanding and a lot more hard work than staying independent. By staying independent, you won't have to pay all the extortionate costs of funding your music career back to the label and give up your rights - you are in control.

You're right, but then YOU'd have to do all the promo and logistical stuff if you want to go on tour and things like that. While it's true that the majority of signed artists don't make it BIG, that number would be even SMALLER if you want to do it yourself from scratch.
Yes, but if an artist gets signed to a label and goes on to become big and well known and they sell perhaps a million records, their royalties are still minimal compared to the level of 'success' that they have had. If an independent artist goes out, tours and manages to sell 100,000 copies of their record yet makes a much higher profit than they would have if they were signed, then who is the most successful? Having a successful career in the music business doesn't have to mean being well known, famous or selling a million records. 

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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2015, 01:32:18 AM »
Being independent is hard, but it pays off in the end if you stick it through. The upside of an established major label is that you'll be out there faster and yes they do place limitations to your work. I find myself showing more respect to independent artists as well simply for doing what they love to do and not just being money/fame hungry. Cause if that's the case then you're better off going for an acting career, as you may have noticed many music artists have made that transition because they know it pays better.

  • LoveAsArson
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Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2015, 02:27:31 PM »

Yes. Yes, they do. Not every promoter is representing a professional agency. In fact, most promoters - ESPECIALLY on the indie scene - are independent, and doing it indeed from the goodness of their heart, not to profit. Most promoters are happy to break even, they just want their scene to grow and get some music to their area. In fact, most independent bands starting out even take door deals to help offset the losses for the promoter.

You gotta be careful. You might think an independent promoter is doing it from the goodness of their heart but that's dangerous assumption to make. There are plenty of indie people who are just trying to make a buck or further their agenda/career. For example, there's a guy in my music scene who's an indie promoter that refuses to pay bands until he makes a certain amount of money for himself. This means he's more than willing to stiff previously agreed upon guarantees from independent bands because he knows broke musicians don't have the cash on hand to hire a lawyer to sue him over it.

That isn't to say there aren't good promoters out there. There totally are, but just because someone claims they're "in it for the scene" doesn't mean they actually are. You just need to get to know someone before you trust them.

Re: Staying Independent
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2015, 01:55:46 PM »
Both being independent and signing to a label require hustle and effort to stay afloat, but the key difference is that when you're independent, you're not contractually tied to another entity (usually).  However, while there are certainly talented people you can find and work with as an independent artist, signing to a label usually gives you a greater degree of access to more established talent and what not.  It's always a trade though.