Artists Moving Towards Independent Route


New Kids On The Block will wrap up their successful Package Tour this Sunday. They took their most recent release, 10, on the road and to many people’s surprise…It was independently produced. This week their former “bromance” roadmates The Backstreet Boys (of NKOTBSB) In A World Like This. The LP was made on their independent label, K-BAHN (an acronym of their first names, Kevin, Brian, AJ, Howie, and Nick). So, what’s the deal with these two major groups releasing on independent labels?

Complete Creative Control 

This album, in my opinion, it’s just solid material. Really good songs. We were having a hard time narrowing down to choose. Everybody buys singles now. Nobody really cares about buying albums anymore, rightfully enough because most people make crappy albums. – Nick Carter

Most of music marketing today is singles based – Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” for example. Label artists have limited creative control. When you’re an artist signed to a label, you deal with their writers, their sound engineers, their producers… their everything. If you go independently, YOU choose your team and material… you tell stories the way you want to.  It’s great to bring outside people in, but if artists have a vision, they should see it finished all the way to the end.

Now More Than Ever Artists Have The Outlets to Do This On Their Own

With sites like Indiegogo, Artist Signal, and Kickstarter, musicians can look to crowd sourcing to help make the record they want to. I recently asked why one of my favorite artists, Pip, doesn’t have a record contract. Here’s a little peek at our conversation.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 12.43.41 PM

I don’t blame, Pip. He’s got a voice to blow away just about anyone. He did after all get a rare four chair turn on his season of “The Voice.” This young man did his own Kickstarter raising nearly $30,000 to release his own EP. The digital age is a blessing and a curse. You can be discovered on YouTube, you can raise money for projects, you can connect to big name artists through social media – the possibilities are endless. It’s not an easy road to make an album, but it’s a beautiful thing that musicians have so many ways to “put themselves out there.”

You Hire/Fire Yourself

 The record label Columbia dropped The Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, OneRepublic (all hugely successful). Interscope’s notorious for dropping acts. So, job security from an Indie label is a plus.

Times are harsh in this struggling economy. However, now that NKOTB is wrapping up what looks like to be the biggest selling summer concert tour… going indie didn’t seem to do that much damage to them. BSB debuting in the top 5 selling albums on iTunes doesn’t seem so bad either. Should every upcoming artist go independent? Certainly not. The message here: if you consider making a record on your own, don’t be afraid. The world’s your oyster if you don’t give up.

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Conversationalist. Producer. DREAMER.

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