Skip to main content

From Joey Bada$$ to Chance The Rapper, Indie Artists Are Beating the Majors

In 2015 you don't have to sign to a major to become a major artist.
DJBooth_logo2x

When you think about indie music you think about songs that are honest, songs that have heart, songs that aren't tainted by the major label's drive to make money. You think about art. But while for decades an indie artist dedicated to practicing that kind of raw art meant that they had to live life on the margins of music, the times have changed. 

In 2015 there are indie artists who are routinely selling more albums, packing more fans into move venues, than anyone on a major label. 

Case in point, while many might peg him as an "underground" hip-hop rapper, Joey Badass' last album, B4.DA.$$, sold over 50K copies its first week, more than major label and mainstream music darling Iggy Azalea. 

Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

5-Albums-Header--11-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Selections include BIG30, Baby Tate, Kenny Mason, Show Dem Camp, and EKKSTACY.

am-world-top10-sept-16x9@2x

10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now

Our latest selections include Jay Fizzle, Goldenboy Countup, Sampa The Great, Philly Goats, and Pretty V.

Header--23-

How EKKSTACY Beat Writer’s Block to Make His Best Album

Pop anti-hero EKKSTACY finds his aggressive voice on his new album, 'misery.' He breaks down his journey through writer's block for Audiomack World.

These days you don't have to sign with a major label to be a major artist, so we've paired with our friends at Pepsi Pulse to lay out five artists who the major labels wish they could sign. To find out our picks, hit that lovely link below—long live the indie artist. 

5 INDIE ACTS PUTTING PRESSURE ON MAJOR LABELS 

Related

Header--23-

How EKKSTACY Beat Writer’s Block to Make His Best Album

Pop anti-hero EKKSTACY finds his aggressive voice on his new album, 'misery.' He breaks down his journey through writer's block for Audiomack World.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--12-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new releases from GloRilla, Black Sherif, Protoje, Bella Shmurda, and Armani Caesar — available for stream on Audiomack.

Header--22-

Exploring Young Jonn’s Reinvention

Producer-turned-singer Young Jonn made a career of hits for African artists, now he's taking center stage. He breaks down his career journey for Audiomack.

5-Albums-Header--10-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

BigWalkDog, CKay, D-Block Europe, Nailah Blackman, and Muni Long all released new albums you need to hear.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--11-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new tunes from Wizkid, G Herbo, Ayra Starr, Kaash Paige, and Ayoni.

Header--21-

yvngxchris Went From Recording on Earbuds to Viral Star

Rapper yvngxchris started off making songs on iPhone earbuds. Now, he's signed and constantly going viral.