Young artists dream about inking a contract with a major label, but according to industry veteran (and current major label signee) Juicy J, who recently spoke with Billboard to promote his latest release, Rubba Band Business (the album), the quickest path to success is through independence.
"I feel like these days most artists should probably stay independent because it’s best to do it on your own because you know what you want to do, you got your own fan base, just keep it like you got it,” Juicy explained to Billboard's Carl Lamarre. “You don’t have to sign to a major whatever. You can just keep all the money in the house. Keep everything in-house, you know what I’m sayin’? Get your website guy, get your own guy to work your Instagram, Snapchat, your SoundCloud."
Labels are great for financing, and depending on the kind of music you make, their resources and control over radio and on-demand streaming can really jumpstart a career, but there are also plenty of advantages to remaining "independent" (what does that even mean in 2017?) and keeping a smaller circle.
In an era where personality is king, staying independent ensures artists that they will be able to retain full creative control over both their music and their look. Whereas before a record could impact based on the strength of the music alone, a good Instagram caption or viral tweet can now bridge the gap between a casual listener and a would-be superfan who is looking to connect on every possible level.
Independence allows for an unabridged version of an artist's identity and, by extension, their music to be directly broadcast to fans. No barriers, no sheen, no need to have permissions granted.
Every day, artists continue to prove that a major label isn't a requirement in order to become a major artist. Who's next?