Snow Tha Product is a bastion of indie success. The 33-year-old California artist has over a decade of experience in the rap game, a silver-tongued flow, and an irresistible vocal tone. Since parting ways with Atlantic in 2018, Snow has galvanized her fanbase and built an impeccable career as her own boss. Throughout COVID-19, Snow has been steadily dropping content, despite the looming terror of streaming being down. Her best effort during these drops, “Really Counts,” is a rapid-fire and trappy offering wherein Snow stands her ground, declaring: “Please don’t tell me you got my back, I wanna see when it really count.”
I have a vivid memory of being in the backseat of my parents’ car, riding around South Brooklyn, and listening to Snow Tha Product eviscerate everyone on 2012’s “Cookie Cutter Bitches.” I remember losing my mind, thinking Snow was next and forever. Eight years on, Snow Tha Product proved me right. While I hate listening to music on shuffle, you could very easily shuffle any of Snow’s most recent releases—and even her older work—and be astounded by her wanton energy and unending wordplay.
Despite her fiery deliveries, on the phone, Snow Tha Product is nothing short of a delight. Always laughing and giving game, Snow’s ethos seems to be uplift and unity, and her general happiness. As she expressed to Rob Markman during an interview with Genius, “When I was at a major, it was kind of confusing because I do sing, and I do rap in Spanish… I know simplifying things too much is kind of difficult. I’m happy with where everything is now because I get to make whatever… I’m happy, and that’s it.”
Instrumental in Snow Tha Product’s success as an indie artist is distribution service TuneCore. In the label’s stead, TuneCore provides Snow with key services to help keep her career going. As fall crept in, Snow was kind enough to jump on the phone for a candid conversation on being indie, staying sane, and TuneCore’s impact on her career.
DJBooth: Despite the pandemic, you’ve been steadily dropping content, with “Really Counts” being my favorite. Has there been any anxiety dropping during COVID, especially with reports that streaming is down?
Snow Tha Product: There is some anxiety with the way the industry is, and the market, but it’s not like even when things were going well, I was a very orthodox artist. I’ve always gone against the grain. I’ve been like, “F*ck it, it can’t get any worse.” For seven years, I never released music because it wasn’t good enough, or there was no plan, or the people at the label left to another label… I’ve always had issues when it comes to music, so to me, it can’t be any worse than what I’ve been through.
In many ways, you are like a bastion of indie success, but you did have a deal with a major who misunderstood you—Atlantic. How free do you feel, being indie?
Not only the label side of it but management I’ve had in the past and industry people I’ve talked to… It’s almost disheartening to have conversations, but I just think people don’t understand the artist I am and the culture I come from. Being queer, being Mexican, and being a woman, people don’t understand where I’m coming from! Misunderstanding has been a big part of my career, but I’ve been growing, and I can’t have a chip on my shoulder. It’s just the cards I was dealt.
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The best thing I could do is not give a f*ck and work harder! Which is why Vale Madre happened. That’s why I’m dropping this album, you know? In the beginning, I cared, and now… I just don’t. I just wanna do music, be happy.
How does that freedom make the music better?
It makes me feel better while I’m making the music. It makes me feel like I have no limits. I will say, one of the downsides of not having anybody involved in my career is [no one] is checking on things. “Is this dope? Is this not? Am I crazy for this?” But that’s what you have friends for and different people around, like your fans. I do post a lot of snippets.
Let’s talk about TuneCore. What role have they played in your career, and how do they provide services you need to keep the career going?
Freedom. A lot of times, when I’m releasing a song, I’m tired from shooting and editing my own videos. But the freedom of getting the song up and not having to hear from a label… And they’ve also been responsive [to] emails! That’s dope to me. The freedom to be an independent artist would be nothing if you didn’t have the freedom to drop whenever you want.
There’s ownership, too.
To this day, I’m still fighting for my stuff [with the independent label]. I went to some other distribution companies, had some situations, but whether it was with an indie or another distribution company, I wasn’t feeling the love the music needed. I was like, “F*ck this! Own it, take it for what it is, and get it to the fans.” I’ve been happy since [taking ownership].
Being in the game for over a decade, how do you see TuneCore helping upcoming artists? Is there anything the platform offers that you wish you had when you were starting out?
The ability to get [my music] to all the streaming platforms and look professional. I don’t think I would’ve signed anywhere if I would’ve known you could just do that. You can be everywhere, land on playlists, own your stuff, and still feel like your own boss. That’s awesome.
You represent many important communities, so as a final note, who, exactly, does Snow Tha Product do it for?
That’s a good question… All [people]! That’s why I didn’t work in the industry, because I have every single lane in mind. I like to swerve in different lanes, and I always keep in mind to keep feeding each type of fanbase. I’ve been touring for 10 years, so I’ve met a lot of fans. Back when I would do free meet and greets, I’d meet 400 kids a night. A lot of people have told me their stories. If anything else, the fact that I understand so many different types of communities… I have a lot of people to carry with me, but it’s awesome, and I feel like I connect with every community I represent.