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Content tagged with major label

OK Go Left Their Major Label, Who’s Next?

okgoWe have covered stories about bands like Third Eye Blind and Counting Crows taking the independent route. These bands could have signed with major labels, but took a new approach to the music industry. OK Go is also making their own path by creating their own label called Paracadute.

OK Go’s move gave a swift kick to the current industry model. Tour dates have been set up which will help bring in funds for the band. Paracadute and OK Go will manage the band’s distribution and promotion.

How much of an impact will a move like this have?

Will Jay Electronica Break the Mold in 2010?

Erykah Badu said it was bigger than religion, bigger than the government, but when it comes to the sounds dominating the airwaves (metaphorically speaking), the question is always: has it peaked? Is it over? What’s new?

Over the last few years, hip hop has more than controlled the mainstream music scene around the world, but even with Lil’ Wayne still near the top of his game, the release of Jay-Z’s anthem-heavy Blueprint 3, and innovative cats like Kid Cudi and B.O.B. coming out of ATL and middle America, I often wonder if we haven’t already seen the best of this business come and go.

jayelectronicaAnd then, a few weeks ago, Jay Electronica dropped the Just Blaze-produced Exhibit C, and for some reason, the track’s got everybody thinking about what hip hop can become again.

Jay Who?

His fans range from enthusiastic to obsessed, but so far, most people who don’t follow the underground hip hop scene have never heard of Jay Electronica, and those who have, have only heard the name attached, in celebrity gossip fashion, to Erykah Badu (the couple live Tweeted the home birth of their daughter last February).

Can A Mainstream Artist ‘Go Indie?’

91280574_acb4fd5d86In a recent interview with The Guardian, major label lovechild Beyoncé Knowles expressed an interest in taking a different direction on her next album by “going indie,” despite the fact that – let’s face it – Beyoncé wouldn’t know what it’s like to be a struggling independent artist if she won an Oscar for playing the role in a hit movie. Which she didn’t. In Dreamgirls, she still played the star, and Jennifer Hudson played the underdog.

Of course, Beyoncé wasn’t suggesting the possibility of actually becoming an indie artist, she was just talking about working with indie artists like Of Montreal, who she heard about from her sister Solange, you know, the Knowles sister with the ‘underground sound.’

However, despite the brutal abuse inflicted on the word ‘indie’ by the very suggestion that Beyoncé could somehow “do” it, there is a slowly snowballing trend amongst major label artists to reject the bright lights and big payoffs in favor of producing their own music.

The Issue Over Majors Having Stakes In The Independent Scene

major_musicI recently read an article on the issues independent’s artist are having with the major labels carrying equity stake in Spotify. Ever since the story broke, the discussion has shifted towards artist compensation problems. It seems all artist are not equal and few would argue that the earnings they do receive are hefty.

It went on to explain that the problem isn’t unique to Spotify and the majors are still are a huge and critical supplier of content and blah, blah, blah…

Let me say this loud and clear. ALL ARTISTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL AND THE MAJORS PLAYERS (LABELS) STILL HAVE THE UPPER HAND. Like it or not, majors labels still carry serious firepower when it comes to content. Their artist’s presence is still heavily favored on most of the popular networks. And as always, somewhere buried underneath them are the independents.

So what does mean for the to the independent artist, label, or anyone attempting to make money in this new environment of abundance and freemium models? Well, we can continue to discuss it, hate on the major labels while still playing by somebody else rules, or we can personally start changing the game.

Another Major Band (Counting Crows) Takes the Independent Route

cc3Add Counting Crows to the list of bands that have decided to throw their hat in and test the waters of the internet. They to ended their eighteen-year label relationship with Geffen Records (now part of Universal Music Group), lead singer Adam Duritz says on the band’s website .

They join ex label bands such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, who also decided to don their life jackets and jump ship.  I am sure many others will follow as the internet opens the doors to new technologies and opportunities to reach fans.

Duritz  says the band will go it alone stating on the site, “the internet opens a world of limitless possibility, where the only boundaries are the boundaries of your own imagination.”

Like many record labels, UMG didn’t think it would be in the best interest of the label for them to explore those boundaries.

Duritz added, “Unfortunately, the directions we want to go and the opportunities we want to pursue are often things that our label is simply not allowed to do.”

As major record label run out of creative ideas and push artists to 360 deals to offset falling CD sales, many artists will look to other innovations in technology.

Q&A: Indie Songstress Lauren Ianuzzi

Photo by Fadil Berisha

Photo by Fadil Berisha

Lauren Ianuzzi has a full public relations team, booking agent, lawyer, etc. The New Jersey artist has even worked with songwriters and producers who have helped out major label artists (Justin Timberlake, Sheryl crow, Nelly Furtado, etc.). Ianuzzi has accomplished all of this without having help from a record label.

I had a chance to interview Ianuzzi, and she expressed how appreciative she is for her musical experiences, so far.

GH: How have you gained so much support from the music industry? I mean, it’s really hard to do and it’s great to see an artist get that without a label.

LI: I have the most incredible team behind me, so they deserve most of the credit (Team Ianuzzi’s info can be found on www.myspace.com/laurenianuzzi).  But at the same time, I’ve always been really self-reliant–you know, that girl who takes over the project even when no one asks her to–and I know that nobody’s going to make my dream come true for me.  I have to make it happen on my own.  So I’ll show up anywhere, sing whenever anyone says “Sing”…I ain’t too proud to beg!