The road to being an independent artist seems steep, winding, and full of obstacles – and makes you want to give up before you have even started.
Hence, we are not here to talk about the struggles of being an indie artist and demoralize you even more than you already are, but about the many positives about it that aspiring musicians sometimes fail to recognize or appreciate.
So, here you are – the ‘shoulds’ of becoming an independent artist.
Why You Should Become an Independent Artist Today
1) You Get to Pick Your Adventures
Being an independent artist is like flipping through the pages of a ‘choose your adventure’ book and taking your pick of the litter. Of course, this also means that we will inevitably slip up or make blunders –but isn’t that true for anything in life? The benefit of going independent is that you will be in the driving seat and decide which adventures are worth the risk.
So, if you want to perform at a specific venue, go for it. If you want to release two new songs in the next three months, there is nothing stopping you. There are no permissions to take, no schedules to prepare, and no people to check with first.
The ability to be in charge of your career is perhaps the most significant benefit of being an indie, and one of the things that label-signed artists miss the most.
2) You Get to Keep 100% of Your Income
Joining hands with a label means cutting them in on your earnings. Now, this is not unfair in any way – after all, they are helping you advance your career – but it still stings when you have to hand a piece of your hard-earned pie over to other people.
On the other hand, independent artists get to keep every penny they make. This is true for any source of income – ranging from tour and ticket sales to merchandise and licensing. Whatever you earn, you are free to split between you and any band members.
3) You Get to Pick Your Team
Labels usually have built-in teams that they utilize for things like PR, booking, and management. This can certainly be convenient –as long as you did not already have a team in mind that you wanted to work with. Or perhaps you have a team that you have been working with for the last few years, and do not wish to part ways with it. Or maybe you just don’t get along well with the in-house label team.
Regardless, being an independent artist gives you the freedom to create a team that is the perfect fit for you. Since every artist looking to grow would eventually need a team, it is vital that it comprises members that are capable, trustworthy, congenial, and understand and share your vision.
4) You Have a Lot More Fun
Now, this is not to say that label artists do not have fun, but the expectations and restrictions set by a label considerably changes the game.
Independent artists are not answerable to anyone but themselves. This means that you are free to try out new genres, test new marketing strategies, create new merchandise, or experiment in any way you want.
Despite its challenges, the road to being an independent artist is full of opportunities, promises, and rewards. It is a route that allows you to grow and succeed while experimenting and having a lot of fun along the way.
Eric Dalius is The Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe, a music and content discovery platform designed to maximize artist discovery and optimize fan relationships. Along with his work at MuzicSwipe, he also interviews groundbreaking entrepreneurs on his weekly podcast, “FULLSPEED.” Eric also founded the “Eric Dalius Foundation” to support US students with four scholarships. Follow his journey on Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Entrepreneur.com.