It's being said more and more often. 'You don't need a record label to make it as an artist'. Almost everytwhere people are saying that you do not need a record label to make it big in the music industry. Everywhere on social media, I am seeing posts that the days of the record label are 'gone', and you can now make it big on your own, as an 'independent' musician.
Unfortunately I do not believe this is the case and neither will the latest set of financial accounts for the big 5 major labels who recently reported billions in sales and higher profits.
The key word here is 'big'. If you want to make it as a regular, mediocre artist, and simply survive in the music game, doing a few gigs a year and barely making the same salary as a top level ranking Police officer then sure, it is possible to make it independently, without the need of a label. In fact, there are many people doing this, and if this is enough for you then of course, it works. But if you want to make it 'big', as in selling out gigs for 200+ days a year, attending numerous events, becoming an influencer and earning at least a six figure salary then I am afraid to say you will need the assistance of a big label.
You see, you can't get access to certain playlists, events, features, sponsorship deals, celebrities, shows and more without the right connection, let alone the money. You need at least $50k minimum to really make an impact.
Actually, the rise of social media has made it so much easier to make it in the music world without having to get help, but only a few really make it big relying on just social media alone. And even if they do make it, most of them end up turning to a record label at the end anyway, as they know this is what they will need to sustain their ascent and grow their exposure even further. So there you have it, the choice is yours, now you know what the options are.
Written by Nadil Sahil and Dilowar Hosen
Photography by Keven Laminto, Unsplash