Taking musicians years to get signed onto a record label, companies such as Capitol Records and Interscope Records are making sure they choose only the best of the best when deciding which artist to sign.
When you tend to hear about rising artist in the music industry, it’s very rare for you to hear about one trying to get out of a record deal.
Rapper Iggy Azalea is one who is very familiar with this territory. After CEO Steve Bartels decided not to release any more singles off Azalea’s sophomore album Digital Distortion, she decided to make the daring decision to move from Def Jam to Island Records in early 2018.
Azalea would have never guessed that a few months later she would also be parting ways from her new record label.
Taking to Twitter to announce the departure from Island Records, the Fancy singer wrote “Wild you spend so long trying to get IN [sic] a record deal… never thought I’d be so elated to be OUT of one.” Since her exit from Island Records, Azalea can officially be considered an independent artist.
While not giving much explanation for the departure, Azalea did give fans a little hint as to why she initially left. Through tweets, she stated that she is now free to release whatever music she wants, whenever she wants, theorizing that the record label was holding her back creatively and only releasing music that they thought was good enough for the general public.
On one hand, Azalea can consider herself very lucky that she was able to part ways so easily as much smaller artist such as Amanda Palmer, who signed with Roadrunner was forced to stick with her record label until her contract ended.
On Palmer’s private blog, she went on to say that while she was signed under Roadrunner Records, she wasn’t allowed to release her music for free.
After years of being held hostage by her record label, Palmer expressed her relief after she was officially dropped by her label. Palmer has gone on to say how she feels about record labels. In an interview with David Meerman Scott back in 2010, she said “I feel an extraordinary amount of sympathy for anybody working at a major label right now because their lives are over.”
With the rise of social media, the need for a label isn’t as crucial as it was ten years ago.
Although record labels are known for promotion and production of music videos, rising stars can now grow their brand through the internet with apps such as YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo.
Up-and-coming artist Lady Leshurr is proving that she doesn’t need the support of a major record company to make it big as she is, receiving over 100 million views on all her YouTube videos combined.
With Azalea becoming an independent artist like Leshurr, she will now have the freedom to release music whenever she wants and already told her fans via Twitter that they can expect new music in early 2019.