Successful Independent Music Artists Headlinez

Now, more than any other time before, independent artists can be successful. Here, we’re going to talk about what independent music really is. Also, unveiling the trailblazers of independent music that have been the most successful. These artists are shining beacons proving that you don’t need a major record label to find success. There are more resources now than ever to find your way to the top without using a major label.

What is independent music?

It can often be confused, are indie artists independent? Indie can just be a genre, but it can also just mean independent. Independent music just means it’s independent from the major labels. Independent artists can still be on labels, just indie ones instead. Releasing music without being signed on to a major label means that you have more freedom to create your music the way you want. Also, more of your profits are retained and you own your music. Or if on an independent label, at least you’re able to better negotiate your share better, along with other terms.

There are more artists choosing to stay indie these days than ever before. This is because of resources that exist today like digitally releasing music, streaming, social media and other digital marketing tools. We’re proudly part of that revolution that lifts up independent artists through our magazine. Plus we offer digital marketing to help artists to be heard, without that huge promo budget.

The Most Successful Independent Artists in 2023

  1. Lainey Wilson – BBR Music Group / Female Country Artist of the year
  2. Frank Ocean – Def Jam Recordings / Multiple Grammy’s
  3. Morgan Wallen – Big Loud / Male Country Artist of the year
  4. Tech N9ne – Strange Music Inc. / #1 independent hip hop artist of all time!
  5. Jelly Roll – BBR Music Group / CMT Song & Video of the year
  6. Tom MacDonald – Truly Independent / Millions of social followers and video views

This list is just the tip of the ice burg, but it displays a well rounded diverse array of artists all succeeding independently. Each of these artists have done it their own way, and become house hold names. You may not have even realized they were actually independent artists until now. But this goes to show just how successful you can be without selling your soul to some major label.

Lainey Wilson and Morgan Wallen are arguably the king and queen of country music right now. You can’t go anywhere near the country music scene without hearing their music. They top every awards show that there is. Tom MacDonald may be considered as “controversial” by some for his content, but he’s not signed to any label, and is making millions on his own. He utilizes social media brilliantly and creates quality music videos that get huge views on YouTube.

Tech N9ne has been doing this for years, he’s a true independent artist pioneer that paved the way for other hip hop artists to find success. Frank Ocean won multiple grammy’s, made millions, most of which he did independently. He’s been part of some labels, but no real major one’s that I can see. Finally, Jelly Roll is a true success story. He’s had some turbulent times, but masterfully brought his hip hop background to country music and is one of the hottest stars around now.

Huge stars that started out or became independent…

  • Taylor Swift – ditched the label to become indie.
  • Chance the Rapper – still mostly independent.
  • Billie Eilish – became the superstar she is today while independent.
  • Macklemore – made it big indie, and still is.
  • Adele – blew up as an independent artist.
  • Weezer – bounces around labels, but basically an indie band.

With honorable mention, some of the worlds largest stars have become household names as independent artists. Now, they may be signed to major record deals. But by building up a huge following and name for themselves independently before signing on, no doubt gave them great negotiating power for a favorable deal.

Taylor Swift is arguably one of the biggest stars on the planet right now. She has been part of major labels of course, but famously, recently went indie. She’s broken off from the major record labels. Now, she’s been re-recording her albums independently so she can own her own music. Chance the Rapper is one of of the most famous independent artists there is. He’s part of some big labels, and works with Apple though, so it’s hard to say just how independent he really is.

Billie Eilish blew up as an independent artist and won grammy’s with her debut album without any major label. Macklemore is a household name and does it independently. Adele burst on to the scene as an independent artist, and has become a music icon. Weezer has bounced around labels, but has largely been an indie band and is obviously very well known.

Other notable mention artists that hit it big independent are Bon Iver, Tyler the Creator, Grimes and Nipsey Hussle. It can be done, there are endless success stories.

Successful Independent Music Artists

How to find success as an independent artist

The answer isn’t the same for everybody. But the one thing all of these artists above have in common, is incredible talent and relentless work ethic to succeed. Nobody said it’s easy to succeed as an independent artist, or at anything at all. It takes a lot of hard work. But achieving your dream as an artist is worth it. If you’re a talented artist, and you work hard, you can make it.

Beyond that, it’s knowing how to best utilize your time. We’ve talked before about tips to succeed, so find more in depth information on how to succeed here. But generally, utilize your social pages, streaming sites and affordable promotional offers when you find them. What the major labels bring, is a team of promoters and a large platform to reach fans worldwide. Today though, you have those same resources at your finger tips. You just need to know how to use them.

So in conclusion…

If you’re a fan of discovering new music, that’s beyond the mainstream, thank you! However, if you’re an independent artist, looking for some motivation and proof that you can in fact make it, hopefully you found that here. Independent artists can 100% succeed in todays music industry. More and more artists are staying independent, while major label huge stars are ditching the big label that owns them, to find freedom.

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