The music industry is an ever changing beast. Every day there is a new development, but if one thing is for certain it is that things are not nearly as good as they used to be. When you look back to the sixties and seventies, the music business was where it was at. If people wanted to earn the big bucks all they had to do was join the music industry. However, things have changed. People don’t buy records as much as they used to, and the music industry has been pretty much unable to come to terms with this brave new world.
In a way this has been a good thing, because it has paved the way for independent artists to start making their own mark on the industry. Now that record labels are becoming less and less powerful, they are not as able to monopolize and control the industry the way they would before. One amazing benefit of this is that black culture has started to come to the forefront once again, and this time it is being done right.
This may sound odd to you. After all, rappers and black musicians have been at the forefront of music for decades. However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that the image that these black artists portrayed was influenced at least in part by their corporate overlords, which is why the images were so sanitized and apolitical.
The independent artists that are coming up now such as Stormzy are a different breed entirely. They come from an era where you can release your original content using nothing but YouTube and SoundCloud. Online portals have become a big part of the independent music industry, which is why record labels are so adamant about shutting them down, or at least making it difficult for artists to upload their content there.
An example of how this is changing the music scene entirely can be seen with MC Lady Leshurr, a veritable icon of the grime music scene. She has created a name for herself in spite of never having released a full length LP, with her mix tapes and EPs being the only content she has put out. Her primary source of fame is YouTube, with tens of millions of views to her name. She has also been noted for not relying on sex appeal, which is something that a lot of female artists are forced to do by record labels.
In this manner, independent artists are completely redefining everything about the music scene. They are shaping the industry in such a way that it is becoming more of a positive influence on music, and a lot of the toxicity that the industry once had is going away. The industry should always be run by artists, and in this brave new world this is finally becoming a reality. Only time will tell whether indie artists can keep the success going.