Can an Indie Label Music Career Lead to Success?

While I had bellyached in my previous post about the sorry state of affairs that is pop hip-hop music (at least the kind offered by major record labels), I stumbled upon more news in the hip-hop world, and almost like an antidote, the example of Christian rapper Lecrae hitting Billboard’s top 10 charts with his recently released album Gravity, as well as charting #5 on iTunes with an overall #1 charting on iTunes’ hip-hop charts, it appears that audiences have spoken loud and clear.

Not all is lost, and yes, folks want their light in the midst of darkness!

But the real story here about Lecrae is that his album is setting records not just as a Christian album breaking into mainstream hip-hop but as an album released from an independent record label! In fact, it’s Lecrae’s very own label, Reach Records, which represents himself and a number of similar Christian rap artists.

Of course, before the success of Gravity, Lecrae had already built up his fanbase, traveling the Christian music tour circuit, and had a popular mixtape “Church Clothes.”  So, certainly, not all is lost going the independent record label route. Indeed, I think audiences are craving, literally starving for the alternative to the mind-numbing, soul-flattening entertainment major labels have been offering.

While I would be the first to say I would not want David to limit his musical genre to faith-based music, I am finding the indie label route much more intriguing and would love to know more about this movement and how artists can find success moving in this direction.

So what say you, peeps? Please take my latest poll! 🙂


Posted on September 10, 2012, in David's career, polls. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I posted a comment in the last thread not knowing there was a new one. You’re too fast for me HG lol. I think that an indie label would work well for David but only if he hires a real management team of creative people who’ll have a real plan for him and who’ll share the same vision as him. David is lucky to have an established fanbase and we saw these past years that he’s popular enough to generate some buzz and to draw some press attention. His name will be a huge asset for him if he decides to go the indie route but he’ll still need the right connections to open doors for him. So my vote is that he can make it with an indie label but not alone.

  2. And because the Civil Wars were mentioned on the last thread, I just want to add that even if they are considered as “new” in the music biz (as a duo), they are not newcomers as individual artists. Also, they had many great opportunities and positive buzz like opening for Adele and collaborating with Taylor Swift on a song for the soundtrack of a huge popular movie like The Hunger Games. And as a David fan, I have to say that Joy’s connection to him also helped their popularity among his fans at least.
    (Oh, and they toured a lot in different places like in EUROPE !!! They were able to do it as an indie duo and David didn’t while he was signed to a major label lol).

  3. I think that indie labels work well for hip-hop artists and they even give them more recognition among the hip-hop music lovers. They are seen as authentic because they didn’t “sell out” their artistic freedom to Majors. Well, at least in my country.

    Maybe David should try to rebuild his career in the UK first. I’ve read many articles about the “British invasion” and how well British singers do in the USA like Adele of course but also Jessy J and Ed Sheeran to only name a few. They are able to export their music even if it’s not “Top 40” type of music which is a really great thing. Even singers from talent shows like the X Factor seem to be more accepted compared to those from the US lol

  4. I would love for David to work with whoever Adele worked with, that’s for sure! Imagine the guy (forgetting his name) who knew how to market an Adele, what couldn’t he do with a David? 🙂

    • I would love it if David worked with the team Adele had behind her. It just proves what can happen if you have the right label(Columbia XL) and right team/management in place to support the talent. We all know David has the talent but he has not had the right team/management in place. I agree with you zara on your comments. Adele’s manager is Jonathan Dickins of September Management. Adele worked with several producers on her album. Rick Rubin was one of them and the others were in the UK. I think that her XL label in the UK was considered indie. Columbia distributed it in the US. Here is in interesting article about the XL label.

      • Interesting article, Marie. I loved that the head of the label is all about the music. Imagine that! Oh, I wish for David a label like this one!!

      • Good article. I had to laugh when i read the comments. Some are saying how much the guy in the 2 Live Crew t-shirt looks like Mitt Romney. I agree with them.

  5. Great article and interesting poll Hg.
    Don’t have a clue as to what is best direction for David, but all I want is for a successfull music career. To be honest, I would love for David to have the kind of success that Adele has. I would love to see David’s name up there with the best in the industry, whatever that takes to get there. Now that’s my wish, whatever he wants, he only knows. I just hope he knows that having that kind of success would give him so much power to do good in the world and that is what he is trying to do.

  6. The votes are all over the place because it really is hard to know what is best for a singer in the music industry in these times. In the past an artist needed the money of the big label in order to have a career. Now I believe the rules are changing. Of course we would like David to have the success of Adele, but that would be extremely hard to achieve. Most every singer out there wants that. As I’ve said before big success in the music industry is almost like winning the lottery. It takes a whole lot of luck. Carly Smithson once said that success for her in the music industry was getting to make another record. If we use that as a measuring stick David has been extremely successful since he has made five already. I just hope he can continue recording when he returns however he wants to record – be it major label or indie. I will be there to buy his records.

  7. Looks like David will be doing another concert for his mission in Chile. See the link:

  8. Re. the post, I selected the last one “I don’t know yet”. Reading about Lecrae’s success as an indie artist is inspiring.

    Related to the last post, Ne Yo’s recent interview in UPSCALE magazine is getting some buzz. He talks about his bitterness as a result of not being recognized in the industry like he believes he should be. Below is quote that explains it best:

    “When did it become not about the music and about how quick you could take your shirt off or how many times you’ve been arrested in a year, or who you f-ckin? When did that become more important than the quality of the music?


    • Ne Yo was right. He tells it the way it is. Interesting post hg. I think the answer for the label question just might be both indie and major. I believe that indie labels need the help of the major labels to gain wider success for the artist. At least in some countries they need it. Kind of a necessary evil. Unfortunately. off topic but watched the voice tonight. It was entertaining.

  9. Here’s the invitation for the Mormon Mission equivalent to an Invitation only Radio Event for Elder Archuleta:

  10. New tribute video with a fun English/Spanish song. It’s a fun one with dancing, smiley, model David. For all of us ODD fans that miss David.

  11. I saw this on “The Voice”; proceeds will go to two charities David has mentioned in the past.

    The Sounds of David Notes

    Luncheon and Fan Mixer
    Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 12:00 to 4:30 PM
    Newport Beach Marriott Bayview Hotel
    500 Bayview Circle, Newport Beach, California 92660

    $45.00 per person – Buffet Luncheon Included

  12. I hope they have a large turn out and it is for a great charities. Fans in that area should go to it. Not a bad price either. But I have to ask Sunny as part of the entertainment?? lol Well she will be entertaining. I would agree with that. lol I do hope someone does a little video of her. Michael Orland and David’s vocal coaches from S7 would actually be very interesting to listen to. I would actually go just to hear them if I lived in the area.

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