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Artists Vs. Major Labels: Musicians that Made It Without A Deal

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GSU chapter.

Social Media has opened a multitude of doors for those trying to push their art and became an express tunnel for those trying to make a name for themselves. Because of outlets like Soundcloud and Twitter, blowing up over one song can be simple, but living up to that crazy hype it is another thing. Here are a few that made it without a label and continue to produce some of the hottest music out…


Chance the Rapper: Exploding on to the scene with crazy adlibs and memorable lyrics and beats, Chance captured the hearts of many through his unconventional rap style. A breath of fresh air to the industry, he is the embodiment of the kid next door, except, this kid can rap. Being humble, down to earth, and multitalented are only a few of his outstanding qualities, and to top it off, his success is truly, HIS. Without a label, I’d say he’s doing pretty well. Check his features on Kanye’s last album and his recent project “Surf” to turn a skeptic into a believer.

Odd Future: Starting from humble beginnings and releasing songs on Youtube, this group of oddballs was rap music’s rebel cry. Between skating, rapping, jumping, and performing dangerous stunts, it can be hard to tell if they are trying to be a comedy group or musicians, but the reality of it is, they are both. Though they are most notable for their outlandish acts and vulgar lyrics, they truly are an outlet for teenage angst and civil disobedience. Flipping the middle finger to the industry and major labels made a name for themselves, and didn’t conform to choosing one form of art. Comedic, unpredictable and sporadic are a few ways to describe this group, and also a recipe for disaster for any major label, but luckily they are their own label, and refuse to stand down or stifle their thoughts.

Macklemore: An artist that catches a lot of slack, Macklemore, doesn’t appeal to everyone, but the talent is undeniable, and his major success without a label shows he is a force to be reckoned with. His catchy songs make his music memorable and radio play worthy, but some just find him flat out tacky. Despite this, he has managed to stay afloat in the music industry that swallows one hit wonders up like they never even existed. Without a label backing him, he has the freedom to assert his views on many different levels, from his songs to his interviews, and this is why respect cannot be denied from this artist.

Mumford&Sons: With Grammy Awards and three studio albums underneath their belt, some find it hard to believe that this rock band from England is independent. Catering to more of an alternative/indie crowd, Mumford&Sons truly practice what they preach. Highlighting the instrumentation in their songs and focusing on the whole production of their song is definitely one of their strong points, and without a label breathing down their neck, fans know that they are getting the most authentic, tasteful music from the artists themselves with ever strum of the guitar and beat of the drums. Simple, but effective, their music is a direct correlation of their unique artistry and sound. 

19 year old Psych major who is learning and growing everyday (:
The GSU chapter of Her Campus