Guest Blog: “Better Off As An Independent” by Gabe Dixon

"Funding, recording, and releasing this album independently has offered me more freedom than I had when I was on a major label."

DSC_3180 photo by Shervin Lainez

Until now, all of my studio albums have been released with the help of a major record label. For my current release, Turns To Gold, I chose a different path.

Funding, recording, and releasing this album independently has offered me more freedom than I had when I was on a major label. While being on the roster of one of these goliaths can provide some advantages, such as up-front money, the “prestige” of being a label artist, and sometimes more media leverage, the number of creative “cooks in the kitchen” is often too high, at least for my taste. Also, the major-label artist is always at risk of being orphaned or forgotten if and when a new head-honcho descends and fires all of the people who loved their music. I am one of a multitude of major label performers who have been in that unfortunate situation. It can be extremely frustrating and demoralizing, especially for a young artist.

When you’re hot, you’re hot, but it’s fleeting. Major labels have A.D.D. when it comes to the vast majority of their artists. Since they tend to have more money to work with than independent labels do, they sign more artists in order to hedge their bets. This means that you may have a whole bunch of people at a major label working hard for you right when your album comes out, but if it hasn’t gained much traction within the first few months after its release, it’s in the label’s interest to shift their attention to one of their many other artists, rather than give your record that extra push it needs to make it to the top of the hill.

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