Indie music: Faking it or really DIY?

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So, I was pretty excited on Grammy night when Chance the Rapper pulled in some indie music love and won! A music writer friend of mine on Facebook gave me caution: according to this person, the new marketing ploy of the industry is to profess to being an independent artist but really be secretly signed to a label or have a benefactor like Apple Music or a hedge fund. So, that begs the question: what’s indie? Is it just not signing to a traditional label? But saying you’re indie and you’re backed by Apple Music is not exactly bootstrapping it.  And no disrespect, way to get a lucrative deal but is it really honest to say you’re independent? Maybe it’s time to change the connotation – indie doesn’t mean broke anymore. I suppose I just don’t like the smoke and mirrors of it. Why pretend you don’t want a record label when you just found a new kind of gatekeeper? Am I missing it? I am all for anything that allows complete creative freedom however, something seems shady with the secret label deals and silent benefactors. Why can’t you just say you have a VC fund deal? Why can’t this all be more transparent? I know a lot of good non-label music is coming out and not only will it probably not win a Grammy, there will be some serious efforts made to get people to even HEAR it. The paradigm is shifting, just not sure why it has to seem so shady.

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