5 Reasons It's Better To Be An Independent Artist

Here, I'm flanked by two buddies during the photoshoot from my first album "Whose Fault The Grammar?". I'm pretty sure no record label would have sanctioned this.

There are some major obstacles to being a completely independent musician, not the least of which is having to manage every aspect of what is basically a business all by one's self. Balancing the creativity with the logistics, promotion, timing, communication, and everything else can be very taxing. But, even with all that responsibility, this is why I enjoy being independent:

1. I have control over what I release. Because no one is breathing down my neck to release a new album or single on a strict timeline, there's no pressure that could result in me releasing mediocre music. I can take the time to make everything as good as it can be, including my web presence, album art, etc.

2. I can choose to give my music away. Some people wonder how any success can be achieved by giving people the option of downloading music for free. Here's the truth: people still often choose to pay something for my albums. The satisfaction of releasing albums is why I do this, and there are plenty of people who value them enough to pay. At the same time, I have many, many more listeners who enjoy my music thanks to it being free. Everything balances out. I'd always rather someone enjoy my music for free than skip over it because of a price tag.

3. No creative limits. If one of my songs or albums gets more listens and downloads than the rest, I don't have to replicate that type of song or album again to repeat the success. I can progress naturally as an artist and grow instead of repeating what worked in the past (*cough Nickelback cough*). I may have a particular style, but hopefully I never write the same song twice.

4. I can fearlessly promote myself. I've taken the time to make the songs as good as they can be. I've stressed over recording the best vocal and instrument tracks for every second of every song. I've already been my own worst critic, so there's nothing that can bring me down. People can either like it, hate it, or ignore it, but I don't have to rely on others opninions of my music to effect my own personal satisfaction.

5. Last but not least, I have the freedom to stop working on music whenever I want and go get tacos. Enough said.

In reality, there are a lot of ways this list could be expounded upon, but perhaps I'll touch on the subject again in the future. In my next post, I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite music from other independent artists I've discovered. Cheers.

-Nate