Through all the chaotic changes in the digital age of music, one institution has been consistently the target of criticism – the record label.
Whether it’s questionable accounting practices, inflated price-points for consumers or shady contracts for artists, many large record labels have been rightfully accused of unethical behavior.
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For the last 10-15 years it’s been technically feasible for artists to completely produce and distribute their music independently. It spite of this, we think the role of the independent record label has never been so important.
Traditionally, the role of the record label has been to guide and shape the careers of artists. This highly creative process often extended from years into decades. While these days most major labels seem like nothing more than massive marketing and distribution engines, indie labels still provide the much needed function of nurturing the sound and vision of emerging artists. Without this fundamental role, many artists would not be able to mature and develop, never much progressing past their debut releases.
Indie labels are elemental not just for developing individual artists, but shaping entire communities and cultures.
They do this by creating a tribal spirit among their communities, whether working within specific genres or expanding out to larger cultural circles. It’s hard to imagine historic or modern labels like Blue Note, Warp or Ninja Tune outside their cultural contexts, nor as simply promotional agents for single artists.
Recognizing this ability to both nurture the careers of individual artists as well as shape entire musical sub-cultures, Resonate is eager to partner with independent labels to explore ways in which we can collaboratively progress and succeed in the age of digital music.