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Why Brent Faiyaz Turned Down A Record Deal With A Quarter Million Dollar Advance And Opted To Go Independent

When discussing today’s popular R&B artists, Brent Faiyaz is one who enters the conversation. Whether it’s headlining shows or racking up hundreds of millions of streams, the Grammy-nominated artist has been on a consistent streak of wins.  

Ngozi Nwanji

Mar 9, 2023

T-Pain Says Being 'A Grown Man That Had Never Taken Care Of' His Business Led Him To Go Independent

T-Pain is a gift to the culture — period. Before being discovered, T-Pain, whose real name is Faheem Rashad Najm, had developed a love for music with the talent to match. By age ten, the Tallahassee native completely transformed his bedroom into a mini studio complete with a keyboard, beat machine, and four-track recorder as a rapper in a group that went by Nappy Headz.

Shanique Yates

Oct 28, 2022

Steve Stoute's UnitedMasters Becomes Exclusive Music Partner For Coinbase's NFT Marketplace

UnitedMasters isn’t letting up on ensuring that independent artists secure their coins. In October 2021, the Steve Stoute-founded music distributor forged a partnership with Coinbase to be one of the first to offer artists to be paid in cryptocurrency, as previously reported by AfroTech. The duo is back once again for a new collaboration, except, this time with another project on board. According to a press release shared with AfroTech, UnitedMasters has announced its partnership with Coinbase and Chain Runners for NFTs created, sold, and promoted by the company’s artists. The limited-edition collections will mark UnitedMasters as the exclusive partner for Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace. “In the same way that United Masters gives power to artists by enabling ownership of their music, NFTs give people true ownership of their digital assets,” said Chain Runners, according to the press release. “This partnership is representative of a new wave of ways for artists to express themselves...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 21, 2022

Method Man Teams Up With Intercept Music To Launch A Platform For Independent Labels And Artists

After having created a successful music career for himself over the course of three decades, Method Man has partnered with a new platform to help independent artists carve out their own lane. According to a press release shared with AfroTech, the Hip-Hop vet has joined entertainment technology company Intercept Music to debut its worldwide digital distribution platform. View this post on Instagram A post shared by STREETLIFEWU (@streetlifewu) The new launch is designed to “underscore the value and importance of artistic emancipation in today’s creator economy.” “I am so honored to be a part of these revolutionary times as independence take center stage,” Ralph Tashjian, Chairman, Intercept Music said, according to Music Business Worldwide. “Our goal at Intercept Music is to give voice to emerging and established artists and labels by providing the tools they need to succeed. Forging a powerful partnership with Method Man, Intercept underscores the value and promise of artistic...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 20, 2022

Twitch And Merlin Announce Partnership To Empower Independents

Independent music licensing partner Merlin is teaming up with Twitch to give artists better opportunities. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, the partnership was created to empower Merlin members and their artists by providing additional streams of income and accessibility to Twitch’s music programming. On its own, Merlin appears to be a powerhouse. The licensing group reportedly accounts for 15 percent of global music shares. The company is also said to help thousands of artists globally and has continued to spearhead opportunities with interested partners. The newly announced partnership aims to reinforce its commitment to creating an innovative hub for its talent. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with Twitch for this groundbreaking deal,” said Jeremy Sirota, Merlin CEO, in a press release. “We’ve been engaged in conversations with Twitch since the day I started at Merlin, and I’m pleased that our team found a path for Merlin members and their artists to better engage...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 3, 2022

Cash App Introduces New Program To Economically Empower Emerging Artists

Cash App has announced plans to provide funding to emerging artists. According to Yahoo!Entertainment! , the mobile payment service has launched its Cash App Studios, specifically designed to help independent creatives fund their projects. Those creatives include artists, designers, directors and musicians. “We’ve long upheld the importance of artistic expression at Cash App,” said Brian Grassadonia, lead at Cash App, in an official statement. “With the introduction of Cash App Studios, we’ll continue to support the freedom of the artist, both financially and creatively. In keeping with our guiding principle of economic empowerment, we are excited to support emerging artists who are limitless in their vision with this new program.” This isn’t the company’s first rodeo with artist collaborations as that it’s received recognition in a plethora of Hip-Hop songs. Cash App has also partnered with Megan Thee Stallion on recent marketing and content campaigns. View this post on Instagram A...

Shanique Yates

Oct 14, 2021

Is Spotify's New Ad Program A Little Too Close To Payola?

Spotify and record labels have a long-standing and arguably beneficial relationship. With the streaming giant ‘s latest pitch, the future of the relationship may become complicated. In 2019, Spotify launched Marquee, a playlist submission tool that “drives incremental streams” for artists through pop-up ads. However, at first, the company touted that the ads were separate from their popular editorial playlists. According to Bloomberg , the Stockholm-based music mammoth is now pitching a second monetization effort that pushes the label to pay them for promotion and streaming data of their music habits. Under this new program, Spotify will insert sponsored songs into playlists to better connect artists to their listenership. Since the billion-dollar business shovels the majority of its revenue back into labels due to royalties, Spotify is seeking to diversify its streams of ad revenue. For an entity that singlehandedly revived the music business, it sounds fair. Problem is, their...

Niki McGloster

Mar 4, 2020