most successful independent artists

No Deal, No Problem: The Most Successful Independent Artists

Plenty of musicians on Gigmor have “become a rock star” set as their goals . As everyone knows, this doesn’t happen overnight. Most successful independent artists spend years playing live shows, advertising, recording and a lot more. In the past few years, we’ve seen a wave of indie artists who made it by themselves, without the help of a record label or a deal. It’s 2016 and there really are no rules on how to increase exposure of an artist’s material and brand. Whether it’s through simple street promotion or giving away your music, the road to stardom is no longer a straight, predetermined path. Let’s take a look at the most successful independent artists that did it on their own.

1.Chance The Rapper

Chancellor Bennet, better known to the rap world as Chance The Rapper, has had one of the most unique paths to success there is. During his senior year of high school, Chance got suspended for 10 school days and ended up recording his debut mixtape, sensibly titled “10Day”. In 2013, his second mixtape “Acid Rap” brought him loads of publicity followed by a nation wide tour and recognition as Complex Magazine’s favorite album of 2013. The only profit Chance has ever generated is from live shows and his debut album “Coloring Book”, released in May continues his freebie streak. The album is available on every major streaming service as well as Soundcloud. Now a co-sign of major artists like Kanye West, James Blake, and Frank Ocean, Bennet is taking the rap world on by storm. Through unique distribution methods and a reputation for a wild performance accompanied by magical dance moves, Chance is only going to get bigger and bigger.


Formed in 2009, the band met at an artist commune in the Greek island of Crete. Their self-titled debut EP was released independently and recorded in their drummer, Ryan Rabin’s, home studio. From there they scored a spot on Florence + The Machine’s summer tour where they got all the exposure they could dream of. Their debut album was also released independently and now they are one of the biggest names in indie-rock. That summer GROUPLOVE was invited to play at festivals across the world including Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, and Outsidelands. Find that studio space people, it could be a game changer!


One of the most talented bassists in the entire music industry, Stephen Bruner has come a long, long way. Under the moniker Thundercat, the bassist/producer/vocalist has worked alongside some of the most unique minds in the business ranging from George Clinton to Kendrick Lamar to Michael McDonald. Thundercat has released three albums all through frequent collaborator Flying Lotus’ independent label Brainfeeder. Bruner started slapping bass at the age of 15 and has been free to release his music and work with whom ever he pleases ever since. Again no label, no restrictions.

Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner