Well it’s official; my future self aka Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has signed to Glassnote Records. The label, which is home to acts like Mumford & Sons, is distributed by Sony’s RED distribution division, the company that also distributes OFWGKTA & Odd Future Records. It seems that Glassnote, which was founded in 2007, is a small independent label with a recent track record of success. The label released the indie band Phoenix’ Grammy-winning album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”, in addition to seeing Mumford & Sons’ 2009 album “Sign No More” peak at #2 on the US and UK album charts. With those recent successes, it is clear that Glover has signed to a label that can foster both critical acclaim and sales success. With the rise in popularity of free independent music, it seems that artists are able to transition free-music popularity into deals with smaller and more focused labels that in turn use major labels to distribute the work. This is an interesting development, and it will be interesting to see how this changes the music industry landscape.
Tyler, the Creator won an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. I was really happy for him (so was his Mama… she caught the holy ghost…). For some strange reason, I felt like I won. Hey, if people can be excited about Beyonce being pregnant, I can be excited for a kid promoting radical self-expression. I think in this moment of economic uncertainty, it’s even more important to just go out and do what you feel and do what you want to do.
That night people on twitter were upset that Tyler won because he’s an atheist and he cursed in his acceptance speech. I also thought it was annoying that major portions of the speech were censored… I would rather hear the statement in context and decide its merits for myself. Besides, if you are going to promote music that is about sex, materialism, and vulgarity why is it such a big deal when the people speak about those things? Anyway… I’m just ranting. Tyler, the Creator for the win… SWAG
I first discovered Danny! back in 2009. He released the mixtape “Where is Danny!” which was one of my favorite albums of the year. Danny! Reminds me of a less charismatic Kanye West, but more sophisticated than Paris Jones. Essentially, Danny! specializes in soul-influenced beats that clever lyricism that heavily relies on puns and non-sequitors. You can check out his website here and his wiki. Seriously, this guy is super talented, and well worth a listen. I really appreciate Danny! for his conversational tone and subject matter. He is a very observant and reflective artist and it shows in his music. Danny! has been a professional artist signed to labels for over five years. In this time, his music has not received the attention it deserves. Danny! is not afraid to talk about his struggles in the music industry as he shares the wisdom he learned as a result of disappointment and heartbreak. This makes is stories very accessible. A great example of Danny!’s reflective style is the song “Lost Ones”. This song includes a powerful story of how he could not reconcile with his estranged father until after his father died. Danny! may never reach the heights of Kanye West, but he is a great artist in his own right and well-worth our attention. Unlike other artists, Danny! does not experiment with genre and typically uses soul-beats to provide his signature sound. However, Danny! is still one of the most talented artists in music.