From time to time, I talk to artists popular enough that they could easily land a label deal, but have chosen not to do so. One of the most common reasons given is that they want to stay true to their artistic vision for the group. They recognize that label execs tend to have a good feel for what will be commercially successful; they know that if they do the songs the label wants them to do, in the way the label wants them to do them, they will probably become more successful. But they have a specific concept of the direction they want their group to go, and they would rather go in that direction with less commercial success than (in a term I’ve heard several use) “sell out.”

In my view, if an artist’s concept of the artistic path they want their group to take is sound enough that I have become a fan of the group in the first place, then I have no problem with them taking the path less traveled toward success as an indie artist.

What do you think?