Hip Hop’s Most Successful Independent Artist Reaches Global Success
“It starts with the music,” Tech N9ne told Revolt TV in a recent interview about his independent success. “People want to hear good music. After you do good music—after you do pure music—don’t do what everybody else is doing. Don’t get cloned. It’s the music first. Then it’s the shows. If you have a wonderful show, people will talk and they will return. That’s my story. They heard my music—beautiful. They saw my show—beautiful,” he continued.
Tech N9ne is the co-founder of the record label Strange Music, started in 1999 alongside business partner Travis O’Guin. Since that time, Tech N9ne has sold over two million albums and has had his music licensed in feature films, television, and even video games.
The rap emcee is the top selling independent Hip Hop artist in the world and the difference shows in his work ethic and dedication to not only the craft, but his fans as well.
How Tech N9ne Began as an Artist
Tech N9ne explained that he began rhyming in 1985 and had his share of major label experience before deciding upon another route that would allow him full control creatively and branding wise.
The artist said that he got his first record deal in 1993 with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who were behind Janet Jackson’s music campaign. Although Tech N9ne said his style of music didn’t fit well with their entity so they eventually cut ties. In an effort to define which genre his music fits within, Tech N9ne kept producing independently before signing to Quincy Jones in 1997. Soon after, it was JCOR/Interscope in 1998 before starting his own independent label Strange Music.
Though Tech N9ne’s transition has been adventurous to say the least but he’s done a remarkable job establishing his own brand throughout his journey. By establishing a defined brand through his music, the artist has created a loyal audience and following that has supported his art even without the backing of a major label.
Aside from creating quality music and performing exciting live shows — Tech N9ne says the final step was creating that personal relationship with his fans. Connecting with them through local meet and greets and other individual perks for different touring cities finalized his approach to capitalizing as an independent phenom.