Monday, November 21, 2016

Icon For Hire: Do or DIY

>> With the days of mega-rockstars behind us, dipping your toes into the icy waters of the music business is a more frightening prospect than ever before. So imagine the courage it takes, then, to not only take on the industry unaided by a record label, but to leave your label and lose everything in the process. Icon For Hire lost everything leaving their label, including ownership of their first two albums. But even in the face of bankruptcy, addiction, and losing band members, Icon For Hire’s dedication to authenticity in their creative expression never wavered, and their faith paid off tremendously.

>> Aided by their fans (the Icon Army), Icon For Hire became their own label, and lost the shackles that had been holding them back from complete musical sincerity. A band that has always been dedicated to honesty, Icon For Hire could now push the boundaries of expression even further.

>> Though the path following their newfound independence was treacherous, they have said “the pros have far outweighed the cons so far. We adore having full creative control, and it’s a magical feeling to be in the driver’s seat of our own careers. Honestly, we have not experienced many cons so far, except for any fears that were present in the beginning, like, "Can we really do this?” In the end, we had been doing almost everything ourselves anyway, so not having a label wasn't a big adjustment.”

Photo Credit: Emily Beckerbelieveit

>> Now that the band has full control over the album making process, they’ve described their changing relationship with music, saying “We’ve certainly felt more freedom and joy throughout the creation process, which has been coming out in the actual songs. It’s been very empowering to not have to answer to anyone, or worry about impressing the right people at a label so they’ll promote us or something. We only feel responsible for our fans, for creating music that they resonate with. It’s much more fun.”

>> A crowdsourcing campaign that gave fans unprecedented access to the creative process of producing an album (perks ranged from providing backing vocals to appearing in music videos), paired with lead singer Ariel’s weekly videos on self-love and living an authentic life, strengthened the bond between artist and fan. This bond has culminated in the band’s most emotionally raw album yet, and a recently concluded tour they have cited as their most successful to date, noting “we’re playing to the biggest crowds we’ve had on a headlining tour, and everyone is singing every single word. The fans know our story and all that we’ve overcome, so this tour feels like a celebration of everybody's collective victories-personally and as a band.”

>> We live in uncertain times, constantly wary of insincerity, but in the arms of Icon For Hire, there is never a question that what you’re receiving is the unfiltered, hard-earned truth.

Photo Credit: Emily Beckerbelieveit
- Written by Emily Becker

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