We’ve got Rome Fortune performing his first headlining concert in NYC at Pigeons & Planes’ No Ceilings show, but before that kicks off, we asked if he’d write something for us to share a glimpse into his world. This is what he wrote.
Is there a label deal fit for Rome Fortune?
By Rome Fortune
So many labels are taking on new strategies and implementing different ideologies to cater to the consumer of 2015. All of these “fresh” approaches are amazing, except for the fact that they use these tactics on artists that do not fully represent the time we live in.
This is the age of everything cyber. A few years ago the term “internet rapper/artist” was a clear insult indicating that an artist could only garner buzz on the www but couldn’t translate that into real fans that would buy tickets, merch, albums, etc. Today, an internet artist = artist in general. How else do you get out music to thousands (in a lot of cases millions) of people without the push of corporate machine backing your efforts? SoundCloud. Spotify. YouTube.
I’ve studied the constant changing climate of music enough to know that creating the prototype of a superstar from a mold that’s collecting dust isn’t the most productive thing to do. I’ve met with everyone from Epic Records to OWSLA to Interscope this past year and half. The focal point of most meetings always revolves around what my sound or style is. In turn, my response is immediately “authenticity.”
I will not agree to being a one-trick pony, that speaks to one demographic, one type of way.
It never really ends ideally after that, because I will not agree to being a one-trick pony, that speaks to one demographic, one type of way. I have friends who trap, some who rap, some that go to graduate school, some who barely know a Gucci Mane (my hero) song, some who instruct yoga, etc. I talk to these people in different ways. I remain myself throughout, but I learn how to adapt in every world I come across. Why can’t my music reflect that? Why can’t that be accepted by these entities? Should I even be looking for approval from them?
A few weeks ago, I had a few intriguing offers on the table. So I took to Twitter to ask what label I should sign with. So many people responded saying that I didn’t need one. I could be massive without one, they say. I agree, but what will be my indicator to show people I have taken that next level up. Most buzzing artists in my position sign a deal, proving to people that they will be hearing a lot more of them in the future. You’re almost always taken more seriously because with millions of corporate dollars associated with you, you’re a real business.
At this point I’m thinking about generating my own indication of that next step. Being static hasn’t been beneficial for any artist. I can’t stay in this position forever because the allure will fade. The majority of people’s fascination with artists is seeing the constant growth and progression/transformation that a person goes through. If a label deal is embedded in the genetic make-up of a star, why hasn’t the right deal surfaced for me? I’ve made killer tracks with everyone from Gucci to Young Thug to Makonnen to Bassnectar to Four Tet, and the list goes on. If I’m being noticed by some of the most successful artists today, what’s keeping me from being regarded as one of them? I’m very appreciative of my fans, but it’s time to amplify my audience. How?