DIY Spotlight: Macklemore

MACKLEMORE-DIYHip-hop rapper Macklemore has been releasing music independently since 2000 and has gained a significant fanbase. He has released mixtapes, three EPs and two albums without record label support.

His music video “Thrift Shop” has been viewed on YouTube more than 130 million times, and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after selling more than 2.2 million copies.

He released his debut studio album The Heist on Oct. 9, 2012, which charted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 78,000 copies in the first week. How did this indie artist achieve such success? Easy… through sheer DIY ambition. In 2000 he recorded an EP titled Open Your Eyes under the name Professor Macklemore, which he distributed himself. He then dropped “Professor” and released his first official full-length album, The Language of My World in 2005.

In 2009, he dropped The Unplanned Mixtape. In 2010, he teamed up with producer Ryan Lewis to create the VS. Redux EP, using his experience with substance abuse to create the mixtape’s critically acclaimed song “Otherside.” Since then, Macklemore has been picked up by The Agency Group, an international booking company that added him to unrelenting tours.

In 2012, Macklemore and Lewis announced their debut full-length album and a world tour to support it.

The album reached the No. 1 position on the US iTunes Albums chart within hours. Raves from music publications, such as The Source, XXL and Rolling Stone, followed… calling this artist “an indie rags-to-riches story.”

To learn more about this phenomenon, check out http://macklemore.com.

By Bernard Baur

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