5 Self-Made Musicians that Made it Big

What is it about musicians that makes us weak for their rebellious ways? The biggest rule breakers in any biz, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a performer who’s satisfied with staying in the status quo. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that some of the most well-respected musicians around chose to take their own path (sans record label) on their road to success.

Over the years, dozens of Billboard charting artists proved that you can achieve rockstardom, even when opting out of the record label route. These artists relied on their own raw talent and business savvy to get their songs on airwaves everywhere.

Some of our favorite artists who made it big on their own terms, used Wix Music as the platform to promote their music online. With a plethora of online tools like EPKs, streaming, distribution and selling features available right from your Wix Music account, there’s no reason why you too can’t promote your music on your own terms.

We dug into the Wix Music vault to find 5 artists that made it big without a record label.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have never been known to follow the crowd. From being the first unsigned artist in nearly a decade that lands a #1 spot on the billboard chart, to shutting down the haters by promoting social causes at the Grammy’s, the Seattle natives has always been fiercely independent at every step of their career. An archetype for so many independent artists that followed, they’re now empowering other indie artists by ensuring them “that now, there is no better time to put out your art creatively, and doing it yourself.”

And if he wasn’t cool enough, Macklemore’s 2016 tour website is made with Wix Music!


Karmin’s the kind of band that proves that with great talent and determination (and lots of hard work), you can get discovered in the digital age. So good they couldn’t be ignored, the duo can credit their rise to fame to their viral YouTube cover videos, a hot discussion on reddit and a shoutout on Ryan Seacrest’s blog. Today they continue to grow their fanbase with their stunner of a Wix website.

While they did sign a record deal in 2011, they since dropped their label, opting to be more selective with their shows and focus on crafting new tunes. You can read more about Karmin’s journey to independence in this Live Nations article.

Mike Tompkins

YouTube sensation Mike Tompkins is one of the most original artists of this generation. The a capella singer and producer is responsible for introducing a whole group of young people to a capella music through his YouTube videos that garner tens of millions in views each!

This unsigned artist shows no sign of slowing down. Most recently, you can catch him singing the hook in Jennifer Hudson’s song – ‘Walk it Out’ (that he helped produce), and opening on this past summer’s Jonas Brothers tour with fellow Wix Music users Karmin.

Lil Dicky

His name may sound like a joke, but Lil Dicky has some serious talent. This rapper / comedian has already caught the attention of big names like Snoop Dogg, T-Pain and Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie who all happen to make cameos on Lil Dicky’s debut album ‘Professional Rapper.’

With that much big-name backing, it doesn’t sound like Lil Dicky needs to prove himself to any of the labels knocking at his door.

Pros & iCons

Pros & iCons are one of the rising stars in their hometown’s pop music scene – which is no small feat when your hometown happens to be New York City. This fun-loving boy band got their first big break on the same stage as Megan Trainer, Charlie XCX and Jessie J as the fan selected favorites at Z100’s Jingle Ball.

Think they sound familiar? That’s because one of their tunes was used as the track on Jaguar car’s recent commercial.

By Nathaly Myers

Community & Social Media Manager, Wix

#Promoteyourmusic #Wixmusic


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