'It feels scary to go independent...' James Blake leaves record label

James Blake has parted ways with Republic Records and will now release his new music as an independent artist.



James Blake has announced he will release future music as an independent artist
James Blake has announced he will release future music as an independent artist

James Blake has quit his record label and is taking full control of his music.

The 'Retrograde' singer was previously signed to A+M Record for his self-titled debut LP and then to Republic Records for the albums ‘Overgrown’ (2013), 'The Colour In Anything’ (2016), ‘Assume Form’ (2019), ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ (2021) and ‘Playing Robots Into Heaven’ (2023).

But Blake is now becoming an independent artist and he took to his Instagram page to share the news with his followers and revealed that is feeling “good” but “scared” after choosing to go it alone.

He posted: “After over a decade on a label it feels scary to go independent but here we are. As someone who hates spam, I promise not to send you annoying emails. Just trying to break free of the algorithm gods gatekeeping art. Speak soon..."

He added: “It feels good to be independent because I’ve wanted to take things into my own hands for a long time”

It comes after Blake recently called on record labels to "fund therapy" for their artists to help them cope with the pressures of the industry.

He took to X last month to say: “You shouldn't get to profit from our trauma without helping with the pitfalls of it. Live agents and managing companies too. All of them have a vested interest in the artist becoming more successful, which means disconnected from support systems/family/friends by being thrown into a strange, disconnected world of touring and parasocial media.

"I'm not suggesting a label provide their sanctioned therapist to be clear just that they should fund therapy."

Blake previously opened up about the period in his career when his mental health spiralled from trying to maintain a "cool" stage persona.

The 'Limit to Your Love' singer suffered from social anxiety in the past and wasn't "great to talk to at the time" and put pressure on himself to be the "coolest version" of himself "possible" as he thought that's what he had to be as an artist.

He said: “The thing was, the difference between my musical, cool, doing loads of collabs, and producing blah, blah, blah, and doing dub, electronic music, and good reviews, and all that stuff, and me just spiralling ... and actually not being that great to talk to at the time, and not really having anything to say, and just having loads of social anxiety, but then going on stage and just being the coolest version of myself possible.

"And you're rewarded financially for that in a lot of cases. I think it's Pavlovian. It's like the more you get the treat, the more you return to that behaviour. I think the answer for me, was to decide that I was okay with not getting the treat, and that I would decide to stop pretending that I was like, whatever part of me it was that was saying, okay, I need to appear this way to be as perfect as the kids at school thought I wasn't, or I'm going to be cooler than ... whatever."