SSENSE x 6LACK

  • Katrina Lainsbury

6LACK isn't Putting Up With Industry Bullshit Since the 90’s, there have been a boggling amount of changes in styles and genres of popular music. Of course, the industry will forever be evolving and tastes forever changing, but we often have to wonder to what degree these shifts are engineered by record labels. It’s no question that labels can manufacture artists based on what they think will be popular, and that organic or deeply original artists are often shut down in their attempts to maintain creative control. Luckily, the internet—with its piracy and streaming and all-around democratizing abilities—showed up just in time to wrest some power back into the hands of the people. Sure, there will be industry plants in an industry desperate to forecast or replicate popularity, but with the ubiquity of SoundCloud, online streaming, and social media, more artists have been able to pave the path to success independently and with integrity. 6LACK is another young artist coming out of chart-dominating Atlanta to gain attention in the mainstream—and one who has spent much of his young career proving he will not be made an industry plant. He parted ways with his first label in 2011, and shortly after we were hearing him everywhere—his songs bumping in the Snapchat updates of everyone from Kylie Jenner to YesJulz. Amidst the flurry of a North American tour, 6LACK put aside some time to talk with Katrina Lainsbury about taking control and standing your ground. He may not be a plant, but he’s certainly in bloom. https://www.ssense.com/en-ca/editorial/music/dont-poke-the-bear