Asher Roth, who recently announced his upcoming Retro Hash project, has seen various sides of the music industry. He's been an independent artist and a major label act, once signed to Def Jam Records, and he says that being signed to a major label brings expectations.
"When you sign a record deal, they let you know that you have the responsibility to sell records, so you get incepted with this thought process of, 'Is this going to sell?'" Asher Roth says in an interview with xxlmag.com. "How real is that? If you don’t sell records, you lose your job. It’s almost this fear tactic. I got the chance to meet the Wizard of Oz, so to speak, and it’s like in the movie where you see him, and you’re like, 'Really? It’s you?' After looking behind that curtain I said to myself, I just want to make music with my friends and not think about it. Not worry about if this is going to sell. It definitely came down to asking that question, and some people out there I’m not sure if they do ask that question, 'What do you want to do and what do you want to accomplish?' As much as I want to be successful and I want people to recognize and hear my music, I also want to make music that I’m happy with. I’m not saying that I never did, or that I was never doing that, but now it’s just about having fun and making music and nothing more. That’s awesome to me."
In November 2011, Roth discussed signing with Def Jam.
“The music industry has changed drastically, even from the last time my album [2009's Asleep in the Bread Aisle] was out,” he said at the time. "Def Jam, I feel like, has the mindset to continue to compete, and it's just one of those labels that will stick it out and will grind it out. And from my experiences sitting in that room [with them], they're very much like, 'Hey Asher, what do you wanna do? Let's make that happen.'"
Roth announced Retro Hash in a YouTube clip earlier this week, as reported December 18.