“I am independent today. I was manufacturing by myself and distributing by myself. I was making money by myself,” said Puerto Rican reggaeton star Daddy Yankee when he appeared at the Midem conference in 2017.
Asked what a label did for him, he was clear: “Distribution and positioning. And that’s it… I own my own masters. When I went to YouTube and Vevo, they were surprised I had no label. I said I wanted to do a direct deal with them. No middle men. I don’t know if there is another artist who has that.”
But things change. Three years on, Daddy Yankee has signed a ‘strategic global partnership‘ with Universal Music Group.
That’s careful wording: Daddy Yankee will be releasing his music through UMG’s distribution and artist services division Ingrooves, so he’s still independent. Meanwhile, he’ll also be exploring film and TV projects with Polygram Entertainment, as part of the deal.