Grimes says that Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service is ‘so important for indie music’

The avant-pop musician claims the company is '100% artist friendly and fan friendly'

Grimes has offered her support to Jay Z’s new streaming service, Tidal, recently taking to Instagram to post a now-deleted comment on the recent criticism the company has faced.

Having bought the company earlier this year,Jay Z launched Tidal at a star-studded New York event in March that featured appearances from Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, Usher, Deadmau5 and Beyoncé, among other stars. The service’s intent, the rapper said, was to give artists a fairer share of revenue than other streaming options, such as Spotify.

However, Tidal has found itself as a target of criticism, with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Steve Albini, Lily Allen and Ben Gibbard recently sharing their views on the matter. Their criticisms included suggestions that its model will only favour mainstream acts and that it’s little more than a vanity project.

However, now Grimes – who is managed by Jay Z’s Roc Nation company – has claimed that Tidal is “100% artist friendly, and fan friendly” and “so important” for independent music.

Grimes wrote on Instagram: “Mad respect for TIDAL!! I literally know musicians who live in cars and storage spaces, etc. And I know some pretty popular musicians who still struggle to make ends meet. Unless artists have a popular live show there aren’t a lot of income streams available. People have characterized TIDAL negatively but I promise it’s 100% artist friendly, and fan friendly since y’all have the option to pay the same rate as other streaming [platforms.] Respect to everyone involved for doing the right thing for struggling artists — this kind of thing is so important, especially for indie music! PS. I AM SIGNED TO 4AD!!”

She continued: “The misconception that I am not an independent artist anymore is incorrect, I can speak as an independent artist here. Roc Nation manages me, I’m not signed to them nor do I have any investment in TIDAL, nor did anyone ask me to say this. PS. To everyone who buys music respect! Glad to hear many of you buy music rather than stream which is the best way to support smaller artists! ^_^ And also, for those who can’t afford streaming or buying music, I do not judge anyone for that! This is a suggestion, not a demand. [And] sorry it has created so much anger amongst y’all.”

Odd Future’s Tyler, The Creator recently said that while he agrees with the ideas behind Tidal, he felt the array of big name stars present at its launch “came off as weird”.

“I get the concept of artists taking their shit instead of having that weird middle man,” he told Billboard. “But because he got all of the biggest names in the world, it came off as weird. I think that’s why people were turned off. He gotta get an underdog in there that’s not all Number Ones to say, ‘Hey guys, I’m kind of one of you, this is actually kinda cool.’ That’s all they gotta do, because the idea makes sense.”

Grimes, who is due to head on tour with Lana Del Rey, recently said that she scrapped a whole album’s worth of new music because it was “depressing”.

“The album was scrapped cuz it was depressing and I didn’t want to tour it,” the musician, real name Claire Boucher, wrote online. “I may release it one day. I throw out music all the time, i have almost 1000 gigs of unreleased music on my hard drive. I just want the next album to be as good as possible. ‘Go’ was never on the album anyway, it is a collaboration with a close friend that was released for fans as a ‘Thank you’ for waiting since my album was being delayed. There are only about 4 people on earth who have heard my new music. People’s opinions do not factor into my process. That is all, and hopefully this helps… I’m really not that sad or insecure of a person.”

Last year Grimes confirmed that she has worked with US MC Lizzo on her new album, while hinting that the record could be a double.