In March 2020, after a decade signed to a major label and achieving global success, Conor Maynard stepped out on his own as an independent artist. His accomplishments need little introduction: Maynard’s debut album Contrast hit number one in the UK charts; world tours, awards, and collaborations with some of the industry’s biggest names followed. A YouTube pioneer, he was one of the first home-grown talents to transition from online to IRL pop-stardom.
As he reflected 10 years on from the debut album that changed his life, Conor realised the right decision was for him to go at it alone, not for the first time looking to reshape the role of artists within the industry. “We’ve reached a new age of how people put music out, giving musicians more say,” Maynard says. “And I wanted to play a part in it. Finally I could shape my career and make music how I liked.”
Since this, Maynard has taken career to unchartered heights. In 2021, his global listenership grew at an extraordinary pace, in one year racking up over 300 million streams across Spotify and Apple Music, without major player backing. It takes his worldwide reach to a staggering scale: his YouTube channel has amassed 12.5 million subscribers and 2.5 billion views; Spotify streams of his music are fast-approaching 2 billion. He has also quickly become the 8th most followed TikTok music account in the UK.
In some ways, Maynard has come full circle, once again in full of his craft from his home studio. Only this time he’s not breaking through, but continuing his decade-long success with total creative control. Alongside his new record, 2022 will see Maynard back on stage, building on his sell-out 2019 world tour.
“Hitting all these milestones, counting to grow, is incredibly satisfying,” says Maynard. “And it’s a relief to be certain that despite taking this huge leap – and it being a massive risk – I made the right call.”