Why Independent music is taking over

Be warned: independent music IS taking over the telly, the airwaves and the internet. And don’t be complacent. It’s not just some kid on their own with GarageBand and a YouTube channel, they’ve got help from the new music industry professionals.

Goodbye Unsigned. Hello Independent.

Remember when people were using the term ‘unsigned’ to refer to new and emerging artists? Implying that signing a record deal with a major label would suddenly bring an artist success, exposure and money. Ah, themz were the dayz.

In 2016 however, as the old school record industry struggles to reinvent itself in the digital, streaming and accessible music production age, independent is king.

When investment or marketing for emerging artists by major labels is rarer than zero likes on a Taylor Swift Instagram post, like, dah, of course the new generation of talent choose to shake off the bureaucratic shackles. Of course they identify as out and proud independent.

Oh what a night. ⭐️

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

(And when I say major labels, I am not certainly not including those awesome independent labels and their nimble teams. The ones that scout and graft and work as hard as the artists to launch some art into our earholes. Wonderful peeps, those.)

Independent artist services – the new music professionals

I know an artist who used to be signed to a major record label. When their last signed album was released, the label’s PR rep who was managing the release decided to go on holiday. *Sigh*.

Now that Artists have the opportunity to work without the major labels, some choose to manage their empire all by themselves. Afterall, it’s not rocket science to answer some tweets and publish your tunes on mainstream distribution channels like YouTube, Spotify and iTunes.

But when there’s press releases to write, tour dates to schedule, merch to order, sync deals to broker, however, the gig gets a bit tougher. It’s a rare artist indeed who is actually able to take on all that work by themselves. Who has perfect spelling & grammar, knows all the industry taste-makers AND the going rate for a worldwide licence in perpetuity for a food and drinks advertisement.

Being a successful independent artist is a lot of work, which is why some of the best indies in the biz hire in some of the best music professionals in the biz. Gig by gig, contract by contract, long term or whatever suits.

Independents who hand-pick their team of professionals are winning.

And hey! A massive thank you to those independents who have hand-picked Hookline as their music publisher. We’re so so proud of the artists we keep on our register. They are also lovingly hand-picked by us.

Nothing brings us more joy than when we deliver a message that we’ve landed a biggie, or matched a track with an exciting visual collaboration. You can learn more about why Hookline is different over here.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s some highlights from this month to show you just how much independent music is taking over.

Music to cook by BBC Food

There’s something delicious about Hookline’s delectable repertoire that keeps BBC2’s James Martin – Home Comforts coming back for more. Over the past month, Hookline artists including Narrow Plains, Antonio Lulic, Indigo Face, Lovers Electric and New Arcades have all featured on the day time show, providing the best indpendent music for your dining and culinary education. Next time you’ve got some pasta boiling, steaks sizzling, or foodie programmes to sync, try giving these fantastic tunes a taste.

Pop art Pepsi Max Cherry

Our blissful tune Rheya by Sullen Key was the perfect soundtrack for Pepsi Max Cherry’s new short, Taste Revolution. Created by AMV BBDO in collabration with GIF-ITI artist INSA, the project used 90 cameras to capture every angle of the installation simultaneously, resulting in a 360 experience around INSA’s taste-inspired artwork. Sullen Key’s building, driving and euphoric electronica provided the perfect intensity for this cool, urban short.

‘Cause this is Thriller Film4

There is nothing that says hard hitting thriller like John Fairhurst’s track Breakdown. The rough and ready single is filled with raw and earthy tones that makes it perfect for Film4’s hard hitting trailer of Catch Me Daddy. You best check it out.

A brand new day Trinity Mirror

Trinity Mirror released its new newspaper last month, The New Day. Running 40 stapled pages, The New Day is the first stand-alone national daily newspaper in 30 years. So who better to soundtrack the fresh new advert than young indie pop band Longfellow with their single Kiss-Hug-Make Up. The advert continues to run across TV, social media, radio and print media, so be sure to check it out.

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