Every artist starts out searching for his or her big break. For many of us producers, that means many things, but the start is usually getting a song signed by a record label. Although we all strive to have our music heard by the masses, we don’t usually have the resources to make that happen and record labels do. Other than that, how much is common knowledge about how a label works, how each release is handled and how someone takes a song from an undiscovered artist and gets those songs to the biggest DJs in the world and into stores? Luckily we over at Magnetic had the opportunity to speak with Rory Gilbert, media and marketing manager at Enhanced Music, the record label credited with the discovery of artists such as Arty and Audien, and home of Tritonal. We spoke specifically about how Enhanced uses the service Label-Worx in their day-to-day label management.
Rory takes us on the journey of a song, from inception to distribution, as well as an incredible service that countless independent labels use in almost every stage of the process, Label-Worx.
Finding new artists and songs to sign:
- The beginning is always in receiving a demo or going out and looking for new artists. We only take demo submissions through Label-Worx, we use their DemoWorx system, which is great because we have one inbox that we direct everyone too, and when you’re having hundreds of demos every week, it’s handy to have them all in one place.
- People can come in, provide a name, details, upload an mp3 or SoundCloud link, and it comes into our system as one inbox within Label-Worx’s backend that we’ll use to preview tracks. It makes things super-easy. If we like a track, we’ll never sign it directly through Label-Worx, although you can do that, instead we’ll get in touch with artists, get a conversation going.
Contacting the artist:
- We had a demo submitted to us just before Christmas, it was a really cool track. Most people tend to submit un-mastered tracks so we tend to listen to the production value and record itself. We got in touch with this guy and said, “hey look, we really like this track and want to sign it as well as listen to anything else you’ve got.” We then worked with the Artist, A&R’ing the demo to the point where we were both happy, and ended up developing that one demo submission into an EP. From there, we slotted it into our release schedule.
Developing a new artist:
- A lot of artists we work with will have their own management and PR who will have an idea of their profile and how they want to market them. We’ll always try to develop artist PR through the release campaigns as well and we’ll suggest certain things to artists & their management. For artists that are just starting out, we’ll work with them closely in an effort to develop their profile, manage their socials etc. A lot of it is down to guiding artists on how to do that. Having a consistent, engaged presence across all socials is so important.
Give an example:
- We’ll always look at an artist with the view of developing them. We never look at an artist and just say we’ll get one release out of them and that’s it. A good example of this is Alex Klingle. He came onto the label with this incredible debut track, and released every couple months with us last year.
- He hosted our radio show, remixed bigger artists on the label, incorporated his socials into our promotion plans - all sorts and his profile really started to grow, getting support from key artists in the scene such as Above & Beyond/Armin van Buuren etc – and 2016 is set to be huge for him.
The release schedule:
- Once you create a release in the LW system it’s up to you to set delivery dates, provide the masters, description, artwork etc. We work closely with the Label-Worx guys to let them know our aims/intent for each release, where we want it pitched to etc. and work out when it will hit each DSP.
What happens if you need to master a track?
- We don’t always use Label-Worx’s mastering service, but when we have done, for the price and level of mastering you get it’s incredible. We always recommend them. It’ like €50 to get a mix and master of extremely high quality. They’re so responsive as well, if our normal engineer isn’t available, we can turn to Label-Worx and they’ll have done no-fuss, very quickly. Once we have it all set up and into a release within Label-Worx, that’s when we’ll start our DJ promo.
- We always work to a schedule - send out DJ promos our A list personally first, B/C lists thereafter. The majority of the promo lists we’ve built we use PromoBox & PromoWorx to manage & deliver.
- It’s really a case of just saying which date you want a list to go out on and PromoBox takes care of it. It’s also incredibly useful for access to our entire catalogue at any time. The promo’s themselves are really nicely put together with great customization options. The feedback system is brilliant and offers great reporting tools.
- Label-Worx run this so effectively. They’ve got great relationships with every important store and if there are ever any issues, they’re just a phone call away. They always make themselves available, which is extremely comforting.
What’s the future look like for Enhanced?
- Tritonal already dropped two releases this year, with a lot more to come! A main focus for us on the main label is Tritonal’s artist album, tour and their record ‘Blackout’ which is doing incredibly well for us right now. A side from them we’ve got some really exiting things in the works with the likes of Shanahan, Arno Cost, APEK, Alex Klingle, Breathe Carolina, BRKLYN and more!
- We’re of course focusing a lot on Streaming at the moment, which has well and truly taken over as the leading way our fans are consuming our music, as well building our key artists to follow in the footsteps of Tritonal.
- We’re also incredibly proud of our Progressive and Colorize imprints which continue to unearth some really exciting producers – definitely ones to watch this year.
- Also keep an eye on our store for our new summer merchandise which is about to drop!