There’s an overwhelming number of speakers at BIGSOUND including a heap of record label owners. And they’ve come from near and far to share insights into all types of cool music-related things. We were lucky enough to catch five of those record labels and we asked them for their advice on how to get their attention.
Rob Nansel is the owner of Saddle Creek – an independent label founded in 1993 and based in Omaha, Nebraska. He told Blank that it’s pretty rare a demo submission actually makes it to his ears. “So much of the music that we listen to is submitted via managers and booking agents,” he said. “I would just encourage artists to focus on their craft. I believe if you are making great music and playing shows, people will naturally discover it.”
Michael Goldstone from Mom+Pop Records, founded in 2008 agrees. His most recent signings include Courtney Barnett, Flume and DMA’s.
“Don’t worry about attention. Grow your art, music and audience,” Goldstone told Blank.
“Your socials are important. And continuing to release compelling music. If that happens, the business attention will come to you and hopefully for me, I won’t be late.”
These label dudes are all on the same page when it comes to this “getting attention” business. They just don’t think musicians should necessarily focus on that.
Johann Ponniah knows music. No question of that. He founded I OH YOU in 2009 and it’s become the label for the links of Violent Soho, DMA’s, DZ Deathrays, City Calm Down and previously, Gold Coast lo-fi garage rockers, Bleeding Knees Club.
Johann said “rather than necessarily trying to get anyone’s attention, focus on your music.”
“Play good shows,” he told Blank. “The rest will happen as it’s supposed to.”
And Joe Alexander from Bedroom Sucks Records says he wants to see artists getting involved in their community, “helping to create a healthy music scene.”
Bedroom Suck Records, based in Brisbane have manufactured records for the likes of Blank Realm, Boomgates, Totally Mild and more. Joe’s parting advice is simple.
“Play lots of shows,” he says.
But Ben O’Connor, co-director of Chapter Music – one of Australia’s longest running independent labels with a catalogue of over 120 releases – wraps things up very succinctly.
“Just make good music,” he says.
My take home message here is:
- Make good music
- Play lots of shows
- Help grow the music scene
- The attention will follow