Supersonic Media, a multi-genre Independent Record Label is a growing establishment making big moves in the Music Industry. Having worked with the likes of Atomic Kitten and Icelandic Tenor in the past, we caught up with the label owner to discuss Supersonic Media, their thoughts on Music Gateway and the opinion on the state of the industry for the likes of songwriters and artists.
#1 Tell us a bit about yourself, your company and your background.
I’ve been working in the Music Industry for over 10 years now. Like many people I started off as an intern, and my career to date has predominantly been record label and artist management focussed and working with a variety of artists including an Icelandic tenor and noughties pop group Atomic Kitten. In 2012 my partner David (artist manager from the 90s) and I set up Supersonic Media, a multi genre independent Record Label and Publishing company which has been going from strength to strength ever since.
#2 How’re you enjoying the platform, have you noticed any benefits so far?
I absolutely love the Music Gateway platform. It’s such a terrific way to connect with musicians and other music companies you may otherwise have never met. As a label we use the platform a lot for commissioning remixers for our single releases, and have unearthed some incredibly talented producers and remixers. Music Gateway have also worked hard to get some excellent sync opportunities on the platform, which is great for us as a label and publisher.
(Heidi, Supersonic Media and David at Musexpo 2015 in LA with Jonathan L, legendary Radio host (and his wife) who had just received an award for his contribution to Radio.)
#3 Your company wears many hats, including running an Independent record label based in London. In your opinion what is something you look for when signing new artists?
As a label we aren’t genre specific so we really just look out for great music, be it a house producer, a singer/songwriter or a heavy rock band. A really well written, well produced song is what gets us excited. I always tell up and coming artists the importance of having a social media presence too and working hard to grow their numbers and keep an online buzz. Unfortunately these days this is just as important as the really great song, it goes hand in hand. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube, Spotify. They are all hugely important. Another very simple bit of advice is to not swear in songs. Nine times out of ten, it’s not necessary and it doesn’t add anything to the song. As a label we tend to shy away from songs with swearing as we know it immediately causes issues as it doesn’t make it radio / sync / TV friendly.
#4 What's one challenge and benefit you feel artists/songwriters face now compared to 20 years ago in the music industry?
Anybody can release their own music now, they don’t necessarily need to be signed to a label in order to do so. There are many digital distributors that allow smaller bands / artists the opportunity to have their music across all digital and streaming platforms for a small fee.
Obviously back in the day of physical this would never have been the case, you needed the major label to invest in you, and you needed the major distributor to get you placed in all the shops . That certainly doesn’t make a record label redundant now though, as having your music available for sale is just one small piece of the jigsaw. Promotion is so incredibly important too, and that’s usually where you need a label who bring their wealth of contacts / relationships etc to help gain the radio play and press reviews required to launch the release to the next level. The downside to the fact that everyone and anyone can release their own music is that everyone and anyone IS releasing their own music and the market is saturated.
There’s no quality control this way, and it’s very easy for your music to be lost in the crowd. I also feel it’s very hard for independent artists to make a living as a musician these days in the new digital / streaming world we finds ourselves in. Streaming platforms are wonderful for the consumer but not so great for those on the other side of the fence. 20 years ago you’d sell an album for around £11.99, today someone can stream your music and you make somewhere around 0.001p.
#5 Where do you see the music industry heading in the next 10 years for both artists and businesses? Do you feel that there is an area we should focus on, for instance “synchronisation”/ or ”collaboration”?
I think the future of the industry is quite unclear. I don’t think 10 years ago anyone would have predicted the CD would be a dead format and we’d all be streaming music on our mobile phones. So I really couldn’t predict. However I do think streaming is here to stay for the foreseeable to a lot of people’s dislike. As a label and publisher our key focus will always be synchronisation. This is an area of the industry which still goes from strength to strength. As long as there’s still movies, computer games and TV adverts are being made, music supervisors will still be looking for music.
(Heidi, from Supersonic collecting a BMI Award at the 2014 Awards on behalf of Cheeky Music)
#6 Do you feel sites such as Music Gateway help paint the picture to the future of the music business?
Music Gateway as a platform has been built from a love of both technology and music, two industries that very much work hand in hand these days and will continue to do so for many years to come so I definitely feel such platforms will play a huge part in the future of the industry and how artists connect with labels / publishers / managers etc and vice versa.
#7 You’ve been involved in quite a few projects on the site, are any of the results being released any time soon for people to check out?
We have been active users of the site for quite some time now. We’ve commissioned several remixes through the platform, some of which have received incredible support at radio worldwide. One remixer in particular Born2Groove has actually just completed his second remix for us which shall be released as part of The Inconsistent Jukebox’s new single “Bold Ego Fledgling” on 5th August. The first remix he did earlier this year was on a liquid drum & bass release we had and his remix went through the roof! Radio and club DJs globally loved it, a fantastic success story for Music Gateway and it helped Born2Groove get extra exposure as a DJ / Remixer.
#8 What are the main advantages for you with running projects through the platform as opposed to working with existing connections?
The platform opens us up to a plethora of talented, creative artists which we otherwise would never have come across. With the platform growing by the day too each time we run a new project we get different people showing interest, keeping it exciting and fresh.
#9 What advice would you give to other members looking to utilise the site to aid their career and staying pro-active on the website?
It’s a really terrific platform so make the most of all it’s features. If you’re an artist, make sure you use the platform for finding co-writes, featured vocalists, remixers etc, as I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results, whether you feel it’s something you require right now or not. The synchronisation opportunities available on the site are excellent too, and it’s very rare to have such great sync opportunities at your fingertips, but remember only pitch if your music is really relevant and fits the brief, don’t pitch for the sake of it, or because you like the price tag attached, as that could do you more harm than good in the long run. Make sure you keep your profiles up to date too, with all your audio labelled correctly, as a messy or confusing profile could be the difference between you getting an opportunity or losing it.