Is the first deal an artist needs a PR deal?

outsight_thumbYou can also read the original article over at the official PRS magazine –

The music industry has changed immeasurably over the last fifteen years, particularly for new artists looking to establish themselves.

Up to the late 90s, the route into the music industry for any band was fairly simple – write some songs, play some gigs, record a half decent demo and hope that a label A&R would notice you and sign you. Management and legal representation would hopefully come before that, but a record deal was generally the catalyst for most of the other key deals falling into place. But as budgets have shrunk, record labels have become less willing to take risks on unproven acts. The early investment that might help a band gain their core fanbase is now less likely to come from a record company.

This makes it appear more difficult for musicians to get their big break – and in many ways it is – but there were also downsides to the old system. If you were a relatively new act signing to a major label particularly, you’d likely find that you were amongst a number of similar sounding acts signing at the same time. The general rule of thumb was to sign ten acts at a time, often fairly early in their development, on the assumption that one or two of them would probably be a success. The other eight, well, they’d be quietly dropped at a later date, having released very little (if anything) and with no foundation to continue to build their careers further.

More risk averse record labels mean that while artists are less likely to get that record label investment, they also have more opportunity to develop and establish themselves in their own right before launching themselves on the wider public.

However, of course, there are many other acts attempting to do the same thing, all jostling to pick up early gigs and media coverage in order to build a strong early fanbase. This is why a deal with a PR company, rather than a label, is now the first deal a band should look for.

The most important things for any act to concentrate on are writing songs that are both good and that they can perform well. This is the basis for everything that comes afterwards. However, it is not a guarantee of success. People need to know about these songs and this great band performing them. A band on their own can do a certain amount to bring this attention – simply playing gigs that are good will get you a certain amount of the way, but only to the stage where once you might have hoped to have attracted a label keen to take a gamble on a few acts to see what stuck.

To really build that fanbase of people who will hang on an artist’s every word, ahead of all the other artists vying for those same people’s attention, a PR company can ensure that theirs is the music the public want to hear more of.

It’s cheap and easy to record music and put it online now, but getting it out to people is a different matter. PR companies have established relationships with journalists, who will invariably ignore contact from individuals they don’t know. A good PR company will be able to put an artist’s music in front of key journalists they believe will be receptive, and most importantly get them to write about it.

This is important for two reasons. First, it puts that music instantly in front of a much wider audience that than an artist could hope for by simply having it on a SoundCloud profile. Secondly, it means they are now a band who are being talked about. Not just talked about, but liked on Facebook, followed on Twitter, played on SoundCloud – all of which are simple measures of success that A&Rs will monitor as the profile of a new artist grows.

Just because they aren’t looking to sign a particular artist right now, doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested. A&Rs constantly monitor bands online who they think show promise, and social media stats are one of the key things they look for to gauge early success.

And it’s not just those A&Rs. Early coverage will help an artist get more, better and bigger gigs, which further builds their status, and will hopefully gain yet more media coverage, likes, follows and plays. This will also attract other industry figures, such as managers and booking agents, who will further help an artist to develop and establish their career.

A strong start such as this not only helps artists to get their foot in door, but will give a much better opportunity for longevity once that career is more established. Come albums number two, three, four or maybe even more, the profile built in those early days can become a platform for the future.

Outpost launches distribution and publishing arms

distpubOutpost has announced the launch of two new services – Outpost Distribution & Outpost Publishing. Check out the full story over at Music Week

The new companies allow Outpost to offer a unique service of PR, distribution and publishing to their clients, while still retaining the option to release records via in-house label 3 Bar Fire Recordings.

David Silverman, Outpost Managing Director, said ‘We can now provide a centrally managed business solution to record labels and artists. As our PR arm continues to grow, this new extension to our services will allow us to help a wide range of music companies. We are delighted to move into partnership with INgrooves Fontana for our distribution arm.’

Outpost Distribution is powered by indie distributor INgrooves Fontana which allows Outpost to distribute to over 600 online and mobile destinations worldwide in over 100 territories.

Quentin Chambers, INgrooves International’s Director of Business Development, said ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with Outpost on their new Distribution service. By combining their significant promotional experience with INgrooves enhanced distribution, marketing and artist services, Outpost are in a unique position to offer something meaningful and different to labels and artists.’

Outpost Publishing has most recently signed Finnish electro house duo TJH87’s anthemic forthcoming single ‘Deadlock’. It is set for the same reception as their last single ‘Break Away Kicks!’ which went to #1 in the iTunes Dance chart. Hotly-tipped producer Pablo Nouvelle has also signed to the publishing company.

Outpost Media will continue to manage PR campaigns for its brand and music clients across press, radio, TV, social media and online. Current projects include Fat Freddy’s Drop, Shapeshifter, Sam Thomas (Just Music), Flow Festival, Modeselektor and more.

For more information please contact David Silverman

Campaign Focus – August 2013


We are proud to be working across press and online for the legendary Modeselektor. Fresh from making their second Moderat album, the duo are set to release ‘We Are Modeselektor,’ a revealing behind the scenes documentary following the history of the two techno beat makers. The DVD reveals the history up to the present day of Gernot and Sebastian by means of numerous interviews with Modeselektor themselves and companions such as the VJs from Pfadfinderei, Ellen Allien and Moderat band colleague Sascha Ring. ‘We Are Modeselektor’ was screened at the historic Roundhouse in London followed by an exclusive performance this past May. Check out the two front covers we achieved with Crack and DJ Mag.

flowFlow Festival 2013

Finland’s largest music and arts festival, Flow, are gearing up for its August showcase which Outpost are working across online and press. This year marks Flow’s tenth anniversary and sees the festival bringing music from old school legends to topical newcomers, Scandinavia’s finest and a whole host of international talent. The latest artist update sees one of the world’s most respected alternative artists today, Cat Power, joining the likes of Grimes, My Bloody Valentine, Bat For Lashes, Hudson Mohawke, Julia Holter, Factory Floor, Woods, Moderat, Ravi Coltrane and Jacco Gardner. Returning to the historic Suvilahti, a disused power plant which is only a short walk away from the centre of Helsinki, the festival embraces its penchant for urban spaces and modern art, setting it aside as one of the most exciting and innovative festivals of the summer.

fatFat Freddy’s Drop

Heavyweight soul providers Fat Freddy’s Drop are about to take flight once again with the worldwide release of their new album ‘Blackbird’ on 24th June 2013. ‘Blackbird’ is the third full-length release from the New Zealand band and will see the band exceed half-a-million album sales worldwide, the result of playing over 800 shows in their career-to-date. This year, Fat Freddy’s Drop celebrate a decade of European touring and perform a sold out gig at The Village Underground on 26th June. Outpost will be promoting the album across press.

skintsThe Skints

East London’s young dub/punk upstarts, The Skints, are back this summer with the special edition re-release of their album ‘Part & Parcel.’ The album now contains previously unreleased dub inspired gems, produced by the legendary dub aficionado Prince Fatty. To celebrate the release of their special edition album, The Skints have embarked on an extensive UK tour. ‘Part & Parcel’ will be released via Bomber Music on 24th June. Outpost will be promoting the album and tour across online and press.

funkFunk Globo

Mr Bongo are extremely proud to present ‘Funk Globo: The Sound of Neo Baile’, a new compilation which features 14 unreleased and exclusive tracks from worldwide producers that reinterpret the Brazilian Baile Funk sound. Neo Baile is an innovative take on the traditional sounds and aesthetics of Brazil’s Baile Funk (or Funk Carioca) that challenges the established order to create something new, exciting and forward thinking. Mr Bongo records started life in 1989 and now 20-something years on, they have an impressive recording roster featuring some of the best Brazilian, Latin, reggae, African and jazz music and artists. A truly global compilation, ‘Funk Globo: The Sounds of Baile Funk’ is a don’t-miss-it release, out 10th June 2013. Outpost will be working across online, press and radio.

This month we are also working with:

Futurecop! – ‘Superheroes’ – Single – Kiez Beats
Hylu & Jago – ‘Uplifting Riddim’ – Single – Unit 137
Pablo Nouvelle – ‘Pablo Nouvelle’ – LP
Memory9 – ‘The Abyss Within’ – EP – Mneumonic Dojo
Sam Thomas – ‘I’m Gonna Be A Witch’ (Alt-J Remix) – Single – Just Music


Joe Mckee – ‘Burning Boy’ – LP – Big Ship
Futurecop! – ‘Coming Home’ – Single – Kiez Beats
No Middle Name – ‘Another Season’ – Single – Mollusc Records
Hourglass Sea – ‘Live From The Crematorium’ – LP
Sam Thomas – ‘Blind Theatre’ – LP
TJH87 – ‘Deadlock’ – Single