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Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production
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Artists and Authenticity: How To Keep it Real and Succeed in the Modern Music World
26/04/2017
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Publication
London, UK
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Representatives from NME, Boiler Room, Disturbing London and ambassadors of Facebook and Instagram chat at D&AD to discuss the future of the emerging underground music businesses
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Music is evolving faster than ever, and some of the key players in London's music scene sat down at the D&AD Festival to chat about the ever-changing nature of the business.

The conversation revolved mainly around music and marketing, delving into the issues of brand authenticity and integrated marketing. All of the speakers acknowledged that the standardised digital marketing model is not enough anymore. Instagram and Facebook aren't just great tools for artists and businesses, they're the foundations, and the most common entry point for brands and artists alike.

NME Chief Editor, Mike Williams, explained that although his publication is 65 years old, attempting to connect with young music audiences often left them "chasing our tails" and "making the same mistakes all over again". He explained how NME changed and innovated, stating "NME is now an always-on, audience-first brand that has stopped thinking like the industry that we were".

NME and Mike have left the past behind and are trying to find out where the industry is now, and what it will become. 

Matt Chlebek, Head of Music at Boiler Room, sees things differently. Unlike NME, Boiler Room was set up to work with artists who weren’t getting the recognition that they deserved, and their live event streaming model truly defines them as a cutting-edge music brand. However Chlebek’s main concerns were less to do with keeping up and more to do with slowing down. Although the music industry is evolving quickly, he admits Boiler Room had to slow their booking process as they put on too many events which lessened the quality and amount of attendees at them.

Dumi Oburota, Founder of music label Disturbing London alongside partner Tinie Tempah, discussed how his business is based on a foundation of 'disturbing' music biz norms and is continuing to do so. Considering they're currently collaborating with Smart Car and are also doing a 16-week music studio residency in Dubai, he’s got the evidence to back it up. He views these unique projects as partnerships which marry two ideas but faithfully manage to keep the brand authentic.

The other speakers were ambassadors for Facebook and Instagram. They highlighted how important user contribution is to music media and how artists and how YouTube creators can use social platforms to market themselves and court partnerships with brands to generate impressive interest in their projects that could become full-time businesses.

NME aside, the majority of the speakers' perspectives were remarkably similar. They all started small, diversified their output and honed new integrated marketing techniques to develop their brands into small business giants. Their tale is a shared story of risk takers who’ve succeeded and created the template for the next generation to follow... or not.

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