Record Label of the Month: Deathly Records
January 16, 2017
Music entrepreneurs all over the world are using Record Label in a Box to set up their own independent label. Continuing our label showcase series, we sat down with Vicky Pea, Director of Deathly Records, to discover how Record Label in a Box has helped establish and develop her label, and get advice for other people looking to get started in the music industry.
Watch the video above or read on to find out more about Deathly Records:
Director of Deathly Records Vicky Pea on starting the label:
"Deathly Records started earlier this year. We wanted to offer something different, we didn't want to just be a record label. We wanted to offer bespoke support for a band to get them to the next stage or even just get them onto the first stage: debut singles, things like that. Short term help and support for a band to move on in their careers.
The best thing about running your own record label is just the little victories, you can really appreciate them. I think when you working on a big project or in a big team of other people, it can get diluted a bit, and you kind of forget why you're doing it sometimes. When it's your own record label, when you get little victories and little wins, it really means so much to you. Just seeing the bands develop and how happy they are with how things are going, it's just really personal satisfaction as well.
You start to see Deathly Records on iTunes and Spotify, and start seeing it in articles and press publications and it just makes it all really real. You kind of get this sense of achievement that you're actually doing it, you didn't just say will do it, you've started to actually do it. Just getting a lot out of it and just keeping it fun, is the best thing about it.
When we started researching setting up a record label, and how we were going to go about it, it started with a list of things we'd have to do. Going online and looking at all the kind of licences you needed, and just looking ... Okay if we were going to do this, what's the setup? What's the project plan? The timeline? The list just got longer and longer and longer and a lot of it, we thought we could probably do and isn't impossible to do, but it would just take a long time and a lot of resources.
When we came across the Record Label in a Box, it just started making sense. It just took things off the list that we'd have to do. I think the biggest one for us was the contracts. I think the thing we worried about most was, if we were going to start approaching artists, we know nothing about contracts. Where do we go? Do we have to find a lawyer to get them drawn up? Do we have to go back every time? How we were going to manage this, because the legal ground we didn't know anything about really.
The big selling point of the Record Label in a Box was the fact that you get your contracts and you know, they're to a good industry standard. It just meant we didn't have to worry about that, and that was probably the biggest selling point for us."
Vicky discusses signing Lilium:
"With Lilium, it was just a dream come true really, for me. I'd seen them support Science and I'd seen them at Threshold Festival as well, and just loved them. Every time I'd seen them, I'd loved them and I was turning to other people in the crowd and they loved them live. Just a massive fan of them.
When we set the label up, pretty much the same day, or the same week, Lilium released this kind of teaser for their first single, just a 30 second video, and I was just gutted because I thought that it meant someone signed them. I just emailed them said, "really great you're getting a single out, can't wait to see it." Commented on the video, "can't wait to get the single, but, you know, who have you signed with?"
They came back and said, "oh, we haven't actually signed with anyone, we're just gonna start, you know, go ahead and release the single." I just lit up, so I just said, "We need to meet like, tonight, tomorrow, and just get it sorted," and we just met for a couple weeks, talked about what they wanted to do and what we could do for them. I think when we started if I had had one band in Liverpool that I wanted to sign, it was Lilium. I was just super-chuffed that we got to work with them."
How Deathly Records organised a showcase event:
"As a record label, we don't really ever think about doing events, but we knew the people had waited for Lilium first single for a while now, the anticipation was really high, and we knew that we wanted to throw a party. Not just because it's a great single, but almost because of the hard work that went into it. We kind of wanted a night where we could really enjoy it and have a party.
We just talked about what we wanted that to represent and what we wanted to be and started putting the work in motion. Just finding a venue that we thought was the right size, and had the right vibe, and then just talked about the feel of the event, what are the bands we wanted to play on the night. Then you forget about all the specifics, you've got to get a sound guy, and a light guy, and think about ticket prices and if you're going to end up having it free. I kind of wish that we had had tickets because then I would have known how many people were going to turn.
Just finding a venue that we thought was the right size, and had the right vibe, and then just talked about the feel of the event, what are the bands we wanted to play on the night. Then you forget about all the specifics, you've got to get a sound guy, and a light guy, and think about ticket prices and if you're going to end up having it free. I kind of wish that we had had tickets because then I would have known how many people were going to turn up, because the biggest worry was not knowing how many people were going to turn up. It ended up going really great, we were so happy to get the single out there and that people turned up and had a good time."
Vicky discusses signing OVVLS:
"The first artist that we definitely started working with was OVVLS. They're still only just under a year old now. When we launched the label we put it out there that we were looking for demos, looking for artists to work with and OVVLS actually got in touch with us. I'd seen them at their launch at the Scandinavian Church, and seen them at Threshold Festival as well. Loved their vibe, loved their image, the kind of creativity and they came to us because they were looking to lease their third single and they wanted to do it in a very creative way. They'd done one on tape, one on vinyl, and they had no idea what they wanted to do for the third one other than they didn't want it to be a CD basically.
It was a great introduction because we just got to sit down and have this really creative brainstorm about how we were going to do it. To be honest, we didn't expect anyone to come to us, we kind of thought we'd have to go out there and sell ourselves, so to have someone come to us really enthusiastic and have a really creative process, it didn't really feel like a record label, because we were just thinking about this product we were going to release. That was just really unexpected first introduction.
They'd done one on tape, one on vinyl, and they had no idea what they wanted to do for the third one other than they didn't want it to be a CD basically. It was a great introduction because we just got to sit down and have this really creative brainstorm about how we were going to do it."
Working with Ditto Music:
"Working with Ditto has just been great from day one. The support's been awesome, especially with the releases and the package that comes with them, because the Spotify playlisting has been really great to get the artist represented on those. Just being associated with Ditto has helped because of the roster of artists they work with. It just elevates things a little bit more. When you have that name attached to you, they have more knowledge of what you're working with and who you are. You're representing a certain standard of music industry experience. Just helped to have a name related to you and having the support
It just helped to have a name related to you and having the support on the releases, and even things like when we released Lilium's single, there's about three other artists called Lilium, so it was about platforms and lining us with the right things and just getting advice about how we go about making sure things are identified correctly. It's just been great because it's really responsive, you never have to wait long to hear back. It's been really positive experience."
Deathly Records plans for the future:
"Thinking about what we want to do next and where we want to go, it's kind of like take a little pause and take heed of what we've done so far, and just learn some lessons, what to do, what not to do. We just want to look at the timelines, we want to sit down with Owls and Lilium, think about their next releases, when they're going to come out, what they want to do next. Then look at where that leaves us, what timeline it leaves us with. Hopefully we'll have a gap to take on another artist or two, we got our eye on a couple we'd really like to work with in Liverpool.
We don't want to over-commit ourselves, so it's just about seeing where we are, seeing what 2017 hands out, like in the diary, and then hopefully contacting some more people. We'd like to do a really quick release, more releases if bands are interested, so bands that have got either their debut single or their first proper single that isn't a demo or isn't on Band Camp or Soundcloud and actually want to do a proper full platform release, we'd like to just do a few quick, short ones of those just to help bands get them out there. With regards to building up the roster, I think we're just going to see, see who we can get on board with the resources we've got next year."
Do you want to set up and run an independent record label, sign promising artists and begin your music industry career? Record Label in a Box was created to help emerging music entrepreneurs established their own label without the legal hassle. Find out more about Record Label in a Box here.
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