Is the music industry a blocker to new artists? Choose My Music Records have found it less than supportive of artists it is trying to promote in the UK, putting the label into a chicken-and-egg loop of PR and pluggers.
The result was Choose My Music founder Dom Paczko taking first to Twitter and then to the label’s blog to vent his frustration at the lack of interest from the industry but also the lack of support for those trying to promote music the DIY way.
The label started as a blogging project by Dom, who set out to discover independent music and artists in each of the states of America. These were released as compilations and led to a side project focusing on the music of the Canadian city of Guelph.
It was through the Guelph compilation that the label first became aware of Jessy and when they were successfully funded for six releases through a Kickstarter campaign they were pleased to add her forthcoming debut, The Town, to the roster.
And it is the label’s attempts to promote their planned release of Jessy’s debut album, The Town, which has led to the outburst of frustration as PR, pluggers and promoters push the label between them on the track to take with breaking the artist in the UK.
Jessy’s single, Deep Water, has a dreamy retro feel with resonating bassy beats and discordant strings, topped by the sultry vocal and soaring harmonies. It’s the sort of sound equally suited to balmy nights on the bayou as it is filling your ears with comforting static and hiss cuddled by a fireside, hatches battened against grey cold.
Writing on the Choose My Music site Dom said:
“For those who follow us on Twitter, you may have missed our tweets of frustration this past week due to the impossibilities of the music industry. We figured it was time to explain why.
“In early 2014 we will be releasing the debut album from Jessy Bell Smith, an amazing singer/songwriter from Guelph, Canada. We’ve known Jessy for a couple of years when she first started recording her full length “The Town” and when we received our copy three weeks ago we realised we had something special.
“And this is where the problems began. We started approaching Radio Pluggers and PR agencies to see if we could at least get Jessy’s music in front of the decision makers at handful of select stations in the UK. Within a week we were uninitiated with responses that said “Not for us” – Industry speak for “We’re not interested”
“Why were they not interested? Well, its because Jessy is unknown and has no following in the UK.
“So we decided to take the route of trying to book Jessy some shows in the UK to try and generate public interest. We contacted some promoters, all of whom said no because at this stage, without PR and radio play, she wouldn’t sell many tickets.
“So here were are, catch 22. No PR because of no shows. No shows because of no PR.
“Jessy is such an amazing talent, she deserves many years of success. But it feels like the industry is set up to deal with the short term., unwilling to think long term around artist sustainability.
“So, if you enjoy Jessy’s music then please share this post to see if we can get it in the hands of an organisation who is willing to help.
“Those in the industry who can help us, please feel free to drop us an email or find us on Twitter at @ChooseMyMusic.”
Since writing the piece Dom has set up a Thunderclap to garner support for Jessy’s music and catch the ear of the industry. If you’d like to add your support you can do so here.