With speakers from Warp Records, Pitch & Sync and Kotki Dwa; the latest in our series of events hosted at Shoreditch House looked at the ideas influencing independent music.
On the evening of Wednesday 7th November, the second of our You Can Now talks took place at Shoreditch House.
A group of members from both Shoreditch House and YCN congregated for a thought provoking discussion around the state of independent music within the broader music industry today; and the opportunities for those looking to thrive as part of it. Hosted by YCN Studio Director, Alex Ostrowski (the evening’s second speaker), we opened with Alex Lavery of Pitch & Sync sharing his professional insights and ended with a Q&A between Ostrowski and Steven Hill from Warp Records.
Alex Lavery spoke at length about his passion for independent music. His agency creates a platform to connect brands with artists. The talk addressed the tension between artistic integrity and commercial profit, which prompted a discussion between Alex and Steven about the treatment of artists by major labels.
Alex Ostrowski followed, recounting his experience in the industry as part of the band Kotki Dwa. Outlining the band’s emergence to commercial success through their DIY attitude, the audience were rewarded with an inspiring narrative on how to do you what you love in a unique and home-grown fashion. Alex explained how the band approached the National Trust with the idea of collaboratively releasing their album Staycations. Recording in various National Trust buildings, Kotki Dwa were able to produce fund and produce their music whilst still carrying on with their full-time jobs.
The Q&A with Steven Hill of Warp Records raised some interesting thoughts, including further discussion around the way labels operate and how to market a music brand. One piece of advice that stuck out for musicians was this: if you’re collaborating with a brand, make sure you’re getting at least as much out of it as the brand is.
When asked what the best thing about working in the music industry is, Steven replied: “Seeing a band sell out Brixton Academy when you once saw them at a 200 person pub venue.”
The question that reccured was whether artistic integrity was a good enough reason to turn down commercial opportunity. Ultimately the speakers and audience found reason in Alex Lavery’s opinion that in ever harsh economic times, being open-minded to an opportunity and trying to find a way to make it credibly suit all parties is time well spent.
Thanks to Alex Lavery, Alex Ostrowski and Steven Hill for their time and energy.
Written by Catherine Sarsfield.
Location:Shoreditch House Library,
London, E1 6AW,
Start:7th November, 2012 at 7:00pm
End:7th November, 2012 at 8:30pm