What does it take to start up a record label?


    Former actress Faye and former Marketeer Gemma told TheRightMag everything that we need to know.


    A little over three years ago this duo embarked on a venture that would see them managing a small roster of artists from well-known chart toppers, Toploader to Leicester newcomers These Furrows under their label Underdogs.


    At their London office a few things caught our eyes, the simple events board that listed current goings on within the company and a yellow poster quoting artist High Rankin’s dubstep tune, Don’t carry on like a rude boy when daddy’s got a yacht.


    We liked the simplicity of the office and the absence of pretense, which goes perfectly with the Underdogs ethos on choosing artists ‘We don’t need everything to be in a perfect little package’ said Gemma.


    Faye and Gemma started working together at a music charity event for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), they realised that they were quite good at it and others did too. ‘People talk about our energy’ said Faye, ‘people say we’re like a breath of fresh air’.


    Without any experience of working in the industry Faye and Gemma forged ahead and didn’t even glance at the rule book, ‘We didn’t have any rules because we didn’t know them’ said Faye. What the pair didn’t know they picked up very quickly, ‘People take you for a ride, and we’ve made some mistakes with early contacts, we’ve had to learn fast’ Gemma told us.


    Whether you’re on the stage or behind the scenes, the music industry is a tough nut to crack so we weren’t surprised when Faye said ‘Maybe if we knew about the music industry we wouldn’t have gotten involved’. The ladies stressed that they enjoy what they do but would have trodden more carefully in hindsight ‘I wonder how people do it on their own’ said Faye.


    Creating partnerships and showing larger labels their online expertise in promoting their artists, the dynamic duo are demonstrating endless possibilities, ‘We’re what a lot of people are needing’ the pair agreed, ‘Our skills are valuable because online is still new to record labels’. Although relatively fresh to the music industry when compared to the larger labels, these newcomers, however, won’t be underdogs for too long.


    Faye and Gemma’s Top Tips for artists


    People mail demos but they don’t need to, send a link or use Soundcloud.


    Email and ask if we’d like to check out your myspace of go to your gig.


    Don’t send big MP3s attached to emails, it crashes the system and people just get annoyed.


    Artists should be ready to invest, that’s where a good partnership starts from.


    Expect hard work, you’ll get frustrated but it is about the long term.

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