Stephen “Ragga” Marley celebrated his April 20 birthday by throwing a listening party for his forthcoming self-produced album “Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life” at the Dream Hotel’s Electric Room in Manhattan on Monday, April 21, two days after he drew a capacity crowd to midtown Manhattan’s Best Buy Theater.
Scheduled for a July release on the Marley family’s Ghetto Youths International (GYI), “The Fruit of Life” follows “Revelation Part I: The Root of Life”, which won Marley his eighth Grammy for 2013 Best Reggae Album. “‘Fruit of Life”s concept merges reggae with hip-hop, soul, EDM and anything I feel like,” Marley, 42, told Billboard prior to the event. “A good tree bears much fruit and feeds everyone so every song (except one) has a guest artist.”
GYI’s sing-jay Wayne Marshall and Stephen’s son Jo Mersa, both of whom are supporting Marley on his upcoming Fruit of Life tour, were at the listening party. (Mersa featured on global dance track “Revelation Party”; other guests include Wyclef Jean, The Roots’ Black Thought, Rick Ross, Bounty Killer and Junior Reid.) Among the crowd of 160 patrons was Stephen’s brother Rohan Marley, founder of Marley Coffee and chairman of various Marley family businesses; several representatives from Queens-based reggae independent VP Records, including CEO Chris Chin; Grammy Award winning musician/producer Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis (Fugees, Gyptian); chief selector of the formidable Japanese reggae sound system Mighty Crown Sammi T; and the president of Ghetto Youths International Cristy Barber.
Barber outlined the label’s release schedule, which includes recent EP’s by Wayne Marshall (“Tru Colors”), singer Christopher Ellis (“Better Than Love”) and Mersa’s “Comfortable” EP, scheduled to drop in June. “We have a few tracks left to mix on Stephen’s album, which will be ready for his [West Coast] tour with Slightly Stoopid in July,” noted Barber, a reggae industry veteran based in Nashville. There, she is working with Big and Rich’s Big Kenny Alphin on his forthcoming country-EDM hybrid project “Big Kenny Presents Electro Shine” (Glotown Records), which includes “Hope Chant” featuring Stephen’s brother Ky-mani Marley.
The listening party got underway with DJ Norie of New York’s Power 105.1 (WWPR) FM playing a lively selection of reggae and dancehall hits. The track-by-track presentation of “The Fruit of Life” commenced with the current single “Rockstone” featuring Rastafarian sing-jays Capleton and Sizzla, with Stephen’s dizzying speed-rap (a tribute to Papa Levi’s 1984 dancehall classic “Mi God Mi King”) delivered over sputtering effects in a stunning blend of one-drop riddims, deejay inflections, and hypnotic electronica.
“We are very impressed by Stephen’s diverse album, especially the way he blends doo-wop and soul with hip hop and ballads; it is to date the best showcase of his production skills, which we want people to take notice of again,” commented Olivier Chastan, SVP at INgrooves and former president of Greensleeves Records and Publishing. Marley’s album will be distributed through INgrooves’ In Residence distribution program, which offers label services including marketing and promotions. INgrooves also handles Marley’s publishing.
“I have heard many of these songs as they were developing but I haven’t heard the entire album yet, so I am excited to be here,” said Marley’s good friend producer/songwriter and EVP of A&R at Sony Salaam Remi whose expansive production credits include dancehall classics like Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes The Hotstepper”, which topped the Hot 100 in 1994. Remi is currently working on Bermudian reggae artist Collie Buddz’s forthcoming album, which will be released through his Sony imprint Louder Than Life. “I produced tracks for albums by Shabba, Patra, Super Cat for Sony 20 years ago, so reggae is part of my warehouse,” added Remi. “I understand how to take it to the forefront and I am glad to be in a position now where I can further support it.”
he 1990s saw several Jamaican acts reach the upper tiers of major US charts, a phenomenon the reggae industry views nostalgically in light of today’s slumping sales. Tamoya Daum and Mike Primo, CEOs of New Jersey’s Smokestack Recordings LLC, shared with Billboard.biz their plans to launch a reggae/Caribbean series on a new, major music TV network (the contracts will be finalized in May before its debut on May 11, the 33rd anniversary of Bob Marley’s death) which will “focus on reggae’s effects on pop culture, while bringing reggae back to the mainstream where it belongs,” explained Daum. The as-of-yet untitled weekly program will incorporate artists’ interviews, video debuts, and exclusive concert footage. Its debut will feature a special segment devoted to Stephen Marley.
Irrespective of reggae’s mainstream ranking, the Marley name continues to resonate with audiences beyond the music’s core audience, whether it is Bob, his sons and now, his grandsons. “The Marleys headline shows other Jamaican acts cannot, especially in non-Caribbean markets; by doing so, they break down barriers for other Jamaican acts,” said Bobby Clarke, CEO of the New York-based Irie Jam Media Group, promoters of the upcoming Oracabessa Festival on May 26 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY, headlined by Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin, the December 2013 winner of NBC’s “The Voice.” “I am here tonight because Stephen’s album is important and the industry needs to push it because its success can help elevate the entire reggae genre,” Clarke said.
(LOS ANGELES, CA) 311 posted huge numbers at retail this week with their 11th studio album Stereolithic which was released last week on their own 311 Records label via INgrooves Music Group distribution with the Company’s INresidence Artist Services providing marketing services. The band sold more than 40,000 units in the album’s first week of release, which put the band at #6 on Soundscan overall, making it the #1 Rock album and #1 Independent album in the country.
The showing marked 311’s 9th consecutive Top 10 album debut.
The INgrooves/INresidence combination has proven to be a very effective one-two punch for bands and indie labels needing the marketing muscle previously only available at the major label level. Since its inception, INresidence has played a major role in the success of numerous indie releases, including Mazzy Star, Aer and Raheem Devaughn. INresidence is also gaining traction with the Austin-based indie band Jamestown Revival, who were one of this year’s buzz bands coming out of SXSW.
“The INresidence team pulled together with 311’s management to deliver an amazing marketing campaign for this album,” said INresidence Artist Services SVP, Bryan Mead. “We launched one of the most successful Pledge Music campaigns of all time, oversaw the exclusive, deluxe-only-sold-on-311-Day album in New Orleans, as well as radio, advertising and social marketing. This success really shows what the INresidence team can do to activate a loyal fan base like 311’s.”
Established in 2012, INresidence is the in-house global marketing division of INgrooves Music Group, one of the world’s leading independent music distributors. INresidence provides streamlined access to product management, radio and video promotion, sync licensing, online marketing, publicity support and branding and sponsorship services.
Upcoming releases from INgrooves/INresidence include the 20th Anniversary re-introduction of the Oasis catalog, Thievery Corporation and Asher Roth.
(SEATTLE, WA) Music technology company,Lively, and leading independent music distributor and marketer, INgrooves Music Group, today announced that they have signed a partnership deal that will enable the two companies to seamlessly work together to provide high quality live recordings of INgrooves’ artists utilizing Lively’s popular mobile app. The companies will celebrate their partnership with an exclusive, free showcase party at SXSW in Austin, TX on Friday, March 14.
“Joining forces with Lively allows us to expand the suite of services for our artist clients, making high quality live performances available to music fans directly on their mobile devices,” said Bryan Mead, Senior Vice President of INresidence, the company’s artist services division. “We’re looking forward to celebrating our partnership with thousands of music fans at SXSW.”
Lively will capture audio and video of each SXSW showcase performance and make the sets available for free in the Lively app shortly after the party ends, empowering music fans to ‘RELiVE AUSTIN’ and enjoy the performances again via the free Lively App.
“It’s an honor to collaborate with such a well-established and respected music company. Through this strategic partnership Lively will work with thousands of INgrooves’ artists to promote their live performances and build additional revenues for them while they’re on tour,” said Lively’s Chief Music Officer Brian Hirsh.
What: Relive Austin: SXSW 2014
When: Friday, March 14, 2014 | 12 – 5:30 p.m.
Where: Buffalo Billiards | 201 E. 6th St. Austin, TX 78701
The RELiVE AUSTIN showcase will feature seven INgrooves artists’ performances including: Grace Vardell, Noah Gundersen, Bad Suns, Twin Peaks, Roman Remains, Jamestown Revival and Gary Numan*. Visit http://bit.ly/1mxyAM7 to RSVP. Everyone who RSVPs will be put on the entry list.
* Live recording availability by this artist not confirmed by press time.
Lively is a Seattle-based music technology company and direct-to-fan mobile platform that brings performers, fans and brands together by capturing the live performance and encouraging people to live in the moment. Lively provides high-quality audio and video recordings of live performances through an app-based interface. The Lively app is available for download on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and tablet devices. Performers can use Lively to easily record and upload audio of live performances for purchase by fans shortly following a show, while professional video can be available within 24 hours. By using the Lively platform, performers can create, market and distribute their shows while creating new revenue streams. Fans are able to connect with their favorite performers in a new way, discover new performances and listen and watch their shows on their mobile devices, computer, TV or in the car.
Lively will be at SXSW March 7-15. ‘RELiVE AUSTIN’ with Lively and visit www.getlive.ly to get updates on the company’s plans for the festival. Follow Lively on Facebook at facebook.com/LivelyLLC and on Twitter at @LivelyLLC.
INgrooves Music Group is a leader in the independent music distribution and marketing industry. The Company is comprised of INgrooves Distribution Services, INresidence Artist Services and INgrooves Music Publishing. All divisions of the Company work together to provide independent labels, artists and management with comprehensive and customizable solutions for global distribution, marketing and promotion, sync licensing, music publishing and administrative support to maximize their earnings potential and consumer reach in today’s dynamic music marketplace. The Company’s proprietary software platform facilitates real-time asset management, and via their Client Console, INgrooves clients have total visibility on the status of their releases and access monthly retail sales reports and analytics.
Public Relations Manager, Lively
(LONDON) INgrooves Music Group, one of the largest, truly independent distribution companies in the global label services marketplace, announced today that the company has deepened its relationship with U.K.-based Republic of Music (ROM), who will continue to partner with the Company on their physical distribution needs in territories outside of North America, including the U.K., Europe, Asia and Australia. Under the new deal, INgrooves will integrate a number of its employees with Republic of Music where they will have direct relationships with ROM’s network of local distributors around the world. In addition, INgrooves is adding personnel in its London office to oversee physical production. The first release under the new deal is a brand new album by longtime INgrooves client, Thievery Corporation.
“We’ve worked closely with Republic of Music for more than a year now, and our partnership has already paid major dividends for our label clients,” said Alex Branson, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of International for INgrooves. “This new relationship will enable INgrooves to have even more direct oversight on our projects, giving us the ability to communicate directly with distribution partners all over the world, something in which our label partners have expressed interest, while simultaneously strengthening our physical distribution capabilities in territories outside of North America.”
In the past year, INgrooves Music Group has successfully marketed and distributed a number of global releases, which have tapped into the comprehensive slate of distribution and marketing functions the company provides via its INgrooves Distribution Services and INresidence Artist Services division. Mazzy Star’s Season Of Your Day was released on the band’s own label in 20 territories around the world and, despite being the band’s first album in nearly two decades, was their highest charting album to date. Other successful projects in 2013 included Tommy Emmanuel & Martin Taylor’s The Colonel & The Governor on MesaBlueMoon Recordings and I AM LEGION’s self-titled album, which was released on Division Recordings.
Dominic Jones, Director of Sales & Marketing at INgrooves in the U.K., will oversee physical distribution for the company, working closely with Republic of Music. “The team at Republic of Music were instrumental in providing the physical distribution muscle needed to have such an amazing success story with the Mazzy Star project in so many territories outside of the U.S. We are looking forward to working even more closely with them as we ramp up for some exciting projects this year.”
Mark McQuillan, Managing Director of Republic of Music commented: “The strategic relationship we embarked on with INgrooves in 2012 has worked extremely well for both of our companies, and we can see the potential for this to build in the future in a big way, and that is exciting. I feel we both bring our own unique strengths to the partnership and I like the fact that both companies are truly independent. The chance to work even closer together on upcoming projects is a great opportunity for both of us, and together I am very confident that we will be able to help more artists this year to even greater success and bring some exciting bands / artists through the new set up.”
INgrooves Music Group is a leader in the independent music distribution and marketing industry. The Company is comprised of INgrooves Distribution Services, INresidence Artist Services and INgrooves Music Publishing. All divisions of the Company work together to provide independent labels, artists and management with comprehensive and customizable solutions for global distribution, marketing & promotion, sync licensing, music publishing and administrative support to maximize their earnings potential and consumer reach in today’s dynamic music marketplace. The Company’s proprietary software platform facilitates real-time asset management, and via their Client Console, INgrooves clients have total visibility on the status of their releases and access monthly retail sales reports & analytics.
Republic of Music was founded in January 2007 and offers a new and exciting boutique style label services alternative to the existing Independent Music Sales & Distribution companies in the UK & Rest of the World.
Boasting a diverse and cutting edge roster of labels from Modular, Moshi Moshi, City Slang, BMG Rights, BPitch Control, !K7, Strut, Skint, PMR, Brownswood, Southern Fried, Luaka Bop, Ram Records and 20-20 Vision, Republic Of Music specialise in helping your music maximise its sales potential. Since launch Republic of Music have worked Retail campaigns for such artists as Fleet Foxes, Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, Disclosure, The Black Keys, Tame Impala, Badly Drawn Boy, The Futureheads, Modeselektor, Midlake, Interpol, The Walkmen, Zola Jesus, Fatboy Slim, Freemasons, The Cribs, Lambchop, Mazzy Star, Gold Panda, Caribou, Beach House and many more. They have just scored a Number 1 album in the UK with the band You Me At Six.
Big brother recordings to reissue the first three classic oasis albums. Definitely Maybe, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory & Be Here Now each remastered with bonus content including rare and unreleased recordings. The first in the Chasing the Sun series Definitely Maybe released May 20th.
Available on standard CD, Special Edition 3 x CD, 12″ vinyl LP (with digital download bundle of all bonus CD content), & Deluxe Box Set (including LP, Deluxe CD, exclusive 7″ & merchandise) Also available for a limited period original 1993’s demoscassette, available only from www.oasisinet.com
In their 14-year recording career Oasis sold over 70 million albums worldwide, had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 singles, 7 No.1 studio albums, but, more than that, they helped define a generation. Now Big Brother Recordings are to reissue the band’s classic albums in chronological order as part of the new Chasing The Sun series. Each album has been remastered and available with rare and exclusive bonus content.
With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of its original release, Definitely Maybe will be the first release in the series, out 20th May. (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory and Be Here Now will follow later this year.
Also available to order now from www.oasisinet.com on cassette for a limited period only is Original 1993 Demos, a replica of the legendary demo cassette handed out by the band before Oasis were signed. An incredibly rare rock artifact – only 8 copies were made in its original form – Definitely Maybe producer Mark Coyle has written new sleeve notes for this release.
Additionally, especially for Record Store Day on Saturday April 19th, Big Brother will release a limited edition remastered replica of Oasis’s debut 12 inch single Supersonic on heavyweight vinyl.
INgrooves Music Group is handling the distribution in the U.S., with its artist services division INresidence overseeing marketing for the catalog.
Definitely Maybe was originally released in August 1994 and was an immediate critical and commercial smash. The fastest selling debut album ever (at the time), it went seven-times platinum in the UK (over 2 million copies), and sold 5 million worldwide. Containing the classic debut single Supersonic, and subsequent singles Shakermaker, Live Forever, and Cigarettes & Alcohol, Definitely Maybe frequently appears on ‘best album of all time’ polls, including being listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time and a No.1 placing in a 2008 Q Magazine/HMV poll of the ‘Greatest British Albums.’
Every brand new edition includes a remastered version of the original album. The deluxe CD and super deluxe box set include two CDs including all the B-sides plus rare and unreleased Oasis tracks from the Definitely Maybe era, plus their huge Christmas single from 1994, Whatever. All editions come with new sleevenotes by respected rock critic Neil McCormick.
Highlights of the bonus content include Previously unheard live acoustic versions of Live Forever and Shakermaker from a Paris in store gig around the time of the release of Definitely Maybe Half The World Away (Live, Tokyo Hotel Room): an early and intimate version of this Oasis classic, recorded in Noel’s Gallagher’s hotel room in Toyko in 1994 by Mark Coyle Strange Thing (Demo) from the Original 1993 Demos cassette Sad Song (Live at Manchester Academy) a previously unheard recording Whatever (Strings): recorded on a portable cassette machine at Maison Rouge Studios by Mark Coil.
Special Edition 3 x CD:
Original 1993 Demos cassette
Supersonic 12 inch single, Record Store Day limited edition
New Publishing Partners Include Stephen Marley, Dirty Hit Songs, Iboga Records and Natty
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) The recently launched publishing division of INgrooves Music Group, a leading independent provider of global distribution, marketing and technology services to today’s music community, announced today that just six months after launching the in-house service, they have signed the following artists and labels to global publishing agreements:
“I could not imagine a better start for 2014 than to be joined by such talented artists and executives,” said Olivier Chastan, INgrooves’s Senior Vice President, Music Publishing, Licensing & Rights Solutions. “We hope to become the supportive haven and artistic asylum for songwriters that we imagined when we launched last year in July.”
Jamie Oborne commented: “I’m thrilled to launch my publishing company and extend my existing relationship with INgrooves in the process. Our first signing, Amber Bain, exemplifies our shared vision to support and grow unique and original songwriters & artists.”
Mr. Chastan also announced today the appointment of Mike Locke to the position of Senior Director, Licensing and Business Development at the Company. In this newly created role, Mr. Locke will lead the synch licensing efforts for the publishing division’s growing roster of songwriters and INgrooves’s extensive master catalog. Locke brings over 12 years of experience, first at Warner Music Group, where he created a new business line for Rhino and ADA, signing and representing labels and emerging artists for licensing, then as co-founder of an independent licensing company.
“Mike is not only a veteran of the synch world but also brings with him some A&R experience which will contribute to grow our publishing division at INgrooves,” said Mr. Chastan. “Mike has already secured major synch placements in Super Bowl XLVIII this past February, TV shows such as ‘Nashville’ and ‘Revenge’ and a trailer for the upcoming film ‘St. Vincent de Van Nuys’ starring Bill Murray and Naomi Watts among others.”
INgrooves Music Group launched its publishing division in July of 2013. The new service provides INgrooves clients access to a complete array of music publishing services including direct registration and collection with societies worldwide and a suite of creative services from synchronization to A&R. The music publishing services offered by INgrooves give independent labels and artists complete control, transparency and visibility over their recorded music and publishing copyrights. For more details on INgrooves’s publishing division, visit: www.INgroovesMusicPublishing.com/
ABOUT INGROOVES MUSIC GROUP
INgrooves Music Group is a leader in the independent music distribution and marketing industry. The company is comprised of INgrooves Distribution Services, INresidence Artist Services and INgrooves Music Publishing. All divisions of the company work together to provide independent labels, artists and management with comprehensive and customizable solutions for global distribution, marketing & promotion, sync licensing, music publishing and administrative support to maximize their earnings potential and consumer reach in today’s dynamic music marketplace.
The Company’s proprietary software platform facilitates real-time asset management, and via their Client Console, INgrooves clients have total visibility on the status of their releases and access to monthly retail sales reports & analytics.
For more information, visit: INgrooves.com
Congratulations to Guy Clark and our partners at Dualtone Records for receiving the Best Folk Album Grammy award for “My Favorite Picture of You”.
Four years ago I wrote an opinion piece in Billboard warning of the cash-flow crisis that would hit when consumers realized the massive value proposition that streaming subscription services offer. It may have taken longer than I expected, but it is firmly upon us. Despite all the negative press about the low per-stream rate, Spotify is now the No. 2 digital retailer for most labels in terms of income.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Beats Music (as of next week) and many others have launched streaming subscription options for their customers. All told, streaming revenue makes up approximately one-quarter of all income for most content owners, having quadrupled in the last two years. So what is the short-term impact, and how long will it last? Longer term, what does this mean for the average label and artist?
As one of the world’s largest distributors of independent music, INgrooves is uniquely positioned to monitor and evaluate the early impact of the consumer shift from downloads to the access anything, anywhere, anytime format inherent in streaming subscription services. But will such services equal increased revenue? It will, especially for the indies and for the prolific, active artists out there. Here’s why:
For the next 12-18 months, we’re likely to see physical and download sales decay faster than usual after the holiday season and the shift to streaming continue to accelerate, but not enough to make up the difference.
Based on our analysis of the decay rates and new subscriber growth for streaming services, we’re predicting that we’ll return to last summer’s peak sales levels by late 2014, not counting growth by international expansion and sales from new clients. This means that, for much of the year, artists and labels will have to more proactively manage cash flow, marketing spends and ensure they’re aggressively pursuing all sources of revenue.
Some will be less affected by this newest paradigm shift. For example, international markets, where downloading never truly took off and piracy was rampant, will benefit from streaming’s availability in their countries. Certain genres like country and classical will also likely see a slower shift from their hardcore fans. However, this shift is going to be more dramatic and meaningful than the format shift from physical to digital downloads.
The value proposition for the consumer is just simply too appealing to have any other outcome, and in digital media, the consumer always wins.
Robb McDaniels is founder/CEO of INgrooves Music Group.
The Omaha rockers will release their 11th LP in conjunction with 311 Day, taking place in New Orleans
It may be the band’s 11th album, but 311’s first new release in nearly three years will be a first for the Nebraska rockers: fully independent.
The band confirmed today (Dec. 16) the upcoming release of its next album, its first to be released solely on its own 311 Records. The currently-untitled LP has a March 11 due date.
Indie status may be a relatively unfamiliar concept for the reggae-tinged rock act after years of being signed to a major label, but frontman Nick Hexum says it’s one of the best moves 311 could have possibly made — especially after forming an agreement with INgrooves, which will distribute the album.
“It’s a distribution with services, which is so cool because they let you pick… alright, do you guys want to spend money on this type of promotion or that type of promotion?” Hexum tells Billboard. “It really allows us to feel involved and we can make sure that we’re being represented in a way that we want and we think is effective.
“The label system is corrupt; they’re so incompetent with their ability to bring any value to the table. It’s just a rip-off.”
Though little can be revealed about the album beyond its drop date, Hexum confirms that there’s a renewed sense of creativity that abounds with the untitled release, which he says was recorded mostly separately in each band member’s home studio after its summer tour in 2013.
“It feels less conservative to me,” he says, admitting the album takes some “left turns” and will at times explore some “weird” sounds. “But as always, there’s a lot of riffs and really good high energy stuff that’s going to be great for a live setting. We realized a long time ago that we’re primarily a live band, but I didn’t want to get too locked into just making crowd rockers. So I think there’s a good diversity of tempos and feels and arrangements, lots of distortion guitar and big rocking parts but then there’s some trippy, chill-out moments and even some hard rock, like dual leads that some might say could sound like some old classic rock.”
The album marks the return of producer Scotch Ralston, who more recently acted as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ soundman. Ralston was behind some of the five-piece’s earlier releases, like 1997’s “Transistor” and 1999’s “Soundsystem.”
“We asked him to come back and run sound for us, and it really improved our live sound,” Hexum explains. “The fans noticed that. Because he did the ‘Transistor’ album, which is kind of our most beloved fan favorite because it’s so eclectic and everything, there was a lot of excitement from the fans about that kind of creativity coming back in with him. So we started talking about new songs and he had so many ideas and just so much enthusiasm that it was like a steamroller of excitement. So we had to say yes to having him produce us. It turned out to be a great decision.”
All roads currently lead to March 11 — 311 Day — which will be held in its most recent iteration in New Orleans. Along with releasing the new album, the quintet will perform at the New Orleans Arena.