SXSW Panel Recap: Linda Perry & Kerry Brown

Indie label ethos from two major hitmakers

“Rock & roll doesn’t belong on a grid. It belongs on a pulse – a natural pulse,” insisted Linda Perry. The half-full Thursday morning keynote conversation at the Austin Convention Center with longtime producer Kerry Brown littered zinging one-liners from the big-shot industry vets, even as the topic became muddled.

Linda Perry (Photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

Perry’s the former frontwoman of 4 Non Blondes and a songwriter for the likes of Pink and Adele. Brown’s produced albums for Cheap Trick and Courtney Love, while maintaining a long-running working relationship with the Smashing Pumpkins. Meaning, they know what makes a good rock star, how the industry operates, and thus offered advice and anecdotal nuggets.

In 2017, the pair launched We Are Hear, a record label/publishing company/artist management firm hybrid. Naturally, that newish endeavor dominated the conversation. Brown and Perry extolled the virtues of their greater vision.

They think artist development is dead, but We Are Hear is focused on A&R, community building, and on artists’ authentic voices. Perry noted being exasperated by labels asking for the social media metrics of artists she managed, and insisted she didn’t focus on the data even though later in the conversation the impressions/engagements of a video for up-and-coming artist Willa Amai were mentioned repeatedly.

Mostly, it sounded like the ethos of an indie label, but with two major hitmakers at the helm.

“We don’t want to own artists,” Brown remarked.

“Labels work for the musicians, not the other way around,” said the singer. “We’re not huge right now, but we will be. This time next year we will be.”

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Playback: Does Size Matter at SXSW?
Playback: Does Size Matter at SXSW?
A smaller SXSW Music week still satisfies

Kevin Curtin, March 23, 2018

SXSW Music Review: Keith Urban
Live Shot: Keith Urban
Country superstar’s “Wasted Time”

Doug Freeman, March 17, 2018

More by Libby Webster
Sun June's Regret Pop
Sun June's Regret Pop
The quintet rewrites the classic tapestry of an "Austin sound"

June 8, 2018

Texas Platters
Lola Tried
Lola Tried (Record Review)

June 1, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Linda Perry & Kerry Brown, SXSW Music 2018, 4 Non Blondes, Pink, Adele, Hole, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, Willa Amai, We Are Hear

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle