How Indie Labels Find Artists

Ballroom Dancing: Music Panels

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

How Indie Labels Find Artists

Austin Convention Center, Wednesday, March 17 In this age where the music business changes on a daily basis, one thing remains static. According to the label representatives on this panel, word of mouth still plays a major role in how new music/new artists are discovered. A wide range of indies was represented, from the supersized Rounder and ever-budding Yep Roc to still buzzing Bloodshot and upstart Ace Fu, yet each claimed that they still rely on the press, talent agents, and college radio to find out what's new and creating a buzz. SXSW was referred to as a place where artist discovery has led to bountiful signings. Geared toward the novice, the advice given was perennial: Do your homework before approaching a label, create a buzz in your hometown first, nobody listens to cassettes any more, be persistent and creative. Susan Tanner of Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label summed things up best: "If you're good and you're in the public eye, it doesn't matter where you're from. We'll find you."

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