Be a Musical Trendsetting Shepherd, Not a Sheep
When I was at university my flatmate bought me a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan; “I Listen To Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet”. I obviously never actually wore it because I didn’t want to look like an arsehole and he only bought it to take the piss out of me. But nevertheless, sometimes listening to artists super early on has its upsides in this game.
At Sentric we’re rather lucky to work with songwriters ranging from those penning their first ever ditty to those who have sold millions of records and have literally defined genres (a rather exciting development for us in 2017, more on those on a later LBB playlist/post), but to this day it’s still the adverts where we get an emerging artist’s track synced which gives me a wonderful feeling in my waters.
But why? I suppose it’s because it means a hell of a lot more to those starting out than it does to those who demand six figure fees for their latest single to be licensed. There have been several occasions in the history of Sentric where an artist has approached me at a music conference or gig and proclaimed it was because of our work which meant they could quit their day job and become a full time musician. That’s rather swish. They could literally shout; “look mum, I’m on TV!” when the advert came on and, for the first time since agreeing to let her kid follow their pipe-dream, the mother could retort; “great, now you can move out!”
And, of course, the benefits for the clients we license this emerging music to are numerous. Recently an advertising agency contact of ours emailed me saying their client really liked Bastille, but couldn’t afford it, so was wondering if we had any suggestions. After a sense of deja vu (and a quick search of my sent items) it was then I realised that I’d actually pitched Bastille to him four years previously when we represented his first ever EP. So he could have been the first ever person to sync him, and he definitely would have been able to afford him then.
Being the brand that breaks the band brings undeniable kudos to the company’s image which is essentially impossible to buy. Apple have it, Levi’s have it, John Lewis have it - why can’t the brand you’re working for have it?
It’s our job here at Sentric to source the greatest emerging music this fine country has to offer, so the next time you’re hunting for the next big thing, come to us, because we genuinely have it and have the track record to prove so. That’s why when we send music to our clients it’s never just; “here’s a bunch of tracks, I hope you like one of them”, but we also include bullet points on why that artist is right for the project. We include quotes from reputable press, details on key radio airplay and information on the festivals and tours the artists are playing.
We do this because we know that tastemakers respect tastemakers’ tastes. Of course I’m going to tell you it’s good, I’m a naturally optimistic person with an arguably unhealthy amount of joie de vivre, but I know that the praise of Pitchfork and Zane Lowe carries more weight. I’m not daft.
So why is this on my mind? Well there’s an artist from Bristol who came on board to Sentric a fortnight ago and I’m utterly convinced he’s destined for greatness. This has happened only a handful of times here during the 10 years of Sentric (Bastille, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Circa Waves being three who I also sensed would go far) and now I’m simply waiting for an agency to take a punt on him so they’ll be able to say; “we were the first people to use that guy’s music” when they’re watching him collect his BRIT Award for best newcomer in 2019. Because, believe me, he will.
Simon Pursehouse is Director of Music Services at Sentric Music