Solo musician Damian Malgas has first-hand experience of the challenges faced when it comes to having your music heard as a new artist, often the main issue for up and coming independent artists is distribution. With this in mind, he and Bruce Langa Jr and Clyde Morta started The Record Drop, a music aggregator start-up that helps assist unsigned artists in distributing their music via streaming sites, such as iTunes or Deezer at a highly competitive rate.
Distribution is just the start, however. Their grand plan is to expand their services to music video distribution, music marketing, social media management and music publishing. This month also sees the launch of Beat Drop; an online marketplace for producers and artists to buy and sell ‘beats’.
We got in touch with co-founder Damian Malgas to find out more.
What has the response been like since launching The Record Drop? How many artists have you signed up?
The response has been really good. We are still fairly new and due to that, we haven't had much access to as many forms of marketing as we would like. A 100% of our clients thus far have been from word of mouth, and we have signed about 25 in the first two months of operations. As artists spread the company among themselves, we have seen a steady increase in interest.
Can you chat about your upcoming plans to include music publishing, music marketing and music videos to your service offerings?
The Record Drop aims to be the cornerstone for independent artists in South Africa. Our main aim is to facilitate South Africa’s rise to becoming a music powerhouse in the next decade. As a result of this, we started with the most basic need being music distribution, and we are expanding from that to add more and more services. Within two years we want to offer artists everything they need, negating the need for a record label and giving them 100% ownership of their careers. We have just launched music video distribution to Vevo, Apple Music, Tidal and Noiseporn and we plan to add music marketing and social media management in the coming year as well as music publishing. Our diverse range of products is being expanded slowly in order to refine each product and make sure it makes sense for artists before launching anything new.
Can you tell us more about The Beat Drop?
One of the most difficult things for young rappers and vocalists in South Africa, as a matter of fact, anywhere in the world, is to have access to quality music in order for them to expand their songwriting and performance skills. The Beat Drop is a premium online store where artists can buy or lease beats from producers and use that music towards their development. We want to create an online marketplace for producers and artists to come together and exchange music at an affordable price. The premium aspect comes in because every song is listened to by our in-house team to make sure it is up to industry quality.
Daman Malgas, Clyde Morta and Bruce Langa Jr
What would you like to see change in the South African music industry?
For a music industry to be successful you need three things; talented artists, a mechanism for both local and international fans to access these artists and a dedicated local fan base. The talent in our country is clear to see and the interest our people have for music from rock to hip-hop to EDM goes without saying. The problem is the mechanism of how the fans access the artists, especially the ones who aren't at the very top of the game yet. That is where we believe we can help with giving artists access not only to local fans, but also an opportunity to be accessible to the global industry via the major consumption platform of music which is streaming. Honestly, I don’t think we need much to change – there is so much progress being made on a daily basis in this country, we just need to continue innovating, and we will eventually reach the place where we deserve to be globally.
What is your grand plan when it comes to The Record Drop?
As I alluded to you before, the grand plan is to become a one-stop shop for independent artists in South Africa. We want to offer every service an artists needs to become successful, so that signing to a record label is not a necessity, but rather a strategic choice. Hopefully, we can have many success stories like Chance The Rapper or Macklemore over in the US where industry-leading careers can be established with the artist as the CEO of their own destiny. Currently, we distribute music and video and plan to add marketing and publishing and possibly legal services for artists to that mix. To be honest, we will offer whatever artists need in the years to come. We would like to be able to say that in the next five years we made a truly meaningful contribution and that independent South African artists can compete comfortably on a global scale.
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Single: R99 Once-Off;- Album/EP: R299 Once-Off;- Album/EP Lite (1.Album/EP lus two singles): R399 and Album/EP Plus (two Albums/EP's plus four singles): R499. The two bundles above are valid for one year, meaning an artist can use any part of the bundle for the duration of a year.
The Record Drop distributes to all major music streaming sites in the world including Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and Tidal.
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