What does a Grammy mean to indie labels? Music Week finds out

What does a Grammy mean to indie labels? Music Week finds out

On Sunday night, the great and good from the music biz will assemble in LA for the 2017 Grammy Awards. And while many of the world’s biggest stars will be out in force in the hope of taking home a gong or two, Music Week wanted to find out what a nomination, or indeed a win, would mean for the independents on show.

Though generally dominated by the majors, this year sees a host of indie labels in contention across several categories, as they look to boost their artists’ profiles on the world stage.

We spoke to a number of them to find out what success on the night would mean...

Ron Burman, president, North America, of Mascot Label Group
“It represents that we work with some exceptionally talented musicians and validities this to the music community and the world.”

Manlio Celotti, CEO of Membran
“The Grammys are a nice recognition that we are doing something right in choosing the right partners. It is a great confirmation for the artists and the labels.”

Taylor Childress, Vice President of The Curb Group
“It’s huge. Both for artists, labels, and the Indie community at large. It’s one of the great equaliser when comparing our music to that of the majors. Plus while we place great emphasis on format specific awards, this one is all formats and the biggest stage.”

Kurt Deutsch, co-founder of Sh-K-Boom
“In our niche of musical theatre it is a great honour and also adds to the visibility and marketing strategies for the Broadway show and music sales.”

Matt Harmon, president of Beggars Group USA
“For Beggars it’s great to have our artists' musical accomplishments recognised alongside their peers both indie and major label.”

Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records
“It’s a thrill to have one of our releases nominated for a Grammy. The Grammy is the ultimate public affirmation of the quality of a recording.”

Brian Perera, founder of Cleopatra Records
“For the artists, a Grammy nomination acknowledges that they have reached a certain level of credibility and achievement, which opens doors for bigger and better opportunities in the future for them. The same goes for the label.”

Denny Stilwell, president of Mack Avenue Records
“That our artists get recognised in this way is extremely satisfying. We hope it means we are involved in the creation of some of today’s best music, regardless of genre.”

Chris Swanson, founder of Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar
“Receiving a Grammy nomination is an exciting honour for our team. It is not a metric that we employ for determining whether we’ve been successful on a project, but it is very nice moment for our team to take a beat and reflect on how lucky we are to do what we do and work with such talented artists operating at such a high level in the arts.”

Sam Valenti, founder/owner, Ghostly International
“It's a compelling signal for the artist and their work. These things are never expected.”

Nan Warshaw, co-founder/co-owner of Bloodshot Records
“This is our first nomination as a label [for Robbie Fulks]. It’s been wonderful to see an artist get the peer recognition they deserve! For an artist, peer recognition is an achievement separate from fame or fortune.”

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