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#1 Malaysian Artist Yuna and Her Managers on Being Independent Again

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.
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#1 Malaysian Artist Yuna & Her Managers on Being Indie Again | New Music Business w/ Ari Herstand

Listen on your favorite podcast platform: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Acast

Today my guests are Malaysian singer Yuna, Ben Willis, and Carlo Fox, the founders of indie-pop!, a management company based out of Los Angeles. This is the first time I’ve had a conversation with three people at once for the show. Yuna was coming to us from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Ben and Carlo tuned in from Los Angeles.

Yuna is an incredibly talented artist. She’s done collaborations with Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell, Usher, G-Eazy, and the list goes on. We dig into how she got her start on Myspace to now being an independent artist in 2020, what it looks like, release strategy, and who the new gatekeepers are. Ben and Carlo have been in the industry for decades, and they talk about what radio looked like and what it looks like now. Yuna was signed to a major label and now she’s independent. We also discuss how they approach music videos, playlist promotion, and who handles what.


Quick links:

2:50 – Being in Malaysia during quarantine and what it’s like
10:25 – How Ben and Carlo connected and discovered Yuna
15:25 – indie-pop!’s first client Dev and The Cataracs
18:30 – What was the focus when setting up songwriting sessions and getting a label deal?
21:02 – Transitioning away from the Verve Records label and working with Tyler, the Creator and G-Eazy
27:53 – Setting up writing sessions when Yuna first moved to Los Angeles
32:05 – What Yuna thought of the writing sessions when she first moved to Los Angeles
34:36 – Who’s handling what the label typically handles (promotion, release strategy, etc) now that Yuna’s independent?
44:20 – How important is radio nowadays?
44:25 – What does the release strategy look like in 2020?
54:00 – Who are the gatekeepers in 2020?
59:40 – When you’re releasing a new single, what are the conversations about the story like? How do you tell the story?
1:00:41 – The story behind “Stay Where You Are”
1:05:45 – What does it mean to make it in the new music business?

About The Author

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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Is SubmitHub Good or Bad for Indie Musicians: Interview with the Founder

Jason Grishkoff started a music blog called Indie Shuffle back in 2007, when music blogs were still cool. After a 3-year stint at Google, he was lucky to take the blog full-time in 2013. From 2014 to 2015 digital advertising in the music industry changed rapidly, and a number of bloggers found themselves looking for alternative sources of income. Many gave up to focus on their day jobs, but Jason decided to double-down on his coding abilities and created a website called SubmitHub, where musicians, labels and publicists could submit their songs to blogs like Indie Shuffle. Flash forward to 2022 and nearly 30 million submissions have been submitted through the platform. Jason still runs the operation as the only developer, and the product is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the modern music promotion industry.
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