March 21, 2018

Spinnup & Abbey Road come together (right now)

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Good news for hip-hop artists

Here’s some great news for hip-hop and urban artists. According to data from Nielsen Music, more than one third of all music streaming in 2018 is made of Rap, Hip Hop and R&B! The genre has the highest on demand streams accounting for 36.4% of total streams for the beginning of 2018. If you’re less urban-inclined don’t worry, as Rock comes second with 17.7% concerning on demand streams, followed by Pop with 15.7%.

It’s undeniable that rap and hip-hop rule streaming nowadays. A striking example is the huge success of rap playlists curated by music services, such as Rap Caviar on Spotify, which has almost 10m followers!

Click here to read the full article from Nielsen with stats breakdown, including how well each format is faring in 2018.

Did you know hip-hop is also the most popular genre on Spinnup! If you want to add a new track to that, head to your artist account.

While we’re on the topic, why not check out some of our favourite hip hop artists on Spinnup!

AZHUMJOT  

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Ahzumjot is a German rap and hip-hop artist who released his first album ‘Monty’ in 2011. But he’s not just a rapper – he writes his tracks, produces them and even does the mixing and mastering himself. He’s in charge of the visual of his releases and merch as well as the cutting of his videos.

Check out his latest music video for his single ‘Milch’

He continues to explore various formats that the streaming era has made possible, such as releasing the tracks of his album on several different dates (just like a playlist in a More Life way). Plus he hints at upcoming songs in his tracks, creating a puzzle-like discography where every track slots into its place at the right time.

It’s important to Ahzumjot to give his songs equal space without some getting all the attention, which can often happen when releasing an album. That’s why he likes to release one track at a time, this way he’s able to make last minute changes but it’s also a way to have new content coming in regularly and keep fans entertained.

He went on his ‘Raum Tour’ in Germany in May and he’s also playing at numerous festivals in Germany until August.

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and make sure to subscribe to his Youtube channel to see his amazing videos!

Lucy Camp

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US Spinnup artist Lucy Camp is based in San Jose, California. She shifts between rapping and singing so easily it makes her songs astounding. Lucy and her team don’t really stick to one genre, and we’ve loved watching her experiment with different rapping techniques.

She crafts great rhymes with meaningful and personal lyrics, which always come together to work really well.

‘Disguise’ is her latest release and the first since her EP ‘Whispers’, where she explored personal themes such as self-discovery, family and relationships.

Check out her music video for her latest single ‘Disguise’. Amazingly, she wrote the lyrics, recorded it and shot the video all in one day!


Lucy’s very active on social media and has a lively community of fans with over 36K likes on her Facebook page. She posts a tonne of videos, from music clips to videos of her rapping in Spanish across her socials. She also answers questions from fans on Twitter. Make sure to follow her Instagram too and subscribe to her Youtube channel.

The High Breed

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The High Breed are an experimental hip-hop trio based in Bristol, UK, made of producer James and brothers Keita and Samora. Keita and James met at university but it wasn’t until they graduated that they really considered recording seriously, and at this point Samora took part in the process.

Having grown up together they have many musical influences in common including soul, jazz and reggae. But they chose to use rap to convey deep messages and unite minds. What is key importance to them is to produce music that has soul and pushes boundaries.

Watch their latest music video for ‘Daydream’ taken from their EP ‘Entrapment’, which was shot in a superb location

In ‘Entrapment, their latest release and experimental EP, they chose to have a more trap sound than they used previously, and adding new layers and displaying their musical versatility.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where they post videos and news! Check out their Youtube channel for more music videos

 

 

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Apple Music For Artists Guide

Updated 11th July 2018

Apple Music has undergone some changes recently when it comes to how they interact with their artists, in the form of their new artist account and stats tool, Apple Music For Artists. This tool has replaced the previous platform, Apple Music Connect, and we’ve got the lowdown on what it’s all about.

In this updated post we will explain what Apple Music for Artists is and how you can use it to make the most of the streaming giant’s new tool for artists. We’ll also take you through the steps to claim your profile and use all the features.

What is Apple Music for Artists?

Apple Music for Artists is essentially a dashboard where you’ll find all the useful data on your tracks in Apple Music. It’s currently still in beta mode, which means new features are likely to be introduced soon.

What can I do in Apple Music for Artists?

In the platform you can easily access your main stats in a recap on your ‘Overview’ page. You can then see more detailed information on your releases in the ‘Trends’ and ‘Places’ pages.

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In Trends, you can check how each song of yours is doing, and see which types of fans like it best. For instance, you can view fan data in terms of age range, country, continent, gender and plays by playlist you’re in.

These insights can give you ideas on where to tour particularly and who to target on any social media ads when you have news or release a new track.

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You can also view all of this data for song and album purchases (downloads), and radio spins!

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Take a look at the map to see in which cities (or countries) you have the most plays to better know where your music is reaching fans.

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It’s a great place to check your stats and see how your tracks and releases are doing in detail. You can adjust the way you see the stats to match your needs in graphs or maps.

Previously with Apple Music Connect you had the options to add content, videos and images to make yourself more accessible to fans. With Apple Music for Artists it’s a bit different, this time it’s more about checking your stats and analysing what your fans enjoy most and how they consume your music.

How do I create my profile?

Just like in Spotify For Artists, to create your Apple Music for Artists profile you have to make sure your music is already on there. At Spinnup we’ve got you covered as we distribute your music on all major music services – including Apple Music and iTunes.

You can then claim your artist profile by signing into Apple Music using your Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, create one here.

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Once you’ve logged in, you should click “Request artist access”.

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It will take you to a search bar where you can look up your artist name or band name.

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Once you’ve found yourself, you then select one of your releases and your role as the artist, manager or label representative.

If you have a manager, you can add them as an administrator to your profile and they’ll be able to see your stats as well. But don’t worry, you can always choose what they have access to.

And if you’re a manager, you can add multiple artists from your roster in your account.

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You then enter your contact information, management contact and social accounts for Apple to review your profile and make sure you are the artist you say you are. The screenshots are an example, please don’t try to claim Drake’s profile!

Getting approved may take some time but you will receive an email confirmation when you are free to login.

Don’t forget that you have access to loads of music data in your Spinnup artist app too! In your Stats page we have data and graphs from SIX of our biggest distribution partners, including Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. This makes it easy to compare how you’re doing on the stores and where you can capitalise on your efforts, or where you have opportunity for growth. Here you can also see streams and downloads by country and access your sales in the balance page.

Please note that Apple Music for Artists is still in beta mode, so we’ll make sure to keep you updated on any new features to come, and if a mobile app is introduced!

 

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Doubt Me Valencé

Introducing: VALENCÉ

This week we introduce you to VALENCÉ, a 22 year old pop singer-songwriter from our home country of Sweden. VALENCÉ began writing music at the age of 14, after being given her first guitar

Since then she has been involved in various musical projects with her studies in both Framnäs Folkhögskola and Rythmus school – where Spinnup alumni, now Universal artist LOVA also studied (along with Tove Lo, Robyn…just a few artists you may have heard of.)

On her solo project, she goes by her middle name VALENCÉ, which has a powerful meaning. Valence is the positive or negative emotional charge one feels towards another person, object or situation.

Developing a sound that from pop to electronic, with plenty of depth and ambient influences, her debut single Doubt me  was released 8th June is lively yet melancholic. A week later she released the accompanying music video on Youtube, which is reminiscent of the single’s artwork, with a simple white set awash in soft coloured lighting that transitions through the clip.

To celebrate her debut release VALENCÉ held a release party in Stockholm a few weeks ago ahead of her upcoming EP Leaves Again, which will be out in August. She performed on the night with full band and the dancers that featured in her “Doubt Me” music video. Watch the video of the party here.

thisisvalence : @tinaojerfalk

 

In addition to her solo project, VALENCÉ has been lead singer of folk pop band Tiny Little Shoes since 2014. The band, who we’re also pleased to say distribute their tracks via Spinnup.

Needless to say the enigmatic VALENCÉ captured our attention so we got in touch to get to know her better!

So how did you go from playing the guitar at 14 to releasing electronic pop music today?

It all started two years ago when I went to Framnäs Folkhögskola in northern Sweden. I studied at the music production programme, and it was then that I really dug into the electronic pop music. When I went to Rytmus Gymnasium in Stockholm I had some music production courses, where I learned the basics (I also got some experience while recording with Tiny Little Shoes), however it was when I started at Framnäs that I really found my love for the electronic/indie/ambient/pop-sound and started to produce what later became the sound of VALENCÉ.

Are you still working on Tiny Little Shoes or are you focusing on VALENCÉ only at the moment?

My main focus these past couple of years has been VALENCÉ. However, I still have been taking part in other music projects. Mostly it has been different jazz constellations, or working on my other two music projects – LOU and Tiny Little Shoes. I have always loved
jazz, soul and pop, which has influenced my musical journey. Something that I have wanted to integrate and find a way to use in different ways when making music. Now with my newly found love for electronic and ambient sound, I believe I have created the pop-sound that I really longed for to be my solo project VALENCÉ.

We’re actually in this moment in the final process with Tiny Little Shoes, where we will record the last things on what will in the end become an EP. Music with a new fresh sound, including electronic elements – but still with our unique pop/folk/soul-vibe. The plans are to release the EP in about a year.

Looking forward to it! What about your debut EP ‘Leaves Again’? What can we expect from it?

My upcoming EP ‘Leaves Again’ does have a theme when it comes to the sound, even though the songs are a bit different – which I think is the key to keeping it interesting, you can really hear they’re VALENCÉ-songs. ‘Leaves Again’ is a very special release for me, not
just because it’s the first taset of VALENCÉ’s sound, but also because it’s the release of a long, painful but also very meaningful relationship. It’s very close to my heart.

What are the main themes in your EP?

The themes centre around hope, trust and heartbreak. It’s a combined experience of a spiritual approach and the mixed emotions you can feel in a relationship between two people. Even if you try to keep things clean and mature in a breakup, it’s not always that easy!

Striving to develop a spiritual approach to her music and image, VALENCÉ wants to create a concept of ”conscious electronic pop” around her music, influencing people by serving up electronic pop that connects with both the heart and the mind.

 

Make sure to follow VALENCÉ on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud and subscribe to her Youtube channel to know when she uploads new videos!

Stay tuned for her upcoming EP “Leaves Again” out 13th August

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Building Your Team – Managers

Following on from our last instalment in Building Your Team series, today, we are going to look into perhaps one of the most important roles within your team; the manager. Hopefully, within your career, you will be presented with many opportunities. Your manager will either help to procure, navigate or maximise these opportunities, advising and guiding you through the business endeavours of your music whilst enabling you to focus on your creative.

The manager role can be somewhat all encompassing as more often than not, managers will work with artists as A&R’s, PR, agents, creative partners whilst also being your manager (particularly when you are first starting out). Perhaps being one of the most trusted members of your team, the difference between a good and bad manager can have a catastrophic effect on your career, so it is important you conduct your research and choose carefully.

LET’S DELVE INTO THE ROLES OF A MANAGER:

WHO ARE THEY?

Managers are the ‘hub’ of you career. Essentially acting as your ‘go-to’ person, your managers will aim to represent you successfully whilst carrying out your business affairs, keeping your contacts in order and your strategy in motion. To represent you successfully, this entails fulfilling an achievable aim/s such as ‘playing X amount of shows’ or ‘making X amount on money in X amount of time’ whilst remaining respectful to your vision. Music managers can come from an established management company or can be freelance individuals, neither of which is necessarily better than the other. It truly depends on your needs as an artist as some of you will be more business orientated, and thus require more exposure and assistance, whilst some of you will be new to the industry and lack the understanding required to be involved in such business decisions and career strategy.

With that said, there are different types of music managers including Personal Managers (day to day managers), Business Managers and Tour Managers. It is very easy to assume that once you have a manager that your career is set, but in reality, the question you should really be asking yourself is “what do I need a manager for?”. If you have nothing to manage; no live gigs, no music, no social media, no demos, what will a manager actually manage?

Although managers can open doors for you as an artist, you also need to work as hard (if not harder) and so, if there is nothing to push through that door, you probably don’t need a manager right now.

Some artists/creators opt to self-manage themselves which, although is usually only successful to a certain point, can work to educate yourself on the business. Although having representation provides and allure of professionalism to other potential investors such as labels, whilst also providing support to you as an artist, there is no shame in being self-managed for a bit.

EXAMPLES

Managers come in many different forms, whether they be one of your close friends (how Lady Gaga started), a parent (Brandy, Miley Cyrus, Usher), a freelance manager or industry figure with experience and keen to get involved, or from a management agency. The biggest and arguably most important factor in all of these potential managers is that they are a fan of yours, regardless of their past experience in the industry.

WHAT DO THEY DO?

Managers perform an array of tasks in an effort to execute your artistic vision in a successful manner. From arranging photo and video shoots, having your music playlisted, getting heard by tastemakers, labels or publishers to be signed, developing your artistic vision, securing blog and press coverage, negotiating business deals and terms and/or answering emails. Managers are one of the most consistently active people on your team requiring large levels of organisation, commitment and communication skills whilst showing an ability to cope well under pressure.

At its simplest, your manager will assist or spearhead the process of bringing together the people and projects to match the vision and aims set either individually by yourself or collectively with your manager. As discussed, a manager’s role will be different depending on what you need and what they can offer – and you don’t always have to stick with one (but of course, this must be discussed prior), as you may only need a manager to advise you on business matters or creative advice.

The roles of a manager largely depend on what point in your career you are as a client and what you want to achieve. Dealing with different aspects of your career, managers will strategically manoeuvre around the different characters and organisations in your career which all carry their own demands and challenges. With that said, having such an instrumental role in taking your career to the next step, a new manager with less experience is not always the worse option for you as an artist as they can provide a new strategy or insight into your next moves.

A good music manager will advise you whilst taking into account your best interests and will usually act as a point of contact between yourself and the outside industry and are therefore often the middleman. It is vitally important that a manager is diplomatic, able to problem solve and strategic in their representation of you.

WHEN SHOULD I GET ONE?

Managers can approach you quite early on in your development stages, when you have a buzz or before the buzz (and even after the buzz). Some artists get a head start without managers, and for many, managers are the first members of your team.

Some managers and management companies do not accept unsolicited demos, so it is sometimes not the best option to contact them first (although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do). Usually, it does work better in your favour if you are approached by them as you know there is a vested interest and passion in you as an artist and you are able to talk on more of an even playing field (people often want to discover and act rather than approached).

Similar to the previous article about lawyers, we would suggest talking to a few and keeping your options open before you commit to one. Talk to as many others (and consult lawyers) as you can, research the representation of artists/producers/bands you like and would compare yourself to and politely reach out to them. You are not always guaranteed a response but it is helpful to be on people’s radars.

Before committing to a manager, I would also suggest a trial period before signing anything to establish a working relationship. Often, this will feel like dating, however please don’t treat this as such (i.e. entering into a meeting with 30 character questions about their life). Some managers like to befriend their artist whereas others prefer to have a strictly working relationship. Making the choice between which one you prefer is down to you. Some great questions to ask a manager initially can be found here:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-choose-a-manager-for-your-band-2460419

HOW MUCH DO I PAY?

The standard rate is 20% commission of your gross income (money you make before taking off costs) which does have exceptions and can be negotiated. If a manager asks for a fee upfront, this is a major red flag to walk away – QUICKLY. Managers can claim back expenses and put in their own capital (if agreed to) as can you, but, managers work from commission.

UK management company High Time work on a 50/50 commission which is very uncommon, but understandable in this instance for what they offer their artists. Some managers work on a specific commission rates, i.e. only taking 10% on income less that $50,000 and taking 20% on income over $50,000 but again this is all negotiable.

Essentially however, 15%-20% is the general figure depending on how much revenue you bring in – the more money you make, the smaller the justifiable commission rate requested). There are some other rules regarding live shows and advances you receive if signed to a label which can be waived, for example your manager only making money from a show after costs have been deducted, but you must speak to your lawyer about this before agreeing to anything.

DO I NEED THEM?

Honestly, yes. But for what purpose and when in your career is completely up to you. In the age of DIY, more power is in the hands of artists, meaning there is less of a need for publishers and labels, but even more of a need for managers to be able to generate creative and innovative ways for audience consumption.

Having a manager is not an indicator of success, but it is an opportunity. It is easy to feel comfortable once you have a manager, but really, the hard work increases tenfold as you are now responsible for someone else’s salary alongside your own. It is better to be approached by a manager rather than be approached, and it also important to know what you want and what you require from the relationship.

Having a manager can mean you are taken more seriously, but working with the wrong manager, one who is not passionate about your work, does not understand the vision, or has no plans for you can be damaging to your career. Do all you can for yourself to create a project that a manager would want to get vested into to give yourself an advantage, set some goals and get to work on some trial periods before you commit to just one, unless your first manager is the best for you which does happen!

You’ve reached the end, what a ride! I hope you’ve found this helpful. Now go make some stuff to manage – I’ll catch you next time when we talk about music producer/s.

 

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Introducing: Luciid

This week, Spinnup proudly introduces 21-year-old music producer Luciid following the release of his sparkling debut EP ‘IDENTITY’.

The Cornwall based electronic artist has been posting music for just over a year now, harnessing and maturing his production skills which are developed and showcased in this latest project.

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The five track EP ‘IDENTITY’, featured on GAWP radio, stands out as a bold electronic exploration of synth and funk pop, carried by four collaborations packed with stunning vocalists and artists including Lily Lyons, Florence Bird, Meg Wassell and AÏDA. As the EP progresses from the Tove Lo sounding ‘NEW’ to the house inspired ‘STILL with U’, Luciid certainly lives up to his promise of ‘serving tech beatz & funky jams’.

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Luciid also isn’t shy of also serving a look or two, exploring not only his sound, but his gender expression by using make up and drag personas to experiment with his own ‘IDENTITY’, something that can be seen in his attention-grabbing EP art work. Citing his main influence as M.I.A, other references include Yaeji, Kaytranada, Massive Attack, Four Tet, FKA Twigs, Banks, Goldlink and Groove Armada which can no doubt be heard in this project filled with techy dance bangers.

We cannot wait to hear more from Luciid! Head over to our Spinnup Playlist now to listen to our favourite track from the EP NEW’.

Like what you hear? Head over to Luciid’s Spotify and give the EP a listen/follow AND, keep up to date with his socials on Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram

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iTunes Guidelines Update: What you need to know.

We all know that if there is one thing Apple is known for, it’s their sleek, perfected design and iTunes is no different! In order to keep up their impeccable appearances they set certain style guidelines that we, as a distributor, and you, as an artist, have to uphold.

We are sure this is nothing new to many of you, however they have recently taken their stylistic preferences up a notch, and this is something that you all need to be prepared for.

As of the 2nd of July iTunes will make these key Style Guide Changes:

Cover art needs to be a minimum resolution of 3000×3000 pixels
 Side by side translations are no longer allowed for any track or release names
 Special characters and emojis are no longer allowed in track titles or artist names

To make sure the new style guidelines don’t cause too much of a headache when creating your next release, take a look at our handy tips below:

  • Don’t just resize or stretch the cover art as this will make the image pixelated and our team will have to reject your release.
  • You don’t have to splurge on the greatest graphic kits to make great artwork, if you are struggling to create a design Adobe Spark is the perfect tool to use, as you can customise the size to 3000×3000 pixels

Adobe Spark

  • If you are struggling to find the perfect image, Freepik and Unsplash, have plenty of free images to use

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  • Just because special characters and emojis can’t be used doesn’t mean your name can’t be unusual, for tips on how to create the perfect artist name see the below blog post

Blog: The Importance Of Having a Unique Artist Name

  • For more information, take a look at the iTunes Style Guide where you can search for anything you are unsure of

iTunes Style Guide

Other Useful Blog Posts:

Blog: What Makes Good Artwork: A Study

Blog: It’s Not All About The Music You Know, Package Your Release Better

Blog: The Importance Of Having a Unique Artist Name

If you have any other concerns regarding these new changes then please do not hesitate to contact our support team who will always be on hand to help at support@spinnup.com

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Brothers

Introducing: Brothers

While we like to think of Spinnup as one big family of artists all over the world, it is nice when we come across artists that are actual family, like the we-fought-when-we-were-younger-but-now-we-like-each-other kind. We already have a few of those with acts like Sweden’s sister duo Vaz, and London’s bro-sis combo Moro. Today we bring you French fraternal duo BROTHERS.

BROTHERS is made up ofJulien & Thibault Battieu, two brothers with a 10 year age difference. Their pop-rock sound has traces of mega artists like Queen and the Beatles, making their music ebullient and timeless.
BROTHERS released the latest single “May we meet again” on 17th May before recently releasing their debut self-titled EP. It’s a fresh, lively track with a perfectly matched video that illustrates this very well. They used crowdfunding platform KissKissBankBank (our wonderful partners in this year’s Spinnup Stage competition) to fund the video, and managed to raise an impressive €19,000 to produce it. Kyan Khojandi (a well known actor and their former flatmate) produced the video, as well as starring in it as the love-struck busker along with YouTuber and actress Nathalie Odzierejko.

It’s a great clip to watch, and has already earned more than 130k views on YouTube!

The pairing of BROTHERS, Kyan and Nathalie caught the attention of Rolling Stone Magazine in France, who wrote an article about the video shortly after its release.
Their eponymous debut EP was released through Spinnup on 8th June and Rolling Stone seem to like it a lot also writing another article reviewing the EP!
We wanted to know a little more about BROTHERS and their EP so we got in touch to ask them a few questions..

So, how did you start making music?

We created the band four years ago, during a trip to London with our father. We started working and writing together and several years later we signed with Universal Music Publishing and “All you need is songs”.

Awesome! How would you describe your music?

There is a cinematographic dimension to our music. We love what image and sound can bring together, emotionally speaking. We love both the melancholic and the “epic” side of it. We think there is both of them in our EP.

Can you tell us more about the sounds in the EP?

Today we are very happy and proud because our first EP is out and it looks like the way we wanted it to be. According to us, it’s a mix between songs and influences from the past – we love iconic bands like The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd – as well as modern and powerful sounds from the present. We love playing on contrast.

What are the main topics you have explored in the EP?

There is a topic we are particularly fond of, the ideas of childhood and time because we love the innocence of children and we think there is a huge poetry in it. We are big children and quite immature so childhood really speaks to us.
We like to tell little stories:
Nightmare is about a young girl afraid off the dark.
Morning is about a man fighting against morning.
Children of This War deals with the takeover of children upon adults, they wonder about their position in the world and their deep truth and sincerity wins after all.

What is it like having Rolling Stone Magazine write about your band twice in in less than a month?

It’s an honour for us! We are very proud that they like what we’ve created. It’s an iconic magazine and it’s really rewarding.
If you’re about this summer and want to see them live they are playing at a French festival Bon Moment in Nancy on 23rd June!

You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud. Subscribe to their YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss upcoming music videos!

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