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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

RP the_high_breed_ photo @thomaskatan

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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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

Freepik

Unsplash

  • 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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ED8A3872

Let Lxandra stun you into silence with ‘Hush Hush Baby’

One of the reasons Spinnup exists is to discover the best talent out there, and it’s no overstatement to say that discovering artists and seeing them signed to Universal is the best part of all our jobs.

Early last year I was in Berlin visiting our German team, when they played me a new song by an artist that was interested in releasing it on Spinnup. The song was unreleased, only heard by a few people, and I was blown away.

The song was ‘Flicker’ and the artist was Lxandra.

Not long after, the second single ‘Hush Hush Baby’ was released, then we fast forward a year and Lxandra has been signed to Vertigo (Universal Music Germany) and Island Records USA, making her the 40th Spinnup artist to be signed to a Universal Music label. In March of this year Lxandra also released her debut major label single, ‘Dig Deep’, and just last month supported Dua Lipa (aka the most streamed female artist of 2017) on part of her European tour.

Lxandra Press Picture 4 by Iiris Heikka

 

With each release we are more and more impressed by Lxandra’s talent, but we do have a soft spot for ‘Hush Hush Baby’. The most tender of songs, this is a track Lxandra wrote for her mother as a birthday present. It is also the final song Lxandra released with us on Spinnup before making the leap from unsigned artist, to a part of the world’s biggest record label. But we’re not the only ones who love it – ‘HHB’ also earned a lot of attention in Germany in the lead up to Christmas as the soundtrack for local retailer Saturn’s Christmas ad. Watch it here and let it pull on your heart strings.

When we approached Lxandra about shooting a video to celebrate her signing and success, she immediately suggested filming a video for ‘Hush Hush Baby (Mommy` – Demo version)’’. Filmed recently in her native Finland, this clip is stunning in its simplicity and rawness, and we are so pleased to present to you today.

Now all you need to do is ‘hush’ and press play.

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eif presse2 apr18

Video Premiere: Eif’s ‘Bridges (live session)’

We look forward to Friday every week for many reasons – it’s the end of the work week, and it’s when most new music comes out. If that wasn’t enough to make today special, we are premiering the new live video for Spinnup Denmark artist Eif’s debut single ‘Bridges‘.

Released in October last year as part of Denmark’s annual scholarship competition, Eif wowed the guest judging panel of A&Rs and Scouts with her particular brand of dark electronic tinged pop. Taking note from artists like London Grammar and MSMR, Eif combines digital synths with atmospheric guitar patterns and powerful vocals laced with smooth pop/R&B melodies.

 

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The video for the R&B inspired ‘Bridges‘ was shot in the heart of Copenhagen in an old control tower on Knippelsbro, the city’s famous bridge, which inspired the track. Stirred by the beautiful view while cycling over the bridge, Eif wrote the song as a love story that stretched from the small pocket of Copenhagen to the wide reaches of Iceland. If you’re in Copenhagen you can catch Eif performing ‘Bridges’ and other new music in the bridge’s ‘Kulturtårnet’ tower tomorrow, April 7th. Click here for more info.

Follow Eif on Spotify and Soundcloud for new music, and on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest news.

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Spotify for Artists Guide

Updated April 6th 2018

Spotify is without a doubt the giant of the music streaming world, and a very good friend to artists (signed and unsigned) worldwide. One of the things we love most about Spotify, is their artists-only tool Spotify For Artists.

As a music service but also a tech company Spotify is constantly evolving so we have put together our one-stop-shop for understanding Spotify For Artists, which we will continue to update each time there is a new feature added to the service.

In this article we will explain: 

• What Spotify For Artists Is
• How To Get Verified on Spotify
• How to edit your Spotify artist profile & bio
• Adding social media links to your profile
• How to add team members to your Spotify For Artists account
• What data you can find in your account

Getting verified on Spotify is now easier than ever!

Spotify is very important to us here at Spinnup – it is one of the major online retailers we distribute to, and we collect important Spotify trend data which is displayed in every artist account under ‘Stats & Activity‘ to help artists gauge how their releases are performing from day one. Plus they started in Sweden, just like us!

Lately Spotify has been going through some changes, which can have an impact on each and every one of you, both as artists and as listeners. So if you find yourself asking, “what’s new with Spotify? And how will it affect me?” Well, we got you covered.

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Fan Insights / Spotify For Artists

Back in late 2015 we told you all about Spotify’s beta version of Fan Insights, but now *drumroll please* Fan Insights has been renamed ‘Spotify for Artists‘ and is available to all artists!

In the two years since Spotify launched data tools for artists, they have been talking (and listening) to artists and management teams all over the world to optimise this aspect of their service and make it as useful as possible.

Spotify describes the reincarnation of their data tool as “a one-stop shop designed to guide you through Spotify.” What they mean by this is Spotify for Artists will help you access improved audience insights, song data and play listing information

This helps you get to know your fans better by finding out where they live, how old they are, what features they’re using to discover your music, and what other artists they are listening to. Just read the testimonials of artists who have used the new Spotify data to make more informed touring and release decisions, which means you can too. 

As well as improving their data insights tools, it is now easier than ever to manage your Spotify artist profile and…

Get Verified!

No longer do you have to wait until you have 250 followers to even be able to apply for verification. Instead, now all you need to do is have access to Spotify for Artists!

If you don’t already have access to Spotify for artists, click here and follow the steps to access your account.

But if you’re already verified don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything to keep the pretty blue tick on your profile. The new verification system means you’ll use Spotify for Artists to add and remove playlists from your profile, but use your personal account to create and edit them.

What does this mean for existing verified artists?
  • You will keep your verification and all playlists will remain
  • You will now add and remove playlists in Spotify for Artists, but you create and edit them from your personal account, like always
  • If you’re using Fan Insights, you need to switch to using Spotify for Artists
What if I’m not verified?
  • You can become verified really easily, simply by accessing Spotify for Artists, no more 250 followers!
  • You will need to add/remove playlists in Spotify for Artists, but create and edit them from your personal account
  • You may need to wait a few weeks for the blue tick to appear on your profile.

Spotify-Playlist-Notification

Artist Profile & Bio 

Now that you’re a bonafide and verified Spotify artist you are able to freely edit your public profile! Get your creative hats on because now you can update your artist image as often as you change your outfit – sounds like a lot of work, but each to their own! You can also show people what music you’re jamming to by choosing your ‘artist’s pick’ that sits at the top of your profile, and add playlists – either ones you’ve created or your favourites that you want to share with your fans.

In September 2017 Spotify announced that artists can now directly edit their artist bio, which was previously unavailable. This is a great place to let fans know more about you or your band, and convey your personality, creativity or sense of humour. Have fun with it, but don’t go too overboard!

Electronic musician Caribou keeps his bio short and sweet, but is a nice touch!

 How to edit your artist bio, step by step: 
  1. Go to your Spotify For Artists profile and scroll down to ‘Artist Bio’
  2. Write your amazing, brilliant, creative, thoughtful bio in 1500 words or less
  3. Add links to your music, music you feature on, playlists – anything on Spotify! Just use the ‘@’ symbol to look up playlists, artists or albums
  4. If you have a Wikipedia page (if not, why not create one? It’s free and easy!) you can add a link to that here.

Pimp your profile with an image gallery

As of March 2018 artists can now make their Spotify profile look even better than ever with new custom image galleries. Once you login to your Spotify for Artists account, go to Profile under Tools in teh left hand menu, just like you would to edit any of the info on your Spotify artist page. Above where you enter your bio you can now add up to 125 photos of your choice! These could be official artist images, photos on you in the studio or making music, or on the road performing live – the possibilities are endless! It’s a great way to show fans what you’re up to and let them get to know you better. You can also edit your gallery from the Spotify for Artists mobile app.

You can edit the order of images, add or delete them at any time – so get creative!

Image requirements:
jpeg, gif or png
690px x 500px
Avoid text, logos, and busy backgrounds
Max 125 images

 

Add your social media links

While we’re on the topic of editing your profile, artists can now add social media links to their profile, making it easy for fans to find them elsewhere online. No more hoping artists will find your Instagram handle where you’ve misspelled your name and use a 3 instead of an ‘E’ because someone already has a profile with your regular artist name.

Like above, just head to the Profile tab in your Spotify for Artists account, click About, and on the right hand side there is a new ‘More Info’ panel. Here you can add links to your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia pages.

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Team Members 

In September 2017 Spotify added an extra feature to Spotify For Artists, allowing artists to add team members to their account. Being a musician is a tough business, and having a team around you to support and grow your career goes a long way to helping you become a success! Now your team can help you even more by accessing your data and profile.

All artists can add team members to their Spotify For Artists account in three different access levels:

  • Full Access – users that you grant complete access to all your features, including artist profile, stats, and the ability to invite and edit team members
    Recommended for: Band members, managers 
  • Edit Access – these users can update your artist profile, view streaming stats, invite new team members for edit or view access, and view all members and their contact information
    Recommended for: Booking agent, promoter, publicist 
  • View Access – these guys can view your streaming stats only
    Recommended for: producers, collaborators 
How do I add Team Members?

To add as many members as you would like to your team, simply signup or login to Spotify For Artists, and click the arrow next to your name. In the dropdown menu select ‘Manage Team’, which opens a page where you can input email addresses for the lucky few you will give access to, and set the access level for each.

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Spotify Data

It’s no secret that here at Spinnup we love data, and lots of it. Which is why we were so excited to hear that Spotify has added even more data and analytics to the Spotify For Artists platform. You can read all the info about it here, or read below of a breakdown of what you can expect in your own SFA account.

  • Stats for all songs – no longer do you have to earn 1000 streams to see your data, now you will se absolutely all of it for your top 200 songs. Don’t have 200 songs yet? Well what are you waiting for? Get recording!
  • Time filters – you can now view your data by 7 days, 28 days (so 4 weeks, really), or two years! The reason this is so useful is that it will give you the chance to see if any big pushes (think PR cycle, a particular gig, social media campaign etc) really made an impact to your fans and streams.
  • Follower data – your followers are your super fans, the ones who love your music so much they want to be notified every time you release something new. In your SFA account you now have a Follower Timeline to be able to track, and hopefully grow your follower count. More followers = more fans = more streams… you get the picture.

 


There is so much on offer here for you to take advantage of, so access Spotify for Artists and explore the full rundown of new features on the Spotify blog.

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Abbey Road

Spinnup & Abbey Road come together (right now)

You may remember last year we introduced a couple of Spinnup artists, Indigo Palace and BLOOM, to the good people at Abbey Road Studios to help launch their first ever app, Topline.

We spent the day in Abbey Road’s incredible Gatehouse Studio with our artists, who tested the app, wrote some tunes – and like kids on Christmas – played with anything they could get their hands on.

Since then we’ve kept working behind the scenes with our friends at Abbey Road, who we’re sure can claim the title of Most Iconic Recording Studio In The World.  If you don’t know what we’re talking about, can you even call yourself a musician?
(We’re joking, but seriously if you don’t know Abbey Road get yourself to Google ASAP.)

 

In their quest to be instrumental – no pun intended – in the careers of musicians worldwide Abbey Road launched Topline as a mobile recording studio for singers and songwriters. With the app, which is completely free we might add, you can record multi-track demos, add lyrics in the notes section, attach images & locations, AND share easily from within the app. As BLOOM and Indigo Palace will tell you this is perfect app for collaborating, recording harmonies and BVs, and writing to a track.

Download Topline free from the App Store here and get your music on track.

Abbey Road - BLOOM

Once you’ve recorded the masterpiece you wrote with Topline, how would you like to have it mixed by Abbey Roads team of award-winning engineers? Or go one step further and them master your final track? You can even chat to them while they’re mastering.

No matter where you are in the world you can make the most of Abbey Road’s online mixing and mastering services, and now Spinnup artists receive 10% off!

To get started login to your Spinnup artist account and head to the Offers page in the left-hand menu. Here you will find you discount code and link to Abbey Road’s Online Mixing and Mastering pages. Then just upload your track, select your preferred engineer, and enter your exclusive code at the checkout.

Start making music with Abbey Road, and when you’re ready to unleash it to the world, we’ve got you covered.

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Spinnup Girls Header

Who run the world (of Spinnup)?

I’m sure you would have seen online and across social media, today is International Women’s Day.

This is not a topic we would traditionally delve into on the Spinnup blog, but for today, we want to change that. With the recent rise of movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up along with the spotlight that is being thrown on diversity in the music and entertainment industries, we thought we’d open our door a little wider and give you a peek inside the organisation behind Spinnup.

I am Nina Usher, a woman in the music industry, a senior executive for a tech platform, the head of a start-up – in short, Spinnup’s General Manager.

That was in no way meant to sound boastful, although I am very proud of my achievements. It will come as no surprise to you that the music, tech and start-up industries are traditionally male driven, and the thing I am most proud of is that Spinnup says a huge NO to stereotypes in every way.

Spinnup is run by a small team, based in local Universal Music offices in Stockholm, London, Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen and Oslo.

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Was this by design? No. We firmly believe in hiring the best candidate for a role and always maintain an open mind when interviewing staff.
Are we proud of this percentage and adamant to continue encouraging, guiding and mentoring the next generation of female musicians and executives in the music industry?

HELL. YES.

We’re well aware that bucking this trend so violently is not common, which is why I felt the need to highlight it today.

Outside of the direct Spinnup team we have played a part in the journey and have supported the development of female artists such as LovaAdrijana and MOODY, who were all signed to Universal Music labels.

And of course, we have an army of some of the most fearless, and fiercely talented, female musicians on Spinnup –VazKihlaMarcellaBethany AnnBLOOMLani DawsonLucy CampChuchoterMADANII, and Joko, to name but a few.

We are fortunate to work alongside a group of brilliant, supportive and respectful men at Spinnup, I value everyone on the team in exactly the same way. But, today is about throwing a spotlight on the wider issue, by commemorating our achievements, celebrating our progress, and championing the gutsy girls who run the world.

Today is about women, so who better to soundtrack #InternationalWomensDay than the women of Spinnup? Head to our Spinnup, Girl Powered playlist on Spotify to get your daily dose of girl power, or hit play below. 

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Nelick EP cover

Our first French Signing, Nelick!

2018 has begun with a bang for the team at Spinnup France, who have gotten their first artist signing – and the 35th signing for Spinnup!

Congratulations to Nelick, a local urban artist who was recommended to use Spinnup by his manager, Aly, a Scout in the French team!

He released his first Spinnup track, Range Rover, in late 2017, followed by 10 décembre, which was released, well, on the 10th of December. Nelick’s style of rap can be decided as very laid back, with soft melodies and chilled out beats that his voice flows lazily overtop of.

Not wasting any time, Nelick has already dropped his major label debut with his EP KiwiBunnyTape, released on Caroline on Friday January 19. With his February 1st release party already at capacity, we know Nelick is definitely an artist to keep an eye on!

Nelick EP cover

 

WHO IS NELICK?

Old school versus new school, the opposition is as old as rap itself.

Mixing the boom-bap of the nineties against modern flows and instruments – there is a generation of rappers who find their niche by expertly combining the two, a generation that Nelick flies the flag for.

Having been very active in 2017, with four projects to his name, Nelick saw his star climb online last year. Without much media coverage, this self-produced artist grew his following on social media via not only his music by distinct visual style. The video for “OCEAN 2077” with its off-the-wall imagery and distinct 90’s treatment has earned over 1.7 million views on YouTube!

Nelick

What impresses us about Nelick’s rap is not just his rhyming talent, but also the relaxed vibe he conveys, like the feeling of summer, injecting a sense of love and fun into his tracks,  complete his characteristic cheeky nature. From the first taste of his mixtape, the KiwiBunnyTape, you can feel it has a sweetness to it, not unlike the feeing you get from the video of his 2017 single ‘Range Rover’.

Our new signing does not always work alone, accompanied by talented young artists like himself, Nelick’s other project is PALASS, a duo formed with Lord Esperanza. Together they released the Acid Rose Garden mixtape in 2016.

Having quickly seduced hip hop fans all over France, we are sure it won’t take long for his music to cross country borders and reach even more people around the world. I know that we’ll be waiting eagerly to see what he does next!

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