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Get to know: Dan from Island Records

We caught up with our Guest Scout Dan from the legendary Island Records for a little chat to get to know him a bit better. Read below to find out more about him, and get an idea of what kind of artists he’s on the look out for, it could improve your chances!

Don’t forget you can push your music to Dan until December 19th 2016, as part of our Sound Advice month! 

SU: What was the first record you bought?
Dan: I think it was Beatles – Abbey Road, timeless classic.

SU: What would you say is your music guilty pleasure?
Dan: Ryan Paris – Dolce Vita

SU: What is your choice of listening right now?
Dan: Bon Iver – 22, A Million, I think it’s quite a lot of peoples right now

SU: What gets you excited about an artist?
Dan: I’d have to say, if they have an identity and if they push boundaries they will grab my attention easily – whether this is lyrically or with something like production.

SU: What are you working on at the moment?
Dan: At the moment I’m working on projects for JP Cooper, Sean Paul, Toothless & Sälen. All great and exciting artists for Island at the moment.

SU: In your career so far, what is your proudest achievement?
Dan: My move from press to A&R has to be the answer, everyone dreams of having a role within A&R so I’m glad to have been given the opportunity to make the move from PR to here.

SU: The best thing about working at Island is?
Dan: The culture of the label by far! Despite being a major it clearly has a brand of what their roster is and what it wants to have.  

SU: Which song kickstarts your day?
Dan: The whole Top Gun soundtrack

SU: If there was one artist you could have signed, who would it have been?
Dan: Arctic Monkeys, most definitely!

SU: What do you get up to on your day to day at Island?
Dan: Listening to a of music! A lot of my job involves getting our signed artists’ records ready; right from the recording up to the final mastering and delivery.

SU: In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle facing unsigned artists at the moment?
Dan: There’s so many acts coming through that are streaming well but converting streams into real fans, who sell records and tickets, seems like such an unknown territory which few get right.

SU: What do you think is the most common mistake that artists make?
Dan: Signing large deals. The expectation is huge and you’re expected to sell a huge number of records on your first album.

SU: How did you get your start in music?
Dan: I used to run a small label and club nights in Leicester, and then from that I started as a press intern at Island before moving to A&R. 

Stay tuned for more interviews with our A&R Guest Scouts Craig and Ben!

Log in and push your music to Dan!

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Spinnup reaches 100,000 artists!

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s really flown here at Spinnup!

It feels like just yesterday we launched from the Universal Music offices in Stockholm. Now three years later we are celebrating 100,000 artists on the platform!

In those three years we have also: 

• launched local Spinnup offices and Scout teams is 6 countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, UK, Germany and France

• had 29 artists discovered on Spinnup and signed to Universal Music (the 30th is being finalised as we speak!) from USA, UK, Sweden, Germany and Denmark. You can read about them here

• enlisted the help of close to 100 Spinnup Scouts, and

• had 4 of those Scouts hired as employees by Universal Music!

Needless to say we’re pretty proud of our team of staff and Scouts, but also of each and every artist who has believed in their dream by releasing their music to the world through Spinnup. Thanks for helping us reach this milestone, and here’s to the next hundred thousand!

Read more about Spinnup’s milestone on Music Week.

Spinnup HQ 

UK artists, check out Sound Advice for details on free releases and how to get heard by a real A&R!

New to Spinnup? Sign up here!

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Guest scouts newsletter

Introducing: Sound Advice

Spinnup UK are pleased to present Sound Advice, an initiative designed by artists, for artists.

A combination of free releases, expert advice and exclusive access to some of the UK’s leading industry figures, Sound Advice aims to give Spinnup artists the information and tools they need to prepare for the new year and give their careers a kick start.

All Spinnup UK users will have access to:

  • FREE single releases from BST 10am November 21 – BST 11.59pm December 31, 2016
  • THREE Universal Music A&R Guest Scouts from Island Records, Polydor Records and Virgin EMI Records
  • TWO live Q&A sessions with leading industry figures from Universal Music

Artists simply need to log in to their account, or sign up for free, create a release – whether that is an album, EP or free single, and then push their release to the appropriate Scouts. In addition to our regular group of extraordinary Spinnup Scouts, Sound Advice would like to welcome our three Guest Scouts:

  • Dan, A&R at Island Records
  • Craig, A&R at Polydor Records
  • Ben, A&R from Virgin EMI Records


Head to the Scouts page in the artist area to get to know the Scouts a bit better and find which one is the best for them to push to. Remember, you only receive three pushes per release, so use them wisely!

Sign up to Spinnup for free

Log in to your Spinnup account

Create a release

View the Scouts 

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Live stream your MusicNow!

With Spinnup you can release your tunes to the world via our top digital music retail and streaming partners. But what about when you want the world to see your beautiful faces, and witness your music as it’s being played? Thanks to our friends at MusicNow, you can!

We have seen MusicNow in action first hand, using several cameras to stream live to Facebook, as we did for the Raptags 2016 final held by Spinnup Germany and Chapter One. Check out the live stream here, which accumulated thousands of views, likes, shares and comments!

What is MusicNow?

MusicNow is a live video streaming service for musicians. You can live stream your concerts or rehearsals easily just by using your iPhone or iPad! What’s even better is that it’s completely free for fans and musicians.


Why should I sign up?

With MusicNow you can grow your audience by sharing your performance instantly across all social media platforms, and streaming in real time to Facebook Live. As soon as your performance is finished the app will upload the broadcast to your YouTube channel, all you need to do is connect your social accounts to your MusicNow profile – it’s as easy as connecting your socials on Spinnup – and away you go.

You can also involve your fans!

Fans already make videos or live streams during concerts, but MusicNow enables your fans to add their own streams to your official broadcast. This helps build deeper relationships with fans and the stream itself becomes more unique. And it’s really easy, just set-up a multi-camera concert feature and share the #hashtag with fans, which then feeds their video recording to your livestream.


But wait, there’s more…

What makes MusicNow really special, is your ability to broadcast from multiple cameras simultaneously. Usually that would require a complex set up and expensive equipment, right? With MusicNow all you need is more than one smartphone ready, so get a friend or two involved, and setup the multi-camera feature in the app. Your friends (or fans) can record your performance to the one stream by using a hashtag you create before the performance begins.

Once you start broadcasting, fans can then switch between views when watching from the MusicNow app.

Audio is better too!

MusicNow provides one of the best smartphone audio recording systems by allowing you to connect your smartphone to a mixer or external microphone. If you don’t have those, you can control sound level with in-app sound settings. All you need to do is check the waveform and adjust the gain of the microphone on the screen of your smartphone before and during the stream.


Can I make money from MusicNow?

Yes! MusicNow connects global payment service Stripe, so fans can pledge/tip musicians during the show if they want. They also plan to add a paid broadcast feature soon for those extra special performances. To start getting pledges all you need to do is – fill in your Stripe account in the app.

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Would you like some Sound Advice?

Last week we announced to our Spinnup UK artists that we had a few treats in store over the last few weeks of 2016 as part of our new Sound Advice initiative. We just couldn’t keep it all to ourselves and announced that we would be launching FREE single releases for the rest of the year, starting November 21, 2016.

Now we can reveal that in addition to releasing as many singles as you would like COMPLETELY FREE until the end of December, we have also recruited three fully-fledged Universal Music A&Rs to to join our team of UK Spinnup Scouts as Guest Scouts from November 21 – December 21!

That’s one full month to upload your music, push your releases, and receive feedback from people who have worked with the likes of Mabel, Fickle Friends and Maggie Rogers. This means you have an even higher chance than usual of being discovered and signed by Universal Music.

We will help you get to know our Guest Scouts a bit better over the coming days, but for now please help us welcome Dan from Island Records, Craig from Polydor and Ben from Virgin EMI!

Their Guest Scout profiles will be live from 10am on Monday November 21, which is when you will be able to start pushing your tracks to them. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Stay tuned for more details on our upcoming live Q&As over the next four weeks with industry folk at Universal Music UK for even more Sound Advice

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Spinnup UK Partners With Dizzyjam

At Spinnup, we’ve partnered with on-demand merch company Dizzyjam to cater for your merch needs…without the stock risk and with an exclusive bonus discount!

Dizzyjam makes it easy for anyone who makes or plays music to create and sell their merch, direct to their fans. All you need is a logo or design, and they do the rest. Just create your merch online using the product creator, and you can instantly start selling worldwide. They give you a free shop, embed codes, Facebook stores and a whole bunch more useful tools to help you sell merch to your fans.

The whole process is completely free, and will never cost a penny. You just decide how much you want to make for each product sold – whether that’s a t-shirt, hoodie, cap, bag or mug. And as a Spinnup user you get a bonus payment on each sale!


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Introducing New Guest Scout Annie!

We have special guest Scout Annie, senior A&R Manager at Island Records, who has joined us on Spinnup for a limited time, on the look out for hot new acts! Annie says:

“We at Island are not searching for any specific genre… We aren’t explicitly looking for either a band or a solo female artist or a duo, that’s not how we work.
We are always looking for a voice and we are looking for great songs. If you are playing live and beginning to gain fans that is fantastic too.”

Annie is currently working with artists such as Ben Howard, Hozier and Nina Nesbitt. You can make your FREE single release on Spinnup today and push your music to Annie, to get constructive feedback and there is the chance you could be what she’s looking for! Click here to find out more.

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Spinnup Team Up With Unsigned Music Awards

Here at Spinnup we’re excited to announce another fantastic partnership to benefit our artists!

We’ve joined up with the Unsigned Music Awards, the first ever major televised industry awards show, dedicated exclusively to unsigned and emerging artists.

The UMAs will be looking out for the best new talent in the UK, if you want to enter you could be in with the chance of winning an award, when the show airs in February 2016!

The awards are judged by more than 60 high profile industry professionals, including our very own Spinnup representatives! A great opportunity to get yourself in front of many influential people.

To enter is free and all you need to do is let the panel know a little bit about you and upload your music.

Head to for more info and to get involved.

Good luck!

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