It's time for another tastemakers highlight!
This time we talked with, music producer, label owner & founder of Semantic Sounds Ettore Passafiume (aka TORREX) about independent record labels, music promotion and the future of the music market.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: How did you start your label and your media agency?
I founded Semantic Sounds in 2017.
Initially it was born exclusively as a promotion network but I always wanted it to become a great label and a point of reference for artists and music lovers from all over the world.
I worked in the music industry as a DJ and as a music producer, taking advantage of self-promotion strategies, a few years ago I decided to create my own music network to give myself and above all other emerging artists the possibility to exploit its channels to spread their music to a wider audience. In fact, from day one our networks' slogan was "Leave Your Mark".
2. Your services are very innovative and applicable to new-aged artists. Can you share with us what is your mindset behind it, and how do you perceive the constantly evolving role of the label?
We believe that today one of the fundamental aspects in the success of music is promotion. We are in a historical moment in which on the one hand, thanks to new technologies, it is much easier to create music than in the past, but on the other there is greater competition, therefore it is more difficult to emerge.
For this reason, over the years we have focused on promotion services, constantly improving them, expanding our network of contacts so we can fully meet the needs of the artists.
Now having created a network of partners from all over the world, we are able to offer new music promotion services on Soundcloud, Spotify, other social media channels, blogs, music sites and radio stations.
3. What kind of music do you listen to and where do you discover music?
We like to listen to all kinds of music, especially for our independent label we are looking for songs that make you dance, like dance, house, funky, hiphop or R&B, or radio genres like pop / soul and some new trends Latinas that convey great emotions.
We also give all external label artists the chance to promote their music through our network, except for classical or neo-melodic music.
We are constantly looking for new talents on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube or through Instagram and Facebook, in our team there are two employees who work as A&R to discover new emerging artists and high quality music that respects our standards.
4. Name 3 music platforms you can’t live without.
SoundCloud - Spotify - YouTube
5. The music industry is constantly changing. What do you think is the role of social media today in music exposure?
We believe that social media today is a powerful tool that every artist should learn to use to the fullest extent in order to elevate their business - artists must create their own community of true fans.
More so, what matters today is not only the number of followers, but the quality of the relationship with them. So one tip is definitely to focus on engagement.
6. Today, artists are discovering creative ways to earn money from their music. Tell us about one creative way you found out about recently.
Yes absolutely, today the business of an artist is no longer based solely on the sale of records and on the proceeds of live events, now there are so many other possible sources of revenue.
In fact, we too, being an independent label, look closely at the development of the record market, in fact we are looking for new creative ways to increase our revenues in order to finance our artistic projects and improve our services.
For some months now as new creative methods we have discovered the monetization of plays on SoundCloud and crowdfunding through some platforms like Patreon.
7. What is the trend you think will take over music in 2020?
In my opinion, in 2020 the record will still be dominated by Latin / Spanish / Reggaeton and trap music, but other genres such as indie-pop, soul, R&B and Techno will come forward, while EDM music will still remain niche .
8. Share with us a recent tune you discovered lately - How did you find it? And why did it catch your attention?
A tune that we have recently discovered was “Martin Garrix feat. Macklemore & Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy - Summer Days (Lost Frequencies Remix)" after hearing her during a DJ set of Lost Frequencies at Tomorrowland.
It caught our attention for the wonderful vocal and the particular drop rich in bass and a mixture of various genres.
9. Can you name 2 advantages and 2 challenges with running an independent label?
Certainly having our own independent label has some advantages, in fact it allows us to get in touch with those who work behind the scenes of the music industry as promoters, A&R, artistic directors, journalists and owners of other labels.
As a result this leads to personal growth and an increase in our network that can be used for possible collaborations and partnerships.
Finally, owning a label allows you to observe the music market and the activities of the artists in a more conscious way.
Obviously there are also some challenges we faced, it is not easy to start a label, find good artists and promote them, but these are some of the challenges we have been facing since the beginning which we try to overcome day by day.