Interviews · music business

Interview with Lasse de Flon (Ambassador of Music2Deal) – Denmark

Music2Deal (M2D): Hi Lasse, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Lasse de Flon: I’m an independent music publisher since 2001. Prior to I was among the chosen few people starting up Playground Music Scandinavia in Sweden, in 1999. Additionally, I was running the Swedish MNW Records Group in Oslo, Norway, and worked as a Label Manager for Mute Records UK. In 2002 I started my own label, in Copenhagen, Denmark. I’ve been working as a DJ since I was very young at 15, working in traditional Record Stores and playing instruments since I was a little boy, listening to The Stones, The Beatles on my fathers old AGA turntable in the early ’60s, and danced to the Disco and pierced my ear in the 70’s Punk eras. Played, recorded, mixed, produced music in studio and studied Music Business Foundation and Entrepreneurship at Berklee College Of Music, and more…

 

M2D: Have you licensed your music / signed your artists internationally? 

Lasse: There are several international artists in my catalog, currently from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Mali, Iceland, and France. All internationally signed except one, and yes they’ve been licensed.

 

M2D: Which country do you think is the best to license music to? 

Lasse: I tend to concentrate on the traditional markets in the US, UK, Scandinavia, EU, and Asia. I’m open to all markets. In 2009 I released my catalog in China through Wawawa and since 2005 my catalog is distributed by Believe Digital France.

 

M2D: If you were to partner with someone to license his music / sign up his artists for your region, what sort of music are you looking out for? Why?

Lasse: I’m looking for international artists and labels to partner with, in the styles of pop, rock, indie, avant-garde, reggae, dub, world, electronica, ambient, dance, jazz …

 

M2D: Notable projects you have completed?

Lasse: I’ve been involved in several gold and platinum album sales by The Prodigy, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave & The Bad seeds, Moby to name just a few. Read more about me @ linkedIn.com/subexile

 

M2D: What do you think is the single largest problem faced by the music industry today? How do you think it can be resolved?

Lasse: In 2005 I praised the new music streaming model with Spotify and all such. Today I’m not. I thought it would prolong and develop our business, instead, it removed our incomes. However, it’s a great promotional tool. Music distribution is quite different from those glorious days where gold and platinum album sales were a daily event. I’m intensively following every new step towards a sustainable business model and have been following the blockchain technology for quite some time. Virtual Reality and business bundles might not sound that exciting but unfortunately necessary but boring (in my view – I’m just an old hippie though) and a futuristic fictitious model, possibly.

 

M2D: Upcoming projects?

Lasse: I’m currently reissuing my label (Sublime Exile Recordings), after years of silence (not really, as it’s always been alive but, you know, inactive at sometimes) and simultaneously starting my own new music publishing arm Little Devil Island Music, and currently affiliate with a wide range of music business associates. I will also release my entire catalog on traditional formats like CD & Vinyl. Cassette and DVD might come too? – I am currently, but not only, concentrating on sync licensing and music publishing. My label currently offers an integrated quick buy/sell player(s) feature, including a one-stop quick license/sync/publish checkout along with a brand new independent record store offering not only digital download sales but CD & Vinyl productions too. – The label now also has it’s own merchandise, along with its own new music publishing arm and record label subsidiaries.

My labels upcoming releases are currently in negotiations. We are currently featured with our latest brief on syncrmusic.com and have received great new music from many great new artists. Still TBA!

 

M2D: Your plans for 2021?

Lasse: I have no other plans than to work hard on what i love to do. I currently work on some really cool new solutions but it’s way to early to brag about them. My companys new website www.subexile.dk features Demo Upload, Music Licensing Shop, Music Publishing Arm, Digital & Physical Records Store, Music Collection Listening Area, Merchandise, News Blog, Artist Backstage Area including Artists Services such as Merchandise, Booking (TBA), Promotion, Marketing, Synchronization, Publishing, Distribution, Analytics, Physical and digital sales, and distribution…and more.

 

M2D: A good word on Music2Deal.com

Lasse: I used to work for Mario @ Music2Deal, having the responsibility for the Scandinavian territory, in the early 2010s. I really like the idea of gathering great professional people to further the business and I think Music2Deal is a great window to reflect upon.

 

Links:

Lasse de Flon on Music2Deal

www.subexile.dk

 

music business · music industry · Music2Deal.com

Michel Zgarka (Ambassador of Music2Deal) is talking about Hitlab

Michel Zgarka, President – HITLAB

Within the next few weeks HITLAB will launch an international Digital Emerging Artist Competition (DEAC) in partnership with some of the leading companies of the music industry including streamers, telcos, labels. Multi-platforms and our major multi-talented shareholder AKON.

In spite of large investments in the industry, artificial Intelligence in music is still underdeveloped, but it does absolutely have the potential to transform A&R.  At least, that’s what HITLAB – a company quietly making in-roads in this field – is suggesting.

The Montreal-headquartered digital media and artificial intelligence company claims to be ‘revolutionizing the way entertainment content is discovered, produced and consumed’.

The company’s Music Digital Nuance Analysis (DNA) tool is a patented technology that the company claims is able to predict the potential success of new and unknown songs and recommend playlists to music fans.

“WE are A MAJOR TOOL FOR AI-DRIVEN A&R AND EMERGING TALENT DISCOVERY.” 

MICHEL ZGARKA, HITLAB

“Our patented AI powered tech uses “musical pattern extraction and state of the art signal processing to isolate music attributes and transform them into quantifiable mathematical equations”.

What this means is that the software is enabled to create unique signatures for each song (which consists of 83 parameters, according to studies HITLAB had done by universities) and then, by mining the data, DNA can find songs that hold similar signatures.

Hitlab’s recommendation’s system’s conclusions are based on actual sound attributes – as opposed to other systems, which use metadata.

How this works in practice, explains HITAB President Michel Zgarka is that the company’s algorithms can identify what a Top 100 song is in any given country, or “whatever type [of song] we feed the machine”.

“It will compare any song that is presented by a songwriter or a producer, and they’ll be able to get a rating quickly of that song against whatever information we have, or data available, to compare it with,” he explains.

“It will rate that song and the producer will be able to fine tune their song to get better ratings, and they’ll know where they stand as an opportunity.

“So this could be done very quickly and it provides an opportunity for producers, or publishers or so on, to quickly identify a series of songs that could be successful in one list or another.”

HITLAB has also developed a mobile application called Can-U-Sing (CUS), a vocal scoring app that allows users to sing well-known songs and see how well their version stacks up against the original.

The app uses patent pending vocal analysis technology, and according to the promo video (see below), evaluates musical elements like the ability to hold rhythm, melodic precision and vocal technique.

The promo video also states that “recordings can be submitted to contests where singers can win cool prizes and,” – now this is where it gets really interesting – “get noticed by major record labels“.

“The innovative technology used in Can-U-Sing makes it a fantastic audition tool for singing competitions, eliminating the need for costly physical auditions,” writes HITLAB on its website.

In terms of real life implementation of its tech, one case study HITLAB lists on its website is a partnership with the Boston Red Sox, which resulted in the ‘CanUSing Your Way to Fenway Park’ contest, which offered the winner the chance to sing the national anthem at the stadium.

Finalists and the winner were chosen by collecting recordings and filtering performances using HITLAB’s app.

In April last year, HITLAB Media, a subsidiary of HITLAB Inc., signed a long-term co-development and co-production deal with Paris-based production company, WeMake, which is a division of France’s Federation Entertainment.

The partnership will see WeMake and Hitlab jointly produce an ‘original format’ project with the working title ‘Man vs The machine’ – The ‘machine’ being HITLAB’s patented and Patent Pending technology CanUSing and DNA tech.

“We are extremely excited to be able to provide proprietary technologies that can revolutionize the way labels and artists interact with their fan base, as well as the discovery process of new talent.

“Furthermore, our technologies have the possibility to be integrated in different segments of the entertainment industry and we are looking forward to explore the TV market as well, as HITLAB develops international properties for both the theatrical and broadcast media.”

Looking to the future, Zgarka  states that HITLAB wants “to be a major tool for AI driven A&R,” and suggests that its software can help A&R professionals, rather than render them obsolete.

“We are a service provider, We don’t want to replace the human,” insists Zgarka.

“With our AI, instead of having to listen to 1,000 songs or more a year, we can [analyse] 100,000 in 1 hour, which will be [cut] down to maybe 100 – making sure I get the cream of the crop.”

Links:

Michael Zgarka on Music2Deal

https://www.hitlab.com/