Features August 12, 2020

Top of the pops no problem for global indie AWAL after Aussie hits

Top of the pops no problem for global indie AWAL after Aussie hits

, ’s recording company, is re-writing what a 21st-century music business looks like: a modern music company with the ability to sign, develop and take artists to the top of the charts.

With offices in London, LA, New York, Sydney, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Miami and Toronto, its teams know hits can spark in any market and are ready to jump at any opportunity.

AWAL’s strategy around the power of independent artists, as well as its flexible definition of success and deal structures, has helped create a glowing roster of artists

Signees including Lauv, girl in red, Little Simz, , have retained complete independence and creative control, helping them keep the lion’s share of royalties

Paul Trueman, GM of Kobalt and AWAL, said the business takes a world view and remains agile and nimble in its approach.

“The musical landscape is now truly global, which is why we’ve built a structure to support artists in developing their careers around the world.  

“Nowadays, a hit can start breaking in any country and its key to be able to jump on this and build out into other markets.”

One example is Lauv, whom AWAL noticed had a fast-growing fan base in the Philippines.

“We quickly jumped on this, growing his audience in neighbouring countries before building strategies in markets around the world including Australia,” Trueman recalls.  

“Similarly, girl in red had significant momentum in her home market of Norway before building out into markets around the world.”


Paul Trueman

Adding to the punch is AWAL’s package offering of global release planning, playlisting, marketing, funding, creative support, radio promotion, synch and licensing.

Lauv, girl in red, Gerry and Little Simz now count Australia in their top three or four markets.

Ben Godding, marketing director for its ANZ operations, said more often than not AWAL is punching well above its weight and defying global market trends.

The global approach has also been effective for AWAL’s Australian roster, which apart from Angie McMahon and Spacey Jane, also includes Ainslie Wills, Felix Riebl, Set Mo, Essie Holt and Teischa.

AWAL’s Australian, UK and European teams began working with McMahon and her management even before the 2017 release of her debut single ‘Slow Mover’.

“Angie embodies all the attributes of a truly independent artist; extremely creative and totally authentic,” Godding explains.

“As such, AWAL has been the perfect partner for Angie to release her music. 

“Her connection to fans in Australia is clearly evident by way of all the notable charts and sales, and that’s now being replicated around the globe too. 

“We have provided Angie with the perfect environment to succeed on her own terms with passionate teams supporting her campaigns in the UK and Europe, as well as Australia.”


Ben Godding

The result is 40 million global streams, while in her home market the singles ‘Slow Mover’ and ‘Missing Me’ went Gold, and the Salt album debuted at #5 on the

In recent weeks, Spacey Jane debuted at #2 on the with Sunlight, leading to over 10 million streams.

“Spacey Jane is an absolute one-off band, who clearly have a rabid and dedicated fanbase,” Godding said. “Their fans came out in droves for the album release. 

“With attractive vinyl bundle offerings and a well-executed retail campaign, especially on their D2C store, their vinyl and streaming sales exceeded all expectations.  

“They’ve demonstrated time and time again that an artist can buck the trend with the right independent team behind them.”

Last month the act was featured as the cover artist on ’s flagship playlist, Front Left, weeks after the album release.  

Trueman adds: “We can’t wait to build plans for Spacey Jane on the back of their phenomenal chart success in Australia – their potential globally is huge!”

& The Bad Seeds’ is another Australian-derived global success story for AWAL, which also gave the seminal act its first Australian chart-topper with 2013’s Push The Sky Away.

“Our partnership with Nick started in 2012 and has seen his audience continue to grow in multiple markets around the world,” Trueman says with pride.

“It was the perfect way for AWAL to enter the Australian market,” Godding adds.

Having proven how effective and nimble the company can be, with a diverse roster, AWAL’s focus is to build up through its upcoming release schedule.

With pipeline releases from local acts , Blake Rose, Angie McMahon, Set Mo, Essie Holt, and more treats from Spacey Jane, Godding believes AWAL has “the most exciting roster” in the biz.

Godding also revealed there are new tracks from international artists girl in red, Alfie Templeman, Joesef, Gus Dapperton and Dayglow slated for release this year.

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