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exclusive News May 31, 2022

Keelan Mak Signs With [PIAS] Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

Senior Journalist, B2B
Keelan Mak Signs With [PIAS] Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

Keelan Mak is the latest signing to [PIAS] Australia.

Announced today (May 31), the Naarm/Melbourne-based alternative-pop artist is the music company’s third local signing announcement for 2022, following singer-songwriter Taylah Carroll and shoegaze specialists Horror My Friend.

To celebrate the new deal, Mak drops the single “Forever Ago,” a confessional number that ruminates on new learnings in patience and the passage of time.

“Keelan is an incredible talent with an impressively crafted creative vision. He brings an important voice to the alt pop world and is sure to make waves both locally and abroad,” Mari Stuart, label group director at [PIAS] Australia, tells TMN.

The queer alternative-pop artist is now primed for the next phase in a career that has been bubbling away for four years.

Following a showcase performance at Bigsound, Mak dropped his debut EP Test The Shallows in 2019, a set that featured the standout track “Weigh You Down” and caught the attention of Purple Sneakers, Pilerats, Acid Stag and from tastemakers at triple j Good Nights, Home & Hosed, Unearthed and elsewhere.

Supports slots have followed with BENEE, Vera Blue, Alice Ivy and E^ST, and Keelan was onboard national tours with GRAACE, Thomston and Tora.

“Hearing even the early renditions of Keelan’s music excited both myself and the rest of the team, the tracks were heart-wrenching whilst full of life,” comments [PIAS] Australia A&R and marketing manager Sophie Brown in a statement.

“This venture poses a thrilling step into the alt-pop world and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Keelan, it’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait to continue this journey.”

Founded in March 2000 by Ashley Sellers and the late Justin Cosby as a cutting-edge label and a distributor of fine tunes from overseas, Inertia Music expanded as it matured by offering a suite of services to artists and labels across sales, marketing, publicity, touring and merchandise.

[PIAS] (or Play It Again Sam Group) was established in Belgium in 1983 by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot and grew into one of Europe’s leading independent music groups.

In a game-changing arrangement, [PIAS] made its move into Australia when it acquired Inertia Music, effective from April 1, 2017.

Inertia Music’s Label Group rebranded to [PIAS] Australia in 2021. Recent releases include new albums from Annie Hamilton, Lykke Li, Nilüfer Yanya, Röyksopp and Yumi Zouma, and the music company collected AIR Award nominations for artists including Jesswar and Milan Ring.

“It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since officially launching [PIAS] Australia as Inertia’s Label Group,” adds Stuart, who was recently promoted from her previous role as marketing director.

“Since then, we’ve built up an incredible team, delivered on some world-class campaigns for both local signings and [PIAS]’s international network of indie labels, and have been hard at work on signing some of the most exciting acts around.” 

The addition of Keelan to the label’s roster, alongside Horror My Friend and Taylah Carroll, is “such a fitting way to celebrate our first year and mark a new chapter for [PIAS] Australia.”

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