Radio plugger Russell Thomas launches new streaming-first label
Long-time radio plugging service KAOS, founded by industry veteran Russell Thomas, has launched its own record label Get Smart Music.
Its first signing is Gold Coast singer-songwriter, Dennis.
Get Smart Music operates as a joint venture with its signings, securing global digital distribution with MGM through its Sydney and Nashville offices.
“Streaming has become an important part of the mix,” Thomas says.
“Breaking artists is where I live and I intend to offer a more operational service.”
With access to streaming data, Get Smart Music and the artist were able to know that ‘Trap Door’ was on five playlists on its first day of release (Friday, May 17) – Spotify’s New Music Friday, New Pop Sounds and Indie Arrivals; and YouTube Music’s Pop Fresh and Sine Language.
“Overnight, the song got 12,000 streams,” he relays, setting up the single’s introduction to radio on Monday, May 20 where a number of content directors have already expressed positive responses about the strength of the song.
“It’s a good time to set up a label like this,” Thomas says.
“A lot of people have tried to offer something like this but sometimes the scale of cost can be too prohibitive for the artist
“We’re keeping it within reason and making sure that what is done is done economically and efficiently.
“You need partners for this – MGM who are very pro-active cover the DSPs (digital services provider) for us, I’m doing the radio and Dennis delivers the songs.”
When Thomas was national promotions manager at EMI Music Australia, the company became the first to break Blondie and The Motels worldwide, and out-of-the-box chart success with Australian Crawl and Moving Pictures.
Over 32 years, KAOS notched up a series of #1 crossovers with indie acts as the John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Gotye, Missy Higgins, Ben Lee, Joel Turner and Sheppard and chart success with clients as The Presets, Sneaky Sound System, Ladyhawke, Awolnation and iTCH.
Dennis aka Olivia Dennis has already been creating waves in the last three years mostly in Queensland.
Inspired by the likes of Owl Eyes, Robinson, and Broods, she has been working with producers Jarryd Shuker, MDWS and Blake Malone.
In 2016, she was one of four finalists in the singer-songwriter category of the Queensland Music Awards.
A year later, she was a QUBE effect finalist and awarded the Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Popular Music LA and Nashville Scholarship.
In 2018, her debut single Alive’ was spun on triple j and triple j Unearthed.
The indie electro-pop ‘Trap Door’ was co-written with London-based songwriter Luaté and produced and mixed Blake Malone (Amy Shark) on the Gold Coast.
To set up the track’s introduction to commercial radio, she did acoustic sessions at stations along the East Coast, and will hit the road with her trio.