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Interview: Sweet-souled London artist Niky Pasolini gives us the best possible Update

With tranquil exuberance and an ear-healing vocal output which is impossible to dislike, we had a chat with the angelic wonder who calls herself Niky Pasolini. She updates us about her brand new 9-track album, her appreciation for Holly Humberstone, and urges everyone to check out the legendary MOTH club in Hackney.

Thank you for speaking with us today Niky Pasolini. Please tell us where you are based and what are you most passionate about at the moment.

Niky: Hello! I’m based in London! And I’m pretty passionate about songwriting and The Thick of It at the moment.

We’ve just listened to your debut 9-track release called Update. Wow. Your voice is so genuine and tender, with deep lyrics that many can relate to. How did you get started in music and can you recall the first time you knew this was for you?

Niky: I’ve been playing piano and cello for ages – I was always one of those dweeby orchestra kids at school. Then randomly my GCSE music class and I went to a studio to record this song I wrote, with lots of flutes and strings, the whole works. The song turned out very cheesy but I had the best time, so I picked up the guitar and started writing more.

If you could perform live on the same stage with any musician in the world, who would it be and why?

Niky: Holly Humberstone!! If I could keep it together. I cried when I saw her at the Brixton O2.

Where do you recommend we go and find authentic live music in your hometown?

Niky: MOTH club in Hackney always hosts great artists. Also, you can find some very cool small classical concerts on Through the Noise.

Who did you grow up listening to and who are you inspired by at the moment?

Niky: I grew up listening to a lot of Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Italian songwriters like Bennato and Guccini. I’m going through a bit of a Paul Simon phase at the moment. Also, I think Wunderhorse’s new album is genius.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given to yourself?

Niky: Don’t deep it.

Last, what are your goals for the rest of 2023 and where can we find you performing live next?

Niky: I’m releasing some new singles after March! They’re more electric and poppy than this album, so that’s exciting. And I’ll be hopping around some open mics for the next few weeks. I’ll make sure to post about them all:)

Listen up to this genuine music on Spotify. See more adventures and news on her IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

2023 Music Trends for Independent Artists

2023 Music Trends

With 2022 almost in the rear-view mirror, A&R Factory has investigated the top 2023 music trends for independent artists and feigned optimism for the year ahead after a somewhat mercurial trip around the sun for everyone in the music industry.

It would be naïve to expect to stroll into a utopia given the year music has endured, especially with the recent YouGov poll showing that half of the British public feels priced out of the music industry. However, there are a few key trends to note and slithers of hope for independent artists.

The Top 2023 Music Trends for Independent Artists

  1. TikTok Will Be One of The Best Platforms for Music Promotion

The big three social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have had to make room for a fourth major league player in recent years. In September 2021, the platform broke the 1 billion user mark, and the number of active users will grow in 2023.

The platform, which is no longer solely for annoying Gen Z dances and other feats of filmed narcissism, is already unparalleled in its ability to offer user-generated content campaigns and make artists go viral.

Once the ball gets rolling on TikTok, the momentum around new phenomena can be hard to stop. To get started, use a distro company, such as Ditto, which can publish your music on TikTok. Once your music is on the platform, bolster your music marketing campaign by creating catchy videos. Share 15-second viral-worthy clips of you performing cover songs, deconstructing your tracks, giving behind-the-scenes glimpses, or collaborating with influencers.

TikTok now offers an exponential amount of potential to independent artists. Leave your grievances with the app behind you as you enter 2023.

  1. Publishing & Sync Deals Will Offer Greater Opportunities

While music publishing and sync deals may not replace playing live as the biggest revenue stream for every artist, there is ample financial opportunity within it, especially as it has become a more lucrative endeavour than selling physical copies of your singles, EPs, and albums.

Social media influencers, adverts, video games, television, YouTubers, and Netflix all need licensable music. If you want to quit your day job to focus on music full-time, syncing your music offers some of the best opportunities to do so.

While it is slightly sad that, in popular culture, music is becoming increasingly less of a standalone entertainment format and more of a complementary format to films, TV, ads, and games, it is worth taking note of and taking advantage of. For independent and unestablished artists, the best shot at sync success is by teaming up with a music publisher. Sync placements can also be obtained by placing your music in libraries or attempting to build those connections for yourself.

  1. Music Genres Will Become Even More Inconsequential

The shift towards genre-fluid music has been amassing traction in the last few years, and that will continue to be the case throughout 2023. Gone are the days when younger generations of music fans partook in tribalism defined by their favourite artists.

In the past decade, an increasing number of artists have been unafraid to wear their eclectic influences on their sleeves, which has paved the way towards music unconstrained by restrictive genre parameters.

While it may seem safer to release records that fit into pigeonholes, the advent of mood-orientated playlists on Spotify has made it easier for artists to market genre-fluid music. You can also read our guide on how to promote genre-fluid music here.

  1. Independent Music is Expected to Boom

With the soaring costs of tickets to bigger shows, more and more music fans are turning to grassroots shows to get their live music fix, and the live music arena isn’t the only area where independent artists are thriving.

In April 2022, The Independent Music Insider revealed that indie music celebrated its fourth consecutive year of growth, with UK indie labels taking 27% of the chunk out of the total revenue. One of the main drivers behind market growth for independent artists lies in the opportunities presented by social media.

In 2023, even more, independent artists will celebrate a wider reach via social media, cutting out the necessity of signing a record label deal that strips autonomy from artists and takes a massive chunk of the profit too.

  1. Streaming Platforms Will Become Even More Popular

If you were hoping that 2023 would bring in the end for Spotify and its other poorly paying counterparts, unfortunately, the opposite is expected to happen. In fact, in 2023, the number of people utilising streaming platforms will outnumber people who own physical copies of music.

This popularity shift will impact how record labels operate and how artists make their money. However, that doesn’t have to necessarily lead to financial ruin for artists. There are still plenty of avid vinyl collectors, and physical sales opportunities will never be completely obliterated for as long as you can get inventive with your merchandising.

  1. The Appetite for Socially Aware Artists Will Grow

Anyone with an iota of taste whirling about their consciousness lamented at LadBaby reaching number 1 in the Christmas charts in 2022 as he paraded under the poxy guise of a selfless do-gooder.

Thankfully, some artists know how to project their socially aware conscience into their music career without angering half of the population. The appetite for protestive music is expected to grow throughout 2023 as we contend with the mother of all cost-of-living crises and the perils of Brexit.

Whether you implant meaningful messages in your music, work with organisations to address social issues or partner with charities, it’s a great way to stay relevant and reach a like-minded fanbase in 2023.

To keep up to date with the best independent music throughout 2023, keep checking out our reviews of some of the hottest up-and-coming independent artists. If you have new independent music to promote, submit your demo for review, or use our Interview submission service to introduce your music to our millions of readers!

Article by Amelia Vandergast


McCullyCullen Interview: Dropping heat with Slippery Situations lurking

We had the chance to speak to McCullyCullen, and this was a special chat. Showing us the progression in the production department and demonstrating love for Minnesota, we find out what makes this vibrant artist tick.

Thanks so much for your time today, McCullyCullen. Where in the world do we find you?

McCullyCullen: Thank you for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it. I am based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota!

Slippery Situations is your new 10-track release. Please slide us into the vision behind the release and what the project means to you?

McCullyCullen: I was making all kinds of songs from 2015 to 2018 and a lot of the songs came naturally. In late 2020, when I started to really focus on this, I had all these great ideas for this album about the ups and downs of a relationship, but it was hard to actually make the songs this time around. It took a while, but I am glad with how the album turned out and hopefully some people can find happiness in hearing some of these songs when they are going through something similar.

When you close your eyes and imagine being back in middle school with your band, what does it feel like?

McCullyCullen: Ha, we weren’t very productive at all! We had written a handful of songs in about a year, but I think if we could have continued to work together, we could have made it bigger (at least in the area). Maybe one day we can get together to re-record our old songs.

Do you feel you’ve progressed as a creative since 2018’s Culinary Arts?

McCullyCullen: I definitely do. More so in the production department. A perfect example is my song “top hat”. That is available on both Culinary Arts and Slippery Situations. The song structure is the same but the vocal production is much better so the song is easier to listen to. Other than that, I have a lot of ideas all the time, so I think my next project will be more all over the place, similar to Culinary Arts.

Who or what inspires you most in the world?

McCullyCullen: I don’t have anything in particular that inspires me but sometimes just hearing other music or talking with people inspires me.

What are your personal goals for 2023 and beyond?

McCullyCullen: I am always working on something music wise and I have plans for another project to be released next summer. Going to be experimenting with more genres as well.

To end off, how would you change the music industry for the better if given the opportunity?

McCullyCullen: I want to say that the past decade has made it so easy to get your music on platforms to listen to, so that is a big, positive change already. I think that it’s time to let new artists shine though. The big acts touring and that you hear on the radio have been music’s biggest artists for 10+ years. Some of them, even 40+ years. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at some point, there is going to be a need for new artists to take their spots.

Listen up to this emerging artist on Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen