This month TuneCore and our parent company Believe revealed that the ongoing “Signed By” program between the two companies has benefitted over 340 artists around the world. That means artists who release their music through TuneCore and are identified as rising stars are eligible to be signed by industry-leading digital music distribution and artist development company, Believe.
We’re thrilled to be giving artists in our community the opportunity to work directly with Believe to take the next steps in their music career. When artists start to gain traction, TuneCore is able to seamlessly upstream them to the appropriate support system, whether that’s Believe Label and Artist Solutions (L&AS), Artist Services, or its house of labels including Nuclear Blast, Naïve, All Points, Groove Attack, PIVTL Projects and more. We’re proud to be the only digital music company who has a system like this in place, where artists work within one transparent ecosystem and maintain ownership of their masters and creative control throughout.
In an effort to shine some light on artists who’ve already been “Signed By” Believe, we chatted with UK-based rapper Trillary Banks. She began using TuneCore to distribute her music in 2017 and started working with Believe last year. Banks saw her monthly listeners on Spotify double and streaming numbers and engagement spike on DSPs like Deezer and Apple Music. Like any artist, she had the goal of being heard and discovered outside of her home country.
“I’d say the most rewarding part of being a Believe artist is the international appeal I’ve been able to grow within the last year,” Banks says. “Especially in Europe where the Believe teams have a stronghold, they’ve been able to connect me with a wide range of radio and PR reps who’ve been very supportive.”
On top of being able to work with those reps and implement new budgets, Trillary Banks has had the opportunity to view how she engages with new fans in a different light. She’s come to understand the value of bringing listeners into her world.
“They want to see how you are as a person and almost be a “fly on the wall” to your creative process and how you live your day to day life. I now tend to ask questions and allow supporters to help me make certain decisions so they can feel a part of the process too,” she told us.
Going from totally DIY with TuneCore to a more structured, project-based team with Believe has overall been a positive experience for Banks. She maintains that she still enjoys the creative freedom associated with the TuneCore experience, however.
“This makes me feel really independent and nothing seems ‘forced’. Believe generally gets started on the distribution side of things when I give the green light, and this makes me feel happy and allows me to create freely.”
All of this speaks to the approach of TuneCore and Believe’s Signed By program: giving artists more resources and support at a time in their career in which they’re ready to scale. Artists have the benefit of learning the importance of self sufficiency and rolling their sleeves up, but then are able to work closely with someone when they need to.
Trillary expresses: “I feel the biggest difference in transitioning from TuneCore to Believe is the personal support network that’s now been made available to me. I can email a rep or A&R and have a response within the hour mostly; I can also have Zoom/phone conversations.”
When looking back at her early days as an artist, she’s reminded that patience is key, and it’s clear that with a program like Signed By, it can pay off heftily. Banks emphasizes the importance of letting yourself off the hook if your first attempt at a creative endeavor fails, reminding her younger-self, “sometimes it can happen for the best in the long run and even if it doesn’t…. you’ll certainly learn from it.”
And for those TuneCore Artists who might be reading our announcement or this article and getting excited about the potential of getting in on the Signed By program?
“Do take advantage of every promotional email you receive from the Believe team and even when it can seem generic, there will always be something in there that can add value to your project,” Trillay advises.
When it comes to her future, Banks echoes the sentiment of most artists: she can’t wait to perform for fans again. After a year without live music, who couldn’t relate with that? Trillary has been booked for the 2021 Wireless Festival (UK) in September. “I can’t wait for this to have a snowball effect of more shows and performances!”