‘AI-enabled’ indie label Snafu Records adds ex-UMG Nordics CEO Per Sundin and songwriter/producer Savan Kotecha to list of sharholders

Hit-Boy, Big Sean and Fivio Foreign

Los-Angeles based “AI-enabled” indie label Snafu Records made headlines earlier this year when it launched with $2.9 million in seed funding and an impressive list of investors including Agnetha Fältskog (of ABBA), John Bonten (who launched Spotify in 60 countries), and TrueSight Ventures.

Snafu has now revealed that Per Sundin, the former CEO of UMG Nordics who signed Avicii and Tove Lo, and songwriter/producer Savan Kotecha (Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Britney Spears) have also joined the company’s group of shareholders. 

The company claims to be “the first full-service record label built on AI-music discovery” and is operated by “technologists, A&Rs, producers, and creatives” including those previously employed by Universal, Sony/ATV, BMG, and Capitol, and who worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, and David Guetta.

Snafu started 2020 by establishing its Los Angeles offices in February, with Adrian Karvinen hired as Director of North America.

Since then, Snafu has expanded in both Los Angeles and Stockholm with nine new full-time hires as well as artists such as Hit-Boy (pictured) and Kosine joining its roster.

Snafu says that its proprietary algorithms analyze all open platforms like Spotify, SoundCloud, Youtube, and TIKTOK scraping 150,000 unsigned tracks each week.

It is then able to identify “undervalued” independent artists within the first two to nine days of a release, compared to what Snafu says takes traditional labels take four six weeks on average.

Snafu looks for the earliest indicators of a hit starting on the first day of its release by going through streaming figures, blog posts, tweets, playlist additions and any other open platforms to identify indicators of popularity.

Then, using advanced machine learning models, SNAFU claims that it can predict which artists are likely to be popular, based on “sentiment analysis, song structure, decision trees, and neural networks”.

The most promising 15-20 artists are then analyzed by the label’s in-house team.

The indie label claims to have been able to attract “some of the hottest up-and-coming artists” through its proprietary technology this year.

For example, Salute from 2x Grammy-Award winning producer Hit-Boy (Kanye West, Beyonce, Nipsey Hussle), Big Sean, and Fivio Foreign was the official 2020 NBA Draft Song.

Meanwhile, 9x Grammy Award-nominated producer Kosine’s Everybody Vote was chosen as the Biden/Harris 2020 election campaign song.

The producer, who has worked with Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna, will also be releasing his debut EP with Snafu in 2021.

The label states that its “successful streak” using its AI technology “has not gone unnoticed”, with major labels and primetime TV shows entering into partnerships with Snafu to use the label’s in-house algorithms to identify emerging talent.

“We all got into this business because we believed technology can help democratize the music business and level the playing field for everyone.”

Ankit Desai, Snafu Records

Snafu Records’ Founder & CEO Ankit Desai, said: “We have really taken a step forward this year.

“Our technology will make Snafu a home for the world’s best up-and-coming as well as established artists.

“We all got into this business because we believed technology can help democratize the music business and level the playing field for everyone – and I’m proud to say that in 2020 we made giant strides towards just that”.Music Business Worldwide

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