Instrumental scores UK Christmas No.1 – and expands artist services offering

London-based Instrumental is best known for its AI-driven A&R scouting tools. But today it celebrated for a different reason: the firm’s fledgling artist services division, frtyfve, landed the competitive UK chart Christmas No.1 with YouTube star LadBaby.

The track is a comic cover of Starship’s, “We Built This City” and is raising money for food bank charity, The Trussell Trust.

Instrumental took the news of its success as an opportunity to announce its 2019 plans to expand its artist services arm behind the frtyfve brand, delivering label and publishing services to emerging talent identified through its scouting platform.

The UK chart news came with other early success for the frtyfve label with US-based artist, Sophie Rose today hitting 18 New Music Friday playlists globally with her track, “Best Friend”.

CEO Conrad Withey commented, “We started the frtyfve blog in January this year to write about and showcase some of the amazing talent we saw everyday through our scouting platform. As the blog grew in reach we began to be approached by DIY artists looking for help to develop their music careers. Turning frtyfve into a 360 artist services division made total sense.”

“Turning frtyfve into a 360 artist services division made total sense.”

Conrad Withey, Instrumental (pictureD)

Supporting Instrumental’s frtyfve is AWAL, Kobalt’s recording company, for digital sales, marketing and distribution services. Paul Hitchman, President of AWAL, said, “We are delighted to have had such a successful start to our partnership with frtyfve. It’s clear that there are no barriers to success for entrepreneurial labels like frtyfve who embrace the opportunities of the digital market.

“The combination of frtyfve’s scouting platform and artist development expertise with AWAL’s global team and music service platform is extremely powerful.”

frtyfve will be run by Emma Banks, who returned to Instrumental in the summer after a spell at Lego. She commented: “We’ve had an amazing reaction from all the talent we’ve spoken too. There seems to be a clear gap for artists between self-releasing through a platform like Tunecore and signing a full label deal. frtyfve’s flexible artist partnerships are the ideal next step for high potential, developing talent.”

Conrad Withey added, “MIDIA reported recently that the ‘artist direct’ sector of the global music market grew 35% to $643m this year. It’s a super important part of the new streaming-led music business. We are excited to offer solutions to ambitious talent in that category looking to take the next step up.”

Emma Banks added, “2019 will be a really exciting year for us. And what better way to kick that off than with a Christmas No.1. Congratulations to LadBaby and his family, their management at FreeFocus and of course the Trussell Trust who will get valuable funds to help stop UK hunger.”Music Business Worldwide

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