A brand new spotlight concept has emerged for WARM. Please welcome “Hot Talks” - a series of customer spotlights, shining a light on our dear users. For this third instalment, we had the pleasure to connect with Kevin Murray, founder and CEO at Vamp & Fade PR. They're the leading PR and promotions company in Ireland, specialising in music, they serve music to blogs, radio, print and TV. They've worked with a number of leading record labels within Ireland and well-known artists. Great to have Kevin with us for this talk.
- Hi, lovely to have you with us. First of all, what’s your own background coming into the music industry?
Delighted to chat with you! Well I studied music when I left school in 1999 for 4 years. Unfortunately I dropped out before finishing my degree and for the next 15 years had a random mix of jobs, from bartender to English teacher to touring Europe as a drum tech! In 2016 I decided to return to college to finally get my degree in music and went to BIMM in Dublin. On graduating in 2017 I was very lucky and got a job in a PR company in Dublin. After a year working for them I decided to start my own PR company.
- What was it that first made you decide to start at V&F?
I started V&F because, after only one year of experience in PR I could see a lot of ways I could improve the results and get bands and artists more exposure. The main thing was to push outside of Ireland and promote on a global scale.
- What is your role at V&F?
I'm the founder and at the minute I have no employees so everything falls back to me and I work across all campaigns.
- How do you feel the music industry has changed since you joined V&F?
The obvious thing is Covid and its impact. Strangely, it actually didn't affect how busy I was. If anything I was more busy as artists couldn't tour they focused on releasing music. One thing I've noticed that took a hit and we still haven't fully recovered from is the live sessions and in studio interviews in radio. These used to be a great way for artists to get in and showcase their work as well as connect with industry. It's slowly coming back but it took a big hit.
- Has the pandemic in any way changed how you’re doing your job today?
Apart from the above, not really. I've always done most of my work from home even before the pandemic and if anything it's just made people realise online meetings are just as good as in person, which suits me :)
- What are some of the challenges and benefits you are facing as V/F these days?
Some of the challenges would be over saturation of music. It's challenging for musicians to stand out amidst the vast amount of music being released daily. Cutting through the digital noise to capture audience attention is a significant challenge. Also short attention spans: The fast-paced nature of online consumption has shortened attention spans. Capturing and maintaining audience interest within a brief timeframe is a constant struggle.
A couple of benefits are Digital Reach and Direct Fan Engagement. The digital landscape allows musicians to reach a global audience without the need for traditional media intermediaries. Social media, streaming platforms, and digital distribution have democratized music promotion. Also musicians can connect directly with their fans through social media, email newsletters, and live streaming. This direct engagement fosters a sense of community and loyalty.
- What’s your advice for anyone wanting to build their own career as an artist or label?
For artists I would say Find Your Unique Voice: Develop a unique and authentic artistic identity. What sets you apart from other artists? Your unique voice and perspective can be your greatest asset. Also build a strong online presence. Create a professional website and establish a presence on social media platforms. Consistently share your music, engage with your audience, and use these platforms to build a fanbase.
For labels I would say know your niche. Define your label's niche and the type of music you want to promote. Having a clear identity will help you attract both artists and fans.
- And lastly, what does the rest of 2023 look like for V&F?
At the moment I'm extremely busy with several albums being released over the next few weeks. A mix of well known artists that getting press for is relatively easy, and up and coming artists that need a bigger push. As we get into winter though things slow down as people wind down for Christmas.