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Freemasons Russell Small and James Wiltshire (a.k.a Freemasons) founded their recorded label in 2005 and have since then experienced worldwide success working with artists including Beyonce, Kylie Minogue and Kelly Rowland. Freemasons have an ever evolving concept of the music industry, embracing technological advances in light of decreasing revenues. It is this philosophy which is key to their current and future success. In terms of the internet, how have your distribution and revenue streams changed from the physical buying of CDs to the downloads on beatport and other portals?

Maybe the traditional album led deal structures will have to change as people just don’t tend to listen to music like that anymore - the emphasis is so much more on individual tracks - whether artists and companies can make ends meet like that is still to be seen. You do have to kinda look back and think - how come a technology company like Apple (iPod and iTunes) managed to rescue to industry when it should have been the labels?

Massively and this is only the beginning.. Whilst everyone else is getting caught up looking at the dropping figures we are quite fascinated by the potential for new revenue streams. Once the phone networks get themselves up to speed and music stores on smart phones become more and more sophisticated, I think we’ll see a completely new market open up. Direct music downloads are in our opinion only the tip of the iceberg. It’s only a matter of time before albums get released as apps or as add-ons to apps and much, much more. The whole industry needs to get with the programme though - we cannot have a repeat of them sitting on their hands like they did at the beginning of the internet, if this is going to end up as a fair fight.

“It’s only a matter of time before albums get released as apps.” Do you think music is a form of art which is decreasing in value due to illegal internet downloads? Music has been the victim of its relative file size and hence has been the only art form to progressively devalue. It’s difficult to lay blame anywhere in particular as it’s only human nature to take something for free if it’s available, but now things are levelling out, it will be interesting to see how the industry survives. There will come a point where the major label model in small territories just becomes unworkable and I think we will see some sweeping changes in the coming years, but lets not forget that as I mentioned above new revenue streams are appearing all the time. 24

The Kaje

Which artists past and present do you draw inspiration from? Purely from a rhythm section point of view (not sonically) we always site Nile Rogers and the Chic band as the grooves from that engine were incredible for the time (lets not forget Nile produced Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” Album). And we both have a huge love of vintage soul and disco as well as the 80’s electronic music we grew up on. Modern producers more than artists inspire us but often the lines are blurred - so many to

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The Kaje (September Issue)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 5 takes a look at: Stornoway,...

The Kaje (September Issue)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 5 takes a look at: Stornoway,...

Profile for the_kaje
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