After making our US debut at SXSW this past March, we landed in NYC last Friday at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, taking over the iconic Brooklyn Brewery and hotspot Baby’s All Right for a full day — and night — of speakers, performances, and artist-community-building events.
To celebrate our first time ever at Northside, we created the AWAL Artist Lounge. Throughout the day, we hosted experts from Spotify, Apple Music, and more — and YouTube Music also shared their insights on how artists can grow and reach listeners. VÉRITÉ also spoke about reaching over 185 million streams and what it takes to be successful as an independent artist today.
AWAL Artists Nalani and Sarina stopped by to hang with the AWAL moonman.
During her talk, VÉRITÉ discussed why it’s important for her to keep control of her career and make sure she’s the one calling the shots. She also talked through her process of building her career, collaborating with a variety of artists, and developing meaningful relationships with fans.
"There’s a way. You might not know what that way is. But there’s always a path you can carve out for yourself." — VÉRITÉ
“i am a very antisocial, introverted person from birth who has slowly but surely become comfortable interacting with other humans” -myself. thanks to everyone who came & asked thoughtful questions yesterday at @NorthsideFest with @AWALdotcom & @billboard xx pic.twitter.com/pMrVk0n9rz— VÉRITÉ (@Verite) June 9, 2018
Our own CEO and Founder, Willard Ahdritz, also took the stage with Variety’s senior news editor, Jem Aswad, to discuss the evolving role and responsibility of managers, record labels and music publishers as we enter the revolution of the music industry. Jem referred to Willard and Kobalt as disruptors in the industry before asking more about emerging trends and future plans for the company. Willard then touched on the importance of embracing technology, data and transparency as we enter the digital future.
(L-R) Jem Aswad and Willard Ahdritz.
“It’s very clear – we invest in and leverage technology. That is the future of the music industry and what allows us to do the right thing and pay our clients significantly more. We invest and create better services to deliver to our clients and every year we are growing into a better company.” — Willard Ahdritz
YouTube Music's Director of Marketing, Dennis Seydel, and Product Manager, Elliott Breece, talked through how artists can make the most of the platform — from scoring video views to reaching new fans — and what YouTube Music means for the future of streaming.
YouTube Music's Dennis Seydel.
"Find new music. Find new artists. Love your music. That’s what YouTube Music is all about. It’s in our DNA." — Elliott Breece
Friday night, we invaded Baby’s All Right for AWAL’s NYC Summer Party. We kicked off the night with a special Kobalt pre-party.
Closing with a killer lineup of rising independent artists. R&B-meets-pop duo WESLEE kicked off the showcase, followed by singer/songwriter Matt Simons, songstress Janelle Kroll, the electrifying Otzeki, hip-hop/alternative star Dizzy Fae (who also took over our Instagram account for the evening), and a special DJ set from NYC’s own Penguin Prison.
Dizzy Fae's Instagram takeover of @AWAL.
Dizzy Fae performing at the AWAL NYC Summer Party.
Meanwhile, in the lounge area, we kept the party going with DJ sets from Ms. White + DJ Ocean Cat, Warner Case and Big Data.
Thanks to everyone who made our first year at Northside an amazing experience! We loved meeting so many artists and officially launching AWAL in NYC.
We’re looking forward to bringing more events like these to artists around the US this year. Stay up to date with where we’re going next by signing up to our newsletter.