Restored 23 June 2017, originally published 07 July 2015
On March 10, 2015 a new Twitter account sent out its first Tweet that said “Hello world. We are creating a huge project for netlabels and independent artists. Be part of us. Join us!”
That project involves a celebration on July 14, 2015 of annual Netlabel Day. Don’t feel badly if this is the first you are hearing of this event. In fact, it’s the first one ever but, as you will see, the man who developed the idea and organized it is emphatic we can already refer to it as an annual event.
According to the official website, the goal of Netlabel Day is simple – “Celebrating the mp3 and free culture and the independent netlabels and musicians all around the world.” I reached out to organizer Manuel Silva through email and he graciously answered some questions and provided additional detail about this event. At the time I contacted him, there were already over 60 labels participating and he was expecting that number to grow.
Tell me a little about yourself and your thoughts on the netlabel community?
My name is Manuel Silva, I’m from Chile and I manage M.I.S.T. Records. I created the label in 2012 and that was my first approach to the netlabel community…I think that collaboration between labels is the main key to break the wall that separates people from us, because netlabels distribute really awkward music in some cases (we distribute noise and ambient, which is really weird stuff for people who are used to listening to Justin Bieber or pop music in general)… [So] there is the commercial music…and in the complete opposite corner is our music, and I think if we work together as a team, we can break that distance and be part of the commercial side without a change the way we feel and create music (or without “selling our souls”).
All I’ve wanted to say with M.I.S.T. since the very beginning was “I’m here”, and I think that we can do that with collaborative initiatives like this one.
Who came up with the idea and who’s behind organizing Netlabel Day?
It’s probably kind of incredible to say that all this is being organized by one person, but it’s true. Some label managers are helping me too, contacting other labels or media that they know, but I’m the creator and manager of all this.
I’m a huge fan of Record Store Day, and I’ve always wanted to manage the Chilean franchise, but there’s other guys doing that already, so I created this. Sounds really foolish, but it’s actually true.
Is your goal to spread awareness about netlabels?
Yes, but it’s not the only goal. I want to improve the way in which other people manage all these things. Nicolás González, manager of Sólo Le Pido a Dior (Argentina), had the idea of create a Facebook group for networking between all the participating labels, and I think that was the best derivative initiative of all this.
Your first notices went out on social media in mid-March – is that when the effort began?
Yeah…April and May are right now the most mental months in my whole life. I’m also finishing at University, running my label, and working on an important tech blog every day, so it has been really, really mental.
What were your expectations going into this?
Probably 10 or 20 participating labels (maximum), no blogs or media talking or writing anything about this idea, and me saying “I don’t why I thought this crap was a good idea”. Clearly none of these happened, so thank you very much! hahaha
Has anything surprised you about the response so far?
I think – this is absolutely true- that the most surprising thing ever, is that we have an Icelandic netlabel. I still can’t believe that.
I didn’t expect anything when I created this, so the quick response of people, labels, blogs and even radio stations, is amazing. It has been really, really quick and quite effective too.
What are you expecting from the netlabels that join? Will they be sending you music to post, posting new music on their sites on July 14, or something else?
All I’ve asked so far is their support, mentioning this event on their social media. Starting June 1 we are going to be posting some artists and album titles of the music that we’re going to release on July 14, so the “hype” begins that day (I’m so excited about that!).
Do you expect this to become an annual event?
Once I said that if everything goes nice this year, I’ll repeat it next year. Everything goes really nice so far, so yeah, DEFINITELY (with capital letters… it deserves it).
Any live events planned for July 14, or is this intended to be completely an online effort?
Yeah, there are a couple of labels that will be doing some gigs. Everything will be posted on our Facebook page and Twitter…We are going to be publishing some really interesting stuff there. The same goes for the labels…Come on, don’t be shy and be part of this madness!
Be on the look-out for an update for the third annual Netlabel Day coming soon.