Experts in the Industry #4 – Black Hole Recordings

Dropping in for the fourth edition of our Experts in the Industry series is Mark Meeuwissen, A&R Manager at veteran trance label and longtime FATdrop client Black Hole Recordings.

FATdrop: Tell us a little bit about your label or promotion company.
Mark Meeuwissen: Black Hole Recordings, founded in 1997, started with the release of Tiësto’s hailed Magik mix compilations. The instant success of the series made it possible to expand, and in 1998 Black Hole Recordings added two new labels to their imprint: In Trance We Trust and Songbird, which became the label of choice for Tiësto’s In Search of Sunrise series. By 2001 another label was added to the roster: Magik Muzik. Initially used for Tiësto’s singles, the sublabel expanded quickly and also released material from other artists. Throughout the early days of Black Hole Recordings many now-famous DJs and producers got their first break to release a DJ mix compilation. Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren, DJ Montana, Cor Fijneman, Johan Gielen and Ton TB were amongst them, and to this day a lot of new talent takes the first steps in the industry on Black Hole Recordings.

Besides being a label, there’s also Black Hole Distribution, which  is a full service distributor of musical content, of both physical and digital products, handling labels like Juicy Music, Flashover Recordings, Subculture, Pure Trance, Touchstone, [RIDE], Manufactured Music, Dubbed and many more.

These days we have a team of 9 people working full-time in the office.

FD: How and why did you get into music promotion?
MM: It simply was and still is part of my job as an A&R manager. We don’t have somebody just working on the promotion of our singles. For me it’s a great thing to hear the feedback at first so I know how the DJs are reacting to our releases, and to check if there’s a good momentum for a release.

FD: What social media platforms do you use / recommend, and what are your main rules for using them effectively?
MM: We use our own website, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Soundcloud and YouTube, each of them in a different way and a lot of times linked with each other.

Our website, Twitter and Facebook are our tools to get the ‘word out’, for example, news items, releases, industry news, artist info, contests, etc. We tend to create an interaction with our followers/fanbase and keep them well informed without spamming them with sales links.

Soundcloud and YouTube we use for teasers at first, and eventually upload full releases. A lot of people use these platforms daily just for their musical input. Both platforms gain some valid feedback and are popular streaming services.

FD: How do you use FATdrop as a successful way to promote your music?
MM: FATdrop has been an industry standard for many years now. The minimal and easy to use interface (also on the back-end) has always been prefered by the tastemaker labels and DJs. We want to make the life of these guys as easy a possible. A more complicated system simply does not work anymore since every DJ is being overwhelmed daily with promos. We want the right track or remix being delivered to the right DJ. This is why we work with different a-, b-, c-, licensing-, plugging, and review lists divided into different genres, allowing us to build a momentum towards the release.

FD: What do you think is the biggest secret to success in the industry?
MM: It starts with great music and with that great music you need to start building a dedicated fanbase. To be liked and successful in the industry itself it helps to be and stay humble, honest and treat everybody with respect.

FD: On that tip, any suggestions for new labels wanting to get their music out to all the major online stores?
MM: Yeah, best tip there is: Black Hole Distribution. We even help you out setting up a FATdrop account.

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