Starting out in the music business is a difficult task for anyone. Gifted musicians can struggle to be noticed amidst the zillions of bands peddling their material on myspace. But fear not talented types, the answer to your prayers is here in the form of Syllabus Music Platform, a new scheme designed to enable created and driven students to access all areas of the music industry. The Syllabus team is solely comprised of recent graduates and student interns, who understand the difficulties of life as a student musician and insist on the artist controlling 100% of their rights.
Gideon Chain, MD, is particularly sympathetic with the plight of student musicians. ‘The main point here is that artists should not have to give up a massive majority of their profits just so that the labels make loads of money.’ A noble sentiment, but will Syllabus be able to survive whilst only taking 15% of their artists’ profits? ‘I am not unrealistic and understand that we are a business but the most important thing for us right now is to provide the best deals we can for our artists.
Seems like a solid deal for the artists then. But it is not simply musicians whom Syllabus offers aid to, a point which Smith is keen to emphasise. ‘We run a number of projects including helping students who want to target areas such as A & R, design, events and management. This is what we call our Syllabus Network and the number one thing that drives the network is work ethic.’ Indeed, the effort which has gone into Syllabus is the most encouraging part of the project.
The first Syllabus compilation, ‘Sounds Like Syllabus Vol. 1’, is available for download on iTunes now. Whilst obviously not all the artists on the record are world-beaters, there are a few bright prospects. Let’s Tea Party’s infectious bounce-pop surely has the Bristol band destined for greater things, while London rapper Master Shortie has already earned himself a support slot for Hadouken! on their recent tour. However, the album highlight has to be Kerry Leatham’s ‘Run Dry’, a melancholy tale of a broken relationship which featured on the soundtrack to Adulthood.