By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With emerging acts like indie dance duo Matt And Kim, pop superstar Slayyyter, RIAA Platinum-certified singer-songwriter Clairo and actor-turned-accidental-rapper binki as a part of their eclectic roster, The FADER Label has recently seen 75 percent growth across all streaming platforms, all attributed to a business strategy that directly involves the incorporation of their artists’ feedback and ideas.
Last month, the New York City-based independent label made a huge announcement that shook things up and emphasized a greater focus on artist development and creative support through new hires and promotions within the staff. Veteran manager, A&R and writer Matt Colwell was named Director of A&R, longtime FADER editor Salvatore Maiki was named Creative Content Manager, Yasmine Panah was named Senior Marketing Manager and Josh Hymowitz was named Project Manager.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with FADER Label General Manager Carson Oberg about what the success of 2021 has meant to the label and more.
Music Bugle – What does The FADER Label mean to you?
Carson Oberg – The FADER brand is synonymous with music, fashion, film and now, podcasts. The label is a tool for us to put out music that FADER loves to write about and support. They have been on the forefront of what is breaking in the industry for the past 25 years. To be able to say that I work at FADER is and will always be an honor, as it is highly respected throughout the music community and elsewhere.
Music Bugle – How would you describe the music scene in New York City right now?
Carson Oberg – The music scene in NYC is going through a renaissance right now. I am proud to say that only three of our active artists live in LA and the rest of them were signed when they were living in NYC or still currently living in NYC. I am not old enough to remember the scene in the 90’s, but I hope we are hitting an era where bands are proud to say they broke out of NYC.
Music Bugle – What do you attribute the success of 2021 to?
Carson Oberg – To our team and our artists, they have worked tirelessly in an ever-changing landscape that we have never faced before. It starts with our artists and we just amplify what they are doing, but Yasmine, Josh, Sal and Matt have been absolutely incredible putting in hours well beyond what they need to, to make sure that we dedicate time and attention to every single one of our acts. They have created unique marketing plans and strategies for each artist, like Slayyyter having her own ice cream flavor with Coolhaus, binki with Slade Whiskey, LDM having an exclusive custom bike with Tokyo Bike, Zachary Knowles having an exclusive Amazon Alexa activation to dance in your kitchen to. Couldn’t say better things about the group that we work with.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Carson Oberg – We have all been affected, whether it has been business or personal. It has been a trying couple years from a mental health perspective and I think we have taken this time to make sure that we all can stay healthy, first and foremost and putting that above all. It has been sad to see artists that survived on the road to lose that income and try to find other revenue streams. It has also allowed certain artists to break in more of a digital sense, which personally I don’t think is sustainable, so I’m really happy that tours are starting to go off again.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Carson Oberg – Kristiane, James Ivy, binki, Clairo, Slayyyter, Ella Jane, Chloe George, Charlie Burg, Zachary Knowles, Shallou, Lewis Del Mar and Jiubel.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Carson Oberg – I go to the ocean. It is my happy place. It keeps me sane. I am an avid surfer and it is the one place where I can’t be reached.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Carson Oberg – It’s not really a quote, but I would say – reminding myself why we all do this and that is that I hope the music we release impacts a person in a positive way.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about The FADER Label?
Carson Oberg – The label is actually older than people think. We have been around for over 10 years.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for by the end of 2021?
Carson Oberg – I hope that we continue to break our artists, that doesn’t mean a hit, but I hope I can say at the end of the year that every single artist we have won’t have to worry about financial struggles. I hope that we can continue to put an emphasis on artist development and bringing each artists creative vision to life.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Carson Oberg – I wish it wasn’t as overly competitive. We all are in the industry for a reason – we love music. It brings us a sense of joy, whether that is a physical feeling or whether it is a mental emotion. I feel like that is sometimes lost because of certain benchmarks and numbers. I want to be a part of great music, whether that song has 1 million streams or 1 billion streams. I want to work with artists that make a difference in someone’s life. I can proudly say that I feel like our roster has that.