What are the challenges faced by young European independent labels today? A special panel, organised as part of IMPALA’s 15th anniversary follow-up, will gather some of the continent’s most outstanding examples, June 7 in Cannes. Beforehand, you can meet them here! Next up is Serbia’s Lampshade Media, whose CEO Nikola Jovanovic answers our questionnaire.
midemblog: Why did you start a label?
Nikola Jovanovic: We started a label because we wanted to protect artists from being cheated all the time. We also wanted to make digital distribution a must, and wanted to educate artists. But mainly, our primary goal was to fight injustice. We wanted to make sure artists don’t sign unfair contracts, and know and understand their rights.
> What are your best albums?
I can’t say what are our best albums, I think we all in the company have different taste, I can say that the albums by S.A.R.S., Who See, Marčelo and Ničim izazvan are our top sellers.
The three tracks that best represent our label are here: Listen on Spotify
The tracks that best represent our label’s life are here: Listen on Spotify
> What tips do you have for other labels?
I would say to stay inspired by some positive examples from their colleagues. I think that Mute’s Daniel Miller, PIAS and Beggars Group are doing some amazing things, have incredible artists, and were able to do things their own way. Also it’s amazing what electronic labels like Kontor, Armada and so many others are doing. We are inspired by them and learn from them a lot. And so should you be! 🙂
> What is unique about your approach as a label?
When Lampshade Media was created in 2014, the objective of the label was to protect the artists and help them in the music business. Serbia and the Balkan region are very challenging markets. There are a number of issues we have to deal with every day which in some western countries would be normal, like artists getting paid by rights collecting societies. But that makes us more creative, in a way. Apart from being a record label, I think we are more into education as we have to educate people in music business. Many artists opt for the DIY approach in our region, as a lot of labels cheated artists so many times that they decided to be completely independent, without a label. I think this is where we fit perfectly, as we made our label for artists, and they always come first.
Country/countries of activity: Serbia and other Balkan countries
Year started: 2014
Music genre(s): All sorts of pop, rock, hip hop, pop, world music, dance…
Some artists: S.A.R.S., Ničim izazvan, Marčelo, Who See, Artan Lili, Zaa, Sevdah Baby,
Number of employees: 4
Social platforms and website:
Image © Sandra Vitorović/Lampshade Media act Artan Lili – 2017