“What do I say to people who call us a sell out? What have I sold out? I’m pushing drum & bass, nothing has been compromised whatsoever, we’re just enhancing its global reach. Everyone who knows me knows what the music means to me. It’s been my passion for life, it always will be.” – Andy C
“This gives us an opportunity to push it further than ever before. It could be the most underground tear-your-face-off tune or it could be a more song based track geared towards radio; this is about creating opportunities for the whole genre.” – Scott Bourne
Wednesday February 3 2016 2pm: RAM and BMG announce a partnership with strategic investment.
Wednesday February 3 2016 2.05pm: The D&B rumour mill kicks into action. Standard.
Ram are closing!!
Mainstream exposure will kill drum & bass!!
The usual observations of thoroughbred fans who, totally understandably, love drum & bass and don’t want to see it compromised, diluted or ultimately cheesed up beyond its original roots. We too wanted more details. Andy and his right hand man Scott were happy to provide them.
“We’ve been approached over the years to do different deals,” explains Scott. “We did a deal with Virgin a few years ago and successfully released records from several artists without compromise. With this new partnership it’s about all of our artists. It’s not about one particular artist blowing up and BMG jumping on that. It’s about the whole roster and the whole of drum & bass, a genre we’ve been working on 24/7 for almost 25 years.”
This is what distinguishes Ram’s partnership with BMG to previous commercial deals any drum & bass independent has had with a major (technically BMG isn’t a major label now it’s no longer partnered with Sony): Ram are still independent and still have the final say on all decisions, BMG won’t drop Ram or shelve its artists when the commercial interest in D&B is no longer as strong as it currently is.
“This partnership isn’t relying on D&B being popular in the mainstream,” confirms Andy. “It is about the core of D&B and pushing that. We remain independent but we have access to their infrastructure and their resources to push the music further than we could on our own. BMG get the music, they understand how much impact the music has worldwide. We wouldn’t have gone into business with them if they didn’t.”
Both Andy and Scott state that the A&R buck still stops at them, that all of the artists signed to Ram are happy with this new development, they’re still constantly looking for new talent and their events will remain as regular and successful as they have been. Effectively, it’s business as usual.
What this does mean is that all their artists and their music can be promoted and opened up to more licencing and sync’ing opportunities across the world. To the die hard underground purest this may sound worrying but it’s not: money from sync’ing, licencing deals etc provides the artist more time and freedom to create what they want to create. They don’t feel they have to bash out a release every few weeks or play every single show every single weekend and spend 60 hours a week in the studio.
“It gives the artist a chance to be an artist,” says Scott. “Speak to any artist, any genre and they’ll tell you they want to make music and have it heard. Be it in a live capacity, on films, on TV, on adverts. This now means we’re giving our artists a bigger opportunity. The whole reason for a label is to help artists develop, manage the repertoire and get it out to as many people as possible. That’s the crux of being a label. Now we can do that on a larger scale.
“Ram isn’t being run out of my spare room or Andy’s spare room, it’s not a hobby, it’s a business and we’ve always had grand ambitions. You’ve only got to look at our history to see that’s happened. It’s not going to stop. All we want to do is create a unique legacy for Ram and for drum & bass.”
The proof of the pudding, of course, will be in the music which is still scheduled and ready to drop imminently… And heavily.
“This won’t affect the music or releases in any way at all. There’s no compromise,” states Andy. “The release schedule is still as frenetic as ever. We’ve got Delta Heavy’s album, Calyx & Teebee’s album, we’ve got Audio’s album. And that’s just the beginning.”
“There’s a lot of incredible stuff I’d like to tell you about but can’t quite yet,” agrees Scott. “Things that will reassure fans who worry about this development. Let’s just say watch this space…”