Discover the team behind Artlist Original

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The “Original Series”

Welcome to the inaugural post of our “Original Series”, where we delve into the world of Artlist Original and the creative minds behind it. This first piece features a conversation with Ori Winokur, the Head of Music and Sound at Artlist. Read on to learn about his expertise and industry experience, the unique aspects of Artlist Original, and see how the catalog can help you power your team’s creativity.

Ori Winokur interview

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at Artlist?

 

I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. I was already pointing at records long before I could speak, and I grew up listening to music for hours and hours. At age 12, I started playing the saxophone and studying jazz. After that, I shifted to guitar and rock music and eventually became a bass player.

I studied music at the Jerusalem Art High School and graduated with honors. But that was just the beginning. I’ve had a pretty crazy ride in the music business, including the chance to experience and work in many different parts of the industry.

I’ve been a composer, writer, and performer, even getting a taste of rockstar life touring with my band Coolooloosh. I was a sound engineer for many years, a manager, a road manager, a studio owner, and more. Eventually, though, my main focus became producing records. I’ve established myself as one of Israel’s leading indie producers and have worked with the likes of Asaf Avidan, Lola Marsh, Geva Alon, and many more. Some of the records I’ve produced have become the most successful Israeli records on the global market, receiving platinum status and ranking #1 on charts in Europe.

I joined Artlist in 2017, when it was just beginning, to help establish what later became Artlist Original. My job was to build the infrastructure we needed to create original music for the catalog. We started small with a group of local producers and then scaled the infrastructure over the next 2 years to where it is today. I’m proud to say that today, Artlist Original is one of the biggest music production ventures in the world. We produce almost 2000 songs per year with a roaster of hundreds of artists worldwide.

In 2020, I was promoted to Head of Music at Artlist, and now I’m in charge of everything and anything that has to do with music in the company, which is a huge honor.

Q: What is Artlist Original?

Artlist Original is an arm of Artlist’s production house, where we conceptualize, record, produce, and publish the best quality original music for content creators worldwide.

When I joined Artlist, I was fascinated to discover the (then) emerging world of UGC creators, and I was also amazed by the variety and diversity of this emerging market.

The goal of Artlist Original has always been to create the perfect songs for every need and to be the soundtrack for what video creators are creating today. Nowadays, creators aren’t just looking for classical cinematic or background music — it’s all about real music being used in real content, and anything goes. It’s a really exciting era to be a part of and a real game-changer for creators, and Artlist is in the right place at the right time.

When we produce a song for Artlist Original, we use a tremendous amount of data and industry insights that we constantly source from our users and elsewhere. This means we can tailor each track to perfectly fit the catalog and needs of creators. As I like to say — we are producing music for video without seeing the video.

Since our Original catalog is exclusive to Artlist, only our users benefit from this top-notch content that can’t be found anywhere else.

Explore our collection of Artlist Original music from every genre.


Q: You mentioned exclusivity, but is there anything else that sets Artlist Original music apart from the competition?

 

Firstly, everything we produce is backed by a combination of data experience and professional intuition. We love music and experimenting, but it’s really important for our users that we publish the music they need for their content. Our devoted content team at Artlist Original has their finger on the pulse and is constantly analyzing data and forecasting trends to deeply understand and deliver the assets that content creators are looking for.

Thanks to this data-driven approach, combined with our incredible team of talented professionals from A&R to the content and studio teams, we’re able to create the best music for our users.

Soundtrack music used to be considered second-class, but I think Artlist Original is redefining this space. We also operate as a label service for every release, just like any other commercial release. I always say — It’s not stock music. It’s real music, period.

Power your business’ creativity with Artlist Enterprise

Q: And what about the artists? What’s in it for them?

Artlist is a company founded by creatives designed to empower people to create. It’s unique as our users are creatives and our suppliers are creatives too. In other words, it’s content created by creators for creators. So, supporting our artist community is as important to us as serving our users.

We invest in every song from the bottom up. We have a dedicated team of in-house producers and production leads who work closely with the artists on every song. Our audio team makes sure everything sounds top-notch. We also take care of all the label services like cover art design, digital distribution, and copyright administration so our artists can focus solely on their art. We see it as a mission to help creatives make a living from their art.

Every musician working for Artlist receives compensation for their work and, in addition, a share of future revenue. This makes our business model one of the most artist-friendly models you’ll find in the industry.

Q: How do you choose the artists?


We have a few methods, but in general, we’re always scouting for artists with the right sound, look, and feel for Artlist. Our A&R team sifts through hundreds of applications submitted on the platform every week, and we do a lot of active scouting as well. I can’t reveal all of our secrets, but I can assure you we have our ways of sourcing the best talent in the industry.

Q: What does the recording process look like?


Each song is different, according to what we’re trying to achieve. Some productions are totally remote, while some are created in our studio. We might even go to a specific site to capture unique instruments or sounds that we need.

No matter what the production is, we work hand in hand with our artists to achieve the best results. We also go a long way to balance allowing artists the creative freedom of expression that they need with our feedback to ensure everything is at its maximum potential.

Once the recording is complete, our audio team comes in to achieve the best possible mix and master and deliver a fantastic record to Artlist users.

Q: What do you think makes Artlist Original special?


We’re a modern record label, which means we see our artists as partners both in the creative and business aspects. This partnership, together with extensive data-driven insights and research, form the basis of everything we do. This isn’t commonplace in the industry, and I truly believe this unique, collaborative approach sets us apart.

Artlist Original acts as a bridge between indie musicians and filmmakers. Artlist users get real music made by talented and passionate musicians, resulting in a beautiful ecosystem where one feeds the other, and everybody wins.

But honestly, first and foremost, I think that the secret sauce is our incredible team members working in all aspects of the music department that make Artlist Original such a special home for creativity and professionalism.

Q: How does the payment model work for the artists?


We pay a fee directly to all the contributing artists to make sure they make a proper living for their time and effort. In addition to the set fee, we split all back-end royalties for streaming and publishing 50-50 between the company and the artists. This makes it a very attractive deal, a true win-win situation.

Q: Any tips for artists trying to break into the industry?


Release a lot of music! The modern industry is much faster-paced than the old-school industry.
So you can release singles early in your career and not necessarily aim for a full record. I also recommend adopting a 360 approach to marketing. Promote your music with a video, release it on social media, and consider the overall experience, not just the song. In the 1970s, artists imagined their music playing back on vinyl, and that determined their approach and sound. I think artists today should do the same and imagine this online/digital outlet, which is much more multidisciplinary, and produce their music accordingly.

On the business side – an artist should consider themselves as independent businesses and approach their career with this mindset. They should balance their focus between the art and business elements, which is just as important.

It’s not an easy task for most artists, but the ones who find the sweet spot and manage themselves probably have the ability to reach stardom.

Q: What do you think the next big trend in music is?


I love this question; there are lots of trends, and they move quickly. But one huge trend that will last is – globalization.

Streaming and social media allow artists to connect to fans no matter where they are from, and in many ways, this allows real democratization. For the first time in music history, we see non-English music hitting the top of global charts, surpassing the “classic” pop superstars.

A recent example is Peso Pluma — a Mexican artist who creates very traditional-sounding Mexican music that beat all major American artists for a few weeks on the charts.

We see artists like Rosalia bringing classic flamenco traditions into new cutting-edge pop. There is also a huge rise in the popularity of everything Latin. Spotify announced there were more streams of Latin songs than all English songs — this is a true game-changer.

It changes the audience’s perception and ability to absorb global sounds. I predict we’ll hear a lot of new combinations of cultures and sounds we never imagined merging, and music will achieve massive success further away from its home than ever before.

What are your top 3 Artlist Original tracks right now?


Read: How Eldar Kedem developed his smooth and catchy indie sound.

Wrapping up

Stay tuned for the next installment in our “Original Series”. We’ll be featuring interviews with Artlist Original musicians and uncovering more ways Artlist’s original and high-quality content can help power your brand. In the meantime, if you’re team would like to leverage unique data insights and high-quality original content for your next project or campaign — contact the team today.


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