Japanese rock act Babymetal have enjoyed great success on UK shores. And, according to EarMusic and Absolute Label Services, it’s possible that they could pave the way for more Japanese acts into the UK market.
Speaking to Music Week, EarMusic MD Jonathan Green and Absolute Label Services founder Henry Semmence, discussed the rise of Babymetal and the unprecedented nature of their success.
“I think Babymetal is a tremendous accolade for EarMusic,” Green said. “Absolute have done a tremendous job of taking it into the wider world of Spotify, iTunes, HMV, Amazon, and the act are very young and very well managed with great, creative ideas.”
“What was interesting is that there were obviously several people trying to sign the band,” Semmence added. “We got the album to market so quickly and we got a plan together, and that only works because we are an independent business, both Absolute and EarMusic. We don’t have to follow the rules or restrictions that others have to adhere to.
“There is lots of consolidation is going on, lots of people are signed to majors - there are very few independents left. Absolute is independent and a boutique business and EarMusic is very specific about who they sign. When an act is signed to us they have a real shot at being successful. It doesn’t guarantee success, but they have a good chance.”
Commenting on whether or not similar success can be achieved by other Japanese acts in the UK, Green said: “I think we take it on an artist-by-artist basis. It can be done.”
“Yes, I agree,” Semmence added. “To take a brand new act out of Japan with no history or presence would be impossible. But if the act has a platform already then it is possible. It has been done, so it can happen again.”
You can read our interview with Green and Semmence in full here.