Dirty Hit boss Jamie Oborne on why indie music is more important than ever

Dirty Hit boss Jamie Oborne on why indie music is more important than ever

Dirty Hit founder Jamie Oborne has told Music Week that a more inclusive music business is at the top of his agenda.

Oborne, who runs Dirty Hit and All On Red Management, is part of this week’s Indie Takeover special issue, which comes ahead of tomorrow night’s AIM Awards 2020 livestream.

His team began lockdown putting the finishing touches to The 1975’s campaign for Notes On A Conditional Form, which hit No.1 back in May. Now, Dirty Hit is working towards Beabadoobee’s debut album, due in October, as well as a host of new signings including Leo Bhanji and Blackstarkids.

Read on for his thoughts on independent music in 2020.

How highly do you rate the independent music coming out of the UK right now, from Dirty Hit and beyond?

“The Indie sector is, and always has been incredibly important to UK music and culture. When you look at artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Dave and Adele, this is undeniable. As a sector we need to continue to support artists and give them the platform they need. At Dirty Hit this year, we have released a new album from Rina Sawayama, which was critically acclaimed and is an incredibly important piece of work exploring her cultural identity as a British Japanese artist. We have an amazing debut album coming from Beabadobee who is undeniably the breakout artist of 2020. We have also signed some fantastic new artists including Beaux, Leo Bhanji, Blackstarkids and Boyband who are all finding their own lane and releasing exciting music that will shape the future of both Dirty Hit and the independent sector. Facilitating these young creatives is so important.”

Bearing in mind the topics dominating the agenda at the moment, what values does the independent sector need to stand behind to move forward?

“The independent sector has always been at the forefront of supporting culturally important artists and effecting wider cultural change. It is imperative that this continues. This year, more than any other in recent history, we need the whole industry to work together to enforce change. An important step in addressing the lack of diversity is to look at removing the barriers to entry, and ensure that making the industry more inclusive is at forefront of all conversations. It is something we as a label are more conscious of than ever and we have been making changes to reflect this.”

We need the whole industry to work together to enforce change

Jamie Oborne

How is Dirty Hit coping in 2020 so far?

“The loss of live music over recent months and beyond is obviously a huge challenge, as well as the lack of traditional promo opportunities. We have always had a strong focus on digital platforms, so thankfully were able to adapt pretty quickly by working with each artist to find new and creative ways for them to create music and content under lockdown. That said, the lack of live has been a huge loss and is something that needs government support and funding more than ever, especially as more and more small venues face closure, which jeopardises what is a really important discovery tool for newer artists.”

Revisit our coverage of The 1975’s campaign here. Subscribers can read our cover interview with Matthew Healy here.

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