How Atlantic's Nathan Dawe scored a hit during the Covid-19 lockdown

How Atlantic's Nathan Dawe scored a hit during the Covid-19 lockdown

Just because the world is on lockdown, it’s doesn’t mean labels can’t break new artists.

Amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, radio listening is booming and streaming is recovering. In the latest issue of Music Week, we report on how promotions teams are working remotely with radio on playlist and promotional opportunities. 

One of the acts to secure a breakthrough during this unprecedented time is Atlantic act Nathan Dawe, whose track Flowers (feat Jaykae) is heading for the Top 20 after reaching No.23 last week. The single – a reworking of Sweet Female Attitude’s 2000 hit – first cracked the Top 50 as the UK lockdown took hold last month.

“Even with this nightmare scenario, you really can still get a result if you get the right record out and the right promotion behind it,” said Damian Christian, director of promotions, Atlantic UK & SVP of promotional strategy, Warner Music UK.

Week-on-week sales for Flowers are up 20.3% in the latest Midweek, with the current Official Charts count at 117,529. The single made No.46 on airplay last week.

“He's an example of an act that we are actively plugging during this time, and this is a new act,” said Christian. “We still managed to speak to everybody and we’re getting results across Radio 1, Capital and Kiss.

“It just shows it can work when you’ve got the right record. Every time it gets a play, it jumps on iTunes and it’s also streaming really well. It’s a reactive record, it reacts to radio play.”

Dawe has had promotional and playlist support on Capital, Cool FM, Kiss and BBC Radio 1. Scott Mills, MistaJam and Rickie, Melvin & Charlie have given the tune their backing on air.

Christian said that radio plugging – a part of the industry that usually relies on human contact – can still work during the lockdown.

“We're doing video conference calls, we’re texting, we’re emailing,” he said. “You miss being in a room and having a meeting. But a video conference call is the next best thing to it. 

“All of our contacts in radio and TV have been very helpful. We've got a lot of fixed appointments scheduled and they’ve kept them on, so we've still got exactly the same time we're speaking to these guys.”

While Christian said the label was missing taking acts into radio and TV stations for promo, there are still remote opportunities. Anne-Marie performed on ITV’s This Morning, while Rita Ora guested on The One Show. 

Christian also anticipated a big uplift in the RAJARs for this quarter.

“The RAJAR figures are going to be enormous,” he said. “It’s booming in their world, which is good for us because more people are hearing our records.” 

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