Our first year as a company has been massive. We've been around the world three times, taken part in the best DIY events in the UK and discovered hundreds of artists with the same goals as us. Here's our 2018, wrapped.
1. SXSW, Austin, Texas.
On a pleasantly warm Texas evening in March, the doors of the British Music Embassy opened for the first Kycker showcase at the biggest music industry event in the world. SXSW is a fantastic event, and for the last 21 years it has proven to be one of the biggest launchpads for artists and creative companies from all over the world. We took Hull punks LIFE over to the fine city of Austin and placed them front and centre as the headline act for our showcase. Not a bad start to our year, eh?
2. The Independent Festival Season.
Throughout 2018, we held stages at some of the best festivals for DIY artists in the UK. May saw us take post-grungers Hands Off Gretel to Sound City, (Liverpool’s finest music event in our most humble opinion) along with rock duo Rival Bones, synth poet Lucie Barât and more.
We also had some great artists play for us at Long Division (in Wakefield) and Live at Leeds (in, well, Leeds) and of course, Tramlines in our hometown of Sheffield. Tramlines saw our stage play host to Hot Soles, Sheffield’s finest Rock n’ Roll duo, along with indie funkers I Set The Sea On Fire and a full day’s worth of other awesome artists.
3. Spreading the Know-How.
The UK is home to plenty of conventions, seminars and networking events, and we were lucky enough to be invited to some of the best. 53 Degrees North in Hull, Yorkshire Music Forum Convention in Leeds, PRS Outreach in Sheffield and BBC Introducing Live at London’s Tobacco Dock just to name a few.
Our team spoke and chaired panels at these events, talking all about the DIY artist revolution and the benefits of controlling your own career. Events like this frequently play host to some of the biggest brains in the business, and we recommend any DIY artist to attend some of them to get yourself some of that sweet, sweet knowledge.
4. Zandari Festa, Seoul, South Korea.
In October, we took our friends Hot Soles over to South Korea to play Zandari Festa in Seoul, as part of the Sound City Delegation. With the recent emergence of Korean music into the international limelight, Seoul has become a hotspot for international artists. We’re convinced that Zandari Festa will become the SXSW of Asia.
Hot Soles played 3 shows (ones that we can talk about, anyway) and took the Korean crowds by storm. Joining Hot Soles were some other great artists, including Red Rum Club, False Advertising and Love Ssega.
5. Sheffield's New Music Industry.
In November, our Director Frank Wilkes was named vice chairman of the official Sheffield City Region music board by Dan Jarvis, Sheffield’s mayor. Next year we’ll be helping Sheffield City Council improve the city’s music industry and infrastructure, making it a better environment for everyone in the scene.
Other members of the board include the CEO of UK Music, senior members of the Tramlines Festival team, Members of Parliament for Sheffield and surrounding areas, and representatives from PRS For Music, Sensoria Festival and more. Starting in 2019, the Board will be taking steps to drastically improve the music industry across all sectors in Sheffield City Region.
6. Okay, there's more than 5.
You’d think November and December would be a time for winding down for Christmas, right? Not for us. Certified maniac and genius Martin Atkins paid a visit to the UK in November, and held a talk at our office to some of Sheffield’s most motivated DIY artists about the benefits of going it alone. If you want to make a career out of your music on your own terms, this man has the street smarts you need to make it happen.
That’s surely it, right? Nope. In December, the captain of our Sync team Barry Gilbey headed to India’s FutureTech conference in Mumbai and New Delhi to introduce Kycker to the independent music scene in India. You wouldn’t expect India to have the rich underground music scene that it has, and we think that a mutually beneficial relationship between the two underground scenes is in order. Watch this space.
7. Helped out.
By far the best thing we’ve done this year, and the main reason that we exist, is helping you out. All of you motivated, proactive artists working your arses off towards success is what makes us proud to be part of the DIY scene. For all artists going at it alone without label backing or major funding, booking your own shows, printing your own merch and just generally kicking ass, know this. We are here to help. Be it expanding your income streams, helping you put together a stellar release plan or create your own interesting brand, Kycker has got your back. To all the artists who released music with us this year, played one of our stages or just came in to have a chat, thank you, and keep at it. Lets make 2019 even better.