Grammys? Check. Chart-toppers? Check. Next up: global
One of the high notes of 2013 for Daniel Glass was opening a Glassnote office in London. “The labels that I admired coming up—A&M, Chrysalis, EMI—I loved the fact that they had offices in London, New York and L.A.,” he says. “For us to now be at that point was a significant highlight for me.”
European expansion isn’t the only reason Glass is in a good mood. The former Universal Records president-turned-independent label owner is fresh off a year of accolades, including the Grammy Award for album of the year for Mumford & Sons’ Babel and a peer-approved trophy for indie label of the year, care of the American Assn. of Independent Music.
But it’s more than shiny hardware that makes Glass one of the industry’s most closely watched executives. Last year, three new Glassnote albums landed in the top 15 of the Billboard 200 (Phoenix’s "Bankrupt!," Childish Gambino’s "Because the Internet" and Chvrches’ "The Bones of What You Believe"), while the runaway sensation that was "Babel" galloped on, selling an additional 2.5 million copies in the year following its release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That kind of performance from a roster of fewer than 20 artists is a testament to Glass’ “long game” approach, in which a handful of promising acts are developed over years, not months.
“I learned as a parent with three kids that patience is a virtue, patience is a strength,” Glass says. “I’m critical of the cycle of media in some markets around the world, including the U.K. Songs there are masticated and spit out so quickly without being allowed to mature and be nurtured.”
In 2014 Glassnote looks to establish itself as an international force. With most of its artists signed for the world, the label won’t rest on its laurels in London.