Business

SoundCloud Inks First-Ever A&R Partnerships With T-Pain's Label, Linda Perry & More

SoundCloud
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The logo of the music streaming service SoundCloud is displayed on a smartphone on Jan. 16, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. 

For the first time, SoundCloud's Repost artist services division will provide customized support to select music companies and their artists through a slate of new A&R partnerships announced Tuesday (May 25).

Among those partners are T-Pain's record label Nappy Boy Entertainment, CAD Management, music platform and record label Underground Vampire Club (UVC) and songwriter-producer legend Linda Perry. Repost will not only work directly with each partner on tailor-made marketing and distribution plans to help their artists thrive on and off SoundCloud, but will also work with partners to identify and then co-develop new talent together.

"SoundCloud is where so many truly promising artists and tomorrow’s stars take their first career steps," said vice president and head of Repost Jeff Ponchick. "These new development partnerships bring together our unique capabilities to invest in artists careers early on -- partnering them with industry pros to turn artist inspirations into a reality and help build their business in meaningful and measurable ways."

Repost and Nappy Boy Entertainment will first support signee SprngBrk, an artist and producer who has collaborated with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign and Drake and is releasing the new track "Pride" today.

Repost will work alongside Perry -- who has written and produced hits for artists like P!nk, Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani -- on the British singer-songwriter Frances Lion, who is signed to Perry's record label, publishing, management and production firm We Are Hear.

"I’m always ready to jump on board when I see a company supporting the independence of an artist, and when I heard of the changes SoundCloud wanted to make to support emerging talent, I immediately said 'count me in,'" Perry said. "We will be focusing on the art and the artist, not just the numbers, and we will support the bigger picture, not just the soundbite."

Repost will work with CAD on a campaign for singer-songwriter Maria Lynn. Finally, Repost will work with UVC on a number of artists at the forefront of the "digicore" genre, which SoundCloud recently highlighted with a short film as part of its SCENES original docuseries.

"Whether they’re on the cusp of stardom, or at the forefront of new communities shaping the future of music, each of these artists are deeply engaged with their fan communities," Repost director of A&R Edgel Groves said. "We are honored and excited to support them in deepening these connections and grow their fanbase at such a pivotal time in their careers."

The push into A&R partnerships makes sense for SoundCloud, which has built a reputation as a platform where superstars -- from Chance the Rapper to Billie Eilish -- built their earliest followings. SoundCloud offers a suite of label-like services through Repost -- like marketing, promotion, playlist pitching and more -- the difference being that the platform focuses on empowering artists to remain independent.

Now headed up by CEO Michael Weissman following Kerry Trainor's departure in January, SoundCloud has made a string of announcements to further that mission over the past few months. That includes its groundbreaking user-centric payment system; an enhanced  iteration of its First on SoundCloud artist accelerator program; and an integration with Triller to showcase SoundCloud artists on the short-form video platform.