In a competitive world, especially the one like our music industry, it’s not easy being an artist. For a musician, the memory of her/his music in the hearts and minds of fans brings the most contentment. But today, when plethora of options are available to the music listeners, it’s easy to forget and move on.
Over the years, physical formats have played a huge role in the canonisation of music. Even today, the sale of vinyls contribute as a huge factor in determining an artist’s popularity. Therefore, we cannot deny the important role physical format plays in a musician’s professional profiling.
Physical formats like vinyl records have made sure that people don’t just save music but also go back to it to reminisce the moment that made them to listen to it in the first place.
Unfortunately, the production and promotion cost of physical format is so high that it’s almost impossible for emerging artists to afford it. Also, for some of them, even going through the whole process is quite daunting. The reason why such artists end up restricting themselves to digital platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud.
But there are some people who are trying to bring a change.
Meet Diggers Factory. The on-demand, community-led vinyl production site makes sure that every artist gets a chance to showcase her/his music. How?
Alexis Castiel in an interview with Fuzzable explains how Diggers Factory is trying to provide a space to artists big and small to showcase their work and monetize on it without the fear of losing money. Check out the interview below:
Please introduce yourself to our readers. Also, please tell us about the story behind Digger Factory’s origin?
Back in 2013, I was working for a festival in Lille and wanted to get the record of a young band called Groovanova – which had just won the festival’s bands contest.
However, the band had never released their music on vinyl, because it was too expensive to produce. They didn’t know who to contact regarding production and how many records to press, so they logically renounced to this uncertain idea.
That’s when I started thinking about a new alternative to the already existing distribution channels for vinyl records. Being a vinyl lover myself, I co-founded Diggers Factory as a Vinyl Network where pre-orders from the community cover the records production costs.
How do you perceive art? Would you like to share with us, some of your favourite musicians?
To me art is something that helps people find themselves progressively through their life. It represents a mindset corresponding to a time or place, which can quickly vary but changes you on a deeper level and for long. The accumulation of all your exposure to art is what builds your own sensibility and makes you feel in touch with your emotions.
2 of my favorite musicians/bands are Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. They’re incredible.
According to you, what are some of the biggest challenges faced by artists in the music industry today?
I think one of the most complicated thing for an artist right now is to release a record on physical format. For many years people said that vinyl was dead and CD didn’t sell anymore. It can be discouraging because of the cost and the complexity of the process. But now there are solutions like Diggers Factory that exist to help artists releasing music on physical format.
We offer an alternative to the classic distribution channel by directly engaging the fans to fund the production. If the fans want it, the artists can make it real with their community and us.
These days, YouTube and free music services like SoundCloud have become artists’ favorite platforms to upload their music and share it with people around the world. Why should artists choose vinyl concept? How does Digger Factory help artists achieve their goals?
Vinyl represents something more than a digital version of a track uploaded on some online platform. You probably already heard that a thousand times but it’s true. It’s a durable bond between an artist and a fan, which can be passed on to the next generation.
Digital is convenient but when we talk about art and music we don’t want convenience, we want feelings and entertainment. And vinyl gives you exactly that.
The idea behind Diggers Factory is to help artists and labels get in touch with their community to press vinyl records. We offer a turn-key solution which is customizable depending on the project, thanks to a solid and international network of professional partners – pressing plants, distributors, record stores, logisticians, mastering studios etc.
You simply have to gather enough pre-orders on our website to launch production, since we use the money from those pre-orders to cover the production costs. This way, artists can try to release their music on vinyl without any prior investment and no financial risk. If the minimum amount of pre-orders is not reached, everybody is refunded, just as simple as that.
From what we have understood, Diggers Factory’s business model does not merely aim to benefit artists but businesses and customers as well. Can you please elaborate a bit on Digger Factory’s marketing model?
Indeed, we created a network that benefits to everyone involved in the whole process of releasing – and selling – a vinyl record. Since we have many partners we offer to work with depending on the artists’ choice, we bring our projects to other businesses like mastering studios, pressing plants, distributors, record stores etc. We occasionally work with brands too, we helped Hermès for some of their events recently for example.
We see Digger Factory’s concept as an attempt to revive Vinyl Record era. When our world is adopting to nanotechnology and moving towards virtual music players, why do you think one should still buy a vinyl record? Is it an attempt to stay connected with the past or something more?
As I said before, for me vinyl is much more than just a piece of plastic to put music on. It has a soul. It goes beyond than simply music because it’s a continuation of what the artist decided to deliver artistically speaking. The layout, the artwork, the lyrics sheet… It all come together to create a real piece of art.
I like to take some time to actually listen to the records and not just hear the music. It feels like there is a stronger connection to the artist and I am sure many vinyl lovers feel the same way. Also, vinyl records are physical memories. You will remember where you bought them and what you were going through in your life at that particular time. In 10 years I don’t think you will remember the day you subscribed to Spotify.
Please tell us about your association with DJ Pierre. How does the collaboration for his album “Wild Pitch: The Story” come about?
We were talking about a collaboration with the German label Get Physical Music and they were releasing the digital version of DJ Pierre’s first album. It was a great opportunity to celebrate more than 20 years of Acid House with DJ Pierre’s fans, so Get Physical decided to do an exclusive vinyl release on Diggers Factory with our pre-order system! We received 500 pre-orders during the campaign, it was a real pleasure to see the fans’ positive reaction.
Would you like to share your plans for 2018 with us?
We will continue to launch new projects on our platform and support rising or already known artists. We have many interesting partnerships in mind and we’ll be heading to Austin TX for South by Southwest in mid-March! Keep following Diggers Factory and I am sure you will discover some great music, help us spread the love for vinyl!
If you want to know more about Diggers Factory, then, click on the link below:
What do you think the Castiel’s mission? Which artist’s music would you like to see on vinyl soon? Share your favourite artists via tweet @Fuzzable.