Interview: Aaron Simpson Label Owner @ Simplify.

4 min read
Jul 14, 2023 4:23:45 PM

Aaron Simpson LabelRadar Play Records SimplifyAaron Simpson has left an indelible mark on the electronic music industry through his roles in various record labels, including Play Me, Simplify. (owner), Noiseporn, and more. With a passion for music and an unwavering commitment to artist development, Aaron has helped artists navigated the ever-changing landscape of the industry. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Aaron to discuss his journey, the challenges he has faced, and his invaluable insights into the world of record labels and artistry.

Interview with Aaron Simpson:

Question: What's the best piece of advice you've ever received in your career?

Aaron Simpson: The irony to this answer is that there's actually a major lack of help for anyone who chooses this path. There was never anyone around to help me, and finding help was even more difficult. The best advice I would give to someone starting this path is to work hard every day as if you are trying to hit a massive imaginary target that only you can see and to also be patient.

Question: Can you share a mentor or role model who has had a significant influence on your career?

Aaron Simpson: Jorge Brea, the owner of Symphonic Distribution, has had a massive impact on my life by providing many music opportunities.

Question: What are some red flags that may discourage you from signing an artist?

Aaron Simpson: The biggest red flag for me is a lack of compromise. For example, if an artist is demanding their own artwork that looks nothing like what we put out and does not pass our quality control check, we will cancel the release if a compromise cannot be met. Being flexible and understanding that your label also has a vision and branding is crucial.

Question: What are the common mistakes artists make when approaching record labels?

Aaron Simpson: The biggest mistake people make is sending music to a label that is not a good match. If you do your research and choose 5 to 10 target labels, combined with a short, heartfelt message, you will have a much better response than with a spam approach.

Question: What initially drew you to the music industry and working at a record label?

Aaron Simpson: It was a process. First, I was a local DJ during the vinyl days. Next, I worked at a vinyl record store. Finally, with the digital revolution, I began running labels in 2009.

Question: Can you share a memorable or defining moment in your career that had a significant impact on you?

Aaron Simpson: A few years back I attempted to start a Music Crypto Marketplace called the Simplify Market, and I was never able to get it off the ground. It was the most humbling thing I have ever experienced.

Question: How do you handle the pressure and demands of the music industry while maintaining your own well-being?

Aaron Simpson: I try to limit my label work to not spend too much time obsessing. The important stuff you can control should never take over your life, but obsession can.

Question: Which song or album best describes your life and why?

Aaron Simpson: "Heavy Metal" by Bring Me The Horizon. The song is about how you can create art, but people won't necessarily like it. They will either love or hate it, and the hate can be pretty strong.

Question: How important is an artist's image and branding in today's music industry?

Aaron Simpson: It's not very important unless you plan on being a lifetime touring musician. If you are content with being a bedroom producer on the side of having a real life, then simply releasing with labels that assist in the combined efforts of branding is all that's necessary. The reason I say this is because we now live in a time where there are more artists pushing their own branding than there is an audience to prop them up in the way they intended.

Question: How do you handle the delicate process of giving creative feedback to artists?

Aaron Simpson: I'm not delicate. I say it in a black and white manner, and if the artist cannot handle the criticism, then it might be time to recalibrate.

Question: How do you gauge an artist's potential for longevity in the music industry?

Aaron Simpson: Their ability to 1. work and 2. have a good attitude.

Question: What do you think is the biggest misconception artists have about the role of record labels today?

Aaron Simpson: The biggest misconception is that record labels are known for exploiting the industry. There are many grassroots labels within EDM who are giving 50% of the royalties to the artists and taking all of the risk as opposed to a very small share and low-risk business model used by the majors. Running a label in this way is a true labor of love as not all releases are guaranteed to make a profit.

Question: What artists have you signed from LabelRadar?

Aaron Simpson: Literally dozens of artists. LabelRadar has made it effortless to find new unreleased music.

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