Spotlight: WEATNU

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WEATNU is a niche do it yourself hobby artist self-help organization where everyone can participate. From what we saw on the web, it was a little bit confusing, but we had the chance to interview the founder Almark. With a few hundred listeners, they don’t have a lot of exposure, but are passionate about what they do.

What does WEATNU sound like?

En Snares is a solo artist who creates textured experimental pop tunes and has been an exclusive artist with Weatnu Records a few times.

Guido Braun a.k.a. WAFFENSUPERMARKT (or WSM) has been playing rock, jazz and avantgarde music for more than 30 years. Today, he is producing electronic music: techno, house, electro and some ambient & experimental tunes.

Jazzykat produces chillout. She’s an Electronic artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her music has many styles, from Chillout, downtempo, electronica, experimental, techno. She’s one of the most diverse artists with Weatnu Records.

You call yourself the underground and a revolutionary service for DIY electronic musicians. What’s so revolutionary with this new underground?
We are the New Underground features the unnoticed and unknown electronic / DIY artist. The Internet has become a new underground, full of future pioneers of a new sound, ignored by major labels and even indie labels. Greatly talented musicians, untouched, untainted.

It was a mission that I had during Aug 2014 and it had to be accomplished and done in a big way in order to create an impact with our Internet radio, label and magazine and movement which encompasses a community of online artists and fans.

The new Underground is all of us. We are the New Underground is you and I, the lovers of the hidden music, the avant-garde artists, IDM, glitch, EBM and much more. We cover the entire spectrum of electronic, with the exception of the modern mainstream sound. There is so much more in the underground indie scene and that I can assure you. Top 40 is greatly limited and overrated. We deal with experimental artists from all over the world, we’re global and beyond if it were possible.

It’s like the new punk, only electronic. It’s revolutionary due to it’s pay it forward promotion, and not just on twitter but it continues to spread throughout the net using our radio, label releases and magazine. It’s changing the way fans receive their artist and artists find their fans. They who are seeking something different will definitely find it here, and we are past 380 artists with over 60 on Weatnu Records. Oddly though, WEATNU is quite hidden until someone tells their friends about us.

You are promoting the artists for free.

Yes, free as in beer.. 😉 But it’s not I who promote only, it’s the community, WEATNU itself is an idea that is spreading far and wide. I however post their music, with two others CJ and Roofy, our promo team.
Then the rest lies on adding music to our radio WEATNU [OUR] Online underground radio and then other stations we have set up which are found on under [OUR] it’s a machine and it has running gears and parts that make up what we have become. Social media are a great success for us, especially using twitter/facebook to distribute the info and music from soundcloud, bandcamp etc.

How do you choose the artists?
The Interesting part about WEATNU is they come to us. In the beginning I put together a group of 70 artists to form a small collation, then it just kept growing.
The criteria are simple, first they should be electronic but we have started to embrace other genres such as Brit noise rock, shoegaze, etc. Granted the artist should at least have good quality recordings, but even that is debatable.
We’re embracing art, and art forms. Being an abstract/electronic musician myself for many years, I can say that art is important to a scene, the scene itself, being WEATNU should allow weird music as well as quality. We have only turned away about 1% and that’s just guessing. We’re very open, other than we don’t embrace hip-hop or other genres. Some of our artists create jazz, and we play that on the radio too, glitch jazz is one type from Sknail.

A person can simply submit by sending an e-mail through join or DM on twitter. Usually someone sends a greeting letter asking to join. Then I answer them.

How much income can an artist expect from your service?
That’s very much part of “What can an artist do for themselves?” If they promote and do it well, then all we do is post with them.
The power of our radio helps introduce new music to the collective. If an artist is not with our label then we simply use the radio to expose them.
There is no guarantee on if they get a sale or not. If they are not with the label, I do not know if they are making money. Even the label has 0 guarantees, but the power of WEATNU is what brings people to us, it’s a place of belonging, and the comments prove this.

How many plays does one promoted track get usually?
There is never a way to know. As we are not PR, or your typical PR, nor is WEATNU a company, but an organization. if a person posts their soundcloud link, as I’ve been told many times, their plays jump in the hundreds sometimes.
People benefit from WEATNU on SoundCloud most of the time.

What’s your benefit from this?
I formed WEATNU as a way to promote my music but also bringing everyone with me, that means the entire electronic / DIY scene, endless people. Something to change the scene, for the better.
There are so many other reasons, too many to speak of, but in the beginning it was about fairness to the indie artist, it was very hard to be heard, there was a lot of noise and no one was listening.
Now people have a place. Also WEATNU is starting to create a small income, very tiny I might add, but it’s building to something helpful for both the artist and myself. I have found connections and new clients as I personally do mixing and mastering and video work. WEATNU was aiming to create a music career for the artist and still is.

How does your business model work?
Right now I am working on a way for this to work. We have just passed our first year in Aug, so WEATNU is settling in, and I am getting much-needed rest. This means I can think clearly and come up with new ideas.
The label itself is where the money comes from as far as profit is concerned, and like all indie labels, it’s hard to make a buck most of the time. In 2016 we will start to sell CD’s, Tapes and hopefully as the final goal vinyl and using distribution companies to send our music worldwide. As a starting businessman/CEO I can say that it’s a building process, it’s a long road. I started with 0 dollars and the community sends in donations to keep things floating usually 130 to 230 dollar is donated per month (more is always needed). Our label is and could become a success, if so then the artist and the label both benefit. Like other labels, we take a cut but ours is 30% for all digital. I wanted to make sure the artist gets the full benefit. Saving donations and profit from song sales, and shirts – (if we ever sell any) I’m very honest, so as you can see its’ a struggling situation to create rev, but all businesses are.

You say that your monthly costs are around 200$. That’s not a fulltime job.
The costs that are spoken of are server fees, app fees, Internet radio and everything you see us do. The goal is actually a little less now since I stopped paying for bandcamp for labels (50 USD per month)
But the donations also do something else, provide a way to save up for merch, buying CD’s from the artist, as that will happen in 2016. WEATNU is my fulltime job, but it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a joy.

What are your goals with WEATNU?
To provide myself and others a career in music. To have my music known to a greater extent, to serve the community and bring people great music that they wouldn’t find on top 40 radio.
To give the artist a place to present their work in any form, other than distasteful, extreme profanity etc. To be part of a label that is both free to join and helps bring them exposure and hopefully sales.

How do you finance these 200$?
Every month contributors, artists, fans, send in donations through paypal. All a person has to do is go to ‘donate’ we have survived on only donations from day one, it’s quite extraordinary.
Sometimes I might open a indiegogo campaign, which I did in the past, and raised 400 dollars in a month.

What’s good music for you? What are you so passionate about?
I love electronic music, experimental, electronica, ambient, soundtrack, classical, jazz, guitar and even folk. There are so many to write out.
I’m passionate about artists, the people who bring to this world something pure, something that you can’t taint.

They’re poets and dreamers, just as I am these things.
I’m a musician and I understand what other musicians feel, their frustrations, their doubts about their music, why they can’t find someone to listen.

WEATNU is my passion, because it stands for fairness, it’s continuing to grow every moment and helping many people.
I am passionate about my music and how it makes me feel, releasing a new song is like letting go of something greatly personal, it’s hard but when you do, others might feel something they need.
I am passionate about life, love, fairness and the power to change something if you can. In this case, my passion was to change the broken music industry that wasn’t helping the indie artist.

How do you use Creative Commons licenses? Is this part of your concept?
Our label releases free and pay songs. Either we post © or simple pay what you like. Such as we are using as a streaming platform that can make rev, some albums are are free.
If the artist wishes they would use any such CC they want. The label and WEATNU doesn’t own any music or the rights to it. Nothing is owned by us. The artist owns those rights.

The artist can release to our distro-label or to their own sites, such as Lie Craze who you’ve interviewed She is with Weatnu Records and Fwonk.

Where she releases for free and pay. CC is a great way to release your music and we also stand by it and it’s principles. WEATNU itself is covered under CC, as an organization created for the artist, they own what WEATNU is, they are given the ability to tell the world about us, without question. Just as long as they don’t take it’s name from it’s founder, which is myself. Or use it for personal, selfish gain, or commercial gain without permission. Simple stuff really.

How do you profit from Creative Commons licenses?
We don’t, meaning WEATNU is free to join and will forever be as long as I’m here to help it.

Thank you very much for the interview and good luck with WEATNU. Hint: Check out Bandcamp.