Secrets to Success: Soulection Panel at Soho House West Hollywood
by Anna Cavazos
shesaid.so hosted a Q&A at Soho House West Hollywood on February 17th, 2016 moderated by KCRW’s Marion Hodges. The event examined the rise of underground record label Soulection, whose weekly radio show on Beats1 and carefully curated artist roster has spawned a vast and devoted fan base. Their model has been so successful; they’ve even turned down buyout offers from major labels. Representing Soulection was their Global Strategy Director, Jacqueline Schneider, who described the culmination of Soulection, the nurturing of their artists and the creation of what could be called a movement of fans and devotees. A recording of the discussion is available here:
As a record label owner and artist myself, I was curious to hear what the secret may be to actually making money as an underground entity in the music industry. What is the magic behind something so small blossoming into an international powerhouse seemingly overnight? The people! They can make or break a label’s success and when they leave a positive wake wherever they go, it isn’t hard to get artists, sponsors and media on board. Jacqueline described Soulection’s founder, Andre Power, as charismatic, kind and enthusiastic, while Jacqueline herself had a refreshing authenticity that beamed out to the audience. Throughout the evening it became clear that the Soulection crew has a friendship and bond that act as the glue for the whole operation.
So with the foundation of a tight knit crew, we must examine the product. Soulection seems to have found the formula to keeping top quality music content flowing constantly. One aspect mentioned was Soulection’s focus on nurturing artists, some from the ground up. Theirs is a rare approach where artists are treated like family, giving them room to create without being stifled or micro managed by the label. The result, as we can see, is a stellar catalogue of music made by a roster of loyal artists.
Another of the outstanding elements to Soulection’s success is the strong community that they’ve created with fans spanning the globe. By way of their live events series and free content, Soulection has managed to build something of a movement. Since their first event, attendance has grown to the point of lines forming around the block and social media numbers soaring. It’s no wonder they were approached to do a weekly show on the acclaimed Beats1 radio.
Together these elements seem be the perfect model for underground success according to Soulection. The question is can it be replicated without the uniqueness of all the humans involved? From its leaders, to its artists, to its audience, the human touch is the secret sauce.