'Music is essentially useless, as life is' - George
Santayana (1863 - 1952)
'Information, like money, is useless until you use it...' Ron Healy, IrishUnsigned
IrishUnsigned is a cross-genre, nationwide showcase and resource for all new or unsigned Irish acts, whatever they play, from Fenders to Fiddles. We don't deem it to be relevant whether these acts want to get signed or whether they intend to go about their music in a DIY or even anti-industry manner. IrishUnsigned will help to develop and promote an already vibrant Irish music scene at grass roots level whether it be for the benefit of the bands, the buying and gig-going public or the industry itself.
We believe that information is the key to accurate and effective decision-making at all levels - and exposure is the key to success. These are the two areas we try to focus on. IrishUnsigned will also encourage music fans to 'cross-over' to different genres and styles. All types and styles - from rock to reggae, classical to calypso, traditional to top-ten material will be featured on IU.
Some of the Acts featured in the Artists section of
IrishUnsigned have been afforded national media exposure of the highest
level (see Jade and David Hope as two examples) while others have
probably never been seen outside their own bedroom or garage. To us, it
is irrelevant how well known a band or act is: IrishUnsigned do not
consider it a prerequisite for a band to have the capability of
attracting hundreds of fans to gigs, or of selling hundreds of CD's. In
fact, since we are all about not making money an issue in our dealings
with bands, their 'fame' or otherwise is all-but pointless as far as IU
Our main purpose in creating IrishUnsigned.com was to provide an online one-stop resource for bands and artists to gather information about the music business so they can make educated decisions, as well as for media, or industry organisations to access new and upcoming bands, see/hear them and arrange showcase/contact gigs etc. We are a non-profit making organisation and our sole reason for existing is to ensure that there is a middle ground between the music makers and the money makers.
No, really, it is...
It has long been known that the Irish music industry,
especially at grass roots level, is almost without structure of any
meaningful kind. While it might appear to be a succesful commodity on
the International stage, Irish music is not in a healthy business
state. A snap-shot report by Fergus Geraghty of M3M Media showed that
as little as two per cent of the money made in Irish music sales to
Irish customers in Irish shops actually stayed in Ireland - and that
was in a week when an Irish-signed band (Aslan) were number
one in the Album charts. The general lack of awareness of the benefits
of irish-produced music to the Irish economy (and particularly to
upcoming generations of musicians) is often evidenced by reactions to
that point: most people, even those buried deep in the Industry, seem
to think Irish music makes millions if not billions for our Industry.
While the figures might be accurate, it is more accurate to say that
the money is made for other Economies.
IrishUnsigned believes that there is a real need to try to encourage a business or professional approach to the industry - at whatever level it is inhabited - to make it possible for the big names of the future to make the right decisions, without having to rely on getting out of the Country to make any money. Only by making things more professional can anyone hope to make things more transparent and workable, whether that be the Charts system, the Legal and Contractual wheeler-dealing that goes on or the blatant rip-off that many bands feel they have to face to 'just play music'.
IrishUnsigned uses a structured approach to the music industry to enable and promote the development of Irish acts and Artists through their empowerment by use of information and to enable key decision makers in the Irish and International music industry to have access to the best up-and-coming acts in an instant, and even to listen to and see their material via the Internet.
We aim to provide young and inexperienced Acts and Artists with information relevant to their development. IrishUnsigned is not affiliated to any industry organisation. We are totally independent and can therefore provide an objective viewpoint. We can also help to develop an Act's or Artist's presence in the market using all available techniques (including some we develop ourselves) and contacts. We don't, however, claim to be experts. There are enough people in the Industry and it's fringes who claim to be expert. It can often be a very expensive task for bands to find out differently - the hard way. Because IrishUnsigned is not set up as a business nor as a money-making entity, we don't have to worry about whether or not a band or act will want to 'work' with us. In the end, we won't make or lose any money either way!
On the subject of our name, as it seems to generate more
debate and argument than any of the projects we become involved in:
IrishUnsigned only works with bands and artists who can create original
music (not covers-only bands), and who have at least one member who is
Irish (including Northern Irish) and who are not currently signed to any major
record label (or their subsidiaries). This last requirement is by way
of avoiding legal problems and also of stretching our limited time and
resources to those who don't have indistry backing.
Like Art, in our estimation, there is no such thing as bad music. there is music we might not like; there is music we might think is unlikely to be commercially successful; there is music we might actively avoid for many reasons. However, since this music exists, and is created, it's creators have our utmost respect. That is why the IrishUnsigned compilation CD "Scene Unheard" consists of various different types of music, artist, performance - as future compilations will.
Finally, in case you are interested, Irish Unsigned is not financed in any way. What you see on the site is only the face of IU. There is a lot going on behind the scenes. If you, or any organisation you have a connection with, are interested in the continued development of Irish Music and would like to contribute towards financing our expenses in any way, big or small, then please email us to discuss partenerships for gigs, releases etc or to offer any other support you can. We'd also be happy to talk to organisations about the possibility of sponsored-releases of the "Scene Unheard" series of compilations so we can get it - and therefore the bands represented - more effective and widespread exposure.
IrishUnsigned - real music, with an Irish accent.
|Who we are:
With a devotion to the Irish music industry that is almost unhealthy in it's intensity and completeness along with a background in Business and IT studies, Dave is the 'front' man for Irish Unsigned due to his unique position as founder of Ireland's National Student Music Awards, the Phillip Lynnott Music Prize and of 'Broadcast Management and Events'. Dave's contacts within the business (including established artists and industry professionals, along with media personalities) give him the ability to provide valuable insider and background information on many aspects of the Industry. Having also an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the Irish music industry makes him ideally qualified to run the project side of Irish Unsigned. Email Dave
With a history of involvement on the fringes of the Music Industry (as advisor to bands, reporter, Pirate Radio presenter etc) and a background in design and layout (ten years DTP and producer of private-circulation football newsletter and editor/producer of the Student Newspaper in NCI, as well as having articles reproduced in various publications) the focus from this member of the IU team is on appearance, design, layout. This is also where all the technical aspects of the website, streaming music files, production etc are dealt with, not that this is to suggest he knows what he is doing. Email Ron
Ger was heavily involved with the co-ordination and planning of the latter stages of the IrishUnsigned CD compilation "Scene Unheard", and in the plaaning of the promotional efforts put into the release. Ger was co-opted into IrishUnsigned, whether he liked it or not, for his ability to plan, control and delegate without wondering what was in it for himself. Lead singer and writer with the band 'über', Ger has educated and informed himself about the inner workings of the music industry - such fascinating subjects as Copyright, Publishing, industry logistics and so on - and we hope that IrishUnsigned, and all the bands we work with, can benefit from his knowledge. Email Ger
Deirdre is a jack of all trades, and gets involved in whatever we need her to get done (no jokes at the back, please...). Whether it is driving up and down the country for all sorts of odd reasons or going to gigs on our behalf for review purposes, or just pretending to listen while we bounce weird ideas and world domination plans around the place, Deirdre is a girl who rarely says 'no'. In the nicest possible way, of course... Email Deirdre
Gary was involved in some of the behind-the-scenes work for the "Scene Unheard" compilation CD release, including helping out with the logistics and PR. He is also an integral part of the band 'Dextra'. Gary will be our in-house reviewer of demo material and also of gigs. If you want us to review a gig, in the Dublin area or surrounds, Gary will probably be the one we send. For some reason he finds it dificult to be overly-critical of anyone in print (maybe something to do with the libel laws) so he'd be the ideal choice anyway. Gary is also involved in the general administration of the website and email newslatters etc Email Gary
Edel Dooley first worked with IrishUnsigned in mid 2002 when we asked for assistance in organising and promoting a gig in Waterford. Putting more effort into the promotion than the venue itself did (no names), Edel proved to be a genuine fan of the music industry at grass roots level. Furthermore, as a writer with a regular column in the Waterford Star, Edel was able to use her profile for the beneift of bands, and did so regularly.
In 2003, with the birth of Beat 103FM in Waterford, Edel was a natural choice for the fledgeling station's Irish music show. Rather than shunt the program into the early hours, Beat FM gave it a decent profile and plenty of exposure by making it a 6pm-8pm Saturday and Sunday show. Edel's enthusiasm certainly made up for her inexperience and before long she had the cream of Ireland's talent eating out of her hand.
Edel has not lost any of her enthusiasm for the grass roots bands despite being wooed by bigger names and their 'representatives' for an exposure opportunity. Ever-willing to give new bands a chance, Edel will always be a useful part of the IrishUnsigned 'team'. Email Edel