What are indie labels looking for in new artists? Our podcast guest this time has the answer, and it might surprise you.

Former member of Cocteau Twins and co-founder of indie label Bella Union, Simon Raymonde has seen the music industry from both sides, as artist and executive.

As the MD of Bella Union Records, Simon has had enormous success with acts such as Beach House, Fleet Foxes and John Grant. But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the industry veteran, as we learn in this episode.

In this interview, Simon and Musiio by SoundCloud’s Hazel Savage discuss:

  • The value of indie labels when anyone can self-release
  • The importance of in-person connection when signing an artist
  • How TikTok breathed new life into a Bella Union artist’s catalogue track
  • How he nearly had to shutter the label after some serious setbacks
  • Who is actually benefiting from the “resurgence of vinyl”
  • The great freedoms and challenges artists face today
  • What Simon looks for in a band as an A&R
  • The ins and outs of release strategies

Watch the full video on YouTube or listen on SoundCloud below


"If I saw a fantastic band who I thought was incredible and met them and didn't like them, I wouldn't sign them. I have to like them. They have to meet my team, and my team has to like them."

Useful links:

Bella Union Records: www.bellaunion.com/

Cocteau Twins: cocteautwins.com/

Fleet Foxes: @fleetfoxes

SPACE SONG by Beach House: Beachhouse – Space-song

Warren Ellis' book: www.faber.co.uk/product/978057136…nina-simones-gum/

Where you can get Simon's upcoming book later this year: www.bonnierbooks.co.uk/imprints/nine-eight-books/

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