David Pichilingi has over 25 years experience in the international music business. Over his career he has worked both as an artist, and in A&R, marketing, and management. Throughout his career he has worked closely with many artists including New Order, Happy Mondays, The Farm, Sub Sub and with legendary record labels such as RCA, Factory and Produce.
In 2008 he set up Sound City, which is now the largest and most important metropolitan music festival & business conference in the UK. Sound City annually attracts a business audience of 3,500 delegates from all areas of the international music business and a music festival audience of 25,000 people. Sound City has been responsible for helping to launch the careers of many world renowned artists including Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeran, Bastille, Royal Blood, Jungle, Jake Bugg and many more.
Championing new musical talent is at our core, the very heartbeat of Sound City.
Since our inception we have always aimed to give a platform to what we would consider to be the best emerging artists from the UK and across the globe, and a great proportion of our audience travel from around the world to see the unsigned talent we’re showcasing. We believe it is this emerging talent that gives colour and depth to the wider festival experience, especially with festivals beginning to look a little homogeneous; if we take a look at the top tier acts for many festivals they look very similar, albeit presented with a slightly different backdrop.
Getting artists at the right time is absolutely key to the whole process. Every year Sound City welcomes an enviable global industry audience who descend on Liverpool with the aim of doing business and seeing great art and great music. The upshot of this is that those artists who play on one of our stages are exposed to a plethora of business opportunities that go way beyond the traditional routes of record labels and publishers. Prospects for talent at Sound City include sync opportunities on global tech platforms, international gig and festival bookings and brand partnerships.
With such opportunities at stake we have to ensure the acts we’re booking are ready for this kind of exposure, which is why we invest so much time and money into getting the right acts. Part of this process has been made easier and a lot more effective by the use of the Gigmit platform. Gigmit allows artists to easily opt into the system of applying to play at Sound City and upload all of the assets necessary to allow us to take the widest possible view as to whether we feel they are ready.
Although looking at key analytics, such as social media stats and gigs played to-date, is key, we also rely heavily on good old gut instinct. To this end we work with a nationwide and global network of tastemakers made up of promoters, festivals, industry associations, managers and media people who help us work through the mountain of applications To date we’ve seen numerous success stories emerge from connections made at Sound City and can boast an impressive list of artists we booked before they made it big including: Catfish and the Bottlemen, Metronomy, Paloma Faith, Django Django, Michael Kiwanuka, James Vincent McMorrow, Jake Bugg, Florence and the Machine, The Wombats, Alt-J, Bastille, AlunaGeorge, The Blackout, You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, Holy F**k, Ed Sheeran, Wretch 32, Alkaline Trio, Glasvegas, The XX, F**ked Up, Spank Rock, The Staves, The Wombats, White Denim, Ed Sheeran, La Roux, Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile, Dan Croll, SBTRKT, Wolf Alice, Royal Blood, Jungle, Stormzy, Fat White Family, Peace, and The 1975.
This year over 6,000 bands and artists have applied to play at the festival and our tastemakers are currently working to select 100 artists to play at the festival. This year’s team of tastemakers include Dave Monks from BBC Introducing, Jay Taylor from infamous gig venue The Ruby Lounge, Simon Poole from renowned music site Silent Radio, Tiffany Daniels from esteemed music blog Drunken Werewolf and 10 other industry experts from various UK fields, plus international export agencies and music sites and blogs from over 30 countries, from Austria to Taiwan, so we’re really excited to see the talent they select to showcase this year.
The final list of unsigned artists to play at this year’s festival will be announced at the end of March.