How Higher Noise is increasing past music – to assist its artists, and recovering addicts

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Historically, unbiased labels have tended to focus solely on music – maybe one style of music – in only one or two markets. Higher Noise will not be that form of unbiased label.

With workplaces in workplaces in New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Toronto and Sydney, the agency – based by Allen Kovac as Eleven Seven Music in 2006 – has a notably international outlook. It’s additionally way more than a report label.

Dubbing Higher Noise “a content material firm”, Kovac has diversified his fully-owned agency far past recorded music, into books, films, TV collection, documentaries, touring and theater productions.

The corporate’s Higher Noise Movies division as we speak (September 29) releases Sno Infants, a intentionally tough-to-watch drama reflecting the devastating influence of opioid dependancy on elements of suburban America. The film is elevating cash for the World Restoration Initiatives Basis (GRI) and the Amy Winehouse Basis, to assist fund essential assist providers for these in restoration.

“This film is a wakeup name to the leisure business that we are able to’t lose extra good artists like Prince, Tom Petty, Juice Wrld, Mac Miller, Lil Peep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, or River Phoenix.”

Allen Kovac, Higher Noise

Says Kovac: “Studio heads, brokers and managers know there’s nothing sadder than when an artist or actor you’ve labored with passes away by misadventure.

“This film is a wakeup name to the leisure business that we are able to’t lose extra good artists like Prince, Tom Petty, Juice Wrld, Mac Miller, Lil Peep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, or River Phoenix.”



Kovac, because the long-term supervisor of Mötley Crüe, properly is aware of the perils and fallout that dependancy could cause. Certainly, Higher Noise is related to a theater musical based mostly on the autobiography of band member Nikki Sixx, The Heroin Diaries, which is presently in manufacturing and set for launch subsequent 12 months.

Higher Noise’s heartland, although, stays recorded music and artists. The agency’s roster consists of the billion-streaming AWOLNATION – whose current collaboration with Alice Merton has elevated their European streaming footprint – along with Mötley Crüe, Cory Marks, 5 Finger Demise Punch, Unhealthy Wolves, Papa Roach, Tommy Lee and The Hu.

Higher Noise has discovered unusual success within the rock style on radio and streaming, one thing Kovac largely places right down to his firm’s technique of “unlearning” the music business paradigm of “going for the largest playlists too early [which] solely means you progress down the playlist pyramid sooner”.

As a substitute, he says: “[Better Noise] goes to radio and streaming with knowledge, evaluating our artists’ viewers engagement to others on the charts. Radio and streaming platforms will reward you for engagement.”

To marshal Higher Noise’s exercise within the UK and Europe, the corporate depends on Dan Waite – a veteran of the worldwide music and media industries, and a board member of indie physique IMPALA. Waite was previously Head Of Expertise at Time Inc within the UK, and Business Expertise Supervisor, World for BBC Studios. Right now, he’s Higher Noise MD for Europe.

Right here, Waite talks MBW by Higher Noise’s worldwide technique – and explains why Kovac and his workforce refuse to accept simply being a ‘US report label’….


Higher Noise is already arrange in various international locations outdoors the US. Is additional growth on the playing cards and if that’s the case the place on the earth is thrilling you proper now?

Russia has simply opened with Spotify launching in order that’s positively someplace we’re keeping track of. After Spotify’s launch in Russia we noticed a big soar in streaming consumption throughout the Russian Federation for various artists. We instantly extrapolated Spotify’s first-week streaming knowledge in Russia out to a full 12 months, and immediately recognized that Russia goes to be a prime 10 marketplace for Higher Noise Music artists.

That streaming knowledge tells us that we may open a Moscow workplace quickly. I consider this can open up Russia to larger music funding and can usher in a Golden Period for music in Russia. I labored at Virgin Information and Common Information again within the day, and I bear in mind Russia being a market during which it was actually troublesome to compete with the pirates, to make any cash, actually – these days at the moment are fortunately lengthy gone.

“We instantly extrapolated Spotify’s first-week streaming knowledge in Russia out to a full 12 months, and immediately recognized that Russia goes to be a prime 10 marketplace for Higher Noise Music artists.”

Dan Waite, Higher Noise

Elsewhere on the earth we’re clearly at all times monitoring China and India, amongst different territories, as the worldwide panorama for music continues to develop and alter. In China, we’re a part of the Merlin settlement [with local DSPs] and we’re distributed by FUGA. We’re decided to search out the precise individuals on the bottom in China to maintain partaking with the DSPs, particularly in the case of internationally recognized acts like Mötley Crüe, 5 Finger Demise Punch and Papa Roach.

Higher Noise works with The Hu, a very thrilling rock band from Mongolia, and there’s clearly an in depth relationship between Mongolia and China so our hopes are excessive on that venture in that a part of the world.


You’ve opened new workplaces in Australia pretty just lately. Are you able to paint an image of your present worldwide footprint?

In recent times Allen has actually invested within the UK and Germany, which has resulted in will increase in market share and the next profile for the label – extra on-the-ground advertising and marketing and radio assist have been essential in that. We’re now seeing actual success in Australia with the likes of Cory Marks, a rustic artist who just lately went to No.2 on the iTunes Nation Chart in Oz.

There’s lots of deal with South America proper now, with ideas of opening an workplace or discovering the precise [partner] to run our operations there. In the meanwhile we’re utilizing unbiased PR and promotion, which has been going properly, however once more, like Russia, we’ve seen that transformation of a ‘pirate market’ right into a authentic market, which suggests the stream of cash coming by is changing into vital – and there’s an actual love for rock music in that a part of that world. Brazil, for instance, is incessantly in our High 10 or High 15 markets when it comes to our massive streaming releases.


Are you able to give us an replace on Higher Noise’s market share on rock radio?

Within the States, we’ve been No.1 at Energetic Rock radio as a label for the final two years. And this 12 months up to now, we’re forward [of 2019] by not less than 20% already. I clearly don’t need to get too far forward of myself, however we’ve had a really sturdy first half of the 12 months, regardless of the pandemic and every little thing else. Unhealthy Wolves had their fifth No.1 Energetic Rock report in a row earlier this 12 months [with Sober], which I consider is a report for a brand new act.



It’s been a 12 months stuffed with requires social change, particularly within the US. How does Higher Noise and its artists see issues in that regard?

I’m keen about equity and variety and I’ve been working with Keith Harris OBE with Paul Pacifico AIM, Helen Smith and Kees van Weijen at IMPALA to implement sensible change and recommendations in Europe in hiring within the indie sector. It’s nice that Higher Noise Music’s A&R is intently aligned with passionate workers and that’s mirrored in various signings within the rock and metallic style.

Tommy Vext [frontman of Bad Wolves] and I spent three hours in a Wembley dressing room sharing life plans and ambitions which is how we received to the purpose for me to attach him with Dolores O’Riordan for her to characteristic on Unhealthy Wolves’ Zombie. Elsewhere, AJ Channer [frontman for Fire From The Gods], has been very keen about Black Lives Matter; AJ went to the place George Floyd was killed 36 hours later to be a part of the tribute and attend the funeral.

Fireplace From The Gods’ observe Break The Cycle is resonating with many individuals as a result of lyrics which have been really written a 12 months previous to this 12 months’s occasions. In the meantime Hyro The Hero’s newest video [We Imagine] dropped Friday with Disturbed’s David Draiman [in which] Hyro The Hero selected to carry out together with his neck on the ground.

From my MTV days, I do know that easy movies like this will have an enormous constructive impact on society, and this video has extraordinarily highly effective imagery.



One other attention-grabbing story is Cory Marks: a rustic artist signed to Higher Noise – a label finest recognized for its rock music.

The Cory story is a testomony to the way in which that Allen buildings his firm, the place we begin off focusing solely on constructing an artist’s viewers.

Throughout Covid quarantine lots of that has clearly been about social media, about movies on YouTube, ensuring the tracks and content material preserve coming – so once we do push at radio and the DSPs, there isn’t the resistance, the info is there and the [programmers/editors] don’t really feel like they’re taking a punt as a result of they’ll see the fan knowledge and the engagement knowledge.

That’s how we’ve constructed up Cory Marks, and we’ve had a lot of assist from the DSPs particularly. He ended up with a No.47 new entry on the worldwide iTunes chart, and in his dwelling nation of Canada he was No.three on iTunes Nation and No.four on the general iTunes chart.

Now Cory’s going to have massive featured songs in two Higher Noise Movies releases: Sno Infants and The Retaliators, which exhibits how we are able to use our personal content material creation to push ahead the careers of artists signed on the label facet.



Allen Kovac has expertise making films: he co-produced comedy-drama The Dust, based mostly on the lifetime of Motley Crue, which grew to become a Netflix hit final 12 months. How did that result in Higher Noise Movies and what’s the technique there?

The Dust grew to become the No.1 movie on Netflix, which was nice, however what was even perhaps higher was the way in which it impacted on the Mötley Crüe catalog. Netflix have been 100% arms off on the advertising and marketing and the PR so we stepped in and crammed that hole globally with our personal messaging which gave us the chance to push the catalog, the soundtrack and plan a European Promo journey with Nikki Sixx hitting nationwide TV information, radio and print.

The large increase on streaming providers was not a shock, we noticed the wave coming, began paddling early and surfed it to shore. It single-handedly modified the demographics of the band’s viewers from a 30-to-60 age group to a streaming viewers between 18 and 35. That in flip resulted in a $150m stadium tour being put collectively for the band within the US which sadly has been postponed to 2021 [due to the pandemic].

“We’re very intentionally constructing Higher Noise as a multimedia firm that has the facility to market our artists throughout movies, theater, books and different content material. And we’re a socially acutely aware firm, which clearly hyperlinks to Sno Infants.”

Allen has now produced Sno Infants, about opioid dependancy, and one other Higher Noise Movies film referred to as The Retaliators which is a horror thriller movie. The Retailiators is a very enjoyable venture as a result of a number of bands from the label have cameos or elements within the movie, together with 5 Finger Demise Punch, Papa Roach, Craig [Mabbitt] from Escape The Destiny and Tommy Lee [from Motley Crue].

So when The Retaliators is launched [slated for Q1 2021] we’re going to have a rock viewers that’s going to need to see their favorite band members within the film, crossing over with followers of the horror and thriller style within the film world. The horror thriller viewers could be very open to rock star cameos, simply take into consideration Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson, the listing is lengthy.

We’re very intentionally constructing Higher Noise as a multimedia firm that has the facility to market our artists throughout movies, theater, books and different content material. And we’re a socially acutely aware firm, which clearly hyperlinks to Sno Infants. I do know that the opioid disaster in America is personally of nice concern to Allen, and that’s one of many particular issues about working with him as a person and at an unbiased firm like Higher Noise – a few of what we do actually is about giving again and highlighting points.

To offer you an instance of that, the day Dolores O’Riordan [of The Cranberries] handed away [January 15, 2018] she was really resulting from be within the studio recording featured vocals for Unhealthy Wolves [cover of Zombie, later nominated for Rock Song Of The Year by iHeartRadio]. In the long run, Higher Noise determined to launch the observe and donate the royalties to [O’Riordan’s] youngsters, which resulted in me on stage in New York with the band giving her youngsters a test for quarter of 1,000,000 {dollars} final summer season – an amount of cash that would put them by faculty. We wished to do the precise factor by [O’Riordan] although she didn’t find yourself that includes on the observe, and that mind-set comes from Allen himself.


I observed that Bob Lefsetz gave an enormous plug to Sober by Unhealthy Wolves again in June.

It’s humorous, I believe Bob Lefsetz and Allen have the identical views on a number of issues: Allen’s been speaking for a very long time about how he feels the most important labels are chasing quarterly billing to make their numbers, whereas the unbiased rock and various neighborhood are constructing lifetime worth and relationships with followers.

I consider Bob picked up how significant the lyrics have been in Sober. [Lefsetz also wrote: “What kind of crazy fucked-up world do we live in where a number one rock song has more melody than anything in the Spotify Top 50?”] And there’s a actual story there: Tommy Vext, the lead singer of Unhealthy Wolves, is a sober coach and an activist for restoration, and is in very high-demand amongst celebrities for that work. Tommy has a really attention-grabbing back-story; his twin is definitely serving 17 years in jail for trying to kill him.

“it’s with nice satisfaction that Allen allowed me to start out a dialog with Mitch Winehouse which resulted in our UK earnings from Sno Infants film and album sound observe going to the Amy Winehouse Basis.”

Sober is a part of the Sno Infants, soundtrack and marketing campaign, which is necessary: the opiate disaster was killing 80,000 Individuals a 12 months earlier than Covid-19, and clearly the concern now’s that issues may get even worse. We’ve misplaced Tom Petty and Prince to it, to call however two, who have been each self-medicating.

Plus within the UK we’ve misplaced a number of musicians to dependancy and overdose: Gary Moore, Stuart Cable (Stereophonics) , Ronnie Scott, Phil Lynott (Skinny Lizzy), Jon Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Keith Moon & John Entwistle (The Who), and naturally Amy Winehouse. So it’s with nice satisfaction that Allen allowed me to start out a dialog with Mitch Winehouse which resulted in our UK earnings from Sno Infants film and album sound observe going to the Amy Winehouse Basis.

With Sno Infants we’re aiming to destigmatize opiate dependancy and to try to elevate sufficient cash to assist hundreds of individuals – individuals who some look upon as ‘junkies’ however who’ve really been misdiagnosed. Or, and that is the unhappy actuality, individuals who perhaps haven’t been in a position to see their physician resulting from Covid-19 and have taken it upon themselves to search out different means to take care of their ache.

I’d encourage everybody studying this to go to iTunes, Apple TV and Amazon, and stream the movie – and go to their favorite DSP to take heed to the soundtrack – to turn out to be a part of the restoration course of and assist change a life.Music Enterprise Worldwide

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