Songtrust Spotlight, Client Spotlight

Songtrust Spotlight: NexGen

Chantelle St. Clair
Chantelle St. Clair on Dec 5, 2018

Songtrust: NextGenNEXGEN MUSIC is a worldwide independent record label group recognized for its pioneering sound representing underground and cross-mainstream music. Converging from countries across the globe, NexGen artists, composers and musicians showcase their talent of creating music that "pushes the envelope."

Through their various imprints the label showcases a wide range of musical genres and styles such as: Downtempo, Chill-Out, Nu/Future-Jazz, Drum & Bass, Bass Music, Dubstep, UK Garage, House, Electronica (EDM), Trap, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Soul, Funk, Leftfield, Experimental, Dance, Pop and more.

NEXGEN MUSIC is an artist-centric brand devoted to creating a forward-looking, inclusive and multifaceted musical community. They foster a philosophy of artistic growth, collaboration and experimentation, uniting promising new talent with established music production artists.


What is NexGen’s origin story?

Forming an independent record label was always a long-time aspiration of mine, born from my introduction and curiosity in underground music back in the late 80's and early 90's. I come from a strong music family background and have been blessed to witness firsthand the evolution of early Dance, Rave, Hardcore, Breakbeat and the later Jungle, Drum & Bass and UK Garage music scenes of a new era. My first foray into music/label management came when I set up an audio production company on my college campus while studying for a sound engineering degree in London. This offered me the opportunity to sharpen my music production and engineering skills while learning the ropes of talent development and artist management.

In 2001, I officially branded the label as NexGen Music, and in 2003 moved the label across the Atlantic to Brooklyn, NY, where I spent several years building prior to moving to the nation's capital (Washington D.C.), where we are currently headquartered.

What is NexGen’s ultimate mission and who do you benefit?

This is a hard question because our ultimate mission has never been explicitly defined. One thing that we are extremely passionate about is the preservation of music as an art. I say this because we feel that the ‘art’ behind music is dying as we know it. In a nutshell, our perception is that a). music as an art has become undervalued and something that just “anyone” can do given the availability of ‘shortcut’ technologies and social media, which offer a low-barrier to entry (which must of course be noted as being a good thing in many aspects). And b). Which expands upon my ‘undervalued’ comment, we feel that music is just so under appreciated. Say, when you walk into a department store or dining out in a restaurant, the presence of music is just expected to be there. It always just “on” in the background and most of the time we do not pay it any mind or take the time to appreciate its existence and how much of it plays a part in the atmosphere and subsequently our moods in the situation. As a species, I believe that we have become almost ambivalent to its presence and meaning.

We like to think of ourselves are music preservationists to the good of all humankind!

What genres do you represent most frequently and which genres are starting to gain more life recently?

We are a true multi-genre indie label specializing in various genres such as, Downtempo, Chill-Out, Nu/Future-Jazz, Drum & Bass, Bass Music, Dubstep, UK Garage, House, Electronica (EDM), Trap, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Soul, Funk, Leftfield, Experimental, Dance (and even venturing into Pop!).

We are all about whatever sounds good!

What was the moment do you attribute to NexGen’s first success?

Success for NexGen is yet to be defined. We are an ever involving project that has not realized its full potential as yet.

What is the most rewarding part of representing and supporting a forward-looking, inclusive and multifaceted musical community?

Personally, nothing gives me greater pleasure than providing a conduit for our artists to do what they most love to do, which is to harness the power of sound to create create music - freely and mostly on their terms. We represent artists from various different walks of life, ethnicities and gender identities. It doesn’t matter to us who you are or where you come from, as long as the music is on point and fits our overall direction, you are family.

Why is it important to be artist-centric in your mission?

Nobody needs me to tripe on about how being an artist is tougher than ever before. We all know this and also that is not going to get any easier anytime soon. One of the things that is important to us as a label is to ensure that every current/potential artist on our roster receives the support that they need to maintain a career in music, within the budgets that we are working with. Again, going back to our theory of music being undervalued, undervaluing the art of music is to undervalue the artist as the creator.

What advice do you have for independent artists trying to make a career in the music industry?

I would say that my primary piece of advice is not to undervalue the importance of working with a record label. Our current age of “DIY” has no doubt presented opportunities for artists to go it alone as independents - BUT - it has become very noisy out there…Labels still play a very important part in launching and sustaining artists careers. Besides this, I would say that artists need to have ample amounts of determination, perseverance and tenacity if they are going to “make it.” Be original with your art and network your socks off!

How do you think artists should define success in today’s music industry?

Gosh, I am probably not the best person to answer this one as our focus is so niche and tilted towards the underground and cross-mainstream. I believe that we all have our own individual perceptions of success, however, the ultimate measurement will likely always be how financially successful your are. I do not believe there is any getting away from this.

Where do you see the music industry 10 years from now?

My feeling has always been that with any major shift experienced across any industry or movement, doors of opportunity close and new ones open up. When I first became involved in music in the late-eighties/early nineties, only vinyl records and cassette tapes existed. Record shops, pirate radio and clubs were the primary, ahem ONLY places to listen and learn about new music. Just look how much that has changed today with the advent of portable music devices, digital downloads, streaming, Youtube, etc. As a record label owner, we are in place now that I never would have imagined.

This being said, history has proven that we tend to go around in circles, especially with music. I have this sort of hidden feeling that many of the “old” ways and things that we love about previous generations of the music industry will creep back into existence in some way or form and be incorporated into the newer model that we are experiencing today.

What’s next for NexGen?

Well, we plan to just keep plugging along creating projects that we feel the world should hear and experience. Our business has been growing since we began working with Songtrust and we are very excited about a recent new business venture/partnership with a major Hollywood film and media company.

Lastly - what is your favorite song/album right now?

Oof, I may get some stick for this (selecting/plugging our own music), but it cannot be helped I am afraid…We have a couple of really awesome music projects in the pipeline and ready to drop in 2019.

We have a deep, downtempo, acoustic, experimental EP called ‘The Forest’ coming from one of our artists based in Finland, Neveready. It is an LP several years in the making and will initially drop as a limited edition colored vinyl. I absolutely love this EP!

We also have a downtempo, funk, hip-hop style LP called ‘No More Shooting Stars’ from Undersound, one of our outstanding music production artists. I love this LP as well! 

It is a toss-up between the two on any given day at present.

Songtrust: NexGen Music 

Related Articles

Songtrust Spotlight: Royalties Team

JOHN COSENZA graduated from Oneonta State University with a degree in Music Industry. John has always been in bands and loved audio recording & production, but felt it was important to learn the business.  His first job after school was at the Harry Fox Agency, and then moved on to Warner Music on the label side where he then moved over to publishing at EMI/Sony/ATV as an Income Tracker.  Prior to joining Songtrust, John ran Royalties & Income Tracking at SONGS Music Publishing.

JAMIE FRANZESE'S aspirations to become a rock-star died ten years ago; he then realized the next best thing to do was to help musicians get paid for their craft; accurately & efficiently. He's been with Downtown since 2012 doing just that and looks forward to continuing to provide unparalleled services to our clients.

ANNA MICELI born in New York, but raised on the road, spent most of her early years on tour with her family, thus sparking her affection for music. She attended the College of Saint Rose and studied Music Industry, where she cofounded Rose Record Label and SMAN Music Publishing. As a fellow songwriter, Anna is proud to have been one of the first few royalty members for Songtrust. She currently helps manage the ever-growing royalty department.

SAMANTHA SHANK recently graduated with her MBA in Music Business where she developed a deep interest in music publishing and the massive business surrounding the song. After learning about Songtrust’s aim to make the complex music publishing accessible to all writers, she knew she wanted to work there. Today, Samantha works hard every day as part of the Royalties team to make sure Songtrust is collecting every last penny out there for their writers.

NIKKI BROWN studied Undergrad at Syracuse University, where she majored in I.T and minored in Music Industry. She wanted a career at a place that bridged the gap between tech and the music industry, which is what brought her to working in Royalties at Songtrust.

STEVE GUIGLIANO graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a degree in Digital Media Production and has written and performed music most of his life as a guitarist. His love for music compelled him to find a career within the music industry and now is a member of the Royalties team at Songtrust as a Coordinator. 

MACKINGOSH ZUMARRAGA found his love for music through playing the piano and singing since the age of four. This passion prevailed throughout his school years and after graduating from Pace University with a degree in Arts and Entertainment Management, he decided to pursue a career in music publishing. With his experience in royalties, he aspires to help music creators develop not just artistically, but also financially, to provide them a better opportunity to impact the world. 

Dec 12, 2018

Songtrust Spotlight: Client Acquisition Team

CJ OLIVIERI manages the Client Acquisition Team throughout New York, Atlanta and Nashville. His team focuses on identifying rights owners in need of global publishing administrative services and transitioning them onto the Songtrust platform. CJ is also tasked with providing tools and education to prospects to help them better understand the music publishing landscape and learn how to further take control over their own publishing. 

NOELLE GAMBUTI graduated from Pace University with a degree in Arts and Entertainment Management and fell in love with music during her many years of dance training. She always knew she wanted to have a career in the music industry and now focuses on educating Songtrust clients on music publishing and why it is so important to maintain the rights to their music.

ELIZABETH MCBRIDE is a Publishing Specialist at Songtrust. With a degree in Music Industry Studies from Loyola University Orleans, the publishing world has become her centrifuge for understanding how songs get from creation to transaction data. After witnessing widespread inequality for songwriters, Elizabeth now shares Songtrust’s mission to create better harmony for performing rights and royalty models, and improve publishing literacy as a whole.

LORENZO COOK is the northeast representative for the Client Acquisition team at Songtrust in New York. As a musician with a background in A&R and a degree from the Bandier Program at Syracuse University, Lorenzo was one of the first employees to test out Songtrust’s outreach program, directly dealing with artists and managers on a daily basis.

CARLI GONDERINGER represents the CAT team in Nashville, TN. After spending a semester in college interning with DMP Nashville, Carli joined Songtrust in September of this year. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but has called Nashville home for the past four years. Studying music business and interning with a variety of companies has provided a deep insight into the independent, genre-bending music scene in need of publishing.

BRE HARPER, from Memphis, TN, is a young music professional making strides in the Atlanta music scene. After receiving her bachelors in Music Business, Bre joined the Songtrust Client Acquisition team in September. She prides herself on being an advocate for independent artists and helping them navigate through the industry.

Nov 28, 2018

Songtrust Spotlight: Marsheaux

MARSHEAUX IS A Greek electro pop duo, a name derived by the first syllables of the two girls' names that comprise it: Marianthi Melitsi and Sophie Sarigiannidou. Originally from Thessaloniki, the girls moved to Athens and formed Marsheaux to express creatively their appreciation of electronic pop music. Brought up to the sound of synthesizer, they lived on a healthy diet of Depeche Mode, Human League, OMD, Duran Duran, Soft Cell, New Order and Sparks.

In July 2016 Marsheaux released their 5th studio album titled “Ath.Lon” on Vinyl, CD,
limited aluminum CD box and digital format. Having previously released four albums that have earned them rave reviews in publications such as Classic Pop, Electronic Sound and Future Music, the brand new ‘Ath.Lon’ represents a quantum leap forward for Marsheaux.

Fans are urged to look out for the limited edition version of the album, titled
‘The.Ath.Lon’ with ‘The’ standing for Thessaloniki, their beloved birth place in
the north of Greece. This format will include surprise guest artists and each track will
feature contributions from a different producer – it will be Marsheaux's very own sound

Nov 14, 2018