How to sell-out: Joshua Radin vs Imogen Heap


So, this isn’t strictly Digital Marketing related, but I just caught the end of the National Lottery tonight, which promoted me to write this post.
This summer, two of my favourite artists played the Glastonbury Festival in June. One of the reasons that I love them both is because they’re not main stream in the UK yet, but I think this might be the year that both of them break through and everyone will be raving about them. I derive no satisfaction from discovering them before they hit the big time and boasting about this, but if I had the opportunity to make more money by hitting a bigger audience through my work, would I take it? Sure! But not at any cost.
So, when I saw Joshua Radin at the end of the National Lottery this evening, I was disappointed. I was disappointed by his performance at Glastonbury, but at least it was at Glastonbury. You get such a wide range of performers there, that you can’t tell where they are or want to be on the commercial spectrum of the music industry. However, not only do I feel that his music doesn’t lend itself to live TV studio performances, but I also feel that if you’re going to try and broaden your appeal by appearing on TV, the National Lottery in not the place for this kind of artist. He’s completely thrown out of the window any integrity that he may have had and that was fostered by Zach Braff (JD in Scrubs) and while that may seem odd to be championed by Braff, he does have pretty impressive taste in music, searching out lesser known artists and even using his reputation to persuade Lazlo Bane to allow Scrubs to use his song ‘Superman’ for their title sequence.

Braff holds some sway and artists respect him. He also directed The Cary Brothers, Ride video (and yes I am aware there are two versions of this and the one Zach directed was not the one starring Brittany Snow) and picks music for his films (notably Garden State and The Last Kiss) too.

I digress. I think Radin should have chosen his UK appearances more selectively. Rather than growing loyal fans he can sell his back catalogue to, he’ll probably go platinum with Simple Times and be forgotten. But then he’ll be set for life, so does anyone care? Does Joshua care?

Imogen Heap was the other artist I was desperate to see at Glastonbury and she was phenomenal. She clearly works well with and values her backing musicians, she is extremely talented, her vocals held up well and she darts about the stage dramatically, but without pretention. She made me feel comfortable and warm and excited and I believe it when I read that she does the shows she does, to earn the money to do the things she loves, which provide truly magical results. Jason Derulo’s (don’t sing his name; he hates it) recent sample of Heap’s Hide and Seek on his debut single Whatcha Say, afforded her a few more shows on her North American tour.

I know Imogen is touring the UK this winter and will be playing intimate and unique venues, including the Coal Exchange in Cardiff, for which I must buy tickets. I appreciate this growth model.

So I guess my point is I don’t blame any artist or person for wanting to earn more money, but do this is a manner that aligns with the reputation you have built with your loyal supporters and/or initial objectives too. Maintain them as advocates. Consider your longevity. It’s always going to be harder and slower to pick and choose your channels to stay concurrent with your initial ideals. Be that flash in the pan, that fad, that one hit wonder, but don’t be surprised when my love for you fades along with the bandwagoning masses.

Anyway, I love both these artists, so I’ve but some links to their work and websites below. Whatever they do, I still adore the music they have made to date.


Imogen Heap

On Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=imogen+heap&sprefix=imoge

You could also check out Frou Frou

Her website http://www.imogenheap.com/

Her tour http://tour.imogenheap.com/

Joshua Radin

On Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_8?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=joshua+radin&sprefix=joshua+r

  We Were Here is just as good as Simple Times

His website http://www.joshuaradin.co.uk/

Zach Braff


Jason Derulo


Now just realised that I might have to right an entry about Jason Derulo’s distracting YouTube channel page!
PS The name ‘Imogen Heap’ is better SEOed for her website than ‘Joshua Radin’ is for his.

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  • J July 8, 2011, 1:31 pm

    Hmmm… firstly this tells me that you are not too familiar with the ins and outs of the music/recording industry. For one, you understand that Joshua Radin didn’t choose by himself to play the National Lottery, right? You know, Josh isn’t exactly sitting in his hotel room in London, ringing around the BBC asking for gigs. His record company in the UK will have handed him a schedule — here’s what you’re doing, be outside your hotel at noon and we’ll take you where you need to go.

    Secondly, I can’t really see how Josh “throws out his integrity” by getting himself a record deal to pay the bills. Is he supposed to avoid popular TV performances and get a job at a coffee shop to make ends meet? He’s chosen a career as a performer in the music industry, love, so he’s gonna have to play the gigs he’s handed if he wants to make it work and he’ll piss off a lot of people if he keeps saying no.

    Finally, you say that one of the reasons you love him is because he isn’t mainstream yet. Is this why you took so much offence to him being on the lottery? Because now “mainstreamers” are going to know about him and his music is going to lose its integrity with you? If you like his music, then why would that change now that more people like it to? Isn’t it still the same music? What are you, a hipster or something?

    Look, he’s on his way over to the UK again this summer to support his new album release (Rock & the Tide) and you better believe he’s going to be playing the lottery if he gets the chance (and probably GMTV and a bunch of over shows too). Because, you know, he needs to, like, tell people about his album and play them some songs in hopes that they, like, buy his album or come to his concerts or something. WHAT A SELL OUT!! Doesn’t he have integrity?! Joshua, stop trying to get more people to listen & buy to your music, get another job and just do music for free when you get some extra time!!

    Maybe you should start hunting for other musicians that you can “like” until they get “mainstream” and then you can tell everyone that you “derive no satisfaction from discovering them before they hit the big time and boasting about this” while boasting about how you knew them before they hit the big time.

    Sorry to troll but I couldn’t leave it unsaid. Maybe you’ve changed your mind or come to your senses since you posted this? If you like the music it’s because you like the music. Don’t deprive yourself of the music you like just because other people start liking it too.

    Cool blog x