Some hard facts about a label that:
- …puts its focus on music, follows long term artist development strategy and is immediate and transparent force very close to the artist
- …works on a maximum of 6-8 artists/projects per year in order to stay true to the label’s philosophy: to guarantee a “hands on” approach Þ i.e. is able to take over many side duties a record label doesn’t usually deal with Þ has enormous flexibility
- …operates entirely independently; has distribution and promotion set up with affiliates representing the label in every territory around the globe!
- …releases its artists through UK’s best independent distributor VITAL Music
- …within a year of being with Vital distribution established itself as one of the most promising new indie labels in the UK and Europe
- …takes advantage of UK’s negligence to properly exploit its own music in Continental European markets and vice versa
- …in other words…
The inspiration behind Gronland is, most simply, the philosophy that “…it isn’t the marketing strategy that influences business decisions, but the musician and his craft. Without disregarding the economical aspects of the record label’s survival, Gronland refuses to become a production plant or an example of “how marketing creates musicians”. Rather, it is committed to being a fertile field where art and music are free to grow, where care and time invested over the years yield success.
With its small staff and optimal structure Gronland can avoid being subject to commercial pressure, freeing the label to stick to the ideology of concentrating its efforts. Consequently Gronland signs only a few bands and projects per year, enabling it to provide full support and attention to the musicians on the often-rocky path that is the music industry. In this way, Gronland can guarantee it will see to the needs of its bands, a service that the big companies rarely provide these days. Quality is the main priority and the label doesn’t limit itself to a particular genre. Whether Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip Hop, Electronica or Dance, Gronland is open to all fields of music
and how it all began:
Gronland Records is a independent record label based in Old Street, London founded by Herbert Grönemeyer. A highly successful musician and actor (best known for his portrait of Lt Werner in Das Boot) in continental Europe, Gronemeyer established the label in connection with a 8-CD box set called “Pop 2000″, which along with its companion TV series, was initiated to document music culture in Germany during the 20th century. Pop 2000 became a mammoth task assembling 140 bands to tell the story of 50 years of pop music and youth culture in Germany. By documenting the journey from hugely influential artists such as NEU!, Can, Faust and Kraftwerk to more contemporary artists such as The Notwist, Mouse on Mars and To Rococo Rot “Pop 2000” was a huge success. However, what made the project work is also Gronland’s key ingredient: the openness and respect with which the label founder and his staff meet other artists.
Gronland’s board members also reflect this commitment to flexibility and creativity. Among them is renowned Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn whose work has had a powerful influence on the today’s Zeitgeist and who has also made his artistic skill available to the label.
Corbijn is not only famous as a photographer (examples of his work include record sleeves for U2, Depeche Mode, Metallica, R.E.M. and Nick Cave), but also as a music video director for artists, his impressive work includes videos such as Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”, U2’s “One”, Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You”, and Joy Division’s “Atmosphere”. Late 2006 Anton Corbijn finished the work on his first feature film, the biography of Joy Division’s late singer Ian Curtis “Control”.