Loui Brown aka Sorley is one of the breakout artists of the U.K underground scene in the last few years.
Releases on Lee Foss label Repopulate Mars and Defected sister label DFTD led to his first Beatport number one, support on BBC Radio 1 by Danny Howard, guest mix slots on Solardo presents The Spot, fabric London and Claude vonStroke presents The Birdhouse.
For the tenth edition of The Blueprint, I break down the two moments in Sorley’s career. These moments alongside posts that showcase his lifestyle and music have helped build an audience to take forward onto the other side of the pandemic.
Remember, the blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.
The Breakthrough Moment
The pivotal moment happened in July at Hideout Festival in Croatia. Sorley met Danny Howard backstage as Danny was leaving. Sorley decided to go back to the festival on his own while his friends stayed back at the apartment. An exchange of emails led to Sorley’s unsigned Deadeye track being played on BBC Radio 1 while Loui was still at Hideout.
This led to support and recognition from others. Opportunity leads to opportunity.
A few months later, Sorley played before one of his idols Lee Foss at Newcastle club night Concept 10. It was this night that changed everything. After previous rejections from the label, Lee signed an unsigned Sorley EP during a 90-minute b2b set.
Listen to the b2b set here.
Sorley plays Hideout Festival and meets Danny Howard backstage.
Sorley plays alongside Lee Foss at Concept 10 in Newcastle.
Sorley – Sling It Back EP is released on Danny Howard Nothing Else Matters label.
December 10, 2019
Sling It Back EP reaches number on in the Beatport Tech House charts.
December 16 2019
Sorley shares his Spotify stats for 2019.
December 17 2019
Sorley shares he has just finished his last shift as a civil servant after four and a half years to concentrate on becoming a full-time artist.
December 19 2019
“Dreams coming true.”
Sorley announces his Dirty Dialogue EP on Lee Foss Repopulate Mars label.
December 26 2019
Sorley plays alongside another one of his inspirations – Patrick Topping.
Sorley – Dirty Dialogue EP – Repopulate Mars
Sorley’s release on Repopulate Mars dropped in January 2020. The release came after rejection from the label. Often it is the unexpected moments that provide these breakthrough moments for artists.
“Had been sending music for a good year or more to Repopulate Mars with not much joy and it wasn’t until I had a crazy opportunity to go b2b with one of my idols and the Label Boss @leefoss did things change. Played my new material alongside him and we locked in an EP on the spot, still get such a buzzz thinking about it.”
Sorley – January 15, 2020.
‘Electronic Finesse’ was premiered on Blanc. As one of the leading electronic music platforms on YouTube, Blanc provided Sorley exposure to a new audience. The track now has over 60,000 plays.
Blanc also has a popular playlist on Spotify. The Tech House 2020 (now 2021) playlist provided the perfect target audience to increase his presence on the platform.
The release reached number 1 in the Top 100 release chart on Beatport.
Sorley – Deadeye – DFTD
The story behind Sorley signing to Defected Records sister label is two years in the making. Sorley first released the track as a free download. After two days, he took it offline. That decision proved to be one of the best Sorley has ever made.
After meeting Danny Howard at Hideout Festival in Croatia, Sorley was invited to BBC Radio 1 studio in London. The relationship between the two artists continued with Danny coming to Loui’s hometown of Sunderland to play the Deadeye launch party.
- The track premiere on Blanc has 28,000 plays.
- The original and extended club mix have a combined 100,000 plays on Defected’s YouTube channel.
- The single reached number 1 in the Tech House Top 100 on Beatport.
- Deadeye has been streamed over 600,000 times on Spotify.
30 Tracks in 30 Days
Fast-forward to January 2021.
On January 3rd, Loui announced a brand new challenge for himself on Instagram, declaring he wanted to push his creative boundaries and grow as an artist. More importantly, he wanted to build habits and discipline.
“New year, new challenge.
Starting from tomorrow, I have set my self a goal to make a track a day for the next 30 days. To keep my self accountable, I’ll be uploading whatever I make to my SoundCloud every night.
I want to do this to challenge myself, push my creative boundaries, experiment and grow as an artist.”
Now Sorley had my attention. How was he going to market 30 tracks in 30 days and keep it interesting?
Here are some of the key moments from the challenge:
Track names and artwork
To upload 30 tracks to Soundcloud, you also need 30 track names and 30 pieces of artwork.
You can see the development of the artwork in the image below.
The first week started with seven different colours on a vinyl template. By week three, we’re being to see the development of all the artwork matching up with the name of the song. Week four and the creative juices are definitely flowing.
All of the images were created on Canva.
So how did Sorley share this and all of the other posts to his social media?
Create Personal Content
Swipe ➡️ to see how Sorley hides the artwork behind an image of himself.
Sorley posts a picture of himself, hiding the artwork from his feed. The key to this post is the photo is 4×5 in dimension, matching the image of all the artwork.
Personal content always wins. Sorley worked this out a few years ago by looking at Hot Since 82 and Patrick Topping social content. It is the personal lifestyle posts that build the engagement and ultimately build the audience.
As for the other posts, Sorley created a carousel with audio clips of the tracks over the artwork every Sunday. This post summarised the week of music, helping drive traffic to his Soundcloud, where he was uploading the tracks every evening.
By sharing the clips and getting feedback from his friends and audience, Sorley finished tracks that he was not that keen on because of their reaction. Music is subjective. Click publish.
Copywriting is important, like really important.
The post below was posted a few days after the challenge was complete. It sums up what every artist has experienced during the pandemic.
This is Sorley’s most engaging post, ever.
“Create a personal diary”
To get all the information for this newsletter, I spoke to Loui on Zoom.
One quote that stood out was how he uses his Instagram as a personal diary. All of these landmarks mentioned in this newsletter are a measure of growth and progress. Our generation can use Instagram this way to show where we were and what we were doing on certain days.
Here is the YouTube video Sorley created answering all of the questions from his fans at the end of the challenge.
That’s all for this weeks newsletter. To build habits in the studio and on social media, maybe you need to set yourself a challenge?
See you next week.
Andrew at Socially Sound 🔊
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Read previous editions of The Blueprint below: