Tommy Farrow is one of the most talked-about new artists of 2020. His debut release ‘Let’s Just / Can’t Explain’ has over 1 million streams on Spotify.
So how has Tommy Farrow and label Stress Records produced such results?
The Blueprint #002 breaks it down.
Remember the blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.
Signing to a label
Tommy started making Lets Just in an apartment in Ibiza in 2019. All of his close friends who heard it for the first time told him this could be a hit record.
When Tommy started to send Let’s Just and Can’t Explain out to labels, he received no response. He soon realised why when Stress Records replied to Tommy telling him the link he had sent didn’t work. After receiving a link that worked, Stress signed the record on the spot.
Stress Records – The Label Strategy
When Stress signed the record, they had a real challenge in building an identity and momentum for Tommy as he was a brand new artist starting from ground zero. Sean Brosnan of Stress Records & Material Music told me “By working really closely with Tommy, we managed to keep the record moving for months. We communicated with retailers and radio all the time to ensure we developed the campaign to not only drive the record to fans but to ensure we could garner more support with playlisting.”
Let’s Just/Can’t Explain was released in May last year. A week before the release, Let’s Just received high praise from Danny Howard live on BBC Radio 1 describing the lead track as “epic and emotional”. After playing the track on the radio for the first time, Danny said, “if I heard this in a club at the right time, I would be in tears.”
Danny played the record again two weeks later, claiming he had received tweets and direct messages about the track days after his show aired. The support on major stations continued on Kiss FM with Charlie Tee and Ben Malone supporting on their weekend shows.
A few weeks later, Annie Mac supported the record on her show for the first time in mid-June. This is the one Tommy wanted…
Hottest Record in the World
Two months later, Let’s Just was still receiving radio support with Danny, Jaguar, Annie and Pete Tong all supporting the record.
Tommy’s proudest moment came in August when Mista Jam (stepping in for Annie) named Let’s Just the Hottest Record in the World. This all came from Will Clarke putting the legendary presenter onto the track when he was a guest on Will’s self-titled podcast.
Will was one of the first artists to support the release after Tommy sent it to him in early January. Building the right relationships early in your career can lead to big things!
Remixing Rudimental on Atlantic Records
The success of Let’s Just and Can’t Explain attracted the attention of Atlantic Records. Atlantic asked Tommy to remix Rudimental’s new collab with Anne Marie and Tion Wayne. Tommy’s second release was a remix for some of the leading names in the U.K. house scene.
‘Come Over’ was supported by dance music’s biggest names on BBC Radio 1. So far the track has clocked up over 385,000 streams in a few months.
Marketing the record with no clubs
In December, Let’s Just was named Track of the Week on BBC Radio 1 Introducing. By then Let’s Just had that commercial crossover appeal, being played regularly on peak time breakfast and daytime radio shows.
“Thanks to a lot of social media activity and the remix, we managed to achieve four Spotify playlist ads, dance XL on Apple and Radio One daytime playlist inclusion at the end of 2020,” said Sean. “For a fairly underground house record, we felt it was a real achievement and sets the tone for what’s to come from Tommy”.
The crazy thing about these results is this was Tommy’s first-ever release. How many underground music artists do you know who have generated over 1 million streams on their first release? In a pandemic?
These insane results have happened without Tommy playing it out in clubs and festivals across the summer. When clubs do open again in the U.K., how many music fans will hear this record for the first time?
This record is going to keep going and going.
The Blueprint #003 will drop next week focusing on Socially Sound member Josh Hvaal and how he signed his first-ever record to Hot Creations. I will be hosting The Blueprint live for the first-time on Clubhouse next Wednesday at 7 PM. If you need an invite to Clubhouse, let me know.
Thanks for all the support so far. Read previous episodes of The Blueprint here.
Andrew at Socially Sound
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