Combining knowledge and experience from the electronic music industry’s past with a vision for the possibilities in the future, Blue Amazon’s newly launched Affiliate is redefining what a record label can do today.
Starting his music production journey in the early 90’s, Lee Softley aka Blue Amazon knows what it really means to be dedicated to your passion. In an era when you needed to rent studio time and invest in equipment in order to get a track produced, the level of commitment and willingness to go the distance transferred to everyone who was involved in the process. “We didn’t have as much technology so we had to push things more,” he shares, “now it’s the reverse.” The record label, having put forward the investment to release on vinyl and circulate around the world, would be doing all they could to get your music as much promotion and distribution as possible. The label would not only be focused on selling, but also on artist development, support, and growth, ensuring a relationship that would benefit all involved for the long-term. A great label was one with a well-organized distribution support infrastructure and a team who was dedicated to getting fair compensation for their artists, while also being open to providing feedback and guidance for new talent who are just beginning to find their way. Many of these aspects have become lost in the evolution of the music industry as it stands today, where over-saturation and a lack of knowledge and resources can often keep music from ever reaching its potential audience. However there are still passionate players who are dedicated to seeing the scene progress, and are adjusting to the present circumstances in order to do so.
During the pandemic and amidst personal reflection and upheaval, Blue Amazon became clear on what he could do to make a difference in the current electronic music landscape. Combining the old-school approach of what a record label meant for artists while using new-school technology and opportunities to spread music on a global scale, he could build a label that brought value to beginner and experienced talent alike. Spending many hours deep diving into a search for obscure and unique tracks, the development of Affiliate began to take shape as a vision unfolded for a unique creative outlet and support system that would empower artists and give back to the community while showcasing a diverse selection of inspirational musicians. As this idea was evolving, a timely connection with New State ended up bringing it all together. Founded in 1995, New State was instrumental in getting dance music artists into the early ’00s newly emerging digital platforms and continues to drive the music’s expansion across a variety of avenues. When he spoke with them about Affiliate, Blue Amazon felt like it was the first conversation in a long time that “felt like dealing with a business again”. Knowing he had an experienced and dedicated support system behind this venture, Affiliate could become all that he had been envisioning.
One of the projects which has Blue Amazon the most excited about Affiliate’s role in the electronic music industry’s future is their work with NFT releases. As mentioned in Iconic Underground Magazine’s article “Simplifying Music NFT with Blue Amazon,” he expands on what has him so fascinated by this space: “The NFT music space is hyper-exciting and allows us to release music packages, unlike any prior methods. We can add additional content, provide exclusive material and break the rules of how music is released.”
With the launch of their Blockparty store, he shares that “there will be regular limited editions added – connected physical items at times and we want to reward collectors by auto entering you in draws for very limited 1 off vinyl competitions and more.”
Limited editions and special releases are an aspect which Affiliate will continuously be bringing to the table(s). As Blue Amazon mentions: “A big part of Affiliate is releasing limited editions and giving back to those who support us.” Their first giveaway includes a Unique 1 of 1 only vinyl featuring tracks from – Blue Amazon / Enrico Ponti – Shazz (ultimate). The vinyl includes Aside: Shazz (original) – B side: Fluxx (original) + an unlisted bonus track. Specially cut one off one (only) piece and a specialist sleeve (hand made) from canvas print.
To enter the contest, all you need to do is obtain a copy of the digital release on Bandcamp. You can enter any amount – any amount is acceptable – even 0 if you don’t have funds. Ensure you grab the full EP – with a registered address. Follow the Bandcamp page and their Facebook page. That’s it. The contest will be running until April 29th so enter now.
The new Affiliate FRISKY show is another valuable avenue for additional promotion and audience connection, with guests mixes from legendary and breaking new artists alike, invited to share their unique perspectives in an hour long DJ mix showcase. Tune in on April 27th at 6PM EST / 11PM UK [convert timezone] to hear from very special guest Robert Babicz as well as a fresh “energetic – indie dance – progressive – tech fusion” mix from Blue Amazon.
The enthusiasm behind Afiiliate is palpable, and the possibilities are wide open for a compelling future for artists, DJs, and fans whose passions continue to drive electronic music into new horizons. Stay tuned!