5 SECONDS OF SUMMER ENTERS THE ENTREPRENEURIAL REALM
With the recent announcement that pop sensation Five Seconds Of Summer (5SOS) has signed Hey Violet to 5SOS’ label (Hi or Hey Records; www.hiorheyrecords.com) one has to wonder if there is a new trend evolving on how to do business in the music industry. The concept is entrepreneurial in nature but for 5SOS it’s also learned behavior; after all, 5SOS are partially owned by One Direction or 1D. Billboard reported on this ownership concept last year and you can read that report here.
The 5SOS label is an interesting one and it appeals to the “you” in all of us. Says Michael Clifford (5SOS’ guitarist) “we started Hi or Hey Records because we thought it would cool as hell to have a label that was run by you guys. It’s like Catdog. We’re conjoined.” Luke Hemmings, 5SOS’ electric frontman, echoed Clifford’s point noting that 5SOS even went so far as to see Hey Violet rehearse. Again, déjà vu. 5SOS was largely discovered because of Hemmings’ YouTube postings of the group performing cover tunes; one of the persons who took notice was 1D’s Louis Tomlinson. The rest, including the epic 2014 tour featuring 5SOS opening for 1D which helped make them a household name, is history.
Thus, what seemed at first like admirable comradery on the part of 1D in supporting 5SOS was actually, in part, smart and somewhat self-serving promotion. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with that or that 1D’s actions were deceiving but rather, it is just a candid observation of the reality that 1D was in fact backing a horse for that 2014 tour and not just gratuitously helping a friend. Is 5SOS set to repeat this model?
Hi or Hey’s website sets forth the label’s mission statement as follows:
As we come into 2015, we want to make sure that nothing changes and we keep working together to make all of our dreams become reality. We hear amazing stories from our fans every day of how you spread the 5SOS word. From our friends in the Philippines who have campaigned to get our songs on the radio for the last few years, to our the amazing girls in France who postered all around Paris, we are blown away by your support. We love watching you all come together around the world for your 5SOS meet-ups.
So we have decided to create a record label and we want you guys to be a part of it. We will be releasing all of our music through “Hi Or Hey Records” in partnership with Capitol Records. We will also be signing our own bands and releasing them via the label.
Whether you consider this concept new or innovative or you don’t even care for it, I like the adventure that it brings. Imagine if 5SOS, a mega pop band in their own right, somehow discovers and signs the next mega band? That would be pretty exciting. However, I also think that it gives the artist the opportunity to learn something about what it is like to be on the other side of the glass. That could prove to be a very valuable lesson for an artist or a group of artists, particularly if the artist or artists (like 5SOS) are in the genesis of their career.
The reality is that 5SOS, by their own admission, were greatly boosted to stardom because they got entre into the spotlight by touring with 1D and by being constantly showered with glowing endorsements by them. 1D’s constant doting no doubt had an effect on the latter’s success even if it simply accelerated the inevitable. Now, 5SOS appears poised to do the same for Hey Violet even if that comes at a price for Hey Violet’s sake. At least in 5SOS’s case that price seemed to be well worth it. Either way for 5SOS and their new label, it’s clearly a lesson well learned. Sometimes history repeating itself can be a good thing.