General Manager U.S., 4AD
Nabil Ayers is the US General Manager of Beggars Group label 4AD where he has run campaigns for The National (GRAMMY® award winner in 2018), Big Thief (GRAMMY® award nominee in 2020 & 2021), Grimes, Future Islands and St. Vincent as well as reissue campaigns including Pixies’ album Doolittle, which was certified Platinum in 2019. He has served as an elected Governor of the New York chapter of the Recording Academy since 2018 and also sits on the Chapter's Membership and Nominating Committees. Ayers was named one of Billboard magazine's "Indie Power Players” in 2021, 2020 and 2019.
After opening Seattle's Sonic Boom Records store at age 25, Ayers sold it to a longtime customer in 2016. As both an executive and an artist who began his career as a musician, Ayers has performed on several albums on both independent and major labels. On his own label, The Control Group, Ayers has released music by Lykke Li, The Killers, PJ Harvey and his uncle, the jazz musician Alan Braufman.
Ayers has written about race and music for The New York Times, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and GQ and he will publish his memoir with Viking Books in 2022.
@nabilayers || nabilayers.com
The Evolution of the Indie Label – What Does the Future Hold?
10/13/21, 5:00 PM
How have indies evolved to compete in today’s music environment? From adapting to a streaming-dominated market, the migration of physical to chiefly vinyl, navigating D2C and other revenue streams, and the changed working environment and lack of artist touring during the pandemic, today’s indies are operating markedly different businesses than only a half-decade ago.
What are the advantages to artists to work with indies? Has the economics of a frothy new artist signing climate affected indies? How do indies compete and continue to offer a different value proposition from majors, service companies or distributors?
We’ll also look at what the pandemic has taught us unique to our business that we can utilize in future years; competing in a DSP-dominated streaming business; the roles of press and radio for indie labels and their artists; and the roles of digital and conventional distributors.