The IMI 9th May 2022

YMU’s new label: ‘We have the flexibility and funding to take careers to the next step’

Launched in April, AmperSounds has been billed as a home for emerging artists based on decades of artist management experience…

Management company YMU has a music roster that would be the envy of many, representing a diverse list of names such as Jesy Nelson, Years & Years, MNEK and Take That in the UK alone, with Blink 182, Kommon and Steve Aoki among the firm’s global stars in the US.

Add to that a clutch of sports stars on both sides of the Atlantic, and a wealth of top British TV talent including Ant & Dec, Claudia Winkleman, Richard & Judy, Tess Daly and Graham Norton, and YMU’s cross-disciplinary credentials are compelling to say the least.

Founded in 1984, with offices in LA, London, Washington, New York and Manchester, the company broadened its horizons beyond management last year, with the launch of a new music label called AmperSounds.

Led by YMU’s Head of Streaming And Audience, Alistair White, and in global partnership with Believe, the label’s first release was The Season – a single from indie-pop artist Oli Fox, who has already amassed over 10 million streams across all platforms.

Existing YMU management client Lucy McWilliams, who has over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, will release her debut EP on AmperSounds later this year.

The IMI caught up with Alistair White to find out more about AmperSounds and the ambition YMU has for the label…


Why a label and why now?

One of the main motivations for starting the label was easing the route to market for the artists on our roster still in development. When those artists are ready to release new music, we now have a team and structure ready to go immediately that can tell their artist story and deliver high calibre release campaigns. Through the label, we have the flexibility and funding to focus on delivering the best campaigns possible and take their careers to the next step.

The label also allows us to work with a wealth of talented artists outside our own roster. We are passionate about music and sometimes we discover artists that we love that already have talented management in place. Through AmperSounds, we can still work with those artists and their teams and deliver our expertise and services to help them grow and succeed.


What do you think you can bring to a label operation that isn’t in the market currently?

We have decades of experience in artist management, representing some of the country’s biggest artists and have built up expertise in every area required to create a successful artist campaign. Also, the YMU team is packed with talented people not only in the music team but the wider organisation. Artists on our label will have a big team of people they can tap into across streaming, digital marketing, creative and many other areas. We plan to funnel this experience and knowledge into being an artist-friendly label; we have a unique perspective in what artists and their teams want for a label.

"We aim to grow beyond short-term deals and be a true label home for artists."

What kind of artists are you looking for?

We are open to working with any artist. The only requirement is that we love the music they are creating. Though we are primarily supporting artists in development, we are open to discussions with all artists and from any genre.

In terms of artists on your management roster, what will determine whether they sign to AmperSounds or elsewhere?

With the management clients, it’s very much up to the artists themselves if they choose to work with AmperSounds. They can choose to start their careers with AmperSounds, use it as a label for certain projects or even be signed to AmperSounds for all their releases. With our background in management as a company, we know that it’s important to find the right label home for artists at the right time in their careers. That may well be with AmperSounds or it may be elsewhere. What’s important for our management clients is that if they are looking for a home for their music, there is a great option available through the great team they are already working with who understand them and their music already and are passionate about their success.


What’s your long-term vision for the label? What level would you like it to reach?

We plan to grow the roster and continue to sign artists from outside our own roster. We want to be a label that any new and emerging artists will consider as an option for their music and aim to grow beyond short-term deals and be a true label home for artists.