TuneCore's Gleeson & Papoose tip bright future for indies at AIM's Future Independents Conference

Event attracts hundreds of creators and entrepreneurs from across the UK and beyond. Speakers from Bandcamp, Beatport, Interstellar, SoundCloud, Supernature, Vevo, YouTube Music, and more. Conference available to watch back online for one week.

London, 9th June 2023

Future Independents’, the free online conference from The Association of Independent Music (AIM) that democratises access to industry knowledge, attracted over 900 viewers from across the UK, as well as 40 countries worldwide.

A highlight of the day saw legendary Brooklyn rapper Papoose reflect on his journey from independent artist to self-releasing music, to joining TuneCore as Head of Hip-Hop earlier this year. Speaking with TuneCore CEO and Music Week’s 2022 International Woman of the Year, Andreea Gleeson, the pair heralded innovations in streaming and social media as key drivers of growth in the DIY market, having opened new avenues for artists to A&R their music and connect with diverse global fanbases.

Gleeson also cited developments in AI as a pivotal moment for the independent sector calling the nascent technology an opportunity for artists to pioneer new methods of augmented music production.

AIM CEO Silvia Montello added: “Having a fiercely independent music artist such as Papoose share his journey, alongside a highly successful female executive in our community at Future Independents, is hugely significant. It is particularly notable that both highlighted innovation and opportunities that AI can bring, if government help us to ensure the right guardrails are put in place to ensure future successes for human creativity.”

Future Independents seeks to equip self-releasing artists, independent labels, managers, and other entrepreneurs with the skills and connections they need to level up in their careers. Now in its third year, the event provides crucial support for independent artists and entrepreneurs to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing music ecosystem. The conference provides a central focus for the whole independent music landscape, including the rapidly growing DIY sector, which is worth almost $1.7 billion having grown 16.6% in 2022 (MIDiA), with the worldwide independent sector now making up 35% of the recordings market. However, with the volume of tracks now being uploaded to DSPs (120,000 on average per day according to Luminate), it’s more important than ever that emerging artists stand out from the crowd and build sustainable careers.

Other notable sessions across the event included Fair Pay For Every Play which saw Kameil Sattar (Digital Lead at Cargo Records), Andy Robinson (Interstellar CEO), Mel Cameron (Member Relationship & Development Manager at PPL) and Niclas Molinder (Founder at Session) discuss how rightsholders can best manage music metadata to ensure royalties are correctly allocated each time a track is played. This came hot on the heels of the Metadata Agreement announcement from government last week.

Emily Saunders (Vocalist, Composer, Producer, Broadcaster, Creator, Connects Music & We Are Music and AIM Board member), Stella Reid (Co-Director & Creative Lead at Rough Bones and AIM Board member), Alex Putman (Director at untitled recs) and Andy Musgrave (Director at Supernature) also featured during the Building A Scalable Business panel. With all four panellists having built successful SME music businesses, each offered key insights on how entrepreneurs can scale up through effective strategy and investment.

Know Your Platforms, Grow Your Business‘ saw Sarah Johnson (Client Relations Manager EMEA at FUGA), James McGuinness (Label Relations Manager UK at YouTube Music), Jack Bridges (Senior Manager, Label Relations at Soundcloud), Marina Palacios (Head of Label Relations [UK] at Beatport) and more discuss how artists can leverage platforms to cultivate fanbases via new marketing and promotional strategies.

Other sessions throughout the day included ‘Soundcheck: Insights On The UK’s Grassroots Live Industry‘, ‘Music Promotion In 2023: Targeted Ads, Traditional PR & New Tools‘, ‘Building A Career In Northern Ireland And Beyond‘, ‘Self-Management And Building Your Team‘, and ‘Sampling 101: Make Beats, Not Lawsuits‘.

Future Independents sits alongside AIM Sync and AIM Connected as part of AIM’s annual conference calendar. Its flagship event, the AIM Independent Music Awards returns later this year — submissions are currently open, with the deadline recently extended to Tuesday 13th June.

AIM would like to thank its Annual Platinum Partners, Amazon Music, Merlin, Meta, Spotify, VEVO and YouTube Music.


AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector. Our members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music.