Alex Pilkington

Alex Pilkington


Once signed to Island Records, still owing Universal over £250k, I have been a published singer/songwriter on major labels, indie labels, ran labels, played guitar with some of the world’s greatest and ran studios and production companies. The main passion is artist development and looking at ways the independent artist / producer and writer community can work in today’s climate. 

SHOUT4 is a company I co-founded which looks to assist the development of the DIY music scene by creating Revshare deals, which are legally binding and look to offset large upfront costs by sharing in future revenues. I'm a big fan of watching how tech can help solve problems. I'm fascinated by how the more music consumption changes, the more it stays the same.

Where are you based?

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.

Where do you work? What do you do?

At home, right?! I am working as part of a small team pushing a really great startup, SHOUT4 which enables independent artists, managers, labels etc to create deals online – crucially they’re ‘rev share’ deals, which means you can use the sharing of future revenues as a way to negotiate down upfront costs from a professional. Like, imagine wanting to get your music produced by Inflo, he MIGHT consider a reduction in upfront fees if you were prepared to cut him in on publishing and live. Possibly Inflo may not have the time actually, but you get the point? Crucially, these deals can be done on a mobile, in a studio, they’re approved by Clintons and artists. It’s a startup, so it’s all hands to the pump always! 

What are you listening to?

A playlist called “The Sun Laughs At The Earth” from US artist Bobby Lee. Nice and wobbly and warm.

How do you discover new music?

I’m lucky to be constantly surrounded by musicians and the word of mouth works really well! A dear friend runs ‘The Book And Record Bar’ in London and he’s always turning me on to amazing music. A few friends and I do a monthly playlist together on Spotify and that’s always really fun and great for discovery (it’s called ‘Crimonex’ and it’s monthly and we’ve set it up badly so you can’t follow it, a Christmas project). I hate to say it, as a vinyl purist, but that ‘Discover Weekly’ algorithm is a clever thing! I often read blogs, especially on Rough Trade and follow many artists on Bandcamp who often inspire. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of great music out there, I thought I knew a lot, turns out….

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

Vinyl is my go-to but my main shop window is DSPs. I tend to try things out in DSPs and make a purchase from a record shop. I bought the recent Floating Points LP on CD totally by accident, but that’s been lovely in the car (that old). It’s funny, the way I consume music is so utterly different! DSPs are (as I think Bowie predicted) like “running water”, always there, always on. If I want to listen to a record then that’s a decision, a commitment and a totally different experience.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

At home these days. I still work in music production when I’m lucky, so I do have a lovely setup with Universal Audio and Focal monitors which are utterly under-used playing from Spotify all day whilst working! Vinyl-wise, I have a QUAD setup with Focus One deck.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Interesting, I’m not sure I listen to that much pre-release unless I’m somehow involved in it actually. Traditionally, SoundCloud, Google, Disco. If a project I’m involved with, then often Digital Pigeon.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I cannot stand Google links to music, such a clumsy interface for that, won’t play hi-res through the browser etc. SoundCloud’s feature of skipping to utterly irrelevant musical genres after listening to a link is infuriating also. I hate all ads. Email and WhatsApp links are a pain too, like, who wants that? The minute you click anywhere on your PC the music stops!

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

Save to playlists mainly if on the DSPs. Otherwise, I struggle to be totally honest, it’s a web of desktop files, downloaded files, uploaded to Dropbox / Soundcloud / Google. It’s not very efficient, that’s for sure.

“I struggle to be totally honest, it’s a web of desktop files, downloaded files, uploaded to Dropbox / Soundcloud / Google. It’s not very efficient, that’s for sure.”

Byta delivers fast and secure audio sharing

With Byta you are in control of your music.

Read More

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

I share links from the music – more often than not via WhatsApp or Signal. Great to do from Bandcamp too.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Check out Make Friends. Cracking band from Bristol. I love their track ‘Hesitate’ the most.

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