Posted on December 3, 2012 by Marina
There’s a handful of organizations in Canada who do their part in supporting the Canadian indie music and arts scene. Audio Blood – a full-service artist and brand development company – is one of them and they’re celebrating their anniversary this month.
As huge supporters and friends of this wonderful organization, we’re happy to spotlight the woman that started it all! Meet Sari, President and Founder of Audio Blood.
(Sari, president and Zach, general manager)
What is Audio Blood and how did it get started?
Audio Blood is a lot of things, but on paper Audio Blood is a brand and artist development company based in Toronto. We conduct creative publicity and marketing campaigns for a number of clients including Canadian Music Week, Sneaky Dee’s Concert Venue & Restaurant, Jägermeister Canada, Coalition Music, Paper Lions, Tim Chaisson, The Mohawk Lodge, Andy Brown, SoHo Ghetto, Gabrielle Papillon, Hands & Teeth, Amos the Transparent, and a number of great artists and brands! We also manage the careers of The Balconies and Ben Caplan.
What are some types of events that Audio Blood hosts?
We try to stay as connected with the Canadian music community as possible! This means getting to throw raging rooftop parties at North by Northeast, CN Tower VIP galas at Canadian Music Week, backyard parties at Halifax Pop Explosion, Hollerado Nacho House’s at Pop Montreal and NXNE, our annual Holiday Rager in Toronto, and more!
We’ve done hundreds of events across North America! Some of the most memorable ones that come to mind are our annual rooftop parties for NXNE. This year we had a last minute venue change that caused a bit of chaos but thanks to my great team and amazing community we were able to locate a back up rooftop in minutes and move the party down the street! It turned out to be the most epic party we have done with over 500 people in attendance! There were plenty of free drinks and snacks for all. The Balconies, Sandman Viper Command, Les Breastfeeders were just some of the artists that got everyone dancing. I still don’t know how we pulled that party off! It was really quite magical.
This year we also had the pleasure of working on the CN Tower gala with Canadian Music Week. Joel Plaskett and Ben Caplan performed to a packed room high above the city! It was a surreal feeling and me being a MASSIVE Joel Plaskett fan, it was definitely one of those moments you know you’ll remember for a very long time.
Every year to close out another 365 days of staying in business we throw an annual Holiday Rager/Anniversary party for the company. In previous years we’ve had great bands like Great Bloomers, Ruby Coast, The Balconies, Oh No Forest Fires, Sandman Viper Command, and more grace the stage. This year we’re gearing up for another one for the books featuring Hands & Teeth, Amos the Transparent, Secret Connection, and Acres of Lions on December 7th at Sneaky Dee’s!
Every year we try to go bigger than the year before! It’s daunting heading in to 2013 but we already have some ideas brewing!
Favourite event that Audio Blood organized?
That is VERY difficult to choose but in this moment I would have to say my favourite event was our 1st year anniversary at the Horseshoe Tavern. Not just because we had made it through 1 year of business, but because for me it was an overwhelming validation of the support from the local community towards Audio Blood, our artists, and our brand. It didn’t really occur to me that so many people knew who we were let alone cared enough to come out and support and congratulate us! That was a huge wake up call and proved to me, “HEY you’re making an impact.” It propelled me in to 3 more years of business and it’s the same feeling that does every day. So right now, that is my favourite show we have done because I’m feeling nostalgic and all that gooey stuff haha!
Favourite acts Audio Blood works with?
That’s like asking a mother who her favourite child is. It’s just too difficult! Not that I am a mother, but I have that kind of love for our clients and artists! They all have their unique differences are so MEGA talented in their own ways that it’s just impossible to answer. I will tell you though I am listening to the new Mohawk Lodge record for the 3rd time in a row today. It’s unreal.
I am very lucky I get to go to work every day and represent artists I feel truly passionate and excited about. Every artist on our roster is my favourite!
What’s the best part about helping and working with indie acts?
There’s many great parts but for me the best thing is getting to feel the growth of a band or artist. Sitting down and talking about your plans and goals and then 1 or 2 years looking back and being there. And thinking “remember when we talked about this that night?” That’s a truly great feeling. Getting feedback from fans and industry people about artists, feeling that traction, and strategizing your next move. With developing artists a lot of the time it can feel like you’re doing all the wrong things and annoying everyone, but while that frustration is on the forefront I like to believe there are other forces at work. If you’re focused and work your ass off things start to click and you can look back and feel the growth. It feels really good to set out goals and meet them with artists, especially when those artists are truly amazing and deserve all the exposure in the world!
Your Anniversary is coming up at Sneaky Dee’s – where do you see Audio Blood 4 years from now? Where do you see the Toronto music industry heading?
Four years from now I think we will be doing much the same that we are now but hopefully on a much larger scale. I hope we will be able to have twice the amount of contacts and experience and will be able to use that to help more artists and get them where they desire faster. I hope we can grow in to a larger company without ever loosing our focus on the community and keeping our finger on the pulse in the local scene.
The Toronto music industry will always be ticking. We have a great pool of artists inspiring each other and exporting nationally and I think this will never stop. I think as we shift through different trends (for example the outpour of EDM music right now) the need for great songs and rock and roll will never die. I think we are seeing a shift where the major labels are struggling to develop talent and the old strategies and systems aren’t proving effective. It leaves room for young and forward thinking industry people and artists to fill that gap and find unique ways to market to Toronto fans and beyond! It’s an exciting time for Toronto and I predict there will lots of young and backward thinking (for lack of a better word) artists rising to the top.
Top 3 up and coming artists to keep an eye out on?
Right now I can’t get enough of July Talk, Indian Handcrafts, and Whitehorse! And those are artists I don’t work with, so you know I am being unbiased! From the AB stable there are AMAZING new releases from Gabrielle Papillon, The Balconies, Tim Chaisson, The Mohawk Lodge, Paper Lions, North Lakes, Amos the Transparent, and a number of others! Head over to our website and you can download the new AB mixtape, which features 1 free track from each artist: http://audioblood.com.