Brussels, 5th July 2016

This is the final edition of the FIVEUNDERFIFTEEN campaign showcasing top labels 15 years young or younger. Since the beginning of the campaign in March, each month five European young labels are featured in The Independent Echo but this month’s selection is unique because it includes an additional label from the United States.

These inspiring and innovative music companies represent the diversity and strength of the independent music scene. Their presence at Tallinn Music Week, Midem, Primavera Pro and the A2IM Libera Awards was a great opportunity to hear their stories and their views on the music sector.

The new labels selected for this month’s special SIXUNDERFIFTEEN starts in Norway with Jansen Plateproduksjon, before heading to Croatia with LAA. We will then visit Transgressive Records from the United Kingdom, Machete from Italy and Own Records in Luxembourg. Finally, you will meet the American label nominated by our US sister organisation A2IM, Innovative Leisure which received the Young Label Spotlight Award during the A2IM Libera Awards on June 16th in New York.

The FIVEUNDERFIFTEEN campaign will continue to be available on The Independent Echo and on the story corner of IMPALA’s website.

IMPALA’s 15th anniversary will continue with new initiatives celebrating the independent sector around this year’s theme, being young and independent.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA said: “Feedback on the campaign is so positive it’s a shame this is the last edition. With six labels this time, this set of inspiring stories is extra special and it’s great to conclude with a young American label. Thanks to all 21 labels who have taken part.”

The five labels nominated shared their views on their local scene and their work:

Erik Jansen – Jansen Plateproduksjon (Norway):

“The music scene in Norway and especially in the big cities Oslo and Bergen is amazingly exciting and vibrant. There’s so many great bands and artists. Which is a good thing.”

Mario Grdosic– LAA (Croatia):

“The independent and alternative scene really is booming in Croatia in the past few years, tons of great young artists coming out every few months. We only release records we like ourselves, the type of music we would listen at home, so we’re happy there is a lot to choose from.”

Toby L – Transgressive Records (United Kingdom):

“Transgressive is blessed to have originated in the UK, which remains one of the most progressive, forward-thinking, fastest, eclectic and exciting music climates on the planet. However, we realise there’s a whole world out there, and great music travels.

We are an emblem of the artists we work with – if people think Transgressive is an exciting music company, that’s because we’re privileged to work with incredible artists – long may that continue. Thank you to everyone that continues to support us and our music.”

Machete crew – (Italy):

“Rap in Italy, like everything else, has arrived very late. There’s not a real knowledge of this spirit and reaching people is very hard. Many rap artists, in order to become “mainstream” and be able to live from their music, prefer to change their style and become more “pop”. We are trying to reach a large audience without distorting our work.”

Valentin Sanchez Own Records (Luxembourg):

“Could it think, the heart would stop beating.” (F. Pessoa’s quote).

Nate NelsonInnovative Leisure (United States):

“There’s going to be trials and tribulations and then probably some more trials and tribulations, but it’s a marathon and not a sprint so you must be flexible and willing to adapt with the times. Most importantly, treat your artists well as they are your family and lifeblood and as long as you believe in the music / artists you release, good things will come around.”

IMPALA’s young label campaign is open to labels who are the same age as IMPALA or younger, i.e. established in November 2000 or after. For this campaign IMPALA worked with The Independent Echo, Midem (France), as well as Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), Westway LAB Festival (Portugal) and Primavera Pro (Spain).


IMPALA represents independent music companies and associations across Europe. Its mission is to grow the independent sector. To celebrate IMPALA’s 15th anniversary, various initiatives are taking place across Europe under the “IMPALA 15” banner, including special editions of the IMPALA awards and events at industry gatherings such as Amsterdam Dance Event, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Tallinn Music Week, Westway Lab, Primavera, Midem, Reeperbahn etc.  IMPALA’s milestones illustrate what independents have achieved in 15 years of collective action at European level.

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