Inside Producer & DJ Sunny Fotera’s Self-Released Top 10 Breakthrough With Dance Smash Asking | Labels

Australian producer and DJ Sonny Fotera teamed up with fellow DJ MK to make a chart impact with the dance track Asking featuring singer Clementine Douglas.

In its 13th week on the chart, the single entered the top 10 on Friday (October 13). In the UK alone it has claimed chart sales of 183,305 to date based on 21.2 million streams.

The feat is even more remarkable as the track is on London-based Sonny Fotera’s own label, Solotoko.

Foterra’s previous chart peak was in 2020, when the MK collaboration One Night (feat. Raphaella) peaked at No. 51 (387,098 sales to date).

Here, Greg Burnell, MD of management firm Palm Artists and partner at Three Six Zero, opens up about the Sony Fotera campaign…

How did you achieve this illustrative result with Sonny Fodera? What is the key to getting top 10?

“We released the track on Sony Fotera’s own label, Solotoko, through our label service company Palm Projects, distributed by ATA. It was a huge team effort across our London office, the sales and distro team at ATA, multiple ad agencies and our USA Three Six Zero partners.

„The track is 100% independent and self-funded, making it the first artist-owned dance label to achieve a top 10 single in a decade! This allowed us to flex our plans and budgets when it came to marketing spend, without the constraints of a multi-tiered organization. Our digital Truly exploring the effectiveness of ad campaigns, along with social media activity, has driven significant new fans for Sony and new audiences for the track. Jacko, Vicky and Ehsen at Listen Up and Aaron at Plug & Play delivered a groundbreaking radio campaign that built new ground for Sony across multiple networks.

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“We launched the track in early July knowing that Sony & MK would be doing massive live shows throughout the summer to build awareness and content. Festival slots at Brooklyn Mirage and Tomorrowland, Creamfields, Heart Summer and their Ibiza residencies were the perfect opportunities to create and embed the song in people’s summer memories, while acting as the backbone of a social campaign. Clementine Douglas provided some excellent live PAs of the track which really helped join the dots and further establish the track as a summer festival anthem in the UK.

„Since launch, we’ve ensured a steady stream of new moments in the campaign, with five different mixes, marketing activities and new ad assets every week. This has resulted in steady week-to-week growth in streaming as the radio campaign builds. Over 14 weeks, patience is required, but his audience is really into this particular path. We could see from the early data that the reaction was happening, so we had to keep serving until we hit our peak, which hasn’t come yet.

How is management increasingly important in terms of the label role – is this a good example of how that approach can work for artists?

“We have been servicing Sonny Fodera’s releases on his label Palm Projects for three years now. This was an important turning point for us as it gave us complete freedom in terms of schedules and marketing campaigns. As Sony’s management, we fully understand his brand and the potential of his audience, while using the tour as a key factor in our marketing plans.

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„There’s no such thing as a wasted investment in advertising or promotion in key territories, because a fan won’t buy tickets or listen to his records on multiple levels. So, we’re able to go above and beyond what most labels comfortably invest without direct income, and his brand is growing. The artist is theirs. It’s a true 360° approach when it comes to owning masters, and we’re very passionate about giving that opportunity to our management clients, along with others who want to support themselves.

Listening certainly taps into the current wave of fast-paced tracks that capture the energy of UK club culture

Greg Burnell

In terms of BPM, how does this track tap into dance music’s appetite for fast tunes? Do you see it continuing?

„Listen definitely tapped into the current wave of fast tracks that capture the energy of UK club culture. 127bpm might have been out of character for a vocal record a few years ago, but across the board we’ve seen things speed up, genre lines blur, which is always exciting!”

What’s next for Sony Fotera in terms of records and collaborations?

„Just Jazzy & Belters is coming soon to Sony, followed by another solo single and album on Solotoko in 2024, with his next headline show at Alexandra Palace on March 29.”

Could this week’s ADE show be an opportunity to celebrate this self-published chart breakthrough with the dance community in particular?

„We are all very much looking forward to ADE and it will be great to connect with partners around the world who have helped develop the trail so far. Partners from the US, Australia, SGA and Benelux continue to meet to discuss building the campaign in their regions. Sonny Fodera is hosting the Solotoko Showcase at the Chicago Social Club on Saturday. , and Corgan City are hosting their label party Enter the Realm and a packed schedule – so our team can’t wait to get back to Amsterdam this week.

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„A big shout out to Simone Benchausen and Scarlett Thomas for their tireless work on the campaign, and a huge thank you to Howard Garner at ADA for encouraging us to develop this side of our business.”

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