Musicunsigned to becomes Web's first record label

Success of the Web site drives company to become independent record label

Musicunsigned plans to launch itself as a music publisher making it the first dotcom record label according to its A&R director Stewart Feeney Thursday.

Launched in September 1999, musicunsigned is an online music library that gives exposure to new artists and bands. In October Nottingham-based hip-hop band Smokers Blend 3000 became the first band to be signed via the Web. The band releases its first single in June.

Since then five others have followed suit -- including Garage artist Lilly Ray who has been signed to EMI and soul singer Lain Gray who has gone to Soul II Soul. It is partly the success of the Web site that has convinced A&R director Stewart Feeney to become a record label in its own right.

"We reaslised we had a team of qualified A&R people and were successfully finding bands just to hand them straight over to EMI or Sony," Feeney says. "We are now going to become a music publishing company and eventually an independent record label."

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