First we take Midem ...
... then we take the world

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Dec 20/99) - Shadowland Records based in Fort Smith is heading to France for the second year in a row.

The company will be attending Midem, the world's premiere international music market, located at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. The event drew 9,756 participants, 4,261 companies, 800 performing artists and 706 journalists from 93 countries last year.

Participants include indie labels, major labels, publishers, licensors, distributors, producers, agents, managers, festival promoters and concert organizers.

For Shawdowland's owner Bill Wade, Midem is a mecca of opportunity, as the past year has proved.

Wade picked up a global licensing deal at Midem 1999. Galaxy Music, based in the Netherlands, liked Sounds of the Subarctic, the first in a series of relaxation tapes. After eight months of negotiation, Wade made the deal with Galaxy.

A licensing deal gives a production and distribution company or a publishing company the right to reproduce and sell a CD within a negotiated territory.

"Plus, Sounds of the Subarctic is our first CD that we've actually sold everything we had, the whole product. It's the first time we've been able to say that," says Wade

A second CD, Sound of the Borealis, is being planned.

Deals such as the one Wade made with Galaxy music take time.

"You sort of have to have a time-line vision. And it's going to take years to develop. I had people there who literally said to me, 'Come and talk to us if you're still here in two or three years.'"

"They see so many fly-by-night operations, gold-digger, one-timers, trying to come out and nail something. Our main goal is to provide reputable representation of the artist. We're a solid label. We're here and we're going to be here for decades to come. This is a long-term vision."

Wade eventually hopes to be a "feeder label," providing quality Northern music to large labels like EMI or Geffen.

"I am meeting with those kinds of people. It is happening. And the artists have the talent."

Meanwhile, it's one step at a time.

"We have some really exciting expansion occurring this year. We claim to be delivering great music from Canada's Northern recording artists and to that end we wanted to expand the Shadowland family of artists," says Wade.

Shadowland has just signed Yellowknife's Tracy Riley and popular hip-hop duo, Unonymus Inc.

"We're really excited about both of those. And we'll be doing some licensing and distribution deals for them."

Shadowland Records, which started in 1993, has as its mandate to produce and promote the "eclectic music of the North."

The young label's family of artists also includes Pat Braden, Larry Gray, Kim Kuzak, Paul Carroll, Electric Chair Skeletons, Red Light District and Cathleen Lesperance, all NWT artists.

And look out for a new release from Red Light District.

Wade leaves Jan. 20 for the five-day music marketing extravaganza. Until then he's preparing promotional materials, booking meetings -- working a minimum of 12 hours a day for the talent he believes in.