Point Edward’s Nic Swales was blown away by an email from a music marketing company shortly after the release of his new CD, Worker, this spring.
“I was amazed,” he said. “There is such a flood of independent music on the internet that you can easily get lost in the noise.”
But the nine songs Swales wrote and recorded at Adam Miner’s DNA Recording Studio in Sarnia had been noticed online by an American promoter called Twin Vision.
They were interested in a deal with Swales to distribute his CD around the world to some 200 independent radio stations.
Swales was excited but surprised by the attention, and questioned if it was legitimate.
“So I talked to an entertainment law firm to make sure it wasn’t a scam.”
He confirmed Twin Vision is legit with a long history of promoting independent artists.
“This is international. It’s crazy,” said 40-year-old who has been writing and recording his own music for decades. “I doubt I’ll ever achieve anything as big as this again.”
With Twin Vision’s help, Swales’ new CD is reaching independent radio stations throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe this week. But rather than arrive unsolicited, his music is represented by Twin Vision, owned by Peter Hay, a promoter with a 40-year track record and a reputation in the industry for working with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Ronnie Spector years ago.
“Airplay for Worker isn’t 100% guaranteed but it’s super likely it’s going to happen,” said Swales. “Peter Hay and Twin Vision have a connection with these people.”
Independent radio stations tend to be community or university-based, helping Swales’ music reach a market that’s often tricky to tap into.
Over the next two months, a team from Twin Vision will call each station and track how well Swales’ songs are doing.
Worker is his fourth CD and was three years in the making.
Swales’ style has been described as a combination of folk, pop and rock. But Worker is a little different, he said. It’s far more commercial and the lyrics speak to everyday life as a blue collar worker.
Swales is an electrician working in Chemical Valley and said the CD reflects his own life in some ways.
“Not every song is about me but I have a very personal connection with it.”
It came together more organically than his previous work, with minimal editing and a little more of a rock sound, Swales said.
Twin Vision has chosen to label it “Americana,” a genre that draws from various American music styles including country, folk, bluegrass and R & B.
The closest independent station to receive Worker is 94.9 CHRW Radio Western in London. Other than radio play, it can also be heard on most online platforms including Spotify, Google Music and Amazon.
Swales has been performing solo at numerous events and local bars this summer including Beats on the Street at Refined Fool, the Bright’s Grove Music Fest and Bad Dog. He is booked to play outdoors at Bridges at the Holiday Inn in Point Edward on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.