Nadin Amizah’s - ‘kalah bertaruh’ EP - A successful rollout built around authenticity, collaboration, and a symbiosis with upstream players
Even when you have some of the biggest budgets and longstanding platforms to promote your artists, it’s always hard to match the rewards of working with a team that is as invested in the artist’s career as the artist itself. This is the case of the success of Nadin Amizah’s “kalah bertaruh” EP’s launch - a campaign that consolidated her place as one of the most successful indie folk artists in Indonesia.
Nadin Amizah is a rising star in the Indonesian independent scene, known for very poetic lyrics on top of sweet, soft and emotional guitar driven music and a sound highly reminiscent of the 2000’s US indie folk scene productions. In 2020, before hitting 20 years old, she released her debut LP “Selamat Ulang Tahun” to an enormous amount of success. After reaching more than 5 million Spotify streams in only 3 days, she won the “Best Folk Album” for the Anugerah Musik Indonesia awards (AMI), the country’s equivalent to the US Grammies.
Having such a successful run could have been used as an excuse to make a victory lap before diving into her next album. However, she didn’t waste any time and went right into action with an audacious EP that arrived less than a year apart from her widely acclaimed debut LP. “kalah bertauh” is an EP that talks about diving into a relationship that will probably go down in flames, yet doing it with reckless abandon.
Contrary to the sadness underlying “kalah bertauh”’s concept, the rollout strategy resulted in very positive results. Taking Nadin Amizah’s profile to new places, including a big billboard in Times Square in NY Times as part of Spotify’s EQUAL program, and giving her more than 32M streams of the EP up to date.
The importance of a tailor made management strategy
Although Nadin’s following has a lot to do with the authenticity of her sound and how it constantly strikes a chord on many of the members of Indonesia’s Z generation, a key to the success “kalah bertauh” was the the role played by Tania Anggarda Paramit, founder of Tap Projects, the company that overviews Nadin’s management.
With a 10 year career in the music industry and business management, Tania opened Tap Projects in early 2020 to support independent artists from Indonesia who create great music but might lack some of the business and marketing skills required to make their songs reach their full potential audiences. According to Tania, the aim of the project is to “help to create a music industry that is healthy and synergized from top to bottom”.
An element that stands out in Tania’s management philosophy is to leave the artist’s creative vision untouched, letting the music be as authentic as possible. As she mentions, “We don’t do A&R. We trust completely in the artist's concept. Once they have their music ready, we work together with them to create a good story for their marketing plan and create the content for all platforms”.
[Tap Projects] just have great marketing plans that have high engagement with the fans
In the current landscape where 60k songs are uploaded to Spotify every day, curators at DSP’s are more than ever interested not only in showcasing artists with great music, but also those that can do a great job at promoting, so they ultimately bring traffic into the platform. This is why Tap Projects' role in the campaign was key to the release.
Once Nadin’s EP was ready, they opened up a dialogue with Believe’s team to amplify the reach of the project. The proposal was well received due to Nadin’s profile and Tap Projects’ successful track record regarding marketing plans for their artists; but also because it fitted a local trend in which leading DSP’s working in Indonesia are paying closer attention to both regional and female artists.
A collaboration strategy with upstream players
Believe’s participation in the rollout of “kalah bertaruh EP” involved two areas, a PR work with major DSP’s, as well as a 3 month audience development strategy for Youtube.
The EP received great coverage throughout DSP’s. Spotify made Nadin the cover of 3 playlists, including “New Music Fridays”, “Top Hits Indonesia” and “Puncak Klasemen”, and featured her in other 4 playlists. She was also supported by having different ads taking over Spotify’s home page and other banners in the days following the release of the EP. Meanwhile, she also received support from Youtube, which featured her in playlists such as “Released” and “Fresh Indonesia Pop”, whilst Apple Music included her in “Indonesian Music Today” and “Indonesian Music Slider.”
Another important element of the campaign was keeping Nadin’s story at the top of mind of DSP’s and other relevant upstream players, which could create important opportunities beyond the push through playlists. In this case, this symbiosis between Believe and some of its upstream allies led Nadin to be featured in a billboard at Times Square in New York as part of Spotify’s EQUAL Program in April 2021.
The EQUAL program, which was the subject of a previous article, aims to reduce the problem of gender inequality in the music charts by showcasing female talent worldwide, using several playlists and promotional support (ads, billboards, social media content) for selected artists from over 50 countries.
Nadin’s feature on Spotify’s Times Square billboard was a unique opportunity for an independent Indonesian artist such as herself. And the news of this event made waves back home, creating a lot of buzz throughout the specialized media and adding another layer of reputation to her artistic profile.
We are an intermediary, so we work closely with all DSPs to provide content/artists that align with their programs and playlists. As part of this, artists under Believe are constantly included in interactions that go from weekly/monthly calls, to pitch-planning meetings and even private listening sessions. We also work with artists about their release plans, advise them for successful digital marketing/promotion, and fight for them to get more visibility around the world
A strategy to turn Nadin’s Youtube channel into a high performing platform
Beyond PR work, Believe’s involvement also focused on the optimization of Nadin’s Youtube Channel as well as implementing several content activations that had the objective of increasing the traffic to the channel. This was a crucial element to capitalize the great momentum gathered around this release. Since Believe collaborated with Nadine Amizah’s channel, the amount of viewers and watch time increased by 300% and the number of subscribers increased by 225%. This means that the amount of viewers increased by 16.8 millions and the number of subscribers increased by 149 thousand.
Tania Anggarda Paramit is confident that the success of this campaign goes back to three main elements: authenticity, collaboration and trust.
Authenticity, in the sense that she feels that Nadin’s music expresses something very honest and vital for the new generations, and it's important that this feeling is transmitted as pristine as possible to the audience.
Collaboration and trust, meaning that all of the processes of the project were nurtured by a great degree of dialogue between Nadin and their management company, and the same goes for the communications between Tap Projects and Believe’s team. In her own words, “once you learn to reduce your ego and open for discussions, better strategies seem to appear”.
We can also add “symbiosis with the right upstream players” to the mix. Once you have a career such as Nadin’s, which is backed by a solid management and music marketing strategy, you are ready to take on big opportunities and deliver. This is when engagement with upstream allies, such as the one that Believe’s platform can provide for independent artists, becomes very valuable. In this case, the chance for Nadin to be part of Spotify’s EQUAL program led to a feature that helped to build a side of her career that goes beyond the value that any volume of streams can create.
Although expectations were high, the success of “kalah bertauh”’s campaign showed that Nadin Amizah is much more than a Z generation novelty. Making great use of her ever evolving creativity and the support of her management team she is proving to be a rising star that is able to keep gain momentum with each new project, making sure she will evolve into a longstanding icon of Indonesia’s musical landscape.