BYU commercial music student strikes deal with Artists Without a Label

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Johanna Jones’ debut EP “All The Way” was released on Spotify, iTunes, and all major music services. (David Jones)

BYU commercial music student Johanna Jones landed a deal with Artists Without a Label, setting the stage for her music to be distributed and heard internationally. Jones’ debut EP “All The Way” was released June 9 on Spotify, iTunes, and all major music services.

Since being accepted into the highly competitive commercial music program as a freshman four years ago, Jones has worked hard to find her voice, and now it’s paying off as she finds her place in the music industry.

“In the last few years I’ve identified my voice, more of the sound that I like, and the kind of artist I want to be,” Jones said.

Jones’ manager Danielle Calder said her hope for Jones’ music is, first and foremost, for people to hear the songs.

“After they hear the songs, I truly believe they will fall in love with Johanna as an artist,” Calder said. “Each of these songs is catchy and relatable.”

Calder described Jones’ style as powerful, meaningful pop music with a singer-songwriter flare. She said Jones’ team is relying on fans to promote the music by sharing it with their friends and on social media.

“Johanna has an incredible, unique and versatile voice. Another one of Johanna’s strengths is that she and her team write amazing songs,” Calder said.

Calder said even though this is Johanna’s first time releasing original music, each of her songs sound professional.

“I credit this to Johanna’s work ethic, her production team, and of course the songwriting of each song,” Calder said.

Jones said for her, music is all about touching people.

“I like to write things that people identify with and that help them get through the day. Sometimes you need a pick me up, and I like to write songs that pick people up,” Jones said.

Jones and Calder aren’t the only ones celebrating the breakthrough deal. Jordan Kamalu, Jones’ co-writer and producer and a BYU commercial music graduate, is thrilled with the offer.

Kamalu said since Artists Without a Label is a digital-only distributor, one of the strengths of the company is their unique ability to develop relationships necessary to facilitate music discovery on streaming platforms such as Spotify.

“AWAL has a really good track record of getting artists placed onto curated playlists on Spotify, which is a huge way people discover new music now,” Kamalu said. “Radio is still huge, but to a certain extent these curated playlists have replaced radio.”

With Artists Without a Label, Jones has another avenue to distribute her music.

“As an independent artist, it has been proven to be virtually impossible to get on to broadcast pop radio without the support of a record label,” Kamalu said.

AWAL gives artists a partnership and allows them to retain 100 percent of their rights. AWAL members receive access to the new AWAL app, which provides real-time insights into income, audience demographics and streaming performance, according to AWAL spokesperson Sean Stevens.

In addition, members receive dedicated global support, access to additional services such as the potential to receive funding and the benefits of a being a part of a curated roster.