FIVE Music x Warner Music Group: A Promising New Partnership: Interview
Back in April it was announced that Warner Music Group would be joining forces with entertainment brand FIVE as their exclusive publishing partner.
The brand’s own record label FIVE Music announced the huge deal that will see them combine with Warner Music Group to bring something unique to the electronic music scene. FIVE Music has already built an impressive track record, encompassing all FIVE Hotels and Resorts events, they’ve booked the likes of MORTEN, Lost Frequencies and Joel Corry among others. They are now looking to take things to the next level and strengthen their roster with some of the freshest talents around.
In establishing this partnership, together they are looking to play to each other’s strengths. In the early stages of the partnership they been putting on music writing camps with some of the finest artists on the circuit, and have even invested in the FIVE Music Studio; state of the art premises at the FIVE Palm Jumeirah Resort featuring the best equipment and everything essential to create massive future hits. Luckily for us, we were able to take a look at these new facilities as we spoke to Aloki Batra, CEO of FIVE Hospitality and Axel Luenebach, Head of International Marketing at Warner Music Group, to gain some insight into the future of this prosperous new partnership.
Starting with Aloki. Congratulations on all the recent successes of the FIVE Hospitality Brands. In 2022, you were named as one of the most innovative companies of the year by Fast Company Middle East. What do you think made you stand out from your competitors last year, and the years before?
Batra – “One of the main reasons that Fast Company gave us this award is that we have taken the digital side of things very seriously since we opened in 2017. We realise that most people start their search for hotels and look for experiences and look for everything on their phone. The more digital content we created, and the more we focused on social media, the more we have been able to focus on digitally marketing ourselves”.
There was a clear approach, and that has always been to give you the touch, the feel and a taste of what it is like here, and our task has been to translate that into your phone. For example, we had Robin Schulz come into our video office the other day, and told us that one of our videos of him was one of the best he had seen in 10 years, and for us that’s a real compliment. We still want to get better at what we do in terms of content, and therefore we have formed this beautiful relationship with Warner because music, too, is content and is the future”.
Since that’s something you’ve touched on, how did the collaboration partnership with Warner Music Group come about?
Batra – “As I said, Warner has the reach, the presence and the knowhow; they’ve been there, they’ve done that and are world leaders in what they do. We have seen young artists and have nurtured them, giving them performances to give them confidence. But in meeting Warner we realised that we need them for what they do, which is for the scale, and taking those young artists to the next level. And for them, they can also send their young talent across to us, where we can give them performances, and studio time, and nurture them. The beauty is that they realised that some things they can’t do as well as we can, and vice versa, so that’s why it’s a very good relationship; our partnership makes sense”.
Taking advantage of each other’s qualities, what does this partnership mean for FIVE Music and the label in the future? How do you see it growing?
Batra – “For us, we’d like to be that hub for young talent. Most of our audience and our guests are very musically driven. We have already had a lot of top Warner artists such as Robin Schulz and Joel Corry with huge residencies here. As we go along, we want to host a lot more Warner artists and hopefully some more young talent and good music and therefore with our partnership with Axel and Warner we hope to make an impact globally”.
Luenebach – “I would agree, that’s what we’re here for, to create global hits in our partnership with FIVE and SDM (Stephan Dabruck Management). The ultimate target for every track is a billion streams, which only a few hundred tracks have achieved on Spotify. Here I’ve seen some shelf space outside where there is space for golden records, so when we come back and sit here next year, we should hopefully have some nice new decorations! Ultimately, we’re super ambitious and we think it’s a great joint venture and we cannot wait to start. The music I have been able to listen to already here today was really special. There is really good stuff coming up; about every six weeks there will be a record, that’s the plan”.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the studio, and the general idea behind how you’re going to use it in this partnership?
Batra – “So the studio sits on a rooftop and is more of an old-school studio in that it has been designed for the space by one of the best acoustic designers in the world. All the panels have been imported and the equipment is state of the art; it’s been a big investment. The key thing to having the right studio is to first have the right technology, but also have the right feeling, and hopefully we can make the artists feel comfortable and creative here. Compositions come from feelings and if you don’t have a feeling of creativity you can’t create magic. Hopefully the marriage of what FIVE does in terms of hospitality, the vibe here and the technology will lay the foundations for many hits”.
Luenebach – “We hope to have many more writers and producers working here, maybe another songwriting camp in the near future. The last one was a bit short notice, but moving forward it would be good to have more US artists coming here and finding inspiration. We have already had some of the best european songwriters here and you won’t find many better dance music artists than this, and I’m convinced we will be successful”.
Batra – “Once we send all the stuff from the most recent songwriting camp, it will get a lot of people talking and we’ll definitely garner more participation from here onwards!”
Looking ahead, how will you go about sourcing this new talent and in nurturing them along their journey?
Luenebach – “It is just a matter of networking really; I’ve been in the music business for 25 years. This studio has also been built by the best, and is very similar to our partners’ SDM studio in Frankfurt. People will hear about the quality of the facilities so not only will we approach people, but artists will approach us. We have begun to spread the message at IMS back in April and we will also be at ADE this year to present our ideas”.
Batra – “I also think, thanks to platforms like We Rave You, people read about us. Also nothing says success like a few hits from our songwriting camps and every young artist will want to come here. Going back to what’s coming up at ADE in Amsterdam in October, we will be hosting a big event there together with our friends at Warner. By then we should have a few tracks out there and we’re very excited about that”.
The location here at FIVE is so vibrant and inspiring, do you think that had an impact in drawing together your ideas and ultimately, your partnership?
Batra – “So the location was very compelling for Warner in our first meeting. They loved the concept, and that’s something that we do very well. Hopefully we can keep doing what we do very well and therefore the results are magical”.
Will you approach this partnership in a different way because FIVE is such a unique brand and experience?
Luenebach – “Of course. We will brand the whole label with FIVE Music, but what is unique is our songwriting camps, songs get written here. I’m looking forward to seeing upcoming Warner Music Group artists here and we can imagine doing big joint ventures like collaborations with big international pop artists. Nowadays, these types of joint ventures are way more common than before, as everybody is looking for ways to help to create a higher reach on Spotify internationally, so it’s definitely realistic that we can achieve great things together”.
Finally, everytime we come to FIVE we can see that you’re always expanding and innovating. Do you have anything else in the pipeline of where else you want to go after this?
Batra – The destinations are obvious for us. Perhaps Ibiza and Miami next. We want to take the FIVE brand to those places. Hopefully one day we can announce something positive.
Image Credit: Five Music