Northern Ireland’s Music is Going Global

The Answer, Fighting With Wire and In Case of Fire bring NI rock to the world stage

The international music industry has been catching up with rock bands in Northern Ireland, with an avalanche of international investments in Northern Ireland artists.

Derry trio Fighting With Wire have signed a 5-album deal with the Los Angeles office of Atlantic Records, a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and a deal with leading live touring agency Primary Talent (who represent Oasis and other major artists).

Pivotal to this deal were the brokerage skills of Derry’s Andrew Ferris, who has relocated his own Smalltown America record label from London back to his hometown.

Downpatrick’s The Answer, who over the past year have supported The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and The Who, and have sold over 100,000 copies of their debut album including a Top 30 chart position in Japan, have now been selected by computer game giant Activision to feature in Guitar Hero 4

Guitar Hero 3 sold 3 million copies in the two weeks following its US release, and Guitar Hero 4 has forecasted sales figures of 10 million copies.

Following their successful showcase appearances at the prestigious SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Armagh trio In Case of Fire have signed a management deal with market leaders Raw Power Management, have inked a worldwide recording deal with Columbia Records, and an international publishing deal with EMI Music.

'The current spate of international deals and major media endorsements for these Northern Ireland artists are hugely welcome,' says CEO of the Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission Ross Graham. 

'These bands are not only world-class recording and performing talents, but they also possess the focus and the dedication that is necessary to succeed in this hugely competitive industry. 

'Our recent high profile USA marketing and showcasing initiatives at SXSW showed the world’s music industry that Northern Ireland’s artists and music companies really mean business, with eight bands and artists showcasing their talents and a further eight music companies delegating and doing business at the event.’

As a direct follow on from the SXSW marketing initiative, NIMIC (in association with leading US media promotion company Planetary Group) are currently promoting 2 multi-artist CD compilations entitled New Music from Northern Ireland and Belfast Sounds of the City.

The compilations feature a total of 38 NI artists and will be sent to US radio and media. The response at radio is already proving to be very exciting with over 200 US stations playlisting Northern Ireland artists.

On Thursday June 5, NIMIC hosts a masterclass in Belfast on the all important area of music managemement. 

The event is presented by two of the UK’s most experienced and respected music management experts - Stuart Worthington and Elliot Rashman, who currently co-manage Manchester’s legendary Happy Mondays. 

Worthington is widely recognized as one of the leading international consultants on music management and the business of music. He also works closely with the influential Music Manager’s Forum. 

Rashman was also the management powerhouse behind Simply Red, and Mick Hucknall’s solo rise to fame and fortune. 

NIMIC's 'Management – What it Takes’ takes place in the Black Box, Hill St, Belfast, Thursday June 5, 1.00pm - 3.30pm