Discovering and Reviewing Amazing Local Talent: The Story of On The House

By Rutger Maas on 02-04-2019

On The House is a beautiful platform based in Bristol, where local artists can get their music reviewed by big names in the music industry. The platform is open to all artists, and strives to support local talent as much as they can. Since their mission is right up Gigstarter's alley, we had a chat with On The House-founder Marcus! Check out their website here.

How did On the House Music come to be, and what is it you do in the music business?

'So, On The House initially started as a local music reviewing platform back in 2013 that only reviewed artists who put their music up for free download. This was to try and help combat the lack of coverage these releases used to receive. But over the years, streaming services started taking over and everything became free - so our place in the market was slowly getting lost. Within this time I had the opportunity to play in my own band Crooked Little Sons and tour the UK extensively, meeting a whole host of local music enthusiasts who just want to support the scene, both big and small. This is where the idea for the On The House was born.'

OsborneThe man himself: Marcus Osborne

The idea

'The idea developed into us deciding to create a social media platform dedicated to having local artists reviewed by the people who inspire them the most. We get some of the most influential members of the music industry to create a free account, choose an artist at random and leave a review on their profile. Reviewers can win prices in raffles for reviewing artists & their own personal projects get promoted with every review! Artists can use these reviews to bulk-out their press packs and hopefully entice future contacts into taking a chance on them.'

'I run the entire backend of the website, from creating profiles for artists, editing & writing articles, merchandising, artist management and all the other little elements that keep it moving. Hopefully I’ll be able to take on some team members in the near future!'

'As far as my personal involvement in the industry is concerned outside of On The House, I’ve been playing guitar in Crooked Little Sons for countless years now, as well as playing bass in my recent hardcore project DORKS. I’ve just taken on my first open-air festival to help them with some PR & Marketing strategies as well as helping out local artists with PR campaigns when I can - I like to keep myself busy haha!'

Osborne Marcus definitely is a busy man. Check out the compilation cd of On The House artists he put together here.

What’s your mission with On the House Music?

'To give local artists the chance to have that ‘Oasis moment’ of being discovered by someone influential completely by chance and fairly. We want to create a space where local artists can be critiqued and praised by some of the most important people in the industry directly, so they also gain a valuable and powerful contact in the process to help them further their personal careers.'

What has been your proudest achievement with the platform?

'We’ve recently surpassed 50 guest reviewers on the website including members of Bury Tomorrow, Vive Le Rock Magazine, Black Foxxes, SHVPES, Louder Than War Magazine, Substream Magazine, Punktastic, Banquet Records, Boneyard Promotions and so many more. We are humbled by the support we have received in our first year of being an active website!'

What lessons have you learned while setting it up?

'Be creative with your time and write EVERYTHING down. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have to manage so many elements at once, so making sure everything is properly categorised and planned out makes the whole process much easier. This includes every little message, email or bit of research for a new project that pops in to your head at 4am - you may not have the time to complete that task right now, but schedule it in for the future so you don’t miss an opportunity because ‘you’ve got too much on right now. Being creative is what you do best, so explore every avenue!'

Are there any tips you could give upcoming artists?

'Keep your biographies and press kits short and simple. Don’t overcomplicate your EPKs (Electronic Press Kit) with information - just explain why you should be booked and what you are going to do to get it. Confidence in your craft is the biggest key to engaging the reader so be firm in your decisions, but also be friendly and approachable. Nobody likes an ego!'

Who would you consider the most underrated artist of our time?

'Oh wow… I’ve got a crazy amount of artists I could name right now. But I’d have to say that someone who deserves way more attention than they currently receive is ‘Pizza Tramp’, who have recently signed to TNS Records in Manchester. They are a group of hilarious dudes who play honest music without any bravado or theatrics. Just raw distortion and raw personality. It’s a quality that every band should aspire to embody to some degree.'

Pizza Tramp - My Back's F#@king F*&ked (Official Video)

What artist have you recently reviewed on your platform who completely astonished you?

'Slackrr. A pop punk band from Southampton, who were the first band I started managing last year under OTH Music Management. They were the first artist to ever floor me on the platform. Their debut single ‘Closest To Perfect’ was quite literally almost perfect. It had every element a good pop punk song needed and a inviting tone that will draw in any type of listener.'

'Bird Shoes from Brighton are an angsty punk two-piece, reminiscent of Slaves/IDLES and have complete attitude to boot. I’ve been rinsing their single ‘Lads’ recently and I love it. I’d also like to mention Lunar Bird from Cardiff, who create incredibly atmospheric shoegaze inspired dream pop that just melts your soul - for those of you who aren’t a fan of being screamed at haha!'

What do you have planned for the future with On the House?

'Promote, engage, rinse and repeat. The more we can engage with new members of the music community, the likelihood is that we will eventually be approached by some larger names in the industry to really give our artists the chance to have their music reviewed by the best of the best. We aren’t going to stop until we make that happen!'

Get on it! On The House is waiting for you to sign up. It's FREE, so you have nothing to lose! Sign up here.

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Tags: gigstarter, on the house