South African pop music outfit Beatenberg has signed to Island Records (part of Universal Music's global family), joining the roster of one of the world’s legendary and most artistically diverse record labels.
The announcement was made by Black Major, a music agency based in Cape Town, South Africa.
The signing happened at the end of a brilliant year for the award-winning three-piece, which saw the band have two standout international television performances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and on Later with Jools Holland.
Beatenberg also opened for Mumford & Sons on a number of the UK band’s American dates and joined them at their British Summer Time Festival appearance in London’s Hyde Park in July.
"We are thrilled that Island Records has recognised Beatenberg’s singular music," said Sevi Spanoudi, founder of Black Major. “Since first surfacing in 2012, the band’s music has been celebrated because of its authenticity and the fact that it doesn’t sound like anything out there. We were not surprised that it caught the attention of several international labels but there is no doubt that Island Records is a really the best fit for this exceptional band."
Spanoudi believes that Beatenberg’s signing to Island Records has significance for the country’s domestic music industry.
"There are few South African acts that have been truly welcomed into the international space. I’m positive that Beatenberg’s signing will help open doors for more artists creating homegrown music that appeals to a much broader, global audience."
Matthew Field (vocals and guitar), Robin Brink (drums) and Ross Dorkin (bass) released their debut album, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg, in 2014. A year later the album swept the 2015 South African Music Awards (Album of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Best Pop Album, and four awards for ‘Pluto’.) Their debut, Farm Photos, has been certified gold. Both ‘Rafael’ and ‘Pluto’ were number one radio play singles for 34 weeks, with several other tracks off the album charting on many different radio stations.
With the band’s signing to Island Records, it is possible Beatenburg will make it big on the global stage.
This article was originally published on Chanel 24 on 27 January 2017.