In the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry, few names shine as brightly as Phrased Differently (PD). Led by the visionary MD and founder, Hiten Bharadia, this independent music publishing company has carved a unique niche for itself, earning the moniker of the “Robin Hood of the publishing industry.” In this article, we delve deep into the success story of PD, exploring their journey, accomplishments, and their distinctive approach to nurturing talent.
A Legacy of Hits
PD’s remarkable journey is marked by a plethora of achievements that have left an indelible mark on the music industry. Their track record boasts more than 3,000 song placements, including chart-topping hits by industry giants like Ariana Grande, Ava Max, Marshmello, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Kylie Minogue, Little Mix, Lost Frequencies, Miley Cyrus, Olly Murs, Stormzy, Tiësto, Will Smith, and Mimi Webb.
A Commitment to Talent
What sets PD apart in a sea of publishers is their unwavering commitment to nurturing talent. In 2022 alone, PD welcomed nine new writers into its fold, a testament to their dedication to fostering budding songwriters. These signings are not mere transactions; they are relationships built over time. For example, PD signed DJ James Carter when he had 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Today, his listenership has skyrocketed to just under 11 million, thanks to hits like “Bad Memories” with Meduza.
Another notable addition to the PD family was the production writing team called Arcades, who quickly delivered two BTS singles. This rapid success speaks volumes about PD’s ability to propel talent to stardom swiftly.
The Creative Gym
Hiten Bharadia likened the creative process to going to the gym—requiring daily dedication. To write better songs, one must be in the studio every single day, collaborating with different artists. PD’s approach involves being there for their writers, hand-in-hand, throughout their creative journey. It’s a commitment that goes beyond the superficial, beyond the hollow advances offered by some publishers. It’s a commitment to nurturing and developing talent until their potential surfaces.
The Robin Hood of Music Publishing
Founded in 2006, PD was established with a vision to take talent under its wing at an early stage, well before major publishers could spot them on the radar. Bharadia envisioned PD as the “Robin Hood of the publishing industry,” redistributing opportunities from the established to the emerging, from the rich to the deserving. Their focus on developing writers, pitching songs, and securing big singles has redefined the music publishing landscape.
Immediate Success with Established Writers
While PD’s forte lies in nurturing emerging talent, they proved their mettle when they signed their first established writer, Freedo, at the onset of the pandemic. Freedo, producer and writer of Zara Larsson’s hit “Lush Life,” brought a wealth of experience and success to PD. The partnership was mutually beneficial, leading to hits like “Good Without,” which went Top 10 and platinum in the UK. PD’s collaboration with experienced writers demonstrated their capacity for immediate success.
The Importance of Resilience
Hiten Bharadia highlights that one of the essential qualities for success as an independent publisher in 2023 is having a “really thick skin.” It’s a long road in the music publishing business, with royalties taking time to materialize. Cashflow remains a perennial challenge, as investments today may not yield returns for two to three years. Nevertheless, PD views each song they have as a seed, planted strategically to grow into a musical legacy.
Navigating the UK Music Scene
Bharadia also expressed concern about the struggles faced by UK artists compared to the money spent on A&R. Many UK talents find their breakthroughs in other countries, like Germany, leaving the UK music scene behind. The challenges in breaking through in the UK are multifaceted, with limited avenues for building an artist’s fanbase outside of mainstream radio. In contrast, Germany’s regional approach to radio has fostered an impressive radio economy, propelling many UK acts to international fame.
Phrased Differently’s journey in the music publishing industry is nothing short of inspirational. Their commitment to talent, dedication to nurturing relationships, and innovative approach to music publishing make them a force to be reckoned with. As they continue to redefine the industry and foster emerging talent, PD remains a shining beacon in the ever-changing world of music.