• music, unlimited

    As one of the UK's most innovative independent records labels, we're not genre-centric. Our diverse catalogue of hits is unified through quality & passion.
  • united colours of sound

    From Beijing to Boston, from Reykjavik to Rio de Janeiro - and everywhere in between - we'd be nothing without the music lovers around the globe who dig our sounds. We're proud of the community we're a part of. We listen, we learn - and we love to share. You'll never find 30 second samples on our site. You'll ony find full tracks and full albums to listen to, enjoy and share through our widgets.
  • Promoting Cornwall

    Why base an international record label in Cornwall? Why not? Cornwall's natural beauty inspires us daily. Proud, quirky, distinctive and fiercely independent - the Duchy of Cornwall is a natural home for us. As a green label and a Fair Trade record label...there's no other place in the UK where our HQ would fit in so easily or so well.
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03 Aug, 2015
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Aardvark Records - home page

Chairman  Andrew Reeve (ex-EMI) founded Aardvark Records in 1999. His initial vision was to champion bands based in Cornwall. In those days, to say that Cornwall wasn’t on the music industry’s radar would be kind. While the UK was indifferent, his belief and ceaseless efforts began to bear fruit in Europe…and caught the attention of Alex di Savoia in London.

Alex joined the Aardvark team in 2003, first as Head of Marketing, progressing to Managing Director (2005) and then to CEO (2009). With over 20 years of marketing, promotion and public affairs experience gained from years in the FMCG advertising, fashion PR and band management arenas, Alex saw the potential hidden within the label…and quickly set about turning that vision into reality.

Since his band management days in the mid-1990s (Blue Moon Entertainment), Alex always knew that digital music would level the playing field between savvy independent labels and music publishers and the major labels. The internet provided direct access to music lovers around the world, by-passing traditional routes like terrestrial radio, print publications, and music television channels; which were the gate-keepers in breaking new and original music.

With an industry on the verge of being broken, Alex decided to smash the traditional record label and music publishing business model in 2005 and created something untried, untested and unknown – largely based on digital audio and video formats, technologies and digital distribution networks. It was also based on building a transparent and sincere relationship with the people who dug and bought the label’s releases.  A record label that wanted to be their mate? It was bold, it was innovative and it flew in the face of all that major labels held sacred. Andy got the vision and couldn't have been a more supportive champion.

Undeterred by the range of reactions within the industry, ranging from polite indifference to outright sneering, Aardvark persevered. The upshot being this new business model worked.  The public not only got it. They loved it. 

An early adopter of social media and social networking, Aardvark’s relationship with the music buying public deepened. That’s a relationship that means the world to us and our artists. 

In our time we've racked up a series of firsts. We were one of the first record labels to use podcasting. We were one of the first labels to support internet radio. Other firsts include: providing music videos to YouTube, Daily Motion, iAm:TV, ROO TV and a host of other online music video entertainment websites; providing full tracks on MySpace, ReverbNation, Sonico, Orkut and Last.fm; setting up a blog to share our thoughts about music industry developments and news; and using widgets for people to share our music and our videos with their mates.

Our business model laid the groundwork for taking our releases to a global audience.  We watched as one independent label after another crashed and burned trying to break their releases in the UK. We even tried it ourselves once or twice with middling results. With excellent relationships with press and media outside of the UK, it made sense for us to concentrate on these markets.  Fortunately for us, North America, Australia and Latin America would always play a key part in our business model. 

While we’ll always champion the UK independent UK music industry, our presence and reputation are firmly established outside the UK’s shores.

Aardvark is a Fair Trade record label and music publisher. This goes beyond ensuring our artists receive a higher than industry average royalty split. It also means we do our best to ensure that expenses are handled responsibly and are kept to a reasonable level. 

We're also a Green label. While it is unlikely for any international label to be Carbon Neutral in the near future - our aim is to get as close to that benchmark as possible. To achieve this we've were early pioneers in the digital realm. We've invested heavily in digital music and audio solutions - partnering with some of the best businesses in the field.

Not ones to rest on our laurels, we've traded in our previous model for a newer model. Innovation is what keeps us going; it keeps things fresh and exciting for us.

And lastly…we're not about big advertising spend or huge marketing budgets or telling people what to buy in order to look cool. We're just about adventures in music.

News feed

Music news from Aardvark Records
  • Smiles all round today. The Herald Scotland gives Craig Alan Hughes' solo album "Silhouettes and Photographs" a big old thumbs up. It's been a long time since I sat down and tried to write a song. But if I ever came up with a chorus as utterly perfect as Craig Alan Hughes has done on Private Polly, working its gorgeous melody into the internal rhymes and crossover rhythms of the words, I'd put my pen down a happy man. - Alan Morrison, Arts & Culture Editor, The Herald Scotland More...

  • This post is an update on our very popular “How not to approach a record label about your demo” post http://aardvarkrecords.blogspot.co.uk/2007/08/how-not-to-approach-record-label-about.html This post concentrates more on aspiring artists and songwriters and how to approach record labels and music publishers via social networking sites. Record labels and music publishers have created a solid presence on social networking sites. We’re active on approximately 200 of them all around the globe since the very early days of social networking. And in that time, we've noticed a few things: 1. Recording artists and songwriters in Southeast Asia and the Far East approach labels and music publishers in a very professional manner. Aspiring artists and acts understand that how they approach a label or publisher online speaks volumes about the level of their seriousness and professionalism. 2. Recording artists and songwriters in Latin America, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe also approach labels and publishers online in a professional manner. 3. Recording artists and songwriters in Western Europe (excluding Germany) and North America, on the whole, create a negative professional impression when contacting labels and publishers. Click the link to read more...

  • I've said it before and I’ll say it again. The music industry sorely needs modernization You’d be forgiven for thinking it already has. Music is available everywhere in every conceivable format. Surely that’s an indication of a thoroughly modern industry. Music formats may be modern, however, the industry governing those releases is anything but. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the collection of performance and mechanical royalties. There are music royalty collection societies spread around the globe. Each was established to collect royalties in their respective country or region. BMI, ASCAP, GEMA, MCPS, PPL, SESAC, VPL and Sound Exchange are a handful of such societies you might be familiar with. Or at the very least these are a handful of agencies that any professional in the industry should be familiar with. The collection of royalties really hasn't changed since the 1920s. And it shows. But more about that in a minute. Let’s start with the basics first. click the link to read more...

  • As soon as we heard the British economy described as a Zombie Economy by Channel 4, Aardvark’s execs looked at one another and nodded in agreement. It is a perfect description. In 2006 we lost roughly 30% of our bottom line profits. It wasn't due to bad sales - we were actually selling more tracks and albums than we’d ever done in the label’s history. It wasn't due to bad management. It also wasn't due to fiscal irresponsibility. It had everything to do with the economy tanking and the British Pound being bitch-slapped into near oblivion by just about every currency on the planet. The reason why Aardvark took such a kicking with UK currency conversion rates was down to the fact that 85% of our sales revenue comes from overseas. The UK counts for a small percentage of our business activities and sales. Simply put, it’s always been easier for us to get business done outside of the UK. So our exposure to foreign currency conversion rates is immense. click the link to read more...

  • As the old saying goes, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. And in the music business, every pence counts. I still find it incredible to believe the staggering amount of royalties which go uncollected every year either because music company owners don’t know how to collect them, can’t be asked to collect them or rely on third parties to collect international royalties on their behalf. Regardless of size, record labels and music publishers have a responsibility to their business and their artists to ensure royalties from every source is collected. Whether it’s mechanical or performance royalties – independent labels and music publishing companies should manage the collection of royalties in-house. The process may be tedious, it may be confusing at first and it’s certainly far from glamorous…however, in the end you’ll be glad you did it. click the link to read more

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A respected & trusted digital music & video provider

Our digital content services include, but are not limited to: on-line digital download sales, ringtone sales, in-store entertainment, in-flight entertainment (including first class, business class & club class lounges) and music licensing to third parties.

Our core activity is about delivering our artists’ music to the public. Our entrepreneurial drive is the foundation for this core activity. It enables us to identify, develop and pursue traditional and new avenues to achieve this. Increasingly, this means not only selling our music direct to the public...but striking deals with businesses who provide music and video entertainment and/or content to the public. And this we do very, very well. 

The traditional record label business model is broken. We think the model we've come up is pretty darn good.  It certainly works for us. So while major labels try to fix something that they broke (or at the very least they try to dress an old dinosaur in new outfits) – we’re created something that’s bold and different.   

That’s the benefit of being an independent label.  We’re quick.  We know how to manoeuvre. And we know how to quickly adapt to an ever-changing music buying landscape. Size does indeed matter.  But not in quite the way major labels think. We listen (we really do!), we learn, we adapt and we grow from strength to strength. We've built relationships with many of the top digital content business companies around the globe as a result; relationships that are transparent, open, honest and long lasting.  

We won't treat you like you're lucky to have our music.  We won’t treat you or your business like we’re doing you a favour. We’ll treat you with respect. That’s how we roll.

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Need music for TV, Film, Ad Campaign, Website, DVD or Game brief? We've got it!

Music synchronization is one of the cornerstones of our business. Aardvark UK Publishing is a music publishing company and is the parent company of Aardvark Music Ltd, Aardvark Records and Aardvark Dance. Collectively, it controls and administers a catalogue of over 1500 songs across a number of genres: Rock, Pop, Folk (including Celtic), Soul,  and Dance/Electronica.

To-date, a myriad of our tracks have been successfully placed in global advertising campaigns, television shows, movies, entertainment DVDs and gaming production houses. 

International luminaries on our roster include: DJ Front, Eric M, Everett Young, Jeff Alford, Yahel and Zetan Spore.  We are also home to new talent with chart success in Australia, Europe, Japan and North America.

Over the past few years, small footprints have continued to grow in territories like China, SouthEast Asia, Russia, India and Latin America.

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Catalogue licensing on a global scale

Aardvark Records has quickly built a name for itself in the international music catalogue licensing arena. Part of Aardvark's success in this arena is in the relationships it enjoys within the music industry and with parties interested in maximizing the value from back catalogues (e.g. compilation cd producers). Another factor in our success is our staff.

We also work with artists with their own back catalogue.

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Chairman  Andrew Reeve (ex-EMI) founded Aardvark Records in 1999. His initial vision was to champion bands based in Cornwall. In those days, to say that Cornwall wasn’t on the music industry’s radar would be kind. While the UK was indifferent, his belief and ceaseless efforts began to bear fruit in Europe…and caught the attention of Alex di Savoia in London.

Alex joined the Aardvark team in 2003, first as Head of Marketing, progressing to Managing Director (2005) and then to CEO (2009). With over 20 years of marketing, promotion and public affairs experience gained from years in the FMCG advertising, fashion PR and band management arenas, Alex saw the potential hidden within the label…and quickly set about turning that vision into reality.

Read More

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