Your Favorite Enemies / Hopeful Tragedy Records – Case Study

In an era where it’s never been that easy to record music, market it, and connect with your own community through the digitalization of content and dozens of social media platforms, incomes are more difficult to create for music and content creators.  This modern phenomenon results in a very few winners in the very big music industry lottery… 

Your Favorite Enemies is a great actual DIY model really embracing the new music and technology reality. They don’t have a manager, they have their own record label called Hopeful Tragedy Records, own their own merchandising company called Fabrik, and they bought a Catholic Church in order to transform it into a recording studio! YFE managed to tour the world and to release many albums, dvd’s and singles only through their online communities translating their content in around five different languages from Japanese, Russian to German and French!

Issue to be resolved:

How can a band get the attention of the mainstream industry key players while staying faithful to their own images and reach out new goals internationally?

Through YFE’s participation at the pre-arranged business-to-business (B2B) meetings (presented by CAAMA & the International Marketplace) at Canadian Music Week, the B2Bs provided the ideal set-up for the perfect balance between DIY authenticity, and building the band’s brand with a local, yet global approach. CMW is always bringing delegates in from different countries around the world every year and pre-promotes this to CAAMA members and participating festival artists, which makes it easy to organize your schedule based on the needs per territories…

Action taken:

Describe with concrete examples how it’s been possible to bring this success story in so many territories around the world…

The International Marketplace B2B meetings really impacted and changed our career in many ways since I started attending in 2012… I drove back from Austin Texas, where for the first time, SXSW was prior CMW, so, I didn’t have time to prepare for CMW… There was a one-on-one session where Graham Ashton (BigSound Australia) was attending, and since I had a lot of success in Austin with a few Australians friends, they recommended I meet Graham! I had not registered for the B2Bs in advance, yet despite all the meetings having been pre-arranged, I managed to sneak in for a few seconds and started begging to talk with Graham only for a few minutes which thankfully the meeting organizers generously agreed to.

That specific meeting, without knowing, was the beginning of an amazing journey and the start of a great relationship with the International Marketplace and team at CMW.

I spent the rest of that year in the studio with the band recording our new album and kept building upon the relationships in Australia, planning to release our album in September 2013 in Australia around BigSound. For the first time, there was a Canadian delegation (through CIMA) attending and YFE were part of the Canadian Blast showcase! Graham Ashton was our rep in Australia and he invited me to speak in two conferences during BigSound! All of those experiences were first time for us; we’d been trying to get on Canadian Blast for years, and all of a sudden, doors that were closed started to open … CIMA introduced the band right for our showcase, which was a meaningful moment for us, and beyond all expectations, and returned the next night to see the band perform again!

The band was then selected to perform at the Canadian Blast at Morrisons in MIDEM in Cannes, France, in February 2014.

The owner of the showcase venus said YFE was the best band to ever perform there –  period!

That specific concert opened many doors for the band world wide, and brought its career to another level…

None of this could have evolved in this way had I not attended that first session of pre-arranged B2B meetings at the International Marketplace.


Outline the results of the action taken


–       booking agencies around the world
–       managers
–       record labels
–       publishers
–       pr’s
–       radio pluggers


–       Negotiating with one of the greatest rock/metal manager in the UK
–       About to partner with a very well established promoter in Germany
–       Many licensing discussions at this point in many European territories
–       Studying a few offers received from American record labels


–       MGM distribution Australia
–       Footstomp Music Australia
–       King Records Japan
–       Avex Publishing Japan
–       Primary Talent Agency UK
–       La Mission Agency France
–       Universal Distribution Canada
–       Feldman Booking Canada
–       Believe Digital 


–       Japan March 2013
–       Australia September 2013
–       Canada May 2014
–       UK/Europe Fall 2014 (many singles released in the mean time)


–       Japan: 6 316 units
–       Australia: 679 units
–       Canada: 8 234 units


–       Australia tour 2013: 7 concerts
–       Japan tour 2013: 4 concerts
–       UK/Europe 2013-14: 50+ concerts
–       China: 13 concerts 

Fan Base:

–       We’ve seen our fan base increase more than 30% since attending the first B2B sessions… 

Next Steps:

Your Favorite Enemies in the near future – based on the latest results.

With the numbers we’ve been able to reach in our home market, and the unique and remarkable reputation we’ve been building in the different markets around the world, very interesting invitations for tours and festivals of all kind or starting to arrive.

All the enumerations above are great, yet still at an early stage, and many things still need to be accomplished in all those territories, and especially in all the non-written markets!

In Closing:

I would simply like to thank CAAMA, Kathy Hahn and the CMW team for your trust, your help, and most of all for your passion and dedication to take the risk to make the difference to open doors and bring music delegates and artists all around the world… Music is about guts, taking chances, and creating opportunities for those who embrace it to make a living out of it!