Signing Story: Luke Sital-Singh

Date Signed: Sept. 27, 2021

Label: Nettwerk Records

Type of Music: Indie Folk

Management: Julian Deane - Raygun Music

Legal: N/A

Publicity: Penny Palmer - Nettwerk Records

Web: lukesitalsingh.com

A&R: Mark Jowett - Nettwerk Records

British Indie Pop/Folk singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh’s label and release history is a cautionary tale for any artist who still thinks signing with a major is the ticket to the perfect career. Signed by Parlophone (onetime home of The Beatles) for his 2014 debut album The Fire Inside, he says he got paid a lot but lost artistic control. It was not a great fit and he was quickly dropped from their roster. 

After putting out his follow-up Time is a Riddle as a DIY, he continued to build momentum with two more full-lengths, Live at the Union Chapel and A Golden State, released under exclusive license with Raygun Records, a division of his Brighton-based artist-led management company. A few years ago, when the singer was looking for a support act for one of his tours, he hooked up—via their managers, who were friends—with Ben Cramer, whose persona as a recording artist is Old Sea Brigade. The two hit it off and Cramer told Sital-Singh about his solid relationship with Nettwerk Records, which planted a seed that would ultimately come to fruition after the two released the dual EP All The Ways You See in the Dark on the label.

“I kept getting these good reports about what Nettwerk was doing for him,” Sital-Singh says, “and to me, Ben just seemed to have the best of all things from the label. He usually had good budgets for his albums and great tour support. Major labels give you funds, but then take ownership of your creative direction. When you sign with a small indie, you have all the artistic control, but no budget, so things are constrained. From Ben’s experience, Nettwerk was like a halfway house between the two. He made music the way he wanted to, without the struggle for money.” 

Sital-Singh views their EP as a trial run to see what the immediately interested Nettwerk was all about, without having to sign away a full album. Though he realized they would be great to work with, and they extended an offer in the wake of his collaboration with Cramer, he didn’t feel signing with them for A Golden State was the right move. “There was always a lot of passion from Mark Jowett,” he says, “and I rejected him once, but when he came back for the new album, I felt it was time. An important point is that they’re committing now also to my back catalog.”   

While the details of Sital-Singh’s upcoming album are TBA, Nettwerk has thus far released the lead singles “Me and God” and “Blind Missiles,” whose video was directed by Sacramento area documentary writer, director and cinematographer Joey Katches.