For virtually anyone who’s been keeping up with the current state of EDM, the name “Proximity” might ring a bell. It belongs of course to the beloved YouTube channel, which has since grown into a behemoth organization with over five million subscribers – easily one of the largest dance outlets in current history.
Proximity has grown so large, in fact, that it has officially achieved its biggest milestone. As the clock struck midnight on the East Coast, the YouTube channel announced its new label partnership with none other than Geffen Records—no easy feat for what started as a humble social media page. Geffen’s power within the music industry at large is so immense that since its foundation in 1980, the label has signed the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, and more.
The newly-inked deal makes Proximity the lucky seventh sub-label to join the Geffen family, which in turn is owned by Interscope. As a label, the entity will not only be able to continue its current legacy of breaking EDM’s next hits, but also use its clout to help sign artists and bring refreshing new talent into the electronic fold.
Its first signee named Bo Talks, for example, created a sunny, chilled-out new track for the label launch which features none other than the vocals of Sara Hyland from Modern Family. “You Know Anymore” plays with tropical, eletro-pop influences, making it a surefire piece that will attract a legion of fans.
Geffen wouldn’t forge such a deal with any YouTube channel with a sizable subscriber base. They know full well that with founder Blake Coppelson playing a key role, they can trust a successful batch of talent will be chosen to represent Geffen and Promixity’s now shared name.
“Proximity has been our family for a long time,” said Neil Jacobsen, President of Geffen Records of the union. “Blake is a brilliant music mind and I totally believe in him. Having a venture together is something we talked about for a long time and then BOOM – he delivered one of the best first listen hits I have heard in a long time in ‘Know You Anymore.’ Then we were off to the races.”
Coppelson’s ear for what will make the electronic community tick is almost uncanny. When he first started posting to his channel in 2011, he had already honed in artists like Lemaitre, 3LAU, and Chris Lake. Other major acts he began promoting early on in their careers include Madeon, Matthew Koma, Kill Paris, and Minnesota. Since reaching the 1 million subscriber mark in 2014, his rate of new followers has increased dramatically and thus has led to Proximity being a hub for brand new music by the top players in the game. As recently as July 14, he helped unveil a brand new Galantis record.
“It’s humbling to be able to work and partner with a label like Geffen,” said Coppelson. To his mind, the label has a catalogue of previous releases that are “extensive and legendary.” Besides which, he sees the move as just a next step for the burgeoning dance music brand’s continued growth.
“Spearheading the label is one of many steps to continue furthering Proximity’s global presence in the music scene and expanding from just a curation outlet,” said Coppelson.
This new partnership between Proximity and Geffen is certainly unprecedented, and speaks to the opportunity one can make for themselves using internet and social media platforms. Its development will be one to watch, and as we observe how an influential YouTube channel establishes itself as a major part of the music industry.