YouTube powerhouses Proximity and Trap Nation have teamed up for a second release from mysterious new act SAMAHTA titled “Graffiti.” The budding labels have joined forces under a new force, “Proxnation,” which may signal the start of a more formal collaboration between the outlets. “Graffiti” features US indie pop vocalist Melody Federer, who has also collaborated with acts like Plastik Funk and Telykast.
Not much is known about SAMAHTA, other than that they are looking to make something of a cultural statement with their work. Their press release reads, “Dark times lead society to dark places and we are the light. SAMAHTA gives a voice to the voiceless, a face to the unknown, and arms the masses with change.”
How exactly the group seeks to ignite that change is yet to be seen, though the themes of the first two releases, “Secret Weapon” and “Graffiti” both conjure up associations with resistance and anti-establishment. The message is certainly a timely one; time will tell how effective the group can be in igniting a movement.
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“Your Favorite Music You Haven’t Heard Yet.”
Started in 2009, Proximity has become a staple channel for the EDM scene for both artists and fans. As one of the largest YouTube music channels, Proximity has racked up over 2 billion views and 5.6 million subscribers. From mashups to original premieres to the ZHU x Proximity exclusive, Proximity has listeners covered for all their dance music needs. Recent track postings from Proximity include Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Galantis, and Cash Cash, among others.
Trap and Bass
If you’re looking for your fill of bass music look no further. Created in 2012 as an outlet for up and coming talent, Trap and Bass has secured a cool 804,000 subscribers. On their channel you’ll find a mix of trap, hybrid, future bass, and bass house. Bringing the channel from irl to url, Trap and Bass has also hosted events and been a part of sponsorships worldwide. Recent track postings from trap and bass include DJ Snake, Oski, and UZ, among an up-and-coming roster of trap producers.
Run the Trap
With the intention of bringing 808 and trap music out of the shadows, Run The Trap was built in 2012 to create A New Order for Underground Culture. With 147,000 subscribers its obvious they know how to curate their music. From heavy trap to atmospheric future bass and with features like the newest Ekali x ZHU release, RTT has your deepest bass desires covered. With recent postings of tracks from Flosstradamus and Louis Futon, its no surprise that Run the Trap is one of YouTube’s most heralded channels for electronic releases.
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.