I love that this has happened and that it vindicates many of the strategies of online music promotion that I and my ilk have been putting forward.

Ahmir, an R&B act who have developed a massive YouTube following largely by recording vocally impressive covers of current hits, have just signed to a successful label that can take them to the mainstream industry.

I think that perhaps they didn’t actually need a deal but that highlights something we don’t often talk about – the easiest access to mainstream writers & producers (that an R&B act like this needs) and to radio and TV is through the major label system. Or certainly through the connections and networks that they still have the most hold over – but that will change over time.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it DIY, but there is still a place for the machine – especially in pop and R&B.

Watch their video below and go and read the pieces on MusicMarketing.com which put me on to the story.

This piece has the story about Ahmir.

But, in particular – read this piece – which looks at how the intelligent use of covers (or perhaps samples a la Black Eyed Peas?) brings your band to a whole new audience.