We had the good fortune of connecting with Isaac Miranda and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Isaac, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I first got into the Southeast Asian music scene as a musician, and as a music journalist, I quickly learned that there was a gap in the market in terms of industry professionals on the independent side of the business – particularly when it came to English music. There was a lot of talent (and still is!) in Malaysia and Singapore, but not enough people who were keen to help grow artists and bring them to the next level.

This was primarily down to a lack of infrastructure, both locally, and regionally. No artist had successfully become an A-list act globally from the region, and most markets were focused internally due to the lack of linguistic homogeneity across Southeast Asia. Without prior success, labels and investors weren’t keen on backing English acts, and artists also didn’t have a pathway to follow or emulate to try and cross different borders.

I figured that this was something that needed to be addressed – local, independent artists needed a partner who believed in them and was willing to try new, different methods of making things work. As someone who didn’t have any proper experience on the industry side of things, I felt I was in a position to come in fresh ideas.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started PLAIN PACK as a one-stop shop for music services in Southeast Asia at the beginning of the pandemic, when it became clear that we were going to have to pivot away from live performances as a main source of income. I’d already had a few years of experience in artist management, distribution and marketing built up, and putting all of that together under one roof put us in a better position to garner new business and find partners to work with.

I’m proud of the fact that our releases have garnered close to 250 million streams globally over the past two years – this wasn’t something I’d dreamt of reaching when we started PLAIN PACK. This comes back down to the work put in by the artists, their teams, and our partners. Quality people are the basis of any success that we’ve had.

The pandemic opened doors for us to find more clients and partners internationally – no one was traveling, and we took advantage of that opportunity. Within this industry, your network is the most important value add you can bring to the table, and everyone being stuck at home meant more opportunities for us to connect with people across the globe to learn from, and to work with.

I think what sets us apart is our collective experience working on different levels of the industry – we’ve built projects from scratch, and also worked with artists that have had global success prior to us hopping onboard. We’re able to take our learnings from each campaign or cycle that we work, and apply them across other projects .I believe that being multi-faceted has allowed us to support our clients’ growth where they need it most, all the way from ideation, to strategy, rollouts, and post-release marketing. Being a part of the entire process has helped us contribute towards making careers in the arts more sustainable and viable – which is my main personal mission, alongside building better music infrastructure for talent in the region.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve been in Singapore for close to four years, and it’s honestly become one of my favourite cities in the world because there’s always something interesting happening.

One of my favourite spots to bring people to is this tiny cocktail bar located in Golden Mile Complex – a little slice of Bangkok in Singapore – called Enclave. It’s owned and operated by two musician siblings, and has a vibe that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the city.

Gillman Barracks is also a great place to bring guests from out of town. It’s an ever-evolving collection of art galleries, restaurants and bars tucked away just outside of the city centre, exhibiting some incredible talent from across the region and beyond.

When it comes to food. it’s really hard to go wrong. The city has incredible local cuisine, with hawker centres dotted around the island. I’ve recently begun to get into a lot more Japanese food – courtesy of my management partner Jeph. Some of our favourite restaurants at the moment are Yatagarasu (the chicken porridge is to die for!), and Nobuya.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partner Jeph Tay – he’s an incredible artist manager in his own right, and an even better friend.

Website: www.plainpack.co

Instagram: www.instagram.com/theisaacmiranda

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/isaacmiranda/

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