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How Tribal Trap Grew from a Small Record Label into an International Brand

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Stan Wittenberg is the founder of Tribal Trap, a Dutch independent record label, promotional channel, and the biggest brand in Tribal Music Group. He also founded Tribal Music Group, which encompasses many different social media brands and entities. Stan started working on Tribal Trap as a curational YouTube channel in 2014 when he was 15. The pipeline could upload music from third-party artists to share with their audience, who came to the channel to hear the new trap daily without having to go out and look for it. With time, artists started signing up to the channel for exclusive premieres and releases. This eventually transformed it into a record label, which grew into the group of media, record labels, and Instagram accounts it is today.

Tribal Music Group has received various achievements. They were ranked as one of the top 10 upcoming labels by EDM.com. Besides this, they experienced an 890% growth rate in Russia in 2019, one of their biggest streaming markets by accident (reaching over 10M Russians that year alone on YANDEX), and totaling 179M people worldwide in 2019.

“In 2020, we reached 285M listeners worldwide in that year alone. In 2021 we reached a cumulative 1 billion total streams over the label’s lifetime. In Dec 2021, Elon Musk jokingly tweeted out one of our trap mixes to Jack Dorsey, which is probably one of our weirdest flexes. We’ve also had our music featured in campaigns by Google, Puma, League of Legends, Ubisoft, So You Think You Can Dance, Les Mills, and more,” Stan explained.

Although successful, Stan’s journey to the top was challenging. He started in the music industry at 15 with no education or experience in this industry and had to figure out everything myself. It took time before experienced artists, management teams, or other record labels took him seriously. Fortunately, he overcame the challenge by working tirelessly, not being afraid to make mistakes, and surrounding himself with the right people. He is grateful that these mentors and friends helped introduce him to a broader network of like-minded people, shaping a better vision of what it takes and how to run a business in the music industry.

According to Stan, the music industry is a very open industry to enter, and you don’t necessarily need a specific education, loads of money, or credentials to get started. “Of course, you’ll make mistakes, but that’s all part of the learning process. It’s not always a bad idea to ‘rush’ into something. The only thing that matters is that you learn from whatever mistakes you make and try to avoid them in the future,” he shared.

Tribal Trap is increasingly achieving its fundamental vision of becoming a more extensive multimedia network encompassing many different digital media brands. This is evident in its immense growth in the past year. They have acquired more YouTube and Instagram accounts, thus strengthening their position in the music industry and potentially allowing them to expand beyond just music marketing, crossing over into more conventional marketing industries.

Tribal Trap has started exploring more practical means of growth, such as releasing limited edition NFT versions of some songs, of which they sold 20,000+ copies for the first ten tracks. Also, they’ll be moving into a new office space in January 2023 and have introduced live events. “There are many more opportunities left in both the digital and live event space, and we’re certainly not done,” Stan declared.

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