DMB Music’s Watts Discusses Success in Asia, Music Camps

Greig Watts, who runs and co-founded DWB Music, sat down with Bobby Owsinski for an interview on Inner Circle. The podcast is promoted as an analysis of the music industry that features interviews, news and tips. Click for more info on music clips.

The interview focuses on Watts’ time in Asia writing and publishing music. However, the podcast does discuss other aspects of his career, including his start in the music business as a songwriter. He excelled as a “lyricist and melody maker” but was left twiddling his thumbs during the production phase of the tunes. This left time for him to use his natural sales skills, nurtured while working at a bank, to go out and sell music. He told Owsinski he wasn’t very happy letting all these creations sit on the shelf.

This was the genesis behind DWB Music in 2005, which includes a catalog of “pop melody”-driven music that is inspired by the melodies of 1980s stars like Duran Duran and Wham! It’s this melody-driven theme that Watts says ebbs and flows in today’s music with the inclusion of more harmonic components from DJs. It is this style of melody that he said he strives to achieve.

Originally, Watts said his company looked to break out in the United Kingdom but found success outside the “insular” country. Asia was where they landed, where Watts focused on developing melody-driven “great” songs that were then adapted to Japanese and Korean markets. Some of the adaptation had to do with the language differences between his native English and Japanese. Other changes had to do with getting an understanding of the cultural influences of K-pop versus J-pop, which is a challenge for a guy from Sulley.

Korea is a more apt fit, according to Watts, because the music culture is focused outward on the “West” whereas the Japanese market tends to do well enough on its own. This is proven in the number of Korean singles that have found success in other countries. The podcast goes on to discuss Watts’ experiences in other countries like the United States where he says he’s seen more interest in his music than in the United Kingdom. His focus, however, has been Europe and Asia where he has been “really really busy.”

The podcast also gets into Watts’ viewpoint of the stratification in the music industry and missed royalty opportunities in worldwide music. He says each country is hampered with its own industry standards and procedures for making money and the world would be better off with a universal royalty procedure.

“Music camps” were another topic of discussion on the podcast. Watts said his company evolved to specialize in what are basically intensive songwriting “camps” that result in 30 or songs. One of these camps resulted in a track from a Norwegian singer that was used in the 2017 Eurovision song contest and the qualifying competitions. Watts described the experience to the podcast as a “great journey,” “very exciting” and a substantial creative outlet.