Record Label & Music Publisher Profile

How Nice Life uses DISCO to save time across A&R and Sync departments

“[DISCO] probably saves me about an hour per day on creating pitches alone"

Founded by songwriter and superproducer Ricky Reed, Nice Life is a Los Angeles-based record label and publishing company representing popular music changemakers from Lizzo to John-Robert to Tinashe and St. Panther.

Launched in 2016, Nice Life works closely with artists and writers to maximize their business opportunities. To streamline their operations, Nice Life uses DISCO across its sync, A&R, and marketing teams to organize and share assets, create and distribute playlists, receive music, and more.

DISCO has allowed Nice Life to create pitch playlists outside of Box

“[DISCO] probably saves me about an hour per day on creating pitches alone,” said A&R Senior Director Caitlin Lytle. “I can quickly put together playlists thanks to tags. The consolidation of tools across teams allows us to more effectively collaborate on pitches. Especially now that we’re working remotely and can’t see each other’s computers, DISCO makes our flow easier because we can see each other’s work.”

Taking a closer look: When a music supervisor needs an original song for a film’s end titles, Nice Life Creative Licensing Director Madeline Ziecker teams up with Caitlin to look through their roster of 16 producers and writers. Together, they’ll find a sonically fitting Nice Life artist who could potentially create the end-title track.

For more urgent briefs, Madeline and Caitlin pool their existing catalog knowledge — sometimes they unearth a track from the publishing team originally created for another project that was never used. After receiving permission to use the track, they leave notes or add labels in DISCO indicating that the file has now been earmarked for a sync.

The licensing and publishing teams also easily share assets with each other using DISCO playlists. When pitching tracks or sample packs for a specific project brief, a coordinator creates a DISCO playlist of potential tracks from the publishing team’s DISCO.

“We share [playlists] across DISCO,” Madeline described. “I sometimes have the publishing coordinator create pitch playlists within the Nice Life DISCO that departments share. She’ll put a playlist together and text or email it to me, and then I’ll edit it with my selections that I want to send to the client as options.”

When she’s not at her desk, Madeline likes to use the DISCO Mobile App, which lets her stream new music in different contexts. By listening on the go, Madeline can spend more passive listening time with the music, allowing her to creatively envision where and how it could be placed. The DISCO Mobile App also enables her to pitch remotely, helping her avoid missed opportunities for her roster when she’s traveling or in meetings.

When it comes to DISCO’s Analytics, Madeline said, “I saw that a supervisor was looking at one of our artists unprovoked, meaning I hadn’t pitched to them directly recently. This prompted me to check in. I didn’t mention having seen them browsing — I just asked what they’d been working on lately. It’s a conversation starter.” She added, “It’s a dopamine hit after I send out a new release blast [via DISCO’s Email Creator] and can then see who has listened or downloaded.”

"The DISCO Mobile App enables me to pitch remotely, helping to avoid missed opportunities when I'm traveling or in meetings."Madeline Zieker

Using DISCO For A&R

The Nice Life A&R team also receives DISCO links and playlists, and not just from sync reps. When artist managers pitch their producers to work with someone on Nice Life’s roster, they often send DISCO playlists, at Caitlin’s request. “I prefer to receive a DISCO playlist more than other platforms because it’s cleaner,” Caitlin said. “It will typically contain more metadata, and the division of sections is really important from an A&R standpoint because it’s more organized.”

Madeline added, “I was a lot less likely to listen to something if it was in a Box link. When I would get DISCO playlists [working on the music supervision side], it was too easy to just click on it and listen to a playlist like Spotify — that I could also download from.”

One of the artist managers Caitlin works with at Nice Life is Eric Chen, who manages Nice Life writer-producer Billy Lemos and makes good use of DISCO’s tagging feature. “Billy’s someone who’s always doing sessions and making beats,” Eric says. “When we get requests for beat packs, we’ll go through the archives of what we’ve uploaded [to DISCO] in the past. We try to tag the beats with descriptors to make it easier.”

Eric continues: “Because Billy is someone who has created 600, 700 beats in the last year or two, DISCO makes it super easy to expedite that process when you’re getting a request for beat packs.”

DISCO’s auto-tagging has also made it easier for Caitlin to familiarize herself with Nice Life’s catalog, which contains thousands of beats and artists. Unlike on Box, where the tracks had no descriptive metadata to search on, DISCO’s auto-tagging feature lets Caitlin easily explore her options. Similarly, using the file-sharing service Harvest, Caitlin found that there were not enough tagging options. DISCO’s tagging specificity is vital to doing her job well.

“Before we were on DISCO, we were on Harvest, which did at least have tagging,” Caitlin said. “To go from having tagging on Harvest, to then having more tagging and better tagging on DISCO, to then having no tagging on Box, and then getting it back again on DISCO — I didn’t realize how much I relied on tagging to learn a catalog. It made it really difficult to learn a catalog, starting at a new company and trying to acquire the music.

“We all work with creatives who are typically very prolific, especially with a producer roster I inherited,” Caitlin added. “To do my job, I have to be aware of thousands of beats and songs. It took me longer than expected to learn the catalog when we had to [use] Box.”

Using DISCO For Sync Camp File Organization

Nice Life gets a lot of traction out of sync camps, which Caitlin and Madeline collaborate on with their teams. “Using my knowledge of what the writers do best in the room, and [Madeline] knowing what needs to be created out of those rooms, we work together that way as well,” Caitlin shared.

Describing a recent sync camp, which resulted in five tracks currently in consideration for placement, Madeline said, “DISCO was really helpful in our organization and keeping track.”

Madeline added, “DISCO Inboxes streamline the process of a project like this so the team can see who sent which tracks and organize accordingly… For something like a camp, I have used DISCO Inboxes in the past and would definitely want to use them in the future.”

Using DISCO’s Analytics

When pitching their writers to label A&R or artist managers, Caitlin uses DISCO’s stats to see who’s streaming and downloading their Nice Life playlists. It’s a helpful way for Caitlin to gauge potential interest without being too pushy when they check back in with A&R.

When A&R requests additional playlists, Caitlin will have an educated idea of what they’re responding to and add more options like it. “If they ask me for another playlist, I won’t be afraid to add things in [the playlist] I know they haven’t listened to in the past,” Caitlin said.

While DISCO has helped Caitlin with everything from file organization to stats visibility, she says the service has become even more irreplaceable once Madeline joined the team. “[A DISCO membership] was even more justified now that both departments are able to use it,” Caitlin said. “I think any publishing company with an active sync division needs DISCO.”

Related Customer Stories
LA based producer, apob
How apob clears samples & easily organizes audio tracks with DISCORead more