Loren Kramer was touted during the Apple Music announcement as an example of an unsigned musician who could use the service to share music and connect with fans just as easily as Drake, the service’s major label cosign/poster boy.
But once various sites began to dig into who exactly this unsigned everyman might be, a few clues as to why this particular artist (instead of one of the zillions of struggle rappers who flood P+P inboxes daily) was chosen as one of the faces of the service became clear. Kramer has no music accessible anywhere on the internet, which only fostered the mystery — clearly, Apple execs weren’t just picking names out of the phone book (which doesn’t really exist any more, but how else would you find a name of someone “unknown” with no web presence?) in hopes of finding an undiscovered artist to cosign.
Kramer is, based on a few profiles from the past ten years that have surfaced in the wake of the announcement, a well-bred and well-established figure in the New York arts scene (in 2012, Capital New York called him “downtown’s most in-demand eccentric”).
Not only that, but the guy’s only Twitter cosigns (people who seem to know the “secret” behind his work/potential releases) are former A&R execs at Interscope…the label founded by now-Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine. Larry Jackson, one of the former Interscope execs tweeting about Kramer, is now rumored to work with Iovine at Apple.
So Apple’s example of an unsigned artist is someone wealthy and established in the arts scene, who, though is currently without a contract, clearly has major label connections. This is not to say that there’s something wrong with that in itself. Rather, this story illustrates that Apple Music is unlikely to be a much easier place for indie musicians than the rest of the music industry, and that the curation it’s touting from industry experts (like BBC1, The Fader, and Complex), is unlikely to be as far removed from the major label machine as they’d like to make it seem.