At the helm of Shark Attack, a boutique label-services company devoted to elevating indie artists, is LA-based musician and founder Madelynn Elyse. Madelynn has collaborated with several music industry titans including A&R Don Grierson and Grammy-Award winning mixer Mark “Spike” Stent. Through Shark Attack, she has collaborated with Wagram Records, Bungalo Records, KMG, Warner, and Universal, and landed sync placements with League of Legends, Netflix, ABC, and Gibson, to name a few.
As fierce advocates for their clients of all music genres, Shark Attack empowers indie artists by educating them on the tools and skills they will need to have sustainable careers in the industry. Shark Attack also offers its clients their expertise in project management, marketing, branding, and content.
We caught up with Madelynn Elyse to speak about Shark Attack, her endeavors for the company’s future, and the ever-evolving music industry.
For you, what would you say is the most rewarding part about owning and running Shark Attack?
Hands down, the most rewarding part is being able to help develop the artists that I truly care about. I’m very particular about who we bring onto our roster, so every artist is someone that the team is passionate about helping. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smaller, beginning artist, or a massive legacy artist. It all comes down to whether or not our team believes in the project.
How do you continue to grow Shark Attack in an industry that is constantly changing?
Change is good and helps us grow! We are passionate about keeping on top of new trends and new strategies for artists. The music industry continues to evolve, but – in broad strokes – it stays very much the same. We take the time to educate ourselves and our artists about any changes we see.
What is the process like for signing on a new client? Do you approach them or do they approach you? Or does it vary?
Shark Attack operates entirely on word-of-mouth. Once we start a conversation with the artist, we first listen to the music. We have to love the music before any other considerations. Next, we look for artists with a strong work ethic. If we’re working harder than the artist, we know immediately that we’re not a good fit. Finally, before we bring anyone on, we take a look at their analytics. I’m a very data-driven person. If there’s heavy bot activity, then we need to know what we’re dealing with, so we can set the correct expectations.
Do you prefer the music or business side of the music industry?
I actually don’t see them as different sides of the industry. With all the changes in the last 22 years, artists are really having to become entrepreneurs with their music and brand. To me, to be a successful artist, you have to embrace all sides of the industry.
What is it like owning a business and working in a male-dominated industry?
Being a woman in this industry is certainly not always an easy feat. I’ve personally experienced terrible situations, but also amazing collaborations. I think the key is to find the right team and build that around yourself; like-minded music enthusiasts that you align with. If you do this, you’ll find yourself empowered.
How do you define success? What has been your proudest accomplishment in 2022?
I think there are a number of elements that make up success and the balance of those elements is different for each artist. First, happiness and being connected to your creativity in an uninhibited way is in itself a success. Second, you have growth and engagement… how we measure ourselves by the reaction of others.
And finally, there are the unique milestones that we all seek to reach. It can be your first million streams on Spotify, your first 200k followers on TikTok, or your first sync. All these elements combine to create what each person sees as success. As long as an artist is on the right path for their journey, then I see myself as being successful.
Learn more about Maddie on Shark Attack’s website.