The bright lights of Nashville are beckoning for Birmingham music firm Ditto Music as it celebrates its best-ever December.
The company, which distributes the music of unsigned artists, is opening an office in the Tennessee city in January as part of a drive to roll out its business model in the US.
And with plans to open a branch in Sydney in the summer, 2011 is set to be the year Ditto goes global.
The firm offers packages of services to unsigned artists and asks for a one-off fee to distribute and promote their music, allowing the musicians to keep the proceeds of their tracks
Since it was set up by two Birmingham musicians in 2007, Ditto has released music for unsigned artists from across the world, including well-known names like Prince, Lil Wayne and even Rolf Harris.
It was founded by brothers Lee and Matthew Parsons after they were signed to Sony but then got dropped by the label.
The firm is set to have a busy year in 2011, with three members of staff from Birmingham going out to the US to build its business in the country.
Ditto has chosen Nashville as its initial base, with plans to tour American university cities to promote its services to local bands before setting up an office in New York.
Ditto cofounder Lee Parsons said: “I spoke at a conference in Nashville about six weeks ago and the thing about it is that pretty much everyone over there is in a band – from the person driving your taxi to the person painting your walls.
“So we’re going for land grab to get as many bands as we can.”
And in the second half of the year, Mr Parsons will be heading down under to set up the firm’s Sydney office where it will be sharing space with Myspace, a firm it already works closely with.
Meanwhile, Mr Parsons said December had proved the best so far for Ditto.
“We have paid out more than £100,000 to artists and have done about quarter of a million in sales already,” he said
“We’ve had four Top 40 hits in one month, including one release featuring Chris De Burgh.
“It’s probably our best month ever.”
The firm narrowly missed out on Ireland’s Christmas Number One spot with Limerick act The Rubberbandits’s track Horse Outside, although the song did reach number one in the download charts.
The comedy track has become a Youtube sensation in Ireland, notching up more than three million views, but could not beat X-Factor winner Matt Cardle to the top position.