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Google partners with Milk to highlight live performances from emerging artists

Google Play Music is partnering with production company Milk — not to be confused with the struggling music service from Samsung of the same name — to create a new series which aims to highlight emerging artists, according to Billboard.

A small number of hand-selected acts will be brought to Milk’s New York offices for a day, where they will have access to the company’s full production staff and talent, and host a performance inside Milk’s JamRoom. That should mean some pretty high-quality wares to pedal; Milk Studios is a very well respected production house, having done acclaimed work for major artists including The Weeknd.

Work on the new project will take place between now and June, and will likely continue if the companies deem it a successful enterprise.

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The collaboration will spawn making-of style documentary clips and performance videos, and will be hosted on Milk’s website GPM, YouTube, VEVO, and the artists’ own sites.

“We’re very interested in investing in artists at an early stage in their career and sticking with them to create meaningful partnerships they and our users can benefit from,” says Google Play Music’s global content marketing manager Eric Davich of the project.

The companies aren’t exactly plucking artists from the bottom rungs of the industry, instead picking already-established musicians who music executives admire, but who aren’t selling out stadiums yet. The first artist to participate in the new series is New York electro-pop artist Empress Of, who boasts nearly 340,000 monthly plays on Spotify and has a record deal with XL.

The new partnership began when executives from the two companies — who have offices across the street from each other — began to reminisce about the classic days of live music recordings.

“This conversation started out about a year ago, about how we miss walking down St. Mark’s Place and buying tapes from live performances, and how important those tapes were,” says Milk chief Mazdack Rassi. “Our goal is to capture that kind of performance. We never really did that properly in the past. If it was done, it was just done on the fly.”

Rassi went on to describe how the two companies are not looking to grow the new series into something massive, instead focusing on bringing attention to artists that executives feel are under-recognized.

“The idea is not to scale it, we’re not looking to do more,” says Rassi. “We were very careful with who we partnered with and we felt like this was the right opportunity. There’s a lot of trust between us. We treat it a little like a school, and now we’re building a curriculum around music, which is really wonderful for us because we are so passionate about it.”