Co-Founder / [PIAS]
Michel Lambot is the co-founder of [PIAS], one of the world’s leading independent music companies and of Strictly Confidential, an independent music publisher.
in 1981 Michel, then the proprietor of Brussels based record store ‘Casablanca Moon’, which specialized in selling records from independent labels, met his future business partner Kenny Gates.
In 1982 the store closed and Michel and Kenny teamed up to launch a music import company, which became ‘Play It Again Sam’.
Play It Again Sam started importing records from UK independent labels and quickly evolved from being simply an importer/wholesaler to becoming a record company and distributor offering a wide range of services to third party labels including promotion and marketing.
In 1990 the company expanded its operations with the opening of an office in The Netherlands and in 1989 launched its first office in the UK after buying the York based distributor Red Rhino. Part of the Cartel, a loose collective founded by a number of small independent record labels to provide distribution to record shops, this acquisition allowed the company to establish itself in the UK marketplace as both a distributor and a record label. Red Rhino was re-branded as APT Distribution and in 1993 merged with Revolver in Bristol and a couple of years later with RTM, other fellow members of The Cartel, to form Vital Distribution.
In 2000, Michel was a co-founder of IMPALA a European non-profit organisation uniting independent music companies and a few years later with other independent figures establish Win, a worldwide umbrella for indies. He was also highly involved in the setup of Merlin, a non-profit organisation, representing independent music companies in enhancing the commercial exploitation of their copyrights on a global digital basis.
In 2008 Vital Distribution was rebranded as [PIAS]. During the company’s 39-year history it has remained independent and has grown to offer global distribution, label services, music publishing, live music nights and more. The company now has offices in every major music market around the world and has almost 300 employees.
[PIAS] owns the label imprints play it again sam, different , Harmonia Mundi and [PIAS] recordings or ‘Le Label’ for local European labels, and represents a diverse range of key independent labels such as Ace, ATO, Beggars Group, Bella Union, Domino, Epitaph, Heavenly, Hyperion, LSO, Mute, Ninja Tune, Secretly Canadian, Subpop, Transgressive and Warp among many others
In 2018 the company’s wholly owned record label Play It Again Sam won Independent Label of the Year at the prestigious Music Week Awards
In March 2021 [PIAS] announced the re-branding of its distribution business to [Integral] Distribution Services and in June 2021 it announced a global strategic partnership with Universal Music Group .