Invisible Girl Records is an interesting label with quirky interesting releases based in Manchester with a bias towards female artists. This is interesting in what is still a very male orientated music music business. We interviewed label boss Julie Adamson.
1. Is there a label manifesto?
ok after looking up ‘manifesto’… we do have a values page (http://www.invisiblegirl.co.uk/about/values.html). was advised to incorporate this for business purposes, i.e arts grants and such.. it reads a bit stale now I think (another job to update)..
I did chase getting grants early on when arts funding was like 2 billion for the northwest alone (2006-ish) we didn’t qualify as music was too complicated. indie music at least. a choir of classical group of musicians, or an event etc could be considered, but a record label .. no. I did offer to enlighten them on how it could work but spending millions on (ill advised) architectural projects seemed to occupy them more. I did have a a bit of a row with them challenging this. Overall I thought they were wasting money and being lazy and superficial. a comparative nominal few thousand would have help the label massively.
I was offered a free office in the northern quarter and had some obligatory chamber of commerce pamper talks, but they even said they were doing this because they ‘had to’ even though I had taken an afternoon out to meet them. disheartening stuff. I was glad when they lost their funding to be frank.
so manifesto.. womanifesto femalefesto.. one of the rules I did have was to try and have 50% female artists on the label. some said it should be 100%, but I’m not anti anything, but am pro the under represented or unheard. I think this is one of the conotations of *invisiblegirl*.. the name is actually inspired by Martin Hannets band ‘the invisible girls’ .. but can mean more, many connotations. I have gays, ex-hookers, etc who find affinity with it. but the main people asking to be on the label are still the guys I have had to streamline and refuse some good male artists so we can focus on the (shyer) girls. (the percentage is still about 60% male artists to 40% female)
Other than this, if I could do more I would. I have load of kids asking to work with the label, and have a team of volunteers who help in real terms, with copy, graphics etc.. details here http://www.invisiblegirl.co.uk/about/staff.html I have tried many kids of student age, but most of the time they cant reply to emails so …
so manifesto is doing what we can when we can. of course the bands/artists should be genuinely original, sounding like nothing else (to my ears at least). there are many good artists writing some great songs and I have never known a time such as this for them to be so overlooked. I do like running the label, it can occupy me endlessly and I hope it will come to fruition so I can take on employees properly and expand it to what it should be.
2. Is there a label style?
No, just genuinely great artists and tunes.
3. Is there a label aim?
If we help an singer songwriter along the way gain confidence in themselves. if we can make people aware of their work through our promotion and releases and create a link there for them, be it a fan or another record company or an agent, then that achieves something. so to achieve things like this yes.
4. Key releases so far…
all of them. we do have a news archive page
which timelines all our releases. to start with I had loads of unreleased material I had been involved with so started with this while I was setting up the publishing company and test running it if you like. I do like the what?noise material and Illustration songs too. I have some demos the ex-members want me to release but dont think they’re good enough. so I’m done with material I was involved with from the past, if I personally release anything else it will be new stuff.
The artists I have released are all good, some are gigging, some are recluses, some are in other countries, like Ruchira (in Mumbai, India), she has asked me to help with a UK tour but it isn’t an area I specialise in at present. bands like sista ray, kin and the happy soul are (or were) always gigging and fond of playing live locally.
it’s up to you to choose your favs really I guess :) if you would like mp3s of anything just let me know and I’ll post them to you.