A pioneering new independent record label formed by two prominent musicians from the region has launched on the banks of the Tyne.
Ginger Syrup Records – the brainchild of music producer Dee Dowling and singer-songwriter Gary Wright – has officially opened its doors at its recording HQ on Bill Quay in Gateshead and is on the hunt to work with and develop the best emerging artists from the North East’s burgeoning scene.
Inspired by the legacy of “Madchester” figurehead Tony Wilson and his infamous Factory Records label, the new partnership forged between the pair will see the label actively hunt for musicians to sign up to the label from the region and throughout the UK.
The label has said it will work with their artists to produce, develop and release their singles and albums on an international scale.
Speaking on the launch of Ginger Syrup Records, co-founder Dee Dowling, said: “Working in collaboration with our in-house engineers, producers, photographers and filmmakers, Ginger Syrup Records is here for the long haul and we’re very excited about the future.
“As the live music scene changes with the death of the club culture, venues will change and so will the clientele. All of that talent will have to be channelled somewhere and we want to help plug that gap.
“We are of the strong belief that great music is great music however it presents itself. We have very diverse tastes and we’ll primarily be on the lookout for artists with individuality.
“We intend to place songwriting at the forefront of everything. We want to create a songwriting academy, where writers can work together to write for others as well as themselves. The North East is steeped in musical history and it’s legacies live on through another generation. We intend to provide support and guidance so that that talent can flourish instead of wilting on the vine.”
Dee Dowling, a professional musician and recording engineer by trade, believes the new label will provide a welcome shot in the arm to the North East’s independent music scene and has said Ginger Syrup Records will provide all of its artists access to its in-house state of the art recording facilities combined with a fully equipped live venue.
“The thing that will establish us from other labels will be the music and the aspirations of the label. We are not looking for exclusivity but inclusivity,” continues Dee.
“We genuinely hope to create a community, where people feel ownership and their art is not treated as a product. We feel our starting point is the legacy of past great independent labels like Factory or Stiff. We want to make music we want to listen to and believe others will as well.
“The North East the perfect place for this kind of renaissance and we’re extremely proud of our roots.
“There are so many people writing, the music colleges are full, acoustic nights and songwriting communities are popping up everywhere. We have the resources to bring that music to the public. If we weren’t confident of that we wouldn’t be bothering.”
Meanwhile, fellow co-founder Gary Wright, who will be responsible for artist recruitment and development, adds: “We aim to create a hub of different songwriting approaches and this will definitely be a cross-genre label.
“The music world is changing and we know there’ll be so much untapped potential out there who we want to work with.
“We intend to utilise all the web resources available to us including live web streaming of performances at our Creative Base venue and our marketing division has already begun its process of reaching out to new and great artists.
“We want people to be excited about what we’re going to produce. We are actively looking for artists to work with now. We’re not in a position to offer crazy advances but we will work with our artists free of charge and will use our skills and industry knowledge to propel them in front of new audiences.”