Sixteen Records

By Kath Hartley

Posted

Sixteen Records was set up to recognise the very best alternative and electronic artists in Leeds and West Yorkshire. Created by graduate Lotte Van Den Berg with the aim of discovering fresh and emerging talent, they are set to release their first compilation album later this month. The launch party will take place on May 23 at Hyde Park Book Club and will incorporate artists who feature on the album, including a number of Leeds College of Music students and alumni.

Ahead of the release, we caught up with Lotte to find out the creative process involved in setting up your own label.

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Tell us about how you got started with Sixteen Records – what inspired you to set this up?

I have always wanted a more professional platform for my band, Luna Pines, to release stuff off. When loads of my friends said they wanted the same for their music, I came round to thinking - why not just set up my own?

I’ve had loads of help from Jack Simpson (who runs Eiger Studios and Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds) - he’s very knowledgeable and has been working with the industry for ages. I don’t think I could’ve done it without his help!

What’s the ethos of the label / what kind of artists do you aim to work with?

We aim for predominantly electronic and alternative bands from in and around Leeds. However, we are working with some slightly different genres. For example, we have included Eyre Llew (an ambient post-rock band from Nottingham) within our Volume One compilation that comes out on May 23 2018.

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What’s your role within the label?

At the moment, I’m doing a lot on the production side of things - I’ve produced the majority of stuff on our Volume One compilation. I also reach out to bands and find the best new stuff to work with, I’ve got the fabulous girls from Her Music PR (a Leeds-based PR company) doing all our PR at the moment, and Jack helps out with some promotion and helping me put on events for the label. 

How have you selected bands for the first release?

A lot of the acts are friends of mine who also went to Leeds College of Music, it’s nice to keep it in the family that way, and keep it very DIY. Others are acts I’ve had my eye on for a while and I can’t quite believe the Volume One record we have - it just sounds better than I ever thought it would!

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What are the plans for the launch night at Hyde Park Book Club?

We’ve got 8 acts from the compilation showcasing the sounds of the record (Imi, Dokkodo Sounds, Eyre Llew, JOULE, Regista, LELO, Hannah Slavin and Ryan Hawkins) - so it’s a really eclectic mix. Music will be on from 6pm, with lots of cheap drinks and amazing food. We’ve got some cheap tickets too – click here.

How did your time at LCoM set you up for running your own label?

My time at LCoM was useful in making me hone in on my Music Production skills - which is very helpful as I produce a lot of stuff on the label. I also took modules like business & touring which helped me with the logistics of running a label - it took a lot of research!

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What are your long-term plans for the label – what would be a dream come true for you and Sixteen Records?

After this compilation comes out, we want to be in the position to sign new acts and really work on their sound and perhaps release an EP of theirs. A dream come true would be to take bands that I think deserve all the recognition in the world and take them to new heights - that’s essentially why I started the label in the first place.

How important do you think it is for Leeds-based artists to be supported by initiatives such as Sixteen Records and Come Play With Me?

I think it’s very important to stay DIY, especially at the start, as small labels really care about their acts and will put in the hours working with you on getting you to exactly where you want to be.

Tony Ereira at Come Play With Me is great too, he’s helped out my band lots and really cares about the Leeds music scene. The focus is also much more on one or just a few bands, which is cool because then you get a much more personal experience with who you’re working with, and really get to craft your sound with them. 

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What advice would you give to bands who want to get involved with Sixteen Records and who should they get in touch with if they interested?

Bands can contact us at the following link: https://www.sixteenrecords.com/contact

Alternatively, they can send in any demos or project ideas and we can offer mixing/mastering/production, to release through Sixteen Records, or put on an event with you!

We're really interested in stuff that sounds different and interesting within the realms of electronic and alternative music.

By Kath Hartley

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