[8 Nov 2018]
Jacaranda Records is to launch a global music industry hub in the heart of Liverpool, building upon the city’s legacy as a powerhouse of the music business to create a recording, broadcast, manufacturing and distribution complex designed to reimagine and reinvigorate its reputation on the world stage.
Sixty years after the Slater Street club that launched The Merseybeat sound and The Beatles on their path to global stardom, a partnership between one of the city’s most iconic music venues and leading innovative music industry experts has launched a global record label with a commitment to investing in infrastructure, improving support for homegrown talent, and creating sustainable long-term jobs.
Jacaranda Records Limited – led by Liverpool born producer and former Universal Music Group (UMG) Executive Vice President Ray Mia – will see significant investment ploughed into the city, with plans in place to create a state-of-the-art recording studio, gold standard film & broadcast facilities, and the first major vinyl pressing plant to be built in the UK for decades.
Mia, raised in the Seaforth Docklands area, said:
“Growing up in the 70s & 80s in the City gives you a music education whether you like it or not! If you know your history, Liverpool’s contribution to music is the stuff of legend, and the fact it isn’t still regarded as a cornerstone of the Industry is a national disgrace, which made choosing the city as the HQ for a global music operation, a no-brainer.”
“My career has taken me to the furthest corners of the global media industry and the key established music, film and television centres of London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Bombay, Los Angeles, Austin, Nashville and New York, and I am yet to discover any city where music flows through the streets, the history, and the very veins of its people like it does in Liverpool. It just can’t be replicated.”
Previously responsible for the enhancement and evolution of innovation, technical infrastructure, human resources and in-house expertise to support audiovisual planning, production, post-production, and content monetization activities at the world’s biggest music company – including cutting-edge upgrades of the iconic Abbey Road and Capitol Studios – Mia believes that Liverpool is strategically well-placed to significantly increase the estimated £100m revenues generated by the region’s music activities.
“Liverpool could and should be regarded as one of the pillars of the global music business, but having been overlooked by the industry, lacks the world-class facilities or support systems required to take that rightful status. Over the coming months and years, we will make a series of targeted investments designed to fundamentally and strategically change that entirely. It helps when the City lives and bleeds music the way it does like no other place on Earth, the energy here is palpable, there is a diversity and rawness of talent that is unprocessed and unbleached by Music-Corp thinking. It’s what makes Liverpool – Liverpool.”
Funded by a blend of institutional and personal shareholder investment, Jacaranda Records has been founded as an artist focused, forward-thinking record label expert in deploying innovative technologies and techniques through every stage of the recording, release, distribution and commercialisation cycles.
Already working on a range of innovative immersive first audio projects with a diverse range of creatives, performers and partners ranging from the BBC Studios “Earth: One Amazing Day” project to Lemn Sissay and the Canterbury Cathedral Choir, the company is also providing developing and established artists with a range of creative, technical and monetization services to be announced in the coming months.
While working with established artists will represent a significant part of Jacaranda’s operational roster, a key strategic business focus will be on the abundance of new talent in the City of Liverpool and its surrounding areas. Since September, the label has begun work with local city artists such as – The Bohos, Shards, Tracky, Spilt, and The Post Romantics – funding professional rehearsal spaces, film services, studio time and day-to-day support to the fast up-and-coming acts, with several more artists and creatives to be announced in the coming months.
Bands are being provided live performance opportunities through Jacaranda’s existing network of music venues in the city’s Ropewalks area as part of a structured approach to craft development, with The Bohos already embarking on a UK-wide tour supporting Cast later this month. Future releases will be both manufactured locally by the planned vinyl pressing facility, and distributed via the label’s independent retail network, providing a holistic end-to-end ecosystem not reliant on established business models or restricted by dealing with established industry players.
New Direction For Iconic Venue
The label launch represents a new chapter in the history of The Jacaranda Club, where the Silver Beetles rehearsed and made their earliest live appearances – mythically performing in the venue for the first time as The Beatles before former owner Allan Williams arranged the Hamburg residencies which helped launch the band on the path to international stardom and current global domination.
The Jacaranda Club’s Graham Stanley – and the new label’s Brand Director – added:
“Given The Jacaranda Club’s 60 years as an iconic location where people watch, listen and buy music, becoming part of an operation that also makes music seems like a very logical step. Combining the history with the industry expertise and innovation first approach that Ray and his global team bring to the table is hugely exciting, and I’m delighted that we’re not only investing in the latest generation of young musicians poised to burn through the industry, but also bringing a range of established artists and producers to the city to make their contribution, and gain themselves in return. Our aim is not only to find the next big things, but to be a lightning rod attracting the brightest and best talents from around the world. If you’re a creative – why wouldn’t you want to come and play, perform and produce a record in Liverpool?
“While this is a new phase for the Jacaranda in terms of investment and scale, the ethos that has carried the venue forward for the last 60 years will still be reflected in everything we do – supporting Liverpool’s musicians and the city itself at grass roots level while now also promoting them both globally.”
Working with a wide international coalition of musicians, producers, managers and audiovisual experts, the label intends to provide a disruptive antidote to the traditional music industry players, forging new approaches to music creation, manufacture, promotion and distribution that leave control and revenues firmly in the hands of its artists.
Music journalist, radio show host and founder of top-rated music blog the Von Pip Musical Express (VPME) Andy Von Pip, who is working with Jacaranda in a newly-created artist liaison role, added:
“There are many things that those close to the Liverpool music scene would like to see done to support the local industry, but if there was one thing above all others we’d ask for, then it’s a record label that not only gives artists the committed, long-term support they need to break through but does so in a way that protects them from the abject exploitation that has become legendary in so many parts of this business.
“Jacaranda’s unique approach, combining practical daily support in terms of equipment, rehearsal spaces and development with a transparent no-strings approach that protects the artists’ legal and commercial rights, offers a significant breath of fresh air and is a game changer.”
With a launch team already working from the Jacaranda building ahead of wider recruitment and expansion, a programme of active investment in the technology and facilities required to support the label’s commercial and operational model is underway, with due diligence begun on key sites to house a network of world class recording, production, manufacturing and distribution bases linked into key facilities across Europe and the US.
Jacaranda Records Chief of Staff Iain S Bruce, formerly Head of Production at UMG’s Advanced Media division, added:
“There is no shortage of skilled, hungry and highly marketable talent in Liverpool. What’s missing is the scale of infrastructure, support services and commercial partnerships required to realise its full potential under an umbrella of cooperative and collaborative innovation. Over the next 12 months, we will begin a series of builds covering studio space, broadcast facilities and manufacturing footprint to create those capabilities, with the strategic aim of making the city a pivotal services hub within the global music industry.”
Ray Mia concluded:
“Liverpool’s music sector has felt under heavy fire in recent years, and the timing is perfect to reverse the pattern of talent bleed from the city in seeking flimsy opportunities elsewhere along mainstream routes to market. In an increasingly decentralised digital economy you can duplicate infrastructure and technical resources anywhere, but you can’t replicate the talent that this city produces in such abundance. Music is part of our DNA, and with the right support environment to find diverse talent, develop it, grow it, sustain it and distribute it digitally and physically? The quality will show – because if content is King, then creativity is King Kong (and we have several Superlambananas to feed the beast!).
“It’s this very raw creativity which will reestablish the town as the global giant it always was, and is, and will continue to be. That’s what Jacaranda Records is all about, because as someone from around here once wrote – ‘…And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…”
About Jacaranda Records
Jacaranda Records is a reimagined record label and music services company driven by market-leading music technology, next-generation immersive audio and high dynamic range video technologies.