A collective of young emerging artists first brought together by Ramsgate’s Pie Factory charity are to launch a new record label, Wantsum Music?
The group, who were part of youth music charity Pie Factory Music’s Emerging Artists programme, have founded and created the label to give fellow aspiring musicians a platform to promote and distribute their music, whatever their age, genre, location or experience.
After a year of developing their own talents with the help of local music industry mentors – Michael McClatchey of Moshi Moshi Music, Beth Clayton from Boom Shakalaka Productions, Harriet Jordan-Wrench from Secret Sessions, Bianca Rose and Loretta Andrews from I Am Independent, and Kimberly Ann, Creative Director of Palm Bay Records – the collective had a shared belief, passion and vision for the local young music scene.
In an industry that is notoriously hard to penetrate, Wantsum Music? is focused on helping emerging artists across Thanet, East Kent and beyond find their voice and footing in the music scene.
The Emerging Artists, Connor Beerling, Zico Briki, Claire Pitt Wigmore, Adam Pullman and Conor Stanfield, said: “We want to give local young musicians similar opportunities and support we received as part of the Emerging Artists programme. It was clear to all of us that Thanet is a booming area for the creative arts, and we believe that young musicians need and deserve a way to showcase their talents too.
“Being signed up to a huge record label is daunting, and we’d been really inspired by what our mentor from Moshi Moshi Music had achieved – they fully supported our ambition and so we’ve taken the initiative.”
The label launches on Thursday, December 2, 7pm, at Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate. One of the unique aspects Wantsum Music? is that there is no set genre or type of music – all genres are welcome.
Claire said: “It’s about giving an opportunity to young home-grown talent, whatever the genre. We’re a collective made up of musicians creating a plethora of sounds. We want to represent that in the artists we support. Wantsum Music? is a channel to get them into the sea of music, successfully and supportively.”
Adam, who has recently become Programme Assistant at Pie Factory, says that “being a part of a community of musicians is an important aspect of the label”.
The label is supported by Pie Factory Music through funding from Youth Music and Thanet-based record label Moshi Moshi Music.
In 2022, Pie Factory Music celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Ramsgate-based East Kent-wide charity has been transforming lives and opening opportunities for hundreds of young people through music during that time, with creative sessions, workshops, training, youth clubs, pastoral support and more recently free counselling and the Emerging Artists Programme.
Emerging Artists began in 2018 in response to requests to learn more about the music industry:
Pie Factory manager Zoe Carassik-Lord said: “I was being approached by more and more young musicians in our youth club sessions about how to get gigs, how to release music, how to ‘get signed’, and I realised there was a real need for a programme for young musicians dedicated to learning this stuff.”
The programme pairs a group of up to 10 young people with a local music industry mentor over the course of a year, nurturing their talent and giving them essential know-how about the music industry, as well as opportunities to perform live, host gigs, attend masterclasses and meet and connect with fellow young musicians.
Michael from Moshi Moshi Music said: “Having worked in music for a number of years it’s easy to lose sight of what first drew you to running a record label. Working with the group on Wantsum Music? has served as a reminder of that and their enthusiasm and ambition has been a tonic for me.”
The programme has provided unparalleled opportunities for folk singer and Wantsum Music? founder Connor Beerling
He said: “Emerging Artists has been an incredible opportunity. It’s given me a platform, boosted my confidence, got me back to performing and connected me with the music community. I’m inspired by my peers every day. To be around likeminded people is so important.”
After the most challenging of times for young people, Pie’s Managing Director Steph Dickinson reflected: “ To see a group of Pie’s young people come together to create an innovative new venture for fellow young people is astounding. We couldn’t be more proud or excited about Wantsum Music? In a time when young people face unprecedented challenges, the Emerging Artists are leading us into 2022 full of hope and inspiration. We urge everyone to support the group and the label – listen, like, share, join!”
Do you Wantsum Music?
Launch party: Thursday 2 December, 7pm at Tom Thumb Theatre.
Tickets – £3 for under 18s, £5 for over 18s, pay on the door.
Get in touch with Wantsum Music? – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Pie Factory Music’s Emerging Artists programme – email email@example.com
Image: Wantsum Music? label founders, from left to right: Adam Pullman, Connor Beerling, Conor
Stanfield, Clare Pitt Wigmore. Photo: Steve Kreeger
For more general information about what Pie offers, please visit www.piefactorymusic.com or call 01843 596777 / 596998.