Students from the Popular Music Course at Goldsmiths College are launching their own record label this week in collaboration with Matthew Herbert, founder of Accidental records.
NX Records will launch alongside the annual PureGold event at The Sounthbank Centre. The label will act as platform enabling students and alumni to present their recorded work whilst gaining real industry experience.
Senior Lecturer in Music, Simon Deacon, said the creation of the label with Matthew Herbert was only a matter of a time given the success rate of the courses alumni, which Mercury Music Prize nominated artists James Blake and Katy B.
“Matthew has worked with the course for a number of years,” Deacon said, “and having seen so many talented people come out of [the university], he thought it would be sensible if Goldsmiths and Accidental put their heads together.”
Herbert has been running Accidental Records for 15 years and is assisting with both the creative development of the artists and the business leadership required to run a label.
“Goldsmiths has a strong reputation as a place for creativity,” Deacon said, “but also research and academic endeavour, the students have a combination of those skills.”
Deacon reiterated that aside from creative and academic craft, artists have to have an individual story to tell or idea to impart:
“Of course there has to be a good connection between instrumental ability and finding a contemporary sonic palette to express that… but you have to have a good story or an idea connected to something passionate.”
Sound Artists and Composer, James Bulley was a student in the course’s first year of running, and describes the approach to learning as “quite unique and free from the conventional ties of the music industry”.
“There’s been some incredible people coming but there’s a whole new crop of great, diverse, people coming through now,” Bulley said, “There’s such a futuristic approach to where popular music and recorded music and performance can go and that will become clear within the label.”
Bulley reiterated Deacons acknowledgement that the course allows the individual to find their own voice,
“Any route you want to go down, the course helps cultivate that,” Deacon said, “It gives you a good grounding on how the music industry works and how it is changing. It gives you a push to get out there, get your work out there and get gigging.”
NX Records released a mixtape featuring the work of 35 artists including Ruthie Woodward a current MA student at Goldsmiths, who attributes the eclectic sound of the tape to the diverse community in which it was produced,
”Goldsmiths generally is an arts university synonymous with creativity and innovation and is genre-less across the arts,” Woodward said. “And that’s South East London. It’s so eclectic around here in terms of the people so it seems right that the sound of the mix tape and any future releases are completely representing that.”
In terms of the name, Deacon said, many people refer to New Cross as “N plus” or “N X” so it stands for its locality and its place within Goldsmiths.
Deacon hopes to be in a position to extend submissions to artists outside of the music department and to local bands within the community.
The NX Records launch will take place at The Southbank Centre as part of PureGold, on Thursday May 9, from 6pm.
The festival programme can be found here.