Times Higher Education writer, John Morgan, speaks with Carl Hunter, the Creative Director of The Label Recordings, about how The Label is “a cultural Statement”. First off, Carl explains how his humble beginnings lead to his interest in music, saying:
“As a working-class kid growing up in Liverpool, music was a door opener…So it wasn’t just about music…it was a way of getting into clothes, into politics, into art and into music itself. Buying seven-inch records by The Jam or The Clash or The Buzzcocks or The Undertones…those bands were important to me and they spoke to me”
Carl’s passion for music drove him to become the bass player in the band The Farm, which has given him inside knowledge and experience in the music industry, leading him to form the University’s record label with huge success. The Label was shortlisted and Highly Commended for the Times Higher Education Award in Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, contributing to their already highly successful evolution. The Label has launched bands such as Hooton Tennis Club, now signed to Heavenly Records, who Carl describes as “probably the coolest band in Britain…They’re never off [BBC] 6 Music”.
The aim of The Label is, as Carl says, to be “industry focussed” and to “run it as the industry would run a small, independent label” while also to “mentor students all the time”. This gives students the opportunity to gain industry experience and knowledge, to help build their CV and future careers prospects, which Carl believes is “a fantastic bespoke work-placement programme”. One unique feature of The Label that he mentions to John is that “the University isn’t interested in recouping any monies from the bands or from any project” allowing them to take risks and involve students in the entire process.
Carl calls The Label “a massive cultural statement” and that “we recognise as a University that pop music and alternative music is dead important.” To put the importance of The Label into some perspective, Carl talks about the students who have filmed music videos for two of The Labels single releases:
“If you put yourself in the position of those three students now, 14 days ago their CV was empty. Fourteen days later, they’ve shot two pop videos back-to-back. How good’s that? People leaving film school after three years, you could never say that”
To read the full article where Carl goes into more detail about The Label, click here.