The label has initially been set up by five Media and Communication students from Birmingham City University to release records by Tiny Cinema, with the debut album ‘Designs‘ available as a ‘pay as much as you like’ download. As BOI’s Callum Joynes explains, this was the necessary decision to make to guarantee wider exposure for their artist.
“We all very much believe that we want people to be able to hear the music and so it seems right to have the album as pay what you like. If you haven’t heard Tiny Cinema before, you’re not that likely to spend money on the CD. We like to think that we’re not just selling a product but creating a fan base, and allowing them to enjoy the music that we have as easily as possible. After all, the reason we started the label was to allow more people to hear music that we love, so allowing people to pay whatever they want for the album seems the most logical thing.
“Also, to encourage people to get down to see some live performances, we are now offering the CD copies of ‘Designs’ for ‘pay what you like’ at Tiny Cinema gigs.”
But don’t free releases devalue the music or art?
“Not at all, we’re still firm believers in the physical package, as long as it’s done in an interesting and exiting way, and will actually mean something to a fan. People have been sharing music for years, whether its through lending your mate a CD, or playing someone a song. Music should be accessible, the value comes in creating desirable packages and giving something extra.”
How do you you think that the music industry will survive free file sharing from your fledgling record company point of view?
“In short…I think that many “big names” in the music industry and in the politics surrounding it, think they can stop free file sharing and claim that it’s killing them off. Basically, the internet has empowered the independent record industry again, for those that wish to embrace it; and for those who choose to fight against it, it’s really a losing battle.”
There was a noted resurgence in vinyl in 2009, is vinyl here to stay and grow and do you think CDs will become obsolete?
“I don’t think any physical product is becoming obsolete, if it’s packaged in the right way. Most of us have decent vinyl collections and are all known for probably spending too much money on them. Vinyl is generally a nicer product aesthetically than CDs, but I don’t think they’ll totally die out just yet.”
Students Callum, Nick Moreton, Ryan Smith, Chris Williams and Chris Moore met in the first year of their course and through several encounters at the pub discovered shared passions for music and a natural collective instinct for forming a record label. Once they had worked with Leicester based solo artist Tiny Cinema in a live capacity and then hearing the ‘Designs’ album they urged themselves to release it.
“At the moment we have Tiny Cinema [on the roster] and we are in talks with three or four other artists, so will be expanding the roster very soon,” continues Callum. “Aside from that we are also going to be releasing a ‘Brave or Invincible Mixtape’ on a limited run of coloured cassette tapes, where by the covers will be hand made by local artists.
“Along with Steve Thornton; Nick, Chris and myself also broadcast as part of ‘The Forum on Rhubarb Radio’, which is every Saturday from 3-5pm on www.rhubarbradio.com
We have previously had a live session and will look to do more in the future. Generally though, the show is a mixture of chat, football and competitions, with music ranging from Hip-Hop, to Motown, to Alternative rock, to Acoustic and Folk, to Drum and Bass and Dance music. So we cover a lot of ground, but we think it sounds good.”
Boldly venturing into the world of independent record labels, Brave or Invincible are showing that they are capable of living up to their name with their fresh and flexible approach to building and rewarding their artists fanbase as well as nurturing a solid communication foundation through local networks and social media sites. This progressive approach matches their indestructible moniker.
What’s more, they’ve only gone and given you lovely Blue Whale Blog readers a free mix for you to lend your lugholes to…..