Pie’s 2021 Emerging Artists are launching their own record label, Wantsum Music?
After a year of developing their own talents with the help of local music industry mentors, the collective has come together to create the label to give fellow aspiring young musicians in East Kent a platform to promote and distribute their music.
Photo: Steve Kreeger
Connor Beerling, Zico Briki, Claire Pitt Wigmore, Adam Pullman and Conor Stanfield are focussed on helping emerging artists across Thanet, East Kent and beyond find their voice and footing in the music scene.
“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 Wantsum Music? collective
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.
One of the unique aspects WM? is that there is no set genre or type of music – all genres are welcome – “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. WM? is a channel to get them into the sea of music, successfully and supportively” says Claire.
Adam, who has recently become Programme Assistant at Pie, says that “being a part of a community of musicians is an important aspect of the label”.
Emerging Artists began in 2018 in response to requests to learn more about the music industry:
“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” says Pie’s Programme Manager Zoe Carassik-Lord
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.
This year’s mentors have included Michael McClatchey of Moshi Moshi records, 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.
Michael from Moshi Moshi says:
“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 WM? founder Connor Beerling
“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 reflects that
“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!”
- Get in touch with Wantsum Music? – email email@example.com
- Join Pie Factory Music’s Emerging Artists programme – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Left to right: Adam Pullman, Conor Stanfield, Connor Beerling, Claire Pitt Wigmore, Zico Briki. Photos: Steve Kreeger