New record label aims to follow in footsteps of indie legends Factory and Stiff
Ginger Syrup Records - the brainchild of producer Dee Dowling and singer-songwriter Gary Wight - has officially opened its doors in Bill Quay, Gateshead.
Dee, 46, from Hebburn, is a recording engineer, while Gary, 50, from Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, will be responsible for artist recruitment and development.
Now they are on the hunt for the best emerging artists from the North East's burgeoning music scene.
Inspired by 'Madchester' figurehead Tony Wilson and his infamous label Factory Records, the pair aim to work with and develop artists from the region and beyond.
Their in-house engineers, producers, photographers and filmmakers will produce, develop and release their artists' singles and albums on an international scale.
Dee said: “As the live music scene changes with the death of club culture, venues will change and so will the clientele.
"All that talent will have to be channeled somewhere, and we want to help plug that gap.
“We are of the strong belief that great music is great music, however it presents itself. We have very diverse tastes and we'll primarily be on the lookout for artists with individuality.
“We intend to place songwriting at the forefront of everything. We want to create a songwriting academy, where writers can work together to write for others as well as themselves.
"The North East is steeped in musical history and its legacies live on through another generation.
"We intend to provide support and guidance so that that talent can flourish instead of wilting on the vine.”
The pair believe Ginger Syrup Records will provide a welcome shot in the arm to the North East's independent music scene.
“We genuinely hope to create a community, where people feel ownership and their art is not treated as a product," said Dee.
"We feel our starting point is the legacy of past great independent labels like Factory or Stiff. We want to make music we want to listen to, and believe others will as well.
“The North East is the perfect place for this kind of renaissance and we're extremely proud of our roots.
“There are so many people writing, the music colleges are full, acoustic nights and songwriting communities are popping up everywhere. We have the resources to bring that music to the public. If we weren’t confident of that we wouldn’t be bothering.”
Gary added: “We aim to create a hub of different songwriting approaches, and this will definitely be a cross-genre label.
“The music world is changing, and we know there'll be so much untapped potential out there who we want to work with.
“We intend to utilise all the web resources available to us, including live web streaming of performances at our Creative Base venue, and our marketing division has already begun its process of reaching out to new and great artists.
“We want people to be excited about what we’re going to produce, and we are actively looking for artists to work with now.
"We're not in a position to offer crazy advances, but we will work with our artists free of charge and use our skills and industry knowledge to propel them in front of new audiences.”