Posted on: September 21st, 2015
Ey Up folks
I while away the hours in my office (sofa+laptop) on this rainy monday, there is so much to be doing, emails and a to-do list as long as my arm wait impatiently for me to finish tweeting my most recent music video and responding to facebook comments. Beside me to my right is a half demolished glass of fruit smoothie and a long gone cold cup of echinacea tea, to my left there is a mountain of stock, CDs and LPs each box lovingly packed and marked with the words FRAGILE in my best sharpie scrawl, they are awaiting tour times and perhaps even your own hi-fi. ‘I Dreamt I Was A Bird’ my third album is due out next week…NEXT WEEK! There are just eleven days to go and I couldn’t be more excited/nervous/anxious and ecstatic. So much has gone into this album, even more than before, because you see, I’ve set up my own record label.
You may well have noticed when pre-ordering, reading the first review of the album, catching my recent radio play on BBC Leeds, Shropshire, Ulster, Scotland and various fab online shows that a name keeps popping up, it’s the name of my new record label so without further ado may I introduce to you BETTY BEETROOT.
‘Who on earth is that?’ I hear you ponder, ‘that’s a daft name for a record label’, ‘but I thought you were signed to Navigator Records?’ all valid points and questions so let me explain.
Both ‘Adelphi Has To Fly’ and ‘Single Flame’ were on Navigator Records, and I can’t thank them enough for having me, they had faith in me and signed me under the guidance of my producer Stu Hanna when I was just 20 years old. But after a heck of a lot of thinking and talking and some more thinking when it came to this third album I just knew that I was ready to try something different, and something that perhaps in the future could build into becoming something really great. And so Betty Beetroot was born.
Betty Beetroot was my grandma’s nickname, so when it came down to picking a name for the label although I toyed with much more sensible options this one stuck! As well as it’s sentimental value (she was quite a lady) we (Rob and all of clan Ward cos there is no way I’m doing this on my tod!) felt like it summed up the label and the work we already do on a daily basis. We are a homegrown, homespun cottage industry in all respects, and as much as it sounds like marketing spin it is totally true. My career has been very organic, I’ve worked hard yes but I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by a team of family members learning on the job things they now do with professional ease such as agency, videography, flyer and merch design, sound tech and more. The label is just the cherry on top :D
‘I Dreamt I Was A Bird’ on CD and LP will be our first ever release on Betty Beetroot :) and I for one am super excited about that. You can find out more about us and what we do over on our website www.bettybeetroot.co.uk or by following us on twitter, facebook & instagram
I hope your week is a goodun! My week is set to be super busy as the album launch tour gets into full swing (dates and tickets here), more reviews start rolling in and I wait patiently to see if there are enough pre-sales of I Dreamt I Was A Bird to make the album chart. Last time with Single Flame you guys made me #27 in the Official Independent Album Chart and #106 in the Offical Album Chart for all albums which was just so incredible!! I’d love to break that top #20 and top #100 though…so perhaps you should by your mates the album for xmas too ;)
take care guys and I’ll check in soon
NB: folk have been asking how they best support my album chart campaign, and whether they should pre-order or wait to see me on tour, so I wanted to share my answer with you all here. My only chance of charting is in the first week of release because that is when they will add up all of your pre-sales plus what has been sold online and in the shops the week directly following release. Normally I would always say your best way to support artists is to buy their albums directly from them, that is when they get the best share of the money and quite often your buying records from gigs and directly off their websites can be the deciding factor as to whether an artists can afford a takeaway tea, that repair on their banjo or just scrape by the bills that month. But in the time of pre-sales and during the week directly following the release date the best way you can help is to buy it online or from a shop because an artists own sales DO NOT count towards the chart (strange but true). Charting is important because it can offer artists a platform to share their music with a much wider range of people and it’s publicity the likes of which no folky can afford. Don’t get me wrong I will still gladly sell you albums personally at all of the gigs that fall within this period (and every gig there after, forever more hehe), this isn’t some kind of guilt trip, I want you to do whatever is right for you :) but if you are umming and ahhing about whether to pre-order or wait until you see me on tour this might help you make your decision one way or t’other.
Peace out x