New record company to give opportunity to local musicians

musician for Ryan

A NEW independent record company in Fermanagh is to be launched today (Wednesday), and it could provide a real boost to musicians here.

‘Sycamore Records’ has been set up by local musician Joel Johnston, from Enniskillen, and is to offer musicians here and chance to record and release their music at no cost.

Joel, 20, told Music Focus that his aim is to ‘grab some talent and give them the opportunity’.

His own background in music has been varied – and he was aged just 11 when he obtained his grade eight in drums.

“I’ve been raised in a musical family, I’m the youngest,” he explained.

“I started playing drums when I was seven when my brother Aaron got a set for his birthday and that was my main instrument for a long time. I did my grade 8 when I was 11 and once I got to Portora I started learning different instruments, guitar and bass, and my brothers were playing too so I learnt from them.”

Then, at the age of 15, it was also the influence of his brothers that got Joel involved in recording and editing music.

“Again, one of my brothers had a little home studio – I was about 15 – and he would show me the basics of that. I’d get my head around how things worked, how you can cut things up, how you can edit. It felt natural because I’d been in bands and I’d an idea of how things came together.

As he got older, Joel would began recording music for his own band, Wasted Grace, as well as others. He also began producing ‘beats’ that other musicians would use in their music, stretching as far as America.

He began studying audio and music production at Liverpool John Moore’s – and has returned this summer keen to start working with local musicians..

“I think the music scene here has so much potential. I was at a gig recently to see what the scene was like, it was interesting seeing so many young people involved.

“People are doing their own thing and aren’t being boxed in and on the other hand there are a lot of singer songwriters that are really talented that people don’t really know about.”

Last week, Joel recorded with fellow Enniskillen musician Conor Phillips. The two wrote an original song that is to be released today, and while Conor is the first – Joel is looking to bring in musicians of all types over the next few weeks and months.

“We’ll be doing all the recording for free – probably the length of a five track EP.

“We’ve session musicians if you need them, we’ll be promoting them and Darren (Miller) will be organising gigs and things like that.

“I’m looking for anything as long as they are being themselves. There are so many bands all over that try and mimic a band they loook up to – you have to try and find your own sound,” Joel concluded.

Sycamore Records launches today, and you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

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