I have been involved with music in a professional capacity for over 40 years now.
From being a Portsmouth DJ, a nightclub promoter, record shop, and record label owner, through to being involved in chart successes with Lou Reed and Nina Simone plus working with major record labels as a marketing & brand agency, the move into Artist Management in 2013 seemed a new, exciting and logical step.
My mission statement at Big Hug is to empower my roster to be the artists they always should be. No trend following, just honest songwriting. Having the opportunity to work with young artists from all over the UK is very fulfilling. Local artists Including Jerry Williams and FLOWVERS have been an integral part of the roster which now stands at 6 and keeps me very busy. I am always on the lookout for artists who write their own songs and know exactly who they are. I really don’t care about the genre of music, just that if I get a tingle in my stomach then I am in.
In these strange times to make a genuine living in the music industry is about as difficult as it can be and I am very concerned that artists who produce music outside the current on-trend genres of Urban, Pop, Dance and very commercially written singer-songwriters are going to find it really hard to breakthrough. But Big Hug is all about nurturing long term careers and I have always believed if you have a natural talent, you work hard and are prepared for the journey, things will work out.
During the Lockdown, I have been keeping in touch with all my artists, making sure their mental health wellbeing is good. Around the second week of lockdown, we worked closely with local Hospice Naomi House and Jacks Place (who are struggling as all charities are with funding) to curate a line up of our artists to perform nightly live Facebook concerts, with all donations going to the charity. I am proud to say we raised nearly £1,500 and all the artists fed back saying that they got a lot of confidence and experience out of the shows.
More recently I have been going back listening to my first love in music – Jazz Funk Soul and Disco and having worked at many of the popular clubs and bars in the late 70’s – late 80’s I set up a Facebook group celebrating all the bars and music I loved and to my astonishment over 1,200 people joined. I then decided to broadcast a simple Facebook Live radio show every Sunday and I have to say it’s been heartwarming to reconnect with old friends and classic music. The next show is Lockdown Session Number 5 and it’s this Sunday, 7th June at 5.30 pm. The Group is here if you fancy tuning in!
By Jeff Powell