While starting a Music Business degree at Stow College, Stuart Wilson was tasked with starting a music-based company. As part of the HND course students were given the choice of starting either a hypothetical or real company; Stuart chose the latter with no doubt in his mind he was going for it 100%. Despite not having a background in the music industry, the passion as a music fan was there fueled by the desire to move away from jobs that didn’t offer any satisfaction.
Twin City Records was born on that day. Named in honour of Stuart’s twin girls and the two city’s he lives and has lived in (Glasgow and Perth) the label’s first few weeks consisted of creating a logo, a website, set up Social Media pages and building brand awareness. Stuart wanted to ensure that people knew about the label before its official launch and, of course, he needed some bands to join. Describing the time as “exciting”, Stuart set out on a treasure hunt through Facebook and Twitter. The intention to get the label recognised before launch paid off. Before its official launch Stuart had interest from bands which he described as “…very flattering and helped a great deal”.
Running a record label although glamorous-sounding isn’t always what you may imagine: “I do almost everything myself for the label as well as work part-time and go to Perth UHI so it has been a busy year. Everything I do for the label is new to me so it all takes time and can be quite draining at times but it’s worth the effort. Keeping up with the social media side of things is hard as I want to make sure everyone is aware of releases and gigs etc…”
Although sometimes challenging, there are many points to enjoy when you’re the boss of your own record label. Being able to make important decisions, go and watch bands any night of the week and call it “work” and hearing strangers mention your label or bands are among the particular highlights of Stuart’s role. With twins and a record label, a “quiet day” mustn’t come round too often. Describing a day in the life of a record label boss Stuart offers “…after feeding the twins, I usually check my email in case Bowie is looking for a new label. Then I read twitter for a while catching up on any music related news or releases. I like to keep up on social media so I’ll post something from one of the bands, like a new release or an upcoming gig.”
“Lately I have been working on the Twin City Records Showcase which is two gigs in Perth Green Room on 7th February and Glasgow Stereo on 8th February. I’ve been promoting that and getting posters designed and put up around both cities. I like to keep my website (www.twincityrecords.com) up to date also, so that takes up a bit of time. Unfortunately I work part-time so it’s not all rock n roll!”
And it’s those showcase gigs that take us on to our next point of discussion – the bands. The Apparells and MoonRunners are now part of the Twin City family and bring a mix of rock and roll and smooth indie-hits to the label. “The Apparells were the second signing to the label. They are Glasgow based and a great rock n roll band. They have been together since 2011 and have got bigger and better than ever. When I heard them I knew they were exactly what I wanted for the label. They are four talented musicians and give nothing but 100% when it comes to their music. They have recently played the Glasgow O2 Academy and are playing the famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on 18th January with a brand new release in February 2014.”
“MoonRunners are the latest band to be added to our roster. They are a Sunderland-based female-fronted five piece. Their manager Paul got in touch with me as they wanted some presence in Scotland and thought we could help. I traveled down to Sunderland to watch one of their gigs and was instantly captivated. Their stage presence and the way they sound live is amazing. Their single release ‘Never Look Back’ has done really well and hopefully their latest release ‘Mirrors’ (released 20th Dec 2013) will be the same.”
The Glasgow four-piece have been making waves across the local scene since forming in 2011. With catchy guitar riffs, plenty of distortion and sing-along hooks it’s easy to see why they’ve already attracted a strong following. Their sound hasn’t gone unnoticed with the band recently playing Comlongon Festival Rocks and receiving airplay on both Real XS and Insight Radio. If you’re in to dirty rock and roll and handfuls of attitude you’ll enjoy this band.
Formed in 2009, the female-fronted indie-rock band have went from strength to strength in and around their local Sunderland, landing support slots with up and coming bands sharing their sounds across Leeds, London and Wales.
Their sound is melodic, energetic and impassioned yet modern and feel-good (with enough attitude to show off their fierce side too). Already having caught the attention of the A&R team from Universal Records MoonRunners have been featured in the soundtrack to a few independent movies too. You can check out their single ‘Mirrors’ below.