The last six weeks or so have been kind of sprinkled with stress at NHC MUSIC and The Ice Box We have had flash floods, renovations, injuries, gofundme campaigns, website re-designs, and overfilled book skips… and it’s only this week we have finally managed to get back on top of things! So to start us off again we have managed to have a wee chat with newly registered record label XL Entertainment, who we will soon be stocking music and merch for in our newly re-jigged shop front. Check it out below then be sure to keep on the page for more info on the bands XL represent;
So please do start us off then by telling the readers a wee bit about yourself and your company, like how long have you been going for, and what made you decide on a career in the world of music? (It's not an easy world to work in, even if we still love working in it!)”:
XL Entertainment is a very new name for a much older labour of love started by Glasgow-born musician, T-J Connell. Having worked with a number of companies as a freelance sound engineer – including theatre companies (such as Thistle ‘N’ Thorn Edinburgh) and live music companies (such as Pressure Valve events) – and with years of experience working with and training with top DJs and Karaoke MCs, T-J knew that he would eventual need to put his skills to better use. His freelance work on the back burner, T-J’s solo music career flourished. Bands that he had depped for were impressed with the organisation, networking and professionality with which he managed his own career and soon he was taking on management positions within those bands. Bringing all of these things together T-J created XL Entertainment UK, an honest and fair company that looks to give real people their chance to create performances and art that they want and achieve the goals that they set.
“XL have a few excellent acts on your roster already, is there any new releases coming out that you are particularly excited about? When can we get our hands on them?”:
We’ve been working hard in our first few months of official work under the XL brand to establish a team who share our mindset of, ‘real people, real entertainment’, and connect with useful contacts (both new and recently established) in the Scottish music industry. Our recent venture into working with NHC Music has been one that we’ve been very excited about and it has been timed perfectly with the release of new material from a couple of our acts. T-J himself has released his debut album, the first of its kind to be produced through the XL brand, which is a testimony to the XLEnt quality with which all of our acts release their material. Within the same weekend, Romarzs released their first music video since their signing with XL and other acts we work with such as Ninth Degree have also released singles since then. You can check out our acts and their recent releases at www.xlentertainment.co.uk/act-we-manage
“We have a lot of new acts on our own roster these days, and a lot of them seem to be a bit overwhelmed when it comes to the actual putting on their own events side of things. We know XL are putting on events, what advice would you give to the young musos starting out on their DIY gig journey?”
At XL, we run events for our acts and we fully understand the stress both on the minds of those who organise the events and on the wallets of those who fund them. For those really struggling, finding people who have experience and are keen to share their knowledge with you is key. Just because your planning to Do It Yourself, doesn’t mean you need to Do It Alone, speak to other musicians and events organisers and have people in your corner that can help out and have their own skillset. Know a person whose doing a degree in sound engineering and wants experience? Let them run your P.A. at a DIY gig. Know someone who runs gigs every night in the city centre? Offer them a lift in exchange for a free ticket and see what you can learn. Most importantly, be nice to the people who do well by you and support your fellow musos. Thank the people who gave you a gig, and thank the techy who listened to your whole set without falling asleep. Find the people out there who are willing to give you a chance without asking for anything in return and look after them, they’ll look after you when you need it.
“Are you always actively looking to add to your band roster? What would be the type of things you look for in a band/musician?”
We love hearing new music and at every gig we see, there’s someone new that we’d love to work with. Unfortunately, we are still a small team and, while we would love to work with every one of those bands, there are only so many hours in the day. Our management package includes lots of benefits and chief amongst them is an attentive manager who attends rehearsals and actively seeks gigs for their acts. This can only be done when the manager has enough time to devote to the workload so we are not currently taking on new bands under our management. However, our roster is wider than just the acts we manage. Frequently we are asked to provide acts for events, support slots, gigs and this is where our wider roster comes in to play. This roster includes all of the bands we work with and gives them all an equal opportunity to be picked for gigs based on our client’s requirements. This roster is always open to new musicians and there will be no contracts to sign or expectations of the acts until they have actually been booked. It is free to join our roster but, if you intend to inquire, we ask that you have an act your are passionate about, your performances are performances that you know you would enjoy if you saw at an event and, most importantly, we ask that you have a work ethic that our clients will enjoy working with.
“So what big plans are coming up for [XLEnt] and it's acts, anything big you can share with the readers now?”
With most of our acts having recently released new work, our aim now is to get them out and about, playing their music, touring and showing off their musical awesomeness. There are still releases planned that we are just getting started on but they will be revealed in due course.
So there you go, check out the links above and below and be sure to check out the acts they support, you will be hearing from them on our own pages very soon!
Real people, real entertainment