Artists | Future Yard

FUTURE YARD FOR ARTISTS

We believe that music venues are the maternity wards of music cultures. They are the ideal environments for artists to grow and learn alongside their peers. Future Yard will be at the heart of the new artist empowerment revolution by creating development opportunities for musicians within the building. This starts with our series of free artist webinars.

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FEARS

FEARS

DIRECT INPUT #10 WITH FEARS

After a four-month hiatus, we’re returning with a new Direct Input webinar on Monday 19th July when we speak with London-based Irish songwriter and performer Fears is Constance Keane, an artist who invites the listener on an ethereal journey, blurring the boundaries between music and visual art. Her minimalist approach centres on emotive subjects, which are all-at-once deeply personal yet remarkably universal.

Fears’ debut album, Oíche, was released earlier this year to resounding critical acclaim. Pieced together over five years, it has been labelled as “a graceful collection of shadowy lullabies” which results in “a truly immersive and enlightening body of work”. The LP chronicles Fears’ growth through challenges, instability, and relationship changes, both with one’s self and others. The album reveals itself much like a coming of age novel about the breaking apart of girlhood and rebuilding of a young woman.

Oíche is the first full length release on Tulle,  a new label founded by Keane and Emily Kendrick, run by women and non-binary people. The collective’s aim is to support predominately women and non-binary artists and focus on working with and for underrepresented voices in music.  

In this webinar, we’ll be speaking with Fears about her role working as both an artist and running her own record label. Fears will be bringing with her the experience of recording and releasing her own album on her own label, all while championing underrepresented voices in the music industry in a talk that aims to help emerging artists as they develop from recording to release. Fears will also be joining us as an artist mentor as part of our wider Future Yard team going forwards, so this is a chance to hear more from her about her career and experiences. Sign up using the link below.

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BEACON

BEACON

PLANNING FOR ARTIST SUCCESS IN 2021

Ideas and solutions led by industry experts and inspiring artists who are defying the odds despite COVID-19.

2020 was a hugely difficult year for emerging artists. COVID-19 has left the live sector in tatters, release plans in turmoil and has, at times, felt like an existential crisis, challenging the music world as we know it. BEACON is Future Yard’s response to this, offering hope to artists who are looking to continue building in 2021 and beyond.

We have created a bank of video resources and assets for emerging artists to help them prepare for success after this COVID-19 period. Access all these for free, and sign up for a regular email newsletter.

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DIRECT INPUT

DIRECT INPUT

FREE LIVE WEBINARS

Direct Input is a Future Yard webinar series which looks to lift the lid on the techniques and tactics utilised by the teams behind a range of today’s successful artists. From right across the spectrum, we get the inside track from the people at the heart of shaping campaigns and releases, and speak to the artists about the work that goes in behind the scenes to build and realise their artistic visions. We will track that artist’s journey – from day 1 to now – discussing the key moments and decisions that shaped their development.

GIRL BAND

GIRL BAND

DIRECT INPUT #1 WITH ALAN DUGGAN

We launched our live webinar conversation with a conversation with Alan Duggan, guitarist with Dublin four-piece Girl Band. Girl Band burst onto the scene in 2015 with their debut album Holding Hands With Jamie, following up their critically acclaimed debut album with The Talkies, released in 2019.
Alan Duggan manages and tour manages Girl Band, helping the group to navigate a record deal (Rough Trade Records, globally), a publishing deal (Domino Publishing, globally) and work with two booking agencies: ATC Live (UK/Europe) and WME Entertainment (North, Central and South America). All of Girl Band write and produce their output, ensuring they retain full creative control of the project.
They are very thoughtful, creative and particular about what they put out into the world, guiding every aspect of being a successful recording and touring outfit. They do things in their own way and Alan spoke to us about how they chose to work with people who support and elevate their vision.

HARKIN

HARKIN

DIRECT INPUT #2 WITH KATIE HARKIN

Katie Harkin joined us for our second live Direct Input webinar. Over the course of a decade and a half, Katie Harkin has trodden an individual path in a varied music career. She has been touring since her teens and is a lifelong collaborator. In addition to her own band she formed as a teen (Sky Larkin), Katie has been a touring member of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock Of Dimes, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett.
But it’s not just this impressive resumé that we talked to her about. Katie has now launched an artist project, Harkin, releasing her self-titled debut album in April 2020; a record released at the height of lockdown that saw one of the most prolific collaborators of her generation finally step into the singular. In the conversation, we delved into the independence of this release, and discovered how Katie’s past experiences helped shape the decisions she has made for her own project.

FONTAINES D.C.

FONTAINES D.C.

DIRECT INPUT #3 WITH EMMA SNOOK (PARTISAN RECORDS)

Emma Snook, international product manager at Partisan Records, joined us for the third live webinar conversation in this Direct Input series. Emma’s role in working with Dublin-based post-punk outfit Fontaines D.C. was at the heart of our conversation, looking at how a product manager works closely alongside an artist to develop wide-reaching campaigns that propel albums from concepts to charting releases.
The five members of Fontaines D.C. met in Dublin while attending music college, bonding over a shared love of poetry. They signed to indie label Partisan Records in 2018, going on to release two fearless albums that defined a generation: 2019’s Mercury-nominated Dogrel, and its follow-up A Hero’s Death, released in July 2020. For a group who achieved rapid and widespread acclaim off the back of incendiary live shows in support of the fearless Dogrel, the revised campaign strategy around their second album presented a challenge in a Covid-19 world. Emma Snook’s role in navigating the release of a much-anticipated second album from a band with such a ferocious live reputation during a global pandemic, with such success, was a delight to delve into.

STEALING SHEEP

STEALING SHEEP

DIRECT INPUT @ FOCUS WALES WITH BECKY HAWLEY

Becky Hawley is one third of Stealing Sheep, a group of all female musicians based in Liverpool. They have been together since 2010 and have released three albums via Heavenly Recordings, and have toured worldwide including a recent tour in Japan. Stealing Sheep are predominantly self-managed, self-produced and self-directed, devising live shows with bespoke lighting, dancers, inflatables, projections and other customised special effects.
The trio have worked on numerous commissions outside of their recording and live activity, including conceptual commissions, live scores and soundtracks. They have also been proactive with sync opportunities, working with Netflix and Sony Vista among others. One of their songs appeared on Greys Anatomy, which helped massively early in their career. We delved inside this portfolio-style career as part of an in-depth Q&A with Becky, which was part of Out Of FOCUS digital conference and showcase event.

SELF ESTEEM

SELF ESTEEM

DIRECT INPUT #4 WITH REBECCA LUCY TAYLOR

Rebecca Lucy Taylor was our guest for the fourth webinar in the regular fortnightly Direct Input series, bringing us a fascinating on the artistic process from the inside. Rebecca spoke to us to about her career in music, with particular focus on her Self Esteem project and the breadth of creativity around it. Self Esteem also play a show at Future Yard on 2nd April 2021.

Self Esteem is a project which began with painting and prints and video alongside her day job, writing and performing as one half of Slow Club. Since her musical divergence from the band, Rebecca has revelled in unleashing a whole version of herself with no compromises, no reducing herself, no hesitating. In this edition we were able to dig in to Rebecca’s mindset as an artist operating independently within a team of empowered collaborators, and how she is able to produce such a clear vision for her project and successfully work with a team of fellow creatives to turn it into reality, from artwork, to photography, music videos to choreography.

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING

DIRECT INPUT #5 WITH PETER MCGAUGHRIN

Artist manager Peter McGaughrin (Django Django, Nilüfer Yanya) joined us for our fifth instalment of Direct Input, as we looked more closely at the relationship between artist and manager, specifically at how a manager can be seen as a co-collaborator who is invested in helping the artist to realise their vision. Peter has worked with Manchester-based art rock powerhouses Everything Everything from early on, first as an A&R (he made the band his first signing as an A&R when at Geffen/Universal), and then as a manager.
With a band as idiosyncratic as Everything Everything, many would think that a major label environment would hold them back from exploring their creative capacity for fear their music won’t connect with a large audience, but their catalogue tells a different story. Everything Everything push boundaries and are welcomed in to the mainstream. The people that surround them are an important factor in this, supporting their vision and helping them take it to wide audiences, particularly now they are releasing on their own independent imprint (through AWAL).

SOAK

SOAK

DIRECT INPUT #6 WITH BRIDIE MONDS-WATSON

We’ve admired Bridie Monds-Watson for a long while, so we were delighted to welcome them as our guest to talk about their artist career as SOAK. Bridie is no stranger to holding back, and has attracted a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim for their mature, emotionally assured songwriting.
One of the Mercury Prize’s youngest ever nominees (for their debut album Before We Got How To Dream, the first of two released on Rough Trade Records), Bridie’s work as SOAK has been praised for being wise beyond its years. Accepting who you are and finding solace in insecurity is perhaps the integral hope of Grim Town, SOAK’s second album, released in 2019.
We had a fascinating and honest chat with Bridie about the artistic development of their career – but also of the people they have surrounded themself with to help amplify the personal messages of discovery that are the root of their songwriting.

IDLES

IDLES

DIRECT INPUT #7 WITH ELLIE RUMBOLD (PARTISAN RECORDS)

Ellie Rumbold was the second international product manager at Partisan Records to join us for our Direct Input series, as we continued to look at the work done by the teams surrounding some of the most successful artists. Ellie’s role in working with fiery Bristolian quintet Idles formed the basis of our conversation, looking at how a product manager works closely alongside an artist to deliver wide-reaching campaigns that propel albums from concepts to charting releases.
Passionate, political and darkly comedic, IDLES left their mark on British rock music with their first two album, Brutalism and Joy As An Act Of Resistance, which both received great critical and popular acclaim. The group followed that up in September 2020 with Ultra Mono, the sound of IDLES heading into battle, battering ram in hand, for the tenets that were central to their success in igniting audiences on their first two LPs. Ellie Rumbold’s role in steering the release of a much-anticipated third album to the top of the charts, from a band with a loyal and engaged global fanbase – largely focused around their gruelling touring schedules and enthralling live performances – was fascinating and inspiring to look into.

MUSICIANS AS ACTIVISTS

MUSICIANS AS ACTIVISTS

SAM DUCKWORTH Q&A, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE MUSICIANS' UNION

As part of our digital programme for Independent Venue Week 2021, we teamed up with the Musicians’ Union for a special live artist webinar talking about musicians’ role as activists.
Sam Duckworth has been releasing music under the moniker Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly for 15 years. His catalogue includes collaborations ranging from Baba Maal to Shy FX, Kate Nash to Jehst, with a back catalogue that includes four top 40 singles, two top 40 albums, a German Club Number 1 and a gold certified plaque for the seminal The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager (2006).
For this special conversation, hosted by the Musicians’ Union, Sam Duckworth was interviewed by broadcaster and artist manager Jen Long about how musicians can achieve success as activists in a number of ways. We will be considering the importance of artists being politically aware and using their voice to speak out about the issues they face. The music industry is a work in progress, constantly in development, and the voices of artists need to be heard as part of that conversation.

LUKE SITAL-SINGH

LUKE SITAL-SINGH

DIRECT INPUT #8 WITH LUKE SITAL-SINGH

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh was our first Direct Input guest of 2021.
Sital-Singh was featured in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list and signed to Parlophone Records, who released his debut record The Fire Inside later that year. After a couple of years touring the world and opening for artist such as Villagers, The Staves, Martha Wainwright and Kodaline, in 2017 Sital-Singh released his second record Time Is A Riddle. His most recent offering, A Golden State, dovetailed with his move the UK to California, where he is currently working on a fourth album for release later this year.
In this webinar, we explored the career of an established and highly regarded artist. We also looked at the importance of collaboration and inspiration for songwriters. The creative process differs so much from artist to artist, and through talking to Luke we ere able to gain some insight into how he went about releasing two EPs in 2020, alongside working on his forthcoming album.

AUSTRA

AUSTRA

DIRECT INPUT #9 WITH JEN LONG

For this webinar, we’ll be speaking with artist manager Jen Long about her work with recording artist, producer and performer Austra.
Katie Austra Stelmanis has been better known by her middle name for four albums (all released on Domino Records in the UK), 10 years and countless tours. The Toronto-based classically trained musician is known exploring texture, atmosphere and emotion that increasingly examine the contemporary sensation of being haunted by the future.
Jen Long is an artist manager and broadcaster who will be speaking to us about Austra’s 2020 album release, HiRUDiN. Jen has worked in various positions across the music industry over the past decade and a half, including as a journalist and running her own label (Kissability). In this webinar, we’ll be speaking with Jen about her role working with Austra. The relationship between manager and artist is one that is key to so many successful artist projects, with the manager playing a range of roles. Jen will also be joining us as part of our wider Future Yard team going forwards, so this is chance to hear more from her about her career and experiences.

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