Archives: 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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BEACON

BEACON

A DAY OF IDEAS + SOLUTIONS

Join us for a day of ideas and solutions led by industry experts and inspiring artists who are defying the odds despite COVID-19.

2020 has been 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. But that ISN’T the way it has to be. Honestly, there are artists who have flourished during COVID-19. BEACON is here to share these stories.

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DIRECT INPUT

DIRECT INPUT

FREE, FORTNIGHTLY 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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DIRECT INPUT @ FOCUS WALES WITH BECKY HAWLEY (STEALING SHEEP)

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.

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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.
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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).

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DIRECT INPUT #6 WITH SOAK

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.

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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.