Iceni 5 is a non-profit record label based in Norwich and an affiliate of Future Projects, a charity which has helped support many young people and adults over the past ten years. Its aim is to give young artists a chance to release their music and to give them guidance in the music industry. We recently spoke to the producers behind the label, also known as Iceni 5, to find out more.
Introduce us a little bit to Iceni 5 and how you all met...
We all have used Future Projects in the past whether it was for time in the studio, counselling, helping out future radio etc. So with the help of Future Projects and Will Wilson, we managed to round up people that were interested in the music business and created a team to put together a label.
How long has it taken to get the record label to where it is today?
We first came up with the idea of putting a label together in April 2011 and we usually spend one day a week together discussing the direction the label should go in. With the help from our mentors at Future Projects, we have managed to not only push on the record label but to learn valuable skills in the process. We also are mentored by Jay Hurren from EZ Rollers, who has given us great confidence, belief and helped open a few doors to get us to where we are.
The fact that the project is lottery funded shows a real positive attitude towards the electronic music scene especially here in the UK. How was the process of securing the funding?
The label is a part of the BE Project at Future Projects in Norwich. This program aims to aid young people in entrepreneurial projects; up skilling them and moving them on. Will Wilson who runs the program saw that these lads could hone their skills collectively and begin to promote themselves and other local and unsigned talent.
There were originally a bunch of guys using the studio and this project has enabled them to use all the resources available to them to their advantage. We were given £500 as a beginning pot and anything we made from that would be ploughed back into the label.
Tell us a little bit about the artists who founded the label and their individual styles..
Case is the more urban side of the record label, mainly r'n'b and hip hop. He works with a lot of local up and coming mc's and singers. Zillion is more leaning towards a soundtrack style focusing on emotive side of music mainly focusing within bass music. 539 Limited is a dedicated 18-year-old D&B and dubstep producer who aims towards the dancefloor and is a name to look out for in the future.
The new LP 'War Cry' has recently dropped and is the third release from the label. It includes tracks from every member of the roster and covers a wide range of tempos and genres. Was this a coincidence or was the overall idea to prove that this exciting young collective could accommodate for any occasion?
The whole idea of 'War Cry' was to do an album release from the original artists that started up the label. We have always wanted to keep Iceni 5 as a non-genre specific label and this shows in the mix of artists, we all bring a different sound so it wasn't really coincidence. We have never wanted to shut doors on local artists as our main aim is to push local talent and develop them whatever their sound so it was ideal to do a album with a mix of genres and tempos.
How have the crowd reactions been to the new material at the live shows?
We recently had the privilege to host room two at Color. This is Norwich's biggest D&B night and has been running for several years, it was a great opportunity for us. 539 Limited's set consisted of a mix of his own productions and the tracks he performed with Maya Clarke really made the night for us, the feedback from the crowd was amazing. It was the first time we had heard are own tracks in that environment and was a massive confidence boost seeing people dancing and enjoying what we are doing.
Is the creative process enhanced due to the fact that everybody is working within different genres, sharing individual influences? Or does everyone just do their own thing?
Yes, it is great to have such a diverse mix of artists and we do bounce of each other in our own different ways. We meet up every week and share our new tracks and sometimes you can get majorly influenced by another artists work which is great. But we generally just go about doing our own thing and let our creative sides run wild.
Could you see more of these lottery-funded projects starting up?
There definitely should be, they help a lot of people young and old learn new skills and develop themselves as individuals as well and it's always great to meet up with like-minded people. Places for younger people are getting shut down more and more now so it would be great to see a few more popping up.
Can people outside of Norwich get involved with Iceni 5?
Yes we are always looking to promote and showcase artists outside of Norwich. We are trying to keep it local as Future Projects is a local Charity for Norwich and Norfolk but we want to collaborate with other projects in the UK like ours. We are always looking for people that are interested in learning more about the music industry or artists that want to release their music with Iceni 5. The best way to get in touch is through our Facebook page.
What tips could you give to any budding producers out there, who perhaps might not have the money to pay for a course?
Not to get down about the little things and try and always be positive, there always like minded people about and the music industry is about networking so just get yourself out there. It's always great meeting local people with the same aims and there are also free opportunities out there just keep an eye out.
So what's next for Iceni 5?
We have a few local festivals that we are getting involved with supplying a few DJs, equipment and technical support. We are also lining up our next album release on Iceni 5. We want to carry on bringing together the artists that are lurking within the Norfolk area.
Any final shouts?
We would like to give a massive shout out to all the people that have worked hard at Future Projects to make this project happen and Jay EZ Rollers for his continued support.
Words: Eddy Mac
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