Umbro Industries Summer 2011: we speak to the winners by Aaron› 7 Jun 2011
Held at our Dale Street design studio, the latest Umbro Industries final was a close fought affair, with two entries ending up as winners of the £10,000 prize to spend on their creative ideas. Artistic record label Baptists & Bootleggers were an Umbro Industries first, as they walked away with MORE money than they requested. The panel liked their idea so much that they doubled the amount requested and awarded a £3,500 prize. The remaining £6,500 was handed over to rappers and producers Broke N English, who want to provide a 'football academy' style service for budding local musicians.
We spoke to both winners on the day about their ideas and what they plan to spend their money on....
Baptists & Bootleggers
Can you explain what Baptists & Bootleggers is all about?
'Basically it’s a non-profit label that will be releasing art, music and literature, but we’re going to be releasing it by distributing it to the artists themselves. It will enable the artist to distribute by hand, so the idea is that it then gets passed on in different cities, they can take them into record shops and ask if they can leave it on the counters, that kind of thing.
Also, another main point is that all the packaging is going to be handmade, so it’s all going to be hopefully a lot more exciting than a CD jewel case, or just a plain record sleeve. The packaging will be hand drawn and contain artwork and literature, posters and things.'
What will the money be spent on?
'We’ve applied for the money mainly to fund production of the first release. We want a big first release for the label, to make people realise that they know everything’s free and it’s good, not free because it’s cheap. So the funding would help us produce a great record that we want to put out on vinyl as well as CD, so we’re looking to produce 500 vinyl records and 1000 CDs.
As well as the production of the first release the money would go towards promoting the label and the launch of the release and a small amount of it would go towards organising a launch event for the first release on the label.'
Are the artists on the label just Manchester based or are they worldwide?
'They are mostly Manchester based at the moment but we also have one in Berlin, a sound artist who’s producing tracks, but we are hoping to spread out further. If the community grows it will.'
So the first release is going to be a compilation?
'It is yeah. Rather than just a standard compilation for the first release, we decided to put a twist on it. So we found an 8 minute clip from a 1930s movie which we found really interesting. Originally the idea came from adding a soundtrack ourselves. Then we thought “what would it sound like if other people had the same 8 minute clip”. We got everyone’s opinion on what the soundtrack should be, so we’ve asked 6 bands to create their own. It’s exciting to hear what the different kind of styles from each band has come up with producing the soundtrack.'
Broke N English
Can you sum up what your proposal to Umbro Industries is all about?
'First and foremost we’re musicians from Manchester trying to make an indentation in this difficult industry. But secondly were trying to set up something in Manchester that will be helpful for up and coming musicians on the scene. The best way to explain our proposal is that we’re trying to make a musical version of a football youth academy so people can come in, get the right training and work their way up to the first team at some point.'
So what would you be spending the money on?
'We have all the equipment we need, but we need a recording space for all the young people to come into. We’re also looking to put some money into our label, which would help to build up the scene and give us a better all round organisation.'
Is this something that you think is missing here in Manchester?
'Definitely, it’s a social thing as well. Kids do have more resources than they did in the past, with workshops and things like that. But those who have decided that they want to be a musician and follow that path as a career, there’s not that many opportunities out there. So we just want to provide that and do it in a positive way, so it’s not just the same old clichés.
Both football and music have a lot of money in there at the top, but at grassroots level, there’s still a lot of fun to be had, and we want to promote that as well, not make it too serious.'
Congratulations to both winners, and thanks to all our finalists who came along on the day. For more information on the Umbro Industries scheme, check out the site.