Sourcing, signing, releasing and promoting a roster of alternative and talented musicians, Communion is the record label building relationships between artists and their audiences.
Describing the ethos of this young London based label as “to make inclusive, creative, meaningful music”, former Cherbourg bassist Kevin Jones first established Communion with his mates Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons and acclaimed producer Ian Grimble. Spawned first as a club night in the dimly lit basement of Notting Hill arts club, the label works as a community and a collective, a creative meeting of like-minded individuals brought together to muse off one another and make good music. Sourcing their bands independently, taking risks booking never before heard artists to play live at their gigs, these lads try to keep their signings as eclectic as possible, encouraging originality. Their roster includes Marcus Foster, Matthew & The Atlas, Ben Howard, Treetop Flyers, Nathaniel Ratcliff and Philadelphia Grand Jury. When asked how they define music they answer, “Anything that provokes a reaction, whether that be emotional, physical or mental, ideally all three at the same time.“
i-D Online caught up with Kev to chat about the future of the label and the journey the three friends took to establish their community.
What distinguishes Communion from other record labels? Many things! It’s run by creative people in the industry, rather than business heads. We are all musicians, producers or artists in some guise or other and aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty. It hopefully helps us relate to our artists in a more meaningful way, and we have a more creative edge as a result. We’re also promoters which I think reflects the need for multiple income streams in the modern music age, we wouldn’t be able to release records so readily without the live side of what we do. We also produce the majority of our releases which sets us aside.
Which major record labels do you admire? I have a lot of respect for Island and Atlantic, in certain genres at any rate, and although Bella Union and Domino are not really seen as majors, we aspire to be like them.
What are some of the barriers you have encountered whilst establishing your label? Finances are always a struggle for a new label starting up, especially in today’s economic musical climate.
What are your plans for expansion? More nights and more records! We are keen to reach out more in the US following the success of our New York club night. And more albums as well as EPs and singles. Watch this space!
Listen to Communion Records’ exclusive outtakes from latest release The Flowerpot session here and watch what went down on your right.
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