Talkin Loud and clear
Just because you’re a thriving DJ it doesn’t follow that you can profitably run a record label. James Haliburton talked to Gilles Peterson, boss of Talkin Loud, about the reasons why he has succeeded where others have failed.
Last year it seemed every DJ with even the slightest hint ofcredibility was to be found fronting his own label. usually with major label backing. Few. however. achieved the level ofsuccess of Gilles Peterson‘s Talkin Loud. With a roster that included The Young Disciples. Omar. Incognito and Galliano. Talkin Loud unusually matched critical acclaim and hipness with commercial success. Not ones to rest on their laurels. however. the label is in the middle of a series ofclub dates to introduce Perception and The K Creative, the new wave ofTalkin Loud talent.
Peterson. who was sacked from his job on Jazz FM last year for playing peace songs during the Gulf War, is surprisingly laidback as regards last year‘s chart success.
‘Yeah. I was surprised but I don‘t think it was particularly successful. We definitely had a very good profile and I feel the bands made some really good albums which is really what I’m mainly concerned about. The fact that we had hits made it worthwhile with regard to our connection with Phonogram. It also means we can carry on what we‘re doing and develop into the 90s.‘
Although his involvement with Talkin Loud is relatively recent. in the past Peterson‘s success as a DJ has given him the opportunity to work on compilation albums for other companies as well as being heavily involved with the Acid Jazz label.
He clearly feels this experience has enabled him to set up the kind of label bands can have confidence in and. with his A&R partner Norman Jay. the kind ofteam that can mediate between the needs ofthe bands and Phonogram.
‘I hope so. I hope Talkin Loud can offer hands a kind ofindependent feel but with the strength and might of a major company when it‘s necessary. Hopefully. having learnt a helluva lot over the last two and a halfyears — l was definitely very green when I came here — we‘re able to tap into the advantages of having a major backer. So keeping that kind ofindependent feel when it comes to music and recording music so at the end of the day bands come to Talkin Loud because they can relate to Norman and myselfand we’ve definitely got that underground attitude.
‘When it comes to music they can just deal with us and when it comes to business we can make sure that marketing is well prepared and what have
LISTINGS: GLASGOW 57 EDINBURGH 58 '
Paul Martin, Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson The strategy. if last year‘s success is anything to go by. certainly seems to be working. While Talkin Loud is on a commercial roll. apparently similar
operations have failed to capitalise on the danceﬂoor success of their acts.
"The difference between us and them is we decided from the off to work within the Phonogram building as opposed to having our own independent offices elsewhere. I feel it‘s important for us to be here so that people in the building can actually learn about what we're doing. It‘s been a learning experience for people at Phonogram because they‘re used to doing Tears For Fears and Elton John and Status Quo and now they are beginning to understand what Talkin Loud is about. I think one ofthe reasons for our success is that Phonogram really want it to be successful and that wasn‘t the case when I got here. It was very much secretaries wearing Def Leppard T-shirts and now they're coming into my office asking for the new Galliano demo.‘
_ Special K
No doubt about it, the highlight ot the Talkin Loud Out And About event will be the live appearances lrom recent signings Perception and The it Creative. The soul/tunk ot Perception will be ottset by the London tour-piece's excursions into rap and dance. K Creative's rapper V-Love ls understandably excited about what will
The K Creative
they're just nodding their head or whether that means they’re dancing I don't care i just want them to pay attention and have a good night.’
The K Creative have been working together for about seven years since they met at school and their sound brings together the diverse intluences at each member- irom jazz and Troublelunk to Public Enemy. V-Love is equally enthusiastic (cynics might suggest naive) about what he thinks can be achieved through the music, I and more importantly, the lyrics the band are currently working on. ;
‘We did a tune quite a while back
that a while ago and now that's really blown up and a lot at people are paying more attention. It we could have got that tune out we could have, in our own way, got people aware to Le Pen a lot quicker whereas he’s turning up in Charring Cross and there’s a thousand people telling him to ‘Fuck ott home’. Maybe we could have contributed something to that kind at response. Whether anyone listens to lyrics . . . well, I hope so.’ (James Haliburton)
The K Creative and Perception join Talkin’ Loud's Out and About event at the Sub Club, Glasgow on Fri 21. A
be the band’s lirst UK tour. ‘For an introduction to the K Creative
my main concern is just getting everyone rocking, whether that means
called ‘The Tower 0t Babel’ —that was angled straight at Le Pen. We wrote
: commemorative EP ieaturlng tracks
from both bands is released on 24 Feb.
56 The List 14 - 27 February 1992