- BabyStep Magazine
Label Spotlight: Gentle Giant Records
Gentle Giant Records is an innovative record label, online platform, and collective established by Inness Hallam in July 2021. While rooted in Manchester, the platform serves as a dynamic showcase for talented artists from all corners of the UK, encompassing a wide range of genres with a particular focus on the unique and extraordinary.
The label has recently featured Augustus Breeze, a native of Edinburgh, who discovered his passion for music through his involvement as an instrumentalist in various bands and ensembles. Transitioning into music production, he has seamlessly incorporated his background in live instrument performance, with a particular emphasis on jazz. By fusing elements of jazz, funk, and soul, and infusing them with a contemporary electronic perspective, Augustus Breeze has cultivated a distinctive style that transcends the boundaries of any single genre.
His music showcases his eclectic mix of influences and demonstrates his prowess as a multi-instrumentalist through a chilled-out hip-hop instrumental beat. On the 22nd, he unveiled "Brute," an industrial house track that takes its name from the Aturia Microbrute Drum Machine, serving as the foundation of the song. Notably, "Brute" has already garnered attention and received airplay on BBC Introducing Scotland's esteemed Pop Out Playlist.
We spoke to Inness Hallam about the story of the label so far and how far they plan to take it:
What inspired forming Gentle Giant and how have you found the project so far?
Gentle Giant Records came around after a few friends and I were all releasing our own projects independently and were discussing how we found it difficult to legitimise the process, I wanted a way for us to be able to use a channel that would allow us to gain traction as a roster instead of as individuals. From the get go, I wanted the label to focus on ‘Per Release’ contracts and for any signees to want to stay with us based on their personal experience with the label. So far, the project has been a really positive experience. It’s been so nice to put passion, money and effort into something and see so many people supporting and enjoying the resulting products.
What do you look for when bringing an artist on board?
The main thing I look for when searching for a new artist is someone who genuinely loves making something original and true to themselves. I’ve really enjoyed how, in recent years, the accessibility of ‘bedroom production’ has allowed anyone to just throw their ideas down, bounce it out and upload it to Soundcloud without going through a filter of boardroom execs and tested formulas. It’s really blown the spectrum of genres wide open. This is something I love to see in a potential signee, someone who’s sat for hours and hours in a messy bedroom, hunched over a desk, twiddling with synths or drum machines until they have that moment where their own creative branch stems off and begins to blossom.
You recently have brought on board Augustus Breeze. Tell us how you first discovered his music and what we can expect from his music?
I’ve actually known Komy since my time at University in Leeds, and we used to work on a lot of music whilst we lived together above the Sainsbury’s in Hyde Park. I’d always been a fan of his music and his incredible ability as an instrumentalist too. After setting up the label, he was actually the first person I messaged about getting involved. There’s a certain quality to his song writing and production that is so simple and emotion evoking that makes it a real joy to listen to.
We’ve also taken on a few more artists since then too, releasing an EP from London based Mr. Susan, I have released my own EP and most recently, we have released a single from Montreal based producer maybe:tom. We are still on the lookout for new talent and are excited to see what comes our way.
We are aware you are thinking of starting to put on events in the near future. Where will they be, and what can people expect?
We put on our first event in the January of 2021 and we were really happy with how it went. I’m still planning on putting more on in the future but in the meantime have been working with a good friend, Jacob Sanderson of Tenderknit, to put on joint events under the name ‘Simple Ingredients’ once a month in NAM, Manchester.
What else can we look forward to from the label going forward?
I’m hoping to release some more of our own artist’s tracks again in the near future as well as getting involved with any new artists that come our way. After the success of our first round of merchandise, we working with some different artists to create some more T-shirts and hoodies to be released soon. However, in the meantime, we’re so grateful for everyone supporting what we’re doing as well as publications like Babystep giving us a chance to share our story!