Friday, June 28, 2013

News: Funding helps Reece start from scratch


A new house music record label based in Rotherham has signed its first major artist after it received a boost from UK Steel Enterprise's Kickstart Fund.

Reece Johnson launched No More Noise Records in March and after signing respected house music producer Dale Howard, has enjoyed early success and recognition in a number of download charts. In April the label released a Dale Howard EP featuring two tracks, Undercover and Alpha, which reached number 46 in the Beatport chart with support from some big name DJs.

Reece, who lives in Kimberworth and works for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in its business support department, runs the record label on a part-time basis. He received £500 from UK Steel Enterprise's Kickstart Fund to help him pay for Dale's fee, artwork for the EP and the necessary promotion.

Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RIDO) and Rotherham Youth Enterprise (RYE) to help them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.

Reece sees the early success as the first step on the ladder to building an established record label that can help aspiring artists. He said: "Many record labels start out like ours and it can take time to get things moving but our chart success shows it is possible. The Kickstart funding was critical in getting us trading because without it we would still be waiting to approach an artist."

The record label was the next obvious step for Reece, one of the pioneers behind successful Sheffield club night, "De:Bug" with friends, Steve Roberts and Steve Lynam. The night is helping to put the city back on the clubbing map and recently celebrated its second birthday with a bang.

Reece has already set his sights on the next project when he hopes to be able to offer a helping hand to up and coming artists. "I am already talking to a number of producers about promoting their work and have at least one well known artists in mind. I also do some producing myself, so what I want to do is create a compilation EP featuring a number of artists to try and give them a break," says Reece.

UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Keith Williams, regional manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: "When it comes to launching a new business it's vital to understand your market and Reece clearly does. Many record labels start out small and the underground music scene is huge, with plenty of potential for thousands of people to download his new music."

Jackie Frost, chief executive of Rotherham Youth Enterprise, added: "Reece is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination. We are happy to have helped Reece in the grant application process and look forward to providing further support as his record label business develops."

UK Steel Enterprise has set aside finance from its Kickstart Fund to target young entrepreneurs in Rotherham with small scale finance that can make all the difference when starting a new business.

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