It’s no news that the music industry is notoriously one of the hardest to break into. Over in Shoreditch, a team of up-and-coming artists have banded together to take things into their own hands. After all, who better to know what emerging artists truly need to break through industry clamour than they themselves?
New Noise, a new music festival-slash-conference, is set to land on April 4 at the infamous Old Blue Last venue. From panels with industry professionals, networking with potential collaborators, and an eclectic lineup of London’s musical acts, there’s lots in store for both fun and concrete value for those trying to enter the scene. But most of all, New Noise aims to help create a community that can uplift each other within an immensely competitive industry.
The organisers have also created the event in support of Help Musicians, a UK charity dedicated to supporting and empowering musicians at all stages of their careers. We spoke with Grace, one of the Event Directors, about the vision behind the event, their collaboration with Help Musicians, and what they’re most looking forward to on the day.
First of all, congratulations on organising such an exciting and meaningful event! Tell us a little about what’s in store.
Thanks! Yeah, we're excited. New Noise is a brand-new music festival and conference created to benefit Help Musicians that will take place on April 4 at The Old Blue Last. We're so excited to be hosting our event at such a storied venue.
The morning, from 10AM to 2PM, will be some great industry panels, and the evening from 3:30PM to late we’ll have amazing music from up-and-coming musicians. There will also be a networking room in the morning and some fun activities in the evening!
The Conference part of the event looks unique in the space. What can people expect?
Yeah, it really is more of a gig or pub space, but we have a vision and think it will work! The main gig stage will be transformed into a lecture space where music industry professionals will speak on topics like DIY distribution, sex in marketing, music production, working as a session musician, and music and the senses. Upstairs simultaneously, in the flat, we will have an acoustic stage and a networking event with some labels and distribution companies and such.
What was the impetus for creating an event like New Noise?
Most of us organising the event are up-and-comers in the industry ourselves, and we really wanted to create an event that would help us lift each other up and make connections with other artists and potential collaborators. We were interested in providing valuable information, engaging discussions, and just a fun day! We were also very much set on putting it on specifically to benefit a charity, and Help Musicians is absolutely the perfect fit.
How did your partnership with Help Musicians come about? Tell us about that collaboration.
With the scope of the event being so large, we wanted to connect with a charity that not only had relevance to the causes, but also has a real impact on the lives of our peers and the lives of those we are trying to promote and develop through our event.
After liaising with the charity, it was clear that Help Musicians fit all those criteria, and they were immensely enthusiastic to partner with us. Their knowledge of helping musicians for over a century made them perfect for sharing their advice on one of our panels – we can’t wait to hear what they have to say.
Can you tell us about some of the emerging artists that’ll be participating? How did you land on the final list?
Our headliners for the evening are Liverpool's very own Bandit. They've been making waves over the last twelve months, named as Jack Saunders' 'Next Wave', with tons of BBC Radio 1 play and features in numerous Spotify-curated playlists. Honey Moon are fresh off the back of a headline sell out at The Lexington, with Glastonbury festival appearances and spins on Apple Music 1 on their glossy CV of achievements. Hum Fuzz are an amazing indie/ska/reggae outfit who are selling out shows in Brighton on the regular – outrageously catchy tunes and super talented musicians!
Apart from these three standout names, we also have a fantastic lineup of smaller London bands and singer-songwriters all throughout the morning and evening! You can find the full lineup on our Instagram. We sourced the lineup mostly through our team's connections! We were looking to curate an interesting but cohesive programme of London’s emerging artists and a few from further afield.
What has been the most challenging and gratifying part of organising the festival?
We have a pretty big team working on this, around forty people, and many of us have never worked together previously. So, probably the biggest challenge has been organising and structuring the teams, making sure there's good communication between all the branches, and that everything can happen in the right order. It's been really gratifying to see our work come together. We can't wait for the event!
What would you like the event to accomplish? Is there a bigger picture goal for New Noise?
My personal goal was mostly about creating community. We want it to be one of those days you look back on for years. Something that feels like it has an impact on the trajectory of the lives of everyone attending.
On a more personal note – what genres of music do you usually enjoy listening to?
I'm maybe not the one to ask as I have truly eclectic taste! My favorite genres are prog-folk like Richard Dawson, chamber-pop like Joanna Newsom, and folk-pop like Phoebe Bridgers. I also have a background in classical music, and love experimental and traditional music. You'll still find me playing Billie Eilish covers all the time, though. Everyone says they like all genres, but I truly do. I don't like all artists, but there are artists in every genre I enjoy. This event focuses mostly on pop and indie genres, I think it's an amazing lineup.
How do you discover new music?
Personally, I love to ask around and listen to the artists I'm hearing mentioned most often. People I see mentioned on social media, for example, or I love asking my friends to make me playlists. Then finding new music is a social pastime as well, which makes me love it even more.
What are you most excited about for the first New Noise?
Honestly? I'm excited to perform! My band Towse is playing haha. But if I put on my organizer hat, I think I'm excited to see everyone getting to know new people. When I lived in LA before, I put on a series of house concerts, and my favorite thing about those was seeing individual bubbles of community joining together into a bigger crowd of mutual support and creativity!
Find more information about and tickets for New Noise here.
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Cover Credit: New Noise
Writer | Soyoung Park
Soyoung is a perpetual third culture kid currently in Hong Kong as Sound of Life’s Lead Editor. When not at her day job, she lives to explore and daydream about the underwater world.