Souljawn Records / Emeli Sandé
In 2007, I decided to pursue my passion for soul, R&B and hip-hop music by setting up my own label, Souljawn Records. I felt I had a knack for spotting talent as I saw many of my favourite US acts progress from releasing music independently, or on small labels, to signing for major labels and gaining commercial and critical success. Emeli Sandé was the first artist I discovered and signed to my label. We recorded and released an album, which I later licensed to Virgin EMI (visit my Press page for more information about my work with Emeli Sandé ). She went on to sign for Virgin EMI as a recording artist and a songwriter. Her debut album Our Version of Events spent ten weeks at number one and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1 million sales.
Promoting Local Talent
I set up showcases in venues in the west end of Glasgow to promote local acts. Some notable performers I worked with were Emeli Sande, Kobi Onyame, DJ David Craig, Clarita de Quiroz and Jamie Sellers; all of whom have since enjoyed successful music careers. David Craig is a world renowned DJ who has supported megastars including Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and Pharell Williams. Kobi Onyame has supported rap heavyweights Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and De La Soul and was nominated for Scottish Album of the Year in 2018. Clarita de Quiroz signed to Sony Music (Middle East) and supported Elton John, Jermaine Jackson and Amp Fiddler. Jamie Sellers is a songwriter and producer and has achieved several UK Top 40 records and a platinum-selling number one album in Japan.
Me One / Technotronic
I worked with Me One (Eric Martin) on an as yet unreleased album featuring collaborations with Lynden David Hall, Maxi Priest, Capleton and Michelle Escoffery, and we released a promo EP called The Last Number. I also worked with Eric in various capacities to support his work as a DJ and producer. As Me One, he released his critically acclaimed album As Far As I’m Concerned on Island/Universal in 2000 which featured collaborations with The Roots and Guru (Gang Starr). As MC Eric, he was an original member of Technotronic and wrote band’s debut album Pump Up The Jam which went double platinum in eight countries and sold over 15 million copies worldwide. This led to tours throughout America with Madonna, and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith).
Muhsinah is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer from Washington DC. I worked with her on an unreleased album project in Scotland that featured local musicians, including jazz drummer Richard Kass and The Cairn String Quartet, and Dan Smith from Noisettes. At the time, she had recently released her double EP The Oscillations: Sine & Triangle, received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” for her feature on Foreign Exchange’s Daykeeper, and she also featured on Changes by Common on his album Universal Mind Control. She has worked with The Weeknd, Maxwell, Robert Glasper, Flying Lotus, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alanis Morisette, and has performed at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball and on TV shows including David Letterman and Ellen Degeneres.
Lynden David Hall
Lynden David Hall was a soul singer from London and is regarded as one of the UK’s best black music artists. I re-released his third album In Between Jobs with a previously unreleased bonus track called Promise. The album was his last release before he tragically passed away at the age of 31 after a two-year battle with cancer. It was an honour to be a part of this project in a very small way as Lynden is one of my all-time favourite artists. I had the pleasure of meeting him and seeing him perform; he was a lovely person and wonderful talent. He was best-known for his breakthrough album Medicine 4 My Pain, UK Top 20 single Sexy Cinderella, winning “Best Newcomer” at the MOBO Awards in 1998 and appearing in the film Love Actually, performing All You Need Is Love.
In 2013, I partnered with The Hill on Byres Road in Glasgow to showcase my favourite local up-and-coming acts. Some of the performers included Lewis Capaldi, Emily Middlemas, Jodie Knight, Lucia Fairfull and Christy O’Donnell. Lewis Capaldi has since become a hugely successful recording artist; some of his accolades include UK and US number one singles and his debut album was the biggest-selling recording in the UK in both 2019 and 2020. All the acts made independent releases, some achieving airplay on BBC Radio 1, and many branched out into modelling, TV and film. Emily Middlemas (now known as Ili) appeared on The X Factor, Jodie Knight appeared on The Voice, Lucia Fairfull fronts indie band Lucia & The Best Boys and Christy O’Donnell starred in Nickelodeon TV show Find Me In Paris.
In 2016, I set up The Vault with producer/songwriter friends Jud Mahoney and Natalie DeLucia, offering recording, production and promotion services to both emerging and established acts. Jud has worked with some of the biggest acts in the industry including Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Usher and has sold millions of records worldwide; Natalie has worked with Britney Spears and has performed at The Grammy Awards, Saturday Night Live and The MTV Music Awards. Some up-and-coming acts to have visited the studio include Scottish soul/jazz singer Kitti, who won “Best Newcomer” at the Scottish Music Awards in 2020, and reggaeton/R&B/pop singer Amber Donoso. While Jud and Natalie have since relocated back to the US, I continue to work with them to develop new talent.