The music world was very different in 2004 when Hey Now Records opened its doors.
If you were an artist looking to get any of your music released into the wild it required a label, a recording studio, and a distribution deal. If you didn’t have a formal, proper arrangement, you’d find yourself slaving over the self-promotion of your music with your spindle of CD-R demos under your arm – no doubt cassette sourced – all the while doing countless live shows and open mics, probably not getting very far. You could keep your fingers crossed that you could somehow end up on the recently-launched digital download service iTunes, but holding your breath would usually prove fatal. The outlook for the independent musician was bleak and it really got under your skin if you had something great to offer, especially after listening to the radio for more than 12 minutes.
Then the independent musician started to fight back. Smaller digital audio workstations were suddenly affordable. The compact disc, living its last days as an important, tangible piece of art, was affordable in large duplication numbers. Social networking was all the rage. Websites were getting easier to create. The 30 second clip of artists that weren’t ever on a major label all of a sudden became a big deal. We were taking our futures back and learning how to produce and hear music that wasn’t ever possible before the turn of the millennium.
The old-school “label” was no more. Now there was just you and your friends: musicians, producers, and engineers in arms. The recording studio was no more. Now there was just your garage or your living room. The distribution worries were leveled. Once you’re on the internet, you’re world-wide. It was mind blowing and that’s how we got our start and after that there was no looking back.
Andy Alton and myself wanted a place to call home that wasn’t going to be filled with the politics that surround a dying label like a vulture, allowing us to call all the shots with our music, from the songwriting right down to the artwork, allowing us to exist on every level on our own terms.
This is Hey Now Records. This is home.