​HMV launches record label, 1921 Records

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His Master’s Voice, AKA HMV, has announced that it will be returning to wax printing after the inception of its brand new record label, 1921 Records.

The label made its first signing earlier this week with Newcastle singer-songwriter India Arkin, making her the first HMV signing in more than 20 years.

India Arkin’s first release on 1921 Records, ‘Home Truths’, will be available exclusively in HMV’s 115 retail stores around the UK, and elsewhere on its online shop.

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According to the team behind HMV and the new label, 1921 Records aims to champion new, grassroots music with two to three new signings a year.

“For the most part it will be unknowns, although we will never be turning down Ed [Sheeran],” says Doug Putman, HMV’s new owner who helped to rescue the retailer from administration in 2019.

“With our new label, we want to do what we can to help debut artists make their mark in a tough industry. Streaming algorithms mean it’s hard for new artists to get their voices heard, so we’re giving them the chance to get their albums in our stores where music fans can discover them for themselves.”

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The label is promised to ‘hark back to its roots’, and use HMV’s “live and local” program to debut artists and build their careers. “This is just the beginning for 1921 Records – it’s our mission to get more fantastic albums by debut artists into the homes of music fans,” Putman added.

“HMV is leading the way in the vinyl revival, so it makes sense for us to create our own label and promote the music we know our shoppers care about.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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