Record label

Wolves in search of ‘next Stormzy’ as club launches label

Will Wolves find the next Stormzy? (Photo: Reuters)

We bet a Premier League club launching a record label wasn’t on your 2021 bingo card (along with pretty much everything that happened this year), but it did happen.

This week Wolverhampton Wanderers became the first British football club to launch a label with Wolves Records, in a mishmash of sport and culture that, strangely, at this time probably makes more sense than we realize. initially thought.

Supported not only by the swollen pockets of an English football club, but also by music industry funders lending their influence, under the aegis of the Alternative Distribution Alliance of Warner Music UK, the main game is about using the club’s global audience to find the next big performer.

Peter Rudge has led icons such as the Rolling Stones and The Who during his long career, and now, as a strategic consultant, he is fusing his love of the West Midlands club (after all, Rudge’s company is called 5-1 Productions, named after the score of a Wolves v Arsenal match) and nurture emerging talent in a bubbling and intoxicating mix that could change the inner workings of the music industry.

Talk to during the unprecedented launch, Rudge insisted it was “not a gimmick” and that Wolves had assembled a team of powerful industry players, including producer SX, who worked with Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino, to deliver.

“The opportunity is huge for any act. We want to start locally and reinvest in the local community, ”Rudge tells us. “I think it will be the first in a long series, I think other clubs will see this opportunity and follow suit.”

Stones in Madison

Peter, center, along with Mick Jagger, led the Rolling Stones during his rich career (Photo: Graham Wiltshire / Getty Images)

Thinking of the power of a Premier League club’s reach, he continued: “The sky is the limit of what we can accomplish and talent is the base of the pyramid.

“Signing the next Stormzy or the next Coldplay is what we’re looking for. This is how we want to proceed.

“We have a very good wired team in Wolves which we believe can be competitive and efficient.

“It’s not a gimmick. All of this has been thought of.

With the club “putting its money where its mouth is,” Wolves Records is already inviting submissions of tracks from solo acts, groups and local, national and international producers.

Rudge wouldn’t have thought just a few years ago that a football club launching a label would be a thing, but now he thinks that makes perfect sense, especially when you have players with remarkably large numbers of players. subscribers on social networks (case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 347 million followers on Instagram).

Wolves Records signs SX.

SX producer lends his expertise (Photo: Jack Thomas / WWFC / Wolves)

While he might call the art of finding ‘the next Stormzy or Coldplay’ an ‘imprecise science’, Rudge thinks there is nothing more satisfying than bringing a new performer from a seedy underground club. to perform in a stadium, which is clearly the kind of high hopes he has for whoever signs with Wolves.

He explains the club’s “courageous and strategic decision”: “Since the advent of the Internet and the new digital landscape, and the influence of social media platforms in terms of connecting with the public now, in some ways, it is is natural. It’s an obvious adjustment.

“The two pillars of life for most children in the UK are football and music. You live vicariously through your heroes in both genres.

“It is a product, both musical and football, and it must be promoted and marketed. Today there is an infrastructure available to reach anyone in the world. ‘

We assume that the only thing left to do is watch this space.

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