‘This month: Jason M Norwood, native to London, ON, Canada and long-time veteran here – was kind enough to give us his words about #WEATNU, his former artist name, Minutes After, and his latest release under the Berlin School music he creates.’
Interview by: Almark
Hello Jason, please tell in your own words what #WEATNU has done for you. Tell us a story of your own?
JN: I like to search for new music a lot, and I can’t remember for the life of me how I discovered her, but I discovered an artist named Adryelle, and reached out via Twitter to mention I was a fan. Almark and I got talking through Twitter threads, and I discovered that he ran this enterprise called WEATNU. Running a tiny little label myself, we got talking on that score, and at the same time I was looking for a home for Minutes After, a techno-based solo project of mine that didn’t fit with my label’s aesthetic. The rest is fairly normal—I sent Almark some music, he liked it and asked about releasing it, and I signed on. I liked the concept of WEATNU being an artist-helping-artists collective, which is something I’ve always strongly believed in.
It’s funny, because I’ve since devolved my label into an artist collective. Minutes After is shelved, but for the first time I get to release my 25-year-long solo project (stuff under my own name) with WEATNU—no talk of “I want another Minutes After” album, just support for the broader sense of what I do.
I get to talk to a like-minded label head, I get to support an idea that I agree with, and I get to be a part of a community where I can offer my skills and bounce ideas off of others. What’s not to like?
How did you first find out about #WEATNU and what were your thoughts initially?
JN: I think I got drawn into #WEATNU because I saw a kindred spirit in this unwieldy thing called the music business. I’d been running my own thing, Hope Mansion Recordings, for a while, and it was nice to see something in operation that was designed to help artists. At the same time, I had a rare side project called Minutes After, which was heavily techno-based and didn’t sit right on my own label, so I decided to give it a home I liked and respected, where it would be a little cozier.
I can’t say there was anything specific I wanted out of #WEATNU going into that. Out of head-to-head conversations between two people trying to do something different in music, the whole conversation seemed to develop naturally. I also liked the idea of supporting something whose ideals I agreed with.
Fast forward to now, and although Minutes After has ended, we’re talking about releasing the Berlin-school electronic music I release under my own name. It’ll be the first time in 25 years I’ve put that project out under a different label, which gives you an idea of how I get along with #WEATNU.
What do you feel #WEATNU is doing for the modern indie artist, how is it serving them, because now we have our magazine once again?
JN: I think the word “flexibility” is the first thing that comes to mind. In a world where artists can be independent and make good quality albums in the comfort of their own personal studios, sacrificing things like artistic control isn’t really necessary. Also, technology has led to a lot of possibilities as to how a label can operate. So, #WEATNU doesn’t look to sign people to take control, I think it’s about asking the artists “What do you need?” It’s all there, but you have the freedom to operate on a loose alliance or a full signing, and everything in between.
I’ve always felt the most interesting independent labels are the ones where you like one artist, you get curious and start crate-digging through the label roster, and #WEATNU has that in spades, but also it uses what’s there to give artists a platform to talk about what they do—hence, the magazine. Not only putting out music, but providing the story behind it in a way that fans want more of now than they ever did.
Where do you see #weatnurecords going, now that we are nearing our 5th year?
JN: I think the label will continue to do good things! I think the fact that its different approach is what gives it prominence—this idea that artists and labels can make the goals a common drive rather than have an employer/employee relationship is healthier, and it will allow the artists on #WEATNU the chance to show what they can do without having to change themselves or their art.
Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine – Nov 2019
Proofing: Jason M Norwood