How Future Classic is supporting emerging acts in lockdown
Independent Aussie music label and collective Future Classic is a wonderful success story. From small beginnings, FC now has offices here and in LA, and is releasing a new compilation to help spotlight emerging artists as coronavirus continues to decimate the industry.
Shelter In Place – A Future Classic Compilation features an international cast of performers and producers, showcasing artists already fostered through the Future Classic x Dropbox Residency Program.
Plus, a portion of the first month of sales will go to a charity called Heartland Alliance that is providing emergency funds to marginalised communities most affected by the ongoing
“It was right at the start of COVID. It’s like, well, we can’t have anyone come into the studio,” Future Classic co-founder Chad Gillard tells TMN from quarantine in Sydney. “So artists coming into the studio every day, working with different people every day… it’s a lot of people coming through them.
“It became pretty bad pretty quickly. Well, shit, we can’t really responsibly keep this running the way we have been.”
“We were doing a series of studio residencies where we were going to fly in 10 artists from around the world and we’d cover their flights and accommodation in exchange for them coming over here [to LA],” Future Classic day-to-day manager Katie Hupp says.
“We got through about seven [applications] before COVID hit. And we had all these applications, 700 different applications that were just sitting, waiting there that we didn’t know the next time that we would be able to bring people into the studio.”
“So, we decided that we wanted to do something to try to showcase the other people that applied.”
The name for Shelter In Place was born out of early experiences of lockdown, and in LA the health order was calling on people to “shelter” rather than quarantine or lockdown.
Artists featuring on the release include MariaDennis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Angus1 (Sydney, Australia), The Blossom (Los Angeles, USA), mwami (Kampala, Uganda), Madge (Los Angeles, USA), Jalopy Bungus (Phoenix, USA), and Late Night Messages (Oklahoma City, USA).
“When we were actually selecting people for the actual residency programme, one of the main things we took into account was what kind of an artist are you?” adds Gillard.
“Are you someone that’s actually going to thrive in a collaborative environment? Because that’s a lot of what the residency was about, putting artists into an environment where they’re actually going to be collaborating with lots of people for the first time.
“Showing them just a really small slice of what that sort of LA studio, session machinery really looks like when you’re constantly churning.”
In times when the industry is suffering, Hupp says that ultimately the project was about trying to help others as well as looking after the business of Future Classic.
“We wanted to find a middle ground where we could utilise the music that we were shown and also just prop up some emerging artists at kind of a weird, tricky time.”