Temple Records was a youth led record label run by Creative Youth Network and funded by the Big Music Project. This blog has been written by those who took part.

How it was set up?

In 2014 Creative Youth Network created a project that allowed young people aged 16+ to gain experience, knowledge and insight into the music industry, having witnessed a gap in opportunities for young people to do so. However, to ensure the project REALLY met the needs of the young people it was decided that it would be created, run and delivered by young people giving them the opportunity to set up their own record label. A steering group was created who chose the name, designed the logo and decided on what the label would do – sign young musicians for a year to help them record and release tracks as well as giving them opportunity to perform.

Who led it?

The steering group became the label management team with individual roles in A&R, Studio Engineering, Management and Event Co-ordination, amongst others. This gave those interested creative industry jobs the opportunity to learn about the profession and gain transferable skills. The steering group also became the project champions linking in with other Big Music funded projects and young people across the country. This included weekend residentials, events and trips to London, and the opportunity to share their learning of how to set up and run a record label.

What was achieved?

From performances at Glastonbury Festival, to releasing an album of new music from Bristol based young musicians, Temple Records has achieved so much.

  • over the four years, 43 young people part of the steering group and management, all aged 16-21 years old
  • 27 young musicians signed to the label 
  • 15 singles released on Sound Cloud, Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp 
  • two albums recorded and released
  • 8 events led at venues including The Island and Trinity Arts Centre
  • performances at festival such as bristol Harbourside Festival, Love Saves The Day and Shambala
  • over 2000 attended these performances over the four years 
  • 588 people followed Temple Records through social media channels getting access to events, updates when releases were made and being shared lessons learnt and ways to get involved

What were our roles?

The steering group were able to apply for, and take on, roles that represented jobs in the industry. We had roles for Sound Engineers who then went onto managing the recording studio and recorded all of the music, as well as mastering the tracks to get them ready to release. We also have a Label Manager who helped keep us all co-ordinated. When we had events we'd have an Events Co-ordinator, and throughout the project we'd have roles that would help with the Marketing of the label, the artists, their music and the events. In previous years to this the label has also had Artist Liaison who'd support the artists both when they were recording their tracks and at events. We'd also work regularly with Film Makers to film music videos and to document events, so much so that a role for one was created on the steering group. These roles had role descriptions and could be applied for to mimic an application and interview process that really helped set the professionalism for the project.  

Top Tips from Temple Records on setting up and running your own record label:

  • Be flexible with, and respectful of others, to optimise the workflow.
  • Communicate, communicate and communicate again.
  • Everyone has their own strengths, specialities and areas they like to work in and are 'good' in - however making people work in areas they don't usually, creates not only a stronger working team, but usually more interesting work! Never limit yourself or others to a certain job/field!
  • If a project is ‘youth led’ create a safe space and support to enable young people to really lead it without limitations and to fail safely.
  • Don’t be scared to lead and ask questions of the artists if you feel unexperienced. Have confidence in what you need to know and ask the questions to help achieve the results you want.

Here's the album we've just released - 

“If you were to share one thing that you’ve learnt from being involved in Temple Records, what would it be?”

What’s next?

Creative Youth Network are working with Bristol Music Trust identifying gaps in music opportunities for 17 – 19 year olds in Bristol who are starting to make music themselves and needing a little more support. We’re hoping to start a new programme together from the Autumn this year, so watch this space. As for Temple Record’s music, you can still download the tracks and albums created during the project online.

Special thanks…..

we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to John Thompson and The Big Music Project for their continuous support on the project since 2014. Also to Laura Lewis-Paul, who when working at Creative Youth Network, ran the first cohort and developed the project with young people. To Josh Tucker from Real Sound Studios for helping to shape and run the project with Creative Youth Network. And the biggest of shout outs to all of the young people who have got involved and made this project amazing!!!