Pool Valley Records is an independent record label based in Brighton. It’s run predominantly by BIMM Institute Brighton students and has a roster featuring some of Brighton’s most promising young acts.
Though we’re in lockdown, they’re still busy at work with some exciting upcoming releases. We caught up with Henry Cooper, Label Manager, about how things are going for them.
How did you get involved with Pool Valley Records?
I got involved with Pool Valley Records in first year. I applied not really knowing much about it, then became Head of PR and Branding for about a year and a half, before transitioning into Label Manager in 3rd year.
What has been your highlight so far?
Choosing one highlight is hard to say. There have been some great releases over the years, such as Nico Cara – Grounded, (which has over 300k streams on Spotify) and MoonOverSun, which has over quarter of a million streams.
However, my personal highlight has been working with KianVsLife and managing him as I’ve learnt a lot about first-hand DIY releases and I am just very proud of the work we’ve come up with so far. It’s also been great working with the smaller teams and overseeing the 30 different people across the board.
How do you choose the artists you work with?
It’s hard to say with it being a very case-by-case situation. For myself and Brad (the Co- Label Manager), we’ve just found artists we like or see a show and have a chat with them after just to see if it is a good fit.
For KianVsLife, I saw a dereck d.a.c. show and found out Kian was the producer for him, so went for a drink and here we are. For a lot of the label teams, it’s just mates’ bands and BIMM artists, but it’s very much case-by-case.
How have you found it adjusting to working online?
Working online has been a weird one as I prefer to work face to face; I find you get more done that way compared to a phone call or something. It’s hard because with a release you want to follow it up with a video, or a live show, or just new content, but given the restrictions, it’s forced us to get more creative and work with what we have.
It’s been interesting. It’s forced a lot of our releases and label teams to push releases back, which is inevitable.
Is there anything coming up you’re particularly looking forward to?
I’m just looking forward to when all this Coronavirus stuff is done and we can properly finish our plans. We’ve had ideas and plans I’ve been working on since last October – like an EP launch in a church that’s had to be scrapped. I’m just excited to finish what we’ve started and see what happens.
Want to know more about how the music industry is reacting to COVID-19? Discover our Industry Response Roundup on how certain industry bodies are bolstering our community during these challenging times, how to access resources and who to turn to with questions about how COVID-19 and various government restrictions impact you.