Old gold records: Premier League club Wolves launch their own label | Wolverhampton Wanderers
Football clubs have so many lucrative ideas these days that it’s hard to come up with anything original. So thank you to Wolves, who have a unique, if a little unusual, new project: they are starting a record company.
It may not seem like the perfect time to be the first Premier League club to embark on such a venture. Live music revenues have been hit hard by the pandemic, and major labels dominate the increasingly lucrative world of streaming. But on that market comes Wolves Records, hoping to unearth global pop stars who are just right in black and gold.
The label was launched this week with the backing of some of the club’s fans close to the recording industry, and backed by the distribution arm of major label Warner Music. The club insists this is not an attempt to engage supporters or raise community awareness, but a real endeavor.
To facilitate this process, the club has hired a series of “A&R [artists and repertoire] and production advisers ”to the label. Among them is SX, a successful rapper and grime producer who appears alongside KSI on Celebrity Gogglebox and is the face of the launch campaign. He will be joined by a more seasoned professional in the recording industry, Peter Rudge, who helmed the Who and the Rolling Stones and was introduced to the project by the most famous Wolves fan, Robert Plant.
“Football and music are a universal language,” Rudge said. “Anywhere in the world you visit you will likely see a Beckham or the Beatles T-shirt, and today’s footballers have so much in common with musicians in terms of their influence and cultural tone of the time. . “
There is a current problem: Wolves Records has not signed a single artist. Club insiders admit that finding the talent to make the label a success is the biggest challenge. “The key thing we’re looking for now is submissions,” a source said. “Our guys need to be inundated.”
Wolves Records is hoping to sign artists from the area, a factor in the listing of Rudge and SX. But according to the label’s co-boss, the ambitions are more global. “It’s not just about supporting local artists,” said Ricky Hill, “but an authentic and genuine movement of a football club with a large following to enter the music industry and develop new talent. emerging around the world. “
The label’s plans will involve as much effort to find an artist who can be successful in China, the homeland of Fosun club owners, or Raúl Jiménez’s Mexico, as in the UK. This will mean music licenses for TV shows, commercials and video games. It also means Wolves Records hopes to link their music to other new Wolves products, such as their eSports team.
Wolves’ latest move is just one of many attempts by Premier League clubs to increase their income in an effort to stay competitive. A record label might seem a bit archaic, but it will at least be more understandable to the average fan than the current cryptocurrency craze. And if Rúben Neves one day decides to become a country and western singer, he knows where to go.