Celebrating over 30 years in the music business, Marske-by-the-Sea’s Mirage Music has been on a long, and interesting, journey.
Progressing from start-up record label designed for self-releases, through to a recording studio for other artists, before finally moving into its current form as out and out record label (complete with production and artist development components), the road has been long, difficult, but never dull for the Mirage gang.
Yet in spite of 30 years’ worth of changes, Mirage remains a hidden secret in the region’s musical success – often putting itself secondary to its core mission of supporting artists keen to realise their creative visions.
Damain Robinson caught up with lead Mirage producer/ owner John P Taylor to find out about Mirage’s journey and their hopes for the future.
Hey John, congratulations on hitting the 30-year anniversary.
Thank you, it’s been a strange journey but I think even though we’ve been going for thirty years we’re only starting to become what we set out to be, so it’s an exciting time during a time for music which is particularly difficult; especially for music artists who’s main income is in the live scene.
You’ve finally got Mirage into its desired form?
In a way, yes, we started as a way of putting out self-produced records. That was back when there was still money to be made through the industry but we wanted to control our output and decided to do things for ourselves. I think part of what makes Mirage interesting is that we’re not really about ‘just’ renting out our studio for bands keen to record their first demos, we’re more keen to work on artist development and to help them achieve their aims.
You’ve got a strong record of achieving that
Thanks, we have, and I think part of that is because we don’t really identify ourselves within a genre. I’m not even sure genre’s exist, it’s more a term that was created by music labels. As such we have worked with people who play lots of different styles of music, with the intention to help them create the best music they can. Again, that’s becoming more important than ever when the current state of music is struggling, especially as there’s little music to be made in streaming and even less with the current gigging situation.
You’re optimistic about the future though?
I am, but in the short term it might be difficult for a lot of artists and a venues. Now’s the time we all need to support each other and our local artists and venues.
How’s Mirage finding things at the moment?
It’s been difficult for us, as it will have been for just about everyone, and we’ve had to delay or hold-off from releasing new music. We try to release 4 or 5 or sometimes even 6 albums a year so I’m not sure if that will be possible this year but we are in the middle or 3 albums, so that’s positive.
In terms of working with new clients, are Mirage interested in hearing from new acts?
We are yes, I’m happy to hear new material to see if there’s anything we can work with, but this is always a two-way street and both parties have to be content. I’m always happy to provide advice and guidance though, I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years and some of the things I’ve been able to understand I’d be happy to share with anyone thinking about their musical ambitions.
Mirage Music can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Music-Production-Studio/Mirage-Music-245247132255449/