Behind every great artist, is a great team championing and working behind the scenes;
this could be family, friends, promoters – in this case, it’s Nice Swan Records.
London-based, Nice Swan Records is the product of northerners Alex Edwards and Pete
Heywoode. The pair founded the independent record label in 2016 after Alex had spent
time working for a number of major labels in A&R and Pete was running RIP Records, a
small indie label that was home to Blossoms, Phobophobes and Hotel Lux. They made themselves a name in the industry when they signed their first act, Dead Pretties, featuring
Jacob Slater and Ben of FEET.
“Having been disillusioned by the mainstream label way of working, Alex decided to
create his own label Nice Swan and approached Pete about getting the wheels in motion. The first thing that was released on the label was a t- shirt with the logo, quite funny!”
The pandemic hit the music industry heavily, we saw live concerts and festivals put on hold,
cancelled, rescheduled and rescheduled again. It’s been an extremely difficult time for the industry. Nice Swan treated the lockdown as an opportunity to focus on finding new artists and get the label to the position where it is now, in a healthy place to grow.
“Larger artists were postponing their releases, and that left space for new music to emerge and be seen - we set up the Introduces Series specifically to take advantage of that and we've had a lot of success in beginning to break some of our new signings.”
Humble as ever, Alex and Pete don’t see themselves as anything different to any other
independent record label out there, “Every successful independent record label has to
have the same ingredients; passion, a good ear, commitment and hard work”. Without
this, Nice Swan wouldn’t be able to continue releasing and supporting the music that
“We’ve taken our time and have only ever signed acts that we both love.”
As well as being the home to a number of incredible artists such as FEET, Jaws The Shark and Courting – Nice Swan have an artist management strand to their label, managing Pip Blom and Fur. When it comes to finding new talent to work with, there’s only one rule – thy both have to love it.
“My favourite moments are when a new artist gets their first radio play or their first press
piece – the reaction is so great to see and to be a part of.”
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the fall of print publications; you don’t need print newspapers or magazines at all anymore to get the news and content that you want to read. With this, so many publications made the big switch to focus on online journalism. Even more so, journalists, creators, presenters and general music fanatics have turned to Youtube and podcasts to review new music. These new methods of music journalism are casual, honest and catch the attention of our generation who like short chunks of audio/visual entertainment.
Courting caught the eye of ‘internet’s busiest music nerd’, Anthony Fantano, who reviewed their latest EP earlier this year to over 2m subscribers.
“When you find someone as eccentric and passionate as Anthony then it's no surprise to see the kind of following he has. I used to buy NME religiously, back in the day but the way people consume content is different now - it's all there online at the drop of a hat, so you need to have something that stands out to get people's attention.”
2021 has big things lined up for Nice Swan and their artists with a collection of ‘seriously killer EP’s’ from Hallan, Mandrake Handrake and Jaws The Shark and more exciting news to come over the next few weeks. Their lockdown creation of the ‘Introduces Series’, which has provided a steady stream of quality releases from the likes of Hallan, Mandrake Handshake and English Teacher is here to stay and will be resuming for volume two in autumn - keep your eyes peeled!