Our "Heartbeats" features aim to showcase the creative minds behind passionate projects in the fields of music and all other artforms.
words and photo by Shabnam Ferdowsi
What: Common Records
Who: Andrew Pearson (and friends)
Where: Edinburgh,Scotland, UK
In their own words, Common Records is "an independent-sub-micro-DIY" Scottish record label. Founded by Andrew Pearson around two years ago, the label has turned into a collective of incredibly talented musicians from different cities and small towns across Scotland.
During my trip across the pond, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Andrew in St Andrews (where he's in his last year of university) along with a couple other musicians (also his good friends) under the Common roster.
When it comes to running the mechanics of the label, from tasks such as getting the album cover graphics, printing physical copies and sending releases out for press, Andrew runs the show mostly on his own. Interesting fact though: he's not making a dime off it. Any money made goes straight back into running the label, and in the end it's more of a hobby (read:passion) than a living (read: financial gain). Surely he must make enough to pay the photographers, audio engineers and other contributors to the various projects right? Not quite. The Common Records community is run on the simple desires of creating the perfect work of art in a collective effort. It's a group of friends and friends of friends doing favors for one another, in the simple desire on collaborating on a passionate work of art.
Over the past two years, the roster has grown from Andrew's own circle in Fife and Edinburgh further into the musical city of Glasgow, and smaller towns such as Perth, and now reaches into different corners of the country. Together, the artists play shows, throw house parties, produce videos and generally support one another in their art-making.
Common Records' main aim is a simple one: to create a supportive community of artists and help them produce and release the best work they can. And from what I've seen, they've hit the spot quite perfectly.
I feel so lucky to have stumbled onto Andrew's music before I got to the UK. His label, his collective and the work of the artists within his community restore my faith in my own Beating Lights project and how I want to partake in the music scene.
"You don't need to sell out stadiums to have an effect" - Hamish James Hawk (a Common artist) put it quite perfectly I'd say.
To listen to all the Common Records releases, head over to their Bandcamp and show them some love! It's independent Scottish music at its finest.