Producer Jake Gosling discusses his label, Goldun Egg16 March 2018 - Editorial
Jake Gosling’s illustrious career as a producer has been well documented; not just by the music press but by a long list of BRIT and Grammy nominations, broken records on Spotify and in the Charts, and acts such as Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Paloma Faith, The Libertines and more associated with his name. However, the self-confessed workaholic, whose Sticky studio in Surrey also houses several other facets of the business, including a management company, isn’t getting comfortable yet, having launched his own label, Goldun Egg, last August.
Deliberately keeping it on the lowdown for the past six months, he’s been busy laying the groundwork, learning as he goes and trying not to sign every new act he’s excited by. With three artists now officially on the roster and releases ready to roll out this summer, we catch up with the songwriter, producer, studio head and now label boss to find out more.
What moved you to launch your own label?
It’s something I wanted to do for a long time. I’ve been an artist myself and I’ve seen artists signed to different record companies and I’ve seen how it can go wrong.
It felt like something I wanted to get involved with in terms of helping out newer artists and supporting them in a fair way. I want to let them drive it forward, rather than be a big machine and it not be so natural.
What kind of support will Goldun Egg offer its artists?
I understand development and I know that things take time to build naturally. I’m funding it with my own cash so it’s a real love. I understand that it’s risky but I think if you believe in an artist or a project then you’ll see it through. If you stick to something and keep working at it with people who share your vision and work ethic, then it will drive naturally; if it’s good, people will want to be involved. It’s not about creating ‘a pop artist’ in the way you’d create a tin of baked beans, the ethos of the label is about driving forward the creativity and letting the artists be as creatively free as they can.
Why did you choose to go it alone rather than launch an imprint?
It was a conscious decision. I did go and see a couple of majors just for my own perspective and to see what my thoughts were. It’s not something I turned my back on but at the moment I want to build something myself and build something with artists and the small team that I have already. I think it’s important to understand what you’re doing and learn as you go – with a label or any business – those things are really crucial. I think that by doing it this way, it might be a bit more risky, but you need to stick to your guns.
Personally I don’t have a manager, I’ve never had a manager. When you do things yourself, things get done. I’m a bit of a workaholic but I enjoy it and it’s fun.
How has the transition from producer to label manager been?
I’ve always been really hands-on with artists and when you’re so involved you end up becoming lots of different things. You’re working so closely in the studio writing and creating they [the artists] end up coming to your house, living with you, becoming part of the family and you’re going to discuss so many things; whether it’s the artwork or the music video, all manner of ideas. You’re always thinking of creative ideas. What this all means is that the transition into thinking like a label is actually not that hard, because producers are thinking and talking about these things with artists all the time. You’re doing them anyway.
You famously came across Ed Sheeran on MySpace, how do you consider your A&R skills?
Signings are a difficult one because you want to take everyone under your wing and you have to stop otherwise you’ll not get anywhere.
I think the thing is, you just have to go with what feels right. When it’s your own label and your own thing, in terms of A&Ring it, I’m just going with things I really feel something about, sonically and creatively. There are a lot of things I look for but passion and hard work are definitely key for artists.
A lot of these people that I’m working with aren’t saying ‘I want to be rich’ or ‘I want to be a pop star’, they’re saying ‘I want to make great music’, which is crucial for me.
What does success look like for you?
For the artists, I will consider them successful if they reach their goals, and obviously they have different goals in different areas. Because it’s so new and fresh and exciting, it’s like building a family and everyone feels a part of that family. They all come to each other’s gigs and support each other. It’s a really good feeling and I think that’s success, even that early on, because you’re building relationships and everyone is helping each other. That feels good and like it’s heading on the right path.
They would of course love to sell records, that’s why they’re doing it and they do see that as part of that success. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that either, if you’ve written music then you want people to hear it.
For Goldun Egg, the main aim to make great records with these people and for them to feel comfortable and happy. I’m very honest and I’m very fair and if I don’t like something then I’m not going to pretend I do. I get as excited about their music as they do and I listen to their music all the time. I become a fan myself.
How would you like the label to evolve?
I’d love it to grow and establish itself. I’d love for other industry folks to notice. It’s not a competition and I’m not trying to outdo anyone else, it’s about supporting each other as well.
Who’s on the roster…?
Jake and Hackney-based artist NUUXS have been working together 18 months following a chance meeting at a writing camp through their publisher, Bucks.
Despite not instantly creating a creative partnership Jake “kept an eye” on her work and as she evolved she naturally came aboard.
- Single, No Good For Me, coming April 13
- 10-track mixtape, Red Tape, coming this summer
The Shantics’ gregarious nature landed them a solid start to life in the music world. As massive Libertines fans, they recognised Jake as the Anthems for Doomed Youth producer in a Guildford record shop back in 2016. Not used to being recognised, Jake kept the fledgling artists (albeit in a different line-up) on his radar until they stepped in as the band for NUUXS. Impressed with their work and realising they were local to his studio, they very much met the criteria for Goldun Egg come launch.
- Debut single, Mind Pop, released earlier this year
- Next single, Stevie Nicks (the story of them buying a “dodgy PA system off some guy called Stevie”), due mid-April
- Currently working towards a 5-track EP, to be released around mid-June
- Playing The Finsbury (N4) April 21
Unique talent Fergus has his dad to thank for his introduction to Jake. After meeting at an event, Fergus’s father sent over some really rough demos recorded on his phone. Struck by his chorister-like voice, Jake was so intrigued he invited him to visit the studio. In a tale so simple it would seem like fate, Jake tell us: “We did some recording together and I had to sign him.”