Nightcap Records

Frankie Wates meets two of the students behind Nightcap Records, a new independent music label with a bit of a difference


Run by two brothers James Badge and Ben Winstanley, Nightcap Records is a new, independent music label hoping to hit the big time.

Priding itself on a refusal to tie itself down to any specific genre, the label aims to provide a platform for hidden musical talent nationwide.

The Tab met with Founder James Badge and Head of Media Ben Winstanley to find out more.

Ben Winstanley (L) and James Badge (R)

Given how much is happening with the label at the moment, it’s easy to forget that you’ve not been round all that long. When exactly did Nightcap form?

James: Although it was around Christmas time/October 2012 when things started to materialise, it all started essentially with Basecamp at the beginning of the summer.

They gave us an huge amount of help, including a grant, offices, and general business advice, which was invaluable. By August, the Nightcap “business” had properly developed.

It takes some labels years before they start to get any form of success. How difficult have you found it to penetrate the music industry?

Ben: There have been a lot of problems, namely getting our name ‘out there’, but perhaps our most relatable issue was one with the Union.

When we’ve gone to them for help, they have spent the whole time bouncing us around because we aren’t a society, we’re in a “grey area in-between a society and a business.”

One of the hardest parts of starting a label from scratch must be getting your name out there. What steps have you taken to gain a following?

Ben: Well it’s been even more difficult than first anticipated, we’d have expected to have a couple of hundred more Facebook likes than we have now. People’s transition from interest, to actually doing something about it is a huge step. Students – our target market – come across as a little reluctant to get involved.

Zara Kershaw

Photograph: Nightcap Records

Your artists base is growing all the time. Tell us a bit about the artists you’re currently working with.

James: We’re representing quite a lot of artists at the moment, but there are two people in particular that we are really pushing at the moment: Zara Kershaw, and Silent Party.

Zara is a singer/songwriter, reminiscent of Eliza Doolittle, and went to the Brit School. Silent Party are a London-based, who have a decent following. They’ve got a release coming out in the next few weeks, and hopefully there will be release video too.

 Silent Party

Photograph: Nightcap Records

Obviously this is all in its early stages – what are your hopes for the next few months?

James: By January 2014 we hope to have a following which is predominantly students, comprising of people who are willing to help to bring together the talents that we’re trying to find. Our ultimate vision is a form of self-sustaining musical community, with everyone working together to give great talent the exposure it deserves.

You can keep up-to-date with Nightcap here, like them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter.