Step into the thriving creative landscape of Naarm (Melbourne) and discover Squinked Records, an Independent Record Label and Boutique Artist Management agency that embodies empowerment and education. Meet Hannah Firth, the visionary behind this dynamic venture, dedicated to nurturing emerging artists. With an unwavering commitment to equipping artists with the necessary tools to propel their careers forward, Squinked Records serves as a catalyst for growth and achievement. In this interview, we explore Hannah Firth’s remarkable journey and the transformative impact of Squinked Records on the burgeoning talents within the industry.
Q: Can you tell us about the unique aspects and vision of your record label that sets it apart from others in the industry?
A: I think what sets Squinked Records apart is the way we work with the artist, it is an entirely collaborative process; artist focused. We encourage the artist to make the decisions, as at the end of the day, they are the ones who have created the art and have invested their time, effort and often money into what they bring to us. I strongly believe that as a small independent record label we are there to guide them, I see my role as being that as someone who can teach and equip artists with the tools, knowledge and experience to really succeed and grow as not just an artist but someone in the music business in the long term. It is about education, empowerment and community and I think having that trust with your artist that you’re both there for the right reasons, the love of the music and the appreciation for the art is what sets us apart.
Q: What specific genres or styles of music does your record label focus on, and how do you discover and select new artists to work with?
A: Recently the music we have been focusing on is heavier, psychedelic, garage rock. I don’t really like to put a specific genre or genres to it or put the artists that I work into a box, because sounds are constantly adapting and evolving and music that is out on Squinked Records is quite a mix. I tend to discover new artists through live shows, suggestions from friends or colleagues and through social media. Being based in Melbourne is really beneficial, it is such a music dense city and the amount of talent here is immense, so I feel that we’re constantly surrounded by great live shows, have mutual connections with other incredibly talented people.
Q: In the current digital age, how do you navigate the challenges and opportunities of promoting and distributing music effectively for your artists?
A: It is becoming more increasingly difficult with each release, the digital landscape of the music industry has led to a massive amount of over saturation of music which at the same time is leading to the consumer to hold much less value in music and increasing the fast paced nature that people connect with it. It has given more opportunity to be creative with promoting and distributing, like Neon Goblin, a band on Squinked Management arm released their debut single only on their website, through a cassette tape and an epic launch, which was hugely successful and saw a huge buzz surrounding them because it was something new, niche and exciting, but it is definitely dependent on the artist and the music, that would definitely not work for many (if any) other bands.
Q: What are some notable success stories or milestones achieved by artists signed to your label, and how has your label contributed to their growth and development?
A: Squinked is more than just a label, we are a management company as well and I believe a hugely exciting and notable story is Heavy Amber, having only just recently signed on to management, were lucky enough to go on the road and perform and huge venues around Australia on The Stranglers (UK), sold out Australia tour. This has opened up some pretty exciting doors for them, we’re really excited to see the next phase and they should definitely be on everyones ‘one to watch’ list.
Q: Are there any upcoming releases or projects that your label is particularly excited about, and what can we expect from them?
A: Again on the management side, we are really excited about Heavy Amber and Neon Goblin, both about to head into a recording phase and I just know that what comes from that is going to be something very special indeed. Squinked is also going through its own little adaptation project at the moment so we can ensure we keep up with the requirements of artists and keep up with such a fast paced industry and our ability to evolve to be exactly what is required, is something we’re definitely excited about.