From Dirt to Diamonds: Dirt Diamonds Productions.
Eskimo Joe. The band is synonymous with the West Australian music scene; racking up multi-platinum record sales, sell-out tours, ARIA, WAMI and International Song Writing Competition awards.
Having left an impressive mark on the music industry, the trio – Kav Temperley, Stu McLeod and Joel Quartermain – combined their writing, arranging and producing talents with the major label experience of their manager Catherine Haridy to start independent label, Dirt Diamond Productions.
With humble beginnings, and a humble vision, the label began casually in early 2007.
“I don’t think there was a definitive moment that lead to the development of it, but a series of casual conversations which have now lead to the four of us running a small label. Who knew! The name and logo came together pretty easily; Stu [even] designed the logo. The rest has just flowed,” Catherine explains.
So far the label has just one signing, Fremantle-based musician Steve Parkin. Steve has been performing in local bands since the early 90s and his previous touring band, Steve Parkin and the Foreign Films supported Eskimo Joe on six week tour of Australia back in 2005. He also helped write the song, London Bombs on Eskimo Joe’s last album Black Fingernails Red Wine.
The label’s initial vision was for Kav, Stu and Joel to produce and release records with their friends, such as Steve.
“It’s become a little more serious as times gone on, but it started with Steve Parkin who’s an amazing Perthian singer/ songwriter and the guys feeling strongly about getting his music out there.”
Although Dirt Diamond started two years ago, Catherine says the real hard work is yet to come.
“The label is a small embryonic thing that’s really just starting. We will really be building it over the next few years.”
Taking a collaborative approach, each member of Dirt Diamond works into their strengths.
“The three guys are co-writers, arrangers and producers. They’re great with design and all the visual aspects. I’m the label end of things,” she says.
Having managed Eskimo Joe for the past three years, Catherine previously worked at both Festival Mushroom Records and Warner Music. Her experience is impressive and in her time at the labels, she developed a strong relationship with the band.
“I started working with Eskimo Joe at Festival Mushroom Records as their A&R [Artist and Repertoire] person, through A Song Is City, which I also marketed and, at Warner [Music] into Black Fingernails Red Wine. After the recording of this album [Black Fingernails Red Wine] was completed I left my record label role to manage them,” she explains.
With Steve’s album due out later this year, a second signing on the way and distribution currently being finalised, Dirt Diamond has only just begun. Taking small steps and putting good amount of attention to each project the label undertakes, Catherine says:
“It’s a long term prospect but really the idea is to release records that we all believe in and love. It’s probably very selfish really, but we want to be able to give artists a chance that may otherwise not have the opportunity to get their music heard.”
Dirt Diamonds on MySpace
Copyright (C) 2009 Christina Ballico.