Although the new year has just started, we’re looking back on 2015 and all the amazing things that have already happened since our September launch. So, sit back and let’s cast our minds back to sunnier and dryer days, to September 14th…
Last year was an amazing time for Saffron. We were able to launch with a big bang and a serious confirmation of how much of a supportive city Bristol really is. From Sophie Ellam, a 15-year-old singer songwriter, who had the crowd completely mesmerised to our incredible Patron Eva Lazarus engaging with the audience on a next level, this night exceeded even our expectations. And then to top it all off we also had yummy goodies, with cakes made by Ioni Lyster and branding by Linny Malin.
Our brilliant partnership with Bristol Plays Music also opened up great development opportunities. We collaborated with other youth-focused organisations within Bristol such as Rife Magazine and Gal-Dem Zine for the launch of Switch, a series of monthly free events produced by BPM and MixRadio. We each interviewed Lady Leshurr, who was headlining, with the notion of imparting lesser known facts about her and giving insight into what makes Leshurr the determined artist she is.
Earlier in the week of the launch we dedicated our first Staff Picks to the woman herself in preparation for the big Switch launch. In celebration of all things Leshurr we then combined a few more favourites into a Lady Leshurr x Switch playlist. We were very aware from the get-go that we wanted to produce an interactive interview, one that didn’t just seem to resemble the same overused questions that are often regurgitated all over the internet. From Rife getting her to freestyle to random objects in a bag, Gal-Dem playing word association games to images and our eighteen facts you don’t know about Lady Leshurr, we collaboratively produced insights into both her fun-loving and talented self.
As we are on a mission to change the way women are perceived in the music industry, we launched #SaffronSigns. Our traditional A&R approach to looking for talented individuals meant we went to schools, colleges, churches and gigs as part of our outreach programme. The breadth of the digital #SaffronSigns campaign also meant we could reach out to a wider digital community, which our outreach programme alone may not. In this way submissions were taken and auditions requested through our online artist form. It was especially exciting to be able to meet the young artists and uncover Bristol’s emerging female talent.
We also take a lot of inspiration and motivation for the work we do from the gigs we go to. One performance in particular that left a lasting impression was seeing Ibeyi at The Trinity Centre. Ibeyi embody exactly what Saffron Records is aiming to create – from their creative process to their way of building a community through music, to their profound lyrical content.Their connection as twins enables them to perform in such synchronicity and compose what can only be described as the closest thing to a unified heartbeat. When it was our turn to participate their playful connection created a musical playground for the audience, the girls making us feel like we could sing like them for a glimmer of a minute.
Thinking back to the support of Ibeyi’s mother at their gig reminds us of how thankful we are for Bristol’s endless support for us. We have been blessed to be featured across various Bristol-based platforms, such as Bristol 24/7, Bristol Live, Drunken Werewolf, Flux Presents, Nitelife, Rife Magazine, The World Is Listening to wider national ones like Collectively and even overseas by the French magazine ChEEk.