Nova launches record label to help promote local artists
Heather Nova has launched Saltwater Music, a record label to help local artists reach a wider audience.
Salayah Stange, an artist she discovered through the singer/songwriter competition she launched with the Bermuda Festival a few years ago, could be the first to benefit.
The teenager will perform with Nova at a charity concert at the Anglican Cathedral next week and has been invited to join her on stage in Europe later in the year.
“Salayah is incredibly talented. She writes beautiful songs, has a stunning voice and plays piano and guitar. We have been in the studio recently, producing some of her songs, and she will hopefully be coming on the road with me for a section of my fall tour.”
A portion of the proceeds from the May 7 fundraiser will aid Ukrainian refugees and also the Cathedral’s meal programme, “which helps those most in need get enough to eat on a daily basis”.
Meanwhile, Nova is hoping her efforts to promote Bermudian artists globally, will be boosted by her “loyal fanbase, years of experience and contacts in the industry”.
“They are the result of organically building my career over the past 30 years, and those are things you can’t buy. It’s wonderful to be able to share these things with artists I believe in,” she said.
“I have always been passionate about encouraging and promoting Bermuda talent locally, and in the past I have invited Joy Barnum, Taylor Rankin and Indigo Adamson to open for me on my European tours.
“I wanted to give them the opportunity to reach a wider audience and lift their careers. I knew my fans would connect with their music.
“It was exciting to see them being so well received and enjoying that reception that I believed they deserved. Now I’m taking that to the next level.”
The idea came from the success she had with the Heather Nova Singer Songwriter Contest, the competition she began in 2019 with the Bermuda Festival.
“It brings me so much joy to help a young artist bring [their] music out into the world. Sometimes a person writes or creates but has no way to feel validated.
“It’s a huge step to say ‘I’m a singer/songwriter’, because we don’t have a template for that; it’s not something we even know how to begin to follow. So I wanted to provide a supportive platform for that.
“Through running the competition I discovered some extraordinary talent. I have mentored and coached those participants, and it’s through this experience that I have decided to take it to the next level, and help a few of these artists release their music worldwide.”
Nova, who will this summer release her eleventh album Other Shores, is looking to sign artists who show talent in “writing great songs, singing and performing” and are able to play an instrument to accompany a live show.
“But it’s also essential that they have the drive and dedication, and are willing to put in the work it takes to succeed,” she said. “A sense of entitlement won’t get you very far. It takes a mixture of humility and self-belief.
“The artists I sign will have the opportunity to open for me on my European tours. This fall I’m playing over 40 shows across Europe – Holland, Belgium, France, UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland.
“This is a really fantastic way for a new artist to build a following and jump-start their career. They will be able to sell CDs after the shows and meet promoters, agents etc along the way.
“I’m thrilled to be able to offer this. I will only be signing one to two artists at a time, to ensure they get the time and attention it takes.”
The singer/songwriter also offers mentoring sessions to writers and artists and is a big supporter of the shows being put on by Buna Gallery and Coffee House in Sandys.
“There is so much talent on our little island and it’s important to help it thrive. The arts are essential in creating a vibrant culture, keeping stories alive, learning about each other, inspiring us, and filling and expanding our hearts and minds,” she said.
Heather Nova: Acoustic Concert in the Cathedral starts at 7pm in the church grounds with a cash bar and “ambient” music by DJ Felix. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets, $65, will be sold in advance only through bdatix.bm