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Collier Row brothers launch independent record label to showcase grime talent from Romford and Essex

PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 October 2017

Brothers Jack and James Brooker who have set up a new record label Row Productions. Photo: Melissa Page

Brothers Jack and James Brooker who have set up a new record label Row Productions. Photo: Melissa Page

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Two brothers are determined to shine a spotlight on untapped sources of local musical talent after founding their own independent record label.

Rapper Max Hannan A.K.A. Big ZeusRapper Max Hannan A.K.A. Big Zeus

Brothers James and Jack Brooker launched Row Productions last month from their home in Judith Avenue, Collier Row, and have already set about trying to transform the local grime scene.

“My brother’s been rapping since the age of 10, when he started making beats and things, and he’s spent his whole life making music,” 33-year-old James, who is Row Production’s managing director, told the Recorder.

“Three years ago he had a kid, and he took some time out to focus on those responsibilities.

“We’ve thought about it for a while and now we’ve put together our own record label – we’ve already got a couple of really talented guys signed up and have started planning some shows.”

For James, who has never been a performer himself but has invested around £10,000 in launching the record label, this is a fantastic opportunity for up and coming young artists to showcase their talents.

He said: “What we wanted to do was go out and find all the new young talent from around Essex and around Romford and give them a chance to perform.

“There’s so much out there, and quite often people don’t realise just how talented these guys are because they’re not given the opportunity to hear them or work with them.

“So that’s what we’re hoping to do in the next couple of months – get as many of these guys signed up to our label and get them all working together to try and make as much music as possible.”

The Havering Show 2017. Absonetti performingThe Havering Show 2017. Absonetti performing

And Row Productions has already hit the ground running.

In the scant few weeks since launching, the brand’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages have all gained thousands of followers, while their music is already available on Spotify and iTunes.

An official music video from James’ brother Jack, who performs under the name TheJbKid, has also been viewed more than 12,500 times since premiering last month.

“People have been really open to it. It shows there’s a lot of people out there excited about the idea and hopefully that means there’s a lot of people out there who have what it takes to come get involved with us and start making music.”

And new music is already coming from Row Productions. Next month, another up and coming Havering rapper who has signed to Row Productions will be launching his latest record.

Max Hannan, 23, of Avenue Road, who is also known by his stage name Big Zeus, will unveil his new EP, Reborn, on November 5.

Another collaborator is Harlow-based Miracall, a gifted freestyler with a bright future.

The label has also signed Absonetti, a Gidea Park rapper who wowed crowds earlier this year with a primetime slot at the Havering Show in Hornchurch.

And the early days are just the beginning for the Brooker brothers and Row Productions, says James.

“We’re both really driven and determined people, and we think we have what it takes to turn this into something big, and quickly.

“It should be fine, if you put the hours in you can make a success of anything, so as long as everyone puts the effort in and pulls their own weight I’m sure it will work well.

“Now we just want to get the message out there about the brand, you know, if you’re a beatboxer, or a singer or a rapper, then get in touch and we’ll see what you’ve got. That’s what it’s all about.”

The labels first event night will be taking place at Kosho nightclub in South Street, Romford, on Sunday.

They also have an exclusive slot booked in at 11am on November 11 on Romford radio station Time FM, where the label will be playing out exclusive tracks from a number of its artists.

The label’s second live show is also scheduled to take place on the night of November 11 in Clacton.

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