Bella Union founder and boss Simon Raymonde has described the story of its artist John Grant as one of the ‘most emotionally satisfying stories in our label’s history’, in an interview with Music Week.
Discussing the label’s recent success stories, Raymonde highlighted such artists as Father John Misty,Ezra Furman and, in particular, John Grant.
Grant first signed to Bella Union in 1998 as part of The Czars. His debut solo album, Queen Of Denmark, was released in 2010, and it was only last year, with Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, that he broke into the UK Top 10. It’s now sold 29,707 copies, according to the OCC.
What has happened to Grant includes an addiction to drink and drugs, depression, hospitalisation, being diagnosed HIV-positive, a six-year break between records, then getting sober, getting happy, falling in love, moving to Iceland, being nominated for Best International Male at last year’s BRITs and making a trio of wonderful solo records (2013’s Pale Green Ghosts coming between Queen Of Denmark and Grey Tickles).
“It’s probably the best and most emotionally satisfying story in our label’s history,” Raymonde said. “It’ll make a great movie.
“John was always great, but sometimes you just don’t get the breaks, or the circumstances aren’t right. Okay, you accept that and you keep going. Because if you just give up on an artist then, really, as a label, what are you doing?”
You can read out interview with Raymonde in full here.