Rising Star: James Harwood and Marit Berning

Globetrotters: Marit Berning (left) and James Harwood

The biz’s brightest new stars tell their stories. This week it’s the turn of Globe Town Records co-founders James Harwood and Marit Berning.

Where did your story begin?

James Harwood: “I ran parties in London as a teen. I was absorbed into the major label system at Columbia and Black Butter, where I worked as an A&R up until a year ago when I met Marit and together we decided to launch Globe Town Records. Marit had worked in the art world as a curator and dealer. She worked with visual artists, helping them to develop and refine their aesthetic, a skill set that was readily transferable to the inception of our label. She remains active in the art world, which helps inform many of Globe Town’s creative decisions.”

What’s your proudest achievement?

Marit Berning: “The moment we both decided to take the plunge and commit ourselves to starting Globe Town. This label was borne out of our shared passion for the arts and we are exceedingly proud of the relationships that we’ve developed with every artist on our roster [which includes Lauren Faith, Hope Tala and more]. Their success is our success and in that way, each new song that comes out of a session; each press feature; every new release gives us an immense feeling of pride and, on a daily basis, reiterates for us how lucky we are to do what we’re doing.”

How do you want to impact the biz?

JH: “We want to reinforce the concept of a label with a culture; to create a world that artists want to sign to because they can recognise our vibe and feel as though they have something to add to it. We are looking to develop and support artists in a manner that allows them to make and release music that they are proud of, while retaining a large chunk of their rights so they don’t have to rely on advances to survive.”

What makes a great record label?

MB: “Like everything, a solid foundation; a great team built on trust and a shared passion for producing consistent and credible art. Equally, we believe it of great importance that we provide emotional, as well as creative support for our artists. We pride ourselves on maintaining a progressive roster that normalises diversity and exists across a variety of genres and aesthetics. We champion the notion that talent rises with other talent, across every creative industry.”

Where is the biz growing most?

JH: “The rise of the niche; artists wanting to work with independent labels, or self-releasing. DSPs have created the opportunity for artists to pursue a successful career in a manner that wasn’t a viable option over the last couple of decades. Artists are now able to be true to themselves whilst carving a career without the pressures that come with signing a major label deal.”


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